Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Emirates inks deal with Thailand to boost tourism


The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Emirates Airline, UAE’s leading airline, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which aims to utilise the airline’s global network to further boost inbound tourist arrivals to Thailand, by focusing on the growth of key niche markets and luxury destinations within the kingdom. Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Emirates together with Tourism Authority of Thailand will put into effect a range of joint promotions to mutually increase tourism and visibility for Thailand through the Emirates Airline Global Network. The promotions will focus on niche tourism markets such as: Green Tourism, Sport Tourism, Luxury Tourism, Weddings & Honeymoons as well as Medical Health & Wellness. The agreement also involves the possibility of launching a new route from Dubai to other key tourism destinations in Thailand such as Chiang Mai and U-Tapao in Pattaya. The agreement was signed by Emirates Airline, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operation – Far East, Badr Abbas, and Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Deputy Governor for International Marketing, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas, Juthaporn Rerngronasa at a commemorative event at State Room, The Dome – Lebua State Tower, Bangkok. They were joined by Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chalermsak Suranant, Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand Dubai and Middle East office and other officials from the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Read More »

Ras Al Khaimah inducted in PATA


The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has welcomed the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (TDA) as its newest government member. The TDA’s aim is to establish the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah as a destination for leisure and adventure travel whilst maintaining its appeal for sun seekers, beach loving couples and families. Ras Al Khaimah TDA was established in May 2011 to develop the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and promote it, both domestically and abroad. In order to achieve its goals, the Ras Al Khaimah TDA has a Government mandate to license, regulate and monitor the emirate’s hospitality industry. It conducts research to identify tourism projects and current trends. Ras Al Khaimah TDA leads on the destination’s branding and subsequent marketing activities, and also develops and implements strategies designed to encourage tourism investment into the emirate. PATA CEO Mario Hardy said, “As our newest government member Ras Al Khaimah now has a much better opportunity to achieve their growth target of 2.9m visitors by 2025 by connecting with many of our members and by showcasing their destination to a much broader audience.” Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah TDA, said, “As we continue to work towards our goal of attracting one million visitors by the end of 2018, we are keen to establish partnerships that will enable us to achieve sustainable tourism growth. Asia Pacific, in particular India and China, are fast growing emerging markets where we have recently signed an agreement with Ctrip, China’s largest online travel agency, as well as Cox and Kings in India.”

Read More »

Sharjah-Australia mull investment opportunities


The lucrative opportunities for investment between Sharjah and Australia were the main item on the agenda at a “Sharjah-Australia Roundtable” organised by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), in association with the Australian Business Council in Dubai (ABCD), the Australian Trade Commission and Australia Unlimited, at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI). The roundtable was Shurooq’s latest initiative in its extensive programme designed to highlight Sharjah’s rewarding investment climate, with Shurooq representatives visiting four continents in the past few months as part of its on-going promotional strategy for the emirate. The most recent activity in Shurooq’s global investment promotion agenda saw His Excellency Gerard Seeber, Australia Consul General in Dubai and Senior Trade Commissioner MENA region and His Excellency Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO, Shurooq, sitting down with Penny Couchman, Chairperson of ABCD and several Australian businesspersons, including spokespersons from Antipodean enterprises operating in the UAE. The day-long event involved the representatives discussing the emirate’s array of fertile sectors for investment, including tourism, environment, health and transport.

Read More »

New shopping hub in Sharjah


Sharjah in its aims to lure more tourists to the destination is working on some new projects to give a whole new face to the retail shopper who visits the destination. This new regional mall will further enhance Sharjah’s image as a family destination with a shopper’s paradise, which could have a positive feedback from the region and its neighbours as well.  Majid Al futtaim holding is building a ‘super-regional’ shopping mall at Al Zahia community in Sharjah, which is planned to open in 2018. Al Zahia is a 1.3 million square metre (14m sq ft) master planned gated community being developed by Majid Al Futtaim and owned by Sharjah Holding, a joint venture between Majid Al Futtaim and the Government of Sharjah. The new mall’s construction was confirmed as a part of Majid Al Futtaim Holding’s announcement that the group plans to invest AED 30 billion ($ 8.2b) in the United Arab Emirates over the next 10 years. Al Zahia community is located close to Sharjah University City and Sharjah International Airport, with access to road links to Dubai and the Northern Emirates. The development offers a range of 3, 4 and 5-bedroom townhouses and villas, apartments, commercial space and amenities including landscaped parks and mosques. The first homeowners took possession of their new properties last year and the development is expected to house over 12,000 residents when completed in 2019. The new super-regional mall will have a gross leasable area of 130,000 square metres (1.4m sq ft) and will be named City Centre Al Zahia. The mall is expected to have a wide catchment area due to its strategic location near Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road (E311), which …

Read More »

Dubai Tourism hosts 300 African trade professionals

Dubai Logo

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) hosted its largest ever group of travel trade professionals from Africa, during a six-day familiarisation trip aimed at positioning Dubai as a leading destination of choice. The familiarisation trip, which ends today, has given over 300 senior management executives from 12 African countries – South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Mauritius, Uganda, Tanzania and Cote D’Ivoire – first-hand insights into the array of unique experiences, attractions and activities that Dubai offers, with the spotlight falling on the city’s upcoming summer calendar, starting with the cultural activities during the holy month of Ramadan, followed by the Eid in Dubai celebrations and the Dubai Summer Surprises. In addition to visiting a number of key attractions across the city, the delegation also attended the  Dubai Tourism Conference and Workshop on 3 June, which provided an overview of Dubai’s tourism offerings and the kind of support that is being offered to the African travel trade to promote Dubai in their continent. Presentations were also made by officials from the different agencies and divisions of Dubai Tourism such as Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE),  the organiser of major festivals in Dubai, digital and marketing communications and Dubai Calendar.

Read More »

Sharjah Tourism hosts workshop for over 100 travel agents from Ukraine

Khalid Jasim Al Midfa

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) hosted a group of 100 top travel agents and a TV crew from Ukraine, who were flown in by Air Arabia to spend four days in the Emirate of Sharjah. The local tourism stakeholders were given an opportunity to meet the group and present their products and services at a workshop in the Radisson Blu Sharjah. The workshop aimed to highlight the diverse tourism experience offered by the emirate for Ukrainian visitors. “Sharjah has successfully positioned itself as a family destination, which is supported by the safe welcoming environment, beautiful beaches and realistically priced attractions. As the cultural capital of the Arab region, Sharjah offers an authentic Arabian atmosphere through a diverse tourism product that ranges from culture and heritage to beautiful nature, entertainment and shopping. The emirate offers a safe and secure family friendly atmosphere. Recent strategic research shows that the outbound Ukrainian tourism is continuing to grow steadily suggesting a market opportunity. With Air Arabia flying direct from there and bulk airline seat sales with TPG, one of the largest outbound operators, we felt that there was substantial opportunity to leverage,” said His Excellency Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA. During the workshop, Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, COO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), offered an overview of major tourist locations developed by Shurooq such as Al Noor Island, Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-tourism project, Kalba Eco-tourism project, Al Majaz Waterfront, Heart of Sharjah, and Al Qasba. Khulood Al Hooli, Manager of Al Hisn Museum, spoke about the facilities provided by museums in Sharjah. Maitha Al Balooshi from Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) gave a briefing on six learning …

Read More »

Abu Dhabi TCA to launch Events Licensing System


His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Chairman of the Executive Council, issued a decree announcing the launch of an Events Licensing System (ELS) to be implemented by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), a standardised and unified online platform that streamlines the official registration of all events administered, organised and managed across Abu Dhabi emirate. The new online licensing system will support Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector, providing the necessary resources to achieve sustainability and growth services include an expanded database on performance, enhanced quality of touristic events and measured success indicators. HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of TCA Abu Dhabi, will form a committee to oversee the implementation of strategies and policies surrounding the coordination of events in Abu Dhabi between the relevant authorities, by providing support for necessary services and facilities, while enhancing the contribution of government, private sector, and relevant stakeholders when organising events in the emirate. The introduction of the ELS will drive tourism industry growth within the emirate through improving event planning, and by developing industry best practice in line with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.

Read More »

Bollywood Parks Dubai unveils attractions


Bollywood Parks Dubai, the first of its kind Bollywood themed park in the world, and a part of Dubai Parks and Resorts, set to be the region’s largest integrated theme park destination on its opening in October 2016, presented an exclusive preview and tour of the upcoming park at a press conference held at Taj Dubai, Business Bay. Hosting the event was Thomas Jellum, General Manager of Bollywood Parks Dubai along with senior management from Dubai Parks and Resorts. Based on popular films featuring the biggest names of Bollywood including Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar and more, the mega-entertainment project unveiled details of all its major rides and attractions that will appeal to families and children alike and immerse visitors into the grand and explosive world of Hindi Cinema. Jellum commented: “We cannot wait to welcome people into Bollywood Parks™ Dubai this October! Each show and each ride has all been carefully developed to completely transport our guests into the world of Bollywood, whether they are chasing Don, flying with Krrish, being saved by Chulbul Pandey or playing cricket with Bhuvan and today we have highlighted our biggest attractions. Bollywood is cherished and adored not just by people in the region, but by a large global audience and we are positive that the park will be the hottest destination in Dubai this year.” Highlights of the press conference were a special never seen before video preview of the park featuring clips of the intellectual properties as well as the first look of the new Pre-launch brand campaign featuring 2 characters created specially for Bollywood Parks™ Dubai. Several interactive displays were also presented to the guests …

Read More »

Tanzania engages with UAE trade


Consulate General of the United Republic of Tanzania in partnership with Holidays and Incentives and Regency Travels conducted a road show at the Hyatt Regency in Creek. Some of the leading travel agents in the UAE attended the event whilst four of the most luxurious properties in Zanzibar made their presentations. From Zanzibar the four properties  included The Residence, Melia, Park Hyatt and Elewana. The travel agents were given quite an opportunity to learn about the destination and the exclusive properties available for their clientele. Lastly was the presentation by the Tanzania tourism office where the spokesperson explained from traditional source markets Italy remains on top with over 65% traffic to the destination with other countries such as UK, France, Germany, Kenya, South Africa and North America  and the emerging countries are India, China, Russia and Middle East.

Read More »

Ajman Tourism catches Europe’s fancy


The Ajman Tourism Development Department (ATDD) has wrapped up a successful roadshow in Europe held from May 16 to 20, returning with encouraging feedback from the European tourism and travel market. More than 500 representatives from leading travel and tourism companies attended the UAE Destination presentations held in the cities of Prague in Czech Republic, followed by Warsaw in Poland and concluded in Budapest, Hungary. The roadshow focused on the UAE as a destination and promoted the emirate of Ajman as a unique destination offering a variety of activities, events, attractions and accommodations to leisure and business travelers. During their first stop in Prague, the delegation was welcomed by UAE Ambassador to Czech Republic H.E. Mohamed Hamad Al Shamsi who praised Ajman Tourism for spearheading such promotional tours in major capitals and cities in Europe to promote the UAE.

Read More »