Tag Archives: Middle East

Berlin’s car rental service, Blacklane now in Dubai

Blacklane Dubai

Marking its presence in the Middle East, Blacklane has opened its office in Dubai. After the Berlin headquarters and Asia-Pacific office in Singapore, this is the company’s third office having three priorities. The first is to support Emirates’s complimentary chauffeur-drive service as it provides First and Business Class-passengers with chauffeured airport transfers. Blacklane exclusively supplies these rides for Emirates in India, Italy and Sweden. Secondly, it is to add new cities across the Middle East and Africa (MEA). Blacklane currenty serves 21 cities in 10 MEA countries. In the coming months, the company will add dozens of additional cities across the region. Lastly, it is to build corporate business and partnerships across the region. The Dubai team will increase the number of Blacklane guests originating from the Middle East. Jens Wohltorf, CEO and Co-founder, Blacklane, said, “As the centre of travel in the Middle East and the headquarters of Emirates, Dubai is perfect for Blacklane’s office expansion.” He added, “Emirates means quality, and we’re proud to provide that on the ground, online and in our customer service for Emirates’s guests.”

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Amadeus expands airline business unit in Dubai regional hub

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Amadeus has expanded its airline business unit capabilities at its Dubai regional hub covering Middle East, Turkey and Africa region. Following the regionalisation of all business units to get closer to their customers, teams in the Dubai regional hub now include those of airlines, travel agencies, airport IT, payments, mobile and legal. Sabine Hansen Peck, SVP, People & Culture, Communication and Brand, Amadeus, opened the new office of the Dubai-based Amadeus Regional Hub. Further, commenting on the occasion, she said, “The Middle East, Turkey and Africa regions are relevant and growing markets for Amadeus. This expansion reflects our commitment to the region.”

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Germany opens visa application centre in Kuwait

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The German Embassy has announced the opening of a new visa application centre in Kuwait in a move aimed at bringing greater efficiency to visa application processing services and enhanced customer experience to the residents of Kuwait. The centre operated by VFS Global will also provide biometric enrolment facilities to residents of Kuwait applying for Schengen visas. The processing time for a Schengen visa takes a maximum of 15 days and can be applied for up to three months before the planned date of travel. The VFS Global German Visa Application Centre in Kuwait is located at Level 25, Arraya Tower 2, Al Shuhada Street, Kuwait City, Kuwait. Inaugurating the visa application centre, H E Karlfried Bergner, Ambassador of Germany to the State of Kuwait, said, “The opening of the new centre is in line with the mandate the Federal Republic of Germany has awarded VFS Global to open external visa application facilities in 10 countries world over, including the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.” Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO—Middle East, South Asia & China, VFS Global, said, “VFS Global has a robust and long standing relationship with the Federal Republic of Germany and in the MENA region alone, it is expected that we will handle some 200,000 visa applications a year. While the decision of granting visas will rest with the German Embassy, our endeavor will be to provide visa application submission services efficiently and diligently and to the delight of our customers in Kuwait.”

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Ghaya Grand Hotel wins Luxury Serviced Apartment Award at Arabian Travel Awards 2018

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Ghaya Grand Hotel has won the Arabian Travel Awards 2018 for the Luxury Serviced Apartment Hotels category at a glittering ceremony held at the JW Marriott Hotel, Deira on September 20, 2018. The award was received by Ossama Kachkouche, Director of Sales and Marketing. “We are extremely honoured to be recognised at the recent Arabian Travel Awards. It was a special feeling when all of our hardwork was acknowledged, it’s a seal of approval that we are on a right track and we should continue to maintain and improve our hospitality services.” Kachkouche said. Arabian Travel Awards is a platform for the Middle East to recognise people behind the success of the travel & hospitality industry to make them believe they are achievers. Planned as an exclusive one-of-its-kind event, this award ceremony is held annually. With many people putting their trust in the travel & hospitality industry, Arabian Travel Awards aims to host a world-class recognition for the best in the industry. Based on a unique system of jury, judgment and voting, these awards are fair and unbiased.

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Golden Sands Hotel Apartments wins Best Family Hotel Apartments Award

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Golden Sands Hotel Apartments was declared the Best Family Hotel Apartments at the 2nd annual Arabian Travel Awards. Mirna Tenidis, Director of Marketing of Golden Sands Hotel Apartments, received the award. Last year, the Golden Sands Hotel Apartments was recognised as the Best Brand Hotel Apartment. Mohammed Khoori, General Manager, Golden Sands Hotel Apartments, said, “The Arabian Travel Awards is one of the much-awaited awards in the industry. We are grateful to be recognised as this year’s recipient of the Best Family Hotel Apartments. This is a meaningful award because it reflects who we truly are. Our facilities cater to big and small families and our location is convenient for both young and adult guests. I want to share this award with the team who are relentlessly providing the best service to our valued guests.” Organised by Durga Das Publications, the 2nd Arabian Travel Awards recognised and honoured the best in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries in the Middle East. This year, more than 50,000 votes were submitted from over 25 countries, with nearly 60 awards to recognise at the exclusive event attended by VIPs, dignitaries, travel, tourism and hospitality professionals. During the awards ceremony, a beautifully designed Collector’s Edition Book was also unveiled that showcases the beauty and culture of the Middle East.

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Travelport crowned “Best Technology Partner” for 2nd consecutive year at Arabian Travel Awards 2018

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Travelport has been recognised as the Best Technology Partner to the travel and hospitality industry in the Middle East for the second consecutive year at Arabian Travel Awards 2018. The company also scooped the Best Travel Technology Provider award, a category formerly called Best Global Distribution System, which Travelport also won in 2017. The ceremony took place recently at JW Marriott Hotel in Deira, Dubai. Arabian Travel Awards is an annual event designed to support, promote and develop the Middle East travel and hospitality industry by identifying and rewarding excellence, and inspiring its practitioners to continuously raise the standards of their product and service offering. Winners are selected based on a unique system of jury, judgement and online voting by industry professionals. In other categories, Cozmo Travel won Fastest Growing Travel Management Company and Al Naboodah Travel won the Best General Sales Agent (GSA) award. Matthew Powell, Managing Director, Travelport, Africa, Middle East and South Asia, said, “We are proud of the work we have done over the last 12 months. Our travel commerce platform is faster, our merchandising and analytics solutions are more powerful, and our mobile applications like Trip Assist, are even more dynamic and in tune with the needs of today’s hyper-connected travellers. We are delighted this work has been recognised by the industry. We will continue to work tirelessly to lead the change we want to see for the benefit of our customers and travellers.”

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Fraser Suites opens in Muscat

Fraser Suites Muscat

Tavellers to Muscat can now experience luxurious hospitality with the recent opening of Fraser Suites Muscat. The 120-key property is Frasers Hospitality’s first in Oman, offering business and leisure to travellers in the heart of the capital. Under the ownership of Amer Al Suleimani and co-owners, Ammar Al Suleimani and Ahmed Al Suleimani, Fraser Suites Muscat seeks to redefine the concept of hospitality. Located in the landmark mixed-use complex, the serviced residence offers guests a range of one to three-bedroom apartments, each with stunning views of the city. Its prime location puts it in the vicinity of a host of F&B outlets, mega shopping and lifestyle destinations like the Mall of Oman and Muscat Grand Mall, several large multi-national companies and Muscat International Airport. This spacious property, with modern and elegant furnishing reflecting the essence of the city throughout, also hosts a range of amenities for residents to enjoy. A grand ballroom is also available for events and conferences for up to 800 people. The launch of the property is in line with the growth strategy of Frasers Hospitality, which aims at expanding its global presence with new properties in the Middle East and Africa.

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Arabian Travel Awards to honour travel trade professionals

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With just a few days left, the Arabian Travel Awards is all set to recognise the efforts of the travel, tourism and hospitality professionals. The black-tie award show will be conducted in Dubai on September 20, 2018. An exclusive invitation-only event, it will involve some of the most prominent personalities from the region. The Chief Guest for the event will be HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority. Owing to the dedication and commitment of professionals working not only in the emirates, but also in the Middle East that has revolutionised the travel industry, United Arab Emirates has become a hub for travel, tourism and hospitality. The Arabian Travel Awards is a platform for the Middle East market to appreciate the efforts of the travel specialists who have contributed to the booming travel and hospitality industry. The Awards aim to encourage them to continue promoting tourism in the region, especially since all roads are set and ready for the Expo 2020 and beyond. Following a systematic method of internet-based voting, these Awards are fair and unbiased and are supported by TravelTV.news, TravTalk Middle East and TravTalk India – premier media partners for extensive coverage. The awards will be divided into four categories: Personal Awards, Business Awards, Trending Awards and Partner Awards. To name a few, these include awards for Best Business Hotel, Best Family-Friendly Hotel, Best City Hotel, Best Green Hotel, Best Leisure Hotel, Best Destination Management Company, Best Hotel Apartments, Best B2B Travel Portal and Best Luxury Hotel, among many others.

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airBaltic extends operating season of Riga – Abu Dhabi flight from Oct 2018 to Apr 2019

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The Latvian airline, airBaltic, in cooperation with Etihad Airways, has announced extension of the operating season of flights between Riga and Abu Dhabi in 2019. The flights will restart on October 28, 2018 and continue until April 29, 2019. Wolfgang Reuss, SVP, Network Management, airBaltic, said, “When we launched flights to Abu Dhabi last year, it instantly became one of the most demanded routes during the winter season. As more of the Airbus A220-300 aircraft are joining our fleet, we are now extending the operating season of these flights by additional two months in 2019. In addition to serving the point-to-point demand, the cooperation with Etihad Airways offers a multitude of travel options to the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent and Australasia,” Reuss added. This winter season, airBaltic will also continue flights from Riga to holiday destinations like Malaga, Madrid, Lisbon and Nice. airBaltic will restart flights from Riga to Abu Dhabi on October 28, 2018 and will operate the route 4 times weekly. Passengers will board an Airbus A220-300 aircraft for a flight that will last 6 hours and 15 minutes. One-way ticket prices start at 129 EUR, including airport fees and transaction costs. A full schedule of airBaltic flights can be found on the company’s homepage at www.airbaltic.com.

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Marriott opens world’s largest Four Points by Sheraton in Makkah

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Four Points by Sheraton has announced the opening of Four Points by Sheraton Makkah Al Naseem in Saudi Arabia – the brand’s largest property globally. Adding over 1,100 rooms to the Holy City, the hotel is situated in the Al Naseem district and is in close proximity to the centre of Makkah and the holy Masjid al-Haram. “The trajectory for religious tourism into Saudi Arabia continues to grow, resulting in a strong demand for hotels in the Holy Cities,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director – Middle East & Africa, Marriott International. “We are delighted to open our fifth property in the Holy City of Makkah. Four Points by Sheraton Makkah Al Naseem offers pilgrims the brand’s excellent service and a comfortable hospitality experience in the Holy City. With this opening, we now operate 24 hotels in the country and are on track to double our presence in the Kingdom in the next five years.” Four Points by Sheraton Makkah Al Naseem features 1,136 spacious and modern guest rooms including 121 suites, offering unmatched views of the holy city of Makkah. Reflecting the brand’s promise to provide what matters most to today’s independent travellers, the hotel offers the brand’s defining touches including complimentary bottled water in all rooms, fast and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and an energising breakfast with fresh coffee. The hotel includes four dining concepts, Al Sharq, Asia House and two Lobby Cafés.

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