Shivani DDPPL

Minor Hotels to debut in Muscat

AVANI Muscat exterior rendering low res

Scheduled to open in 2020, the 250-key AVANI Muscat Hotel will be located in Seeb to the west of the city at a 15 minutes’ drive from Muscat International Airport. Seeb is a prime residential area in Muscat and a key area for future development as the city grows westwards. The hotel will be connected via a sky bridge to the upcoming Al Araimi Boulevard Mall, which is currently being developed and is scheduled to open in 2018 with over 250 retail and dining outlets, a medical centre and a 10-screen cinema complex. With a total development cost of USD 50 million by Safari International Group, the new hotel will open in two phases. The first phase will comprise 160 guest rooms and suites, an all-day dining restaurant, an AVANI pantry and a rooftop lounge. Additional facilities will include a swimming pool and health club along with a 1,000 square metre ballroom and eight meeting rooms. The second phase, which will commence two years after the main hotel opens, will offer a total of 90 serviced apartments including studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments, plus two 175 square metre three-bedroom apartments.

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Emaar Hospitality embarks on digital transformation

emar logo

In partnership with Accenture Strategy, Emaar Hospitality Group has unveiled three new projects for digitalisation that will leverage the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence to promote organisation-wide digital innovation and enhance guest experience. Olivier Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer, Emaar Hospitality Group, said, “The three new projects will position us a leading digital player in the hospitality sector, underpinned by our commitment to maximising the guest experience by drawing on the power of data to do our work better and more efficiently.” The new projects cover the digital transformation of Emaar Hospitality Group, which has three brands – Address Hotels + Resorts, Vida Hotels and Resorts and Rove Hotels – as well as Emaar Leisure Group assets and Lifestyle Dining outlets. Using its innovation and design capabilities, as well as its global expertise in the travel and hospitality sector, Accenture will help design and build new capabilities aimed at improving guest satisfaction. Alexis Lecanuet, Managing Director and Products Lead for Accenture in the Middle East and Turkey said, “To keep up with the demands of an increasingly tech savvy clientele, hoteliers have to think of innovative ways to reinvent the entire guest experience—even from the time before they book through to after check out.”

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JA Bateaux Dubai gears up for holiday season

JA Bateaux (3)

JA Bateaux Dubai, the five-star luxury floating experience is now ready in a new location with a revamped new menu for the upcoming tourist season. Set in the historical rejuvenated Al Seef area, the air-conditioned glass enclosed vessel is the ideal luxury cruise which would take guests through the leading trading routes and the historical Bastakiya district. Visitors can discover historical sights of Dubai on board JA Bateaux Dubai with their personalised service along with freshly prepared delectable gourmet cuisine while enjoying a 360-degree view of Dubai.

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Oman’s Ministry of Tourism launches new website

Oman tourism image

The Ministry of Tourism has launched a new promotional website ‘www.experienceoman.om’ which will serve as a one-stop shop for all Oman Tourism related information. The website was launched under the patronage of His Highness Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture during a gala dinner hosted on the sidelines of the 2nd UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture. The launch of the website comes as a part of the Ministry’s initiatives to support the development of the tourism sector in all areas, especially in the use of electronic platforms and digital marketing. Providing insights into suggested travel itineraries, list of tour operators, hotels and services, MICE opportunities; the website also orients tourists with the latest events in Oman and can be viewed in six languages. The website promotes the Sultanate as a unique tourism destination with distinct cultural, historical and natural components, and enables tourists to obtain the information they need to visit tourism attractions. ‘www.experienceoman.om’ will complement the existing ‘Oman Tourism’ website to provide comprehensive and diverse information regarding Oman tourism.

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IHG opens first InterContinental Resort in the Middle East

InterContinental Fujairah Resort_5

In an effort to expand its luxury portfolio across UAE, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced the opening of the InterContinental Fujairah Resort in Dibba. The resort’s 190 stylish guest rooms and suites, including 44 Club InterContinental Rooms and 38 suites, feature expansive balconies offering the perfect vantage point to admire uninterrupted views across the sea. InterContinental Fujairah Resort is a beachfront property situated on the shoreline of the Al Aqah Beach, beneath the spectacular backdrop of the Hajar Mountains. The luxury resort consists of a series of low-rise Arabesque village-style buildings and combines contemporary design elements with strong Arab influences that reflect the local heritage and culture. The resort offers unrivalled facilities and amenities including a gymnasium, spa offering an extensive menu of signature therapies, as well as four meeting rooms, a boardroom and a ballroom. Guests will also have the exclusive benefit of the Concierge programme, which is designed to provide travellers with experiences of local insight. Family travellers can indulge in the hotel’s unique offerings for children of all ages, including a family pool, Kids’ Club and a Teens’ Club.

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flydubai launches direct flight to Kilimanjaro

Image for Fly Dubai to Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro becomes the third point in Tanzania as flydubai became the first airline to provide direct air links to Kilimanjaro. flydubai will offer six flights a week to Kilimanjaro, three of which are via Dar es Salaam, increasing the total number of flights to Tanzania to 14 per week. As part of the inaugural programme, flydubai showcased its new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft which it unveiled for the first time at the Dubai Airshow in November 2017. The service to Kilimanjaro sees the total number of flydubai’s destinations in Tanzania increase to three, along with Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. With an increasing popularity among travellers from Dubai and the GCC, the carrier is seeing a steady growth in passenger numbers. Only a few international carriers operate to Kilimanjaro and flydubai will be the first airline to provide direct air links from the UAE. Emirates will codeshare on this route and as part of the Emirates-flydubai partnership, passengers will have greater choice for onward travel from Dubai to hundreds of destinations across the world.

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Melia Hotels International launches new B2B portal MeliaPro

meliapro

In a bid to enhance sales and relationships with professional partners, Melia Hotels International launched its new online B2B portal, MeliáPro. Previously serving as the company’s booking tool for travel agents, the portal has now been updated to provide online services for a variety of different B2B segments, including corporate travellers, meeting and event organisers, travel agencies and tour operators. The company has also created a new website, meliapro.com, that allows users flexible management and control of their professional activity. The new website provides customers with easy access to specialist hotels, listing diverse choices for hosting meetings. For event organisers, MeliáPro offers a simple system for reviewing the best hotels for different types of event alongside the different offerings provided by each hotel brand in the MICE segment. It also allows event organisers to submit RFPs, manage costs and create websites for each event, allowing attendees to make direct bookings. Travel agents can make bookings for their clients through MeliáPro, allowing them to receive instant commissions as well as guaranteeing the best rate for their customers.

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Dubai Airports expects 8 million passengers in holiday season

dubaiairports

As the vacation season draws closer, Dubai International (DXB) is celebrating with an array of promotions and seasonal activities as it is set to welcome as many as 8 million passengers in December. Predicting the busiest travel days, the airport is encouraging those flying between December 15-23 to reach the airport with plenty of time to spare. This festive period will also offer passengers amazing discounts on activities, services, dining and quick bites through all terminals. Passengers can claim three free vouchers by searching for ‘EarlyBirdsDXB’ on Facebook Messenger and chatting directly with Santa. For those travelling from Terminal 3, the brand-new Winter Wonderland DXB is the perfect way to get in the festive spirit just moments before jumping on a plane. Staff levels will be augmented during peak periods and airport operational teams will use the latest sensor technology to constantly monitor passenger flows, allowing staff to be deployed quickly to avoid delays and long queues. UAE nationals can use the smart gates, enabling them to avoid queuing at passport control and travel through quickly and efficiently with their Emirates ID.

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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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