Category Archives: Govt

Dubai gets ready for summer entertainment with artists from around the world


Extending its events season throughout 2019, Dubai is set to welcome a remarkable line-up of artists from across the world to entertain the city this summer. From large scale stadium productions to intimate live shows, don’t miss the chance to secure your tickets to the city’s trending events which are now available to purchase through Dubai Calendar. Eid in Dubai celebrations will kick off the entertainment season across the city, including a variety of concerts featuring artists such as Tamer Hosny performing at Dubai Opera on June 6; and Wael Kfoury and Ragheb Alama performing at the Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre on June 7. Meanwhile, with its official launch on June 6, the Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai’s first and largest air-conditioned multipurpose indoor venue, offering exceptional state-of-the- art sound system and almost 400 square metres of LED screens, will host the return of global stand-up comedy superstar Russell Peters. The Arena will also be hosting the already sold-out performance of world-famous pop-rock band Maroon 5 on June 14, celebrating the group’s return to Dubai for the first time in eight years. Continuing the festivities this summer time, Dubai is set to host a range of comedy nights starting with English stand-up comedian Alan Davies on June 14 at the Dubai Opera. Headliner comedian Alfie Brown will be performing at the city’s oldest comedy hub, The Laughter Factory, in celebration of its 23rd anniversary between June 13-21 at a variety of venues across the Emirate including Mövenpick Dubai Jumeirah Beach, Grand Millennium Dubai, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Beach and TRYP by Wyndham. And lastly, presenting Indian high-energy comic Varun Thakur, Front Row laughter nights will be hosting the famous comedian …

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RAKTDA partners with Bear Grylls Survival Academy

RAKTDA x Bear Grylls Surival Academy_Signing Photo_1

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) entered into an agreement with Bear Grylls Survival Academy (BGSA) to establish and operate Ras Al Khaimah’s own Bear Grylls Survival Academy on Jebel Jais, as part of its ongoing drive to attract more adventure seekers from around the world. Haitham Mattar, Chief Executive Officer of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority announced the latest addition to the Emirate’s varied portfolio of adventure tourism products recently. A brainchild of Bear Grylls, the most recognised face of survival and outdoor adventure, the Bear Grylls Survival Academy offers thrill seekers an opportunity to learn extreme survival techniques at 20 locations around the world. The Bear Grylls Survival Academy on Jebel Jais, which is scheduled to open in Q1 2020, will offer participants a wide selection of courses suitable for individuals of all ages and fitness levels. The courses include half-day (5 to 6 hours), 24 and 48-hour courses designed for families and adults; team building activities for corporates; and instructor courses for outdoor enthusiasts, where participants will be exposed to practical and extreme survival techniques necessary to survive some of the toughest terrain in the wilderness. The courses will comprise of a combination of survival and adventure tasks that will conclude in a wilderness expedition designed to put the participants’ new-found skills to the ultimate test. Haitham Mattar, Chief Executive Officer of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said, “This partnership to establish our upcoming adventure product recognises a sector of our tourism proposition that is fundamental to the growth of Ras Al Khaimah as a global destination.” Paul Gardiner, Managing Director of Bear Grylls Survival Academy, said, “As the UAE’s highest mountain with its …

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Ras Al Khaimah hosts Belgian Travel Summit

RAKTDA Belgian Travel Summit - Image 1

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) inaugurated the first edition of the Belgian Travel Summit (BTS) taking place until June 1 in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. The four-day summit is the first joint Congress of the Belgian trade unions of travel agencies at a national Belgium level and witnessed the attendance of the Association of Flemish Travel Agencies (VVR) and the French speaking Union Professionnelle des Agences de Voyages (UPAV). The summit is hosting a series of plenary sessions led by industry experts and visionaries focused on four key themes: Sustainability, Education, Digitalisation, and Business Development. Key speakers include Haitham Mattar, Chief Executive Officer of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority; Murielle Machiels, Academic Director at Solvay Brussels School; Thierry Geerts, Country Director of Google Belgium and Luxembourg; and Pieter Van Leugenhagen, co-founder of a successful Belgian start-up and International Business Development Lead at Yondr. As part of his keynote speech, Mattar said, “We are delighted to host the first edition of the Belgian Travel Summit as we get to showcase Ras Al Khaimah’s mesmerising coastline, scenic mountains, terracotta deserts, historic forts, and some of the most diverse and enchanting landscapes in the region to key members of the Belgian travel trade industry. Our incredible experiences such as Jebel Jais Flight: The World’s Longest Zipline have already helped put Ras Al Khaimah on the world map. As we look towards our goal of 1.5 million visitors by 2021 and 3 million by 2025, it is essential to personally connect with travel professionals from our source markets to further develop our partnerships with generalist and specialised tour operators and to give travel advisors at travel agencies a real …

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Dubai College of Tourism announces industry focused training initiatives

Essa Bin Hadher JPG

Dubai College of Tourism (DCT), a vocational education institution established as part of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has underlined its commitment to building a network of world-class tourism professionals with the launch of a series of new training initiatives available for enrolment at the industry focused learning facility. Building on its extensive range of vocational courses, the college has introduced a Summer Tourism Camp that aims to provide children between the ages of 10-13 years old with hands-on experience of working in the industry. With an emphasis on practical learning, the camp will cover a broad range of activities from cooking classes to day trips in Dubai, giving students an opportunity to learn more about the industry and Dubai’s diverse tourism proposition including hospitality, retail, events and the culinary arts. DCT Summer Camp is now open for registration for attendance starting from July 7 to July 18, 2019. Additionally, DCT has announced a series of Summer Short Courses, to be conducted by seasoned industry professionals. These range from the ‘Principles’ series for beginners, with courses in retail, marketing, event management and travel agency operations; to intermediate courses hosted under the ‘Master Classes’ series, which include courses in Digital Marketing, Branding and Experiential Marketing. Adding to the roster of vocational courses available through the college, DCT will also offer students a 30-hour ‘English for Hospitality’ programme, developed to help them learn specialised communication skills needed when dealing with customers or colleagues. Commenting on the new additions to DCT’s vocational training courses, Essa Bin Hadher, General Manager of Dubai College of Tourism, said, “The launch of the new training courses further cements our position as the primary enabler …

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Hotelbeds unveils results of recently launched Corporate Volunteering programme

Volunteer 2

Hotelbeds, the world’s leading business-to-business bedbank announced the results of its recently launched Corporate Volunteering programme, as part of Hotelbeds’ Corporate Sustainability strategy. The programme, which was recently launched at the company’s headquarters in Palma, Spain, has already reached a participation rate of 60% amongst employees where the programme is live.  Employees have already participated in around 230 volunteering activities and dedicated 5,000+ hours to support the following areas: the environment, health, people at risk of social exclusion, poverty and childhood. Launched in the first office one year ago, Hotelbeds has gradually rolled out the programme globally hosting 11 events across its different Hotelbeds offices worldwide, including Orlando, Singapore, Bangkok, Cancun, Tel Aviv, Dubai, London, Beijing, Shanghai, Zurich and most recently the headquarters in Palma de Mallorca, reaching a total of 3,000 of  5,000 employees worldwide. Around 50 NGOs around the globe have been able to benefit from the Hotelbeds Corporate Volunteering programme, including NGOs such as Give Kids the World in Orlando,  Beyond Social Services in Singapore, The Thai Red Cross in Bangkok, Mallorca Sense Fam and El Grec in Mallorca and Food for Life in Tel Aviv, among many others. Elena Pérez, Human Resources Director at Hotelbeds, says, “I am thrilled that we have already more than 60% of our employees participating in the Volunteering Programme – this is before we’ve even rolled-out the programme in all offices.” Teresa Laso, who leads Corporate Sustainability at Hotelbeds, adds, “I’m very proud of the great success of our Volunteering Program worldwide. At Hotelbeds we strongly believe that giving back to the community is at the core of our culture and with this initiative we wanted to go one step further …

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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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