Shivani DDPPL

Ghaya Grand Hotel wins Luxury Serviced Apartment Award at Arabian Travel Awards 2018

Ghaya Grand Hotel has won the Arabian Travel Awards 2018 for the Luxury Serviced Apartment Hotels category at a glittering ceremony held at the JW Marriott Hotel, Deira on September 20, 2018. The award was received by Ossama Kachkouche, Director of Sales and Marketing. “We are extremely honoured to be recognised at the recent Arabian Travel Awards. It was a special feeling when all of our hardwork was acknowledged, it’s a seal of approval that we are on a right track and we should continue to maintain and improve our hospitality services.” Kachkouche said. Arabian Travel Awards is a platform for the Middle East to recognise people behind the success of the travel & hospitality industry to make them believe they are achievers. Planned as an exclusive one-of-its-kind event, this award ceremony is held annually. With many people putting their trust in the travel & hospitality industry, Arabian Travel Awards aims to host a world-class recognition for the best in the industry. Based on a unique system of jury, judgment and voting, these awards are fair and unbiased.

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Golden Sands Hotel Apartments wins Best Family Hotel Apartments Award

Golden Sands Hotel Apartments was declared the Best Family Hotel Apartments at the 2nd annual Arabian Travel Awards. Mirna Tenidis, Director of Marketing of Golden Sands Hotel Apartments, received the award. Last year, the Golden Sands Hotel Apartments was recognised as the Best Brand Hotel Apartment. Mohammed Khoori, General Manager, Golden Sands Hotel Apartments, said, “The Arabian Travel Awards is one of the much-awaited awards in the industry. We are grateful to be recognised as this year’s recipient of the Best Family Hotel Apartments. This is a meaningful award because it reflects who we truly are. Our facilities cater to big and small families and our location is convenient for both young and adult guests. I want to share this award with the team who are relentlessly providing the best service to our valued guests.” Organised by Durga Das Publications, the 2nd Arabian Travel Awards recognised and honoured the best in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries in the Middle East. This year, more than 50,000 votes were submitted from over 25 countries, with nearly 60 awards to recognise at the exclusive event attended by VIPs, dignitaries, travel, tourism and hospitality professionals. During the awards ceremony, a beautifully designed Collector’s Edition Book was also unveiled that showcases the beauty and culture of the Middle East.

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Travelport crowned “Best Technology Partner” for 2nd consecutive year at Arabian Travel Awards 2018

Travelport has been recognised as the Best Technology Partner to the travel and hospitality industry in the Middle East for the second consecutive year at Arabian Travel Awards 2018. The company also scooped the Best Travel Technology Provider award, a category formerly called Best Global Distribution System, which Travelport also won in 2017. The ceremony took place recently at JW Marriott Hotel in Deira, Dubai. Arabian Travel Awards is an annual event designed to support, promote and develop the Middle East travel and hospitality industry by identifying and rewarding excellence, and inspiring its practitioners to continuously raise the standards of their product and service offering. Winners are selected based on a unique system of jury, judgement and online voting by industry professionals. In other categories, Cozmo Travel won Fastest Growing Travel Management Company and Al Naboodah Travel won the Best General Sales Agent (GSA) award. Matthew Powell, Managing Director, Travelport, Africa, Middle East and South Asia, said, “We are proud of the work we have done over the last 12 months. Our travel commerce platform is faster, our merchandising and analytics solutions are more powerful, and our mobile applications like Trip Assist, are even more dynamic and in tune with the needs of today’s hyper-connected travellers. We are delighted this work has been recognised by the industry. We will continue to work tirelessly to lead the change we want to see for the benefit of our customers and travellers.”

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SCTDA conducts roadshow with Emirates airlines to target Far East Asian markets

In order to explore new horizons and reach out to new markets, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has begun its roadshow on September 24 to Far East Asian markets in collaboration with Emirates airline. These events, which will run till September 28, mark the Authority’s entry into the Indonesian, Malaysian and Singaporean markets for the first time. Underscoring its commitment to enhancing the efficiencies in the tourism sector through partnerships and collaborative efforts, the Authority has started holding meetings which will take place during these five days with various public and private entities, officials and agencies aimed at building long-lasting relationships with them. The Authority is keen to win new markets in the Far East region in line with its strategic efforts to attract more visitors by showcasing exceptional tourism offers during the roadshow, including key benefits and a wide array of tourism products in Sharjah. HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, said, “We are working on a clear plan and strategy in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member, Supreme Council and Ruler, Sharjah, to promote the tourism sector and make Sharjah a leading family destination in the world. Considering all the stakeholders in the public and private sectors and following the framework set forth in Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, the tourism sector in the emirate has been able to hold a distinguished position on the global tourism map and has become a major engine of comprehensive development today, paving the way to new touristic key markets.”

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Dubai–China conference concludes with 900 delegates

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) hosted its inaugural Dubai China Conference on September 19-20 at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai. The two-day event, which welcomed over 900 attendees, featured integrated workshops and informative guest speakers offering valuable insights from both Chinese and local industry experts. With panel discussions strongly attended throughout the event, guests were invited to deep dive into Dubai’s China-readiness strategy, along with  engaging into presentations led by industry partners. Breakout periods were also built into the two-day schedule to allow industry players to share knowledge during networking opportunities alongside partners such as Huawei, Ctrip and Tencent. There was also a series of engaging workshops hosted by Mafwengo, Fliggy and Alipay enabling attendees to meet the teams for discussing further potential collaborations, as well as Meituan and DaZhongDianPing which delved into the digital cooperation trends in Dubai. With exponential growth in overnight visitors from China, the event offered a clear indication of the market’s rising prominence as one of Dubai’s fastest growing source markets, after closing the first eight months of 2018 with a record 578,000 visitors – a growth of nine per cent over the same period in 2017. While demand from Chinese travellers is increasing at a quicker rate than capacity, visitation growth is supported by a 9.5 per cent increase in air capacity over the last five years, and increasingly competitive ticket pricing. Furthermore, the percentage of those on China-Dubai flights who stay in Dubai has increased by 29.2 per cent highlighting the increase in demand for elongated stopovers for Chinese tourists.

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900 participants from 71 countries attend Turkish Airlines’ Corporate Club Conference in Istanbul

Turkish Airlines hosted the Turkish Airlines Corporate Club Conference on September 17-18 in Istanbul, in partnership with the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). The conference was an annual international event where industry leaders came together and discussed the future of business travel. The event saw 900 participants from 71 countries and the programme featured leading names in the industry, including Mike Walsh as a keynote speaker, CEO, Tomorrow, and best-selling author of the book “Futuretainment”. The theme of the conference was “Building for the Future”, featuring M İlker Aycı, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, Turkish Airlines, along with Aaron Heslehurst, Television Presenter, BBC as moderator. Turkey has undergone a huge transition over recent years in developing its economy and infrastructure. To set one example in this regard, the Istanbul New Airport – a state-of-the-art facility, to be opened on October 29, will be the largest airport in the world by 2023. The much-anticipated opening of the new airport will position Istanbul as the ‘Hub of the World’, and will see 200 million passengers per year on final completion. Turkish Airlines’ expansion has increased demand for this world-class facility, which will help the national flag carrier’s goals of 120 million passengers and a fleet of 500 aircraft by 2023. Talking about the event, Aycı said, “Building on the recent economic success of our airline, 2018 is a highly significant year for the future of Turkish Airlines with the opening of Istanbul new airport in October. As the new home of Turkish Airlines, this will allow us for greater capacity and increased network, allowing corporate travellers streamlined and innovative services and state-of-the-art lounge facilities.”

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Abu Dhabi hotels record 10.5% growth in guest numbers in August 2018

The number of guests staying in Abu Dhabi hotels during August rose by 10.5 per cent compared to the same month in 2017, reveal the latest figures released by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi). August’s results show that the Department’s targets of improving upon 2017’s record-breaking numbers of guest arrivals, when close to five million people stayed in the emirate, are firmly on track. Overall, 477,606 visitors enjoyed stays at one of Abu Dhabi’s 162 hotels and hotel apartments during August 2018, an increase of more than 45,000 over August 2017. For the first eight months of the year, the figures show Abu Dhabi has recorded more than 3.31 million guests, a 5.8 per cent boost in the total number of hotel guests to the emirate compared to the last year. The Chinese market recorded a strong improvement during this month, up by almost 9 per cent compared to August 2017, and on a year-to-date basis, China is still Abu Dhabi’s number one source market – up about 13 per cent in total compared to 2017. Indian hotels also recorded 22 per cent growth during this month with the arrival of Indian guests. Saudi guests increased for a third consecutive month during August, recording a growth of about 24 per cent compared to August 2017. The US market also performed well, with the number of American guests increasing by almost 35 per cent. For the year-to-date, American hotel guests were up by almost 26 per cent compared to 2017. The UK posted 3.6 per cent increase for the month, but despite this, for the year-to-date, visitors from the UK are up by 8 …

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DCT Abu Dhabi conducts successful roadshow in Oman

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has boosted awareness of the UAE capital as a travel destination in Oman after a successful trip to the neighbouring country with a promotional roadshow. The roadshow, which focused on the products and offerings specifically in Al Ain, took place at the Grand Millennium hotel in Muscat on September 5. The event welcomed a group of travel trade members from Oman who enjoyed several presentations from DCT Abu Dhabi and its stakeholders, networking sessions and one-to-one meeting opportunities. Nabeel M. Al Zarouni, Regional Promotion Manager Middle East & Africa, Promotion & Overseas Offices Department for DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “We are keen to boost hotel guest numbers from the Oman market into Abu Dhabi and we hope this roadshow has reinforced our penetration into the hearts and minds of the Omani travel trade. The roadshow at the Grand Millennium hotel follows up a previous roadshow to Oman earlier in the year, with this particular event focusing mainly on Al Ain. The oasis city’s close proximity adds to the destination’s appeal to Omani travellers, who we hope are also inspired by Al Ain’s diverse offerings, which include Al Ain Oasis, Al Ain Zoo and also the Wadi Adventure park. We are keen to re-emphasise the huge range of diverse attractions and experiences – both touristic and cultural and we hope that this roadshow forges closer ties with our friends in the Oman travel trade.”

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Golden Sands Hotel Apartments ready to welcome Russian travellers

Golden Sands Hotel Apartments is looking forward to an increased share of travellers from Russia after a successful roadshow in St Petersburg and Moscow. The team of Golden Sands Hotel Apartments joined the 2018 Dubai Tourism Russia Roadshow held from September 3 to 6, where they received great interest from travel agents and tour operators who were interested to learn about the services offered by mid-scale and budget hotels, including hotel-serviced apartments. “The Russian market is an emerging market for Golden Sands Hotel Apartments. The trip to two major cities in Russia opened a huge opportunity for the property. We received a huge number of enquiries and interests from the travellers from Russia who are looking for more affordable deals and value-based option. Dubai has traditionally been a popular tourist destination among Russians and majority prefers the beachfront properties when staying in Dubai but we saw a new segment of visitors who are willing to stay in city hotels that offer shuttle buses to take them to the beach and other popular attractions in the city,” the team said. Visitor numbers from Russia visiting Dubai have continued to rise, delivering 405,000 visitors for the first half of 2018, a growth of 74 per cent over the same period in 2017, according to figures released by DTCM. Mohammed Khoori, General Manager, Golden Sands Hotel Apartments, said, “We hope to get a share of the market, especially the Russian travellers. Based on the feedback received from our participation in the Russia roadshow, we look forward to reaping the results of our hard work this coming tourism season.”

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Etihad flight to Jeddah to celebrate Saudi National Day

Etihad Airways has unveiled its series of activities to celebrate the leadership and people of Saudi Arabia on the 88th National Day of the Kingdom. To mark the occasion on September 23, the airline’s flagship Year of Zayed-branded A380 will be deployed on EY311 and EY312, between Abu Dhabi and Jeddah. Ahmed Al Qubaisi, Senior Vice President Government & International Affairs said, “In recognition of the special bond between two countries and the increasing importance of the Saudi market to the airline, we are delighted to host this exciting programme. Over the coming months, Etihad will continue to strengthen this relationship and announce new partnerships with key Saudi Arabian organisations that will add greater value to our guests.” Etihad recently announced sponsorship of Riyadh-based Al Nassr FC, and players from the football club have recorded a special video which will be broadcast on the National Day. The airline commissioned Emirati poet, Ahmed Al Zarounei, to write a unique prose to symbolise the friendship and bond between the two countries. The 380-word Arabic poem, inspired by the A380, was transcribed on digital screens at Abu Dhabi International Airport. The gesture was captured on film and will be broadcast across Etihad’s social media channels. Guests travelling between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia will receive themed chocolates and greeting cards on the National Day. All guests visiting Etihad’s lounge in Abu Dhabi will be treated to a selection of Saudi Arabian themed cuisine. The airline is also offering special fares from Saudi Arabia during the National Day celebration period.

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