Shivani DDPPL

Tripfez and Media Prima Digital launch Raudhah app for Umrah travel

Screenshot Raudhah-page-001

Tripfez and Media Prima Digital have launched a new Umrah package booking feature on Raudhah app. Raudhah’s 250,000-plus existing users and Muslim travellers can now search for flights and hotels for Umrah travel according to multiple criteria, including date of travel and the number of travellers in their group. Online Travel Agents can also access the API connection, enabling them to access and digitally package Umrah travel more easily. “Raudhah app feature marks an exciting development in the Islamic travel and marketing space, with two dynamic Malaysian-headquartered companies working together to pioneer the digital distribution of Umrah packages, which until now, has been a traditional, non-digital business,” said Faeez Fadhlillah, Founder & CEO, Tripfez.” He further added, “Our collaboration with Media Prima Digital will not only make things easier for Muslim travellers, but also facilitate the future growth of the Umrah travel sector, catering to pent-up demand for digital Umrah solutions, which today is driven by tech-savvy Muslim Millennials. At the same time, we are giving third-parties access to the API connection, enabling them to access the direct feeds to create and sell Umrah packages more efficiently and effectively.” Raudhah- the brainchild of Media Prima Digital- has 14 features and is designed to cater to the religious needs of Muslims in Malaysia and around the world. Talking about the achievement, Rafiq Razali, CEO, Media Prima Digital, said, “We are thrilled to introduce the Umrah feature into the Raudhah app in this latest update. Performing Umrah is now much easier with the advancement in technology and we look forward to embracing it as we take a digital-first approach as an organisation,” said.

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IOM and Turkish Airlines ink deal to promote MigApp

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The UN Migration Agency (IOM) and Turkish Airlines have signed a long-term partnership agreement for the promotion of safe, orderly and regular migration. The deal has been signed between General William Swing, Director IOM and M İlker Aycı, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, Turkish Airlines. The cooperation will focus on the organisation’s migration application (MigApp), which leverages the widespread use of telecommunications technology to provide practical information about services available to the migrants globally. “The agreement opens a whole range of possibilities for cooperation both in terms of Turkish Airlines’ commitment to social responsibility and our own commitments to migrants and refugees. It will allow us to do a lot in terms of informing migrants, promoting their rights and training to sensitise airline officials to smuggling and trafficking — one of the heinous crimes of our times.” Swing said. Commenting on the partnership, Aycı said, “As the national flag carrier of Turkey, we are glad to strengthen our collaboration with IOM. Through this agreement, we see a way to promote the idea of living together in peace and travelling freely and legally as envisioned under the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.”

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Jumeirah Group launches luxury hotel in China

Jumeirah Nanjing Exterior_HR

Jumeirah Group has announced the launch of Jumeirah Nanjing on September 10. Under the direction of Jumeirah CEO, José Silva, the group is in a phase of accelerated expansion and this new Jumeirah-branded property in China represents an important deliverable in achieving the brand’s global growth ambitions. Located on the banks of the city’s Yangzte river, the hotel is situated on the 39-67th floors North Tower within the prestigious International Youth Cultural Centre (IYCC) of the Hexi New District. The striking and iconic architecture was created by the legendary architect Zaha Hadid, whose design took inspiration from a graceful sailing ship, capturing Nanjing’s blend of traditional and cosmopolitan style. Jumeirah Nanjing, which offers 212 rooms and 49 suites as well as range of exceptional dining experiences, is set to inspire and delight both local and international guests. José Silva, Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group, said, “Jumeirah Nanjing is a stunning addition to our portfolio and we are exceedingly proud to be selected as guardians of such a significant property. The International Youth Cultural Centre is an architectural masterpiece and its iconic stature is truly impressive. Jumeirah Nanjing is a remarkable destination which will boost tourism to the city.” With this strategic addition, Jumeirah will expand its luxury portfolio, which currently extends to 22 luxurious hotels and resorts around the world. The Jumeirah Group will be opening additional properties in the Asia-Pacific region, including in China and Bali.

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Hard Rock café in DXB from November 2018

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Dubai Airports has finalised an agreement with Hard Rock International and their regional franchise partners that will see the former launch its first Hard Rock Cafe, opening early November in DXB’s Concourse B. The new location will feature a licensed restaurant, grab and go food, live entertainment, rock memorabilia and a Rock Shop loaded with its world-famous merchandise. Hard Rock Cafe will be located in Terminal 3 B Gates, adding to DXB’s remarkable array of leisure and entertainment offerings, which include over 100 eating options for passengers, catering to all tastes and budgets. Hard Rock International is one of the world’s most globally recognised brands, famous for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, memorable dining experiences and live music performances which will complement Dubai Airports’ musicDXB programme. Eugene Barry, Executive Vice President Commercial, Dubai Airports, said, “We’re thrilled to add Hard Rock Cafe to our DXB playlist. It is the perfect fit at an airport that is already world-renowned for its F&B, retail and music. Hard Rock Cafe sets the standard when it comes to combining great food and music and is a vital component of our strategy to create an airport experience that is second to none.” Anibal Fernandez Lorden, Vice President, Franchise Operations and Development of Hard Rock International, said, “Hard Rock has been looking forward to opening its second location in Dubai after many successful years of operating in this iconic city.”  “We could not have asked for a better location to provide travellers with great memories of one of the world’s top dining and entertainment brands.”

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2nd India-UAE Partnership Summit to be held from Oct 30-31 in Dubai

India-UAE Partnership Summit

The second edition of India-UAE Partnership Summit will take place at the Atlantis the Palm from October 30-31, 2018. The objective of the summit is to facilitate the private sector partnership in diverse areas. Speaking at a press conference, HE Navdeep Suri, High Commissioner of India in UAE, stated, “Attracting investments into tourism-related infrastructure is a real priority for the government of India and it is also a designated priority to many of the state governments who are keen about foreign investments in these sectors. We see that the business leaders forum has taken the first step forward by attracting tourism infrastructure on an island in Andhra Pradesh. We have also seen Yusuff Ali of the Lulu Group establish India’s biggest convention center and hotels and are now planning to establish additional convention centers in Visakhapatnam and Lucknow. We see that there is a strong interest in different sectors of Indian tourism, particularly the mountains and the resorts and spas.”

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VFS Global opens new joint visa application centre in Riyadh

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VFS Global has opened a UK visa application centre in Riyadh, close to the Diplomatic Quarter. The company said that the new centre in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which will serve travellers to the UK & Australia, is equipped to handle more visa applicants conveniently with increased seating capacity and ample parking space, while also offering ancillary travel services facilities within the premises. Officially inaugurating the new visa application centre, the Ambassador of United Kingdom to Saudi Arabia, HE Simon Collis, said, “‘Our customers in Saudi Arabia are extremely important to us, and we continually look for new and innovative ways to improve the visa service we offer, both to Saudi nationals and local residents. For Saudi nationals, the average processing time for non-settlement visas is less than five days.” The new centre is located at Al Hada District, besides Courtyard Marriott Hotel and close to Ritz Carlton, Riyadh. Visa applicants to the UK and Australia can access details on visa application procedures at  www.vfsglobal.co.uk/sa/en Commenting on the launch, Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO for Middle East, South Asia & China, VFS Global, said: “The new stand-alone centre has been designed to provide a comprehensive experience to applicants in terms of visa processing and accessing necessary travel services under one canopy. The UK continues to remain a popular destination for tourism, business and student visitors from Saudi Arabia. The latest visa figures show that over 130,000 Saudi nationals were issued a UK visa in the last year. We are confident that the new centre for the UK and Australia visa applicants will provide enhanced convenience to the customers.”

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Sharjah conducts roadshow in Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen

HE Khalid Jasim Midfa

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) joins the tourism delegation from the UAE led by the Ministry of Economy to visit three Scandinavian cities as part of the ‘Visit UAE’ roadshow. The delegation comprising eight government officials, Emirates airlines and 29 representatives from the hotels and travel agencies across the UAE, is visiting Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen from September 17 to 21, 2018. SCTDA will showcase the enriching tourism experiences in Sharjah with its diverse culture and heritage to encourage more people from these cities to visit the emirate. Participating in the roadshow is one among the number of activities the authority intends to implement in the next couple of months to help drive tourism growth. The workshops to be held during the roadshow will provide a platform for SCTDA and the UAE delegation to strengthen partnerships with their counterparts in the Scandinavian cities. HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA, said: “The tourism sector is a major pillar in the UAE’s efforts in economic broadening, a key strategy for the country’s transition to the post-oil economy and the ‘Visit UAE’ roadshow will contribute in achieving this vision. Our country has continued to gain popularity across the world as a leading destination in the Middle East. We look forward to capitalising the opportunity to present our market offerings in these European cities and strategically position Sharjah as a destination of choice.”

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Over 750 firms participate at Hotel Show Dubai 2018

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Over 750 local and international companies have participated in this year’s Hotel Show held from September 16 to 18 at Dubai World Trade Centre. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and CEO and Chairman of the Emirates Group inaugurated the event and the leisure show, which sees participation from various technology and sports equipment companies that have revolutionised the hospitality trade. The hospitality leadership forum opened with Olivier Harisch, CEO, Emaar Hospitality Group sharing the road to 2020 and how Emaar copes with the number of rooms, strategies to recognise women in leadership roles at Emaar, how they use technology as an enabler, etc. He reiterated that people have an emotional investment in hotels and thus, hotels need to be constructed in a smart manner alongside a smart procurement. Philip Wooller, Director for Middle East and Africa at STR Global reiterated the evolving scale and structure of Dubai’s room supply. He said that Dubai is on its way to a steady growth plan as it is an emerging destination, which still leads the way with US $180 as average room rate. Apart from the forum, the inaugural Chef’s table and the second Middle East housekeeper’s league of champions events enthralled the visitors further. Various companies supplying décor had created masterful resort areas, which received enough attention from the participants.

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Abu Dhabi Airports launches ‘Flight of the Children of Zayed’ initiative

Abu Dhabi CSR initiative

Abu Dhabi Airports, in collaboration with Emirates Red Crescent, has launched its ‘Flight of the Children of Zayed’ initiative, under which it recently organised a trip for 31 orphans to Sir Bani Yas Island. The initiative comes under the framework of Abu Dhabi Airports’ ongoing corporate social responsibility (CSR) and Year of Zayed programme. Abu Dhabi Airports is committed to organising various social initiatives and sponsoring charities in line with its vision of becoming the world’s leading airports group. As a part of the ‘Flight of the Children of Zayed’, Abu Dhabi Airports collaborated with various authorities, including the Federal Authority For Identity and Citizenship, Abu Dhabi Police GHQ, Abu Dhabi Department of Culture & Tourism, the Tourism Development & Investment Company that sponsored the recreational activities and accommodation on the island and Abu Dhabi Aviation that provided air transportation. The initiative included a safari on the island and a variety of water sports. The children also planted trees bearing their names and received souvenirs. Abu Dhabi Airports commended the staff across all the organisations involved that contributed, coordinated and implemented the ‘Flight of the Children of Zayed’ initiative.

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Fraser Suites opens in Muscat

Fraser Suites Muscat

Tavellers to Muscat can now experience luxurious hospitality with the recent opening of Fraser Suites Muscat. The 120-key property is Frasers Hospitality’s first in Oman, offering business and leisure to travellers in the heart of the capital. Under the ownership of Amer Al Suleimani and co-owners, Ammar Al Suleimani and Ahmed Al Suleimani, Fraser Suites Muscat seeks to redefine the concept of hospitality. Located in the landmark mixed-use complex, the serviced residence offers guests a range of one to three-bedroom apartments, each with stunning views of the city. Its prime location puts it in the vicinity of a host of F&B outlets, mega shopping and lifestyle destinations like the Mall of Oman and Muscat Grand Mall, several large multi-national companies and Muscat International Airport. This spacious property, with modern and elegant furnishing reflecting the essence of the city throughout, also hosts a range of amenities for residents to enjoy. A grand ballroom is also available for events and conferences for up to 800 people. The launch of the property is in line with the growth strategy of Frasers Hospitality, which aims at expanding its global presence with new properties in the Middle East and Africa.

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