Shivani DDPPL

Dubai Tourism, Fliggy sign MoU to boost Chinese tourist numbers

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Fliggy, the online travel service platform of Alibaba Group. Aimed to boost the number of Chinese tourists visiting Dubai, the MoU was signed by Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) and Jerry Hu, VP, Fliggy and Alibaba Group, as part of a broader long-term alliance discussion at the Alibaba headquarters in Hangzhou in China. The MoU entails among other aspects, collaboration between the partners to deliver an enhanced travel experience for Chinese visitors to the emirate by providing easy access to Dubai’s travel products and information, initiating a payment scheme, etc. In addition, Dubai Tourism would continuously maintain and update the ‘Dubai Destination Mall’ page on Fliggy, providing a comprehensive overview of the city’s tourism proposition to the broad customer base that Fliggy delivers. As a major online travel platform in China, Fliggy is a strategic travel partner for Dubai Tourism within China, allowing Dubai’s entire travel and tourism ecosystem to set up and operate their own ‘shop’ on the Fliggy virtual marketplace. Additionally, being extremely popular amongst the younger generation of Chinese tourists, Fliggy is an even more relevant partner for Dubai as there is a clear priority to build a strong base within this segment as potential visitors to the city.

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Abu Dhabi delegation visits ITB China to reinforce its popularity

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) led a delegation of partners and stakeholders to the ITB China in a bid to capitalise on and reinforce the emirate’s popularity with Chinese travellers. The Department was joined by five key stakeholders at the travel and tourism fair, which is being held at the Shanghai World Expo and Exhibition Centre from May 16-18, including Etihad Airways, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Miral, Nirvana Travel & Tourism, and Omeir Travel Agency. Inbound visitor arrivals from China have seen dramatic rises over recent years, with the number of hotel guest rising almost 40 per cent in 2017 compared to the previous year. The first quarter of 2018 has also seen China maintain its position as leading international hotel guest supplier, with more than 127,000 Chinese staying in the emirate – an increase of 31% compared to the same period in 2017. Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director Promotions & Overseas Offices, said, “China is our number one overseas market for guests, with huge increases over the past couple of years. The first quarter of this year has continued this upward trend, with more than 30 per cent growth compared to the same period in 2017.” “These gains have been the result of the sustained attention we have given to our Chinese market, with initiatives such as sending our Discover Abu Dhabi roadshows and Abu Dhabi Week events to the country, as well investing in a targeted digital campaign in China,” Al Nuaimi said.

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SCTDA delegation visits ITB China to promote Sharjah tourism

As part of the ongoing efforts to meet Sharjah’s target of 10 million tourists by 2021, a group of government and private organisations from the emirate led by Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) travelled to Shanghai to join this year’s edition of  ITB China taking place from May 16 to May 18, 2018. China is a key tourism market for Sharjah, which has received a total of 120,356 hotel guests in 2017 from the world’s most populous nation. The delegates will comprise top officials from, Sharjah Airport Travel Agency, Air Arabia, Cozmo Travel, Golden Tulip Hotel Apartments, Hilton Hotel Sharjah, Ramada Hotel Sharjah, Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa, and Trav Talk Middle East. “ITB China will play a key role in our initiatives to promote Sharjah as an ideal family-friendly destination worldwide, with China being one of our target international markets. At SCTDA, we are hoping to attract as many as 200,000 Chinese visitors by 2021 and we are already working particularly hard to make this happen. Joining the interactive ITB China is one of our strategies towards this end,” said HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman SCTDA. “Recently, the UAE announced granting Chinese visitors with visas on arrival – a move that will further boost our efforts. ITB China is an exceptional platform to create awareness of this privilege as well as capitalize on the enormous Chinese outbound travel market and further enhance the opportunity to strengthen our bilateral tourism cooperation with the country,”Al Midfa added.

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Record participation at second ITB China in Shanghai

The second edition of ITB China opened doors with an expected attendee number of 15,000, more than 700 exhibitors from 80 countries and around 800 buyers at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre, with high-ranking industry representatives attending the occasion. The three-day B2B travel trade fair shows significant growth after its premiere. The success of ITB China, taking place from May 16 to May 18 in Shanghai, is reflected in the 50 per cent increase of the gross exhibition area compared to last year. ITB China is targeted exclusively by handpicked B2B visitors involved in China’s travel industry selected strictly in accordance with the interests of the exhibiting companies. A total of 2,700 attendees are expected to take part in the lectures, discussions and keynotes of the ITB China Conference, supported by more than 120 industry speakers. The recognizsd travel think tank, running parallel to ITB China, will invite business leaders and experts both from China and abroad to deliver their expertise and ideas on market hotspots in the industry. Christian Göke, CEO Messe Berlin said,  “For the next three days all eyes will be on ITB China in Shanghai. The demand from exhibitors has significantly increased and ITB China 2018 attracts growing numbers of Chinese decision-makers. After its great premiere last year ITB China continues riding the wave of success”. On the eve of the show, the second ITB China kicked off with a dinner with 600 senior guests from the global and Chinese travel industry, among others Bourne Sun, Senior Vice President, Ctrip and Steven Shu, Chief Marketing Officer, Meituan-Dianping.

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Dubai Airports, Dubai Police, IATA and ACI sign MoU on Smart Security

In a move to enhance customer experience and operational efficiency at security check points at Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC), Dubai Airports together with Dubai Police General Department of Dubai Security signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Dubai with the International Air Travel Association (IATA) and Airports Council International (ACI) to become part of their joint initiative on Smart Security. The Security initiative aims to bring specific and measurable improvements in security effectiveness, operational efficiency and passenger experience at airport security checkpoints through better use of technology, process innovation, and the use of risk-based security concepts. The MoU will pave way for Dubai Airports, together with airlines, control authorities, regulators and solution providers, to benefit from the knowledge and lessons gained through trials and research activities at other participating airports. “We manage the world’s busiest international airport with more than 90 million passengers passing through our facilities annually. To achieve our vision of being the best in customer experience as well as to provide the capacity to accommodate ongoing and future growth, it is imperative that we look to new technologies and processes to significantly reduce wait times and avoid queuing wherever possible. Our participation in the Smart Security initiative of IATA and ACI is a big step in that direction,” said Buti Qurwash, Vice President of Security, Dubai Airports.

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Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority hosts 19th ‘Forum Des Pionniers’

Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) hosted the 19th edition of ‘Forum Des Pionniers’, held from May 12-16 at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre. H.E. Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism; H.E. Shaikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer, BTEA and H.E. Cécile Longé, Ambassador of France to the Kingdom of Bahrain presided over the event. During the course of the event, 127 tourism professionals including travel agents, airline and hotel representatives participated in various workshops. Meetings were also held to discuss issues specifically related to the field of travel in France, particularly around the theme of ‘Management of Intelligences’. In addition, the forum opens up new opportunities for regional and global businesses to enhance experience sharing, seek investment opportunities and boost cooperation. “Forum Des Pionniers is a great opportunity to promote the Kingdom’s tourism potential by establishing business relationships with French travel agents, tour operators and tourism organizations with an aim to increase the number of international visitors coming into Bahrain,” said Al Zayani. Further commenting on the event, Al Khalifa said, “Hosting the 19th edition of the forum comes in line with the BTEA’s long term strategy to further develop the Kingdom’s tourism sector and strengthen its position on a regional and international level under the slogan of ‘Ours.Yours.’, which contributes towards the Kingdom’s economy and the 2030 Economic Vision.”  

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DCT Abu Dhabi successfully concludes Golf Tourism Week

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and key golf stakeholders, recently concluded the first Abu Dhabi Golf Tourism Week event, held at key hotels and attractions across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. The five-day event welcomed current and prospective golf tour operators supported by significant media coverage from 15 countries across Europe and Asia to the UAE capital to showcase Abu Dhabi as a destination of distinction and outline its unique offerings, in particular the Championship Golf. Abu Dhabi is very proud to have four unique yet complementary Championship golf courses to offer; Abu Dhabi Golf Club hosts the European Tour every January, Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club is home to the Faldo Series, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is designed by the famous Gary Player and is the host venue to the Ladies European Tour, whilst Yas Links has been ranked No. 46 in the world by Golf Digest USA. Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director, Promotion & Overseas Offices Department – DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “We are delighted to have organised Abu Dhabi Golf Tourism Week in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council and other stakeholders. Through these events, we aim to strengthen and promote the capital as a premier golfing destination and educate tour operators across the globe about Abu Dhabi’s luxurious golf courses.”

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ADNEC chief lauds UAE Cabinet’s decision to refund VAT

The Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) has always been keen to support several national institutions and constantly aiming to drive the development of various economic and social sectors for the benefit of the country and its citizens. This is reflected in enhancing the emirate’s position globally and making it an ideal destination for hosting international conferences, exhibitions and events. “The decision to refund Value Added Tax (VAT) by institutions working in the exhibitions and conferences sector will significantly enhance the competitiveness of the industry and increase the capacity to attract niche global events, exhibitions and conferences. It will trim costs incurred by organisers and international associations while also enabling local associations to submit more bids for hosting major international conferences and congresses and enhancing the support of partnerships with the public and private sectors,” Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Group CEO, ADNEC. “The UAE, with its open, vibrant economy, world-class infrastructure and technological prowess, is at the forefront of shaping the business tourism sector at the regional and international levels. I am pleased to invite all public and private sector firms, partners, event organisers and specialised associations, to make optimum use of such initiatives that will consolidate their presence in the UAE by strengthening the existing exhibitions and conferences portfolio and attracting and conducting new events,” Dhaheri said.

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Al-Futtaim Travel opens its new Travel Centre in Dubai

As part of its efforts to enhance customer experience, Al-Futtaim Travel, has opened its Travel Centre in Dubai. Located next to Al Ghurair Centre in Deira, the new Centre, which is now a multichannel operation, will cater to both corporate and leisure/retail customers and will see the Al-Futtaim company providing services including Corporate travel services, Holidays – Outbound and Inbound, Destination Management services and travel related value-add services under one roof. Commenting on the opening, Biju Antony, Deputy General Manager, Al-Futtaim Travel, said, “We are constantly looking at new and innovative ways to enhance our customer experience and the launch of the new Travel Centre is a big step forward in that direction. The new Centre will provide our corporate and leisure/retail customers with a one-stop-shop for all their travel needs and our expert travel team can develop and deliver globally benchmarked services to meet every requirement.” Alongside the opening of the Travel Centre, Al-Futtaim Travel also launched its enhanced website, alfuttaimtravel.com, where customers can book special deals and holiday packages to thousands of destinations around the world at competitive rates. In addition, Al-Futtaim Travel will also soon launch an e-commerce facility where customers can book their holiday packages and varied travel related services from the comfort of their home.

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Campbell Gray Hotels to open The Merchant House in Manama in September

Campbell Gray Hotels is set to open The Merchant House in Manama, Bahrain in September 2018. The Merchant House will be an all-suite boutique hotel with 47 suites in total, each featuring an open plan kitchen and dining area, as well as open plan sitting rooms which have been designed to be ideal for both business and leisure. As with all Campbell Gray Hotels, artwork will be a prominent feature of the interior design and Gordon Campbell Gray has, over the past year, been putting together an exciting art collection comprising of well-established Bahraini artists as well as new and upcoming young talent from both Bahrain and the region. The design is, as with all Campbell Gray Hotels, completely original and has been created specifically for The Merchant House and working within the framework of this unusual building. The design is very much of a garden – very unexpected and very green – and the feel is of a little magic kingdom on the roof; very easy and relaxed, as is the food. There is also a rooftop pool and a gym, as well as a small boardroom for meetings and private events. Every aspect of the hotel has been planned and designed to be fun and relaxed and perfect for the location, being near the Old Customs House and the financial district.

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