Tag Archives: Middle East

Witness Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts’ innovative approach to luxury hospitality at ATM 2019

Four Seasons Athens 1

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts will to showcase its latest innovative guest experiences and global expansion plans at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2019 in Dubai. Building on its long history of constantly enhancing guest experiences through its innovative approach to luxury hospitality, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts will be highlighting the recent launch of ‘Take Your Time: Daily Discoveries’, a collection of on-property experiences that invites guests to celebrate the culture of each destination. The experiences are designed to encourage guests to truly connect with the world and the people who matter most in their lives. Simon Casson, President – Hotel Operations—Europe, Middle East and Africa, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, said, “At Four Seasons, we have a long legacy of innovation – not only in terms of how we leverage technology to enhance our offering and services, but also in the way we embrace and celebrate innovation as a way to constantly elevate the guest experience. Whether it is by inviting guests to connect with Four Seasons people and destinations in more meaningful ways, such as through ‘Take Your Time’, or providing real-time assistance through the Four Seasons Chat service, innovation has always defined our approach to creating unforgettable luxury hospitality experiences for our guests.” “While technology clearly has a vital role to play in shaping the future of the hospitality industry, we recognise that the human touch remains key to delivering authentic personal care that makes each and every guest feel treasured and understood. We will continue to evolve our services in line with the changing needs of travellers, but without compromising on our fundamental belief in the power of deep personal connections, which remains at the heart of …

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His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum inaugurates ATM 2019

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His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, has inaugurated the 26th edition of Arabian Travel Market (ATM). He was joined by Helal Saeed Al Marri, CEO, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and Director-General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), plus other VIPs who embarked on a tour of the show floor as the four-day event got underway at DWTC. Taking place from April 28 to May 1, this year’s event has 400 main stand holders with representation from over 150 countries. With more than 40,000 visitors expected to attend the event, ATM 2019 will showcase over 2,500 exhibiting companies – of which 100 will be making their show debut. The 26th edition of ATM will form part of the inaugural Arabian Travel Week, as well as ILTM Arabia, CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa – a new route development forum launching this year and new consumer-led event ATM Holiday Shopper. Other highlights will include the debuts of Arabia China Tourism Forum and Hotel Industry Summit, as well as the return of Global Halal Tourism Summit. As this year’s main theme, cutting-edge technology and innovation will be integrated across all show verticals and planned activities.

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Belgium opens visa application centres in Al Khobar and Jeddah for Schengen visas

Belgium VAC launch in Al Khobar

Citizens and expatriate residents of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can apply for Schengen visas to Belgium at the new Visa Application Centres jointly launched by the Embassy of Belgium in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and VFS Global. The new centres provide outbound travellers from Al Khobar and Jeddah a very convenient visa application platform, ensuring enhanced quality of services and seamless procedures. Applicants also complete their biometric enrolment at the same application centre. With the launch of these new centres, applicants no longer need to visit the Embassy of Belgium and instead need to submit their visa applications at the VFS Global centres in Al Khobar and Jeddah. During the official inauguration of the Visa Application Centre in Al Khobar, H E Dominique Mineur, Ambassador of Belgium to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said, “The recent opening in Jeddah last month has already resulted in an increase in the number of visa applications received for Belgium from the Kingdom. We hope the Al Khobar Centre will also generate the same interest, and we thank VFS Global for their support. This will undoubtedly strengthen the relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Belgium.” The first Visa Application Centre for Schengen visas to Belgium started its operations in December 2016 from the capital city of Riyadh. Commenting on the new centres for visas to Belgium, Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO—Middle East, South Asia & China, VFS Global, said, “The number of applications for Schengen visas applied in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has increased significantly and continuously over the years. The positive economic environment in the Kingdom and the high level of economic growth has created more opportunities for business …

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WiT Middle East 2019 makes a comeback in Dubai on April 9

Siew Hoon YEOH, Founder & Managing Director, WiT (1)

WiT Middle East 2019 returns to Dubai after a gap of four years. WiT 2019, which will adopt the theme of WiT 2018 Singapore conference–‘Through The Looking Glass’– is making its comeback with three Foundation Sponsors as a one-day event on April 9, 2019. “After four years away, we feel it’s time to make a comeback plus we’ve had numerous requests from key players in the region, who have attended both our events in Dubai and Singapore, to return. When we were there in 2014 and 2015, we definitely felt the excitement and dynamism of an emerging market and observed it had very similar characteristics to the South-east Asian markets – fragmented, diverse, young, social and even then, it was mobile first – so we look forward to seeing what else has changed and how the industry has grown. With the way the Middle East travel market has grown, we expect a bigger, more international audience. In particular, we are looking forward to seeing how the startup ecosystem has grown and evolved,” said Yeoh Siew Hoon, founder, WiT. “Wego, Cleartrip and Travelstart are three leading travel brands from outside the region that have invested in the Middle East market and are committed to seeing its development and growth,” said Siew Hoon. “We will also be working with Insight Out Consultancy and tap into their regional expertise to ensure our content is locally relevant,” she said.

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Mӧvenpick Hotel Tahlia opens in the heart of Jeddah

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Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has opened doors to its fourth property in Jeddah with Mövenpick Hotel Tahlia Jeddah. Owned by Hadia Abdul Latif Jameel Food Products Trading Company, the hotel is a sophisticated lifestyle property with a prime location on Hail Street, just 30 minutes from King Abdulaziz International Airport and within walking distance from both the thriving Jameel Square commercial building and Al Thalia shopping street. With a leading-edge noise cancelling system built into the structure, the hotel’s 161 rooms and suites, equipped with expansive living areas, are a haven for business and leisure travellers in the heart of the city. Ideal for families and long-term stays, special rooms are equipped with a full kitchenette, while children can be kept entertained at The Little Birds Club, featuring a range of entertaining and educational activities. The property is also set to become one of the city’s most sought-after dining destinations, with Jeddah’s first restaurant managed by Michelin star chef and restauranteur Vineet Bhatia whose culinary creations are brought to life at ‘Rasoi by Vineet’. “This contemporary property is a distinctive addition to our fast-growing portfolio in Saudi Arabia where we currently operate 12 properties and have four more pipelined. Mövenpick Hotel Tahlia Jeddah, through its design, unique dining options and spacious rooms and suites, will add to Jeddah’s upscale offering as the city continues to attract a greater number of visitors through Saudi Vision 2030’s economic and social reforms. Adding a fourth property in Jeddah bolsters our cluster strategy in the Kingdom, consolidating Movenpick’s reputation for innovation, culinary excellence and authenticity, reinforcing its we make moments brand promise,” said Sami Nasser, Chief Operating Officer—Middle East & Africa, AccorHotels. Guests can also embark on a gourmet …

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the ENTERTAINER partners with Wego to offer leisure and dining deals

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Dubai-based international incentives provider, the ENTERTAINER, and Wego, the largest online travel marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa, announced a partnership that gives Wego users access to exclusive offers across the dining, leisure, entertainment and beauty sectors. Travellers using Wego’s offers on the metasearch engine’s iOS and Android Apps will now gain access to hundreds of 2-for-1 ENTERTAINER offers. These offers, cherry-picked for their relevance to the MENA traveller, can be redeemed across a number of global locations via the Wego App. Members can benefit from these offers at select lifestyle business outlets in the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UK, Singapore, Malaysia and Bali. Donna Benton, Founder, the ENTERTAINER, said, “Our partnership with Wego only further highlights what we believe in – appealing to all digital travellers. We want to ensure that they experience some of the best restaurants, spas and leisure activities, stress-free and at great value”. Mamoun Hmedan, Managing Director—Middle East, North Africa and India, Wego said, “This partnership is in line with our constant endeavour to give users, from around the world, the best travel shopping experience. Adding the ENTERTAINER bouquet of offers to the Wego offers regular selection of curated discounts and deals whilst reaffirming Wego’s commitment towards deepening its bond and engagement with existing users. Today, these users can avail great offers even when on holiday, rather than just securing bargains on flights and accommodation (which are booked pre-trip). Since Wego is the MENA region’s top travel App, we believe that it is best positioned to act as the natural distribution partner for the ENTERTAINER.” Tony Marshall, Head of Travel, the ENTERTAINER added, “We’re proud to be increasing the …

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UAE to welcome 8.92 million visitors from top five source markets by 2023

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Expo 2020 and its legacy, District 2020, are expected to have a long-term influence on the growth of inbound arrivals to the UAE from the country’s top five source markets between 2018 and 2023, according to data published ahead of Arabian Travel Market, set to take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 28-May 1, 2019. Looking at the country’s top three source markets, the number of Indian visitors travelling to the UAE will increase at a CAGR of 7 per cent to 3.01 million in 2023, while arrivals from Saudi Arabia and the UK will witness an increase of 2 per cent and 1 per cent to 1.76 million and 1.28 million respectively over the same period. While the UAE’s top source market rankings are expected to remain mostly unchanged post-Expo 2020 – the latest research from Colliers International, in partnership with ATM, reveals the Russian and Chinese source markets will show above average annual growth rates for inbound passenger arrivals. Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director—ME, Arabian Travel Market, said, “The number of Russian tourists travelling to the UAE will increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12 per cent to 1.6 million in 2023, while the number of Chinese tourists visiting the UAE will increase at a CAGR of 8 per cent to 1.27 million over the same period, according to the data. Taking a look at the other key drivers, besides Expo 2020, Russian visitors to the UAE have grown in recent years, due to the introduction of additional and direct airline routes. According to some analysts, China’s middle-class will swell to 338 million households by 2020, a 13 per cent increase in just five years. Therefore, the growth …

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453-room Millennium Place Marina to open this year

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Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Middle East and Africa has announced the addition of Millennium Place to its diversified portfolio of hospitality brands. A modern hotel concept that will cater to the new generation of business and leisure travellers, Millennium Place is slated to open in the first half of 2019 and will stand within the bustling district of Dubai Marina. The hotel features 453-rooms and suites that are designed to deliver a compelling guest experience offering views of the Dubai Marina and the Palm Islands. Its strategic location will allow guests walking access to The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence and nearby metro stations. “The Millennium Place Marina will focus on things that make a difference to our guests’ stay. It could be the in-room entertainment, the pillow, our hotel facilities, food and of course our excellent service. We want our guests to call their room a place of their own when staying at Millennium Place,” said Atef El Eskndarany, the newly appointed Director of Sales and Marketing of the property. Eskndarany will serve as an integral part of the pre-opening team and will be responsible for leading the sales and marketing efforts for the property. He brings almost nineteen years of sales and marketing experience in UAE, Oman and Egypt.  Prior to this role, Eskndarany was the Cluster Director of Sales and Marketing for Radisson Blu Dubai Marina and has participated in the pre-opening phase for six hotels of various international hotel brands such as InterContinental Hotel Group, Movenpick and Radisson Hotel Group.

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Wyndham Hotels & Resorts opens 100th property in the Middle East with Wyndham Garden Dammam

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Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has opened the company’s 100th hotel in region, Wyndham Garden Dammam in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This milestone follows several other significant openings in 2018 across the region, including new hotels in the United Arab Emirates, India and three additional hotels in Saudi Arabia, further strengthening the diverse offering of brands and destinations. Ignace Bauwens, Regional Vice President—Middle East, Eurasia and Africa, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said, “We are exceptionally proud to have reached the incredible milestone of 100 hotels in the Middle East, Eurasia and Africa region with our latest opening in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With a wide footprint of hotels, significant diversity of brands and a robust pipeline in place, our mission is to make hotel travel possible for all. Reaching 100 hotels in the region marks another important step in our quest to  offer travellers unique and authentic experiences, wherever and however they want to travel. Growth will continue to be our focus in 2019 and beyond, as we expand our footprint further and continue to bring more hotel choice across the entire region.” Wyndham Garden Dammam opened its doors in December 2018. Marking the introduction of the Wyndham Garden brand in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the opening further strengthened Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ portfolio in this key growth market, now including 15 operational hotels and over 2,300 rooms. Located in the heart of Dammam, Wyndham Garden Dammam offers a variety of rooms, suites and apartments and a fully-equipped female and male health club, as well as a restaurant, café and executive lounge.

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

Thierry Antinor JPG

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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