Tag Archives: United Arab Emirates

Majid Al Futtaim opens movie-themed hotel suites in Dubai

VOX Cinema Outdoor Day

Majid Al Futtaim celebrated the opening of Aloft City Centre Deira, Dubai, at an event attended by VIPs, media and influencers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The opening of the event took place in the presence of Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al Futtaim – Holding, and Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International. Operated by Marriott International, Aloft City Centre Deira is the first hotel in the region to offer movie-themed suites, alongside a VOX Cinemas’ outdoor screen and the Aloft brand’s signature programming. The urban hotel is a lifestyle destination catering to both leisure and business travellers. Aloft City Centre Deira delivers a fresh approach from the traditional hotel landscape with its emphasis on a lively, in-hotel social scene, modern design, innovative music programming and thoughtful technology incorporated to enhance the guest experience. Jalil Mekouar, Chief Executive Officer – Hotels, Majid Al Futtaim – Properties, said, “I’m delighted to announce the official opening of Aloft City Centre Deira, our 13th hotel in the region, to the public. Majid Al Futtaim strives to create and deliver compelling experiences through our unique destinations, and together with Marriott International, we have launched a concept that is an integrated lifestyle development aimed at establishing a new benchmark for experiential travel in Dubai’s hospitality sector, offering more authentic and personalised experiences within one destination.”

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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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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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Jumeirah launches Zabeel House for curious travellers

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Jumeirah Group has launched Zabeel House by Jumeirah in response to the growing travel trend for exploration through travel experiences. Zabeel House will have a strong appeal for this increasing segment of travellers from across a broad demographic, who want to connect meaningfully with their travel destinations. With five management agreements already signed in the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Kingdom, Jumeirah Group is creating an eclectic collection of hotels under the Zabeel House by Jumeirah brand, with a focus on locations at the heart of exciting neighbourhoods. Hotels under the new brand will offer brilliant basics and unexpected extras set in an upscale environment. The core target market for the brand will be both business and leisure travellers who want a lively base from which to explore. The core design ethos of the Zabeel House brand is centred on the uniqueness of each individual neighbourhood. Each hotel will offer an element of bespoke design, unique features and architectural details. Although positioned as an upscale hotel brand, there is no reference to a particular hospitality category.

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Sharjah tourism delegation arrives in Bahrain

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H.E. Shaikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), received a delegation from the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The delegation included Second Deputy Chairman Walid Abdulrahman Bukhatir, Honorary Treasurer Ziad Mahmoud Al Hajji and Board Member Mohamed Ali Al Hazami. During the meeting, H.E Shaikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa stressed on the importance of strengthening cooperation and reinforcing bilateral relations between both countries across all fields, especially the tourism sector. He also mentioned the BTEA’s readiness to strengthen relations with the United Arab Emirates and work towards achieving their joint goals. The delegation expressed their gratitude for the warm welcome and affirmed their readiness to enhance the joint cooperation between the two countries in the tourism field and to further explore bilateral initiatives.

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Etihad to fly to Azerbaijan from March 2018

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Airways will launch flights to Azerbaijan’s capital Baku from March 2, 2018. The new route is being introduced to capitalise on the growing demand for flights between the United Arab Emirates and Azerbaijan. The service will be operated thrice a week using a 136-seat Airbus A320, configured with 16 seats in Business Class and 120 in Economy. Azerbaijan introduced a visa waiver programme for UAE nationals in November 2015 and expanded it to other GCC nations in early 2016. This prompted a surge in travel from across the GCC to the emerging tourist destination located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, offering visitors access to vast areas of unspoiled nature and centuries-old culture. Baku, which sits on the Caspian Sea, is the country’s primary gateway and commercial centre. Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said, “The creation of the first ever air corridor linking the two capital cities demonstrates the importance of strengthening business, tourism and cultural ties between the UAE and Azerbaijan.

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UAE and Bahrain civil aviation ink deal for air transportation

HE Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of UAE GCAA

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) signed an agreement to regulate air transport services between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Bahrain. In light of the Bahrain Ministry of Transportation and Communications’ objective to upgrade all its services, especially in the air transport sector with close cooperation between the UAE and its sister, the GCAA witnessed an MOU signing ceremony between the two countries after a successful round of negotiations. Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of UAE, GCAA expressed his appreciation to the Kingdom of Bahrain for hosting important negotiations and raising the development of air transport services between the two countries. Mohammed Thamer Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation Affairs said, “The draft agreement signed with the UAE represents a qualitative leap in the organisation and development of air transport services between the two countries for providing legal frameworks that meet the highest aviation security and safety requirements.”

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Al Bait, Sharjah to see the light of day by 2018

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Scheduled to open in the beginning of 2018, Al Bait Hotel will be preserving the majority of the traditional houses in the area which were exclusively chosen to build and shape the hotel. Managed by GHM hotels, the this AED 100 million Al Bait Hotel has been designed to provide guests with a unique and unrivalled experience of the best Sharjah has to offer. These houses will keep the names of its original owners and rooms so as to highlight the environment and lifestyle of the Emiratis who lived in these houses in the past. Located in the heart of Sharjah, the hotel brings to light Sharjah’s legacy and thoughtful vision to revive the heritage in the region by the protection and restoration of the historic fabric within the city and the Emirate at large. This will allow guests to experience the atmosphere of the past through elements that are in harmony with culture, society, history and civilisation as well as the hospitality and etiquette of the United Arab of Emirates.    

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Another ‘My City Centre’ mall in the offing

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Majid Al Futtaim recently announced that it’s going to start building its third ‘My City Centre’ mall, named My City Centre Al Dhait, in Ras Al Khaimah this month. The retail pioneer’s expansion into the Northern Emirate comes as part of the company’s strategy to increase its total investment in the United Arab Emirates by AED 30 billion by 2026. The new shopping mall will start serving Ras Al Khaimah’s communities early next year. Located in a strategic location, between two growing residential communities in the north and south-west of Al Dhait in Ras Al Khaimah, the new community mall represents an investment of AED 68.5 million. My City Centre Al Dhait will bring a diverse and tailored mix of shopping and dining outlets, offering nearby residents a convenient and accessible destination for everyday shopping needs.  It will be home to 30 stores across 5494 sq. m. of gross leasable area, including a Carrefour Market spread over an area of 1178 sq. m. Further, it will offer 117 parking spaces to visitors.

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7 carriers from the Middle East suspend flights to Doha

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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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