Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Dubai’s Global Village hosts 2.3 mn visitors in first two months


With the opening of the 21st season at the entertainment destination Global Village with the concept of a new world every day, the visitor numbers for the first two months from November 1 to December 31, 2016, have gone up to 2.3 million. It was stated at a recent press meeting with the CEO Ahmad Hussain Bin Essa that over 250,000 tickets were sold at the smart solutions with smart gates which was just introduced during this season and as the social media presence had been extremely active they have been able to sell the tickets in various new and innovative ways such as special family packs at the fuel stations which would increase the awareness amongst the residents living around and they have determined that the current length of stay of the guests on average is about six hours. He further stated that this season they signed an MOU with 42 top travel agents in order to increase the number of tourists visiting the destination.  They have been very active in most road shows alongside DTCM with a focus on Russia, Africa, India and China markets. Their main aim is to improve the guest experience and ensure that they have the happiness meter at a very high level.

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Dubai to develop MENA’s largest marina


Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has announced the development of ‘Dubai Harbour’, a unique new waterfront destination that will feature the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s largest marina. The announcement was made in the presence of Crown Prince of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum; Chairman of Dubai International Marine Club HH Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; Director General of Dubai Protocol Department H.E. Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman; and Group Chairman of Meraas HE Abdulla Al Habbai. The project, located on King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street, in the area between Jumeirah Beach Residence and Palm Jumeirah, also known as Mina Al Seyahi, will be developed by Dubai’s leading holding company Meraas. The iconic luxury waterfront destination, spread over 20 million sq. feet, will include a 1400-berth marina as well as a cruise ship port and terminal, a shopping mall covering 3.5 million sq. feet, an events arena, luxurious residential buildings, hotels, offices, retail stores, public services, restaurants and cafes and ‘Dubai Lighthouse’. The masterplan of the new destination integrates Skydive Dubai, Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) and Logo Island into a single community. To be developed in phases, the ‘Dubai Harbour’ project will be completed in four years once ground has been broken.

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Dubai most expensive city on New Year’s Eve 2016


Dubai has again been ranked the most expensive place to celebrate New Year at Dh2,240 per person in an annual survey of seven popular global cities, with Edinburgh, Scotland, rated the best value for the second year in a row at Dh725, a difference of Dh1,515. In its annual research the company measured the average cost across selected establishments, with results reflecting expected costs for a partygoer buying food, entertainment and refreshments. Sydney offers an affordable option for UAE residents wanting to get abroad for the holiday and Paris is cheaper than New York by Dh700 to ring in 2017. The full listing (from cheapest to priciest) is as follows: Edinburgh (Dh725) Sydney (Dh950) Amsterdam (Dh955) Paris (Dh1,170) London (Dh1,435) New York (Dh1,870) Dubai (Dh2,240) Errol Fonseca, head of retail at Travelex, explained New Year is a busy time for Travelex, with customers flying off for city breaks to enjoy the festivities. “We always see an increase in orders of foreign currency in the run up to the new year, so it’s our pleasure to put these figures together for our customers. Exchange rates can also play a big part in decision-making and up to date figures can be found our website,” he said.

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Oman hosts 19th Arab Ministerial Tourism Council


The Arab Ministerial Tourism Council met from the December 13-15, 2016, at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel in Muscat. Attendees included Ministers from the Arab countries, members of World Tourism Organisation as well as representatives from the Arab Center for Tourist Media. The council met to discuss ways to develop the tourism industry in the Arab World. This meeting was preceded by the Executive Office Meeting for the Arab Ministerial Tourism Council, which is entrusted to follow up and study the recommendations made by the Council. In his opening statement, His Excellency Ahmed Bin Nasser Al Mahrizi said, “This meeting will foster cooperation between the countries of the Arab world, and help boost the growth of the tourism sector. We are proud that the Sultanate of Oman is hosting such an important and impactful meeting.”His Excellency also added that the meeting coincides with the 46th National Day celebrations of the Sultanate, marking the achievements that the people of this country and His Majesty Sultan Qaboos continue to make. Dr Dina Hussain Dhaher, Director of the department of Transport and Tourism at the General Secretariat of the Arab League of States thanked the Sultanate for its efforts in ensuring the success of the 19th edition of the Arab Ministerial Tourism Council, and that she looks forward to seeing the results of the meeting. Among the many issues, the Council addressed the development and implementation of the Arab Tourism Strategy as well as the tourism activities that drive the youth, as this is one of the most important tourism segments in the region. The Council also discussed initiatives that will generate tourism-related statistics from different hotels and feed the development of future …

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Sharjah World Championship Week from today

UAE-Sharjah-December 14, 2016-Free practice for the UIM F1 H2O Grand Prix of Sharjah. 
Picture by Vittorio Ubertone/Idea Marketing - copyright free editorial

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority will be hosting the UIM F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of Sharjah from December 15-21, 2016, at the Khalid Lagoon. Speaking at the press conference, Chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority H.E.Khalid Jassim Al Midfa stated the importance of promoting sports tourism by hosting events of this nature which brings together more tourists from all over the world. Further he reiterated that this enables Sharjah an opportunity to showcase their authentic culture and reveal the true Arabian spirit of sports.

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Bahrain Tourism to conduct trade survey

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Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) and Bahrain Information and eGovernment Authority  are coming together for a tourism survey aimed at further integrating cooperation between the two authorities to enhance the statistical tourism database in the Bahrain. It will also measure the actual level of contribution the tourism sector is making in the national economy in accordance with international recommendations. Several business are expected to benefit from the survey as it will provide inclusive data to help decision makers and the hospitality sector to understand the needs and desires of tourists and visitors. Furthermore, it will be a reference source for these sectors to base strategies aimed at fostering local tourism throughout the year. The CEO of the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), Shaikh Khalid bin Humood Al Khalifa, recently met with the Bahrain Information and eGovernment Authority CEO, Mohammed Ali Al Qaed to discuss the survey. Commenting on the survey, CEO of the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority Shaikh Khalid bin Humood Al Khalifa said, “We are pleased to work with the Bahrain Information and eGovernment Authority to obtain a more detailed view of the tourism sector in the country, especially tourism activities conducted by residents as it contributes to the overall development of the economy.” The Bahrain Information and eGovernment Authority also praised BTEA’s efforts and cooperation in this field: “We aim through this project to provide a manual for BTEA as it is considered a significant asset to assist implementing the Kingdom’s tourism development strategy. It also aims to put a structure in place that covers the different aspects of the tourism activity. We will ensure during the implementation phase of the project to follow the …

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Thailand waives off tourist visa fee, discounts VoA from Dec 1, 2016, to Feb 28, 2017


By the Order of the Ministry of Interior dated November 30 B.E. 2559 (2016), starting from December 1, 2016 until February 28, 2017, Thailand will launch a temporary tourist visa fee exemption scheme and a temporary Visa on Arrival (VoA) fee reduction scheme. All applicants applying for Tourist Visa (single entry) to Thailand during the aforementioned period will be exempted from the visa fee and Visa on Arrival (VoA) fee will be decreased from THB 2,000 to THB 1,000 for applicants of the nationalities which are entitled to apply for the VoA at the designated immigration checkpoints.

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Dubai cements global shopping destination image

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Following an exhaustive review of the competitiveness of Dubai’s retail sector in terms of its global positioning as a ‘shopping destination’ for tourists, undertaken by Dubai Tourism, strategic recommendations spanning priority aspects of the industry value chain were developed in consultation with the Department of Economic Development and key government and private sector stakeholders earlier this year. Outcomes of the strategy cover initiatives to address consumer perceptions, pricing competitiveness, product-mix, experience enhancement, e-commerce and future proofing through digitisation and proactive innovation. His Excellency Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said: “Dubai has been continuously growing its standing as a leader in global travel, ranked number four today with the highest average spend per tourist within the economy compared to any other city in the world. Beyond growing tourist volumes, one of the mandates of Dubai Tourism is to significantly enhance the economic value created across all travel related industries to our GDP. Retail is one of the core pillars of our destination proposition, and one that is a key driver of spend within the economy – hence the incredible support from the Department of Economic Development has been paramount to the success of this project. In undertaking this exercise, our aim was to work with the industry towards making Dubai the world’s leading destination for retail-tourism, attracting more traffic and fueling consumption across the shopping precincts, and ultimately accelerating domestic retail industry growth. It has been through exemplary collaboration and joint ownership between the private and public sector that DTCM has been able to deploy a comprehensive list of initiatives to be taken forth to implementation by relevant stakeholders. And …

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Dubai’s National Day focus on retail tourism

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Dubai’s first National Day Super Sale kicks off December 1, with the new retail initiative promising to offer a memorable and rewarding shopping experience to residents and visitors during the UAE’s 45th National Day celebrations. The National Day Super Sale is organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), with the aim of boosting Dubai’s vibrant retail sector and further spreading the festive cheer on this joyous occasion. Many local, regional and international brands are participating in the citywide sale, which runs until Saturday, 3 December, and will surprise shoppers with amazing discounts from 30- 90 % on a diverse range of merchandise including apparel & fashion, footwear and leather accessories, cosmetics, jewellery, and much more. Saeed Mohammad Mesam Al Falasi, Executive Director, Retail and Strategic Alliances, DFRE, said: “The National Day Super Sale initiative falls within the framework of our strategy to develop plans aimed at further boosting the emirate’s retail sector. 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. No other destination in the region offers such a superb collection of fashion and lifestyle brands, all under one roof. As Dubai has set the highest standards in terms of brand mix and quality in the retail sector in the region, it is significant to note that we have the participation of leading retail groups in the UAE. This unique National Day initiative provides several opportunities to buy sought-after items at incredible prices – giving shoppers even more reasons to celebrate the UAE National Day.” The three-day …

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Ras Al Khaimah Civil Aviation marks National Day


Ras Al Khaimah’s Department of Civil Aviation (RAKDCA) held a celebratory event with great pomp and show to celebrate the 45th National Day of the UAE at the Civil Aviation Department premises. Presided over by His Excellency Engr. Sheikh Salem Bin Sultan Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman, Department of Civil Aviation, Ras Al Khaimah, the event was graced by top officials from the Civil Aviation Department, Airport, Police, Immigration, Customs, National Security, aviation industry and National carriers like Air Arabia and Qatar Airways. The celebratory event remembered with respect the great leadership and vision of the founding father of the nation His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The event also thanked His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,  Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for following the vision of the founding father and guiding the country to prosperity. The participants thanked His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah,  for the visionary leadership and support to the aviation sector. In order to pay respects to the Martyrs,  a band was played by the students of Al Bustan School, followed by 40-minute audiovisual show highlighting the progress of the country and the dedication and sacrifice of the martyrs, and a march past by the Military School, which evoked patriotism among the spectators. The school children performed an entertaining ayala (traditional local dance), which was enjoyed by all. The event ended with honouring senior employees and long-serving staff as well as outstanding employees.

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