Category Archives: Govt

RAKTDA to host ‘Meetings Intelligence Workshop’ with ICCA

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) will host a dedicated ‘Meetings Intelligence Workshop’ to strengthen the UAE’s position in the international meetings market. Taking place in Ras Al Khaimah at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel on March 1 and 2, 2020, the event forms part of an ongoing partnership between Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and the ICCA to address the increasing competition stemming from the shift of the international meetings market to the Middle East.  Specially designed for meetings suppliers and industry professionals, the workshop will address the bidding process and business development opportunities for association meetings and will host interactive sessions with recognised international stakeholders to share expertise, best practice and knowledge. Focus will be placed on subjects such as customer insights and successful bidding processes, with representatives from Spain, the UAE, Egypt, Oman and Saudi Arabia, including Convention Bureaus, Convention & Exhibition Centres, PCOs and DMCs, participating in the workshop. This will be complemented by a panel discussion for up to 40 guests with key stakeholders in the region. Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism, comments, “The common objective of the workshop is to share knowledge, address challenges and learn best practices with meetings management professionals. Participants and speakers are those looking to deepen their knowledge of association meetings and are interested in high-level education with a chance to network with leading PCOs from all over the world.”

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RAKTDA unveils Jais Adventure Peak in UAE’s highest mountain Jebel Jais

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has unveiled the Jais Adventure Peak, Jebel Jais. The Emirate’s latest adventure tourism offering includes the Jebel Jais Flight, Jais Sky Tour and Jebel Jais Viewing Deck Park, in addition to the brand new Jais Adventure Center and Jais Sky Maze. Set amidst the magnificent Hajar mountain range, the grand opening took place in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, top hospitality industry professionals and VIP guests. Following the official opening ceremony, guests were treated to an exclusive first-look at the new Jais Adventure Center and Jais Sky Maze as well as the chance to explore the canyons and spectacular views through the exhilarating Jais Sky Tour. The event also included a series of extreme sport activations by local adrenaline junkies, including wing suit diving by Khalifa Alghafri and a BMX show by Abdul Rahman Al Abadli, in addition to parkour stunts and a skateboard show, setting the tone for the adventure fueled launch. Jasim Bin Darwish Al Shamsi, the youngest Barista in the UAE and owner of Jeon Coffee, was also on hand to provide guests with his signature blends. The Jais Adventure Peak will further support Ras Al Khaimah in attracting guests of all ages with a love for exploration and adventure. Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, commented, “The Jais Adventure Peak captures Ras Al Khaimah’s adventurous spirit through a series of adrenaline-pumping experiences that will leave a lasting impression on our guests and unforgettable memories; everything from the views they will take in as they make their way up to the …

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DMT launches programme for 10th World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi

The programme for the tenth World Urban Forum (WUF10), under the theme ‘Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation’, was unveiled to a selected media under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces. WUF10 will take place at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi, February 8-13, 2020, co-organised by the UN agency focused on sustainable urbanisation, UN-Habitat and the Department of Urban Planning and Transport (DMT). The 92-page programme provided a comprehensive guide to the packed six-day agenda, which will include assemblies, dialogues, roundtables, special sessions, side events, networking events, training events, caucus meetings, urban library, one UN room, voices from cities, SDGs in action, urban cinema, WUF integrated initiatives, sustainable urban development now, press conferences and urban talks. H.E. Mohamed Al Khadar Al Ahmed, Executive Director of Strategic Affairs at DMT and General Coordinator of the World Urban Forum 10, said, “The comprehensive nature of this programme reflects the ambitious nature of WUF10 – we seek not only to drive forward sustainable development but also to shape the nature of urban development for the Arab world as a whole. As the first Arab city to host a WUF, efforts are being made to raise the profile of urban stakeholders from the region.” Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, said, “The Forum is bringing together a wide range of compelling speakers including global thought leaders, investors, experts, governments and key influencers to discuss how to shape a better urban future.”

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DCT Abu Dhabi partners with Sojern and Spark Foundry to drive tourism in the Emirate

Sojern and Spark Foundry announced a partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi). This new partnership incorporates Sojern’s real-time travel audience targeting capabilities directly into its ad-buying system, or DSP (Demand Side Platform), offering it increased transparency and control over its digital marketing campaigns. A test run in the final quarter of 2019 proved that Sojern’s hyper-targeted programmatic ads, which were delivered during key decision-making moments to audiences with travel intent, resulted in increased bookings and conversions and reduced traveller acquisition cost. Over the past decade, Sojern has built a network of global data partnerships that provide access to billions of real-time travel-intent signals. These intent signals are analysed using proprietary data-science methodology to better understand travellers’ booking behaviour along their path to purchase. This information is then used to target personalised marketing messages at every stage of the funnel, in this case supporting brand campaigns used to promote Abu Dhabi as a tourist destination, as well as direct response campaigns that drive direct bookings and conversions to key Abu Dhabi attractions. Saeed Rashed Al Saeed, Destination Marketing Director at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi said, “By managing our digital marketing campaigns within our own DSP, coupled with Sojern’s rich dataset for audience targeting, it enables us to monitor campaign performance, daily ad spend and total return on our campaign investments with more ease.” Chris Blaine, VP of EMEA at Sojern commented, “We are delighted to partner with DCT Abu Dhabi and Spark Foundry to encourage travellers to enjoy warm hospitality, family-friendly attractions, rich culture and impressive archaeological and historical sites in one of the safest and most modern …

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GCC tourism spend in Egypt will increase by 11% in 2020 generating $2.36 bn

GCC tourists to Egypt will spend $2.36 billion in 2020, an increase of 11 per cent over 2019, with visitors from Saudi Arabia driving this growth, according to new data published ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2020, which will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 19-22, 2020. Visitors from Saudi Arabia to Egypt made 1,410 trips in 2019 with a forecast of 1.8 million tourists by 2024, a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5 per cent. In terms of tourism expenditure, Saudi Arabian visitors spent $633 million in 2019 which is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 11 per cent through to 2024, reaching $1.13 billion, according to Colliers International research commissioned by the organiser of ATM, Reed Travel Exhibitions. Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said, “Total tourism receipts in Egypt which stood at $16.4 billion in 2019, will achieve an average 13 per cent CAGR over the next five years to reach $29.7 billion. And Egypt also has a significant outbound market for the GCC. 1.84 million visitors arrived in 2019 and this is estimated to increase to 2.64 million by 2024.” “Over the last 12 months, Egypt’s tourism industry has witnessed remarkable growth, with arrivals up by 57.5 per cent from 11.3 million in 2018 to 17.8 million in 2019. Growth has been fuelled by the cheaper Egyptian Pound and government incentives for charter airlines operating international flights. Underscoring those impressive numbers, we witnessed a 23 per cent increase in the number of visitors interested in doing business with Egypt, up to almost 4,000,” added Curtis.

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Dubai Tourism releases new guidelines for holiday homes

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) announces an administrative order clarifying the law of Decree No. 41, introduced in 2013 to govern holiday home activity in Dubai. The order outlines regulations for operators, homeowners and authorised tenants, who wish to obtain a holiday home license, and has been produced in collaboration with the Supreme Legislation Committee to further diversify tourism in the emirate and boost competition through safe and transparent operations. The technical requirements, guidelines and processes will be mapped out in a detailed guide issued by Dubai Tourism, which will also provide an overview of the operations of a holiday home, how a license can be obtained and should be maintained, and the rights and liabilities of developers, operators and homeowners. Khalid Bin Touq, Executive Director, Tourism Activities and Classification Sector, Dubai Tourism commented, “Recognising this growing popularity for the Holiday Homes concept, Dubai Tourism is committed to enhancing the product offering, fuelling increased visitation, and making Dubai the world’s preferred destination in line with Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2022-25, as envisioned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. As such, this new administrative resolution will reassure the industry that we are taking steps to regulate the operation of Holiday Homes, providing a comprehensive classification and verification process and ensuring global best practices are adopted to increase competitiveness, transparency, safety and standardisation of the sector.” He added, “We remain in continuous contact with the industry to ensure the processes and requirements are clear, and as the official governing entity for the Holiday Home sector, we encourage all operators and developers to share their …

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Saudi Arabia grants visa on arrival to tourists with any one valid UK, US or Schengen visa

Holders of US, UK or Schengen visas can now obtain a visa on arrival in Saudi Arabia, it has been announced recently. The move comes in line with the Kingdom’s recent implementation of tourist visas. While holders of American, UK and Schengen visas will now be able to obtain a tourist visa on arrival, they are not eligible for the electronic visa system. However, the visitor must have already used his US, UK or Schengen visa to visit the respective countries before arriving in Saudi Arabia.

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Air Arabia Abu Dhabi approved by cabinet as national carrier airline for UAE

As part of the agenda of the meeting, the UAE Cabinet approved Air Arabia Abu Dhabi as a national carrier airline for the UAE in order to enhance civil aviation in the country and to allow the aviation sector to keep pace with future development plans and directions.  The resolution reflects the importance the government attaches to the aviation sector. The UAE government invested considerable efforts to improve this sector and support all the businesses working in it. The government gives the aviation sector all forms of support in line with the comprehensive development plans occurring in the country.

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UAE Cabinet approves multi-entry five-year tourist visas

According to the Dubai Media Center, the UAE Cabinet has approved the issuance of a five-year multi-entry tourist visa for all nationalities visiting the country. The decision was made during the Cabinet’s first meeting during 2020 the Year of Preparation, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. The move comes in a bid to support the UAE’s tourism economy, and affirm the country’s position as a global tourist destination. Another key decision made during the meeting includes the introduction of a visa waiver for Mexican citizens travelling to the UAE. The two decisions will be implemented during the first quarter of 2020. During the meeting, held at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, Cabinet members reviewed the achievements of the UAE government in 2019. The meeting was held in the presence H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, and H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

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BTEA announces Manama as ‘Capital of Arab Tourism for 2020’

Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) revealed the new identity and logo of Manama as the “Capital of Arab Tourism for 2020″ following the announcement that was made during the 22nd session of the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism. The Kingdom of Bahrain celebrated the beginning of 2020 with a spectacular fireworks show as part of the New Year’s Eve celebratory event organised by the BTEA. BTEA had organised a number of entertainment activities for visitors including a live performance by Majaz Musical Band, a ballet dancer performance on stilts ‘A Dance of Color’, in addition to the breathtaking musical aerial performance by the dancers and acrobats of SONIC as well as the live DJ and drumming with Sonic Snares from the United Kingdom. During the countdown, the identity and logo of Manama were revealed on the side interface of the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, which was shortly followed by a spectacular display of fireworks to mark the occasion.

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