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RAKTDA to host global citizen forum to bring world leaders to RAK

The 100-day countdown begins as the Global Citizen Forum returns to the global stage with its next Annual Summit to be held in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates from December 12-13, 2021, at the Al Hamra International Exhibition & Conference Centre. Under the theme, The Future in Motion, the summit will be hosted in partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority — gathering the world’s leading minds to reimagine a new momentum for human mobility and feature pioneering initiatives that promote sustainable tourism. “We are delighted to welcome the Global Citizen Forum back to the UAE to be part of this important dialogue for a more resilient future in Ras Al Khaimah. The Emirate is committed to creating a sustainable world with responsible tourism at the heart of our strategy. As a nature-based Emirate, the significance of mobility will be brought to life across new attractions and offerings and will enhance knowledge and understanding of conservation and sustainable tourism,” commented Raki Phillips, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority. “With the upcoming World Expo in Dubai, the UAE has become one of the world’s most desired and remarkably safe post-pandemic travel destinations and we look forward to welcoming members and guests as we spearhead meaningful initiatives to create considerable change for generations to come,” shares Armand Arton, Founder and Chairman of the Global Citizen Forum. In 2020, Ras Al Khaimah became the first safe-city in the world as certified by Bureau Veritas, as well as the first to receive the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels stamp. The Emirate is also one of the fastest developing sustainable tourism destinations in the region, named the Gulf Tourism …

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Yas Island ready to welcome back GCC holidaymakers as borders reopen to visitors

Yas Island is gearing up to welcome back travellers from the GCC to the award-winning destination following the announcement of relaxed quarantine measures for fully vaccinated travellers to the UAE.  As part of the welcome back for GCC travellers, Yas Island has collaborated with popular YouTuber Fahd Sal to deliver a rallying call to GCC vacationers, encouraging them to unite together and reject boring mini breaks. Sal ends with a shout out to GCC travellers of all ages and interests to demand more from their holiday and experience a fun-filled trip to Yas Island. GCC visitors will get 20% discount off when booking directly through www.yasisland.ae. Yas Island will further launch a series of packages and offers specially designed for GCC travellers. As the events season starts to ramp up, Yas Island has announced a comprehensive line-up of live events musical performances, sporting fixtures, and live events, which will be taking place throughout the year.  Vacationers to Yas Island will be wowed by family shows such as Disney on Ice, which runs until 11 September 2021, a much anticipated appearance by global comedy superstar Russell Peters at Etihad Arena on 17th of September 2021. Sporting spectaculars such as UFC Abu Dhabi Showdown Week taking place 30 – 31 October 2021 and a musical performance by Arijit Singh Live in Concert on 19 November 2021.  On top off all this, Yas Island will once again host a series of seasonal celebrations including Diwali, Saudi Arabia National Day, UAE National Day and year end festive events. In addition, Yas Island will once again play host to FORMULA 1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2021 and the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi at …

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Travel industry recovers, witnesses re-skilling drive and job openings for youth and women

The travel industry, which is one of the leading employers in the MENA region, is witnessing a major re-skilling drive in wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic across the globe, says a top executive of Education For Employment. “Rapidly changing government policies to curb the impact of different variants of the coronavirus and shifts in people’s travel behavior during the pandemic have led to the restructuring of the hospitality sector,” said Jasmine Nahhas di Florio, Senior Vice President Strategy, Partnerships & Communications at Education For Employment. The World Health Organization is monitoring a new coronavirus variant called “mu.” It has mutations that have the potential to evade immunity provided by a previous Covid-19 infection or vaccination, the WHO announced on Sept. 1. “A temporary demand drops in the travel segment, which is recovering fast, has provided an opportunity for re-skilling and up-skilling in order to meet the new sets of requirements in the industry,” said Jasmine. In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, the hospitality industry is fast adopting contactless technologies and processes, she added. Some of the wealthy MENA countries like UAE, Bahrain, Qatar have achieved high vaccination rates and are slowly allowing travellers from less affected countries, she said. In the latest move the UAE has opened tourist visas for all nationalities and countries.   She also highlighted that many countries in the region are looking to allow quarantine-free travel for those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. “Such moves are bound to create more employment in the travel sector,” Jasmine said. Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, Europe and the Middle East accounted for more than a third of global air passenger traffic and almost half of the total …

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Emaar Hospitality Group launches hospitality lounge at Expo 2020 Dubai

Introducing 2020 Club by Emaar, a unique hospitality lounge dedicated to business and lifestyle needs,  Emaar Hospitality Group is inviting guests for an elevated Expo experience, complete with stunning views and spectacular cuisine. Located at Al Wasl Plaza, adjacent to the UAE Pavilion, 2020 Club by Emaar comprises the Hospitality Lounge, events venue and spectacular Rooftop. Here, visitors can discover new cuisines and traditions during themed celebrations, witness the lighting up of Al Wasl dome, and watch the enthralling entertainment programme during the UAE’s Golden Jubilee, New Year’s Eve, and many other festivities. 2020 Club by Emaar is managed by Emaar Hospitality Group, Expo’s Official Hotel, Hospitality and Catering partner, and will be accessible to visitors only through its exclusive Hospitality Lounge Passes. These include full-day access to Expo 2020 through fast-track lanes, multiple smart queue pre-bookings for participant pavilions, a three-hour dining experience at the Hospitality Lounge with unlimited food and soft beverages, complimentary access to the observatory tower at Expo, and free parking. Emaar Hospitality Group is all set to welcome visitors to the city with an impressive offer starting today. Guests staying at Address Hotels & Resorts and Vida Hotels and Resorts between 1st October 2021 to 31st March 2022 will receive complimentary tickets to Expo 2020 during their stay. The stay must be booked during the month of September 2021.

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Al Rostamani Travel & Holidays partners with Abercrombie & Kent

Al Rostamani Travel & Holidays (ART) and Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) have signed a Partner Agreement that will allow ART to market the A&K products to their client-base in both, B2C & B2B segments. This partnership will bring A&K’s luxury travel products to the travellers in this region and grow Leisure traffic market share in the Middle East, while also enhancing Al Rostamani Travels portfolio in the luxury segment. Abercrombie & Kent, is an award-winning luxury travel company, offering unique holiday experiences to luxury travelers. There’s nothing DIY about A&K. These holidays are tailor-made escapes and each holiday is as individual as the person it is created for. Many travel companies have followed in the tracks they laid down, but A&K remains the original tailor-made, luxury holidays company – and still the best. A&K’s Trade Sales Manager, Mark Harris said: “We are delighted to partner with Al Rostamani Travels, who align with our vision of innovation and putting customer experience first. As our industry recovers from the global pandemic, we are expecting good demand from the U.A.E and GCC markets and will further strengthen our position in this high-potential region along with our partners.” Bimal Jain, General Manager, Al Rostamani Travels commented: “We are very excited to announce this strategic partnership with Abercrombie & Kent, a leader in the Luxury Travel segment. As the world begins to reopen and the prospect of travel becomes a reality again, both companies will focus on delivering high-end unique travel experiences to our customers across all segments, in UAE and the Middle East. There is a growing aspiration and increasing need for safe and exclusive luxury holiday packages and with nearly 60 years’ experience …

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dnata becomes first air and travel services provider to join IATA’s gender diversity initiative

dnata has become the first global air and travel services provider to sign up to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 25by2025 initiative that aims to advance gender diversity in the aviation industry. Joining 62 airlines, dnata has committed to increasing the number of women in senior positions and under-represented roles with a target to reach a minimum representation of 25% or increase current levels by a minimum of 25% by 2025 across all divisions. The company will report annually on key diversity metrics. In addition, dnata will be working jointly with IATA and other signatories to increase the representation and nomination of women to IATA governance roles. Steve Allen, Executive Vice President of dnata, said: ”Diversity has always been a core value at the heart of our organisation, with our people coming from more than 160 nationalities. Over recent years, we have taken several initiatives to empower women across our operations to progress their careers and help them achieve their full potential. We are thrilled to join IATA’s initiative to step up to the next level and play our part in improving gender diversity across the aviation industry. “We will continue to engage our colleagues at all levels of the organisation to continuously improve while consistently monitoring our performance to achieve our goals. With our dedicated, diverse team we stay focussed on delivering excellence in everything we do to help travellers safely reconnect and discover the world.” Anton Grove, Vice President People Performance & Development of IATA, said: “I welcome dnata’s commitment to 25by2025. Joining the 25by2025 pledge signals the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion to all our aviation partners. By working together with a common goal we …

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DCT Abu Dhabi announces incentive scheme for tour guides

Licensed tour guides in Abu Dhabi are being encouraged to explore the emirate’s unique culture and experiences through a new incentive scheme launched by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi). The ‘Tour Guide Incentive Scheme’ is part of the Emirati Touchpoint Strategy, which aims to give visitors more opportunities to delve deeper into Emirati culture, heritage and themes, and meet Abu Dhabi’s people throughout their visit to the UAE capital. Featuring a range of offers, discounts and other value deals, the initiative aims to spark creativity among licensed tour guides, encouraging them to find out more about the destination while developing dynamic and engaging experiences across the emirate for future visitors. The offers will be redeemable at different types of attractions, including 25 participating hotels, which are offering tour guides discounts on facilities such as gyms, spas, access to pools and beaches, F&B, and room rates. Also included in the scheme are offers for venues such as museums and cultural institutions, as well as leisure attractions like the Yas Island theme parks, where guides will receive free entry when escorting groups, as well as discounted tickets for them and their families when visiting in a personal capacity. “As Abu Dhabi starts to safely welcome international tourists again, we want to ensure that these visitors have amazing and unique experiences, and inspiring our tour guides is a vital part of this goal,” said HE Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing for DCT Abu Dhabi. “This incentive scheme acts as a brilliant support initiative for our tourist guides, to help them promote the diverse range of offerings available in our emirate. Visitors …

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Majid Al Futtaim launches AI powered contactless retail experience

Majid Al Futtaim is setting new precedents for retail with the launch of the region’s first check-out free store, Carrefour City+. opened in Mall of the Emirates, the new convenience store provides a fast, seamless and contactless experience using cutting-edge, artificial intelligence technology. Customers use their phones to access the store, pick their desired items and simply walk out without having to queue and pay at the cash register. Carrefour City+ was inaugurated by His Excellency Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim Holding and Hani Weiss, Chief Executive Officer at Majid Al Futtaim Retail. Store access and shopping payment is enabled via the current MAF Carrefour App. Once inside Carrefour City+, every item picked up by customers will then be automatically added to a digital shopping basket and the purchase will be completed by simply walking out. Not only is the shopping journey faster, but also completely contactless, with no store staff interaction necessary. “Carrefour City+ has been designed to make life easier by using technology to remove friction and enhance the retail experience,” revealed Hani Weiss, Chief Executive Officer at Majid Al Futtaim Retail. “The store represents a huge leap forwards for retail in the UAE and region as Carrefour continues to innovate to meet the needs of the present whilst anticipating future shopping trends.” A first for Carrefour worldwide, City+ deploys artificial intelligence and state of the art technology to identify thousands of products with pinpoint accuracy, improving inventory management and simplifying shopping for customers. Carrefour City+ stocks over 1,300 items including snacks, beverages, packaged food and food-to-go …

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Oman Air Holidays inks deal with tripsnstay to promote tourism

Oman Air has signed a strategic agreement with tripsnstay to enhance its offering of local and international package holidays. The agreement follows the recent announcement of Oman’s easing of travel restrictions and reopening to vaccinated travellers with a negative PCR test result effective from 1 September 2021. Eng. Abdulaziz Al Raisi, CEO of Oman Air said, “Both Oman Air and Oman Air Holidays play an essential role in Oman’s tourism ecosystem. Connecting guests from international markets to custom holiday packages and tailored stays in Oman is part of our tourism reboot strategy for the country as it reopens to vaccinated travellers. Our strategic agreement with tripsnstay enhances our already expansive inventory of hotels and ancillary products with real-time pricing and product availability. It equally provides locals in Oman with access to competitive flight and hotel packages in destinations across Oman Air’s network.” Pankaj Khimji, Director Khimji Ramdas adds,” This partnership is of great pride to the Khimji Ramdas group. Being our national carrier Oman Air and Oman Air holidays is representative of our country’s progress and expansion. Oman has been one of the most sought-after fresh destinations in the past years and through this collaboration we can bring Oman further to the forefront.”

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Farnek launches hotel Management Company

Farnek has developed its hospitality division into an all-embracing hotel management company under the leadership of renowned UAE-based international hotelier Walter Knight.  Knight was originally responsible for structuring and developing Farnek’s fledgling hospitality division earlier this year. Farnek started by providing a comprehensive range of outsourced and third-party services, including concierge services, housekeeping, property operations, maintenance, energy consultancy (POMEC). Farnek’s endeavours met with early success, securing numerous contracts which included the new Expo Village, situated on the Expo 2020 site. Farnek is currently responsible for managing the reservation services, concierge, front office services and housekeeping, for the 2,273 apartments. Furthermore, under the trade name of Farnek Hotel Management, the company can now expand its services to cover all aspects of hotel and resort management from initial consultation to day-to-day operations.  Knight, director of hospitality commented: “Originally we were aiming for a service offering, which not only embraced traditionally outsourced FM and manpower services, but also managing revenue driven services, such as central reservation offices and associated sales services. “Now with our hotel management licence, we can approach hotel developers, investors, owners and management companies direct with a full suite of services including consultancy, management, outsourcing and manpower services proposition.” Farnek is no stranger to the hospitality sector in the Middle East and has been supporting the UAE’s hospitality sector for over 40 years, in which time it has amassed an extensive portfolio of hotel contracts, which include five-star brands such as Marriott, Sheraton, Sofitel and Rotana. Its consultancy division has been helping hotels and resorts become more sustainable over the past 15 years. Indeed, Farnek’s Hotel Optimizer software, can record, analyse and benchmark a property’s energy and water consumption, as …

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