Tag Archives: Managing Director

Wego publishes inaugural ‘MENA Traveller Destination Leaderboards’ at ATM

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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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First Taj in Saudi Arabia by 2023 with 340 keys

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The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) has announced its entry into Makkah, Saudi Arabia, with a partnership with Umm Al Qura Development and Construction Company in the prestigious King Abdul Aziz Road (KAAR) project. Commenting on the signing of this agreement,  Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) said, “We are honoured to partner with Umm Al Qura Development and Construction Company in bringing the first Taj hotel to Saudi Arabia. This signing is aligned to our strategy of a strong focus on global growth markets and to be present where our guests travel to. We are committed to expanding our presence in the MENA region.” This hotel will be IHCL’s fourth venture in the MENA region. The company manages Taj Dubai located in the Burj Khalifa downtown area. It will also open another two hotels in Dubai in the next twelve to eighteen months. The proposed hotel is conveniently situated within walking distance of the Grand Mosque (Masjid Al-Haram), the main attraction for over six million pilgrims who visit the city each year. It will also be in close proximity to commercial offices, retail stores and restaurants within KAAR project. The hotel, scheduled to open in January 2023, will have approximately 340 keys, banqueting facilities and several restaurants to serve all tastes.

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Travelport reveals fastest-growing international destinations for KSA travellers

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Egypt, UAE and Turkey have seen the greatest growth in flight bookings from travellers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in the last 12 months, according to analysis conducted by Travelport. Fastest-growing international destinations for KSA travellers booked through global distribution systems. This data is derived from Travelport’s interpretation of relevant MIDT data. It reflects bookings made in the KSA through GDS only. Additional booking will have been made directly with airlines, which may or may not also have a GDS presence. From April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, bookings made in the KSA through all global distribution systems (GDS) to Egypt increased by nearly 190,000, up 17% on the previous 12 months. Bookings to the UAE rose by over 70,000, up 13%, and to Turkey by just over 65,000, up 31%.  Global distribution systems (GDS) are vast hi-tech reservation networks that allow travel agents, travel management companies, and large corporations, among others, to search and book airline seats, hotel rooms, rental cars, and other travel-related items. Matthew Powell, Travelport’s Managing Director  for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, said, “Growth in flight bookings tends to be driven by increased airline capacity, rises in demand from leisure trave”llers, economic and political advances, which attract more interest in trade and investment, and major construction projects that require large international labour forces. The results we’re seeing here cut across all of these.”

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Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai opens at Palm Jumeirah

Beach & lagoon | Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE

Kempinski Hotels launches Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai on the West Crescent of Dubai’s exclusive Palm Jumeirah. The 100,000sqm beach resort pays homage to the palaces of 18th century Europe. With 389 rooms and suites, eight world-class restaurants and bars, 3,000 sqm Cinq Mondes Spa, state-of-the-art fitness centre and yoga studio, 500m private white sand beach and 80-seat private cinema, Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai provides a gateway into palatial living. “We look forward to welcoming our discerning guests to our palace by the sea in 2018, and bringing them on our journey,” says Sebastien Mariette, Managing Director, Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai. “We aim to offer a combination of timeless opulence and world-class luxury to guests visiting Dubai, guaranteed to create unforgettable memories. The UAE is a compelling country full of rich culture, diverse landscapes and unique attractions, making it a must-visit destination for tourists from around the world.” Offering eight categories in total, the hotel offers 389 guest rooms and suites – each furnished with bespoke pieces from traditional Italian craftsman. At 65 sqm, the deluxe rooms offer one of the most spacious level entry room categories on Palm Jumeirah, while mezzanine suites give guests the chance to add a unique element to their stay.

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UAE’S first 179-key Wyndham Garden opens in Ajman

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Wyndham Garden opened its doors recently under R Hotels in Ajman Corniche under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman; His Highness Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman; and His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of Ajman Municipality and Planning, and Chairman of R Holding. The new hotel is the first Wyndham Garden to open in the UAE. Boasting sweeping views of the Arabian Gulf, the property features 179 rooms and suites, all facing the beachfront. It will also showcase an executive lounge on the top floor, and state-of-the-art leisure facilities including a modern spa, fitness club, outdoor swimming pool with Jacuzzi, and kids’ club. Al Nuaimi remarked, “The emirate of Ajman welcomes Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche, a new landmark to showcase exceptional Emirati hospitality to the rest of the world. This is another testament on the continuous growth of the tourism sector in the emirate.” Sumair Tariq, Managing Director, R Hotels, commented, “With the solid performance of Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman and Ramada Beach Hotel Ajman over the years, we are confident that the hotel will deliver the highest standards of service to all the guests, with its seasoned and professional team.

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Omeir Travel renews partnership with Amadeus

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Omeir Travel Agency has extended its partnership with Amadeus Gulf to expand the agency’s integrated travel services and digital solutions offering for its customers. Under the three-year agreement, Omeir Travel will leverage cutting-edge travel technology solutions aimed at maintaining the agency’s competitive edge. This includes driving automation across the agency’s operations and optimising intelligence tools in order to improve product customisation and enhance customer experience. The latest agreement will also see Omeir Travel diversify its capabilities in online and retail shops. Abdulla Bin Omeir, CEO, Omeir Travel Agency said, “In our efforts to deliver exceptional customer experience, we have embarked on a journey of digital transformation for our business. With Amadeus as our technology provider, we are confident that we can stay agile and adapt to the fast-changing needs of our customers.” According to Graham Nichols, Managing Director, Amadeus Gulf, “We are delighted to renew our long association with Omeir Travel as they embark on this exciting digital project. We will bring our vast worldwide on-line experience and technology to support them fully throughout their transformation. This new agreement demonstrates the confidence that they have in our technology, service and support.”

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Travelport inks deal with Air France-KLM

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Travelport and Air France-KLM have signed an agreement for the distribution of content through Travelport’s platform. Air France-KLM and HOP! content on Travelport’s platform will include Travelport’s rich content, branded fares, fare families and multiple ancillaries. Travelport customers will continue to benefit from Travelport’s tools beyond booking capability that enable workflow automation, change management processes, multiple content integration, robotics for fulfilment and other vital services. This agreement also enables customers selected by Air France HOP! and KLM to access a private channel via Travelport through which they will receive content without the additional distribution surcharge levied by Air France-KLM starting April 1, 2018. Derek Sharp, Senior Vice President and Managing Director – Air Commerce, Travelport, says, “This agreement is an extension of a long-term relationship which has delivered greater choice to Air France KLM’s customers. We look forward to a continuing productive partnership as we deploy new technology with the airline.” Emmanuelle Gailland, Vice President – Distribution, Air France-KLM, says, “Travelport has been a great partner throughout our private channel engagement as a transition towards NDC. Both Air France KLM and Travelport will work together to bring NDC content of new fares, products, services and rich media in the marketplace.”

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Atlantis launches resort worth $1.6 billion in China

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Atlantis Sanya, the flagship resort on Hainan Island, opened its doors in time for Chinese New Year and welcomed its first guests. Located on the Haitang Bay National Coast, Atlantis Sanya is the first Atlantis resort in China, joining the flagship Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai as well as The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences in Dubai and Atlantis, Ko Olina in Hawaii, both currently in development. Serge Zaalof, Chief Operating Officer, Atlantis Resorts & Residences comments, “The Atlantis brand is known for unique, ocean-themed destinations offering a wide variety of entertainment experiences and Atlantis Sanya is no exception. The owner, Fosun International, is an incredible partner and together we have created a resort that offers unprecedented experiences to its guests.” “Following an intense development period by a team of approximately 3,000 colleagues, we are proud to introduce Atlantis Sanya to our guests. When you combine 1,314 guestrooms including 154 suites, five of which are underwater suites, impeccable design from talents like Jeffrey Beers International and Hirsch Bedner Associates Design, and an incredible water adventure at Aquaventure Waterpark, we know we are giving people unparalleled experiences to Hainan Island and China, that only Atlantis can deliver”, adds Heiko Schreiner, Managing Director, Atlantis Sanya.”

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Travelport, ACI Worldwide to launch intelligent fraud control solution for airlines

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Travelport has partnered with ACI Worldwide, a leading provider of electronic banking and payment solutions, to deliver an intelligent fraud control and settlement solution for its airline customers called Travelport Authorise Plus. It enhances Travelport’s existing card payment gateway by integrating with ACI’s award-winning ReD Shield platform. Through the integration, Travelport can provide its airline customers with the ability to seamlessly track ticketing purchase processes right through to the completion of a journey. Additional features include the dynamic fraud screening of card payments used to purchase air tickets via Travelport-connected agents, ability to prevent ticket issuance, and detailed online management reports of all transactions and status. ACI’s UP Payments Risk Management solution utilises advanced data analytics, adaptive machine learning and customer profiling techniques. Derek Sharp, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Air Commerce—Travelport, commented, “Our partnership with ACI Worldwide is in response to the growing need to provide our airline customers with highly sophisticated tools to prevent card fraud in our industry. The major advantage of combining Travelport Authorise Plus with ACI ReD Shield is that we have built a fully integrated solution, which applies fraud control management without the need for both our airline and agent customers to do any major development or change their workflow process of today.”

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Amadeus to support Sharaf Travel for digital transformation

Sharaf Travel and Amadeus Gulf

Amadeus has entered into a partnership with Sharaf Travel for end-to-end automation throughout its business operations. Set to go live from April 2018, Amadeus will assist the travel company to focus its business on online success, using the latest Amadeus web services and mobile traveller products. All Amadeus solutions will be adopted across Sharaf Travel’s UAE and Oman operations. Jayaram, Managing Director, Sharaf Travel, said, “Automation will enhance our business offerings and help us to better serve our customers. Amadeus was a natural choice for this transformation for its strong portfolio of solutions that are ideal for our needs.” This partnership will enable the best-in-class offerings to Amadeus’ customers and streamlined services that will boost the company’s competitive edge. Using the latest generation of travel technology, Amadeus Web Services offer Sharaf Travel unparalleled connectivity to the entire range of Amadeus content all from a single point of access, supporting easily-customised travel booking applications. With Amadeus Mobile Traveller, Sharaf Travel will also be able to stay connected to its customers 24/7, providing them with a 360° travel experience wherever they might be in the world. Graham Nichols, Managing Director, Amadeus Gulf, said, “Our technology-driven solutions enable our customers to benefit from cutting-edge innovations that streamline travel agency processes.”

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