Shivani DDPPL

Travelport cements relationship with Ethiopian Airlines

Travelport

Travelport and Ethiopian Airlines announced a new multi-year full-content agreement, which sees, Ethiopia’s flag carrier selecting Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform to promote its full inventory across the globe. Under the agreement, Travelport’s technology will support Ethiopian Airlines market and retail their offerings, in a more visual and effective way to a network of over 68,000 Travelport-connected travel agents in over 180 countries worldwide. The two companies have also renewed their long-term operator agreement, which will continue to see Ethiopian Airlines distributing Travelport’s technology in the country. This means that the Ethiopian customer base will continue to take advantage of Ethiopian Airlines’ regional expertise, and Travelport’s revolutionary products and services, including the industry-leading point of sale solution for agencies, Travelport Smartpoint, which was recently upgraded to further boost agent efficiency. Tewolde Gebremariam, Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Airlines said: “We are very happy to continue and expand our collaboration with Travelport. As travel technology advances, Travelport will support our business meeting and exceeding travellers personalized needs. Travelport’s innovative solutions and unrivalled choice of travel content provide many opportunities to make our business stronger and we are looking forward to continuing to support the travel industry in Africa.” Rabih Saab, Travelport’s President & Managing Director for Europe, Middle East, Africa and South Asia, commented: “We are delighted to cement a successful 20 year relationship with Ethiopian Airlines, an airline that has established itself as a key component in the development of travel and tourism in the region , by signing both a full content and operator agreement. Travelport is committed to deliver a world of consumer ready content to the travel agent community and travellers, and support the country’s travel and tourism industry. …

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World’s longest zip line in RAK by December

RAKTDA CEO Haitham Mattar and Toro Verde CEO Jorge Jorge and COO Ricardo...

It’s good news for all adventure seekers from the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, as they’re set to launch the first phase of the longest zip line in the world at mountain Jebel Jais. This multi-million dollar ecotourism project is partnered by world’s leading zip line operator, Toro Verde. With the exact length of the zip line remaining a closely-guarded secret until the multi-million dollar adventure tourism product’s opening, the zip line will propel the UAE’s most northern emirate into the major leagues of global adventure tourism and cement Jebel Jais as the region’s leading active adventure tourism destination. With RAKTDA aiming to secure Guinness World Records status for the world’s longest and highest zip line, Toro Verde UAE, a subsidiary of the Puerto Rico based Magno Genesis Holding Group, has been appointed to construct and operate the attraction. The zip line will be open to all ages, providing participants meet required minimum weight of 35kg and maximum weight of 150kg, and a minimum height of 120cm. Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA stated at the press conference that this move is to complement Ras al khaimah’s contribution to the overall tourism industry in the UAE. RAK is promoted more as adventure or wellness tourism destination. Toro Verde currently holds the Guinness record for the longest zip line in the world and RAK will be positioning itself as number one by the first week in December. He further went on to state that this will be a destination which could attract both commercial and non- commercial activities. “Building on the success of last year’s launch of the Jebel Jais Via Ferrata adventure product, the new zip line represents Ras Al Khaimah’s …

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Sharjah hospitality revenue is now worth AED 372 million

HE Khalid Jasim Midfa

Sharjah’s hospitality sector revenues witnessed a remarkable 7.8 per cent increase during the first half of 2017 compared with the previous year, with its value reaching AED 372 million, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) announced. The announcement came as the emirate steadily positions itself as a destination of choice for local, regional, and international tourists. SCTDA reported a massive 70 per cent occupancy rate from January to June this year. The total number of guests for the first half of the year reached 885,000, representing a 3.5 per cent increase versus the same period in 2016. Saudi nationals occupied many of the local hotels’ lists of top guests. During the first two quarters of the year alone, hotels welcomed at least 72,000 Saudi travelers. HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said: “The remarkable expansion in the occupancy rate is the result of the Sharjah Government’s intensive efforts to attract local, regional, and global tourists as part of its comprehensive and ambitious socio-economic development plan. Our ultimate goal is to draw 10 million visitors a year by 2021, a grand accomplishment that will help accelerate the emirate’s unprecedented growth in the 21st century. To achieve this end, we will launch forward-thinking initiatives, bold projects and campaigns, as well as maximize all our assets and resources to place Sharjah, the UAE’s cultural capital, on the global tourism map and enhance its brand and profile on the international stage.” According to Al Midfa, part of the strategic plan for this year is to sustain the high tourist arrivals from Saudi Arabia. SCTDA has set into motion a number of road shows covering major cities in the KSA to …

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New Four Seasons opens in Kuwait at Burj Alshaya

FS Hotel Kuwait Al Soor and Staircase

Located within the new two-tower Burj Alshaya development in Kuwait City, Four Seasons is ideally located for business and leisure travellers visiting the city, as well as the local guests. With 2,912 square metres of event spaces hosting up to 1,200 guests, Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait already has many important business meetings and social events on the calendar – including 21 weddings so far. The property boasts of 217 guest rooms plus 67 lavish suites, and offers myriad options for shopping, sightseeing and playing in the outdoor pool. A two-level spa complex hosts innovative treatments as well as a state-of-the-art fitness centre and second swimming pool.

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Millennium Hotels takes over 2 prime properties in Makkah

Makkah Millennium Hotel and Towers

Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Middle East and Africa has signed a management agreement with Makkah Construction & Development Company, to operate Makkah Millennium Hotel and Makkah Millennium Towers, with effect from September 1, 2017. The move solidifies the Group’s target to open over 20 hotels in Saudi Arabia within the next four years. The 614-key Makkah Millennium Hotel is scheduled to go under extensive renovation with the plan to convert the hotel into a unique luxury property part of The Biltmore Collection set to provide the highest level of guest experience to pilgrim travellers. Meanwhile, the 802-room Makkah Millennium Towers adjacent to Makkah Millennium Hotel will deliver the high service standards expected from Millennium Collection. As the nearest hotels to Al Masjid Al Haram, with direct access to The Holy Kaaba, the properties occupy a premium location in Makkah, providing an ideal base for pilgrim travellers.

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City-wide celebrations for Eid Al Adha in Dubai

Fireworks

As people come together to celebrate the joyous Eid Al Adha holiday, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishments (DFRE) an agency of Dubai Tourism, has released the line-up of exciting events and activities taking place across the city for residents and tourists to enjoy. As there are many GCC visitors during this period many interesting programmes are lined up. It will consist of two concerts taking place across the city by two renowned Arab music icons. On September 2, Emirati singer Shamma Hamdan will perform at Dragon Mart 2 at 6.30pm whilst later in the week Mohammed Abdo will take to the stage at Dubai World Trade Centre on 6 September at 9pm to delight fans with a raft of hit songs. The highly anticipated fireworks will take place on the first day of Eid at Dubai Festival City at 9pm and 11pm. Firework displays will also take place at The Beach opposite JBR daily from August 31 to September 3 at 8.45pm. The venue will also host various performances on a daily basis to keep families entertained throughout the Eid holiday. La Perle as it opens its doors this Eid from 31st August. Sports-lovers can head to Dubai World Trade Centre which is hosting the 7th edition of Dubai Sports World featuring sports, tournaments, academies and activities designed for both serious athletes and sporting novices of all ages.

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Etihad Airways enters code share with Aerolíneas Argentinas

Etihad--Aerolineas

Etihad Airways and Aerolíneas Argentinas have launched a new codeshare partnership. Under the agreement, Etihad Airways customers will enjoy convenient connections via Rome and Madrid to Buenos Aires (EZE) and onwards to nine other popular Argentinian destinations – Córdoba (COR), Mendoza (MDZ), Rosario (ROS), Iguazú (IGR), Salta (SLA), Mar del Plata (MDQ), Bariloche (BRC), Trelew (REL) and Ushuaia (USH). In turn, Aerolíneas Argentinas guests can have access to Etihad Airways’ network of over 100 destinations from its Abu Dhabi hub via the Italian and Spanish capitals. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways Executive Vice President Commercial, said: “This codeshare demonstrates the importance of Argentina as a vital travel market for Etihad Airways in Latin America given the growing tourism, cultural and business opportunities that exist between the UAE and Argentina. We wish to give travellers flying Aerolíneas Argentinas the opportunity to enjoy the acclaimed service and hospitality for which Etihad Airways is renowned throughout the world. This codeshare will make the experience that much easier.” Diego Garcia, Aerolíneas Argentinas Chief Commercial Officer, said: “This is a very good opportunity to consolidate and increase our offer to one of the most important hubs in the Middle East. It also allows us to improve our load factors, optimise the use of the fleet and strengthen the image of Aerolíneas Argentinas in the Asian market. We hope that this agreement will also be the gateway for many tourists to visit some of the most attractive landmarks in our country.”

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1st AVANI resort to open in Maldives in Q4 2019

Alejandro Bernabe - Group Director AVANI Hotels & Resorts

AVANI Hotels & Resorts has announced the development of its first resort in the Maldives. AVANI Fares Maldives Resort will be located on Fares Island in the Baa Atoll and is scheduled to open in Q4 2019. The new upscale AVANI Fares Maldives Resort will comprise 200 guest rooms, including standard rooms and a selection of villas. Every attention will be given to wellbeing. The décor will be a blend of comfort and modernity, soothing materials, textures and high-tech equipment such as complimentary Wi-Fi, media hub docking station and 40-inch flat screen TV. Ideal for millennial minded travellers, this untouched, private 12.4 hectare island will provide a natural playground surrounded by a soft white sandy beach and every colour of blue imaginable. This $70-million resort development is a joint venture partnership between Minor Hotels and Cyprea Group. Cyprea Group’s diversified Sri Lanka and Maldives business portfolio includes ownership and operation of Club Med Kani Maldives Resort located in North Male’ Atoll. Alejandro Bernabe, Group Director AVANI Hotels & Resorts said: “The AVANI design philosophy is interestingly relaxed and contemporary and in tune with the environment of this development, using natural textures, colours and materials that reflect the location whilst incorporating advanced technology and modern conveniences.”

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RAK’s Destination Dawn beach festival on Oct 6

2. Ras Al Khaimah - Destination Dawn

Destination Dawn, the 12-hour beach festival on Ras Al Khaimah’s Al Marjan Island, will return to the emirate on October 6, 2017. The biannual festival, organised by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), saw more than 2,000 party-goers descending on Al Marjan Island in May. The pristine beaches of Al Marjan Island – Ras Al Khaimah’s coral-shaped archipelago – will again be transformed into a festival hangout with food trucks, beverages and chill-out zones, Destination Dawn ticket holders can choose to either camp at the festival, reach the party via free shuttle buses from Dubai, or book a staycation in one of the island’s luxury hotels. with headliners R3HAB, one of Holland’s hottest music exports, Dutch duo Bassjackers, and Russian trio Swanky Tunes. Kicking off at 5 pm on October 6, revelers can dance all night until 5am on Saturday. Ticket holders can bring their own tents and camp on the beach, making the festival a truly unique experience. Tickets for the over 18’s only event will be on sale from beginning September through www.destinationdawn.com, Virgin Tickets, and Platinum List.

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Al Zorah, Ajman set to launch Kayak Tours this Sept

Kayaking at Al Zorah_2

Al Zorah, the 5.4 million sqm luxury and lifestyle destination in Ajman, is ramping up its tourism appeal with the launch of ‘Kayak Tours’ through its natural mangroves and lagoons this September. Offering visitors the opportunity to explore one of the region’s most prized natural mangroves, which has been officially declared as a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention, the Kayak Tours will be conducted by ‘Quest for Adventure,’ an adventure sports company. Open to the public including students through a guided schools programme, the Kayak Tours are expected to catalyse the tourism scene and further establish Al Zorah as a must-visit tourist and lifestyle destination. Imad Dana, Chief Executive Officer of Al Zorah Development Company, said, “Al Zorah is a luxury destination in the Middle East built around an undisturbed ecosystem underlined by rich biodiversity. With the Ramsar Convention placing Al Zorah on the global map to highlight its immense environmental value, we are offering visitors, including students, the opportunity to explore the natural mangroves and creek through the Kayak Tours. The tours will open doors to memorable experiences with the promise of sighting a range of native and migratory birds. The serene ambience of the mangroves will be truly uplifting for every visitor.”

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