Tag Archives: CEO

flyadeal on a great start in two months

flyadeal logo

Saudi Arabia’s new low-fare airline flyadeal has received a welcome market response since the start of services, with load factors reaching more than 82 per cent. flyadeal currently operates on three routes from Jeddah to Riyadh, Dammam and Qassim. Having commenced operations on September 23, Jeddah-Riyadh was the first city pair, beginning as a double-daily service, quickly growing to five-times-daily. Dammam and Qassim began this month, with Jeddah-Dammam increasing to double daily later this month. flyadeal currently has a fleet of three aircraft, with an additional five to be delivered. All are brand new A320 aircraft in a single-class configuration of 186 seats. Con Korfiatis, CEO, flyadeal, said, “flyadeal has received a very warm welcome from our passengers so far and we are grateful for their support. We look forward to continue serving our loyal guests as we move into the next phase of expansion in the coming months.”

Read More »

Adventure tourism in RAK attracts millennials

1. RAKTDA - WTM 2017

The adventure tourism product portfolio of Ras Al Khaimah, now established as one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the Middle East, is shaping up as a millennials’ magnet. Addressing a panel debate in London on the travel patterns of affluent millennials, Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), said the emirate was hitting the mark with the much sought-after segment. “Ras Al Khaimah has what it takes when it comes to ticking millennial boxes,” said Mattar. “They want authenticity and the emirate has it in spades; they want meaningful, off-the-radar experiences and the ability to connect with culture, which again we excel in; and they have a desire to soak up natural sights, which is a key pillar of our offering.” Mattar revealed millennials are now a prime target for the emirate, which boasts of an ancient heritage and myriad landscapes from desert to stunning coastline, and the rocky crags of the Hajar mountains with its natural springs and the UAE’s highest peak Jebel Jais, now ranked as the emirate’s number one attraction.

Read More »

TIME Hotels launches Saudi resort at WTM

time-beach-villa-resort

TIME Hotels unveiled its first resort at WTM London with the launch of TIME Beach Villas Resort in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Opening its doors in December 2017, the resort will comprise 61 units with detailed Arabic architecture encompassing a full reflection of authentic Gulf design. Mohamed Awadalla, CEO, TIME Hotels, said, “This resort has been built with both corporate and leisure visitors in mind. It is perfect for long staying corporate guests as well as short stay family getaways. We, at TIME Hotels, have an in-depth understanding of these market segments, how to add value and drive in business.” Located close to the beach and at a 20 minutes’ drive from Jeddah International Airport and city centre, the midrange resort will offer fitness and leisure facilities, high-speed WiFi, LED televisions in all rooms along with concierge and business services.

Read More »

Meeting Point Emirates’ first charter debuts on Dubai-Leipzig route

Meeting Point Emirates & FTI Germany Press conference

Meeting Point Emirates commenced its first charter flight set to fly from Leipzig to Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) 365 days of the year, regardless of seasonality arrivals. The flight programme includes daily, year-round direct flights and departs on a weekly basis from Leipzig, Hannover, Cologne, Munich and Stuttgart. In winter, weekly flights are scheduled from Berlin and Basel, while in summer, weekly flights are scheduled from Nuremburg and Dresden. This initiative, which started on November 2, makes Dubai directly accessible from most of these cities, hence, exposing the Dubai to new potential travellers, with a market reach like never before. Khaled Jouni, CEO, Meeting Point International, said, “Adding over 100,000 arrivals per year from the German speaking market is certain to have a positive augmentation on the destination and our local hotel partners alike”. Dubai Tourism’s Saud Hareb, Market Lead for Germany, said, “Dubai has seen strong growth and enthusiasm among visitors as a safe, family-friendly destination with a variety of attractions to be enjoyed year round, from theme parks, beaches, water parks, cultural offerings, and authentic desert safari experiences.”

Read More »

DXB tops with 7.2m passenger traffic in September

Concourse d image JPG

According to traffic report issued by Dubai Airports, passenger traffic at Dubai International (DXB) reached 7.2 million in September. The airport for international passenger traffic welcomed 7,215,182 passengers in September as compared to 7,094,738 recorded in the corresponding month last year, symbolising an increase of 1.7 per cent. The softening of the growth was mainly due to the splitting of seasonal rush of travellers during Eid holidays which started in August and ended in September. The year to date traffic continued a strong upward trend with 66,568,550 passengers, a growth of 5.8 per cent compared to 62,945,886 recorded during the first nine months of 2016. Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said, “DXB’s growth throughout the first nine months of 2017 has been very satisfying and we are now well set for a great finish to the year; thanks to the internationally popular entertainment and sports events lined up for the upcoming winter season here in Dubai.”

Read More »

RAK targets 900,000 visitors for 2017

3. RAK Q3 Visitor Numbers - Haitham Mattar

Ras Al Khaimah is edging closer to its 900,000 visitor target for 2017 after producing record arrivals in the first nine months of this year – the January to September 2017 international arrivals reveal nine per cent growth in the same period in 2016. The latest figures released by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops and regulates the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions, show nine-month growth in key categories including arrivals, hotel occupancy, guest nights and length of stay. Visitor arrivals over the period reached 631,617, guest nights grew 12.4 per cent, occupancy rose 1.3 per cent to 69.2 per cent, while length of stay came in at 3.55 days – a growth of nine per cent. “While growth in all KPIs was satisfying, we are particularly pleased with the extended length of stay which we attribute to development of our events calendar and products, such as the highly successful Via Ferrata around Jebel Jais in the Hajar Mountains. As the first regional product of its type, the Jebel Jais Via Ferrata has done much to established the emirate as a credible leisure activity and adventure destination,” explained Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA.

Read More »

6.6% increase in DXB passenger traffic in Aug y-o-y

Dubai airport image

Passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport reached 8,233,311 in August 2017 compared to 7,727,105 recorded in the same month last year, an increase of 6.6 per cent. As per the monthly traffic report of Dubai Airports, the year-to-date traffic totalled 59,353,368 passengers up 6.3 per cent compared to 55,851,148* recorded during the first eight months of 2016. During August, in terms of passenger volumes, India remained the top destination country with 1,044,730 passengers in August, followed by the UK (611,254 passengers) and Saudi Arabia (610,434 passengers). South America (27.4%) was the fastest expanding market in terms of percentage growth followed by Asia (21.9%), and Eastern Europe (18.8%). London was the top destination city with 377,130 passengers followed closely by Kuwait (284,151 passengers) and Mumbai (211,564 passengers). The average number of passengers per flight during the month remained high at 246, up 7.2% compared to 229 recorded in August 2016. Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports, said, “We are very pleased with the way things are shaping up this year, not only in terms of growth, which has been robust with passenger numbers exceeding the 8-million mark three times – in January, July and August, but also with our success in significantly enhancing the airport experience with initiatives such as the launch of the world’s fastest free airport Wi-Fi, streaming entertainment service ICFlix, quicker passport control and shorter wait times in queues thanks to cutting edge technology.”

Read More »

‘Dubai Expert’ training programme now in 12 languages & 40 countries

Issam Kazim

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), has launched its “Dubai Expert” online training initiative for travel agents in 12 languages and 40 countries, taking this innovative game to a wider travel trade audience internationally, as part of efforts to highlight the multiple experiences that await visitors to Dubai across leisure, shopping, cuisine, culture, family entertainment, and more. The development and roll-out of the Dubai Expert initiative was managed by the Dubai College of Tourism (DCT), an institution of Dubai Tourism. The tool features an engaging interface that includes information on Dubai’s tourism attractions, allowing travel agents to develop their skills and keep up to date with the latest tourism developments in Dubai. The training platform also helps agents to provide potential tourists with customised and unique experiences. ‘Dubai Expert’ was introduced in English during this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in April, attracting an overwhelming response from travel agents. Following the positive feedback shown by travel companies around the world, Dubai Tourism developed the tool in a further 11 languages – French, Mandarin, Russian, German, Italian, Bahasa, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Czech, and Spanish – and launched it in 40 countries alongside the English version. Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said, “Dubai Expert was developed to assist the international travel trade in keeping up to date with all the destination updates in Dubai and ensure that all travel agents and tour operators have a sound knowledge of the emirate that they are trying to promote. Dubai Expert is also part of our continued investment in new technology and facilities that could help boost tourist arrivals in line with our strategic goal of …

Read More »

Abu Dhabi Airports partners with Al Hilal Bank

Abu Dhabi airport with Hilal bank pix (640x480)

Abu Dhabi Airports and Al Hilal Bank entered a joint agreement to offer exclusive VIP terminal access to top ranking customers of Al Hilal Bank at the Abu Dhabi International Airport. Abdul Majeed Al Khoori, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi Airports, commented, “The VIP Terminal has been built and operated with one ambition; to extend a luxury service to all our customers and ensure they receive an exceptional travel experience that mirrors what Abu Dhabi has on offer. Therefore, partnerships like this are instrumental to achieve this ambition, and we look forward to the success it will deliver to Abu Dhabi Airports and all its partners.” Alex Coelho, CEO, Al Hilal Bank, commented, “At Al Hilal Bank, we always strive to go the extra mile when it comes to entering new partnerships. Our partnership with National Aviation Services is our latest client-centric endeavour; focusing on improving the lifestyle of our customers by making the travel experience more rewarding. Through this partnership, Al Hilal Bank customers can now enjoy complimentary access to the VIP Terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport. We are happy to be part of this fruitful collaboration; offering our customers an easier and better travel experience, and we will continue to provide our customers with similar offerings that improve their quality of life.”

Read More »

World’s longest zip line in RAK by December

RAKTDA CEO Haitham Mattar and Toro Verde CEO Jorge Jorge and COO Ricardo...

It’s good news for all adventure seekers from the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, as they’re set to launch the first phase of the longest zip line in the world at mountain Jebel Jais. This multi-million dollar ecotourism project is partnered by world’s leading zip line operator, Toro Verde. With the exact length of the zip line remaining a closely-guarded secret until the multi-million dollar adventure tourism product’s opening, the zip line will propel the UAE’s most northern emirate into the major leagues of global adventure tourism and cement Jebel Jais as the region’s leading active adventure tourism destination. With RAKTDA aiming to secure Guinness World Records status for the world’s longest and highest zip line, Toro Verde UAE, a subsidiary of the Puerto Rico based Magno Genesis Holding Group, has been appointed to construct and operate the attraction. The zip line will be open to all ages, providing participants meet required minimum weight of 35kg and maximum weight of 150kg, and a minimum height of 120cm. Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA stated at the press conference that this move is to complement Ras al khaimah’s contribution to the overall tourism industry in the UAE. RAK is promoted more as adventure or wellness tourism destination. Toro Verde currently holds the Guinness record for the longest zip line in the world and RAK will be positioning itself as number one by the first week in December. He further went on to state that this will be a destination which could attract both commercial and non- commercial activities. “Building on the success of last year’s launch of the Jebel Jais Via Ferrata adventure product, the new zip line represents Ras Al Khaimah’s …

Read More »