Tag Archives: CEO

Dubai tourism marks 26th year of participation at Arabian Travel Market 2019

Issam Kazim JPG

As one of ATM’s longest-standing partners, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) marked the 26th year of its participation in showcasing the emirate’s diverse tourism offerings to the local and international travel trade community at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM). Dubai Tourism was joined by over 300 representatives from government bodies, hotels, destination management companies and tour operators. The Dubai stand showcased the breadth of the emirate’s ever-evolving destination portfolio, as well as highlighted an upcoming pipeline of new experiences through numerous interactive activations and content-rich displays. The strategic platform also brought together an extensive network of industry stakeholders across the public and private sectors to strengthen new and existing in-market trade partnerships. In support of the show’s 2019 focus on technological innovation, the state-of-the-art stand will embrace disruptive innovation by providing unique and immersive experiences to visitors, all designed to showcase the city’s unique and attractive tourist proposition for diverse market segments. Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) said, “ATM plays a key strategic role in helping Dubai Tourism provide insights into the emirate’s dynamic tourism proposition to international, regional and local travel, tourism and hospitality decision makers. We are delighted to extend our reach this year by hosting more than 300 buyers from around the world to explore how to maximise our combined potentials. Our activations and on-stand experiences will build on the technological innovation theme of this year’s show, and we look forward to highlighting the scale of the activities that continue to build on our ‘digital, mobile and social first’ agenda.” This year, visitors to the Dubai stand could explore a dedicated ‘EMAAR Zone’ with a new Virtual …

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His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum inaugurates ATM 2019

atm-2019-opening-image-3

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, has inaugurated the 26th edition of Arabian Travel Market (ATM). He was joined by Helal Saeed Al Marri, CEO, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and Director-General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), plus other VIPs who embarked on a tour of the show floor as the four-day event got underway at DWTC. Taking place from April 28 to May 1, this year’s event has 400 main stand holders with representation from over 150 countries. With more than 40,000 visitors expected to attend the event, ATM 2019 will showcase over 2,500 exhibiting companies – of which 100 will be making their show debut. The 26th edition of ATM will form part of the inaugural Arabian Travel Week, as well as ILTM Arabia, CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa – a new route development forum launching this year and new consumer-led event ATM Holiday Shopper. Other highlights will include the debuts of Arabia China Tourism Forum and Hotel Industry Summit, as well as the return of Global Halal Tourism Summit. As this year’s main theme, cutting-edge technology and innovation will be integrated across all show verticals and planned activities.

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Shaza Hotels signs first Mysk in Saudi Arabia; to open doors in 2021

Jeddah Heraa Street Facade

Shaza Hotels has signed a management agreement with Sheikh Sultan Al Harthi to operate Mysk Jeddah, the Mysk brand’s first property in KSA. Located on Heraa Street, close to the Jeddah Corniche, the four-star hotel is expected to open in 2021. Included in its facilities are a restaurant, a café, meeting rooms, a kids’ club, fitness centre and rooftop pool. Sheikh Sultan Al Harthi stated, “To support the tourism initiatives for Saudi Vision 2030, we have decided to enter the tourism sector by developing an upscale hotel in a prime location in Jeddah Province. We have chosen Shaza Hotels to operate it under the Mysk by Shaza brand as we were keen on bringing a new and fresh brand to the Saudi market. This hotel will be one-of-a-kind in the Kingdom.” Simon Coombs, President and CEO, Shaza Hotels, commented, “The tourism landscape in KSA is changing rapidly due to various government initiatives being put in place to boost the number of arrivals into the country. New destinations are being created and a new generation of hotels is entering Saudi Arabia. Mysk Jeddah is one of them, catering to the evolving needs of the Saudi tourism sector where discerning guests are seeking a more personalised experience aligned with their lifestyle. We are very grateful to Sheikh Sultan Al Harthi for having entrusted us with the management of Mysk Jeddah and we are confident that this Mysk will become the new sought-after address in Jeddah.” Mysk Jeddah is the brand’s seventh property, the first being the award-winning Mysk by Shaza Al Mouj in Muscat, and the next hotels to open are three Mysk retreats that are part of the Sharjah Collection as announced …

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Turkish Airlines and Oman Air extend codeshare agreement

Extended Codeshare Agreement with Oman Air

Turkish Airlines and Oman Air have revised the codeshare agreement signed earlier. Under the revised agreement, Turkish Airlines will codeshare on Oman Air operating flights to Salalah while Oman Air will codeshare on Turkish Airlines operating flights to Rome, Copenhagen and Algiers. The codeshare agreement allows guests to benefit from the outstanding products and services offered by both carriers on these routes. Bilal Ekşi, Deputy Chairman and CEO, Turkish Airlines expressed, “Witnessing Oman Air’s direct flights to Istanbul within the scope of our existing codeshare agreement has always pleased us. Now extending this agreement in order to increase the travel opportunities offered for our passengers through our networks made us more delighted. We believe that this codeshare enhancement with Oman Air will exposure further cooperation opportunities for both airlines together with growing relations between our countries.” Abdulaziz Al Raisi, Chief Executive Officer, Oman Air commented, “Oman Air is happy and proud to be associating with Turkish Airlines which is a globally recognized network carrier. It is an ideal partner for Oman Air, which has justifiably attracted a reputation for offering the highest levels of comfort, luxury and outstanding service. As we continue to expand globally, codeshare agreements such as this help us spread our wings to newer destinations and bring us more partners and guests.” Turkish Airlines and Oman Air currently operate one daily flight each on the Muscat-Istanbul route under the reciprocal codeshare agreement. The schedule of these flights are designed to complement each other by allowing same day return trip at Muscat and Istanbul.

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Cebu Pacific to launch flights between Manila and Marinduque from April 1

cebu-pacific

Cebu Pacific has expanded its domestic footprint with the commencement of regular flights between Manila and Marinduque from April 1, 2019. With operations every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, the new route will be operated by subsidiary Cebgo using its fleet of brand-new ATR aircraft. “We are excited to begin operations in one of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines–Marinduque. It takes only about an hour to fly between Manila and Marinduque—in contrast to the eight hour trip by ferry and land today. Regular flights will allow business to prosper and the island’s tourism sector to boom,” said Alexander Lao, President and CEO, Cebgo. “It was a long and tedious process to bring about this route. We are thankful for the collaboration and cooperation of various government agencies for the completion of the runway and terminal facilities at the Marinduque Airport. We are optimistic that with larger aircraft and regular flights, tourists will have greater access to Marinduque and harness its potential as a world-class ecotourism destination. We look forward to partnering with Cebu Pacific and other stakeholders as we strive for progress in Marinduque through sustainable tourism,” said Lord Allan Jay Velasco, Representative, Marinduque. Marinduque is the 37th domestic destination of Cebu Pacific and often mentioned as an idyllic destination for a tropical getaway by travel writers.

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Millennium Atria Business Bay opens doors in Dubai

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Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Dubai-based Deyaar Development opened Millennium Atria Business Bay that will serve the growing hospitality and tourism sector. Saeed Al Qatami, CEO, Deyaar Development and Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi, President, Millennium Hotels and Resorts MEA, attended the ceremony that marked the opening of Deyaar’s first hotel and the 40th hotel operated by Millennium Hotels and Resorts in the Middle East. The 30-storey Millennium Atria Business Bay features 347 studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, three-bedroom and duplex apartments. Facilities within the hotel include an all-day dining restaurant, podium terrace with cinema projection, infinity pool on the 25th floor, gymnasium and kids’ club. Every unit in Millennium Atria Business Bay has a characteristic personality and flair, with a key focus on urban elegance paired with the latest smart technology. Saeed Al Qatami, CEO, Deyaar Development said, “With close to two decades of experience in creating unique, culturally-appropriate residential and commercial properties, Deyaar has developed a deep understanding of what residents, visitors, and investors look for in property. Deyaar’s vision to expand into exceptional hospitality offerings align with the vision of the UAE’s leadership, as detailed in the UAE National Agenda 2021 – and the time is right, with an estimated 20 million visitors expected to arrive in Dubai for Expo 2020.”

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Ras Al Khaimah attracts over one million tourists in 2018

Haitham(2)

Exceeding its target of attracting 1 million visitors by 2018, Ras Al Khaimah reported 1,072,066 visitors from domestic and key international markets during the year. Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) reported a 10 per cent growth in visitors compared to 2017, led by the UAE domestic market which continues to generate 38 per cent of overall visitors. Germany continues to be the leading international source market with 83,605 visitors, followed by Russia, with 83,531 visitors – up by a significant 17 per cent on 2017. The third largest source market was the UK, with 63,054 visitors, up 11.5 per cent; India was fourth with 62,325 visitors, up 22 per cent; rounding out the top five was Kazakhstan with 27,168 visitors, a growth of 28 per cent. One of Ras Al Khaimah’s key milestones in 2018 was the launch of Jebel Jais Flight – the world’s longest zipline, which has welcomed over 25,000 flyers since opening 12 months ago. This put Ras Al Khaimah on the map, breaking the world record and strengthening the emirate’s credentials as the fastest growing adventure tourism destination in the region. Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA said, “2018 has been another remarkable year for the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah in terms of achievements and milestones accomplished, primarily exceeding our target of 1 million visitors. With the current robust visitor demand, solid regional and international partnerships in place and iconic product launches over the past few years, Ras Al Khaimah is on a mission to further assert its position as the fastest growing tourism destination in the region, whilst promoting our emirate’s breadth of offerings to regional and international target markets”. Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority …

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RwandAir and Amadeus extend partnership to boost continued growth in Africa and beyond

RWAND AIR AND AMADEUS

RwandAir has announced its expansion through partnership with Amadeus to adopt technology that will allow its customers to benefit from improved efficiency, better experience and increased convenience. This is in line with further boosting Rwanda as a travel destination. Last year Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali was ranked the third most popular destination in Africa to host international conferences. RwandAir was recently named the 10th most-improved airline in the world by Skytrax and has built a reputation for excellent on-time performance. Having previously provided RwandAir with distribution services, Amadeus will now roll out solutions across passenger systems, revenue management, loyalty management, payments, and data and analytics. The extended partnership intends to support RwandAir’s plans of expanding its network and fleet. Yvonne Manzi Makolo, CEO, RwandAir said, “RwandAir is committed to providing an impeccable customer experience that will fuel our continued expansion in the years to come. We look forward to an extended partnership with Amadeus that will provide us with the world-class passenger services solution with an upgrade of our reservations, ticketing, departure control, e-commerce, market intelligence and loyalty systems”. The benefits of using the Amadeus’s Passenger System (Altéa) also extend to Amadeus’ global travel seller network. Maher Koubaa, VP META, Amadeus, said, “Amadeus uses industry insights combined with smart technology to build the technology that empowers airlines, travel agents and their customers alike to streamline processes, boost convenience, build reputation and loyalty, and more. We’re proud that our partnership with RwandAir has grown so that we can continue to contribute to its growth story.”

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Dubai Tourism in discussion with Alipay to create a cashless destination for Chinese tourists

Issam Kazim

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) is strengthening its bilateral ties with the China market by endorsing Alipay, a mobile payment and lifestyle platform, through a series of activations and promotions during the upcoming Chinese New Year. The inaugural campaign, launched to mark Dubai’s growing popularity among Chinese tourists and Alipay’s continuous efforts to connect them with overseas merchants, will take place annually across the city with the goal to transform the emirate into a cashless destination for Chinese travellers. As part of the ongoing partnership, Dubai Tourism will continue to amplify Alipay’s prominent role in the market to bring further awareness to the industry’s network of stakeholders, facilitating future collaborations with a wide range of retail partners. Underlining the remarkable growth and the importance of tourism from China to the emirate, the city welcomed 779,000 visitors between January and November 2018, representing a 12 per cent increase on the year before. Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said, “Our ongoing partnership with Alipay is testament to our commitment to providing seamless payment and travel experiences to our guests, and is underpinned by the emirate’s China Readiness Strategy with the shared goal of further enhancing the visitor experience of Chinese tourists in Dubai.” Li Wang, Director, Alipay, said, “Chinese New Year is the most important holiday for the Chinese as well as the biggest campaign for Alipay. We are keen to work with Dubai Tourism to provide seamless payment and travel experiences to Chinese tourists. Together with our partners in Dubai, we are committed to create value for merchants and retailers in Dubai, better connecting them with Chinese tourists.”

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RTA and CIPS MENA sign MoU to upgrade procurement and supply practices

ممثلو الطرفين أثناء توقيع الاتفاقية

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply in the Middle East & North Africa (CIPS MENA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance the professional skills of RTA’s personnel in procurement and supply. The move is a part of RTA’s strategy to boost the cooperation between public and private sectors guided by the directives of Dubai Government. Yousef Al Redha, CEO, RTA Corporate Administrative Support Services Sector and Malcolm Harrison, CEO, CIPS signed the MoU at the RTA’s Head Office. “The signing of the MoU renders RTA the first government entity to enhance the professional standards of delivering services. The move stems from RTA’s appreciation of the importance of procurement and supply within RTA, considering it a key contributor to protecting and sustaining the financial resources of RTA,” said Al Redha. “This MoU will boost RTA’s professional practices of procurement and supply through workshops held by the CIPS for RTA employees. It will thus contribute to realising RTA’s seventh Strategic Goal (RTA Excellence) and assist in turning Dubai into an excellent global hub in procurement & supply,” he added. Harrison was delighted for the signing of the MoU with RTA; one of the biggest government authorities in Dubai with an expansive procurement and supply system. “Under the MoU, we will apply all our abilities & expertise in holding events and workshops to step up the professional standards of RTA’s employees in this field.

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