Tag Archives: KSA

Ascott Al Khobar welcomes guests

Offering the residents of KSA the perfect getaway, Ascott welcomes family and friends to a luxurious retreat at Ascott Corniche Al Khobar. Part of the brand’s prestigious portfolio, the property is locally popular for its exclusive serviced apartments and recreational facilities that include a swimming pool, gymnasium, restaurant, guest lounge and business facilities. Offering studios, one-, two-, and three-bedrooms, the serviced property is located steps away from the picturesque and tranquil corniche. Guests are welcome to step into Ascott Corniche Al Khobar for a pampering stay and step out for a calm stroll along the serene corniche. To uplift confidence and safety, the property is accredited with the renowned Bureau Veritas certificate in line with the brand’s Ascott Cares initiative.

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Saudi Arabia reopens its borders

Saudi Arabia is set to reopen its borders to international travellers, although the relaxation across the kingdom comes with strict coronavirus safety guidelines, according to a report by Saudi Press Agency (SPA). Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s government also decided lifting the precautionary measures related to the spread of a new variant of coronavirus (Covid-19) in a number of countries, regarding the suspension of all international flights for travellers, entry to the Kingdom through its land and sea ports. Taking into consideration the following: Entry into the Kingdom for non-citizens coming from the United Kingdom and South Africa, as well as from any other country being specified by the Ministry of Health, in which the new variant of the novel coronavirus (B. 1, 1, 7) is spread, shall be provided that whoever wishes to enter shall spend a period of no less than (14) days outside the country in which the new coronavirus variant (B. 1, 1, 7) is spread before entering the Kingdom, with a (PCR) examination after the expiration of this period, proving that he/she is COVID-19 infection-free. Citizens who are allowed to enter into the Kingdom for humanitarian and urgent cases coming from countries where the new coronavirus variant (B. 1, 1, 7) is spread, shall be quarantined, pursuant to paragraph (1 ) above, in their homes under observance for a period of (14) days, with two (PCR) examinations of the first shall be carried out after arrival within no more than (48) hours and the second before ending the quarantine on the 13th day. As for the countries in which cases of the strain (B. 1, 1, 7) were registered, those coming from them shall be quarantined …

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Scattered tours to facilitate Indian passport renewal in remote locations of KSA

To ease the passport renewal process for Indian citizens residing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the Embassy/ Consulate of India in KSA has unified efforts with VFS Global, to organise scattered tours to collect passport renewal applications from Indian communities residing in the remote locations of the eastern and western regions of the Kingdom.

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Sabre highlights power of technology for travel recovery

Sabre hosted a dedicated webinar for travel players in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the region to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on travel, its challenges and opportunities and how the industry is recovering from the crisis. Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), is the leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry.The virtual event, which brought together executives and decision makers from travel companies and travel associations, highlighted market performance over the past few months and the role of technology to power its recovery. “As we enter a period of recovery from COVID-19, travel players need to look into new ways to operate in this new environment of uncertainty and continuous change,” said Abdul-Razzaq Iyer, vice president, Sabre Travel Network Middle East (STNME). “Equipping travel companies with the right solutions – such as artificial intelligence-based applications, that can automate processes, intelligent data analytics and virtual payments solutions – is essential in powering travel companies to navigate through the current challenges.” “Travel agencies play a vital role in rebuilding travellers’ trust and confidence,” Iyer added. “Travellers have a new definition of personalisation that involves new requirements and expectations for health and safety standards. They expect accurate and reliable information on travel restrictions and regulations during their planning phase. We are working closely with our customers to identify the best intelligent solutions and travel safety-related products to help them respond to travellers’ new demands and expectations.” “Saudi travel has proved to be a resilient industry,” said Faisal Kayal, Country Manager KSA, STNME. “We have seen strong market recovery compared to many countries regionally and globally, due to effective planning for the return of domestic travel and …

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Philippine ePassport renewal centres launched in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar in the KSA

In a bid to ease the passport renewal process for Philippine nationals living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), The Republic of the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs and VFS Global have signed a contract to provide Passport Renewal services in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar. All three centres have started to accept passport renewal requests from Saturday to Thursday between 08:00 AM to 08:00 PM. This is the first time The Republic of the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs has outsourced its passport renewal process in KSA. Prior to this, Philippine residents in the KSA had to visit the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah or the Embassy in Riyadh for passport renewal. With the opening of the new ePassport Renewal Centres, customers will have an additional avenue to complete the process. Chris Dix, Head of Business Development, VFS Global, said, “We would like to thank The Republic of the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs for their faith in us. Our Passport and Consular services have been growing from strength to strength, and we look forward to bringing those best in class services to the Philippines nationals here in the Kingdom.”

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KSA’s MOT completes road maintenance to Makkah for Hajj

Saudi MoT

In preparation for this year’s Hajj, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) has completed the maintenance of about 491 km of roads leading to Makkah and has assigned buses for each pilgrim group with full precautionary measures.These steps follow the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince with the support and supervision of Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Adviser to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Governor of Makkah Al Mukaramah Province, and the follow-up of Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Minister of Transport, to serve the visitors of the Holy House of Allah. Periodic and preventive maintenance was carried out on several major roads leading to Makkah Al Mukaramah, which included Al Madinah Highway, Jeddah Highway, Old Jeddah Road, Al Sail Road, Al Hada Road, AlLayth Road. Maintenance work included lighting, bridge expansion, fence repair, scraping and asphalting, as well upkeep of directional signs, road signs, road sign holders, paints, cat eyes, construction of concrete and metal barriers, and fence wires. Wadi Ash Shu’bah ferry also started its operation. Al-Jasser confirmed the readiness of all facilities and installations for Hajj. He sought the importance of cooperation of the entire transport users to comply with the necessary preventative measures against COVID-19. The number of passengers must not exceed 50% of the total accommodation capacity of the bus. Passengers must adhere to physical distancing inside the bus by following the recommended policy. A seat must be left vacant between two passengers. However, families can sit together. No one is allowed to stand inside the bus. All passengers must wear facemasks.

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HSMAI focus on new age of hospitality post COVID

Hospitality Sales & Marketing International Middle East (HSMAI) is preparing for the future with training and events ready to further the skills of its hospitality professionals across the Middle East. HSMAI Middle East has prepared a comprehensive plan to focus on the future, with panel discussions, training workshops, surveys, and interviews on thought provoking topics. “We recognise that ‘life must go on’ and whilst we are holding ROC@Home with a focus on recovery, we also want to emphasise past trends that will return as an important part of our industry,” said Mona Faraj, Managing Director of HSMAI Middle East. ROC@Home, a full day experience taking place on Wednesday, June 17 will include live sessions from the Middle East, Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, and is designed to fuel industry recovery and revitalisation efforts. The exclusive toolkit offers an opportunity to engage with teams, as well as regional live expert sessions designed for hotel professionals to reset, refocus and reenergise. ‘Demystifying Distribution’ will kick off the 4-session series on Monday, June 29 and is suitable for both General Managers and Marketing Managers who should understand distribution in today’s world. A trend that is steadily growing is the Chinese traveller, with annual growth in the double digits across areas of the Middle East pre COVID-19. This trend is anticipated to recover, and what better time to start planning to attract this active market. How to tap into the China Market will start with the foundations and continue with digital platforms, ending with advance digital and marketing essence. This series of three sessions will start from Wednesday, July 22. “We have received a strong response to date from industry colleagues globally for ROC@Home, …

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HSMAI Middle East announces the support of the KSA hospitality industry

Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International Middle East (HSMAI), announces the inaugural launch of a new chapter in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). HSMAI Middle East is renowned for being the platform that provides practical tools, insights, and cutting-edge expertise to enable knowledge sharing and enhance professional development in the hospitality industry. It is a not for profit association that creates and curates content from thought leaders in hospitality sales, marketing and revenue optimisation, including articles, white papers, case studies, research, best practices, and more from around the globe.  “With a strong focus on education, it was a natural step to launch our next chapter in KSA,” says Mona Faraj, Managing Director of HSMAI Middle East. “We see potential to educate hotel sales, marketing and revenue management disciplines in the country, and we welcome members to take advantage of our resources and support.” The KSA chapter, formed by industry leaders, makes up the volunteer steering committee, led by Moustafa Manoon, Regional Director of Revenue Management – Middle East & Africa, Accor.  The committee members consist of these senior leaders from the KSA hospitality industry:  Ahmad Shaban, Commercial Director – KSA and Bahrain IHG; Mostafa El Anany, Regional Director of Sales – MEA Accor;  Sherif Omar, Director, Global Distribution -Shangri-La Hotels; Mohamed El Naggar, Revenue Performance Director KSA & Bahrain – IHG;  Saeed Al Aseeri, Acting General Manager BurjRafal Riyadh;  Ahmed Rasmy, Regional Director of Revenue KSA – Levant Hilton; and Mohamed Kamel, Corporate Revenue Manager – DUR Hospitality. Moustafa Manoon, Regional Director of Revenue Management – Middle East & Africa, Accor, says, “I strongly believe that HSMAI will bring great value to the hospitality industry of the country through its accumulated …

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KSA to host Arab tourism ministers’ meet

Tourism ministers and diplomatic representatives from 20 Arab League nations gathered at the historic Al Ahsa, 2019 Arab City of Tourism, where the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) hosted the 22nd Annual Arab Tourism Ministers Meeting. The ministers and representatives discussed issues ranging from delivering a more unified approach to promoting tourism in the Arab world through to building sustainable tourism industries in the region. His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, commented, “Tourism has a critical role to play across our region, not only in driving economic growth and in creating enriching career opportunities for local communities, but also in fostering new opportunities for cultural exchange and understanding. We look forward to exploring how the Arab League can work together to embrace the opportunities tourism presents for the benefit of our region.” During the meeting, ministers discussed the important role of tourism in driving economic growth and creating inclusive job opportunities as a significant employer of women and young people. Also on the agenda was the importance of regional collaboration to harness the growing global trend of multi-destination tourism. Ministers discussed opportunities for countries to work together to build strong regional tourism identities that celebrate rich and diverse tourism offerings and highlight intra-regional air, land and sea connectivity. His Excellency, Ahmed Al Khateeb shared the Kingdom’s ambitious strategy, which aims to attract travellers from around the world to meet its targets of 100 million trips by 2030 and plans to triple its current GDP level from 3 per cent to 10 per cent, creating one million new jobs.

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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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