Category Archives: Govt

Sharjah launches summer tourism campaign to beat the heat

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Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has launched ‘Sharjah Summer’, a two-month campaign aiming to drive entertainment, leisure, retail and tourism sales, underpinned by discounts of up to 50 per cent. It is the emirate’s first summer campaign that integrates offers from airlines, hotels, government institutions, travel agencies, shopping centres and other private sector companies. So far, about 30 public and private sector organisations have joined the campaign, which offers visitors entertainment, special hotel packages, retail promotions, and much more. Although the hot summer months are typically less busy for the Gulf’s inbound travel and tourism sector, SCTDA expects ‘Sharjah Summer’ to appeal strongly to the regional markets as families often consider inbound holiday plans during the shorter breaks in the summer. Last summer, Sharjah International Airport saw a 13 per cent increase in the number of passengers in July, August and September, in comparison to the same quarter the previous year. Both the airport and Sharjah-headquartered budget airline Air Arabia are taking part in this year’s summer campaign.

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RAK’s tourist count continues to grow

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Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions, has revealed Ras Al Khaimah’s hotels have reported a 10 per cent year-on-year increase in international guest arrivals during the first six months of the year. Also, the average hotel occupancy in H1 saw a 4.7 per cent year-on-year increase in comparison to the corresponding six-month period in 2016, jumping to 72.7 per cent. With RAK targeting 900,000 visitor arrivals during 2017, it has already recorded 390,499 guest arrivals between January and June, which is a year-on-year increase of 6.5 per cent in comparison to H1 arrivals last year. Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA, says, “While our excellent H1 results highlight continued year-on-year growth in Ras Al Khaimah’s visitor numbers, it is the Ramadan and June results that are particularly promising,” said Mattar. “Our best-ever figures during these typically lower periods of occupancy are a direct result of strategic initiatives and promotional activities undertaken in domestic and international source markets.” The successful Ramadan and June figures follow RAKTDA launching a dedicated summer campaign called ‘Feel Free this Summer’ in April to leverage the emirate as an ideal summer holiday destination on the global platform.

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Women’s Journey Thailand campaign comes back this August

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Owing to the continuously increasing number of women travellers in the kingdom, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is bringing back its Women’s Journey Thailand campaign in August, with a vast spectrum of activities, special deals, discounts and privileges, especially for the female tourists, for one whole month. Srisuda Wanapinyosak, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Asia and the South Pacific, says, “Today, women have become the decision makers and quite powerful, with high spending power. They expect and deserve optimum luxury and variety in holiday products and services. Thailand can prove to be the perfect destination for each of these holiday elements. This is why we have brought back the Women’s Journey Thailand campaign as it is a platform to showcase our woman-centric holiday products and services of unparalleled quality and variety, at unbelievable prices.” Some of the highlights of this season of Women’s Journey Thailand campaign include the Lady Golf Challenge, Lady Celebrities to Thailand, Thailand through Her Eyes, Lady in Thai Fabrics and Lady Bloggers.

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Dubai celebrates Eid Al Fitr

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The Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), is gearing up to usher in the 10th edition of the “Eid in Dubai” celebrations with a diverse line-up of events designed to offer families, residents and visitors many memorable moments during the upcoming Eid Al Fitr. This year’s ‘Eid in Dubai – Eid Al Fitr’ celebrations promise to be as exciting as it can get with a range of events and activities for everyone to enjoy including concerts by Arab stars, family oriented events hosted by malls and Modhesh World, one of the most popular indoor edutainment destinations in the region. To celebrate the 10th edition, ‘Eid in Dubai’ will also have plenty of surprises and prizes for Eid shoppers including a six week sale from July 1 to August 12 by Dubai Summer Surprises, the ‘Shop, Spin & Win’ promotion run by the Dubai Shopping Malls Group, with the support of DFRE, and offering AED 250,000 in instant prizes. Saeed Mohammad Measam Al Falasi, Executive Director, Retail and Strategic Alliances, DFRE, said, “As an annual celebration that unites people from different nationalities from across Dubai, there is a great deal of anticipation surrounding Eid in Dubai events. In celebrating a decade of success, this year we want to ensure that everyone in the emirate feels the joy of Eid, in keeping with the true spirit of the slogan of Eid in Dubai – ‘United in Celebration’.”

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Sharjah safari park a step closer to opening with wildlife imports

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The Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) has announced that it has imported 288 wild animals from South Africa into the emirate, bringing Sharjah’s vision for what could be the largest safari park project outside Africa one step closer to reality. The animals are being cared for by experts at the Seih Al Bardi Park (Elebriddi Wildlife Protected Area) and acclimatised in compounds, whilst trees are planted and park infrastructure is under construction. Located in Al Dhaid, phase one of Seih Al Bardi Park was officially opened as a conservation area in 2007 as part of Sharjah’s effort to protect natural ecosystems and biodiversity. The landscape of Al Bardi is typified by gravel plains with a high density of Acacia trees, providing a suitable habitat for different forms of wildlife from around the country and world. The project will develop the area to create a sustainable tourism destination with a safari park that contributes to wildlife conservation efforts, accommodating up to 50,000 animals.

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Dubai among top 10 for MICE

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Dubai has emerged as one of the top 10 destinations for international meetings, according to the latest edition of the International Meetings Statistics Report published last week by Union of International Associations (UIA). The report ranked 1157 cities globally based on the total number of international meetings that took place during the year. Previously ranked 14th in the 2015 edition, Dubai has moved up the list to claim the 10th spot, with a total of 180 meetings taking place in 2016, a 24% growth compared to 2015. Dubai is the only city in the Middle East and Africa to appear in the top 25 in the rankings, further underlining its status as the region’s number one destination for international meetings and conferences.

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Discounted tour packages from CSS to UAE

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City Sightseeing Sharjah (CSS) has announced a brand new series of discounted packages for this summer season to enable UAE residents to see a lot more of the emirate they love and learn more about its unique history, culture and attractions. Under these packages, the CSS buses will provide a new opportunity to enjoy 24- and 48-hour tours. The 24-hour option from CSS, which was launched by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) in collaboration with City Sightseeing Worldwide, is dedicated exclusively to sightseeing in Sharjah, providing a chance to tourists and locals alike to appreciate the reasons behind the city’s titles of ‘Islamic Culture Capital’ and ‘Cultural Capital of the Arab World’. The ticket entitles passengers to enjoy cultural, leisure and night tours and informs about the discounts available on the numerous restaurants, shopping malls and attractions. The 48-hour (Explorer) ticket offers a similar package, but it also includes a free ride on the Eye of Emirates and free entrances to Sharjah Aquarium, Maritime Museum, seven museums, Al Noor Island and Butterfly House.

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Dubai medical tourism revenue reaches AED1.42 billion

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Medical tourism in Dubai reportedly yielded returns of around AED1.421 billion in 2016 against AED1.40 billion in 2015, with the number of incoming wellness tourist arrivals rising to 326,640 in 2016, a 9.5 per cent growth over the previous year, states Dubai Health Authority (DHA). The much-coveted potential boasted by Dubai, particularly at the medical level, has made the emirate a sought-after destination for recuperative tourism, commented Dr Layla Al Marzouqi, Director of the DHA Medical Tourism Council. She further added that the maximum number of wellness tourists visiting the medical facilities in Dubai from outside the country were aged between 25 years and 45 years, with orthopaedics, dermatology and ophthalmology being the medical specialties that were in maximum demand. Demographically, 27 per cent of the tourists were Asians, 31 per cent Arabs and 15 per cent Europeans. Source: WAM

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Sharjah Expo Centre sees 7% increase in visitor numbers in Q1

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Expo Centre Sharjah has recorded a 7 per cent increase in the number of visitors coming to its exhibitions and events during the first quarter of 2017, in comparison to the number of visitors that came during the same period in 2016. According to the Expo Centre management, 302,474 people visited the Centre’s events, including 12 specialised exhibitions, in January, February and March. The meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) industry in the United Arab Emirates currently generates a total of $653 million (AED 2.4b) per year and is expected to continue growing at about 7 per cent per annum until 2020. Overall, the GCC’s MICE market is estimated to be worth some $1.3 billion (AED 4.8b) annually. Located on Al Taawun Street in the centre of Sharjah city, the Expo Centre now has 6 exhibition halls surrounding a central boulevard, with a combined gross exhibition area of 26,000 square metres (279,862 sq. ft.) indoors, plus a further 6,000 square metres (64,583 sq. ft.) of outdoor space. A 200-room Novotel Sharjah Expo is currently under construction adjacent to the expo site. Sharjah is also building a new 370,000 square metre (4 million sq. ft.) exhibition and conference centre in Al Tai district, near the intersection of Emirates Road and Mleiha Road. Expected to open in November, the new centre’s first major event is going to be this year’s edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (1-11 November).

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Dubai’s 3-day Super Sale from May 18-20

It's time for a shopping spree at 3-Day Super Sale

This year has been carefully planned out by the Dubai Tourism authority to enhance the retail tourism sector with super sales that run for short periods of time attracting the GCC tourists and residents alike. Retail therapy starts early this summer in Dubai with the 3-day Super Sale, a new citywide retail initiative that will offer shoppers the opportunity to pick up amazing deals across a range of merchandise at participating outlets from May 18-20. Organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), the 3-day Super Sale will offer shoppers incredible discounts of between 30 – 90 % on selected items at retailers across the city.  Saeed Mohammad Measam Al Falasi, Executive Director, Retail and Strategic Alliances, DFRE, said: “The 3-Day Super Sale initiative is part of our robust strategy revolving around the Retail Calendar to further boost the emirate’s retail sector with regular promotional periods that benefit both retailers and shoppers. Running promotions that offer retailers numerous options to boost sales during this time of the year will further enhance the emirate’s appeal as a year-round shopping hub, and helps us build on Dubai’s strong position as only the second city after London to host the most number of retail brands. The timing is perfect for shoppers, coming early in the summer and just a few days before the start of the month of Ramadan, followed by the Eid holiday period. We expect to re-energise the retail sector at this event, as large number of shoppers are bound to avail themselves of three days of huge savings.” According to a report by the Dubai Chamber of …

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