Shivani DDPPL

Etihad to operate additional flights for Hajj Season

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Airways will operate additional flights between Abu Dhabi and its destinations in Saudi Arabia to facilitate the movement of thousands of pilgrims for Hajj. Until August 28, Etihad will operate special charters to carry pilgrims on its additional flights to Jeddah and Medina Airport. All flights will operate alongside regular scheduled services. The top inbound destinations for the Hajj Etihad flights are the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Korea, and Nigeria. Hareb Mubarak Al Muhairi, Etihad Airways’ Senior Vice President, said, “The Hajj pilgrimage is a very important experience for Muslims around the world and Etihad is proud to help its customers make this significant journey. This year we see a 17 per cent increase in the number of pilgrims travelling with Etihad compared the same period last year. To meet this increasing demand, Etihad Airways are adding 16 flights alongside our scheduled services to Jeddah and Medina. We are committed to providing a memorable Hajj travel experience for our customers and to helping them complete their journey with ease and peace of mind.” A dedicated group of airport staff is available to facilitate a seamless ground experience for Hajj travellers. In addition, dedicated check-in counters have been set up at Abu Dhabi international airport. Extra provisions will also be made by cabin crew to meet pilgrims’ needs and requirements and to facilitate the performing of ablutions, advising them about the entry into Al Miqat (state of sanctity), and the changing into Ihram robes.

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Wego partners with Airbnb to provide travellers more accommodation choices

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Wego and Airbnb have announced a partnership to include properties listed on Airbnb in Wego search results in a move to offer Wego users more accommodation choices. With the addition of listings on Airbnb, travellers using the Wego metasearch apps and websites will have easier access to a wide range of local homes and other unique types of accommodation in destinations worldwide. Wego users simply have to enter their destination city and dates of travel, and to follow the recommended filters to search for a wide array of Airbnb vacation rentals. This announcement comes at a time when MENA based travellers and inbound visitors to the MENA region, have demonstrated an appetite for innovative travel experiences and cost-effective holiday options. As the leading travel metasearch player across the MENA region, Wego helps users to quickly compare the widest possible range of accommodation options available in the marketplace, including hotels, serviced apartments, homes and villas and to compare rates across local and global travel agencies, hotel direct websites and other merchants. Anna Trushkina, Director, Hotels at Wego, commented, “We are excited to be entering into this partnership with Airbnb which will significantly expand the supply of alternative accommodation on Wego and which is perfectly matched with types of demand we see from Saudi Arabia and the other GCC markets. Analysis of search and booking data from across the 60 countries worldwide that Wego operates, shows that users from GCC countries have the longest length of stay, highest spend per night and most frequent instance of multiple room bookings to accommodate family groups. We also know that many families from the GCC place a premium on privacy when travelling.”

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Kleindienst unveils Sweden Beach Palace on Dubai’s The World Islands

Sweden Beach Palace - Interior (2)

Kleindienst Group, developer of The Heart of Europe, a cluster of six islands on The World, unveiled the first Sweden Beach Palace at Sweden Island in Dubai. The Sweden Beach Palaces will consist of nine luxurious palaces, plus one super-sized version, set in the beautifully landscaped Sweden Island. Each property will have its own private section of beach, and unique to the palaces, a fully-owned piece of the marine area plot, including a private coral reef. The properties have been designed as second homes, Dubai’s first purpose-built luxury area for UAE residents to own a holiday property in their own country. Josef Kleindienst, Chairman, Kleindienst Group said, “Catering to residents and visitors who are looking for a dynamic, cultural experience, our developments at The Heart of Europe will boost tourism in the UAE. It will also offer investors the opportunity to choose from a range of high quality holiday properties that will be part of a vibrant touristic destination that includes hotels, restaurants and world-class attractions. Our journey to date has taken us to the unveiling of the Sweden Beach Palaces, one of the most luxurious freehold second homes in the UAE.” The first Sweden Beach Palace features seven plush bedrooms, each with its own en-suite bathroom. Five of the palaces will be fitted out with Bentley Home interiors, while the remaining properties will be bespoke to the individual owners.

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ITB Asia 2018 to focus on $180 billion worth Muslim travel market

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ITB Asia is set to focus on the US$180 billion Muslim travel market this year as it  partners with key experts, CrescentRating and Halal Trip, for the third edition of the Halal in Travel Asia Summit. ITB Asia is launching a newly dedicated Muslim Travel Hub and Pavilion to host panel discussions from October 17-19, 2018 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Marina Bay Sands. By 2020, it is expected that there will be 156 million Muslim travellers, growing nearly 30% since 2016. Muslim travel is thus an important focus for ITB Asia this year as key players in the travel and tourism space are demanding insights and best practice in marketing destinations. The third Halal in Travel Asia Summit on October 17 will focus on the  key theme of ‘Innovation  & Technology in the Muslim Travel Space’. The conference will kick off with the official release of the Mastercard-Halal Trip Digital Muslim  Travel Report (DMTR) 2018, revealing the latest insights and in-depth analysis into  the Muslim travel market and behaviours when it comes to trip planning research and engagement in the digital space. For the three full days, the dedicated Muslim Travel Hub will offer panels, showcases and important discussions on Halal travel. Key topics covered include how to attract  Muslim travellers to destinations throughout  the year, how to further develop the growing Muslim travel market and develop Muslim-friendly travel packages.

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Air Arabia launches new service to Prague from December 11

Air Arabia airplane-above-clouds

Air Arabia has announced the introduction of its new European destination, Prague in Czech Republic, direct from Sharjah. Air Arabia’s inaugural flight to the city will commence on December 11, 2018. The 6 hour 50-minute flight will operate five times per week, every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. On Tuesdays and Sundays, the flight will depart Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) at 08:00 hours and arrive at Prague Václav Havel Airport (PRG) at 11:50 hours, and on the return leg, the flight will depart from PRG at 12:35 hours and land at SHJ at 21:40 local time. On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the departing flight with leave from Sharjah at 15:30 hours and arrive in Prague at 19:20 hours; the return flight will depart Prague at 21:05 and arrive in Sharjah the following morning at 06:10 hours. Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia, said, “With the launch of the Sharjah to Prague route, we aim to offer our passengers the chance to discover the colorful and historic capital city, our newest destination in Europe to be available direct from the UAE.” A historic city famed for its Old Town Square and elaborately constructed Baroque buildings, Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic and one of the most popular touristic destinations in Europe.

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Emirates revamps its premium offering in First and Business Class

Emirates A380

Emirates has refreshed its premium offering with new luxury products in First and Business Class for a more comfortable travel experience. The new products stem from collaborations with BYREDO skincare, Bowers & Wilkins and Emirates’ longstanding partnership with Bulgari for its refreshed amenity kits. Emirates First Class customers will find the BYREDO travel wellness range of skincare in their private suites. The allergen-free and Chamomile collections were exclusively created for Emirates for a relaxing and hydrating experience inflight. The collection by European luxury brand, BYREDO, was first introduced in Emirates’ new fully enclosed suites on the Boeing 777 last year and is now being rolled out across the fleet. All the products in the collection are manufactured using the best raw materials with a distinct focus on craft and quality. To amplify the viewing experience on ice, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system, the airline is rolling out brand new Bowers & Wilkins Active Noise Cancelling E1 headphones in First Class. These headphones were designed by award-winning audio brand Bowers & Wilkins and created exclusively for Emirates using a unique hybrid noise cancellation technology optimised for the Emirates First Class cabins. The headphones are lightweight and made of the finest materials, including aluminium and sheepskin leather for a comfortable fit. Customers can use the headphones to view up to 3,500 channels of on-demand entertainment on a 32-inch TV screen. The entertainment selection on ice across all classes includes up to 950 movies, 400 TV channels and 2,400 music and podcast channels. The headphones’ sound quality can also be tested on The Bowers & Wilkins Superior Sound playlist, a selection of tracks selected for their acoustic excellence available on ice.

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DTCM publishes 12 steps to sustainability web manual to hotels

Yousuf Lootah - Executive Director Tourism Development and Investments

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has published the first interactive, web-based, manual under the Dubai Sustainable Tourism (DST) Initiative to help hotels and hospitality establishments map out a sustainable journey and trigger a positive impact on the environmental performance of the tourism industry. This has been designed in line with the Department’s commitment to ensure that the emirate takes the lead in promoting sustainable best practices and green initiatives, in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into a leading sustainable city globally. By identifying the collective environmental impact in the tourism industry, the guidelines provide practical and cost-effective solutions around four key themes: energy conservation, water conservation, waste management and sustainability engagement of staff and guests. These form the basis for key objectives that the Manual sets out to achieve, including the promotion of energy and water conservation measures by benchmarking activities that help to identify and implement effective policies and incentives; the development of training programs, communications campaigns and events to promote sustainability initiatives to all staff and guests; and the further development of Dubai as a “smart city” by extending the use of new technologies in daily operations, e.g. remote load control, Building Management Systems (BMS), and control sensors. Commenting on the launch of the industry standards, Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director – Tourism Development & Investments, Dubai Tourism said, “Reflecting outstanding work in the field of green tourism, this pioneering document published by Dubai Tourism under the DST initiative serves as a valuable guide to help create a sustainable future for our …

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Turkish Airlines new partnership with Warner Bros and The Lego Movie franchise

Turkish Airlines Logo

Turkish Airlines will launch a new animated safety video, complete with familiar LEGO minifigures in surprising new roles. The custom-animated safety video for Turkish Airlines was created by the teams who assembled “The Lego Movie”, “The Lego Batman Movie”, “The Lego Ninjago Movie” and the highly anticipated sequel “The Lego Movie 2” due in cinemas beginning February 2019, which reunites the heroes of the first film in an all new action-packed adventure. In partnership with Warner Bros and featuring the popular characters from The Lego Movie franchise, the safety video will be shown on all flights starting today and will also debut online. The safety video, which is the first Lego safety video ever made, demonstrates step-by-step safety procedures to passengers in a fun, unique style – complete with sensible airline-approved humor, celebrity cameos and an unforgettable song and dance number. Turkish Airlines is proud to have one of the youngest fleets in the world and strives to achieve the best in aviation safety standards. Whether frequent travellers or first-time fliers, the video aims to inform and entertain passengers, alongside an extensive selection of movies, TV shows, music and games available in different languages on the in-flight entertainment system. The safety video will kick off the “biggest partnership with the smallest cast ever assembled”, hinting there is much more to come from the Turkish Airlines and Lego Movie franchise alliance. Leading up to the worldwide release of “The LEGO Movie 2”, Turkish Airlines will roll-out a global TV campaign, film themed wrapped airplanes, in-flight and in-airport activations and even a second safety video.

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InterContinental Hotels Group introduces new travel programme

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IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has introduced IHG Business Edge, a comprehensive programme designed to enhance the corporate travel experience for small and midsize enterprises (SMEs). Prior to launch, 1,500 companies have already signed up as members, eager to benefit from a program designed to streamline the negotiation process, reward loyalty, and consolidate data, content and booking into one easily accessible customer portal. IHG Business Edge has been in development for the past year, and was built based on the insights of 2,100 global SME customers, and then piloted with 300 companies across 17 countries. Through this process, the companies made it clear they wanted to benefit from some of the competitive advantages traditionally enjoyed by large enterprise customers, and were looking for a partner that understood small business and could provide them with meaningful resources and content that they couldn’t get on their own. Derek DeCross, SVP, Global Sales, IHG, said, “We knew that there was an unmet need for a travel buying program specifically designed for SMEs – a group of customers who can often be underserved by the industry. We worked together with SMEs to design the program and they told us that a discount program alone is not compelling enough to drive their loyalty and engagement. They didn’t want lengthy negotiations – but rather a rich discount they could count on, reliable reporting and insight into the latest information, as well as access to a diverse corporate network of other “similar” organisations.”

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Emaar selected as official Hotel and hospitality partner for Expo 2020

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Millions of visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai, including global leaders, will enjoy world class hospitality after organisers unveiled Dubai-based Emaar Hospitality Group as its new official partner. Emaar Hospitality will provide authentic experiences with a strong local flavour at various locations across the Expo 2020 site, including VIP clubs and lounges, as well as in its hotels and restaurants in Dubai. As the Official Hotel and Hospitality Partner, Emaar Hospitality Group will be responsible for providing exceptional service to Expo 2020’s special ticket holders. The Group will also operate a number of other experiences across the Expo site. In addition, Emaar Hospitality Group will showcase trends and innovations in the hospitality industry. Rolando Martins, Chief Visitor Experience Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, welcomed the partnership as a key element in providing millions of visitors to the Expo with an exceptional experience, as well as an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for UAE tourism. “The hospitality experience at Expo 2020 is an opportunity to showcase this important aspect of the Emirati identity and culture. Emaar Hospitality Group has a record of warmly welcoming millions of visitors to Dubai every year – many of whom return again and again, which makes them the ideal hospitality partner. Emaar Hospitality Group will continue to provide an exceptional hospitality experience that wows all of Expo 2020’s visitors, including world leaders, encouraging them to return to Dubai and the UAE, creating long-lasting benefits for the entire tourism industry.”

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