Tag Archives: 2023

Sharjah Tourism to organise 12th Sharjah Light Festival from 8 to 19 February covering 13 sites in the emirate

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority announced plans to organise the 12th Sharjah Light Festival from 8 to 19 February 2023. The festival covers locations all around the Emirate of Sharjah over the course of 12 days, offering a busy agenda packed with light shows, art displays, and entertainment activities that cater to all visitors, individuals and families of all ages from the UAE and abroad. The Authority revealed details of this year’s edition of the Sharjah Light Festival in a press conference held last night at the Light Village, opposite University City Hall in Sharjah, in the presence of His Excellency Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, along with officials and representatives of various government entities, and reporters from local and international media in the UAE. Speaking at the conference, H.E. Al Midfa asserted: “Over the years, the Emirate of Sharjah has established itself as an exceptional family destination with an enormous and diverse range of tourist attractions and activities that cater to varying tastes and anticipate the aspirations of visitors to Sharjah from around the world. Guided by the forward-looking vision and directives of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the tourism sector in the emirate is moving steadily towards a bright future and sustainable economic growth.” “By constantly renewing and reinventing itself, the Sharjah Light Festival has become a leading destination of its own and a staple event on the emirate’s annual agenda,” H.E. Al Midfa added. “Every …

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Dubai to host 22nd Airport Show in May as the aviation industry gets energized

Key global airport industry players will showcase their energized enthusiasm at the trend-setting Airport Show in Dubai in May, with three exhibitions and two conferences over three days on its side lines. To be held under the continued patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, the 22nd edition of the world’s largest annual airport industry B2B platform will connect over 200-plus aviation brands and 100-plus buyers from over 30 airports and aviation authorities from 20 countries making it to the annual trade show from May 9 to 11.  His Highness Sheikh Ahmed said the airport industry has come back almost to its full strength and the construction of new airports and expansion are on to meet future needs. The global domestic passenger traffic is projected to reach 2019 levels in late 2023, with international passenger traffic taking another year to recover, reaching 2019 levels by H2 2024. Officials anticipate the passenger business generating US$522 billion in revenues for the carriers and the airports returning to profitability and witnessing fewer disruptions. Also taking place on the sidelines of the Airport Show will be industry-specific exhibitions and conferences – the Global Airport Leaders’ Forum, Air Traffic Control Forum, Airport Security Middle East, and the Women in Aviation Anniversary. Women in Aviation Middle East Chapter will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and will have two days at the show covering a one-day conference and another day for workshops and round-table discussions. With a tagline of ‘Connecting the Global Airport Industry’, the high-profile global platform will see over 4,500 …

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Yalago records 92% increase in 2022 global hotel bookings

Yalago, part of the Emirates Group and one of the world’s fastest-growing leisure bed banks, recorded a 92% increase in hotel bookings in 2022 compared to the previous year. Reporting on latest trends from across all global markets, the wholesale specialist reveals record-high figures for the number of travellers, spend per booking, and length of stay throughout the year. Travellers are spending 30% more per booking, taking on more extensive meal plans such as all-inclusive, and booking five-star hotels as a majority (45%). They are also staying for longer, with the average number of nights per stay increasing to five, compared to four nights in previous years. Astrid Kastberg, General Manager of Yalago, commented: “With more destinations now open for international travellers, we are seeing incredibly strong demand for all our key destinations. Looking ahead, we are expecting this trend to last as flight capacity continues to expand to reach pre-pandemic levels. This is especially true for some of our key source markets in the Asia-Pacific region, which are yet to return to pre-pandemic flight capacity. “Through our industry experience and partnerships, we aim to support worldwide travel companies in offering an ever-growing hotel portfolio for leisure travellers. We have built a reputation for our expertise globally, in destinations including Dubai, the Indian Ocean, Florida, Spain, and others, and continue to build on these destinations, alongside new locations across the globe. “The UAE, USA, Maldives and European cities as an example, remain extremely popular, while in the last couple of months we have seen a considerable increase towards bookings in Southeast Asia. Across Asia, five-star resorts are in demand, yet remain affordable and attractive with our exclusive discounts and value-adds.” …

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Authentic travel, work-away holidays, and luxury to be key 2023 travel trends in the UAE and Saudi Arabia

Travellers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia are planning to spend more on holidays in 2023, with most in both markets (93%) planning to go away, and more than two thirds in each market (66% in Saudi Arabia and 69% in the UAE planning more breaks than in 2022. Luxury will also be a key theme, with around a quarter planning on staying in luxury accommodation whilst away. The increase in trips and spending is, in part, thanks to more confidence that 2023 holiday plans won’t be impacted by Covid, and the fact that travel remains a priority for Middle Eastern consumers. Sustainability also plays an important role in 2023 travel plans, whilst ‘having a break from it all’ is key for holidaymakers. These are the findings of Marriott Bonvoy’s 2023 Travel Trends research, which analysed the 2023 travel plans of 14,000 travellers across Europe and the Middle East. Wellbeing-led holidays that allow people to get away from it all will be the predominant type of break those in the Middle East go on. More than six in ten from the UAE (61%) plan to, whilst the figure is even higher for Saudi Arabia (73%). Authentic travel is also key, with many wanting to immerse themselves in a complete change of culture, with over half in both markets (55% in the UAE and 56% in Saudi Arabia) wanting to explore new destinations and cultures. To truly soak up local culture, 30% of those from the UAE and 27% of those from Saudi Arabia plan on taking an ‘extended holiday’ of three weeks or more in one destination. Of those going on an extended holiday, 39% from Saudi …

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DoubleTree by Hilton to open in historically famous Sanliurfa (Türkiye) this year

It was announced that DoubleTree by Hilton Sanliurfa (Türkiye) is slated to open this year. With a history spanning over 12,000 years, the city of Sanliurfa in Türkiye is a must-visit destination. DoubleTree by Hilton Sanliurfa is the perfect base for exploring the rich history – located just a short drive from the centre with its many historical buildings, parks, and museums. Elsewhere, the Neolothic archaeological heritage site and ruins of Göbekli Tepe are only a short car journey away from the hotel. After a day of exploration, guests can indulge in a relaxing treatment, including a traditional Turkish bath in the property’s dedicated spa or they may prefer to opt for a refreshing dip in the indoor pool. The 190-room hotel is certified eco-friendly and offers DoubleTree by Hilton’s award-winning friendly and reliable hospitality.

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255 roomed Hilton Cairo Nile Maadi (Egypt) slated to open by Spring

Among the many new hotels to be opened by Hilton this year the first would be Hilton Cairo Nile Maadi which   is a newly built hotel offering 255 spacious rooms and suites with a modern design. Located on the Nile Corniche in the upscale district of Maadi, guests staying at the hotel’s stylish suites will enjoy panoramic views of the Nile, complemented by a view of the pyramids on a clear day. The hotel will house Hilton’s renowned Eforea spa, a fitness center with a Nile view, an outdoor pool, and a variety of dining options including in-door restaurants and a Nile view rooftop bar. Perfect for both leisure and business, the hotel will also feature an executive lounge as well as state-of-the-art meeting and event spaces.

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Dubai Shopping festival attracts more visitors with world class entertainment

As the world’s longest running festival of its kind, Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is nothing short of iconic. The 28th edition of the festival, organised by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), showcases the very best that the city has to offer. In its third week, (29 December to 5 January) DSF delivers another spectacular line-up of events, experiences, offers and deals designed to surprise and delight. Take your pick from one of the many concerts from international artists including Kylie Minogue, Martin Garrix, and Rahat Fatah Ali Khan. Or, watch the stunning fireworks and drone shows to celebrate DSF as well as welcome in the New Year. Participate in a Murder Mystery at Al Seef Heritage Hotel and bring out your inner detective, shop for must-have items at Al Seef Market, visit The Spark Within and Sky Castle, part of Dubai LIghts at City Walk and Dubai Design District (d3), or walk down memory lane at Dubai 80’s, Last Exit Al Khawaneej. Dubai is the place to be when it comes to New Year’s Eve celebrations. From enchanting fireworks, drone shows, to hotel offers, curated food and beverage menus  and more, the city pulls out all the stops to ring in the new year. In the lead up to NYE celebrations, legendary performer Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan brings a never–before-seen show to the Coca-Cola Arena on 29 December. And on 30 December, at the same venue, don’t miss Martin Garrix and his spectacular performance live in Dubai. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Dubai skyline as fireworks light up the city skies to bid farewell to this year, and welcome in the next. Iconic Dubai spots such as Atlantis …

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Cruise travel to be the next big trend in travel in 2023

Musafir.com predicts that the “International Travel” segment will enjoy a faster growth path in 2023 versus the previous year. “Travel sector constitutes nearly 10%1 of global GDP and authorities across countries have been collaborating synergistically to put in place the levels of safety, hygiene, and comfort required for the sector to regain its lost ground. Consequently, FY’ 2022 witnessed a steady recovery for leisure as well as business travel, on the back of a significant reduction in pandemic-related risk, eased travel regulations worldwide, enhanced travelers’ confidence and the desire at corporate levels to resume productive in-person engagements. The trend would only strengthen in 2023”, said Sachin Gadoya, Co-founder & CEO of Musafir.com & Musafir Business. The data and trends, gathered through queries and bookings on Musafir Business platform, forecast business travelers to continue choosing First & Business class, despite a rise of ~10-15% in airfare. Premium Economy mode of travel augments further the choice repertoire of such travelers. All put together, the average corporate travel budget in 2023 would rise by 15-20%, bringing it to a level comparable to pre-pandemic days. Explaining further on the same, Mr. Gadoya added, “Insights obtained from Musafir Business platform establish very clearly that the organizations in the UAE prefer face-to-face interaction for building trust & longevity in their business relationship. With considerably eased travel regulations these days, the average annual business travel spend of SMEs in the UAE is expected to grow by 15-20% in 2023 – from AED 185K (2022) to AED 220K(2023), which is indeed very close to the pre-pandemic figure of 2019 i.e. AED 250K.” The GCC, India, UK, EU countries, and USA will continue to remain the key inbound and outbound …

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Oman Air highlights its digital transformation strategy and roadmap for 2023

Continuing to drive transformation in the aviation sector, Oman Air’s Digital department recently held its annual workshop. Attended by members of senior leadership and key stakeholders, the workshop reviewed the progress of the company’s ongoing digital transformation strategy and its IT Roadmap for 2023. During 2022, the company accomplished a number of digital initiatives to support its strategic goals. Among them was the restructuring of its Passenger Service System (PSS) to advance its digital retailing capabilities, facilitating the initiation of a new internet booking engine and mobile app. A New Distribution Capability (NDC) solution was also developed to allow travel agents to deliver rich content and ancillary to customers, while, in order to promote crew and operational efficiency, an elegant Crew Pairing and Fleet Management system with AIMS was established. Further safeguarding data and cybersecurity, the airline introduced a Privileged Access Management Solution, an enhanced IT Service Continuity initiative and Disaster Recovery Plan. Recently, the company also announced it has joined the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as a founding member of the pioneering Modern Airline Retailing programme alongside a global consortium of airlines. Leveraging the ‘Offers and Orders’ system, the group intends to spur technological advancement in the industry and create value for customers by reducing the hassles of increasingly complex passenger document checking requirements. Dr. Khalid Al Zadjali, Senior Vice President – Digital at Oman Air, said, “In this digital age and in the face of increasing competition, its vital that we capitalise early on advanced technologies in order to stay ahead of the curve. As such, we continue to invest in long-term, sustainable efficiencies, whilst improving IT service delivery right across the organisation, and to our guests. …

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Wyndham continues growth momentum across Europe, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa reaching over 550 hotels across the region

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts continues its growth trajectory across Europe, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa (EMEA), reaching over 550 hotels across the region through a number of important openings in the year, and a strong line-up of property launches expected in the coming months. In the Middle East, Wyndham continued to bring more accommodation options to Dubai, with the launch of Wyndham Residences on Palm Jumeirah, one of the most popular landmarks in the emirate. In the first half of 2022, the total number of guests within the overall UAE hotel industry increased 42% year-on-year to reach 12 million, driven by The Expo 2020 Dubai and sustained by football’s biggest sporting event in Qatar, where Wyndham opened the 278-key beachfront Wyndham Grand Doha West Bay Beach, as well as Ramada by Wyndham Doha Old Town. Dimitris Manikis, President EMEA, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said: “Travel continues to bounce back and our continued expansion across EMEA is testament to the strength and the resilience of our industry. Our latest expansion marks a key step in our quest to make hotel travel possible for all, which is particularly relevant in a diverse region like the EMEA, where we see strong potential to expand our foothold in both new and existing destinations.” In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Wyndham further cemented its presence with the opening of the 189-key Ramada by Wyndham Riyadh King Fahd Road, offering easy access to the capital’s businesses and commercial districts, an array of F&B outlets, a pool, an indoor sauna, a banquet facility, as well as a business centre with versatile meeting rooms. The latest opening represents the Company’s 13th hotel in KSA. In Turkey, Wyndham …

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