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Over 40 exhibitors participate in PATA Travel Mart in Al Ain

43 Exhibitors Representing Member Countries Take Part in PATA Travel Mart in Al Ain Region

Hosted by the Department of Culture and Tourism–Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart 2018 kicked off in Al Ain Region, as part of the PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2018 (PATA ATRTCM). Participants engaged through pre-matched appointments, and face-to-face meetings with adventure product buyers and sellers from across the world. HE Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, Executive Director, Tourism Sector, DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “We would like to thank all the delegates for taking part in all the meeting at the PATA Travel Mart this year. We strongly believe in the need to create strong partnerships between the private and public sectors to drive the industry forward.  Our aim to host and attract conferences is to make Abu Dhabi the place to engage with all of our international stakeholders, and exchange knowledge which would benefit our economies and communities.” To conclude the successful conference, delegates took part in a day tour of Al Ain to experience Abu Dhabi’s top tourism offerings, including the Al Ain National Museum and Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum, amongst other renowned cultural and heritage sites.

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Priority Pass at Dubai Airports with enhanced lounge experience

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Collinson Group in partnership with LocusLabs is set to enhance the lounge experience and airport services available to the former’s customers, including those of Priority Pass program. LocusLabs’ location-as-a-service technology will be incorporated into the Priority Pass app, making it easier for users to locate lounges in addition to seeking out other benefits inside terminals. Additionally, those with push notifications enabled on their smart phones can receive recommendations of services when entering an airport to help them navigate to lounges and exclusive discounts. Priority Pass will be the first lounge membership program to integrate LocusLabs’ indoor mapping and way finding features within its app, through an update due in the coming weeks. Initially, key major airports will be covered including Dubai, Hong Kong, London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Singapore, Manchester, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Istanbul Ataturk airports, with more locations due to follow in the coming months. Christopher Evans, Joint CEO, Collinson Group, said: “Feedback from Priority Pass members highlights the opportunities that contextually-aware mobile technologies can create as we look at smart ways to help an increasingly choice-rich traveller to make the very best use of their time at airports and other transportation hubs.”

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364-room five-star Elaf Galleria opens in Jeddah

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The Elaf Group recently opened Elaf Galleria, a five-star hotel in Jeddah. The soft opening of the hotel is part of the Group’s strategic expansion plans aimed at further solidifying its presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Elaf Galleria has 364 rooms spread across seven floors on two separate wings enclosed by a vaulted glass and metal roof. The property also features banquet and events facilities, an Executive Lounge and other recreational facilities including a health club and spa. Restaurants providing fine dining inside the hotel include The Kitchen, El-Vaquero, The Birdcage, Milano and Aqua. Ziyad Bin Mahfouz, CEO, Elaf Group said, “The opening of Hotel Galleria by Elaf in Jeddah is in line with ongoing efforts to strengthen our leading presence in the KSA and the rest of the GCC. We remain committed to our goal of supporting Saudi Vision 2030’s objective of reinforcing the national economy with non-oil revenue sources by providing the highest quality of hospitality services to our guests.”

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SaudiGulf Airlines to start double daily to Dubai from March 1

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SaudiGulf Airlines will launch its maiden international operations to Dubai as a double daily flight catering to the corporate and leisure travellers between the two nations from March 1, 2018. The flight will departure Riyadh at 07:50 and arrive Dubai at 10:55, and commence departure from Dubai at 12:10 with arrival at 13:05 in Riyadh. The other flight timings will be 16:00 departing Riyadh and reaching Dubai by 18:55, and departing Dubai at 20:55 and reaching Riyadh by 21:50 with a starting all inclusive fare of AED 999. It will be a two configuration A320 with 16 Business First class seats and 120 seats in economy, an in-flight entertainment system, Wi-Fi service onboard along with a dedicated chauffeur service in Riyadh. Samer Majali, President and Chief Executive Officer, SaudiGulf Airlines stated that after just one year and two months of domestic operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, they found the niche in Dubai in the international market to serve a destination with the most amount of traffic. This strategic decision was taken by SaudiGulf Airlines considering the strong affairs between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, supported by Dubai Tourism to provide greater varieties to travellers from both countries.

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Protea Hotels by Marriott signs new hotel in Zambia

Protea Bonanza Estate Lusaka

Protea Hotels by Marriott, in partnership with Zambian business giant, Union Gold Zambia Limited, has signed Protea Hotel by Marriott Bonanza Estate, Lusaka. With 241 rooms, the hotel will be the largest operating hotel under the brand in the country. Strategically located within the new upmarket lifestyle hub, the hotel will be within easy reach from the international airport and major city landmarks. “Protea Hotel by Marriott Bonanza Estate, Lusaka will be a significant addition to our fast growing portfolio,” says Volker Heiden, Vice President, Protea Hotels by Marriott, Marriott International, Middle East and Africa. “The hotel’s planned facilities are geared to provide for a range of much-needed amenities in the city – additional conferencing venues, high-end food and beverage services and a spa. Most exciting is the amphitheatre which will attract mega events into the city.” According to Mark O’Donnell, Chairman, Union Gold Zambia, “We have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with Protea Hotels for the past 17 years, and look forward to the expansion of our association through the development of this new property. Our new venture will meet the rising demand for quality lodging in the country.”

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DXH SmartCare for a seamless health tourism journey

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The Health Bank in partnership with Dubai Health Experience (DXH) has announced the launch of DXH SmartCare to provide health tourists with a single point of contact for seamless healthcare coordination, second medical opinion, flight bookings, visas, accommodation, airport transfers, leisure activities and post treatment support. Conceived by Dubai Health Authority, the DXH brand aims to strengthen the position of Dubai on the medical tourism world map. Dubai offers unparalleled access to the best in health and wellness experiences combined with world-class hospitality and integrated services along with many tourist attractions. The Health Bank provides high quality end-to-end services with excellence in customer care, through an impressive and extensive partner portfolio. Health tourists can have their medical, dental, aesthetic or wellness journey mapped out even before they travel. DXH SmartCare, which can be accessed on www.dxh.ae, offers three-tiers- Blue as the essential package offering research and referrals on treatment options, and Silver and Gold memberships providing journey planning services along with dedicated account manager, concierge and comprehensive care coordination.

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Emirates A380 to resume services to Houston from June 1

Emirates A380

Emirates will once again begin operations with its flagship A380 service between Houston (IAH) and Dubai (DXB) from June 1, 2018. Houston will join more than 40 destinations on Emirates’ extensive global network served by its popular A380 aircraft, including Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Kuwait. Emirates will deploy its three-class A380 on the Houston route, offering a total of  516 seats with 14 private suites in First Class, 76 flatbed seats in Business Class seats and 426 spacious seats in Economy Class, increasing capacity per flight by more than 160 passengers compared to the current Boeing 777-300ER. Services to Houston were upgraded to an A380 in December 2014, but as part of Emirates’ fleet optimisation, the decision was made in July 2016 to operate the route with a Boeing 777-300ER. Flight EK211 will depart Dubai at 09:35 and arrive in Houston at 16:50 daily. Return flight EK212 will depart Houston at 20:00 and arrive in Dubai at 20:00 the next day. Passengers from Houston can enjoy convenient connections in Dubai when travelling to destinations in India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore or South Africa.

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Al Ain to host region’s first PATA adventure tourism conference

Successful Start to the Pacific Asia Travel Association Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2018 in Abu Dhabi 2

For the first time, Al Ain Region hosted the Pacific Asia Travel Association Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2018 (PATA ATRTCM), organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism–Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi). A number of workshops and plenary sessions was hosted by industry experts and visionaries from across the globe. Key speakers including HE Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, Executive Director, Tourism Sector, DCT Abu Dhabi; Dr. Mario Hardy, Chief Executive Officer, PATA, Thailand; Norie Quintos, Editor at Large, National Geographic Travel and Independent Communications Consultant, USA, explored the trends and dynamics of one of the fastest-growing tourism sectors. Themed on ‘Adventure in a New Era’, the event offered delegations from across the Asia Pacific region a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge and unlock the potential of the adventure tourism sector in the digital era. The conference was followed by a travel mart, in which participants interacted with adventure product buyers and sellers from across the world.

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Smartotels’ ‘Form Hotel Dubai’ to open doors this March

FORM hotel

Smartotels Hospitality is set to open its flagship property, Form Hotel Dubai- a technology-driven upscale design concept hotel in the upcoming neighbourhood of Al Jadaf and Culture Village. Form Hotel Dubai presents a timelessly-designed environment built around brand obsessions and curated add-ons to deliver all that guests value. With a strong visual art and design narrative, and emphasis on wellbeing, Form Hotel Dubai is conceptualised as a sanctuary from the city, in the city, whilst being conveniently located near to major cultural and commercial hubs. The Dubai project has been delivered with the collaboration of Dubai Contracting Company and firm Architecture Studio. Tarek M. Daouk, Founder, Smartotels, comments, “We announced our intention to bring a technology-driven design hotel concept to the UAE precisely one year ago. Today, we’re delighted to be able to confirm that we will be delivering this landmark project to guests both on time and under budget. We believe Dubai’s maturing hotel market is now prepared to welcome a creative hotel offering like ours, and that it is the ideal time to deliver Form, a novel and design-focused boutique hotel aimed at forward-thinking travellers.”

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Dnata Catering awarded licence to operate in Canada

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dnata has been awarded a licence to provide flight catering services to airlines departing Vancouver International Airport. This marks dnata Catering’s entry into Canada. With this licence, dnata will now commence planning, approvals, build and fit-out of a dedicated catering facility at Vancouver, at an investment of more than CAD $7 million dnata, commencing operations in Q4 2018. This will be dnata’s 64th catering location and 130th global air services location, with its recent opening of a new catering facility at Dublin Airport, Ireland. The facility will have an initial capacity of up to 8,000 meals a day. dnata expects to employ more than 150 staff once operating at that level. Robin Padgett, Divisional Senior Vice President—Catering, dnata, “Canada has always been an exciting opportunity for us as a caterer. To turn that opportunity into reality at Vancouver International Airport is particularly exciting, given the solid passenger growth and recognition the airport has received in recent years. We are proud of our ability to deliver globally authentic and diverse cuisine across the world, and we’re more than ready to bring that to airlines and their passengers departing Vancouver.”

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