Category Archives: Govt

SCTDA participates in Matka Nordic Travel Fair 2019, targets key global markets

HE Khalid Jasim Midfa

In line with its strategy to reach out to and explore new global markets, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) participated for the first time in Matka Nordic Travel Fair, being held at Messukeskus Helsinki in Finland from January 17 to 20, 2019. The participation in Matka 2019 formed part of SCTDA’s endeavours to target key global markets through participating in international events and exhibitions to strengthen Sharjah’s position as a leading global tourist destination. Besides creating awareness about its unique tourism and hospitality offerings before visitors from the Nordics, the participation in Northern Europe’s largest travel industry event also marks SCTDA’s entry into the Nordic markets. The emirate of Sharjah welcomed 92,000 travellers from Northern Europe in the year 2018. To further drive and sustain this growth, SCTDA’s partners such as Radisson Blue Hotel, Sharjah International Airport Authority, Coral Beach Hotel, Sharjah Airport Travel Agency (SATA), the Act Hotel, Sharjah Collection, Beach Hotel and TravTalk will exhibit under its banner at the exhibition to raise awareness about the emirate’s local culture, history and unique tourism offerings. The concerted efforts will support the achievement of Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021. To attract an increased number of international visitors to the emirate, including Northern Europeans, SCTDA focuses on the Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021 that aims to attract more than 10 million tourists by the year 2021, coinciding with the UAE’s 50th year of founding. To achieve this, SCTDA, in collaboration with partners in the tourism sector, has adopted four strategic pillars. These are: the promotion of Sharjah as an ideal family tourism destination by offering distinct packages and offers, adoption of an innovative tourism approach to enhance the tourist experience, …

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‘Mother of the Nation Festival’ to be held in Abu Dhabi from March 12-23

Mother of the National Festival 2

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced that the fourth edition of ‘Mother of the Nation Festival’ (MOTN) is set to return to Abu Dhabi from March 12-23, 2019, in conjunction with the Special Olympics World Games, taking place from March 14-21. More than 7,500 athletes from 192 countries are set to participate in the Games, which are being held in the Middle East and North Africa region for the first time. The festival pays tribute to the living legacy of the original ‘Mother of the Nation’, HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union and President of the Supreme Council of Motherhood and Childhood. It embodies her inspirational values of empowerment, conservation, collaboration and sustainability. MOTN is committed to providing a wide array of entertainment through performances, workshops, dining, retail offers and activities for the entire family to enjoy over the course of 12 days. The festival’s campaign will embody the spirit of the ‘Year of Tolerance’ through a number of activities, which will once again be held along a kilometre of Abu Dhabi’s Corniche. It will offer something for everyone to enjoy, from musical and entertainment performances and art exhibits to interactive workshops, in addition to the newly introduced Special Olympics Zone. There will also be an e-sports gaming championship in the Progress Zone, while the Happiness Zone returns with an array of exhilarating activities. HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary, DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “This year, we are delighted to host the Special Olympics World Summer Games as part of the fourth edition of the Mother of the Nation Festival. This …

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RTA commences exclusive Dubai Ferry route for Emaar visitors

RTA Emaar Ferry service press conference (2)

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has commenced the operation of an exclusive Dubai Ferry route for Emaar’s visitors and residents, linking The Dubai Mall and Dubai Marina Mall. Inaugurated in the presence of senior officials of RTA and Emaar, the new service links two of the most popular lifestyle destinations in the city through an environment-friendly urban transport service. It also builds on an earlier agreement signed between RTA and Emaar’s At the Top, Burj Khalifa to promote the sale of Dubai Ferry tickets to the popular tourist attraction in the iconic tower. The ferry service, for a duration of about 1 hour 20 minutes one-way, will offer majestic views of the cityscape – from The Palm Islands to the skyscrapers along Sheikh Zayed Road and the Dubai Canal. It will ply between the Dubai Marina ferry station, located behind the Dubai Marina Mall, and Al Wajeha Al Maeyah station, from where a complimentary shuttle service will take guests to reach The Dubai Mall and back. Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO, Public Transport Agency, said, “The marine transport network of Dubai is gaining considerable interest among visitors and residents, especially following the ongoing promotion of the Dubai Ferry service by At the Top, Burj Khalifa. The new service will add to the delight of users, who can cover two of the most popular malls effortlessly while enjoying scenic vistas of the city.” Ahmed Al Falasi, Executive Director — Group Operations, Emaar Properties, said, “The new ferry service is a remarkable addition that will add to the touristic attractions in the city. Following the promotion of Dubai Ferry to visitors and tourist groups touring At the Top, Burj Khalifa, we had seen a …

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DTCM to release AED 250 mn in bank guarantees of tourism service providers

HE Helal Saeed Almarri JPG

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has initiated efforts to release approximately AED250 million in bank guarantees that have been furnished by tourism-related service providers, following the waiver of this pre-requisite regulatory requirement to start a travel and tour business in the emirate. The new deregulatory measure allows for instant liquidity to be injected into Dubai’s economy, lowering the cost of doing business and supporting further investment in the sector ecosystem. Strongly aligned with the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister, the UAE and Ruler, Dubai, to accelerate Dubai’s economy growth through relative strategic and regulatory initiatives, Dubai Tourism seeks to directly benefit over 2,000 travel and tour operators and agencies in Dubai. Previously, tourism companies including inbound and outbound tour operators were required to furnish a bank guarantee ranging from AED100,000 to AED600,000, depending on the type of business activity, to Dubai Tourism, as a precondition for DED to grant a trade license. Announcing the new measure, HE Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, said, “As we head into 2019 with a commitment to significantly boost tourism arrivals in line with our 2022-2025 tourism strategy and vision to make Dubai the world’s most visited destination, relaxing regulations in support of the business community, especially supporting start-ups and SMEs, is fundamental for sustained sector growth. Tourism is a strong contributor to Dubai’s GDP and we intend to ensure that we sustainably enhance our economic value and aid the diversification agenda for the wider UAE. As such, this deregulatory measure that has been delivered with the support of the Department of Economic Development (DED), complements many of our …

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2nd Saudi Maritime Congress to be held on March 11 and 12 in Riyadh

Saudi - Maritime congress 2019

Saudi Arabia’s maritime sector is set to receive an allocation of SAR 33 billion (USD 8.8 billion) for the energy, industry, mining and logistics sectors, according to its recently announced budget for 2019. The 2nd Saudi Maritime Congress, to be held on March 11 and 12 at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh, Kingdom Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, will examine these budgetary implications on this sector, focus on the growth of intra-regional trade and the booming north-south network, analyse the changing regulatory environment and study existing project opportunities. Held under the patronage of the Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI) and in partnership with Bahri, the event is expected to set new trends in the shipping and logistics industry, providing extraordinary insights into the country’s ambitious growth agenda and consolidate Saudi Arabia’s position as a global trading hub and a strategic gateway to Asia, Africa and Europe. Chris Hayman, Chairman, Seatrade, said: “We are pleased to organise the Saudi Maritime Congress for the second time, following the great success of the first edition in 2014. Against the background of global change, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan is set to transform the Saudi economy, with massive consequences for its maritime and logistics sectors. This event will provide a unique opportunity to see at first hand the scale and nature of the developments which are now unfolding in the Kingdom, as it consolidates its role as a major industry player and as a global logistics hub.”

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Light Art DXB to debut at 24th Dubai Shopping Festival

LIGHT ART DXB

Making its show stopping debut at the 24th edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), Dubai’s biggest citywide shopping extravaganza created by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of Dubai Tourism, is Light Art DXB, combining the elements of movement and light, which will be on display from January 7 until February 13, 2019 at the Burj Park Plaza. Creating a dynamic environment from optimally placed giant mirrors, Light Art DXB will bathe Downtown Dubai’s Burj Park Plaza in a mesmerising kaleidoscope of light. The display of six dynamic sculptures, created through rotating mirrors and supported by a strategic placement of light, will complement the Burj Park Plaza and additionally work in harmony as a reflection base for Burj Khalifa. A bespoke artistic installation by Dubai Tourism and masterminded by Dubai-based technical designer, John Jossifakis, in collaboration with Frankfurt and Athens-based lighting designer, George Tellos, Light Art DXB is the first in a series of new installations the city will enjoy in 2019.

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The Heritage Village at the Janadria Festival attracts Saudi families

Saudi heritage

Tens of thousands of visitors have visited the National Festival of Heritage and Culture, the 33rd edition of Janadria, organised by the Ministry of National Guard under the slogan ‘Faithfulness and Loyalty.’ The heritage village at the festival as well as the shows of the folk groups from various regions of Saudi Arabia and some Arabian Gulf countries are popular and have become a milestone in the most beautiful elements of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Janadria is the largest cultural festival in Saudi Arabia and the largest event of its kind in the world that is being held for 21 days during the period from December 20, 2018 to January 9, 2019 as part of efforts to intensify attention to the Saudi heritage and regional and international visibility. In addition, it promotes a dialogue of cultures and civilisations between nations and people. The heritage village at Janadria is attracting thousands of families from different age groups, in addition to the artisans who are present throughout the festival area, especially in the folk market. The National Festival of Heritage and Culture offers heritage lovers a unique application which includes a complete definition of the Janadria Festival, a map of the stands and elements of the festival, activities and updated news about the festival on a daily basis. The folk groups programme is one of the most important pillars of the festival and there are more than 700 people that reflect the folk heritage, customs and traditions of all regions of Saudi Arabia and the GCC countries of the UAE, Bahrain and Oman.

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DTCM rolls out ‘Only in Dubai’ experiences for visitors

Only In Dubai experiences

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) is rolling out a set of initiatives to deliver end-to-end ‘Only in Dubai’ experiences to ensure tourists get to enjoy an unforgettable stay in the emirate, and encourage repeat visitation, as part of efforts to further strengthen and sustain the city’s world-class propositions. One of the key pillars of Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2022-2025, the ‘Only in Dubai’ set of initiatives will deliver authentic and world-class end-to-end destination experiences across travel touchpoints that are tailored to relevant segments of tourists. The tourism strategy announced by Dubai’s visionary leadership aims to make Dubai the most-visited city in the world, targeting 25 million visitors annually by 2025, and the unparalleled ‘Only in Dubai’ experiences will offer regular unexpected delight moments and active reduction of detractor moments or pain points that will positively impact guest happiness to inspire the millions of tourists to re-visit Dubai. Measuring visitor recommendation and satisfaction is being done through Tourism’s Happiness Index, which was launched under His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister, the UAE and Ruler, Dubai. This index measures not only Dubai’s ability to exceed service expectations, but also helps ensure that every visitor to Dubai becomes a passionate loyalist and a firm advocate of the city. Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said, “While our world-class propositions and experiences showcase the diversity of the destination offerings and provide segment-based preferences for tourists, we are working closely with our partners and stakeholders to curate, create and deliver personalised end-to-end experiences. Visitors will be able to enjoy at every step of their journey, which starts from …

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‘Shop Bahrain’ to kick off on January 1, 2019

Shop Bahrain (8)

The fifth edition of 30-day ‘Shop Bahrain’ festival, aimed at celebrating the Kingdom’s hospitality and tourism offering, will be held from January 1 to February 2, 2019. Organised by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), in cooperation with partners from the public and private sector such as Tamkeen, VIVA, Gulf Air and AA Bin Hindi Group as strategic partners, the festival will include a unique line-up of events and entertainment, a shopping experience and numerous prizes. Prize partners include Gravity, Awal Gas, Hawar Beach Hotel, Kitchen for Life Company, the Ice Cream Shop and Rahim Holdings. This year’s edition will feature more than 73,000 prizes including 11 cars, electronics from AA Bin Hindi Group, 6,000 airline tickets at special rates from Gulf Air, thousands of instant prizes from VIVA and much more. “Shop Bahrain” is one of the Kingdom’s major initiatives that aim to contribute to the national economy through stimulating the tourism and retail sectors. The fourth edition successfully achieved over 145,000 transactions with the value of 19 million Bahraini Dinars and more than 137,150 local and regional shoppers registered on the online loyalty system. Commenting on the upcoming festival, Shaikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa, Chief Executive, Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, said, “We promise nothing but the best in the fifth-edition of “Shop Bahrain”, the largest nationwide event which aims to further drive the growth of the tourism and retail sector by attracting residents and tourists from our Gulf neighbours. Last edition hit a record with 19 million Bahraini Dinars of transaction value, and we are positive that this new edition will surpass all expectations. The 5th edition will serve a complete entertainment and fun experience for the …

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Dubai RTA launches e-hail taxi in partnership with Careem

RTA Careem image (1)

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced an “e-hail” taxi joint venture with Careem Networks recently at a press conference held under the patronage of His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer; Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, RTA; Mudassir Sheikha, Co- founder and CEO, Careem, along with other senior officials and CEOs from the RTA and senior executives of Careem. HE Al Tayer stated that this partnership was the first in the world between a government transport authority and the private sector. “This initiative stems from RTA’s keenness to implement the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister, the UAE and Ruler, Dubai, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world. It also aims to bring happiness to people, deliver classy services to tourists and enrich customer’s experience. This partnership is the first-of-its-kind worldwide between a government transport authority and a private entity specialised in taxi e-hail business. “Through this new company, the RTA intends to leverage the taxi sector in Dubai. It involves raising the efficiency of taxis in Dubai through enhanced accessibility of vehicles and their online booking and reducing the expected waiting time for the vehicle. It also entails a host of advantages to clients such as making a direct online payment via the app, charting the most suitable journey route, sharing the ride with others, displaying details of the vehicle and driver, in addition to an option for providing the service with a chauffeur. Five of the big e-hail taxi companies operating in the global market submitted technical and financial proposals but Careem was selected as it caters to the provision of …

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