Category Archives: Agents

Dubai Tourism hosts Fam for GCC VIPs and partners

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This month Dubai welcomed over 50 delegates from across the GCC in two familiarisation trips including travel and tourism industry VIPs and representatives. From January 12-14, Dubai Tourism hosted owners, CEOs and Managing Directors of the top travel and trade agencies from across the GCC. The VIPs represented leading regional travel companies including Al Muftah Travel, Marmul Travel, Yrbooking and Orange Travel. The trip gave the VIP guests and their families the chance to be amongst the first to experience the newly launched Dubai Parks and Resorts in its full capacity, as well as the opportunity to stay at the Marriott’s brand new Polynesian Lapita resort right in the heart of the parks. Dubai Tourism also held a private dinner for the city’s stakeholders to network with the 15 delegates from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar. Other key industry partners included Emirates Airlines, Alpha Destination Management and GTA. With the GCC contributing 24 per cent of all visitors to Dubai from January – November 2016, it continues to be a key focus for the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). The VIP and industry familiarisation trips highlight the significance of GCC outbound travel to Dubai, and form part of the ongoing efforts of Dubai Tourism to promote the emirate’s tourism offering to each of the markets in the GCC. Hoor Al Khaja, Manager, China, International Operations at Dubai Tourism, added: “The GCC remains a key priority for us as a top source market for visitors to Dubai. We are also enhancing Dubai’s tourism offering further with new attractions like IMG Worlds of Adventure and Dubai Parks & Resorts which offer new and exciting experiences for visitors, not …

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Mosaid Travel partners with Sabre

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Saudi-based travel agency Mosaid Travel and Tourism Services has renewed its 10-year exclusive relationship with global travel technology provider, Sabre Corporation, to support its vision to expand regionally, provide more personalised travel experiences and improve customer satisfaction. Nadir Kazalbash, General Manager, Mosaid Travel and Tourism Services said,  “The travel industry is fast-evolving with new trends and rapidly-changing traveller expectations. Over the years, Sabre has been a trusted and innovative technology provider that understands the challenges we face, and anticipates trends and technology needed to meet the expectations of today’s connected travellers. Their technology investments help us differentiate our offerings, and contribute to our growth and success in the market. We look forward to start using the New Sabre Red Workspace that will help us provide more personalized offerings and differentiate our services.” Mosaid Travel will continue to access Sabre’s marketplace of more than 400 airlines, 750,000 hotel properties, and hundreds of tour operators, rail, car and cruise providers, giving Mosaid Travel the opportunity to sell personalized travel packages from suppliers all over the world. The agency accesses the marketplace through the Sabre Red Workspace platform, which provides quick and easy access to shop, book and manage travel content including low-fare carriers, as well as travel management capabilities.

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Akbar Travel partners with Sabre

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Akbar Travel has selected global technology company, Sabre Corporation, to enhance its online customer experience offering, drive operational efficiencies and support its global growth, which will see the Middle East agency expand into new markets across GCC. Akbar Travel will also invest in new technology such as mobile, online, data and automation capabilities to provide clients with a more personalized travel experience. “Akbar Travel has a clear growth strategy, and their roadmap to use the latest technologies to create a more personalised travel experience aligns completely with the investments Sabre is making in data, merchandising and mobile technology to help agents deliver a more seamless traveler experience,” said Ramzi Al Qassab, commercial director for GCC and global partners, Sabre Travel Network Middle East. “Sabre’s global expertise, extensive knowledge and understanding of the dynamic global travel ecosystem helped us take the right steps when expanding in the region. Their team’s extensive industry network across all GCC countries and their accessibility has been valuable in supporting our strategic roadmap for this vital travel region across the Middle East,” said K.V. Abdul Nazar, founder and chairman of Akbar Travel.

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Travelport signs deal with Saudi agency Al Hashim Travel

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Travelport and Al Hashim Travel have announced a new, exclusive, long-term agreement. Al Hashim Travel is located in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia, with 10 branches in the region. The agency is also set to expand across in Saudi Arabia in 2017. The agreement with Travelport will see Al Hashim Travel benefit from the industry leading merchandising and desktop technology, Travelport Smartpoint.  Travelport Smartpoint allows travel agents to not only sell airline tickets, but also the branded fares and ancillaries of over 400 of the world’s leading airlines, including network and low-cost carriers. Additionally, over 650,000 unique hotel properties and 36,000 car rental locations are available through Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform. Commenting on the new agreement, Abbas AlSaleh, Chief Executive Officer, Al Hashim Travel, said: “This exclusive deal with Travelport provides a great opportunity for our business to advance our operations. We strongly believe that Travelport’s pioneering technology will support our business to work smarter, grow revenues and enhance our online presence.” Asgar Khan, General Manager, Al Hashim Travel, said: “Travellers are increasingly expecting a more personalised travel experience. They want more choice and flexibility when they book. Travelport’s technology is cutting edge in enabling us to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations around new travel trends.” Ibrahim El Mohandes, Country Manager, Travelport Saudi Arabia, said: “We are delighted that Al Hashim Travel, a leading travel agent in Saudi Arabia, has seen the value in our Travel Commerce Platform. Our innovative technology solutions will not only help them to boost their online presence and grow sales but also increase their brand awareness both within the Kingdom and internationally.”

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Golden Sands engages Indian travel trade in Pune

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In a bid to attract a bigger share of Indian visitors to the UAE, the team of Golden Sands Hotel Apartments, part of A.A. Al Moosa Enterprises and pioneered the concept of hotel apartments in the region, recently returned from a  successful roadshow in Pune. Headed by Shazia Ahmed, Sales Manager the team visited India together with Orient Tours and met with more than 150 top agents from the city of Pune who are marketing Dubai in large numbers. Shazia Ahmed, Sales Manager, noted: “We have a very successful event. This show provided us the ideal platform to interact with key agents on one to one basis and the results definitely affect the future business. It is good to have Dubai delegates gathered in one roof to give information and answer questions from the agents from India. It was a very good face to face interaction and it helped increase their knowledge about the UAE. It was so heartwarming to hear that some of the agents attended the event because they heard about our participation. It only meant the popularity of GSHA all over India.” “The Indian market is in our top three visitors because we offer good value for their money and because of our ideal location thus we are expecting an increased number of guests from this market this year, both from our loyal and new guests,” said Mohammed Khoori, General Manager. Golden Sands Hotel Apartments receives a monthly average of 25% to 30% of their total hotel guests from the Indian market. Golden Sands Hotel Apartments offers a wide range of facilities and holidaymakers can benefit from its favorable location close to the city’s exhibition center and …

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Dollar Rent A Car opens new branch in Muscat

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Dollar Rent A Car has opened  a new branch in Oman to service customers at Muscat International Airport. The car rental company will offer premium fleet, service and competitive prices to passengers departing from and arriving into the Muscat International Airport. Marwan Al Mulla, General Manager, Dollar Rent A Car-UAE and Oman, commented: “This new branch is another example of Dollar Rent A Car’s commitment to rapid expansion into the region. The Muscat International Airport is expected to have a capacity to handle approximately more than 12 million passengers every year so this is indeed the perfect opportunity to get a share of these passengers.” Customers will enjoy driving Dollar Rent A Car’s fleet of wide range of various Japanese and other great vehicles. The company is staffed with professional agent who can recommend the best vehicle for both business and leisure travellers looking for short- or long-term leases of a wide selection of vehicles. Currently, Dollar Rent A Car has seven locations in Oman.  The new outlet is located at Muscat International Airport, Arrival Hall and open 24 Hours.

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Musafir.com partners with Visa

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Musafir.com has announced a partnership with Visa across the UAE, Qatar and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and launch of dedicated websites for Qatar and KSA. “At Musafir.com we like to exceed our traveller’s expectation. The travel marketplace is very competitive. Our partnership with Visa is a significant step for the rapidly growing travel industry in the UAE and GCC. We anticipate this to make an even more scalable business with the expertise to change the booking experience for travellers. The idea is to focus on getting people to move from offline booking to online booking. This association will be our next chapter of high-growth in this dynamic industry,” commented Sachin Gadoya, Managing Director and Co-founder of Musafir.com. Musafir.com also announced a special offer for all the travellers. A traveller will be able to save AED 200 on ticket booking using Visa debit or credit card until December 31, 2016. Travellers can save up to AED 1200 (for up to six people), using a Visa card only. Customers across the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, can receive their discounted air tickets in three easy steps.  Once the destination is booked, customers will be redirected to the GOVISA page where the service will SMS a security code. After typing the code into checkout section, AED 200 will automatically be deducted from the original price.

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AVIAREPS launches online payment

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AVIAREPS has launched AVIACOLLECT, an online payment solution that allows small to medium offline airlines, hospitality brands, including standalone hotels and resorts, Destination Management Companies (DMCs), and providers of travel services, such as visa application, ground transportation, airport lounge access, car hire, attractions, sightseeing and travel insurance, to economically and effectively extend their international consumer and travel agent sales networks around the world. AVIACOLLECT was launched in response to the urgent business development needs of many small to mid-size tourism related companies to extend their sales distribution channels and presence internationally, in a manner that respects their unique brand, and is cost-effective to ensure a return on investment given limited resources. The payment solution can be used as a white label solution for AVIAREPS clients, allowing them to accept payments in targeted countries with local bank connections and in local currencies. As an AVIAREPS product AVIACOLLECT is naturally supported with in-market on the ground proactive promotion and distribution management by AVIAREPS professionals to established consumer and travel trade networks. AVIACOLLECT is also tailored to the needs of consumers and local travel agents seeking an online one stop information and payment platform, as visitors to the site can book all types of services for travel around the world; including accommodation, airport transfers, tours, airport lounge access and more, and then pay for them all in one online credit card payment. Each AVIACOLLECT portal is also tailored to the consumers and travel agents of each particular market, so that language, currency payments and even visa and other information is specific to that specific country or region. Clients too can tailor seasonal and promotional offerings to each individual market.

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Medical tourism conference to strengthen Brand UAE

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The 3rd Annual Conference on Health and Medical Tourism – Brand UAE, organised by Thumbay Hospital and Gulf Medical University, was held at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Dubai. The theme for this year was nurturing partnerships and exploring opportunities. Spokesperson from Gulf Medical University reiterated that they are making efforts to create a new workforce in this sector in keeping with the vision of the government of Dubai to make it a destination or a hub for health tourists from around the world. Chief Guest for the event was H.E. Dr. Amin Al Amiri; Assistant Undersecretary for Medical Practice and License Sector Ministry of health, UAE with Guest of Honour was Thumbay Moideen; Founder President, Thumbay Group UAE. At the event leading medical tourism experts from UAE were honoured with special awards of honour and recognition and the third batch of graduates from the medical tourism facilitator course also received their certificates at the event.

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VFS launches France Visa Application Centre in Muscat

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Residents of the Sultanate of Oman can now apply for visas to France at the visa application centre launched for the Embassy of France in the capital city of Muscat. Applicants can visit VFS Global’s centre to submit visa applications and enrol for biometrics. The Muscat centre is conveniently located in main city centre at Level 1, Tilal Office, Muscat Grand Mall, Dohat Al Adab Street, Al Khuwair, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Services at the centre commenced on 08 November 2016. With France being a popular tourist destination with Omanis, the launch of this new centre will bring added convenience and ease to applicants through quicker and more streamlined application processes. Furthermore, the new centre joins 5 other client governments served at the same premises, making it more convenient for travellers planning multiple business or leisure trips abroad. The Sultanate of Oman is the fourth country in the Middle East, after Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, from where applicants can apply for a visa to France. Since commencing visa processing operations in the Sultanate of Oman in 2005, VFS Global now serves 9 client governments in the country. VFS Global has been serving the Government of France since 2004, and currently serves the client in 15 countries from 52 visa application centres globally. Some of the key features of the centre include: Convenient and centrally-accessed location, professional staff with local language capability to handle queries and applications, well-appointed centre for enhanced comfort of applicants, automated queue governance for smooth flow of applicants, dedicated website for easy access to information including visa categories, requirements, check-list and applicable fees, 100% secure handling of passports, documents and personal information, door-step delivery of …

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