Tag Archives: India

Air India Express launches new route from Kannur to Abu Dhabi

Air India Express image

Air India Express has launched its inaugural flight from Kannur International Airport in Kerala, India, to Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH). With this, it commences three weekly flights connecting the two airports. The three weekly non-stop flights from Kannur will arrive at AUH at 11:30am and depart at 12:30pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Speaking after the inauguration, Maarten De Groof, Chief Commercial Officer, Abu Dhabi Airports, said, “We are excited to be Air India Express’ first choice for their inaugural route. India has been one of our top generators of traffic, and we are always eager to expand the airport’s connectivity to this region in response to our passengers’ needs.” The carrier provides convenient connectivity to short/medium-haul international routes in the Gulf and South East Asia at affordable fares. PA Umadevi, Airport Manager, Air India Express, said, “We are excited to bring our inaugural flight to the UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi. This new destination will attract the traffic not only from the northern side of Kerala, but also from the neighbouring states of Karnataka as the airport is located at the northern part of the state and has easy access to Mysore and other states of Karnataka. Abu Dhabi Airports has provided us all support, as always, to ensure our customers’ satisfaction and meet the rising demand in the Abu Dhabi market.”

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Dubai welcomes 11.58 million visitors in first 3 quarters of 2018

HE Helal Saeed Almarri JPG

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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Slovakia inks deal with VFS Global for visa processing services

Slovakia VFS 2

VFS Global has signed a contract with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic for providing visa services in 10 countries worldwide. As per this new contract, VFS Global will now provide visa services for Slovakia in China, India, Kazakhstan, Palestine, Belarus, Russia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Egypt through 38 visa application centres. The rollout of all these new operations is expected to be completed by December 2018. Under the new contract, VFS Global will accept both short and long-term visa applications on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Chris Dix, Head – Business Development, VFS Global, said, “We are excited about our new partnership with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. The countries where we will be operating are markets where VFS Global has worked for several years and whose travellers are familiar with our services and expertise. We are also pleased to have the opportunity to serve our new clients in new locations, and bring applicants in these locations the same benefits and high-quality service that we have been offering our customers worldwide for the last 17 years.”

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Abu Dhabi tourism roadshow in 3 Indian cities

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The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) is embarking on a three-city roadshow to India to help promote the emirate and encourage more Indian visitors to explore and discover Abu Dhabi. The delegation, including the UAE’s national carrier Etihad Airways, Jet Airways, Yas Experiences, Dusit Thani, Royal Arabian, Air Travel Enterprise, Sofitel and Rotana, will be in India from 17th – 21st September, 2018. The roadshow will commence in New Delhi in northern India before moving on to Chennai and ending in Bengaluru. Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director Promotions and Overseas Offices, DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “India is a vital tier-one source market for us, providing us more hotel guests each year. In 2017, we recorded spectacular double-digit growth from India and we are already recording further progress from the Indian market since the turn of the year. We are now running a series of roadshows to cities across the country, highlighting the emirate and its attractions. We have excellent air connectivity, with 278 flights a week to Abu Dhabi from 12 Indian destinations.” Bejan Dinshaw, Country Manager India, DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “Our persistent efforts have managed to reinforce India as one of the leading overseas source markets for Abu Dhabi. Our YoY performance has witnessed stupendous growth and this has been possible because of the impressive work done by our trade partners. These roadshows have helped our stakeholders to connect with the regional trade partners, further boosting tourism to the Emirate.” India is currently the second-largest overseas market for Abu Dhabi after China. Last year saw more than 360,000 Indians staying in Abu Dhabi’s 162 hotels and hotel apartments, an increase of more than …

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Dubai records 8 million overnight visitors in first half of 2018

HE Helal Saeed Almarri - Director General DTCM

Dubai welcomed a record 8.10 million international overnight tourists during the first six months of 2018, representing a consistent increase on the same period last year. Figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) have confirmed the continued success of the emirate’s tourism sector. A destination of choice for a number of global markets, Dubai is on track for projected growth into the second half of 2018. Top source markets continued to witness stable year-on-year performances in the first half of 2018, with India, KSA and the UK retaining their top three positions when compared to the same period last year. India again brought in the highest number of international guests, once again crossing the 1-million-mark over a six-month period, up by 3 per cent year-on-year. KSA and the UK retained their spots as the second and third largest feeder markets respectively, with the former rallying to a slight increase and remaining as the highest traffic driver from the GCC region. His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, commented, “The first six months of 2018 have both generated and sustained a steady performance, supporting strong growth across our global feeder markets. Attracting 8.10 million visitors during the first half of 2018 stands us in good stead as we accelerate momentum towards our visionary aspiration of becoming the most visited city in the world.”

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VFS to promote Zimbabwe Tourism Authority in GCC

zimabwe pic

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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Wego publishes inaugural ‘MENA Traveller Destination Leaderboards’ at ATM

WEGO JPG

At the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, Wego revealed the ‘MENA Traveller Destination Leaderboards’ that showcases the relative popularity of global destinations amongst travellers based in the MENA region. As the largest online travel marketplace across the MENA region, Wego users shop for tens of millions of trips each quarter and it’s this flight and hotel search data that has been analysed to determine the destination rankings. The leaderboard announced today is for Q1 2018 and subsequent updates will be released shortly after the close of each quarter. Egypt retains its top ranking in Q1 2018 as the most popular destination for travellers, from across the MENA region. “MENA travellers are lured by the culture, scenic attractions, and incredible food that can be experienced in Egypt”, said Mamoun Hmedan, Managing Director – MENA and India, Wego. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia retains its second ranking and received a steady mix of business, expatriate and religious travel. India at the third position and Turkey at the fourth slot stepped up one rung each in the destination leaderboard for Q1 2018 vs Q1 2017, while UAE fell from the third to the fifth position. Despite the overall drop, Dubai remains a popular destination for MENA travellers. The biggest gainer in Q1 2018 was Oman which jumped a massive 9 places to #15, an improvement likely related to the opening of a new airport in Muscat and a host of new hotels and other facilities opening in the Sultanate.

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Dubai Airports maintains number one ranking for international traffic

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Dubai International (DXB) retained its position as the world’s number one airport for international passengers for the fourth consecutive year with annual traffic for 2017 reaching 88.2 million passengers, according to the annual traffic report issued by Dubai Airports. Propelled by high traffic volumes averaging 7.35 million passengers per month throughout the year, including the record months of January, July and August when traffic breached the 8-million passenger mark, DXB’s traffic reached 88,242,099 passengers for the full year, up 5.5 per cent compared to 83,654,250 passengers recorded during 2016. The airport welcomed 7,854,657 passengers in December, up 1.9 per cent compared to 7,706,351 recorded in the same month in 2016. India continued its domination run as the single largest destination country for DXB with 12,060,435 passengers in 2017, up 5.4 per cent compared to 11,440,215 passengers recorded in 2016. The UK claimed the second spot with 6,466,404 passengers (+6.7 per cent), overtaking Saudi Arabia which recorded 6,364,598 passengers (4.6 per cent). Top regions in terms of percentage growth in 2017 were South America (36.1 per cent), Eastern Europe (25.3 per cent) and Asia (17.9 per cent)–mainly spurred by network expansion by Emirates, flydubai and other carriers.

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New Holiday Inn at Business Bay in 2021

Holiday Inn Logo

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) signed a management agreement with Kingston Holdings International Limited to develop a new Holiday Inn & Suites at Dubai Business Bay set to open in 2021. The signing complements IHG’s hotel pipeline in the area and includes a Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza and an InterContinental Residences. Holiday Inn & Suites Dubai Business Bay will be centrally located in Dubai’s commercial and lifestyle hub and in close proximity to major attractions such as Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall. With 350 rooms, the hotel will offer guests two restaurants and a ballroom as well as one floor of dedicated meeting rooms to cater to business travellers. Pascal Gauvin, Chief Operating Officer, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG said, “We are delighted to partner with Kingston Holdings International Limited to further expand our presence in Dubai, a city that continues to offer excellent growth opportunities for our hotels. Business Bay is the fastest growing district in Dubai and this agreement is in line with our strategy to grow the popular Holiday Inn brand in emerging epicentres.

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3000 beds with rebranding for Flora Hospitality

Flora Press Con (2) (640x378)

After 17 years in operation in the UAE and India, FLORA HOSPITALITY in partnership with a world renowned branding agency, is updating its image, as well as redefining its brand quality tiers in preparation for the next chapter of its evolution and expansion. In addition to its existing 11 properties in operation across Dubai, Sharjah and India, FLORA HOSPITALITY’s new pipeline includes four new properties in prestigious locations around Dubai and with a total investment of more than AED 970 million, this will double Flora Hospitality’s inventory from a 1,415 bedroom inventory to 3,000 bedrooms by the year 2020.

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