Tag Archives: qatar

Azerbaijan expedites online visa to 3 hours


Azerbaijan has simplified its visa process by granting it online for citizens of 93 countries. Travellers will now be able to obtain visas to Azerbaijan within three hours, be it a weekend or a holiday. “This resolution will increase the tourists flow to the country not only for the beautiful autumn season but also for the rest of the year.” Rashid AL Noori, Chairman, Representative Office of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan in GCC Chairman said. He noted that the influx of tourists to Azerbaijan increased by 15 -20 percent this summer, compared to the same period of last year. Arab tourists take the first position among tourists visiting Azerbaijan, followed by travelers from Russia. In July only, 330,000 people visited the country, and we anticipate that the figure will go up significantly, considering we have direct flights from Kuwait, Qatar and Dubai and we expect to inaugurate direct flights from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to Baku soon.” The decision comes as a positive gift to the visitors in GCC who love the country for its proximity and wish to visit more often on different purposes beyond its exquisite nature and Culture.

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Laptop ban on US-bound Etihad, Emirates, Turkish and Qatar lifted

Turkish Airlines - US electronic devices ban lifted-2

Etihad Airways, Emirates Airline, Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways have all been cleared to allow customers to bring electronic devices, including laptops, tablets and e-readers, on flights from the Middle East into the United States. The ban on electronic devices that was implemented on ME flights travelling to the United States since March 25, 2017 ended on July 5, 2017.

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7 carriers from the Middle East suspend flights to Doha


In keeping with the recent instructions from the governments of UAE, Saudi and Bahrain, seven carriers from the various Middle East countries have suspended their services to Doha with effect from June 6, 2017 until further notice. Among these airlines are Royal Jets, Etihad, Emirates, flydubai and Air Arabia from UAE; Saudia from Saudi and Gulf Air from Bahrain. While Etihad, Emirates and flydubai suspended all flights between Dubai and Doha, Royal Jets suspended their services between Abu Dhabi and Doha and Air Arabia suspended their flights between Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah and Doha. Saudia has suspended its flights between Saudi and Doha and Gulf Air between Bahrain and Doha. So all customers who have booked tickets on any of these airlines for flying to Doha will have to contact the airlines for alternative options, which will include full refunds on unused tickets or free re-booking to the nearest alternate destinations. For detailed information, the relevant airlines can be called or their websites can be looked up.

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CEB to suspend operations in Kuwait, Doha and Riyadh

Cebu Pacific Air Cropped

Cebu Pacific Air will soon suspend its service to and from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Doha, Qatar. CEB will fly the last of its four-times-a-week service from Manila to Kuwait on June 13, 2017, and its Kuwait-Manila flight on June 14, 2017. The thrice-weekly Manila-Doha-Manila route will have its last flight on July 1, 2017; while CEB’s last flight from Manila to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia will depart on July 2, 2017, while the Riyadh-Manila flight will leave on July 3, 2017. CEB will retain its other long-haul services to and from Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Sydney, Australia, with a view to increasing frequencies to these destinations in the future. The airline also flies to 24 other international destinations across Asia and USA; as well as 37 domestic destinations. Passengers affected by the suspension of CEB service in Doha, Riyadh and Kuwait are being contacted. Options are being provided to minimize the disruption, which include rebooking passengers on flights with other airlines or on earlier travel dates with CEB; a full refund; or placing the full value of the ticket in a travel fund for future use.

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GCC hotels to come with ‘handy’ smartphones

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Tink Labs Limited, Hong Kong-based start-up, is bringing its mobile travel solution handy to the GCC as part of its global expansion. handy is an innovative smartphone provided as a complimentary amenity in partner hotel rooms, integrating with hotel services and offering travellers unlimited connectivity on the go, as well as tailored travel guides. The hand-held device helps to deliver hassle-free travels and meet a growing demand for Internet connection services from hotel guests. In the GCC, handy engaged in a pilot project with luxury hoteliers in Dubai with plans to launch in the rest of the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, among other markets in the region. In each market, handy helps to connect travellers with their destination by revealing local gems while on the go and tools they need to travel like locals. handy’s mission to make travel easier and destinations more accessible means it perfectly complements the smart tourism projects underway in gateway GCC cities, such as Dubai. “After proven success in international markets from Hong Kong to London, we see a tremendous opportunity to create more travel-friendly experiences and help boost tourism in key destinations in the GCC,” said Terence Kwok, Founder and CEO, Tink Labs. “Facilitating enduring, fun connections between tourists and their host cities plays a crucial role in creating an enriched experience for travellers and hoteliers and in boosting the city’s reputation as a must-visit tourist destination. This is why, in 2017, we plan to offer handy to travellers in dozens of new markets, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha among others,” he said. Spearheading launch operations in new markets and responsible for the business in the Middle East is Tink Labs Limited …

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Katara Hospitality launches LaLiga Lounge in Doha


Katara Hospitality, the hotel owner, developer and operator based in Qatar, has announced its partnership with Spanish football league LaLiga, the sport’s most popular domestic league competition, to launch the world’s first LaLiga Lounge at Hotel Park, a public family-friendly park situated in the heart of Doha’s bustling business district. The new sports lounge, expected to open mid-2017, will offer football fans the opportunity to experience one of the most popular global football brands, LaLiga, in a unique and engaging environment at Katara Hospitality’s newly opened Hotel Park. The lounge will feature various facilities and amenities including big-screen televisions that will broadcast live coverage of matches, an official league shop, and the first themed restaurant for sports fans in Doha. His Excellency Sheikh Nawaf Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al-Thani, Chairman of Katara Hospitality said: “We are proud to partner with LaLiga to bring the world’s first LaLiga Lounge to the heart of Doha’s business district in Hotel Park. Katara Hospitality has been at the forefront of Qatar’s hospitality industry and has developed a reputation for innovation, having created a series of firsts to leave an outstanding legacy for future generations. We are pleased to today announce yet another first by connecting residents and tourists of Qatar with the world’s most popular football brand through the world’s first LaLiga Lounge in Doha.”

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Mondrian Doha set to open by Q2, 2017

sbe new hotel in ME image

Sbe will open its first hotel in the Middle East with the launch of Mondrian Doha, Qatar in Q2, 2017. This soft opening will set the stage for Mondrian Doha’s grand opening celebration, which follows in September 2017. The 270-room hotel has been designed in collaboration with world-renowned Dutch designer, Marcel Wanders, along with South West Architecture – the architectural company of record for Mondrian Doha, responsible for the design of the building. The hotel will be an exceptional lifestyle offering for Doha and will be Marcel Wanders’ first hotel for the region. Guests can choose from five distinctive room categories including penthouse suites, studio suites, one and two bedroom suites and a range of standard guestrooms – all of which share the universal design details of Swarovski crystal chandeliers and sumptuous bespoke furniture in hues to mirror the desert. Sam Nazarian, founder & CEO, sbe, commented, “We are delighted to open our first hotel in the Middle East in Doha, Qatar which is one of the most dynamic cities in the region. We’re additionally set to open two more hotel properties in Dubai in 2017 and 2018 and a number of restaurants. I know that Mondrian Doha will be an incredible destination for international and local travelers alike. It will be also a fantastic destination for the locals to experience all our culinary venues. Following our acquisition of Morgans Hotel Group, sbe is now unrivaled with its unique platform, offering experiences encompassing all areas of hospitality.”

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Hamad International Airport wins 5-star status


Hamad International Airport (HIA) has joined the top tier of global airports becoming the sixth airport in the world to receive the ‘5-Star Airport’ designation by Skytrax, the London-based aviation institute and the gold standard for conveying the passenger’s voice in airport and airline rankings. This makes HIA the first ever airport in the Middle East to earn this acclaimed title. The prestigious 5-Star Airport rating is awarded to airports achieving the highest, overall Quality Performance. The 5-Star Airport rating recognises those airports providing excellent facilities for customers combined with high quality airport staff service. Airport Quality ranking covers front-line areas for departures, arrival and transfer, including airport facilities, customer service, security, immigration, shop outlets and food and beverage facilities. The highest rating – five stars – has previously only been awarded to five other airports worldwide: Singapore, Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo-Haneda and Munich.

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Hotels.com revamps Middle East site


Hotels.com has recently refurbished and improved the functionality of its Middle Eastern websites, in both English and Arabic, to improve both usability and performance. Hotels.com already serves millions of customers globally through 89 localised websites in 39 languages, and is continuously building its portfolio of properties with the latest hotel deals for popular destinations like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar. Hotels.com offers an unsurpassed hotel booking experience and unbeatable Secret Prices to Hotels.com™ Rewards members, making it ideally positioned to cater to the hotel booking needs of the regional market. “We know that speed is important to our customers and we want to provide fastest booking experience possible in all languages on desktop and mobile. In fact, one in every three bookings on Hotels.com globally is now made on mobile. Speed and convenience are crucial to delivering unsurpassed experiences for our customers,” commented Michael Korkia, Senior Marketing Manager EMEA for the Hotels.com brand.

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Alfardan Group and St.Regis partner for CSR Conference in Qatar


The Alfardan Group hosted the 4th CSR Conference in Qatar at the St. Regis Doha. The event was organised by Dar Al Sharq and was held under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla Bin Saoud Al Thani, Qatar Central Bank Governor, on December 7 and 8, 2016. It focused on strategy development and business performance support in the framework of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Afardan Group served as a Strategic Partner for the conference, which also featured the launch of the 2016 edition of the CSR White Book, an annual publication that highlights leading CSR activities. “We are proud to serve as a Strategic Hospitality Partner for the conference. We are excited to provide a venue for such an important event that gathers key decision makers from the public and private sector in a platform that will help strengthen the efforts of companies in implementing programs that create a positive impact on society,” concluded Tareq Derbas, General Manager of St. Regis Doha.

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