Category Archives: Govt

Shurooq announces Mleiha Desert Resort at ATM 2017

shurooq

Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has announced its Mleiha Desert Resort, first five-star desert resort at the heart of Mleiha, for which it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Al Wanis, a Qatari tourism company established in Sharjah, to develop the AED 60 million project. As part of its unceasing efforts to mark Sharjah as one of the region’s premier tourism destinations and attract maximum overseas investment, Shurooq will be the local partner with “Al Wanis”. Mleiha Desert Resort will offer a range full of hotel services, restaurants, cafés, a health club, swimming pool and many other hospitality facilities associated with a world-class resort. The new luxury hospitality project encompasses a total area space of 300,000 sqm, of which the “Mleiha Desert Resort” and all its unique facilities, features and unique hospitality services and experiences will encompass a total area space of 60,000 sqm. The resort will include 45 exclusively designed vacation villas, modelled on classical desert marquees, each with the luxury of its own decking and private swimming pool. The “Royal Suite”, which is one of the four living options at the resort, encompasses a space of 167 sqm, and includes two uniquely designed rooms and a private swimming pool. Additional options include the “King Suite”, expected to encompass a total space of 155 sqm, “Junior Suite”, encompassing a total space of 90 sqm and the “Standard Suite” which offers a unique living on a total space of 85 sqm.

Read More »

11% YoY increase in international overnight visitors to Dubai in Q1 2017

sheikh JPG

Dubai’s tourism sector sustained the momentum of its strong 2017 start, with the emirate’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) reporting a 11 per cent increase in overnight visitation in the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2016. January to March 2017 saw 4.57 million travellers visit the city, reflecting more than double the growth achieved in the first quarter of last year. Among Dubai’s top 20 source markets for inbound tourism, China and Russia continued to top the growth trajectory charts with unparalleled 64 per cent and 106 per cent increases over Q1 2016, delivering 230,000 and 126,000 tourists respectively. Attributable in large part to the positive regulatory changes enabling citizens from both countries to obtain free visas-on-arrival in the UAE, this performance spike has resulted in both countries moving up in their rankings as key feeder markets for Dubai, with China at number four and Russia at number 11, edging closer to a return to the top 10. Retaining their stronghold on the top three positions were India, KSA and UK, accounting collectively for 30 per cent of total Q1 visitation to Dubai, with India becoming the first ever market to record nearly 580,000 visitors in any one quarter, with a massive 23 per cent growth in arrivals between January and March. Despite its 8 per cent drop over 2016, driven due to a backward shift in annual school holidays, KSA continued to drive volumes with 440,000 visitors, while UK rallied growth across the mega markets with its 5 per cent increase to mitigate the declines from KSA and Oman, which rounded off the top 5 with 214,000 overnight guests. …

Read More »

GCC turns to India & China to boost growth in tourism receipts

ATM China India GCC JPG

Major tourism destinations in the GCC will increase efforts to target Indian and Chinese inbound tourists, as regional and international guests from Europe continue to feel the acute financial pressures of the challenging global economy. The findings were published on April 24 by Colliers International at Arabian Travel Market, at Dubai World Trade Centre, during a seminar session entitled ‘Capitalising on Experiential Travel: China & India Mega Source Markets’. Already key markets for the region, China counts an average of 122 million outbound tourists annually and India contributes 22 million, with overseas spending calculated to be $252 billion and $15.4 billion respectively in 2015. China’s outbound tourism market is currently growing, on average, 6.7% year-on-year, while India’s market posts average annual growth of 7 per cent. The trend is largely proliferated by increasing levels of personal wealth and a demand for experiential travel.  China is home to 1.4 million high net worth individuals (HNWI), with 146 million working class nationals, representing 19% of the working population, and 90 million urban blue collar workers. Counted together, they represent almost 29% of the population and are the most likely to travel. India, meanwhile, is home to 433,000 HNWI, with 59 million considered urban middle and educated urban and 97 million counted as urban blue collar workers. Together, they represent almost 31% of the population that is eligible and likely to travel. Making a total of 12 recommendations concerning visas, accommodation, cultural sensitivities and marketing, the report advises GCC-wide multi-entry visas with similar principles to the Schengen Area; hotel welcome kits and signage in guests’ native languages; promotion of cultural celebrations and festivals from each country; and targeted loyalty programmes. According to the …

Read More »

Dubai Maritime tightens rules for floating restaurants

floating restaurant

The Maritime Inspection Department of the Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), the government authority charged with regulating, coordinating, and supervising all aspects of Dubai’s maritime sector, continues to follow up with all owners of floating restaurants operating in the emirate to strictly adhere and comply with the DMCA’s safety and high quality operational requirements in light of the increasing maritime traffic in Dubai in order to ensure the enhancement of maritime safety and the efficiency of maritime navigation within Dubai waters. The initiative made by the DMCA’s Maritime Inspection Department, which is responsible for enforcing maritime safety regulations in Dubai, forms part of the Authority’s efforts ensuring that all floating restaurants in Dubai strictly conform with globally recognized standards and international best practices. It also aims to guarantee that all marine crafts observe the highest levels of maritime safety and high quality operational responsibility off Dubai waters at all times. Abdullah Bintoaq, Senior Director of the Maritime Inspection Department, DMCA said: “We will intensify our inspections of all floating restaurants and marine crafts operating in Dubai to make sure of their compliance with the specified standards to guarantee the safety of their passengers and the readiness of local maritime operations in our waters. In addition to our initiatives aimed at building a robust and highly attractive local maritime sector, our efforts are in line with our mission of making Dubai one of the internationally recognized maritime capitals in the world.” Bintoaq added: “Owners of floating restaurants, considered one of the key components of Dubai’s thriving tourism sector, are mandated to strictly follow the DMCA’s standards of quality, excellence, safety, and operational efficiency, especially with the influx of regional and global …

Read More »

Dubai Municipality completes first phase of ‘Hatta Hiking’ project

dubai_trekking

Dubai Municipality has announced the completion of the first phase of the ‘Hatta Hiking’ project, which aims to boost tourism activity in the region as part of the Hatta Comprehensive Development Plan. The first phase named ‘City Hiking’ links a number of monuments and key tourist attractions such as the Hatta Biking track and Hatta Kayak. The first phase of the hiking trail also passes through tourist hotspots like the Hatta Heritage Village, the three dams, Al Tala Park, and family recreation and children’s playing areas, as well as a number of farms in the Al Sharia area, the fruit and vegetable market and the Hatta 360 project. The first phase ends at the Hatta Dam where the second phase of the project will start from. The project features four different hiking trails of four lanes each. The first one is a 3 km flatland hiking trail, while the three others are mountain hiking trails with different levels of difficulty designed not only for experienced bikers but also beginners and disabled people. The Municipality said that the first phase of the ‘Hatta Hiking’ project covers 9 km. The hiking trail, developed under the project, has been designed in an eco-friendly way to blend in with the unique natural environment of the area. Head of the Directive Committee of Dubai Municipality for the Hatta Comprehensive Development Plan Khalid Sharif Al Awadhi said: “We are proud that Dubai Municipality has contributed to enhancing the infrastructure of Hatta through a number of projects that will have a positive impact on the area, as part of the Hatta Comprehensive Development Plan launched recently by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler …

Read More »

Dubai Tourism highlights career opportunities in tourism

DTCM stand

Dubai Tourism’s two major initiatives, being carried out by its Dubai College of Tourism  (DCT) –  ‘Medyaf’ (Generous Host) and the ‘UAE Tour Guide Programme’ under its Emiratisation Programme, are aimed at training UAE nationals for a future career in the tourism industry. Dubai Tourism was at this year’s Careers UAE, which ended a few days ago at the Dubai World Trade Centre. At this event, DCT is also promoting the programme of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), the summer extravaganza run by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of Dubai Tourism, to recruit young UAE nationals as volunteers during DSS 2017. The participating partners of Dubai Tourism representing various sectors including retail, hospitality and entertainment are: Emaar, Jumeirah Group, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Chalhoub Group, Shangri-La Hotel, Millennium Hotels and Resorts, AccorHotels, Rotana Management Cooperation, Habtoor Grand Resort, Marriott International, JA Resorts and Hotels, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Plazzo Versace, Hilton and InterContinental Hotels Group. Essa Bin Hadher, General Manager, Dubai College of Tourism, said:  “Young Emirati men and women are being encouraged by the leadership of the country to participate in all aspects of development of this nation and contribute towards economic growth. As a result, Dubai’s rapid development has seen the emergence of highly qualified young UAE nationals in the local workforce, both in government and private sectors, and more and more of our nationals are getting actively involved in imparting their knowledge and skills in diverse sectors. Against this backdrop, and based on our commitment to support the on-going programme of Emiratisation, we have joined hands with our partners in the private sector at this year’s Careers UAE to provide promising young UAE nationals …

Read More »

Retail therapy pushes hotel ADR up 25%

mall-of-the-emirates

UAE’s Mall of the Emirates attracted 56 new hotels into its vicinity over the last 10 years. Hotels developed in and around the region’s shopping malls can expect to post an Average Daily Rate (ADR) 25 per cent higher than hotels that are not co-located with a major retail development. The findings are published in a report by Colliers International, released ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2017, which takes place April 24-27, at Dubai World Trade Centre. As part of its experiential travel series, Colliers concluded that hotels such as those clustered around Dubai’s Mall of The Emirates and The Dubai Mall, enjoy stronger business performance overall — not only beating seasonal fluctuations in tourist arrivals, but contributing in the drive to attract more tourists over the traditionally quiet summer season. Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, Arabian Travel Market, said: “In the UAE, the idea of a combined retail, leisure and entertainment destination has really taken off. We have hotels attached to malls and, as such, these are much sought after properties. There is massive demand for urban tourism from Indian, Arab and Chinese visitors. “Since the opening of Mall of the Emirates in 2006, the number of hotels and serviced apartments in the area has risen from four to 58 in 2017, totalling 8,654 keys. While only two of these hotels are physically part of the mall building, the remaining 56 have also demonstrated strength across all performance metrics.” For retail tourists, shopping malls and the facilities they feature – from indoor ski slopes to aquariums – form an integral part of trips to the UAE. Hotels capitalise on this by offering promotional packages and free transportation, as well …

Read More »

Chinese visitors to Sharjah surge 63% in 2016

islamic-civilisation-museum-660-660x330

Sharjah hotels and hotel apartments registered a 63 per cent increase in visitors from China during 2016, according to new figures from Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA). More than 86,000 Chinese visitors stayed in Sharjah hotels last year, compared to 53,000 during 2015, making China the emirate’s sixth largest inbound tourism market. The UAE’s recent move to introduce visa-on-arrival for visitors from China is expected to further boost tourism numbers during 2017. China is the world’s largest outbound tourism market worth an estimated $168 billion, with 120 million Chinese travelling abroad during 2016. The country is a priority target market for Sharjah and the tourism authority is planning to welcome 200,000 Chinese visitors per annum by the year 2021, as part of its tourism development strategy. China is already the emirate’s fastest growing inbound tourism market, with hotels registering a 78 per cent increase in hotel guests from China during 2015 (compared to 2014 levels). The SCDTA has been driving an active marketing campaign to attract more visitors from China, opening up a representative office, recruiting Chinese staff and adding a Chinese language website to Sharjah’s tourism portal. Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority has recently taken tourism roadshows to Chengdu, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. This month, the authority hosted 15 major outbound Chinese travel companies from China’s east coast on a familiarisation visit (‘fam trip’) to Sharjah. Visiting travel agencies were introduced to Sharjah’s tourism destinations, heritage and cultural attractions and the emirate’s areas of outstanding natural beauty. The travel trade visitors also attended workshops together with key local tourism stakeholders. The UAE is China’s second largest trading partner and largest export market in the Middle East …

Read More »

RAK Tourism’s 6th international office opens in Riyadh

RAKTDA

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions, has expanded its presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the opening of a new representation office in the country’s capital, Riyadh. Marking its sixth international representation office, the Riyadh opening will support the tourism body’s promotional activities and trade partnerships to penetrate the Kingdom’s high potential outbound market. A team of dedicated trade promotion, MICE and business development staff will manage various in-market promotions and initiatives to drive further awareness of Ras Al Khaimah as a multi-faceted business and leisure destination to Saudi travellers. The move comes as Saudi Arabia produces more hotel guests to the emirate than ever before. According to recent RAKTDA data, tourist arrivals from Saudi Arabia increased by 71.28 per cent year-to-date, with further growth expected during the course of 2017. Commenting on the new office opening, RAKTDA CEO Haitham Mattar said: “This market on our door-step is extremely important to us. The UAE has long been a favourite destination for Saudi tourists and our new our new representative office will further cement our promotional presence in the Kingdom. Through this representation we will build upon current travel trade partnerships, explore further opportunities and continually position Ras Al Khaimah as a year-round destination through targeted campaigns.” RAKTDA’s policy of positioning the emirate as more than a sun, sea and sand destination, driven by the implementation of the Destination Ras Al Khaimah 2019 strategy, has resulted in attracting 820,772 visitors in 2016, placing it in a strong position to achieve its target of one million visitors by the end of 2018.

Read More »

Abu Dhabi’s 1st GCC Patient Experience Summit from September 18-19

Patients Summit

More than 20 industry experts are set to speak in Abu Dhabi this year at the GCC Patient Experience Summit. The two-day event, which will be held on 18-19 September, is the region’s only forum dedicated to patient experience that will feature CEOs, Patient Experience Directors and Chief Quality Officers from organizations such as HAAD, DHA, Cleveland Clinic, Hamad Medical Corporation, King Fahad Medical City and many others.  The summit aims to offer access to a unique learning opportunity that sets the tone for establishing excellence benchmarks, effective communication and leadership strategies in customized care delivery. “To be successful in the new era of challenging and promising healthcare, organizations will have to take engagement to a new level and consider patients central to the care team. Strategic focus on patient feedback all along the care continuum will be essential to continually improve the health of populations. Wellness and prevention are key. We are moving from an era of treating disease to engaging patients in healthy behaviours that maintain their highest quality of life,” Samer Ellahham, Chairman of the Summit and Chief Quality Officer at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, said while stressing out the importance of patient-centred care. The UAE healthcare market is estimated to reach Dh71.56 billion by 2020, achieving an annual average growth of 12.7 per cent, marginally higher than the GCC growth average, propelled by medical tourism and a higher than ever demand for new facilities & technologies. With its vision to develop world-class healthcare infrastructure, expertise, and services, the UAE government is extensively expanding and upgrading its healthcare systems to match international standards by developing the best care and wellness for exceptional patient experience. Patient experience elevation …

Read More »