Category Archives: Govt

Second edition of Dubai Association Conference to be held in December 2019

Dubai Association Conference, December 2017

The second edition of the Dubai Association Conference, being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, will take place from December 9 to 10, 2019, under the theme of ‘Driving change: The societal impact of associations’. Over the course of two days the conference, organised by Dubai Association Centre and taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre, will bring together association executives from around the world, government representatives, industry leaders, as well as university faculties and students, in a space focused on building the association community in the region for the purpose of positive social impact. Established in 2014, the Dubai Association Centre (DAC) is a joint initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) which  support and license regional and international associations in setting up an office or chapter in Dubai. The inaugural edition of its Dubai Association Conference took place in December 2017, while DAC last year hosted an Association Leaders Getaway in the city. Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said, “As Dubai continues to grow as a knowledge hub, associations have immense potential for driving growth in our rapidly transforming economy. Along with being a catalyst for business opportunities within a thriving ecosystem, they have the power to fuel innovation and creativity which ultimately contributes to the wellbeing of our communities, and society. We are looking forward to the second edition of the Dubai Association Conference this year to further facilitate our transformation agenda as …

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DTC offers Umra trips to taxi drivers during Ramadan

Adel Sharif (1)

Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) is offering Umra trips to 25 taxi drivers during this Ramadan. The step, which coincides with the Year of Tolerance, reflects the keenness of DTC to bring happiness to drivers during the holy month of Ramadan. “Since 2010, Dubai Taxi Corporation has been running this initiative, and about 1200 drivers have benefited from it so far. The initiative is part of DTC social responsibility to bring happiness to employees, especially taxi drivers,” said Adel Sharif, Director of Human Resources, Dubai Taxi Corporation. Priority in the selection of drivers was given to excellent-performing drivers who have made no offences this year, and winners of Dubai Taxi Corporation awards. DTC will cover all expenses of the trip, and educative lectures will be given about the rituals of performing Umra. “DTC is offering several initiatives to cement the relationships between employees, drivers and managers as well as educative programmes at its Training and Qualification Centre. It is offering rewards as part of its plans and strategic goals of happier employees, which will ensure delivering better services, trust and loyalty,” concluded Sharif.

Read More » dynamic booking engine dedicated to halal travel content launched

Nabeel Shariff low res, the world’s first dynamic booking engine dedicated to halal travel content, has been launched. The new Online Travel Agency (OTA), which empowers Muslim travellers to hand-pick and book every aspect of their trip, including flights, hotels, excursions and transfers, is the latest brand from the team behind halal travel specialists Serendipity Tailormade and Luxury Halal Travel. Rihaala, which means ‘journeys’ in Arabic, targets tech-savvy Muslim millennials who want the freedom to curate their own journey and to be inspired by a content-rich experience. The website offers them a choice of more than 1,500 properties in 40-plus destinations worldwide, all selected based on their halal-friendly amenities and services, as well as the chance to explore more. “Rihaala meets the demands and expectations of modern Muslim consumers who not only want to create their own travel packages online, but to be inspired by like-minded travellers through rich visual content on social feeds that paints a true picture of a destination,” said Nabeel Shariff, the founder of, Serendipity Tailormade and Luxury Halal Travel. Rihaala has been launched in English with an Arabic-language version to follow soon. A travel agent portal will also be available to select partners, enabling them to create halal-friendly travel packages for their clients. In the United Kingdom where the company is headquartered, Rihaala will be the market’s first one-stop portal for Umrah travel, responding to the growing demand for a ‘Do-it-yourself Umrah’ enabling UK travellers to book their flights, accommodation and visa application online. “As travel technology has moved on, so have pilgrims, and we’re listening to consumers and how they want to book and experience travel in the future,” Shariff said.  

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Wego partners with Oman Ministry of Tourism to increase visitors from the GCC


Wego, the largest online travel marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), announced its partnership with Oman Ministry of Tourism, to promote Oman as the destination of choice for GCC travellers and drive more visitors to the country. The partnership will facilitate activities in the GCC region to promote tourism to Oman with the spotlight on the trending destinations in Oman, including Muscat, Salalah, Sohar, Khasab and Duqm. Through this collaboration, Oman Ministry of Tourism will generate brand and destination awareness positioning Oman as a friendly, beautiful, cultural and one of the top historic destinations in the region. Wego will also present an informative guide of the accessible places in Oman during the summer period and highlight some of the hidden gems to explore.  From sightseeing to the historical forts and castles, diving and snorkeling, the mesmerising beaches in Musandam and the beauty of Salalah, Oman ensures to have activities for families, couples, adventurers and explorers. Mamoun Hmedan, Managing Director, MENA and India, Wego, said, “We are delighted to partner with Oman Ministry of Tourism, to showcase what Oman offers from a wide array of activities, adventure and wonderful experiences to discover all year round. We’ve been witnessing an increase in the number of searches in Q1 2019 compared to 2018 from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar and India. We will be working closely with Oman Ministry of Tourism through this campaign to expand the searches from GCC market.” Salim Bin Adey Al Mamari, Director General of Tourism Promotion, Ministry of Tourism, said, “Our latest partnership with Wego is the result of our efforts to connect with a platform that is capable of effectively promoting Oman’s tourism …

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Spectrum of the Seas debuts in the Arabian Gulf

Spectrum of the Seas

Dubai has welcomed the innovative cruise ship, Spectrum of the Seas into Port Rashid, marking its debut into the Arabian Gulf. In celebration of this significant occasion, a traditional ‘Plaques and Keys Exchange’ ceremony was hosted on board in the presence of the ship’s captain and key industry stakeholders from Dubai Cruise Committee. Reaffirming Dubai’s position as the ‘Cruise Hub of the Region’, Spectrum of the Seas arrived in port on May 4, bringing almost 4,000 tourists to the emirate in a single day. Weighing 168,666 gross tonnes, Royal Caribbean’s new Spectrum of the Seas will be the largest and most advanced cruise ship to port in Dubai.  The cruise brand revealed several new innovations and features on board the ship, displaying ‘first-at-sea’ activities such as the Sky Pad, a virtual reality bungee trampoline,  RipCord by iFly sky diving simulator and North Star observation pod that offers guests astonishing panoramic views more than 300 feet above sea level.  In addition, the ship’s interiors offer world-class facilities including a variety of cuisines from around the world, a music hall and SeaPlex; the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex with bumper cars, roller skating and basketball. Jamal Alfalasi, Director of Dubai Cruise Tourism, said, “It is with great honour that we welcome the guests of Spectrum of the Seas, one of the largest and most revolutionary ships to the emirate.  This visit strengthens Dubai’s position as the established Cruise Hub of the Region; a key component of our strategic development.” Spectrum of the Seas represents a leap forward in ship design and innovation offering experiences that are specifically tailored towards Chinese guests. The inaugural cruise, 16-night Suez Canal repositioning itinerary, sails from Barcelona …

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City Sightseeing Sharjah announces tour timings during Ramadan

Anantara Sharjah Resort

City Sightseeing Sharjah (CSS) has announced changes in the timings of its city sightseeing buses during the Holy month of Ramadan. The CSS Leisure Tours will be available from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. daily during Ramadan. The duration of the tours will be one and a half hours and buses will leave every 45 minutes, till the end of May. There will be 13 stops on Leisure Tours: Central Souq 1; Palm Tree Oasis; Al Noor Mosque; Al Majaz Waterfront; Al Majaz Amphitheatre; Flag Island and Al Montazah; Al Khan Beach 1; Al Khan Beach 2; Sharjah Aquarium; Al Qasba; Sahara Centre; Sharjah City Centre; and King Faisal Road. Likewise, CSS Culture Tours will also be available from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm every day during Ramadan, at a frequency of one hour and 15 minutes. The trips will last one hour and 15 minutes, with 10 stops that include: Central Souq 1; Central Souq 2; Fish Market; Heart of Sharjah; Sharjah Islamic Museum; Rain Room; Radisson Blue Resort; Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort and Spa; Cultural Square; Mega Mall; and Al Mahatta Museum. CSS will also conduct Night Tours on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Buses will leave every 30 minutes and the tours last an hour. The Night Tours will take in: Central Souq 1; Palm Tree Oasis; Al Noor Mosque; Al Majaz; Al Majaz Amphitheatre; Flag Island and Al Montazah; Al Khan Beach 1; Al Khan Beach 2; Sharjah Aquarium; and Al Qasba. CSS has also announced Ramadan promotions, which include one additional day pass when you buy a one-day pass. Children aged between 6 to 12 years get to travel for …

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Netherlands’ largest travel trade and consumer fair to present RAK as host destination

RAKTDA x Vakantiebeurs 2020_Main Photo

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) signed an agreement to present Ras Al Khaimah as the ‘host destination’ at Vakantiebeurs 2020, the largest travel trade and consumer fair in Utrecht, Netherlands. Vakantiebeurs gathers tourism authorities, travel agencies and cultural associations from around the world for an opportunity to introduce their travel destinations and tourism products to consumers and fellow trade partners. Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said, “With a unique combination of authentic Arabian hospitality, pristine beaches and outdoor adventure pursuits, Ras Al Khaimah has a great appeal to holidaymakers from all over Europe. We have seen a significant growth in visitor numbers from Europe over the last couple of years, and therefore, the region continues to be a key focus for our tourism promotion strategy in a bid to attract 1.5 million visitors by 2021. We look forward to our participation as the host destination at Vakantiebeurs 2020 as it supports our promotional efforts in Europe to ultimately drive further tourism growth in Ras Al Khaimah.” Ras Al Khaimah’s attractiveness amongst international tourists continues to be strong – accounting for 62% of overall visitors in 2018 – attributable to its 7,000 years of fascinating history, authentic Arabian culture and heritage, high-profile adventure attractions, magnificent natural landscapes, and exclusive luxury and wellness experiences. In a steadfast commitment to strengthen Ras Al Khaimah’s popularity in European markets, RAKTDA continues to participate in key European travel trade exhibitions.

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St. Petersburg showcases its new ‘Luxury Russia’ offerings at ATM 2019

St Petersburg Stand at Arabian Travel Market 2019

Participating for the third time at the Arabian Travel Market 2019, the St. Petersburg, Russia pavilion highlighted all aspects of leisure, MICE, luxury, recreational and health and wellness tourism. As a special focus this year, St. Petersburg showcased their foray into its new ‘Luxury Russia’ offerings that centered around the symbolic, historical and cultural aspects of Russia. ‘Luxury Russia’ had a range of specially curated tours and activities. These included a bespoke museum premium hour tours with a personalised guide, gala receptions at the legendary Cruise Aurora shipyard; now converted into a museum and the Catharine Palace. Also included is the exciting experience to set off a cannon while touring the historic Peter and Paul Fortress and getting a helicopter tour of the presidential palace also known as the Konstastinosky Palace. “The Middle East is soon becoming an important part of our tourism business and we understand the need to be present at Arabian Travel Market. More so, this year we are targeting high profile travellers from the luxury segment as our research indicates that they contribute quite heavily to the frequency as well as the spending habits while visiting St. Petersburg,” said, Olga Redino, Deputy General Director & Vice Head of Saint Petersburg Convention Bureau. “Our Luxury Tourism Association is a unique project in Russia which creates the platform for premium and luxury customers to avail of exclusive experiences and truly customised service of an exceptional quality while travelling in Russia,” said, Marina Morozova – Head of National Tourism of Russian Federation in the Middle East Dubai UAE / CEO Luxury Travel Association. “Arabian Travel Market provides a perfect platform to reach out to the B2B and B2C sector …

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Tourism boards of Germany, Switzerland and Austria host ‘Reach for the Stars’

Lufthansa Group - Heart of Europe Party - Image 1

In collaboration with premium partner Lufthansa Group, more than 200 regional and international key decision makers from the travel trade industry attended the travel trade networking event, to celebrate the conclusion of the ‘Heart of Europe’ Travel Summit; a joint networking-event hosted by the national tourist boards of Germany, Switzerland and Austria prior to the Arabian Travel Market exhibition (ATM) for the very first time.  Entitled “Reach for the Stars”, the lavish evening event took place on the rooftop of the Five Palm Jumeirah Hotel, offering its high-level guests  an outstanding view of the Dubai skyline. Heinrich Lange, Senior Director Sales, Gulf, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Lufthansa Group, said, “We are delighted to have concluded the Heart of Europe Travel Summit with a tremendously successful networking evening. The GCC is a key focus market for us at Lufthansa Group in view of the strong growth prospects for travel from the GCC to Europe, Switzerland, Austria and Germany in particular, and the event offered us an excellent platform to strengthen our relationships with our customers and partners to reinforce our commitment to this region.” Highlighting the thrills the European neighbouring countries have to offer, guests were welcomed to experience an authentic culinary journey at the dedicated German, Swiss and Austrian food corners, while being entertained by a live band who traditionally performs at the world famous Oktoberfest in Munich, ‘Die Kirchdorfer’ who played famous tunes from the three countries aiming at inspiring guests to make Germany, Switzerland and Austria their summer holiday destination of choice. Emphasising the importance of flights connectivity between Europe and the GCC countries, the premium partner Lufthansa Group is proud to be one of the first aviation companies …

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Dubai tourism marks 26th year of participation at Arabian Travel Market 2019

Issam Kazim JPG

As one of ATM’s longest-standing partners, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) marked the 26th year of its participation in showcasing the emirate’s diverse tourism offerings to the local and international travel trade community at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM). Dubai Tourism was joined by over 300 representatives from government bodies, hotels, destination management companies and tour operators. The Dubai stand showcased the breadth of the emirate’s ever-evolving destination portfolio, as well as highlighted an upcoming pipeline of new experiences through numerous interactive activations and content-rich displays. The strategic platform also brought together an extensive network of industry stakeholders across the public and private sectors to strengthen new and existing in-market trade partnerships. In support of the show’s 2019 focus on technological innovation, the state-of-the-art stand will embrace disruptive innovation by providing unique and immersive experiences to visitors, all designed to showcase the city’s unique and attractive tourist proposition for diverse market segments. Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) said, “ATM plays a key strategic role in helping Dubai Tourism provide insights into the emirate’s dynamic tourism proposition to international, regional and local travel, tourism and hospitality decision makers. We are delighted to extend our reach this year by hosting more than 300 buyers from around the world to explore how to maximise our combined potentials. Our activations and on-stand experiences will build on the technological innovation theme of this year’s show, and we look forward to highlighting the scale of the activities that continue to build on our ‘digital, mobile and social first’ agenda.” This year, visitors to the Dubai stand could explore a dedicated ‘EMAAR Zone’ with a new Virtual …

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