Category Archives: Agents

Over 200 top sellers from Russia hosted in Dubai

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Leading Russian tour operator Natalie Tours held its 12th Annual Congress at Atlantis The Palm in Dubai. The event brought together over 200 CEOs and owners of Russian travel agencies with the best sales performance in UAE during the past year. The meet was hosted under the patronage of Gocha Buachidze, Consul General of Russian Federation in Dubai; Ahmed Khalifa Al Falasi, CEO of Support Services, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing; Vladimir Vorobiev – President, Natalie tours; among other dignitaries. The event awarded the best sellers, discussed further cooperation with top managers of retail companies, motivated its partners to promote the travel direction and increase sales of Natalie Tours’ services in the UAE. The top players of the Russian tourist market expressed confidence that the plans had every chance to be implemented. According to the tour operator, the major factor driving up the demand for UAE tours is the abolition of entry visas for Russian citizens that came into effect last February.

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Abu Dhabi attracts Russian visitors by 49 per cent

DCT Leads Roadshow to Russia Following Surge in Hotel Guests to Abu Dhabi 2

Russian guests jumped by 49 per cent from January to August as compared to the same period in 2016. A roadshow to Moscow and St Petersburg led by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism resulted in a surge in visitors into the emirate from Russia. Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director, Tourism Sector, Department of Culture and Tourism, said, “Since visa restrictions were lifted on our Russian visitors at the start of the year into the country visas now granted on arrival, we have witnessed an upsurge into the emirate, both from Russia and from counties within the Commonwealth of Independent States, with both markets together showing significant growth.” Leading Russian tour operators, travel agents and trade partners were representatives from key partners in Abu Dhabi. The delegation included Etihad Airways, Rotana Hotel Group, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Intercontinental Abu Dhabi, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Hilton Abu Dhabi, Emirates Palace, St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Sheraton Abu Dhabi, Le Meridien Abu Dhabi, Yas Viceroy, City Season, Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi and Gromaxx Hotel Management.

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Amway India partners with Arabian Adventures

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Amway India selected Arabian Adventures, Meetings, Incentives and Events, the region’s leading destination management company, to plan, conceptualise and deliver the largest incentive group from the country to visit the UAE– in excess of 4,000 distributors, in December 2017. The event will comprise a one-day business conference with Amway’s top international management, new product launches and a series of multi-cuisine events, engagements and entertainment held at venues across the city. Aikta Tyagi, Associate Vice President – Special Events and Facilities for Amway India said, “Over the last six months, we’ve worked with Arabian Adventures, Meetings, Incentives and Events to design a unique and exciting itinerary for our distributors, with the MICE team bringing a freshness to the table. It’s been a wonderful journey and we are confident that our event in December will be a great success.” Justine Thomas-Butler, Head of Meetings, Incentives and Events for Arabian Adventures also said of the partnership, “Delivering an incentive on this scale takes a special set of skills. You need to give guests and their families a true insight into this special part of the world – its people, ancient culture and modern wonders, whilst still making it feel intimate, unique and exciting.”

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1st Outbound Travel Bazaar in Abu Dhabi

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The first Outbound Travel Bazaar was held in Abu Dhabi at InterContinental Hotel on September 21, 2017. The brainchild of travel expert Mario Anthony, Proprietor, Luxury Connections, the event saw participation from buyers hailing from Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The Ambassador of Finland stated that this was the first time that Finland was promoting the destination for MICE sector and that they were able to have many buyers with genuine inquiries as the destination is currently an emerging market for the UAE. The show started off with an interactive session with two experts in the field of travel followed by B2B sessions. The B2B meetings were a closed door event and allowed ample time for both buyers and sellers to connect.

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‘Dubai Expert’ training programme now in 12 languages & 40 countries

Issam Kazim

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), has launched its “Dubai Expert” online training initiative for travel agents in 12 languages and 40 countries, taking this innovative game to a wider travel trade audience internationally, as part of efforts to highlight the multiple experiences that await visitors to Dubai across leisure, shopping, cuisine, culture, family entertainment, and more. The development and roll-out of the Dubai Expert initiative was managed by the Dubai College of Tourism (DCT), an institution of Dubai Tourism. The tool features an engaging interface that includes information on Dubai’s tourism attractions, allowing travel agents to develop their skills and keep up to date with the latest tourism developments in Dubai. The training platform also helps agents to provide potential tourists with customised and unique experiences. ‘Dubai Expert’ was introduced in English during this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in April, attracting an overwhelming response from travel agents. Following the positive feedback shown by travel companies around the world, Dubai Tourism developed the tool in a further 11 languages – French, Mandarin, Russian, German, Italian, Bahasa, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Czech, and Spanish – and launched it in 40 countries alongside the English version. Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said, “Dubai Expert was developed to assist the international travel trade in keeping up to date with all the destination updates in Dubai and ensure that all travel agents and tour operators have a sound knowledge of the emirate that they are trying to promote. Dubai Expert is also part of our continued investment in new technology and facilities that could help boost tourist arrivals in line with our strategic goal of …

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Traveltek launches Middle East operation

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Traveltek Group has launched its Middle East operation. The UK-based firm, which counts global travel brands such as Virgin Holidays, Flight Centre and dnata, as well as its sister companies, Imagine Cruises and Global Travel Group, amongst its roster of big-name clients, has established an office in Dubai and appointed two highly-experienced travel technology professionals to lead its Gulf expansion strategy. Vinod Singh comes on board as Regional Manager, Middle East and India and Vivek Katheriya joins the team as Regional Sales Manager, India and MENA. Both recruits bring vast Middle East travel technology experience to their roles, having worked for reputable industry players. Between them, Singh and Katheriya are targeting the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman, all markets where travel agents, tour operators and wholesalers in are in urgent need of sophisticated travel technology to help drive efficiencies, boost sales and meet the complex demands of their customers. “Given our proven track record delivering a powerful and successful selling platform to the international travel trade, we are well positioned to harness the healthy growth of the GCC travel and tourism industry, ” said Peter Whittle, Global Sales Director, Traveltek. “Our global expertise, combined with the market and technology experience demonstrated by Vinod and Vivek, will ensure we can cater to the needs of the region’s travel trade now and in the future, particularly as demand for dynamic packaging and cruise booking solutions grows at a rapid rate. The web-based technology enables agencies and tour operators to package and sell complex itineraries that include flights, hotels, tours, transfers, car rental, cruises, attractions tickets and more. Companies can also package their own stock, third-party stock, or a mixture of …

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VFS Global acquires visa service provider TT Services

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VFS Global has completed the acquisition of visa service provider TT Services (TTS). The transaction enables VFS Global to leverage on core competences and brands and to further enhance operating performance. TT Services is a provider of integrated visa processing solutions with global presence and a comprehensive portfolio of services. TT Services is headquartered in the United Kingdom and has a strong and long-lasting relationship with its client governments and with a commercial partner. The company operates 51 application centres in more than 35 countries and has 216 employees. TTS offers a full range of high quality visa services for its client governments, partners and applicants. Zubin Karkaria, CEO, VFS Global Group, commented: “TT Services has, like VFS Global, extended industry experience of more than 15 years and is a trusted service delivery partner for its clients. I see a strong fit by TTS joining VFS Global. This will enable us to further enhance and extend our services towards our client governments and visa applicants.” The change of control will have no bearing on the business operations of the parties and act as a catalyst to improved services and enhanced client and customer satisfaction.

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First Diana Travel strengthens its Middle East presence with Travelport

First Diana Travel

Travelport announced a new agreement with First Diana Travel which will get the leading Lebanese travel agency access to Travelport’s unrivalled choice of travel content. By connecting to the Travelport platform, First Diana will now have intelligent, fast and accurate searching and booking tools to offer to its customers. It would be able to provide content from more than 400 airlines, including low cost and network carriers, more than 650,000 hotel properties and more than 37,000 car rental locations around the world. Bookers at the leisure and full service corporate agencies can use Travelport Smartpoint as their desktop tool to search beyond rate and availability while purchasing personalised travel packages, to drive performance and to increase revenues. Elcheikh Mohamed Ghouzayel, President and Owner of First Diana Travel, commented, “This is an exciting time for First Diana Travel and we’re thrilled to sign our debut deal with Travelport. Having recently extended our operation outside the Lebanese borders, into the Gulf region and Asia, we look forward to differentiating our offerings by utilising Travelport’s technology to provide our customers with a more personalised booking experience.”

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The Q announces cruise trip to Antarctica, especially for UAE travel enthusiasts

Cruise ship to Antarctica

Antarctica is slowly emerging as one of the most sought-after destinations by UAE’s cruise travellers, who are always on the search for something exotic and different. To help those who are still on the lookout for a tour operator that could take them to this new dream destination, India-based ‘The Q Experiences’ has announced a trip to Antarctica on a luxury cruise, starting from December 9, 2017. This will be an 11-day curated trip to the exotic, ice crowned continent, also rightly known as the White Continent. Speaking about this new adventure trip in the offing, Vasim Shaikh, founder of The Q Experiences said, “We have received tremendous response for this trip from the GCC countries. At The Q, it is our constant endeavour to create memories that last a lifetime for all our travellers; we are keen on creating a similar experience for our Gulf travellers as well, and we are hopeful to see more travellers from this region to join us in this trip of a lifetime”.

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tajawal launches Visa Checkout in KSA

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After its successful attempt at integrating the Visa Checkout facility with its tajawal.ae domain in January 2017, the Dubai-based travel-booking website has further collaborated with Visa to provide Visa Checkout to its customers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. tajawal is now rolling out the service across multiple markets to provide its users in the region with the most convenient booking process possible. Visa Checkout offers cardholders a simple and secure digital payment method that allows for registered users to complete their purchase at the click of a button. By logging into their Visa Checkout account, payment and billing information are automatically populated, eliminating the step to manually enter the information with every purchase. Ahmed Gaber, Visa’s General Manager for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain, said, “Innovations like Visa Checkout help to remove friction from the e-commerce payment process, bringing significant benefits to both the customer and the merchant. With Visa Checkout integrated into its systems, tajawal can now offer its customers an online payment experience that is as easy, convenient, and seamless as swiping a Visa card in a traditional retail setting.” To promote Visa Checkout as a payment option on tajawal.sa, a special offer has been introduced on all flight and hotel bookings that can be availed by registered users who choose to pay with Visa Checkout on tajawal.sa until August 18, 2017.

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