Category Archives: Govt

Sharjah hospitality revenue is now worth AED 372 million

HE Khalid Jasim Midfa

Sharjah’s hospitality sector revenues witnessed a remarkable 7.8 per cent increase during the first half of 2017 compared with the previous year, with its value reaching AED 372 million, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) announced. The announcement came as the emirate steadily positions itself as a destination of choice for local, regional, and international tourists. SCTDA reported a massive 70 per cent occupancy rate from January to June this year. The total number of guests for the first half of the year reached 885,000, representing a 3.5 per cent increase versus the same period in 2016. Saudi nationals occupied many of the local hotels’ lists of top guests. During the first two quarters of the year alone, hotels welcomed at least 72,000 Saudi travelers. HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said: “The remarkable expansion in the occupancy rate is the result of the Sharjah Government’s intensive efforts to attract local, regional, and global tourists as part of its comprehensive and ambitious socio-economic development plan. Our ultimate goal is to draw 10 million visitors a year by 2021, a grand accomplishment that will help accelerate the emirate’s unprecedented growth in the 21st century. To achieve this end, we will launch forward-thinking initiatives, bold projects and campaigns, as well as maximize all our assets and resources to place Sharjah, the UAE’s cultural capital, on the global tourism map and enhance its brand and profile on the international stage.” According to Al Midfa, part of the strategic plan for this year is to sustain the high tourist arrivals from Saudi Arabia. SCTDA has set into motion a number of road shows covering major cities in the KSA to …

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City-wide celebrations for Eid Al Adha in Dubai

Fireworks

As people come together to celebrate the joyous Eid Al Adha holiday, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishments (DFRE) an agency of Dubai Tourism, has released the line-up of exciting events and activities taking place across the city for residents and tourists to enjoy. As there are many GCC visitors during this period many interesting programmes are lined up. It will consist of two concerts taking place across the city by two renowned Arab music icons. On September 2, Emirati singer Shamma Hamdan will perform at Dragon Mart 2 at 6.30pm whilst later in the week Mohammed Abdo will take to the stage at Dubai World Trade Centre on 6 September at 9pm to delight fans with a raft of hit songs. The highly anticipated fireworks will take place on the first day of Eid at Dubai Festival City at 9pm and 11pm. Firework displays will also take place at The Beach opposite JBR daily from August 31 to September 3 at 8.45pm. The venue will also host various performances on a daily basis to keep families entertained throughout the Eid holiday. La Perle as it opens its doors this Eid from 31st August. Sports-lovers can head to Dubai World Trade Centre which is hosting the 7th edition of Dubai Sports World featuring sports, tournaments, academies and activities designed for both serious athletes and sporting novices of all ages.

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RAK’s Destination Dawn beach festival on Oct 6

2. Ras Al Khaimah - Destination Dawn

Destination Dawn, the 12-hour beach festival on Ras Al Khaimah’s Al Marjan Island, will return to the emirate on October 6, 2017. The biannual festival, organised by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), saw more than 2,000 party-goers descending on Al Marjan Island in May. The pristine beaches of Al Marjan Island – Ras Al Khaimah’s coral-shaped archipelago – will again be transformed into a festival hangout with food trucks, beverages and chill-out zones, Destination Dawn ticket holders can choose to either camp at the festival, reach the party via free shuttle buses from Dubai, or book a staycation in one of the island’s luxury hotels. with headliners R3HAB, one of Holland’s hottest music exports, Dutch duo Bassjackers, and Russian trio Swanky Tunes. Kicking off at 5 pm on October 6, revelers can dance all night until 5am on Saturday. Ticket holders can bring their own tents and camp on the beach, making the festival a truly unique experience. Tickets for the over 18’s only event will be on sale from beginning September through www.destinationdawn.com, Virgin Tickets, and Platinum List.

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Turkey receives over 1.2 million travellers from Middle East in Q1 2017

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According to new data released by the Turkish Consulate General Cultural and Information Office in Dubai, 1,226,665 Middle East travellers landed in Turkey between January and June 2017, which means that tourist traffic to Turkey from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries continues to show strength, rising by 26.29%, or an estimated 360 thousand travellers, in H1 2017 in comparison to the same period in 2016. The number of United Arab Emirates nationals travelling to Turkish destinations increased by 9.86%, while Kuwaiti traveller numbers increased by 41.04% and travellers from Bahrain increased by 31.86%. The UAE figures are particularly striking. The first six months of 2016 saw a decrease of 20.99% in traveller traffic from the UAE to Turkey, and this year, it recovered to increase by almost 10%, or over 18 thousand travellers. Ramadan played a big part where UAE travel into Turkey increased by 330.33%. Travellers from Saudi Arabia led the way, with over 205,000 holidaymakers visiting Turkey in H1, followed by Kuwait and Bahrain with 94,000 and 23,000 travellers respectively.

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Dubai College of Tourism set to launch its first course next month

Essa Bin Hadher

This year, Dubai Tourism has provided alternate higher education options for high school leavers, who dont wish to take the traditional academic route to university. The newly inaugurated Dubai College of Tourism, a government-backed institution that will specialise in vocational training for the Emirate’s thriving tourism and hospitality sectors, is now accepting applications for its September 2017 ‘Introduction to the Tourism Industry’ course. The vocational courses offered by DCT have been designed to provide a middle ground between on-the-job training and a purely theoretical degree. Students will learn practical and marketable skills that have a direct application in real life, and the training will open new doors, allowing students to explore a myriad of exciting and rewarding career opportunities. DCT’s courses are focused around five core faculties – Tourism, Events, Hospitality, Retail and Culinary Arts – and aims to help young people learn various trade and soft skills from established professionals in the industry. The college aims to educate and empower the future leaders, entrepreneurs and employees of Dubai’s expanding tourism industry, ensuring a steady pipeline of highly trained hospitality professionals for the city. Until now, there have been very limited options for this type of vocational training within Dubai. According to a 2014 Deloitte study, only one to three percent of Dubai’s students enrol in vocational education after high school, something which could lead to labour shortages within key industries in the future. With Dubai’s tourism and hospitality sectors set to employ a workforce of more than half a million by 2020, the dedicated industry-focused vocational training offered by DCT, has never been more important.

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Nominations open for Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards

Issam Kazim

Hotels and desert camps in Dubai have just one more month to enter the 2017 Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards. Part of the Dubai Sustainable Tourism (DST) initiative, the awards will recognise hotels and individuals who are adopting tangible measures to contribute to enhanced sustainability within the Emirate’s tourism sector. Establishments can enter the awards via the Dubai Sustainable Tourism website; nominations will close on September 14 and winners will be announced at a ceremony in mid-November. Inaugurated this year, the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards feature 20 categories; 13 main awards targeted towards different types of hospitality establishment, and seven special awards that recognise individuals who are true champions of sustainability. Winners of the seven special awards will be leaders and teams who truly embody the sustainability principles of DST, and who have inspired remarkable changes within their organisations. The awards criteria have been designed to meet the challenges outlined in Dubai’s Carbon Abatement Strategy; issued by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, this commits to reducing carbon emissions by 16 per cent by 2021. The awards also support the UAE’s Green Growth Strategy that aims to build an economic system that has sustainability at its core. These initiatives in turn, are in line with Dubai Plan 2021 and Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030. The deadline for hotels to enter the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards is September 14. This will be followed by an evaluation process and approval by the final DST committee to select the winners. Adjudication of the awards will cover both strategic and operational initiatives, which will be benchmarked against standards set by highly qualified subject matter experts representing various entities. This process will be supervised by a …

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Dubai Business Events reports strong H1 results

DTCM-DBE H1 Results infographic-EN JPG

Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau, has reported strong results for the first half of 2017, with 97 bids submitted to host business events being successfully awarded to the city. There are 97 more that have been submitted and the city is awaiting verdict on them. Key wins include: Baby Care Annual Incentive (2018), World Conference on Desalination and Water Re-Use (2019) and Congress of the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (2022). DBE has also ramped up efforts to highlight the city’s business events offering to international audiences. DBE representatives have attended over 50 trade events in the first half of the year, interacting with over 4500 business event buyers and planners. The bureau has also facilitated a total of 16 site inspections with 38 clients and hosted 144 buyers from around the world as part of four in-depth Dubai study missions. Steen Jakobsen, Director, DBE, said, “We’ve had a stellar start to the year, and are well on our way to achieving our targets set for 2017. As we continue to work towards further strengthening Dubai’s reputation of being a premier host destination for business events, we have a steady pipeline of initiatives planned for the year ahead. We are also focusing on expanding our network and reach globally, enabling businesses, event buyers and planners to benefit from our expertise.”

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RAK Tourism Development Authority CEO to represent ME at UNWTO

RAKTDA CEO Haitham Mattar spoke at a UNWTO round table on Sustainable Urban Tourism in Madrid

The CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), Haitham Mattar, has been appointed as the Middle East representative for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation affiliate members board. Mattar has also been named a full-time advisory board member of the Global Thinkers Forum (GTF), an international platform that brings together a diverse network of thought leaders to share their vision for the future, create meaningful conversations around them and effect positive change in the world. “While I am personally humbled by these dual board member appointments, my strategic objective now is to leverage them to raise the profile of Ras Al Khaimah and highlight our sustainable tourism work and progress initiatives that we are championing to influence global audiences. These board appointments will increase our collective capacity to underline our tremendous destination performance across all tourism and hospitality products, as well as highlight the abundant investment and partnership opportunities available in the emirate,” he added.

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Dubai records over 8 million overnight visitors in H1 of 2017

Dubai Logo

A record total of 8.06 million international overnight tourists arrived in Dubai during the first six months of 2017, reflecting a stellar 10.6 per cent increase over the same period last year. Figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) affirm the foundational strength and sustained acceleration of the emirate’s tourism sector, as it stayed the course of its impressive growth trajectory from January this year, underscoring the expanding appeal of Dubai as a global tourism destination of choice. Most of Dubai’s top 20 inbound visitor source markets saw positive or near-stable year-on-year performances in H1 2017, with five of the top 10 delivering double-digit growth. India continued to top the list of traffic generators and for the first time crossed the 1 million mark in a six-month period, with 1,051,000 Indians visiting the city between January and June. Saudi Arabia and the UK retained their spots as the second and third largest feeder markets respectively, with the latter delivering reliable volumes, backed by a solid 4 per cent year-on-year growth.

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20 per cent increase in UAE tourists visiting Korea’s Jeju Island in H1

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The Jeju Island Tourism Organisation, South Korea has revealed a 20 per cent increase in the number of UAE tourists that have visited South Korea’s Jeju Island during the first half of 2017. The figures were presented in a special promotional event held recently at the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai. The event was aimed at further promoting the increasing popularity of Jeju Island to a potential UAE and Middle East market. Jeju Island, the largest island off the coast of the Korean Peninsula, has become a top destination for tourists visiting the country, primarily because of its natural World Heritage Site, Jeju Volcanic Island, and Lava Tubes. Other top attractions in the island include Mount Halla, the Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls, Hallim Park, Yakcheonsa Temple, Manjanggul and the Jeju Stone Statue Park. Jeju is also rich in beautiful beaches and posh countryside and seaside hotels & resorts.

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