Category Archives: Exhibitions

RAK targets Nordic tourists at MATKA Travel Fair in Helsinki

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Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) increased its focus on the Nordic markets with its first appearance at the MATKA Travel Fair in Helsinki held from January 18-21. Featuring more than 80 countries and 900 exhibitors, the fair gave RAKTDA the opportunity to introduce the diversity of the destination to the attending trade and public in the region. Ras Al Khaimah was the only Middle East destination to be featured in the show and the exhibit brought to life the authentic and nature-based Arabian experience on offer for Nordic holidaymakers. Four co-exhibitors joined the Ras Al Khaimah stand, namely, Knight Tours, Royal Gulf Tourism, Hilton Hotels Ras Al Khaimah, and Dubai Parks and Resorts to showcase experiences and accommodation options. Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA said, “The Nordics is a very important region for us and we have seen significant growth in visitor numbers from the region over the last couple of years. We believe our unique combination of authentic Arabian hospitality, pristine beaches and outdoor adventure pursuits has great appeal to holidaymakers in the Nordics and the MATKA Travel Fair is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase the diversity Ras Al Khaimah has to offer.”

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38% increase of Russian visitors to GCC by 2020

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The number of Russian tourists travelling to the GCC in 2020 is expected to be 38 per cent higher than the arrival figures recorded for 2016, according to data published recently by Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2018, set to take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22-25, 2018. As the UAE has started granting visa on arrival earlier last year, there has been quite a rapid growth of Russian tourists to Dubai. Looking at the economic drivers, the value of the Russian rouble is stable and firming gradually, helped by Russia’s decision to join OPEC and cut oil production. Over the last 25 years, Russia has been well represented at ATM, with exhibitors including Moscow City Government, National Tourist Union and the city of St Petersburg. Russian visitors to the exhibition increased 17 per cent YOY between 2016 and 2017 and 9.4 per cent of total visitors last year were interested in doing business with Russia. Russia’s links with the GCC strengthened in 2017 with the introduction of additional airline routes, visas on arrival in the UAE for Russians, new generation of leisure attractions, retail destinations and a broad range of hotels and resorts across the GCC region.

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Dubai Shopping Festival kicks off on December 26

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The retail calendar once again started its annual course as the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) kicked off on December 26, 2017. This year, DSF, Dubai’s citywide shopping extravaganza, has teamed up with five homeware stores over the next five weeks to give shoppers a chance to give their dining room, living room or bedroom a stylish new makeover. Starting with one of the largest retailers in the world, IKEA, from December 26 until January 1, for every purchase of AED 1,000 in the Dubai store, shoppers will automatically be entered into a draw to win a concept room, created specifically for DSF. The lucky winner will be announced on January 2, 2018. Another new feature this year from December 26, 2017 to February 20, 2018 is the Dubai Shopping Festival Pass which offers amazing discounts on Dubai’s top attractions and dining offers during DSF. Tourists can enjoy discounts on 61 of Dubai’s top attractions and dining outlets, including Atlantis’ Aquaventure Waterpark, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Parks and Resorts, La Perle, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Desert Safari Tours and more. Each pass comes with adult and child options for maximum savings.

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7th Arab Aviation Summit focuses on sustainable transformation

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The 7th edition of Arab Aviation Summit held in Dubai was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group. Themed on ‘Time to Transform: Addressing sustainability challenges and opportunities for the regional aviation sector”, the summit was attended by more than 200 industry participants from 15 Arab countries. Welcoming the delegates, Adel Al Ali, Arab Aviation Summit Chairperson and Group CEO, Air Arabia, said, “We gather every year to debate the ever-changing state of the aviation industry and its complexities. Arab aviation is highly affected by the evolving geo-political situation, global economy, technological developments and others. Today, we address the sustainability of our industry and the challenges and opportunities it faces in the short and long term.” The summit delineates how market forces are driving the further evolution of Arab aviation and how greater collaboration between public and private sectors can be achieved to unlock the region’s potential.

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SCTDA organises 4th Hospitality Industry Forum

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The 4th Hospitality Industry Forum organised by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) was held in Sharjah on the theme ‘Continuous Innovation,’ highlighting the robust expansion of the emirate’s tourism sector from 2016 to 2017. The session featured three sessions titled ‘Sharjah Hospitality Results,’ ‘Key to a Successful Travel’ and Tourism Innovation,’ a panel discussion on ‘A Stairway Towards Innovative Marketing’ and two workshops titled ‘Investment in Human Capabilities’ and ‘Destination Competitiveness in an Innovative World.’ Local hospitality sector revenues witnessed a remarkable 7.8 per cent increase during the first half of 2017 compared with the previous year, reaching AED 372 million as the emirate steadily positions itself as a destination of choice for tourists. H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA, said, “Under the consistent guidance of H.H. Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Ruler of Sharjah and Member of the UAE Supreme Council, the relentless efforts of Sharjah’s tourism sector have placed the emirate in the international tourism map and has brought success both at the regional and local levels by offering a world-class destination that represents the Arab cultural heritage as well as a family-friendly environment.”

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Dubai Airshow 2017 opens with grandeur

Rulers at the opening

The 15th Dubai Airshow at DWC was officially opened by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council. They took a walking tour around the 645,000 square metre site, pausing to speak with several exhibitors and were accompanied by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. Over 72,500 trade visitors and 1200 exhibitors are expected across the event’s five-day run, representing the entire spectrum of the aerospace industry.

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GAM becomes international strategic advisor for Ghana tourism

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The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture – Ghana appointed Grand Aurum Marketing (GAM) as International Strategic Advisor to help position Ghana as a viable preferred destination in Africa. This was announced during the World Travel Market WTM 2017 in London. Grand Aurum Marketing/Marta Consulting, is an acclaimed international tourism development consultancy, built upon a team with over 30 years of tourism and destination development experience. Catherine Afeku, Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, Ghana, said “Ghana is a country on the go. We are positioning tourism as one of the key sectors of the economy. Working with Grand Arum provides an opportunity to reach out to several key markets for destination marketing, tourism investment promotion and product development.” Ghassan Aridi, Chairman, Grand Aurum Marketing, said, “We are pleased to receive this appointment as Ghana is an exciting destination gaining popularity year on year. Ghana has a lot to offer, from lush forests and waterfalls to a beautiful sea shore and wonderful people.”

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WTM closes on a festive note

World Travel Market 2017, ExCeL London - Busy first morning

The final day of WTM London 2017 concluded with WTM Festivals, allowing visitors to experience the culture, hospitality and cuisine of the Caribbean, Tokyo, Indonesia, Ecuador, Bulgaria, Ghana, Senegal and Brazil. Pertinent issues such as Brexit, overtourism and development were debated among the tourism ministers’ agenda. The annual UNWTO and WTM Ministers Summit debated strategies to cope with overtourism, which is threatening the tourism trade in destinations such as Barcelona, Venice and Amsterdam. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UNWTO, said there have been many protests against overtourism in 2017, with slogans such as “tourists go home” and “tourists are terrorists.” He warned, “We cannot continue to build five-star hotels in three-star communities. We need to diversify visitors’ activities, reduce seasonality and raise awareness of less busy destinations.” WTM brought together the leadership of the International Hotel Investment Forum and WTM London’s expertise to create an exclusive platform for ministers and investors in travel destination development. Keith Evans, Vice President Hotels, Starwood Capital, highlighted Greece’s potential, “There’s a good strong fundamental tour infrastructure; Greece is setting itself up as a market that has an interesting few years ahead.”

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Over 300 travel agents attend Abu Dhabi roadshows in UK and Ireland

DEPARTMENT OF CULTURE AND TOURISM, ABU DHABI'S UK & IRELAND OFFICE ORGANISES TRADE ROADSHOW

The Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi’s UK and Ireland office organised its annual trade roadshow in partnership with Etihad Airways. The team visited Glasgow, Manchester, London and Dublin, showcasing the destination to a total of 330 travel agents. Throughout the roadshow, agents were made aware of all the new exciting offerings in the destination, including the opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi, new hotels under construction and the packed calendar of events the emirate provided, as well as providing attendees with further destination knowledge and advice on selling packages. The UK is the leading European market and the third largest overseas market for Abu Dhabi, with 2017 arrivals (as of September) at 173,103, a 5 per cent increase compared to 2016 figures. Events kicked off in Glasgow and Manchester, where 140 agents met with stakeholders to gain knowledge about Abu Dhabi. A holiday package to Abu Dhabi was also given out at the event. Held at The Mayfair Hotel in central London, 120 agents attended to network and meet with stakeholders.

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WTM kicks off in London

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The World Travel Market (WTM) London, a much awaited travel event of the year, brought together the travel fraternity from all over the globe. Key exhibitors from the region this year include Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority, Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Ajman Tourism Development Department, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, Oman Ministry of Tourism and Jordan Tourism Board. This year’s event will give ample opportunities to a range of new travel experiences and disruptive travel services as well. It will introduce some of the key components that industry specialists need to adapt so as to work towards enhancing the experiences of the many new-age travellers and millennials. More than 80 conference seminars will take place throughout the three days covering all the key sectors pertinent to the Middle East, including aviation, hotels, wedding and honeymoon, gastronomy, sports tourism, responsible tourism, digital influencers, social media and travel technology. Among other highlights is the 300-seater WTM Inspire Theatre, a taste of ILTM joined by a new Wellness & Spa section on the exhibition floor, WTM Speed Networking, and the UNWTO and WTM Ministers’ Summit.

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