Tag Archives: GCC

Wego partners with Oman Ministry of Tourism to increase visitors from the GCC

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Wego, the largest online travel marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), announced its partnership with Oman Ministry of Tourism, to promote Oman as the destination of choice for GCC travellers and drive more visitors to the country. The partnership will facilitate activities in the GCC region to promote tourism to Oman with the spotlight on the trending destinations in Oman, including Muscat, Salalah, Sohar, Khasab and Duqm. Through this collaboration, Oman Ministry of Tourism will generate brand and destination awareness positioning Oman as a friendly, beautiful, cultural and one of the top historic destinations in the region. Wego will also present an informative guide of the accessible places in Oman during the summer period and highlight some of the hidden gems to explore.  From sightseeing to the historical forts and castles, diving and snorkeling, the mesmerising beaches in Musandam and the beauty of Salalah, Oman ensures to have activities for families, couples, adventurers and explorers. Mamoun Hmedan, Managing Director, MENA and India, Wego, said, “We are delighted to partner with Oman Ministry of Tourism, to showcase what Oman offers from a wide array of activities, adventure and wonderful experiences to discover all year round. We’ve been witnessing an increase in the number of searches in Q1 2019 compared to 2018 from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar and India. We will be working closely with Oman Ministry of Tourism through this campaign to expand the searches from GCC market.” Salim Bin Adey Al Mamari, Director General of Tourism Promotion, Ministry of Tourism, said, “Our latest partnership with Wego is the result of our efforts to connect with a platform that is capable of effectively promoting Oman’s tourism …

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Tourism boards of Germany, Switzerland and Austria host ‘Reach for the Stars’

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In collaboration with premium partner Lufthansa Group, more than 200 regional and international key decision makers from the travel trade industry attended the travel trade networking event, to celebrate the conclusion of the ‘Heart of Europe’ Travel Summit; a joint networking-event hosted by the national tourist boards of Germany, Switzerland and Austria prior to the Arabian Travel Market exhibition (ATM) for the very first time.  Entitled “Reach for the Stars”, the lavish evening event took place on the rooftop of the Five Palm Jumeirah Hotel, offering its high-level guests  an outstanding view of the Dubai skyline. Heinrich Lange, Senior Director Sales, Gulf, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Lufthansa Group, said, “We are delighted to have concluded the Heart of Europe Travel Summit with a tremendously successful networking evening. The GCC is a key focus market for us at Lufthansa Group in view of the strong growth prospects for travel from the GCC to Europe, Switzerland, Austria and Germany in particular, and the event offered us an excellent platform to strengthen our relationships with our customers and partners to reinforce our commitment to this region.” Highlighting the thrills the European neighbouring countries have to offer, guests were welcomed to experience an authentic culinary journey at the dedicated German, Swiss and Austrian food corners, while being entertained by a live band who traditionally performs at the world famous Oktoberfest in Munich, ‘Die Kirchdorfer’ who played famous tunes from the three countries aiming at inspiring guests to make Germany, Switzerland and Austria their summer holiday destination of choice. Emphasising the importance of flights connectivity between Europe and the GCC countries, the premium partner Lufthansa Group is proud to be one of the first aviation companies …

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

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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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14 airlines to take part in CONNECT Middle East, India & Africa forum in Dubai

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Set to be held from April 30 to May 1, CONNECT Middle East, India & Africa 2019 is expected to bring together airline specialists, aviation authorities, tourism boards, airports and tour operators, as well as other travel-related industry professionals. Fourteen airlines have already confirmed their participation at CONNECT Middle East, India & Africa – co-located with Arabian Travel Market 2019 and taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre. Senior network planning teams from Emirates, Etihad, flydubai, Air Arabia, Air Asia, EgyptAir, flyadeal, Ethiopian Airlines, Global Airways, Atlas Global, Germania, Mahan Air, Royal Air Maroc and Titan Airways will attend the inaugural route development forum. Throughout 2018, GCC airlines have added 58 new flight routes – focusing on areas of consistent and substantial growth – according to research from Colliers International – based on a sample of 10 airlines including Emirates, Etihad, flydubai, Salaam Air, Oman Air, Gulf Air, Saudia, flyadeal, Air Arabia and IndiGo airlines. Karin Butot, CEO, The Airport Agency, said, “2018 has been an exciting year for new flight routes both to and from the GCC, underscoring Dubai as the ideal location to bring together professionals from the aviation and tourism industry for the inaugural CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa forum. With up to 400 delegates, CONNECT Middle East, India & Africa 2019 will include unlimited one-to-one pre-scheduled appointments, a conference programme, panel discussions and airline and  industry briefings as well as an exhibition area dedicated to airports and suppliers.” Nick Pilbeam, Divisional Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions, said, “It is an ideal base for exploring some of the world’s most interesting and previously inaccessible corners of the world. And the GCC’s airlines are making it even easier with the …

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Dubai welcomes 11.58 million visitors in first 3 quarters of 2018

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Dubai remains on track to becoming the most visited city for global travel, business and events, according to the latest visitation figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). The emirate welcomed 11.58 million visitors in the first three quarters of 2018, with India retaining its position as Dubai’s leading source market, followed by Saudi Arabia and the UK continuing to hold second and third positions respectively, underlining the city’s sustained appeal to its traditional strongholds and a wider diversified global audience. Russia, China and Germany continued to be key drivers within the top performing markets, each recording double-digit growth compared to the same period in 2017. Tourism from Russia remained on high trajectory, growing by a massive 60 per cent year-on-year, with visitor numbers surging to 460,000 in just the first nine months of 2018. The increase in Russian overnight guests was supported by a strong 19 per cent growth in air capacity across non-stop flights, in addition to added ease of travel access following the introduction of visa-on-arrival facilities in the last two years. China also continued to highlight benefits from the visa-on-arrival scheme, complementing the ongoing ‘China Readiness’ strategy, consequently re-enforcing its upward curve resulting in China securing its position as the fourth largest feeder market with an impressive 641,000 visitors so far this year, marking a 12 per cent increase versus 573,000 for the same period last year. Germany grew even faster at 15 per cent to reach 388,000 visitors during the first nine months, landing in eighth place within the top 10 source markets for Dubai. From a regional perspective, the first nine months saw 20 per cent of overnight visitors …

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Gulf Air and Etihad ink deal to enhance guest experiences

Gulf Air and Etihad Aviation Group MoU 1

Gulf Air and Etihad are set to explore deeper cooperation following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Bahrain International Airshow. The wide-ranging MOU covers scope to introduce joint codeshare operations between Abu Dhabi and Manama, as well as on the global flight networks beyond the two carriers’ GCC hubs. The MOU also contains plans for greater commercial cooperation in the fields of cargo, engineering, guest experience and the optimisation of pilot training facilities. It was signed by Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group and Krešimir Kučko, Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Air on the first day of the ongoing show at the Sakhir Airbase. Krešimir Kučko said, “The relationship between Bahrain and the UAE is strong in many fields, including aviation and with the signing of this MOU, we enrich the relationship by cooperating with Etihad Airways. This is an example of how two airlines can work hand-in-hand for greater mutual benefits. We are happy to work with our friends and colleagues in Etihad and support each other to achieve bigger goals.” According to Tony Douglas, “The deep ties between Abu Dhabi and Manama are well-known in the aviation world and date back nearly 70 years. Therefore, the natural way to build upon those ties is to examine ways in which the two flag carriers can work more closely together to improve business operations and enhance the experience for our guests. We look forward to the Etihad and Gulf Air teams coming together during the next few months to look at how we can put that in place, whether it is in codeshare, engineering, cargo, or through our frequent flyer programmes.”

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BYHOURS launches in Manama, Bahrain

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BYHOURS has officially launched in Manama, enabling users to select the desired check-in time to hotel rooms at any time during the day. The platform allows users to book hotel rooms in sets of three, six or twelve-hour timeslots. BYHOURS offers such flexibility in hotel stays in more than 3000 hotels in 25 countries across Europe, Latin America and the GCC region. This start-up is the first to introduce the concept of micro-stays and a pay-per-use finance scheme in the international travel and hospitality industry. It is aimed at international business travellers’ in-between meetings and for travellers spending time in cities for short layovers.

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VFS to promote Zimbabwe Tourism Authority in GCC

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In a move to enhance destination awareness and foster market visibility, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has appointed VFS Global to promote Zimbabwe as a preferred tourism destination in both India and GCC region, through a collaborative relationship. The agreement was officially signed by Karikoga Kaseke, Chief Executive of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority at the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Office Boardroom, Harare in the presence of other eminent dignitaries from VFS Global, travel and trade fraternity. A world of wonders, Zimbabwe prides itself to being home of the Majestic Victoria Falls; one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and a World Heritage Site that is the biggest curtain of water in the world in the Zambezi River. As part of the agreement, VFS Global would support ZTA to build a unique identity of Zimbabwe as a potential tourist destination by educating and spreading awareness to tour operators, travel agents, MICE planners and the general traveller based in India or GCC region.

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VisitBritain launches exclusive holidays for GCC

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For the first time, VisitBritain aims to promote the luxury horse racing itineraries to horse racing enthusiasts in the region and inspire them to book these experiences. Their recent ‘I Travel For…’ digital marketing campaign uses short-films and story-telling to market unexplored destinations in Britain, alongside its globally renowned landmarks and attractions. For centuries, horse racing has been linked with the English monarchy. It is called the sport of kings because of its strong association with royalty and nobility. The history of England is the history of horse racing, from its humble beginnings to today’s Royal family’s continuing passion and patronage of the sport. A day at the races is an opportunity to experience English history and tradition at its best.

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Swiss-Belhotel International expands footprint in GCC

Swiss-Belinn signing

Continuing its expansion in the GCC, Swiss-Belhotel International has entered into a management agreement with Al Salaam International Hotel to operate Swiss-Belinn Muscat in Oman. Expected to open in 2019, the three-star hotel enjoys an outstanding location in Seeb in close proximity to Muscat International Airport. Equipped with 120 standard rooms and 10 varieties of suites, Swiss-Belinn Muscat is being developed to offer its guests a comprehensive range of facilities including an all-day-dining restaurant, flexible meeting and conference venues, gym, Wi-Fi access and 24-hours room service. Given its fantastic location near the airport, the hotel will serve as the perfect abode for transit passengers looking for stop-overs and airline crews as well as corporate travellers on a short visit to Oman or those facing unexpected flight halts.

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