Tag Archives: Africa

Saudi tourism forecast growth in religious and business travel

According to the latest data released by various indicators Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has seen an exponential increase of tourists from UAE, USA and UK over 2018 which secured a continued growth in the hotel sector.  A report by Colliers reveal that international arrivals to Saudi Arabia are expected to increase 5.6 per cent per year from 17.7 million in 2018 to 23.3 million in 2023. According to the Savills report, recent tourism growth in Saudi Arabia has been driven by three key demand pools – leisure, pilgrim and corporate visitors. Paula de Keijzer, Senior Director Market Management, Africa, Indian Ocean, Middle East and Turkey, Expedia Group, said, “Major hotel groups are driving construction trends across the country as they aim to meet the demands of an ever-increasing number of domestic tourists and international visitors. When it comes to brand affinity and customer loyalty, it is essential to engage at each level of the customer journey. Tools, data and insights available via OTA extranet sites, like Expedia Partner Central (EPC), offer hoteliers the opportunity to inspire and convert travelers, set expectations, create personalised experiences, identify and address issues to better meet guest needs, improve guest experience and drive repeat bookings.” With travel bookings in the Kingdom considered the largest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the power of the international traveler growth to Saudi Arabia is expected to remain strong.  USA saw more than 110 per cent year on year growth in demand compared to the same period in 2017 with almost 45 per cent share of total room nights, UAE saw a whopping year on year growth of above 140 per cent than last year with almost …

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Emirates renews MoU with Mauritius and Seychelles to boost tourism

Emirates renewed its support to Mauritius and the Seychelles by extending a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which outlines joint activities to promote the two countries. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group met a VIP delegation from Mauritius and Seychelles at Arabian Travel Market 2019.  An MoU was signed  by Orhan Abbas, Senior Vice President—Commercial Operations for Africa, Emirates and Sherin Francis, Chief Executive Officer, Seychelles Tourism Board and Arvind Bundhun, Director, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, in the presence of the Didier Dogley and Anil Kumar Gayan, Tourism Ministers of Seychelles and Mauritius respectively. “We have enjoyed long and fruitful partnerships with both Mauritius and Seychelles, and have taken an active role in boosting the tourism industry of the island nations. Our commitment to these destinations and the partnership forged with the respective government authorities, have seen great success. The renewal of our agreements underpins our confidence that the growth of tourism to both Mauritius and Seychelles can be further developed, and we remain confident that we will continue to see these numbers grow,” said Abbas. “The signing of this MoU with Emirates underpins the long-standing strong relationship, developed over a decade, between the Government of Seychelles and the leadership of this global airline. We value the services Emirates has provided and continues to provide to the Seychelles and its tourism industry. We look forward towards further deepening this relationship towards our mutual benefits”, said Didier Dogley, Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine of the Seychelles. “I am happy that we are renewing this Memoradum of Understanding with Emirates as this is the basis on which we have built …

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Witness Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts’ innovative approach to luxury hospitality at ATM 2019

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts will to showcase its latest innovative guest experiences and global expansion plans at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2019 in Dubai. Building on its long history of constantly enhancing guest experiences through its innovative approach to luxury hospitality, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts will be highlighting the recent launch of ‘Take Your Time: Daily Discoveries’, a collection of on-property experiences that invites guests to celebrate the culture of each destination. The experiences are designed to encourage guests to truly connect with the world and the people who matter most in their lives. Simon Casson, President – Hotel Operations—Europe, Middle East and Africa, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, said, “At Four Seasons, we have a long legacy of innovation – not only in terms of how we leverage technology to enhance our offering and services, but also in the way we embrace and celebrate innovation as a way to constantly elevate the guest experience. Whether it is by inviting guests to connect with Four Seasons people and destinations in more meaningful ways, such as through ‘Take Your Time’, or providing real-time assistance through the Four Seasons Chat service, innovation has always defined our approach to creating unforgettable luxury hospitality experiences for our guests.” “While technology clearly has a vital role to play in shaping the future of the hospitality industry, we recognise that the human touch remains key to delivering authentic personal care that makes each and every guest feel treasured and understood. We will continue to evolve our services in line with the changing needs of travellers, but without compromising on our fundamental belief in the power of deep personal connections, which remains at the heart of …

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Africa’s growing aviation sector sees more potential for new routes to GCC

Africa’s vast aviation potential as the continent continues to increase airline frequency to the GCC will be explored at the Inaugural CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa – co-located with Arabian Travel Market 2019 and taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre on April 30 and May 1. With up to 300 delegates, the forum will include a packed conference programme, panel discussion and airline and industry briefings as well as unlimited one-to-one meetings pre-scheduled for airlines, airports and suppliers – all combined with endless informal opportunities for networking throughout the two days. The potential for the aviation sector in Africa is immense. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) projects that the African continent will become one of the fastest growing aviation regions within the next 20 years, with an average annual expansion rate of almost 5 per cent. Currently, there are 731 airports and 419 airlines on the African continent, with the aviation sector supporting around 7 million jobs and generating $80 billion in economic activity. In terms of passenger numbers, 47 million passengers departed from Africa’s top five airports, which included Cairo, Addis Ababa and Marrakesh in 2018, according to the latest ANKER report. “Emirates and Saudia were only responsible for 8 million of those passengers, highlighting the potential for new routes throughout the continent and between the Middle East and Africa. Furthermore, IATA reckons if just 12 key Africa countries opened their markets and increased connectivity, an extra 155,000 jobs and US$1.3 billion in annual GDP would be created in those countries,” said Nick Pilbeam, Divisional Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions. The international aviation industry has been monitoring developments in Africa closely, especially since the Single African Air …

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Mӧvenpick Hotel Tahlia opens in the heart of Jeddah

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has opened doors to its fourth property in Jeddah with Mövenpick Hotel Tahlia Jeddah. Owned by Hadia Abdul Latif Jameel Food Products Trading Company, the hotel is a sophisticated lifestyle property with a prime location on Hail Street, just 30 minutes from King Abdulaziz International Airport and within walking distance from both the thriving Jameel Square commercial building and Al Thalia shopping street. With a leading-edge noise cancelling system built into the structure, the hotel’s 161 rooms and suites, equipped with expansive living areas, are a haven for business and leisure travellers in the heart of the city. Ideal for families and long-term stays, special rooms are equipped with a full kitchenette, while children can be kept entertained at The Little Birds Club, featuring a range of entertaining and educational activities. The property is also set to become one of the city’s most sought-after dining destinations, with Jeddah’s first restaurant managed by Michelin star chef and restauranteur Vineet Bhatia whose culinary creations are brought to life at ‘Rasoi by Vineet’. “This contemporary property is a distinctive addition to our fast-growing portfolio in Saudi Arabia where we currently operate 12 properties and have four more pipelined. Mövenpick Hotel Tahlia Jeddah, through its design, unique dining options and spacious rooms and suites, will add to Jeddah’s upscale offering as the city continues to attract a greater number of visitors through Saudi Vision 2030’s economic and social reforms. Adding a fourth property in Jeddah bolsters our cluster strategy in the Kingdom, consolidating Movenpick’s reputation for innovation, culinary excellence and authenticity, reinforcing its we make moments brand promise,” said Sami Nasser, Chief Operating Officer—Middle East & Africa, AccorHotels. Guests can also embark on a gourmet …

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453-room Millennium Place Marina to open this year

Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Middle East and Africa has announced the addition of Millennium Place to its diversified portfolio of hospitality brands. A modern hotel concept that will cater to the new generation of business and leisure travellers, Millennium Place is slated to open in the first half of 2019 and will stand within the bustling district of Dubai Marina. The hotel features 453-rooms and suites that are designed to deliver a compelling guest experience offering views of the Dubai Marina and the Palm Islands. Its strategic location will allow guests walking access to The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence and nearby metro stations. “The Millennium Place Marina will focus on things that make a difference to our guests’ stay. It could be the in-room entertainment, the pillow, our hotel facilities, food and of course our excellent service. We want our guests to call their room a place of their own when staying at Millennium Place,” said Atef El Eskndarany, the newly appointed Director of Sales and Marketing of the property. Eskndarany will serve as an integral part of the pre-opening team and will be responsible for leading the sales and marketing efforts for the property. He brings almost nineteen years of sales and marketing experience in UAE, Oman and Egypt.  Prior to this role, Eskndarany was the Cluster Director of Sales and Marketing for Radisson Blu Dubai Marina and has participated in the pre-opening phase for six hotels of various international hotel brands such as InterContinental Hotel Group, Movenpick and Radisson Hotel Group.

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Wyndham Hotels & Resorts opens 100th property in the Middle East with Wyndham Garden Dammam

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has opened the company’s 100th hotel in region, Wyndham Garden Dammam in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This milestone follows several other significant openings in 2018 across the region, including new hotels in the United Arab Emirates, India and three additional hotels in Saudi Arabia, further strengthening the diverse offering of brands and destinations. Ignace Bauwens, Regional Vice President—Middle East, Eurasia and Africa, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said, “We are exceptionally proud to have reached the incredible milestone of 100 hotels in the Middle East, Eurasia and Africa region with our latest opening in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With a wide footprint of hotels, significant diversity of brands and a robust pipeline in place, our mission is to make hotel travel possible for all. Reaching 100 hotels in the region marks another important step in our quest to  offer travellers unique and authentic experiences, wherever and however they want to travel. Growth will continue to be our focus in 2019 and beyond, as we expand our footprint further and continue to bring more hotel choice across the entire region.” Wyndham Garden Dammam opened its doors in December 2018. Marking the introduction of the Wyndham Garden brand in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the opening further strengthened Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ portfolio in this key growth market, now including 15 operational hotels and over 2,300 rooms. Located in the heart of Dammam, Wyndham Garden Dammam offers a variety of rooms, suites and apartments and a fully-equipped female and male health club, as well as a restaurant, café and executive lounge.

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Emirates appoints 10 UAE nationals to key commercial positions in the Middle East, GCC and Africa

Emirates has announced a number of appointments to its commercial operations team across the Middle East, GCC and Africa with effect from January 6, 2019. The appointments bring Emirati talent into key leadership positions, either being promoted from within the organisation or through portfolio rotations, underpinning the airline’s commitment to career development and progression of its UAE Nationals. Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates said, “As we continue to develop our operations in the Middle East, GCC and Africa, the unique backgrounds, experience and skills of each newly-appointed member of our commercial team will further strengthen our commercial and business operations and drive our strategic initiatives in a new year of growth. Their experience will also be instrumental as we focus on executing many of our commercial initiatives to pursue revenue opportunities, improve margin performance, as well as capture new consumer segments.” Mohammad Lootah will be taking on the role of Manager Jordan. Lootah joined Emirates in 2016 and has held commercial support management roles in Riyadh and Kuwait. Tariq Al Mutawa has been appointed as Manager Kuwait. Al Mutawa has been with Emirates for eight years, holding roles in India, Bahrain and Qatar. Hamad Al Ali, has been appointed to lead the airline’s commercial activities as Manager Bahrain. Al Ali joined Emirates in 2013 as a Commercial Support Manager and was posted in South Africa and Ethiopia. After that, he was assigned as Manager Zambia where he executed and delivered Emirates’s commercial activities in that market. Omar Al Bushlaibi, will become Manager Oman. He joined Emirates in 2014 as part of the UAE National Commercial Management Programme, training in the UAE Sales Department, Istanbul, as well as …

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Amadeus expands airline business unit in Dubai regional hub

Amadeus has expanded its airline business unit capabilities at its Dubai regional hub covering Middle East, Turkey and Africa region. Following the regionalisation of all business units to get closer to their customers, teams in the Dubai regional hub now include those of airlines, travel agencies, airport IT, payments, mobile and legal. Sabine Hansen Peck, SVP, People & Culture, Communication and Brand, Amadeus, opened the new office of the Dubai-based Amadeus Regional Hub. Further, commenting on the occasion, she said, “The Middle East, Turkey and Africa regions are relevant and growing markets for Amadeus. This expansion reflects our commitment to the region.”

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Fraser Suites opens in Muscat

Tavellers to Muscat can now experience luxurious hospitality with the recent opening of Fraser Suites Muscat. The 120-key property is Frasers Hospitality’s first in Oman, offering business and leisure to travellers in the heart of the capital. Under the ownership of Amer Al Suleimani and co-owners, Ammar Al Suleimani and Ahmed Al Suleimani, Fraser Suites Muscat seeks to redefine the concept of hospitality. Located in the landmark mixed-use complex, the serviced residence offers guests a range of one to three-bedroom apartments, each with stunning views of the city. Its prime location puts it in the vicinity of a host of F&B outlets, mega shopping and lifestyle destinations like the Mall of Oman and Muscat Grand Mall, several large multi-national companies and Muscat International Airport. This spacious property, with modern and elegant furnishing reflecting the essence of the city throughout, also hosts a range of amenities for residents to enjoy. A grand ballroom is also available for events and conferences for up to 800 people. The launch of the property is in line with the growth strategy of Frasers Hospitality, which aims at expanding its global presence with new properties in the Middle East and Africa.

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