Category Archives: Associations

Emirates Group and Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy builds diplomatic capacity in the UAE aviation sector

The Emirates Group and the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy (AGDA) are set to collaborate in the launch of a training programme for the airline’s Emirati Country Managers. The innovative programme is designed to enhance the diplomatic skills of managers who are stationed around the world, and forms part of the Group’s new Commercial Ambassador Leadership Programme. A ceremony to celebrate the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was held at the Emirates Group headquarters, attended by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, His Excellency Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Cultural Advisor to the President of the UAE, Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University, and Member of the Board of Trustees at AGDA, along with senior executives and representatives of both organisations. The MoU was signed by Amira Al Falasi, Emirates Group’s Vice president, Human Resources, Learning and Talent, and Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Al Dhaheri, AGDA’s Deputy Director General. The AGDA’s 5-day programme will provide Emirati Country Managers with a comprehensive understanding of the diplomatic skills needed to effectively represent the Emirates Group abroad, and to achieve their business and commercial objectives. The series of tailored and practical training courses will also serve as a platform for knowledge exchange to enrich Emirati managers’ capabilities in the aviation sector. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed said, “The Emirates Group is a global company based in Dubai. We are proud to represent the UAE’s aviation sector and we work to promote the UAE in all the markets in which we operate. In AGDA we have found a like-minded partner, and we believe our collaboration will further develop and empower our team of …

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Oman and Saudi Arabia signs MOU to promote tourism between the two destinations

On the sidelines of the recently concluded WTTC summit, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as part of their participation in this prestigious international forum. This agreement aims to develop the tourism sector of both countries through the exchange of experience, active participation in various tourism-related events, and mutual cooperation in several areas and initiatives related to the tourism sector. As part of the MoU, the OMRAN Group and the Godoba platform, and the Saudi Arabia-based Al Matar Group for Travel and Tourism, signed a strategic partnership agreement as one of the first initiatives under the new MoU, further strengthening the role of the private sector in supporting the tourism development efforts of the two brotherly nations. The agreement aims to drive digital transformation in the tourism sector through the partnership between the Al Matar App, known to be one of the fastest-growing apps in the region over the last three years, and the Godoba platform, which received the Best Arab OTA Award in 2019. The agreement is expected to pave the way for both parties to expand regionally and internationally. The signing of the agreement was overseen by His Excellency Salem bin Mohammed Al Mahrouqi, the Minister of Heritage and Culture for the Sultanate of Oman, and His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia. For over 30 years, WTTC has conducted research on the economic impact of Travel & Tourism in 185 countries and issues such as overcrowding, taxation, policy-making, and many others to raise awareness of the importance of the Travel & Tourism sector as one of the world’s largest economic sectors. The …

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HSMAI ME reveals industry leaders at the ROC commercial strategy conference

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Middle East (HSMAI ME) is lining up thought-provoking speakers for the 5th Annual ROC Commercial Strategy Conference. The in-person event will be held at the Conrad Dubai Hotel from November 28-29, 2022. Following the success of previous editions that focused on revenue management, this year’s focus will be across multiple disciplines including marketing, revenue, sales, and operational topics from speakers outside the industry to share best practices. The event will also host influential personalities and speakers from various other industries for the very first time. With their knowledge and expertise, HSMAI aims to educate and broaden the perspective of the hospitality industry as a whole. The annual event will open with a fireside chat from Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET). During the session, Kazim will explore what Dubai needs to remain an attractive destination and how to ensure Dubai keeps up with technology trends to stay top of mind. Following unprecedented events and challenges brought about by the pandemic, this year’s event theme is “Accelerate Recovery”. The conference brings together hospitality leaders, delivering expert insights and knowledge to help propel the industry into a new era. Filled with keynotes, panels, fireside chats, and networking, the HSMAI ROC Commercial Strategy Conference promises stimulating conversations across a wide range of topics. A keynote by Scott Livermore, Chief Economist of Oxford Economics Middle East will delve into economic factors – such as inflation and recession fears – and how it’s impacting the travel industry’s speed of recovery.   Debbie Siminser, Vice President of Learning & Development, ME & Africa from Accor, will take the stage to discuss how organizations can Leverage …

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Future Hospitality Summit to debut in Abu Dhabi in 2023

The Future Hospitality Summit (FHS) 2023 is set to take place at Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island from 25-27 September 2023, bringing together the investment communities of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC), the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) and the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF). This is the first time the region’s leading hospitality investment forum will take place in Abu Dhabi. Organised by The Bench, FHS brings together the Middle East and Africa’s industry leaders for discussions, deals and insight on the continued growth of the region’s hospitality and tourism sectors. “We are thrilled to take FHS to the UAE’s capital in 2023 with the support of our host sponsors, the Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau and Miral, for what promises to be another record-breaking event for our industry. FHS in Dubai welcomed 1,072 attendees, 200 speakers, 63 sponsors and partners and over 70 members of the press last month and we can’t wait to see what next year brings,” said Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of The Bench. Mubarak al Shamsi, Director of Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau (ADCEB), said: “The Abu Dhabi debut of the Future Hospitality Summit, the region’s flagship hospitality investment platform, marks a significant milestone in our fast-growing business events calendar. Since the beginning of 2022, we have successfully brought over multiple new business events to Abu Dhabi. This is a direct result of our Joint Business Event Fund with Miral, a partner who continues to play a crucial role in elevating Abu Dhabi’s attractiveness as a destination of choice for highly productive meetings and conferences. We look forward to welcoming the delegates to Abu Dhabi next year and we invite all to …

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Abdulla Al Abdulla of Central Hotels becomes first Arab leader to join UNICEF NextGen Global Principal representing the Middle East region

Abdulla Al Abdulla, the Group Chief Operating Officer of Central Hotels, one of the fastest-growing hospitality management companies in the UAE, joins UNICEF NextGen, a global committed community of leaders and philanthropists, dedicated to supporting UNICEF and its work for children. The first Emirati entrepreneur and philanthropist to join the team, UNICEF NextGen Global Principals champion UNICEF as a partner to their generation’s leaders, making investing in children a top priority in philanthropy, business and development. The leadership commits their resources, time, networks and skills to help address child rights issues including the climate crisis, mental health, and inequality in digital connectivity and content. “I am honored to be one of the NextGen Global Principals, representing the Middle East Region. As one of the young leaders in the UAE, I want to amplify my voice to raise awareness of certain humanitarian issues, especially in support of UNICEF’s projects. This includes but is not limited to child protection, education, climate crisis, mental health, and inequality in digital connectivity and content,” said Abdulla. As members of a fundraising incubator and thought leadership platform, Principals will combine their influence, ideas and expertise to work as a global team to engage and unlock new sources of support for UNICEF. The UNICEF NextGen Global Principals will meet up in In Geneva in December to discuss pressing global issues which align with UNICEF’s projects around the world. “We are at a pivotal moment in history,” said Casey Rotter, Global Lead for UNICEF Next Generation, “as we look to reimagine a better world for children, we believe that the next generation of leaders and philanthropists will continue to play key roles in helping to shape a better …

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WTTC and sustainable hospitality alliance partner to accelerate the transition to net positive hospitality

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (the Alliance) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) committing both organisations to closer collaborative working, focusing on improving the environmental and social impact of the global hospitality industry. Through the MoU, WTTC and the Alliance have pledged to promote a united voice for a more sustainable future for the hospitality industry, cooperating on new research projects to foster understanding of the latest in sustainability innovation. The two organisations will also work together to raise awareness of new initiatives and suc-cess stories, launch new commissions and advisory bodies, further advance understanding of innovation and key sustainability indicators and partner on critical issues such as youth em-ployability, human trafficking, and climate action. Hotels and other tourist accommodation such as short-term rentals (STR) are at the heart of the hospitality industry, unlocking entire local economies through nearby restaurants, events, culture, and music venues. By working together, the industry can become a driving force toward a more sustainable future for the industry. Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance has been a valuable supporter of our Hotel Sustainability Basics which are the first step in the ladder to advance sustainability in the industry. Although the hospitality industry has transformed dramatically in recent years, we recognise that there is still more that we can do together. Our collective efforts will enable the hospitality industry to continue moving towards a greater positive impact through this new partnership.” Glenn Mandziuk, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance CEO, said: “We are proud to be partnering with WTTC on promoting sustainable growth. This partnership combines the Alliance’s sector-specific expertise with WTTC’s scale and reach to …

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Future Hospitality Summit returns to Riyadh from 28 February to 2 March 2023

Future Hospitality Summit (FHS) Saudi Arabia will take place in Riyadh in 2023, bringing together the region’s industry leaders for discussions, deals and insight on the continued growth of the Kingdom’s hospitality and tourism sectors. This will be the sixth industry conference organised by The Bench for the Saudi market. Host sponsors are Al Faisaliah Hotel and Al Khozama Investment. The 2023 edition of FHS Saudi Arabia will take place at the luxurious Prince Sultan Grand Hall, located in one of Riyadh’s most sought-after venues. Al Faisaliah Hotel is currently undergoing a guestroom and public area refurbishment, which is scheduled for completion by year-end 2023. The event will once again unite the investment communities of the Saudi Arabian Hospitality Investment Conference (SHIC) and the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) and will bring together government leaders, hotel and F&B investors, developers and operators, to address the Kingdom’s latest developments and the industry’s hottest topics. “Following the resounding success of FHS in Riyadh and Dubai this year, we are excited to announce the dates and host partners for next year,” said Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of The Bench. This year’s events have further cemented the Future Hospitality Summit as the flagship hospitality investment platform in the region and we can’t wait to start working on the programmes for 2023. We are delighted to welcome Al Faisaliah Hotel and Al Khozama Investment as our host sponsors for the third edition of FHS Saudi Arabia and look forward to welcoming everyone to the iconic Al Faisaliah Hotel, managed by Mandarin Oriental.” FHS Saudi Arabia 2023 will focus on various conference tracks including hospitality investment, industry start-ups, sustainable development and human capital ecosystems. The FHS Advisory …

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WTTC announces speakers for its 22nd Global Summit in Saudi Arabia

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) unveils its first round  of confirmed speakers for its upcoming Global Summit to be hosted by Saudi Arabia, which includes leaders from some of the world’s largest Travel & Tourism businesses, Saudi officials, and tourism ministers from around the world. Taking place at the magnificent King Abdul Aziz International Conference Centre in Riyadh from 28 November to 1 December, the global tourism body’s highly anticipated 22nd Global Summit is set to be the most influential Travel & Tourism of the year. Under the theme “Travel for a Better Future” the event will focus on the value of the sector, not just to the global economy, but to the planet and communities around the world. During the Global Summit, industry leaders and international government officials will gather in Riyadh to align efforts to support the sector’s recovery and address future challenges, ensuring a safer, more resilient, and more sustainable sector. His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Saudi Minister of Tourism said “WTTC will arrive in Riyadh as tourism enters a new era of recovery. Bringing together global leaders from both the public and private sector, the Summit will be fundamental in building the better, brighter future the sector deserves. There is no doubt our ambitious investment, sustainability and travel experience goals can be realized through global collaboration and WTTC’s Global Summit in Riyadh will provide a platform for these important conversations, while ensuring visitors enjoy the hospitality and opportunities of one of the world’s fastest growing tourism destinations.” Business leaders set to take to the stage include Arnold Donald, Vice Chair of the Board of Carnival Corporation and Chairman at WTTC; Anthony Capuano, CEO, Marriott …

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Dubai Can Initiative cuts single-use plastic bottle usage by 3.5 Million as the sustainability movement celebrates six month milestone

Dubai Can, the citywide sustainability movement launched on 15 February 2022 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, has seen a reduction in the usage of an equivalent of more than 3.5 million 500 ml single-use plastic water bottles. The movement has achieved this extraordinary success as measured by water consumed from Dubai Can water fountains installed throughout the city. During the last six months, 46 fountains have been installed in various locations across the city, including public parks, beaches and tourist attractions, with the help of the initiative’s stakeholders, sponsors and partners. The fountains are now in various Dubai neighbourhoods, including Kite Beach, Dubai Marina, JLT, Downtown Dubai, Dubai Harbour, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai Festival City, Khawaneej, and others. Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director – Tourism Development & Investments  Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), said: “In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai a sustainability champion, the Dubai Can movement has made remarkable progress during the last six months. We could not be prouder of this achievement. While encouraging residents and visitors to commit to a paradigm shift in their lifestyles, this initiative has a larger goal: creating a city that is the world’s most visited and the best place to live and work in, as envisaged by the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan. “The strength of the city’s public-private partnership is essential to realising the Dubai Sustainability Strategy. As we look forward to the campaign’s continued success, this excellent collaboration model will …

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GTS 5.0 to kick off on 28th and 29th September 2022

The fifth edition of Gulf Travel Show (GTS) will kick off on Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th September 2022 under the theme of sustainable tourism. One of the most important factors post covid is sustainability in every single way. Participation in GTS assures you of the great responsibility held by the travel and tourism fraternity about their intent to reduce its carbon footprint. Gulf Travel Show (GTS) is the only event which was built in with a purpose. When it first started out just after the pandemic whilst most borders were still closed, it gave the travel, tourism and hospitality fraternity an opportunity to ensure that confidence is restored in the minds of the people passionate about the industry. It was also a tool which connected online GCC buyers with exhibitors from across the globe. The fifth edition or GTS 5.0 demonstrates its commitment to uphold its social responsibility to ensure less carbon emissions, yet bring all players to the table and learn and study the stakes, the many opportunities to make things right after a bout of almost two and a half years of pandemic era. Sustainability has many layers to be addressed, it is no longer a word to be utilized and passed on as a mere CSR activity, hence it is a commitment to ensure that everyone has a part to play on mother earth. Starting off with airlines and their biofuel capabilities, hotels and their sustainable strategies, tourism boards which provide and maintain sustainable goals to ensure that the country or destination promoted will not be perturbed, undisturbed, instead leave in its natural state. When UNWTO announced its commitment on declaration of sustainability in the industry, …

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