Category Archives: Govt

New baggage rules at Dubai Airports

dubaiairports

Under a new rule at Dubai Airports, bags without flat surfaces will be rejected at check-in effective from March 8, 2017. Dubai Airports has advised all airlines operating into DXB of the imminent change and has updated its website, mobile app and signage across the airport to help raise awareness. The rule is aimed to improve service, reduce the risk of mishandling and enhance the performance of its check-in and baggage operation at Dubai International. “Dubai International provides some of the most sophisticated baggage systems in the world,” said Ali Angizeh, Vice President of Terminal Operations at Dubai International. “However, even the most technologically advanced systems can be disrupted by irregular shaped or oversized bags. Bags that are round or do not have a flat surface of any kind are by far the largest source of baggage jams. These jams can shut down sections of our system, delay baggage delivery to the aircraft and inconvenience our customers.” “We are trying to get the message out there as much as possible,” added Angizeh. “Passengers, who show up at the airport with non-compliant baggage, will also be given the option to have it repacked in boxes for a fee.” Stretching 140 kilometres and covering a surface area of 75 football fields, DXB’s baggage handling system is among the largest in the world. It has 15,000 trays and is powered by 21,000 motors. DXB handled approximately 9.3 million bags in January this year. A bag spends an average of 29 minutes in the baggage system at DXB.

Read More »

Shurooq launches eco-tourism project – Kalba Kingfisher Lodge

Kalba

The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has begun implementing the Kalba Kingfisher Lodge, its latest ground-breaking eco-tourism project, in collaboration with the Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA). Shurooq said that the five-star hospitability project, featuring a tented camp that offers unique experiences within the mangrove nature reserve in the heart of Kalba’s natural beauty, is the perfect addition to its strategy of promoting environmentally friendly tourism. The Kingfisher Lodge, due to be completed by the end of the first half of 2017, will house 20 luxury tents. With a private swimming pool for each tent, the accommodation is designed to provide guests with comfort, privacy and amazing views overlooking the Indian Ocean and a forest of mangrove (Qurm) trees surrounding the lodge – also home to a number of kingfishers and a host of flora and fauna. With an ambience of luxury and convenience, the Kingfisher Lodge will include an outdoor yoga and wellness centre and a range of public facilities, including an information desk, a reception lounge, restaurants and outdoor recreational areas.  The tented lodge is being constructed in compliance with the highest global standards of green and sustainable building in order to have minimal impact on the surrounding environment. H.E. Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO, Shurooq, said: “There are so many parts of Sharjah which qualify as outstanding areas of natural beauty and we have identified that there are numerous hospitality opportunities which could cater to that market. We understand that there are a growing number of eco-tourists, and a shift in trends towards visitors who want to enjoy incredible natural surroundings in a luxury environment. The Kalba Kingfisher Lodge is an ideal fit …

Read More »

231% growth in Polish arrivals to Ras Al Khaimah

RAKTDA-Poland-1

According to Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA, there was an increase of 231 per cent in visitor arrivals from Poland in comparison to 2015. The guest nights had also increased by 290 per cent from the previous year with an increased revenue of 273 per cent and an increase in the average length of stay by 17.64 per cent. In an effort to further strengthen the Polish relationship and increase the number of visitors to the emirate, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and plans, initiates and drives its domestic and overseas promotions, welcomed H.E Robert Rostek, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Ras Al Khaimah. H.E Robert Rostek was greeted by RAKTDA CEO Haitham Mattar to discuss future projects and tourism initiatives that will help boost tourism to the emirate and support the tourism authority’s vision in attracting one million visitors by 2019. “Through its efforts to increase visitor numbers from both established source markets and emerging ones, RAKTDA is constantly looking at ways to create strategic initiatives, promotional activities and partnerships,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA. Last year RAKTDA partnered with the pan-European tour operator TUI to bring two new charter flights – operated by Enter Air – from Poland to Ras Al Khaimah International Airport. The new service followed a new co-marketing agreement between RAKTDA and TUI, which was signed in August 2016. RAKTDA’s Vision 2019 includes a roadmap for innovative hospitality concepts which take advantage of the emirate’s unique natural assets, including pristine coastline, stunning mountain ranges, hot springs and expansive desert.  

Read More »

DTCM updates Desert Tour & Camp Regulations

Khalid Bin Touq, Executive Director of Tourism Activities and Classifica...

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has announced updates to the Desert Tour & Camp Regulations first introduced in May last year. The revisions are intended to further enhance the emirate’s popular desert experiences, elevating the sector’s standards and bolstering Dubai’s reputation as an adventure hub with a distinct and diverse offering. Dubai Tourism has created a more manageable and cohesive set of rules for desert tour and camp operators to follow, which will ultimately simplify and streamline compliance across the sector. These optimisations are a result of continued collaboration between Dubai Tourism and key government departments including Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Municipality, and the Directorate of Civil Defence. Khalid Bin Touq, Executive Director of Tourism Activities and Classification Sector, Dubai Tourism, said: “In order to further improve standards across the many desert experiences and desert-based activities available in Dubai, all of which remain integral to our tourism agenda, we are committed to helping tour operators by providing an easier and more transparent list of regulations. This is a result of our open dialogue with key industry and government partners, and we are grateful for their continued support as we collectively work towards our shared goal of evolving our targets and services to establish sector-wide best practices, which benefit both operators and tourists.” The updated regulations will be rolled out to desert camp and tour operators in stages to ensure smooth implementation. In addition, Dubai Tourism has put together and made available to its partners and stakeholders a clarification document providing answers to frequently asked questions. These cover everything from health and safety aspects, such as ensuring staff are trained in first aid and displaying …

Read More »

Foundation stone laid for Silicon Park in Dubai

Silicon Oasis image 1

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), unveiled the commemorative plaque and laid the foundation stone of “Silicon Park”, the first integrated smart city project taking shape at the hi-tech park. Once complete, the landmark development spanning 150,000 square meters and constructed at a cost of AED1.3 billion will reinforce the green credentials of Dubai and the wider UAE. The unveiling ceremony was attended by Dr Mohammed Alzarooni, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DSOA, and senior management from DSOA. Set for completion in 2018, Silicon Park will comprise 71,000 square meters of office space, 25,000 square meters of commercial space, 46,000 square meters of residential area and the 115-key business hotel Radisson RED Dubai Silicon Oasis. In addition, it will feature value-added contemporary lifestyle facilities, such as restaurants, cafés, prayer rooms, a shopping centre and an underground parking space that can accommodate more than 2,500 cars. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: “In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world, we have conceptualized Silicon Park with smart technology at the core of its DNA. With the objectives of the UAE Vision 2021 in mind, the integrated smart city project reflects global trends for smart cities and incorporates most of the KPIs of the UAE National Agenda, including cohesive society, safe public and sustainable environment. We are confident Silicon Park will offer a modern holistic lifestyle for residents, workers and visitors.”  

Read More »

Sharjah eyes India market

SCTDA at SATTE (533x400)

India has emerged as the fourth largest market for global visitors to Sharjah, according to the figures revealed by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA). The Authority led a marketing campaign targeting India’s outbound tourism over the past few years, attending key travel events and visiting cities across the country. In a first, the SCTDA led a delegation of Sharjah-based tourism and hospitality organisations to the 23rd edition of the SATTE travel trade show, in New Delhi, India. Sharjah’s delegation to SATTE and India International Travel Mart in Mumbai included Ramada Sharjah, Golden Tulip Sharjah, Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa, Sharjah National Hotels, Air Arabia, SATA (Sharjah Airport Travel Agency), Cozmo Travels and Auras Tours. According to the Indian Ministry of Tourism, 18.33 million Indians travelled overseas during 2014 and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) expects that Indian outbound travel could grow to 50 million by the year 2020.

Read More »

Dubai College of Tourism trains professionals from 100 Dubai hotels

Dubai College

Dubai College of Tourism (DCT), part of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), hosted the first HR Forum at the Grand Hyatt Dubai. The event, attended by more than 150 people from over 100 hotels operating in the city, focused on DCT’s efforts to train and empower the emirate’s tourist-facing workforce, which is expected to grow to more than half a million by 2020. Ensuring a knowledgeable, well-rounded hospitality workforce that delivers exceptional service is a critical component of Dubai Tourism’s strategy towards meeting its Tourism Vision 2020 goals, which include welcoming 20 million visitors per year by the start of the next decade. The event was an opportunity to introduce forthcoming DCT programmes, including Dubai Way, a detailed online training course designed to improve the knowledge of the tourist-facing workforce, as well as the Tourism Employee System, a unified platform created by Dubai Tourism and Dubai Police that maintains the industry’s employment records and is designed to improve administrative efficiency. Also on the agenda was Dubai Tourism’s new ‘Medyaf’ initiative that seeks to place UAE nationals in customer-facing roles within the tourism industry. Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, commented: “Dubai is already well known for its exceptional service and visitor experience, but as we work towards increasing the number of visitors to the city in line with our Tourism Vision 2020, it’s crucial that we not only maintain these levels, but also raise the bar even higher. To that end, Dubai Tourism and Dubai College of Tourism are committed to working closely with our public and private sector stakeholders and partners by offering world-class training programmes. This is to ensure …

Read More »

UAE attends OTM India

UAE Minister image

The UAE is participating in this year’s Outbound Travel Market (OTM) that will take place from February 21 to 23, 2017 in Mumbai. The Ministry of Economy will organise a national pavilion under the theme ‘Visit UAE’ which will feature exhibitors from more than 18 government entities and private sector representatives from the hospitality, tourism and aviation sectors. Abdullah Saleh Al Hammadi, Director of the Ministry’s Tourism Department will be part of the delegation that will comprise senior representatives from local departments and authorities, most notably the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority; Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM); Sharjah Tourism and Commerce Development Authority; Ajman Tourism Development Department; Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority; and Fujairah Tourism and Antiquities Authority. Emirates airline, an elite group of hotels and hospitality and tourism companies, in addition to Miral Asset Management’s Yas Island, Dubai Parks, and Cleveland Clinics, which will promote medical tourism in the UAE, will be represented as well. H.E Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, said that the UAE’s participation in OTM 2017 is of great significance given the improvement of Indian tourism at the global level. He referred to India as one of the UAE’s most important tourist markets due to their countries’ deep historical ties at all levels – politically, economically and culturally. The Minister added that the exhibition is a unique international platform for promoting joint cooperation in tourism. He pointed out that Indian tourists accounted for about 8.5 per cent of the total number of inbound tourism to the UAE in 2016 which saw the number of tourists grow by around 9 per cent from the previous year to …

Read More »

Dubai RTA to launch ‘flying cars’

Flying car

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), in collaboration with the Chinese EHANG Company, has carried out the first test run of an Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) capable of carrying a human, branded as EHANG184 in Dubai skies. RTA is set to start the operation of the AAV as early as July this year. The EHANG184 vehicle is fitted with a touchscreen to the front of the passenger seat displaying a map of all destinations in the form of dots. It has preset routes and the rider is to select the intended destination. The vehicle will then start automatic operation, take off and cruise to the set destination before descending and landing in a specific spot. A ground control center will monitor and control the entire operation. Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA said: “The trial run of the first AAV is in implementation of the directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world. It is also part of RTA’s endeavors to provide self-driving transport through engaging in the technological tests of self-driving vehicles under Dubai environment. It replicates Dubai Self-driving Transport Strategy aimed at transforming 25 per cent of total individual trips in Dubai into Self-driving trips using various modes of transport by 2030. The step would also enhance the integration between public transport modes and people happiness through the provision of smooth, quick and innovative mobility. The AAV exhibited at the World Government Summit is not just a model; it is a real version that we have already experimented …

Read More »

Ride an abra on Dubai Canal

Abra_RTA

Traditional abras are now available for a ride on the Dubai Canal, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced. Catering mainly to tourists, the 20-seater abras will be available from the Shaikh Zayed Road station at Dh25 per ride per person. The abras will also be available for chartering at Dh300 per hour. According to Abdullah Yousuf Al Ali, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency, the operation of traditional abras in the Dubai Canal is part of a plan to expand marine transit services, particularly targeting tourists. “The traditional abra, which would be available on demand, has a capacity to accommodate 20 riders, with a minimum eight riders required for a trip and [it] ferries them on a journey that starts from the Shaikh Zayed Road station. The service is aimed at supporting RTA’s pioneering efforts to provide tourist services capable of enhancing the profile of Dubai and bringing happiness to people,” said Al Ali. The service will be available from 4 pm to 11.30 pm throughout the week. Al Ali said ferries are also available on demand in case of congestion experienced by the traditional abras. The RTA is projecting a significant demand for the service with 23,000 people expected to use it this year. He added that the operation of a tourist service through one of the oldest transit means in the region on the Dubai Canal enables the public to savour and explore the new tourist landmark of the emirate. He said that the RTA has already endorsed the operation of marine transit services at nine new stations — five on the Dubai Canal and four on the Business Bay stretch of the canal.

Read More »