Tag Archives: Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi witnesses 16% surge in hotel guests during November

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The opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island and the hosting of Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix contributed to a dramatic surge in hotel guests staying in the emirate during November. The month saw a 16 per cent rise in guests in Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments compared to the same period in 2016, according to figures released by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. With 4.3 million hotel guests staying in accommodation across Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain Region and Al Dhafra Region in the first 11 months of the year, the emirate has witnessed 9 per cent year-on-year growth and is on target to reach a record 4.9 million guests by the end of December. HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said, “While November and Q4 is traditionally a strong period for us, particularly with visitors from Europe, we are encouraged by the sector’s performance during the month and the increase in hotel guests across all three regions. The opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi was a monumental event, not only for Abu Dhabi but also for the whole of the country and indeed the region, contributing enormously to our appeal as a ‘must visit’ destination.”  

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Etihad Airways introduces second daily flight to Jordan

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Etihad Airways is set to launch a second daily flight between Abu Dhabi and Amman, effective March 25, 2018. The double daily year-round schedule will provide greater choice to local passengers travelling between Abu Dhabi and Amman, with attractive timings of early afternoon and evening departures from the capital cities of the UAE and Jordan, respectively. The additional flights, operated by an Airbus A320 with 16 seats in Business Class and 120 in Economy, will also improve connectivity over Abu Dhabi to a wider network of destinations across Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said, “Increasing frequency to some of our destinations globally is a focus as it ensures more travel options for guests looking for greater flexibility. With improved schedules, we are also offering attractive timings to benefit residents in the UAE and Jordan, and create even better connections over Abu Dhabi to many markets across our network.”

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Etihad to launch Dreamliner on Casablanca route from May 2018

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Etihad Airways is set to operate 787 Dreamliner on the Abu Dhabi-Casablanca route, making it the first North African destination to be served by the aircraft. The three-class aircraft, featuring eight First Suites, 28 Business Studios and 199 Economy Smart Seats, will replace the Airbus A330s currently operating daily on the route, and will offer additional cargo capacity. Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said, “We are delighted to deploy our flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner on yet another route that will give even more guests the opportunity to experience our next generation aircraft. In addition to maintaining attractive timings for guests travelling between Abu Dhabi and Casablanca, we will create further suitable connections in many markets to benefit more travellers.” Etihad Airways will maintain an early morning arrival into Casablanca and operate a revised mid-morning return service that will improve connectivity to a wider network of destinations across Asia and Australia. The airline has a fleet of 18 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners operating from Abu Dhabi to 17 destinations worldwide.

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Etihad to increase flights to Maldives

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Etihad Airways is set to increase its frequency of flights to Maldives starting June 15, 2018. According to sources, four additional weekly flights will be added on the popular Abu Dhabi – Malé route, taking frequency to the Maldives to 11 services a week. The extra flights will operate year-round and provide more travel options with an early morning arrival enabling guests to maximise their stay in the Maldives. In addition to providing greater choice and flexibility for UAE and GCC residents, overall connectivity and timing options between the Maldives and key countries on Etihad Airways’ European network will be enhanced. These include the major markets of the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Russia. The expansion from the current daily operation will continue to see a two-class A320 aircraft on the route, offering 16 seats in Business Class and 120 in Economy.

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Abu Dhabi launches Emirati Tourist Guide Training & Licensing programme

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In a move to provide practical training tools, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi launched the Emirati Tourist Guide Training & Licensing programme, an in-depth training course which invites UAE Nationals to become licensed tour guides. The Industry & Tourist Guide Training Unit at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi has introduced the programme to all residents of Abu Dhabi wishing to obtain a tour guide license. With the new curriculum and advanced courses, the Department initiated further plans to attract the Emirati community to participate in the tourism sector, an ever-burgeoning industry in Abu Dhabi. The programme aims to improve the quality of local tourist guide knowledge and enhance their engagement skills. Following several weeks of in-depth training, the first group of licensed tourist guides graduated at a ceremony held recently at The St. Regis Corniche.

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Finland visa centre opens in UAE

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Two new Finland Visa Application Centres have been launched in Abu Dhabi and Dubai by the Embassy of Finland in Abu Dhabi, enabling applicants to submit visa applications and enrol for biometrics. The Abu Dhabi centre, centrally located at Shining Tower on Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, was inaugurated by H E Riitta Swan, Ambassador of Finland to the United Arab Emirates on November 16. The centre in Dubai is located at the Wafi Mall. Services at the new centres are designed to facilitate quicker and more streamlined visa application submission processes. For added convenience to applicants, the centres will also provide travellers to Finland with a range of optional services ranging from Premium Lounge services to doorstep courier return-delivery of their processed passports.

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AviaReps to promote Baltic and Scandinavian states in ME

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AviaReps has been appointed by Latvia’s Spare Travel as the agency to promote travel to the Baltic states, Scandinavia and Finland from the Middle East. The appointment, which has immediate effect, is the result of Spare Travel’s international outreach programme to engage and provide customised, VIP travel solutions for Middle Eastern travellers seeking authentic, unique and bespoke Northern European travel experiences. The appointment is also timely as it was made on the heels of airBaltic airlines’ launch of direct non-stop flights from Abu Dhabi to Latvia’s capital Riga on October 30, 2017. To celebrate the launch, Spare Travel is offering special promotional travel packages to discover Latvia based around the themes of Castles, Chocolate and Culture. Many UAE travel agencies have been quick to offer promotional packages to Latvia as a new must-see destination. The direct flight from Abu Dhabi with airBaltic takes just over six hours, thereby making Latvia perfect for a long weekend getaway.

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Etihad marks opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi with A380 fly-by

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Hundreds of visitors from around the world, attending the official public opening celebrations of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, were treated to a low-level fly-by of the Jean Nouvel-designed museum by one of Etihad Airways’ flagship Airbus A380 aircraft. Sporting the airline’s ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ livery, the aircraft chosen for the display also features Louvre Abu Dhabi’s official logo on each of its four engines, to promote the opening of the institution. Two specially equipped helicopters were also positioned above the capital to capture air-to-air filming of the aircraft as it flew over the museum. Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said, “Echoing the sentiments from the signing of our landmark partnership agreement with Louvre Abu Dhabi last month, Etihad Airways is honoured to play its part at the inauguration of this universal institution. We, as the UAE’s national airline, are poised to play our part in bringing millions of guests to our home to experience this modern wonder of art first-hand.”

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Malaysian visa centres opens in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

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The Embassy of Malaysia in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General of Malaysia in Dubai launched two new One Stop Centres (OSC), providing Malaysia visa services in Abu Dhabi and Dubai from November 1. Both centres are managed by VFS Global in partnership with S5 Systems and Megan Gayabina. The Abu Dhabi centre is located at Shining Tower on Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street and the Dubai centre is located at Wafi Mall. An inauguration ceremony was held in Dubai on November 6 in the presence of Dato’ Yubazlan Bin Haji Yusof, Consul General of Malaysia in Dubai and Vinay Malhotra, COO – Middle East & South Asia, VFS Global, along with other senior officials. Dato’ Yubazlan Bin Haji Yusof, Consul General of Malaysia in Dubai, said, “Well coordinated models such as the OSC seeks to ensure consistency in the application to provide a streamlined and efficient visa service. The OSC also flexed its visa submission time to allow more applications to be submitted as part of the new customer friendly initiative.” Vinay Malhotra, COO – Middle East & South Asia, VFS Global, said, “It is an honour to launch two new OSCs that will provide travellers to Malaysia from the UAE’s professionally managed visa processing services.”

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Abu Dhabi tourism to strengthen cruise tourism season

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi hosts Committee Meeting for Cruise Sector

Led by The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, a Cruise Sector Committee meeting was convened in the past week to tackle the challenges faced by the industry and plans for the future of the sector in the emirate. Held at the headquarters of the Department and led by its chairman, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, the meeting hosted many high level management figures from partners and industry stakeholders including Brigadier General Mansour Al Dhaheri from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Abu Dhabi, Captain Mohammed Al Shamsi from Abu Dhabi Ports, Mohammed Al Bulooki from Etihad Airways, Engineer Jamal Al Hosani from the Department of Municipal Affairs, Mohammed Al Qemzi from the Integrated Transport Center and Sufian Al Marzooqi from the Tourism Development & Investment Company. For the upcoming 2017-18 season, the Department estimates growth of 5 per cent in the number of passengers from the previous year’s figure of 346,000, after a series of initiatives were launched to develop Abu Dhabi’s cruise sector as a primary niche product.

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