dppl.com d dleEast.com lkMid

Pages: 24
Vol. X No. 10; October 2014
Orange County forays into the Middle East ............................................................04
Etihad adds more offerings to its kitty ....................................................................10
It’s contemporary and cool! ....................................................................................13
ITB Asia-2014: The place to be
Now in its seventh year, ITB Asia 2014 will feature hundreds of exhibiting companies from the Asia-Pacific,
Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East. Covering not only the leisure market, but also corporate
and MICE travel, ITB Asia 2014 will take place in Singapore from Oct 29-31.
rganised by Messe
Berlin (Singapore),
supported by the
Singapore Exhibition &
Convention Bureau, ITB Asia
2014 is expected to grow its
attendees’ ability to “meet the
world” in three days. ITB Asia
2013 attracted close to 9,100
attendees, representing over
110 countries, a 7 per cent
increase over 2012.
ITB Asia has signed an
Singapore Tourism Board
(STB) to produce an even
stronger conference programme over the next
three years.
Nino Gruettke
Andrew Phua
Russell C. Gonzales
Executive Director
ITB Asia
Director of Exhibitions and
Singapore Tourism Board
Assistant Vice President
Middle East, Asiatravel.com
Holdings Ltd Singapore
“Over the past decade,
Asia Pacific has become
the largest business travel
region in the world. Having
worked in tandem with
ITB Asia for many years,
we’ve watched the show
evolve into a must-attend
event for the Asian travel
trade industry,” asserted
Nino Gruettke, Executive
Director, ITB Asia.
We’ve watched
the ITB Asia-2014
evolve into
one of the
events for the
entire Asian travel
trade industry
ITB Asia will
continue to
identify strategic
partnership with
associations to
bring greater
value to delegates
“Our year-on-year success amplifies our position as
a world-class event, attracting
a high level of business inter-
est from across the travel
industry. But we’re not stopping here. Each year, we’re
determined to stay ahead to
provide our delegates with the
latest industry insights. Our
At ITB Asia 2013,
we met new
contacts from
and had some
constant strives for improvement is what sets us apart,”
added Gruettke.
“ITB Asia 2014, an
anchor event of TravelRave,
Asia’s premier travel and
tourism week, is expected to
be the biggest, most exciting
edition. We have lined up new
content at the show by harnessing collective insights
from top industry leaders to
uncover more business
opportunities and provide an
even more effective knowledge sharing platform for travel professionals,” informed
Andrew Phua, Director of
Exhibitions and Conferences,
Singapore Tourism Board.
Commenting on the
future plans regarding signing
agreement with ITB Asia,
Andrew Phua stated, “A clear
three-year plan for 2014-2016
has been developed with the
vision to be the leading B2B
travel trade show and convention in Asia. It will feature a full
range of travel products and
services, catering to highgrowth segments like corporate and MICE travel, in addition to leisure. Leveraging the
efficiencies and valuable synergies surrounding all events
around TravelRave, ITB Asia
will continue to identify strategic partnership with leading
associations to bring greater
value to delegates.”
Russell C. Gonzales,
Assistant Vice President,
Middle East, Asiatravel.com
Holdings Ltd Singapore elucidated, “Asia continues to
drive the travel growth for
intra- and inter-regional traffic,
and since travel involves multiple layers of service and fulfillment by different players,
companies have to work closer and towards the common
goal of a satisfied traveller.
Moving forward, more travel
Contd. on page 22 HOTELS
An exceptional performance
Operating under Danat Hotels & Resorts, Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort’s performance
in 2014 has been an exceptional one. The ongoing mega projects have greatly
boosted demand in the corporate segment.
o cater to the increase in
demand, the hotel already
enjoys very high occupancies
throughout. Any guest who books
their stay at the hotel 14 days in
advance can save up to 25 per
cent on their room rates.
According to the TCA Abu
Dhabi figures for the Western
Region, it has seen a year-onyear growth of 122 per cent of
Manoj Kanwal
Area General Manager – Al Gharbia
Region Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort
The hotel is a popular getaway for
the local residents of the UAE looking to
escape from their busy lifestyles just to switch
off for a day or two
actual guest arrivals against the
same period in 2013. With a busy
summer behind, the hotel looks
forward to an even busier last
quarter as the weather gets
more accommodating and
there is further demand from the
leisure segment.
targeting India, Germany and
China to name a few.
“Our white sandy beach coupled with the glittering Arabian
Gulf is vastly appealing to
The hotel is a popular getaway
for the local residents of the
UAE looking to escape from
their busy lifestyles just to
switch off for a day or two,” says
Manoj Kanwal, Area General
Manager – Al Gharbia Region,
Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort.
“Moving forward, the year 2015
looks extremely promising as
demand is expected to grow even
further as new projects are
Danat Hotels & Resorts
have expansion plans that will add
24 beachside chalets to Danat
Jebel Dhanna Resort’s existing
inventory. Business travellers too
will appreciate the services offered
at this resort. It features meeting
facilities that can accommodate up
to 250 guests.
Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort
will however continue to enhance
leisure tourism as they confirm
their participation in a number of
trade shows participating alongside TCA Abu Dhabi for the
remaining 2014 and 2015 as well,
N Danat Hotels & Resorts
Looking Ahead
N Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort
will continue to enhance
leisure tourism as they
confirm their participation
in a number of trade
have expansion plans
beachside chalets to Danat
Jebel Dhanna Resort’s
existing inventory
Doha hotels see
13.8% in RevPAR
hike in July
Doha experienced a 5.5 percentage point
growth in occupancy to 47.6 per cent in
July, driving a 13.8 per cent growth in
RevPAR to US$95.91. Hotels recorded a
marginal increase of ARR by 0.7 per cent to
US$201.56, maintaining year­to­date figures of
A regional trend of strong banquet
revenues during the holy month of
Ramadan continued in Doha with hotels
experiencing a 39.0 per cent growth during
the month.
OC forays into the Middle East
All eyes on
Asia Pacific
one are the recession days, tourism is
bouncing back globally. It’s a fact now that
Asia Pacific has become the largest business
travel region in the world.
It is no surprise then that ITB Asia 2014,
slated to take place at the Sands Expo and
Convention Center in Marina Bay Sands,
Singapore, from Oct 29-31, 2014, is already
grabbing headlines.
The event will feature hundreds of exhibiting
companies from different parts of the globe.
The venue will turn into a place where one can
‘meet the world’ in three days.
What can illustrate the success of an event
better than figures? The sixth edition of ITB
Asia attracted over 9,100 visitors from over 110
countries across three days, a 7 per cent
increase over the previous year. The show also
saw the participation of over 800 exhibiting
companies from over 70 countries. These
numbers are expected to grow again this year.
ITB Asia has announced a strategic
partnership with the Global Business
Travel Association (GBTA). As part of the
deal, GBTA will hold a Business Travel Day
at ITB Asia 2014. The organisers are also
partnering with conference management
company, KIT Group, to hold to back-to-back
educational sessions.
Talking of trends in Asia, the UAE in
particular and the Middle East in general
remain hot destinations. Interestingly, travel
agents across the region have been booking
more flights to Abu Dhabi than ever before,
generating a 73 per cent spike in volumes just
in Q1 2014, according to technology company,
Abacus. This has catapulted the Emirate into
the top 50 destinations of the world, picked up
by the agents at over 20,000 Asia Pacific
locations - no small feat with Dubai just 90
minutes away.
The enduring success over the years
signifies ITB Asia’s position as a world-class
event. Nevertheless, it is better that the
organisers do not rest on laurels. So far so good
… but there are more, it’s merrier, right?
Assistant Editor (ME)
Desk Editor
Business Development Manager
Manager Advertising
Sales & Admin Assistant
Circulation Manager
Manager Production
: SanJeet
: Sumeera Bahl
: Deepa Sethi
: Susmita Ghosh
: Archana Sharma
: Nityanand Misra
: Crisna De Guzman
: Geetika Pathak
: Eric Gomez
: Ashok Rana
: Anil Kharbanda
The Orange County Visitors Association (OCVA) has recently opened
overseas offices in China, the U.A.E. and Mexico. Visitors to Orange
County spent $9.6 billion last year, which is an increase of 10% over 2012.
talks to Ed Fuller, President and CEO, Orange County Visitors
Association. A few excerpts:
Which inbound markets
are you targetting and
are there niches that
you are keen to grow?
OCVA has recently
opened overseas offices in
China, the UAE and Mexico
to further develop the number of inbound visitors from
these respective regions.
Naturally, each region has its
own specific niche market
segments that we are focusing on. For the Middle East,
we are very much focussed
on families, as well as
travel. Looking
forward, we are also interested in developing study travel
as well as medical tourism
from the Middle East.
ingful time for us to open our
office here. This is in addition
to the exceptional connections with Gulf-based airlines
flying into other US cities
such as Chicago, Dallas and
San Francisco and then
transferring to the Orange
County (John Wayne) Airport
in Santa Ana (SNA). John
Wayne Airport is a modern
and efficient airport at the
heart of Orange County capable of handling approximately
10 million passengers per
year. Both direct and indirect
air access between our two
regions has opened up the
possibilities for both leisure
and business travel exponen-
Do we have flights
between two regions
helping to open
possibilities for both
leisure and business
Increased direct flight
access to our region through
Los Angeles International
Airport (LAX) with Emirates,
Saudi Airlines and now Etihad
Airways has definitely spurred
the market and made this the
most opportune and mean-
Durga Das Publications
Private Limited
Printed at
System Graphics India Pvt. Ltd.
A-1, Naraina Industrial Area,
Phase-I, New Delhi - 28 India
Please outline your
latest news and
OCVA is currently in the
process of creating a special
value-added travel package
that we will look to roll out
with travel agents partners
and airlines here in the
Middle East. We are planning
to launch the campaign in
October 2014 and it will run
with effect until the end of
Ed Fuller
President and CEO
Orange County Visitors Association
tially and we are looking to
ensure that Orange County is
at the forefront of that. We feel
the luxury lifestyle experiences and attractions of
Orange County fit well with
the needs of travellers from
the Gulf States - and we have
a lot to offer them.
As such, our target visitors are very much couples,
groups and families that
appreciate quality lifestyle
experiences and like to feel
comfortable, safe and welcomed. For these very reasons, the OC also attracts, or
is home to, many U.S.
celebrities and influential
individuals. The OC truly is a
playground and home to people seeking the best that life
has to offer.
is published
by SanJeet on behalf of
promote the destination to
their clients.
The initial task at hand is to educate
and create awareness for our
amazing attractions especially among
Middle East travel agents
and consumers alike
How are you
capitalising on the
strengthening links
between the US and
the Middle East?
In many ways, Orange
County, California, is a pioneer leading the push to
proactively strengthen the
tourism links between the
Middle East and the US.
Proudly, we are the first US
state regional or city tourism
association, to establish a
permanent presence here in
the Middle East. We feel that
this is a significant milestone
and wonderful example of
California is open to welcoming the world.
Additionally, Orange
County is ideally located in the
centre of Southern California
with less than 45 minutes to
Los Angeles and an hour to
San Diego. In addition to having access to some of the
world’s best beaches, shopping, and family entertainment
attractions, from beach-fronted luxury resorts, visitors can
enjoy all the lifestyle pleasures
that the OC has to offer as
well as make day trips based
from the OC to urban attractions in Los Angeles, without
the urban and traffic hassles
that Los Angeles is renowned
for. Essentially by being based
DELHI: 72, Todarmal Road, New Delhi - 110 001
Ph.: +91-11-23710793, 23716318
Fax: +91-11-23351503
E-mail: [email protected]
MUMBAI: 504, Marine Chambers, 43,
New Marine Lines, Opp. SNDT College,
Mumbai - 400 020, India
Ph.: +91-22-22070129; 22070130,
Fax: +91-22-22070131,
E-mail: [email protected]
UAE : Z1-02, P.O. Box 9348, Saif Zone, Sharjah, UAE
Ph.: +971 6 5528954
Fax: +971 6 5528956
E-mail: [email protected]
in the OC you get the best
of 3 worlds.
What are the initiatives
taken by OC in the
Middle East market?
OC’s tourism initiatives
in the Middle East are multilayered across various platforms. The initial task at
hand is to educate and create awareness for our many
amazing attractions especially among Middle East
travel agents and consumers
alike. We are working closely
with our airline, travel agent
and media partners to this
end, ensuring that travel
agents have OC packages,
holiday plans and accommodation options ready to sell
and also that the agents are
qualified and confident to
is a publication of Durga Das Publications Private
Limited. All information in
is derived from sources,
which we consider reliable and a sincere effort is made to report
accurate information. It is passed on to our readers without
any responsibility on our part. The publisher regret that he
cannot accept liability for errors and omissions contained in
this publication, however caused. Similarly, opinions/views
expressed by third parties in abstract and/or in interviews are
not necessarily shared by
. However, we wish to
advice our readers that one or more recognised authorities may
hold different views than those reported. Material used in this
publication is intended for information purpose only. Readers
are advised to seek specific advice before acting on information
contained in this publication which is provided for general use,
and may not be appropriate for the readers’ particular circumstances. Contents of this publication are copyright. No part of
or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced,
stored in retrieval system or transmitted in any form without
the permission of the publication in writing. The same rule
applies when there is a copyright or the article is taken from
another publication. An exemption is hereby granted for the
extracts used for the purpose of fair review, provided two copies
of the same publication are sent to us for our records.
Publications reproducing material either in part or in whole,
February 2015. Interested
agents are encouraged to
contact our Dubai office for
further details. Additionally, a
delegation of OCVA members will also be visiting the
UAE for our first official mission since the opening of our
office earlier this year. During
this time, we hope to meet
with as many agents and
industry partners as possible
to see how we can mutually
benefit through partnership
building that promotes the
OC as an outbound destination. The mission will take
place in October this year, as
will the launch of our new
social media platforms that
will be conducted in English
and Arabic and feature an
Contd. on page 7 without permission could face legal action.
The publisher assumes no responsibility for returning any
material solicited or unsolicited nor is he responsible for
material lost or damaged.
This publication is not meant to be an endorsement of any
specific product or services offered. The publisher reserves the
right to refuse, withdraw, amend or otherwise deal with all
advertisements without explanation.
All advertisements must comply with the Indian and
International Advertisements Code. The publisher will not be
liable for any damage or loss caused by delayed publication,
error or failure of an advertisement to appear.
TRAVTALK O C T O B E R 2 0 1 4
[email protected]
The International Russian Travel Market was held in Crocus Expo, Moscow from September 16-19, 2014. The event witnessed lot of networking and
several business deals taking final shape.
Leisure gets a
new address in
Orange County
Contd. from page 4
abundance of content
especially developed for
this region.
How is Orange
County’s tourism
product evolving to
grow its status as a
leisure hub?
Orange County traditionally is one of the most
popular holiday destinations
for US. domestic travellers
seeking an eclectic lifestyle
vacation that offers a variety
of quality accommodation
options with excellent yearround weather, picturesque
beaches and landscapes, a
kaleidoscope of family entertainment attractions, and
exciting shopping and gourmet experiences. With a
diverse and multi-cultural
population, Orange County
has also long attracted many
visitors from overseas, and
as the OCVA we have
recently started to proactively engage and promote
audiences to develop these
markets further.
Partnership marks key milestone
A partnership agreement was signed between Amadeus Gulf and ATS, a travel management
company in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Effective from Sept 1, 2014, the partnership
mandates Amadeus Gulf to provide rich air and non-air content to ATS.
strive to provide our customers
the best in technology, service
and savings. Our strategic
partnership with Amadeus has
helped us move a step ahead
in this direction. Our partner-
t’s through products and
services like the corporate
booking tool AeTM, Amadeus’
TRAACS - Back Office
System, Amadeus Ticket
Changer, ‘Print My Trip’ and
‘Master Pricer’ technologies
that ATS will also gain a competitive edge through leveraging Amadeus’s superior global
distribution service.
Managing Director, Amadeus
Gulf, commented, “At
Amadeus, our people, technology and innovation are
dedicated to helping our customers and partners shape
future travel trends in the
region. We are delighted to
join hands with such a progressive agency as ATS who
have clearly seen the business improvements it can
Over 35 years, ATS
has gained a reputation,
lessen time delays, monetary
challenges and travel-related
We are delighted to join hands with such a
progressive agency as ATS who has
clearly seen the business improvements
it can achieve by adopting our innovative
products and solutions
Graham Nichols
Amadeus Gulf and the ATS team
achieve by adopting our
innovative products and solutions. This partnership reaffirms our position as a global
market leader of technological innovations. On a macro
level, the synergy will support the burgeoning aviation
travel sector in the region
Managing Director, Amadeus Gulf
and expand our presence in
the local market.” Amadeus is
delighted to be associated
with ATS, proud in partnering
with such customers to grow
reputation as innovators.
Saleem Sharif, General
Manager, ATS, informed, “We
ship with Amadeus guarantees
us an array of technologies
and services to help
increase our portfolio of offerings to customers and build
our reputation in the travel
management space.”
hassles. In 2012, the
company underwent a
major re-branding from
Arabian Air Travel to ATS.
Headquartered in Dubai, ATS
UAE, China and India.
TRAVTALK O C T O B E R 2 0 1 4
A 5-city roadshow
Abu Dhabi’s recent fivecity Indian roadshow in
Mumbai, Ahmedabad,
Bengaluru, Chennai
and New Delhi pulled in
more than 500 travel
over 400 companies.
India is currently
Abu Dhabi’s leading
overseas source market for hotel guests with
further uplift expected.
‘Variety, value and service are our USPs’
Based in Dubai, CARLEASE is a long and short-term car rental service provider. Ranging from economy to
luxury saloons, buses, and four wheel drives, the company provides one of the widest varieties of vehicles in
the country. Aswini K Borkotoky, Managing Director shares his views with
What’s your USP? Why customers will opt for CARLEASE?
CARLEASE provides its customers with ‘Variety, Value and
Service’. We provide the widest
range of newer model vehicles in the
market, and assure our customers
that we provide value for their
money. We guarantee service
that not only matches the
best in UAE, but matches
international standards. We don't
promise anything that cannot be
delivered in tune with the expectations of customers. We believe in the
principle of ‘under-promising’ and
How do you customise?
keeping in mind the specific requirements of a customer. We have
Aswini K Borkotoky
Managing Director
opened new branches and located
ourselves closer to our customers for
their convenience.
What were your major developments this year?
Within a short period of time,
we have opened new branches
in Dubai. We now have five
branches located in all prime
business districts like DIFC, Business
Bay, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Al Quoz
and Discovery Gardens, all in
Dubai. We have plans to
open a branch in Abu Dhabi shortly,
before end of 2014.
We do allow our customers to
take our vehicles to Oman, but on
case-to-case basis because of limitations in this region.
What are the varied services
CARLEASE provide? Do you
provide services to individual and corporate customers
Do travel agents play an
important role for you?
We have plans to open branches in other GCC countries like Saudi
Arabia and Qatar very soon.
Yes, travel agents do play a
very important role in our business,
especially because there are large
numbers of travellers coming to the
region. It is difficult to stress enough
on the contributions made by travel
agents to our business.
will achieve our
mid-term targets.
What are your future plans?
Our plan is to grow and
become a bigger player in the market. We now have a fleet of over
1,100 vehicles and target is
to reach 2,500 vehicles by the
end of 2015.
With whom do you work
Our major target market is the
corporate segment.
We are primarily in automotive
leasing business and provide our
services to both corporate and individual customers. Since our vehicles
are new, we are very careful and
make sure that our vehicles are not
misused in any way.
What are the challenges you
faced in 2014?
Please describe the range
of fleet you have and if
any special offers lined up for
the remaining months of
Do you take clients on trips
beyond UAE borders like to
other GCC cities?
The major challenge for in 2014
is to continue our growth in an
extremely competitive market.
We are very confident that we
We have over 1,100 vehicles as
of date. Our fleet consists of small to
larger saloons and commercial vehicles like buses.
Looking at high-performance tourism
According to WTTC research, the total contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the UAE's GDP is
expected to touch AED 122 billion or 8.5 per cent in 2014, a 4.5 per cent year-on-year increase compared to
2013. Alpha Tours is upbeat about the sector's growth and plays a pivotal role in this trajectory.
he direct contribution of the sector to the GDP is set to climb to
AED 59 billion in 2014, an increase
of 4.7 per cent. In 2013, this was
around AED 56.5 billion.
Ghassan Al Aridi, Founder
and CEO of Alpha Tours, asserted,
"UAE has always been a soughtafter destination for tourists across
the world. The heightened focus on
tourism by the government will predict well for the country in the years
to come. The tourists' influx is set to
grow over next 5-10 years, adding
that conservative estimates put the
Ghassan Al Aridi
Founder and CEO
Alpha Tours
UAE has always
been a soughtafter destination
for tourists across
the world. The
heightened focus
on tourism by the
government will
predict well for
the country
international tourist arrivals to
reach 39.9 million by 2024, which
will generate an expenditure of
AED 105.4 billion.”
"With existing hotels in Dubai
trading at high performance, there is
already a demand for additional
rooms. We now expect an additional
surge in proposed supply in all sectors of the market, with Dubai World
Central (DWC) Airport emerging as
a third major cluster of hotels in
Dubai," he added.
There are a whole range of
contributors to this growth, be it the
surge in the number of hotels, or
increased connectivity for local and
international airlines to the various
destinations across the UAE. A wide
array of leisure attractions probably
is another strong reason which has
brought in tourists in mass.
“Looking ahead, the direct contribution is set to increase by 3.1 per
cent a year to AED 80.1 billion by
2024, maintaining a four per cent of
GDP figure. The total overall contribution of the sector is expected to
grow by 3.2 per cent to AED 167.4
billion by 2024, 8.5 per cent of GDP,”
he further stated.
The increase comes as
Dubai heads towards Expo 2020
being made by the private and
public sector into hotels and the
Expo 2020 site in Dubai
World Central. Abu Dhabi is
also investing in building its
tourism profile, which includes
Louvre and the Guggenheim on
Saadiyat Island.
TRAVTALK O C T O B E R 2 0 1 4
16.1% rise in movements Certification for BAC
A total of 1,703,995 passengers passed through Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) celebrated the renewal
Abu Dhabi International Airport in July 2014, compared of the Aerodrome Certification from the Ministry of
to 1,399,695 in July 2013.
Transportation's Civil Aviation Affairs.
reached a figure of
13,188, representing a 16.1
per cent increase over 11,355
movements reported in July
2013. Cargo activity was also
on the rise in July 2014,
recording 67,456 tonnes handled, a 5.7 per cent increase
when compared to July 2013.
upward trend. Looking at July
closely, the figures were
boosted by the Eid Al Fitr and
summer holiday season. July
also saw Etihad commence
group,” he added. In July
2014, the top five routes from
Abu Dhabi International
Heathrow, Doha, Manila,
Looking at July closely, the figures
were boosted by the Eid Al Fitr and
summer holiday season
Ahmad Al Haddabi
Chief Operations Officer, Abu Dhabi Airports
Ahmad Al Haddabi,
Chief Operations Officer at
Abu Dhabi Airports, commented, “The rate at which
passenger numbers are
increasing year-on-year continues to follow a significant
their new services to Yerevan
in Armenia, and to Perth.”
“Our challenge is to
manage this growth, while at
the same time,
ensuring that standards of service,
safety and security
remains consistently high, and help
achieve our goal to
become the world's
leading airports
Bangkok and Jeddah,
accounting for 15 per cent of
all traffic. Presently under
way is the multi-billion dollar
re-development and expansion
International Airport. The
project, designed to increase
the overall capacity of the airport to more than 40 million
passengers per year. As part
of this redevelopment, a second runway and a third terminal have been completed.
he Aerodrome Certificate
supports the airport's
compliance with the Bahrain
Aerodrome Standards and
Certification Regulations,
CAR 001. It fulfills the standards set by the International
Civil Aviation Organization
(ICAO). Valid for five years,
the certificate confirms that
the Bahrain International
Airport aerodrome is licensed
and approved for international
civil air traffic operations.
Mohamed Thamir Al
Kaabi, Chief Operations
Officer at Bahrain Airport
Company informed, “The
Aerodrome Certificate
highlights the company's
focus in operating
Bahrain International
Airport according to the
international aviation regulations. The renewal of
the certificate was granted
subsequent to the assessment of Bahrain International
Airport's aerodrome by the
CAA. It confirms the operational capability of BIA
and ensures that the landing
field is safe and suitable for
take-off and landing of international aircrafts.”
The renewal
highlights the
company's focus
in operating
BIA according to
the international
aviation regulations
Certification is issued by the
CAA in pursuance to
its obligation, ensure the
enforcement of the CAA
Authority Law that determines
and standards at all aerodromes serving international
Mohamed Thamir Al Kaabi
Chief Operations Officer
Bahrain Airport Company
civil air traffic in the
Kingdom of Bahrain. BAC is
the authority responsible for
enhancing BIA and increasing
the airport's contribution to
the local economy
in line with Bahrain's
Economic Vision. In its
operational role, BAC
uplifting the airport's
operations, infrastructure
and services.
Etihad adds more offerings to its kitty
Etihad Airways recently enhanced its premium service Etihad Airways will add a new daily flight between Abu
offering at Abu Dhabi International Airport with the Dhabi and Karachi to offer a double daily service from
opening of a new Arrivals Lounge.
November 18, 2014.
he luxurious facility is the
first Arrivals Lounge to be
operated by Etihad Airways in
the world, offering a stylish
and modern environment for
the exclusive use of the airline’s First and Business
Class guests. It also boasts a
convenient location, immediately after customs.
It includes a dedicated
area to freshen-up before
leaving the airport, with 10
revitalising shower units, each
equipped with luxurious
amenities and linked to a complimentary service for clothes
steaming. The innovative new
‘SHAVE by Etihad Airways’
concept has also been introduced inside the lounge, with
guests offered a complimentary refreshing wet shave by
fully-qualified barbers.
Access is also provided
to a dedicated relaxation area,
Peter Baumgartner
Chief Commercial Officer
Etihad Airways
We have
ourselves against
some of the
world’s leading
hotels and
with high-comfort seating,
large screen televisions, and
an array of local and international newspapers, magazines and books.
Peter Baumgartner,
Chief Commercial Officer of
Etihad Airways, said: “Our
latest airport lounge is a
milestone for Etihad Airways
and has been launched following extensive market
research into the requirements of our First and
Business Class guests. This
facility, the first of its kind in
Abu Dhabi, has been specifically designed to meet their
needs and our innovative
new offerings, such as the
clothes steaming service and
‘SHAVE by Etihad Airways’,
will hold particular appeal for
guests with early morning
arrivals, before hotel checkin hours. “
“Once again, we have
against some of the world’s
leading hotels and restaurants, while placing the
warmth of Arabian hospitality
at the heart of the experience”, he added.
he additional service of
the national airline of the
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
will be operated by a twoclass Airbus A320 aircraft. It
is configured to carry 136
passengers, with 16 seats in
Business Class and 120
seats in Economy Class,
adding 1,904 new seats per
Etihad Airways schedule for Karachi
flights, effective 18 November 2014
Departs Destination
FreAirquency craft
EY200* Abu Dhabi (AUH) 16:00
Karachi (KHI)
EY201* Karachi (KHI)
Abu Dhabi (AUH) 23:35
02:35(+1) Daily
Abu Dhabi (AUH) 23:15
Karachi (KHI)
Karachi (KHI)
Abu Dhabi (AUH) 07:00
The additional flights will also
provide more than 700 weekly connections to key destinations in the GCC, Middle
East, Europe and North
week to the Abu DhabiKarachi route. Etihad will now
be able to offer 46 weekly
return flights to four destinations in Pakistan, which along
with Karachi, include Lahore,
Islamabad and Peshawar.
The schedule for the double
daily flights will allow new
markets such as Rome,
Zurich and San Francisco to
gain two-way connectivity.
Kevin Knight, Etihad
Airways’ Chief Strategy and
Planning Officer, said: “The
addition of the new flights will
strengthen Etihad Airways’
presence in the Pakistani
market and foster the growth
of commercial and cultural
relations between Pakistan
and the UAE.
Targetting 70m passengers
The refurbishment of two runways at the Dubai International Airport has been
acknowledged as the biggest specialised refurbishment of airport runways
in the modern history of civil aviation.
t was a planned infrastructure growth, and would
enable the Dubai International
Airport ‘absorb’ traffic growth,”
asserted Sheikh Ahmed bin
Saeed Al Maktoum, the
President of Dubai Civil
Aviation Authority (DCAA), the
Chairman of Dubai Airports
and Chairman and Chief
Executive of Emirates Airline
and Group. “We are confident
of welcoming 70 million passengers by the end of 2014.
The airport has been receiving five million passengers
every month, since past 18
consecutive months,” he further stated.
anticipated increase in aircraft
movements in the UAE, which
are expected to jump to 1.2
million movements by 2020.
The upgraded runways
would go a long way in handling the air-traffic, which has
been consistently growing
between five to seven per cent
annually, higher than the glob-
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed
Al Maktoum
Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA)
The ‘Emiratisation’
programme is
progressing well,
surging from 42% in
2008 to 70% in 2014
al average of 3.5 per cent.
According to Sheikh Ahmed,
the refurbishment will help
Dubai aviation industry a
great deal in absorbing the
The aircraft arrivals are
to be increased from the present 33 to 45 an hour by 2016.
The UAE airspace system
presently handles approximately 600,000 movements a
year. It is estimated that Dubai
will handle 660,000 movements by 2020.
The ‘Emiratisation’ programme is progressing well,
surging from 42 per cent in
2008 to 70 per cent in 2014.
The number of DCAA employees has increased by 15 per
cent since the opening
of Al Maktoum International
Airport in Dubai World
Central (DWC).
Six new airlines each in
the US and India are starting
7.5% hike in H1 2014
The total number of flights at Muscat International Airport
increased by 1.3%, standing at 40,204 by the end of
June 2014 compared to 39,695 flights in June 2013.
pared to 3,758,421 passengers over 2013 — 2,004,476
Meanwhile, air traffic at
Salalah Airport witnessed sig-
were classified as arriving,
2,018,544 as departing, and
17,108 as transit passengers.
nificant rise in the total number of flights and passengers.
The overall volume of flights
by H1 2014 stood at 3,982
flights compared with 3,100
flights in H1 2013, representing an increase of 28.5 per
cent. In addition, the number
of passengers increased by
15.6 per cent, totalling
386,029 compared to 333,979
passengers in 2013.
he total number of travellers passing through
Muscat International Airport
increased by 7.5 per cent over
H1 2014, reaching 4,430,676
as compared to 4,122,548
in H1 2013.
The total number of
international flights at Muscat
International Airport reached
35,510 in H1 2014, compared
to 35,206 flights registered
over June 2013 representing
a growth of 0.9 per cent.
The National Centre for
Statistics and Information
(NCSI) recently issued its air
traffic report. It reveals that the
total number of passengers
on international flights
passing through Muscat
increased by 7.5 per cent.
Standing at 4,040,128
passengers in 2014 com-
During the same period,
the total number of domestic
flights through Muscat
International Airport till Juneend 2014 reached 4,694
flights compared with 4,489
flights over June 2013, representing 4.6 per cent growth.
up, while in China, up to 15
Seychelles will see its second
airline taking off soon, while
Canada will have two.
Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia,
Zimbabwe, Congo and
Cambodia will have one each.
Costa Rica will see five
new carriers flying out
of its airspace.
It’s Growing
N The aircraft arrivals are
to be increased from the
present 33 to 45 an hour
by 2016.
N The
UAE airspace
handles approximately
600,000 movements a
N It is estimated that Dubai
will handle 660,000
movements by 2020.
Hike in Sharjah air
passenger traffic
The Sharjah International
Airport has handled 2.6 mil­
lion passengers in three
months ending June 30, 2014
up 23.1 per cent from the same
period in 2013.
New route capacity and a
runway closure at Dubai
like Air India, Jet Airways and
Pakistan International Airlines
raised capacity at Sharjah
International during the 80­
day runway closure at
Dubai International.
International saw a spike in
passenger numbers at Sharjah
International Airport in the
second quarter. A number of
airlines switched operations to
Sharjah International from
May 1 until July 20, 2014.
million passengers in the
second quarter, up 8 per cent
and over H1 2014 carried 3.36
million passengers, up
11 per cent from the same
period in 2013.
Cebu Pacific operated out
of Sharjah during the Dubai
runway works. While in
Sharjah, Cebu and Air Arabia
had a small marketing initia­
tive to feed the Sharjah­
Manila flight. Other carriers
Air Arabia carried 1.6
Half­year passenger
International for the six
months ending in June 30
were up 13.38 per cent to 5.6
million. Aircraft movements
increased by 8.67 per cent to
5.6 million.
TRAVTALK O C T O B E R 2 0 1 4
Fifth daily service enhanced
Jet Airways has enhanced its connectivity to India, through the introduction of
a fifth daily service between Dubai and Mumbai. The fifth daily frequency, effective
Oct 14, 2014, is expected to provide guests with the convenience of this
additional service and will complement the four flights already being operated.
The new services will offer our
guests wider options of preferred departure time while
travelling to Mumbai, or travelling onwards throughout our
ever-expanding network."
he introduction of this new
flight between Dubai and
Mumbai further strengthens
the presence of Jet Airways in
the Indo-Gulf sector. The airline will deploy its next - generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft, offering twin class configuration of Premiere and
Economy seating.
Shakir Kantawala, Vice
President, Gulf, Middle East &
North Africa, Jet Airways,
said, “This additional service
will have a positive impact,
stimulating regional competition in the Gulf and ultimately
benefiting travellers across
the globe. Guests will be
offered the airline's best-inclass in-flight product, which
boasts of warm service,
award winning entertainment,
as well as delectable cuisine.
Shakir Kantawala
Vice President - Gulf, Middle East &
North Africa, Jet Airways
This additional
service will have a
positive impact,
stimulating regional
competition in the
Gulf and ultimately
benefiting travellers
across the globe
The new flight, 9W 579
will depart Dubai at 0455 hrs
and arrive Mumbai at 0930
hrs (Local Time) providing
onward connections to
beyond destinations on the
airline's domestic network.
The return flight 9W
580 will leave Mumbai at
0200hrs (LT) and arrive Dubai
at 0340 hrs (LT).
However, effective Oct
26, 2014, Jet Airways' flight
9W 579 will depart Dubai at
0500 hrs (LT) and arrive
Mumbai at 0930 hrs. On the
return leg, flight 9W 580 will
leave Mumbai at 0140 hrs and
arrive Dubai at 0335 hrs (LT).
Aegean partners Al Rais
Aegean has announced Al
Rais Travel and Shipping
Agencies LLC as its
Passenger General Sales
Agent in United Arab
Emirates. The airline will
operate four (04) flights a
week to Athens from Abu
Dhabi connecting to other 47
international destinations.
Aegean’s Abu Dhabi­to­
Athens route, serviced using
an Airbus 320, offers selection
between Business and
Economy Class in which pas­
sengers can travel with consis­
tency, quality and reliability
while being offered a qualita­
With five daily flights to
operate between Dubai and
Mumbai, Jet Airways' business and leisure customers
may avail of a wide choice of
timings throughout the day.
The airline also operates daily
direct flights from the Emirate
of Dubai to Mangalore and
Delhi, which makes the additional flight from Dubai to
Mumbai the eighth daily direct
service on this sector.
tive service by highly trained
personnel. This will make
Athens even more accessible
as a tourist destination.
Aegean’s fleet compris­
es 45 aircraft. The airline has
also announced its decision
to increase the size of
its fleet through the order of
7 brand new A320 aircraft in
2015 – 2016. Aegean
Airlines, a Star Alliance
member, is Greece’s largest
full­service airline. Al Rais
Agencies LLC is one of the
largest independent travel
agencies in the UAE.
Promote heritage tourism
Dubai’s Department of
Tourism and Commerce
Marketing (DTCM) and
Dubai Culture & Arts
Authority (Dubai Culture)
have signed a Memorandum
of Understanding (MoU) to
further unite their efforts in
promoting Dubai’s cultural
and heritage tourism offerings
and implement the Emirate’s
vision and strategy. The agree­
ment includes plans to lever­
age the expertise of each entity
in developing programs and
events to promote cultural and
heritage tourism. It also
includes the development of
training programs for tour
guides with a focus on
Dubai’s culture, arts and
heritage offerings.
At Sofitel Dubai Downtown Ajman taps Russia market
Sofitel Dubai Downtown’s media launch was held on September 17,2014.
It included cocktail, followed by a tour of the hotel and finished
with food and bar.
The number of Russian visitors to Ajman in the first half of
2014 is 113,934, Hind Al Marzooqi, Head of Marketing and
Promotion at Ajman Tourism Development Department
(ATDD) of Ajman Government, announced recently.
emirate should be officially
international exhibition to
promote investment opportunities and assist hotels and
travel agencies in effort to network with their partners in the
various sectors, exchange
knowledge and explore
scopes of mutual cooperation,
she added.
ussia is one of the
fastest growing tourism
markets in the world and
this is why Ajman is keen
to officially take part in,”
said Al Marzooqi.
According to 2012 statistics, Russian holidaymakers
spent more than US dlrs 43
billion; a 32 per cent increase
compared to 2011, she said.
Hind Al Marzooqi
Head of Marketing and Promotion at
Ajman Tourism Development
Department (ATDD)
A survey concluded that
the emirate should be officially
represented in this international
exhibition to promote investment
A survey, conducted by ATDD
in 2013 including all hospitality
sector representatives in
Ajman, concluded that the
The campaign to kickstart with the official launch of
the exhibition centered on
quality services offered by
Ajman hotels and resorts, Al
Marzooqi said.
Russian Travel Market was
an ideal opportunity to
meet with the tourism industry
decision-makers and for
members of the delegation
to have a new experience,
she added.
It’s contemporary and cool!
The Jumeirah Group has revealed plans to launch a new contemporary
lifestyle brand, VENU. Designed to appeal to the modern traveller, the new
brand revolves around their lifestyle expectations - clean, cool and effortless.
he company reveals the
visual identity of the
brand, announcing the
appointment of a top hotelier
to lead its development, marking the launch of VENU.
Additionally, Meraas
Holding, the Dubai-based
developer is discussing with
Jumeirah Group to operate
the first VENU hotel on
Nicholas Clayton
CEO Group Operations
Jumeirah Group
The VENU hotel will be an intuitive
experience, anticipating the needs of
the modern, savvy traveller
Bluewaters Island in Dubai.
The essence of the new brand
is that of a 'social catalyst' - a
social place where people feel
welcome and at ease, surrounded by a crowd they love.
Speaking at the launch
of the new brand, Nicholas
Clayton, CEO Group
Operations at the Jumeirah
Group, announced, "This is
a genuinely exciting innova-
tion for Jumeirah Group. The
time is perfect for us to
launch a new contemporary
lifestyle brand. Its attribution
comes from Dubai and the
first few VENU hotels will
open here. It is ultimately a
powerful way of taking the
core essence of Dubai out
into the international market,
reflecting the city's energy
and cosmopolitan nature.
At the same time, the
VENU hotel will be an intuitive experience, anticipating
the needs of the modern,
savvy traveller."
Jumeirah has also
announced the appointment
of Matt Balcik as Vice
President Operations, Brand
Development, charged with
leading preparations for the
roll-out of VENU internationally. A Turkish/American
national, Matt Balcik has 18
years' experience in the hos-
pitality industry. His most
recent position was as
General Manager of the W
Hotel in Istanbul. Clayton
said, “We are delighted to
welcome Matt Balcik to lead
the introduction of VENU to
the market. His multi-brand
background, together with
strong operations experience, makes him the ideal
candidate to spearhead the
introduction and roll-out of
our new contemporary
lifestyle brand to the market.”
“Under Matt's leadership, we want travellers to be
inspired by the energy of the
VENU brand - to feel that they
are encountering something
completely new, where technology is impeccably integrated into the hotel experience,”
he added. Given the provenance of the brand, one of the
first VENU hotels will be located in Dubai.
In search for Hotel
The Marriott International
has updated its acclaimed
Hotel Excellence! (HE!)
Training programme to help
professional travel agents nav­
igate the ever­changing travel
industry landscape, help their
lodging properties across 56
countries and territories.
Today, Marriott’s portfolio has
grown to include 18 brands
that appeal to a wide variety of
travellers and more than 4,000
properties in 78 countries.
Hotel Excellence! was
the first hotel sales training
programme of its kind. Today,
more than 215,000 travel
agents have graduated from
the programme.
Stephanie Linnartz
Executive Vice-President
and Chief Marketing and
Commercial Officer
Marriott International
clients choose hotels that best
suit their needs and style. The
modernised programme fea­
tures comprehensive tutorials
and a streamlined technology
platform to bring high­quality
continuing education to agents
in a flexible and convenient
format. When HE! first
launched in 1999, Marriott
had eight brands and 1,900
“A recent survey
by the American
Society of Travel
Agents found that
more than half of
leisure travellers
who used a travel
agent said their
vacations were
better than trips
booked without,”
said Stephanie Linnartz,
Executive Vice­President and
Commercial Officer, Marriott
TRAVTALK O C T O B E R 2 0 1 4
Special fanfare promotion offered
To commemorate Cathay Pacific Airways winning the Skytrax ‘Airline of the Year’ award
for the fourth time, it has launched a promotion in form of special business fares to
50 select destinations throughout September.
n the upcoming 2014
iteration of ITB Asia
2014, Ashish Kapur, Country
Manager, UAE & Oman for
Cathay Pacific Airways
enthused, “Like World Travel
Market (WTM) in London and
Arabian Travel Market (ATM)
in Dubai, we believe ITB Asia
in Singapore is an important
industry gathering for the travel and tourism sectors in Asia.
It is a good opportunity for
buyers and exhibitors from
Travel agents play
unsurpassed part in providing
flexible and convenient services to potential clients of the
airlines. Like any other airline,
much of the business for
Cathay Pacific comes from
bookings bought by travel
agents. The airline looks
ahead to improve and maintain such relations.
Ashish Kapur
Country Manager, UAE & Oman
Cathay Pacific Airways
more than 100 countries to
meet under one roof.”
The airline, like many
others, is struggling to compete in a market where fuel
prices are on the rise. The
operating profit for the
airline and Dragonair, its
sister airline, in the first
“The second half of this
year has even better projections with the autumn
and the pre-Christmas
cargo peak all falling into the
second half of the year. To
meet the challenges of overcapacity in its air cargo section, we are reshaping our
fleet with fuel efficient models and adding new cargo
terminal to ease off the burden on the existing ones,”
declared Kapur.
The airlines also added
up four new destinations,
increasing transit frequencies
We are planning to
increase capacity by
about 6-7 per cent this
year, primarily long-haul
routes to North America
On the topic of future
plans, Kapur informed “We
are planning to increase
capacity by about 6-7 per cent
this year, primarily long-haul
routes to North America. New
daily service to Newark was
off to a good start and we will
be launching flights to
Manchester and Zurich. We
have also added frequencies
to Los Angeles, Chicago,
Australia and Osaka with positive feedback.”
“We have launched
services to Mexico City, added
an additional weekly flight to
Mexico’s Guadalajara to three
weekly and started twiceweekly flights to Columbus in
Ohio. We are also starting
twice weekly flights to Calgary
in October,” he concluded.
Affirming Faith
N Like any other airline,
quarter of 2014 was
USD$70 million which is
an improvement of US$12
million over a comparable
period in 2013.
Millennium Resort
Mussanah, Oman is the ideal
weekend escape for relaxation
and recreation, approximately
3 and half to 4 hours drive
from Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
Just one hour from the
best dive sites in Oman,
including Damaniyat Islands
and Kharabah Island, Oman
Sail’s PADI Dive Centre is
located within the Millennium
Resort Mussanah. Additional
promotions like ‘Enjoy 15 per
cent off best available rate
when one stay 3 nights or
more’ to last minute for less
with 10 per cent discount for
last minute reservations, spe­
cial Summer promotions and
spa experience packages,
Millennium Resort Mussanah
has an offer to suit all interests
and budgets.
Southern Sun Abu Dhabi is the new go­
to dining destination and hot spot for trav­
ellers to the UAE capital.
Throughout this autumn, the hotel is taking
their added­bonus philosophy one step fur­
ther with the launch of a credit reward pack­
age that delivers more value for visitors. For
Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi
brings Thai­inspired design and
hospitality to the capital. The
Summer Getaway Promotion
encourages guests to explore
entertainment options with
tickets to Yas Waterworld or
Ferrari World including in the
the first time in Abu Dhabi, the perfect part­
ners of steak and jazz come together for a
new brunch groups of friends. Enjoy extra
treats at the hotel with Southern Sun Abu
Dhabi’s More Value package, which runs
from Sept 1 till Oct 31, 2014, inclusive of
the Eid al­Adha break.
to Los Angeles, Chicago,
Osaka, Australia and Beijing.
By 2024, Cathay Pacific is
expected to take delivery of
86 new aircraft.
package, per night per deluxe
room, valid throughout EID,
guests will enjoy Deluxe room,
2 tickets to Yas Waterworld or
Ferrari World one way taxi to
Yas Waterworld or Ferrari
World, discounts on different
much of the business for
Cathay Pacific comes
from bookings bought
by travel agents. The
airline looks ahead to
improve and maintain
such relations
Salalah Ro tana Resort
offers a cooler climate than
that of the bordering coun­
tries, with unrivalled scenery,
children’s facilities and delec­
table palate. Salalah Rotana
Resort promises guests a
spectacular long weekend get­
away package ideal for cou­
Al Bustan Centre and Residen ce is
expectin g a 15 to 20 per cent increase in
occupancy during Eid Al Adha celebrations
this year compare d to 2013, followin g a
series of festive activities being rolled out in
Dubai. Families from across the GCC region
are attracted to come to Dubai because of the
wide range of special packages, promotions
and entertainment offered during the city­
Qatar to launch
direct flights to
Cape Town
Akbar Al Baker
Chief Executive Officer
Qatar Airways Group
Qatar is offering nonstop services to Cape Town
for the first time. The route
will be operated by Qatar
Airways’ state-of-the-art
Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft which features 22
seats in Business Class and
232 seats in Economy Class.
Qatar Airways Group
Chief Executive Officer,
Akbar Al Baker, said: “We
are very pleased that we are
now able to offer our passengers a dedicated nonstop service between Doha
and Cape Town. Cape Town
has long been one of the
most popular destinations
with passengers throughout
our worldwide network, and
with the new services, we
are now able to provide our
customers with quicker and
more convenient connections to one of the most
beautiful cities in the
world.” All Qatar Airways
passengers now fly through
the airline's new hub in
Doha - Hamad International
ples, families and groups
alike. When travellers make a
reservation to stay between
Oct 2 ­10, 2014 for three
nights, they will only pay the
cost of two nights. This offer
is valid throughout the Eid Al
Adha holiday for guests from
Aug 17 onwards.
wide celebrations. Aside from the GCC vis­
itors, there is also a strong local demand for
hotel rooms as many UAE residents choose
a “staycation” to celebrate Eid. ABCR plays
a major role in attractin g guests from the
GCC countries who visit the Emirate during
holidays. The well­appointed, renovated and
fully­equipped property offers them all the
facilities and comforts of a five­star hotel.
4 Oman Health Expo
India Tourism, Dubai participated in the 4th Oman Health 2014 Exhibition
and Conference held since Sept 9-11, 2014 at Oman International
Exhibition Centre. Around 10 hospitals and pharmaceutical companies from
India participated in the exhibition. The three days exhibition highlighted
the persistent growth of the health sector in Oman.
India Tourism
participation in
Oman Health
2014 Exhibition
India Tourism, Dubai participated in the 4th Oman
Health 2014 Exhibition and
Conference in Oman. In
presence of other dignitaries
and invitees including H.E
Ambassador of India to
Oman and officials of India
exhibitors, the exhibition
was inaugurated by the
Government of Oman and
the Director General
(Tourism). The three-day
exhibition highlighted the
continued development of
the health sector in Oman.
The exhibition targeted
all aspects of the health
industry, opening doors to
health products, services and
facilities and opportunities
for new developments and
trends, trade and investment.
It covered hospitals and medical infrastructure, education
and training, pharmaceuticals & medical tourism. India
Tourism printed directory on
Medical base in India including NABH Hospitals.
See Dubai, differently
Visitors to Dubai will soon be able to see the world’s
largest mall, tallest building and other iconic
city attractions in a new way, thanks to dnata and City
Sightseeing WorldWide.
Sightseeing, the world’s
leading open top bus tour
operator, have partnered
sights. City Sightseeing
WorldWide, known for its
modern double-decker buses
and international language
options, brings its popular
tours to Dubai.
Downtown Dubai and the
Palm Jumeriah. With its
stunning architecture and natural beauty, visitors will
see what makes this city
the place to be.
“Dubai has grown into
one of the most popular destinations for tourists, and
dnata is committed to providing our customers and travellers to the region the best
services in the world,” said
Iain Andrew, DSVP, dnata
Travel. “City Sightseeing will
ensure visitors see this city
like never before.”
City Sightseeing Dubai
tour will highlight all aspects
of Dubai’s past and present
Iain Andrew
DSVP, dnata Travel
Last year, more
than 13 million
experienced City
Sightseeing tours
and know the tour
will be just as
popular in Dubai
from Old Dubai and the Creek
to the skyscrapers of
“The world is fascinated
by Dubai and soon visitors to
the city will be able to see it in
comfort, learning about
the city from commentary in
Enrique Ybarra,
President and CEO, City
Sightseeing WorldWide. “Last
year, more than 13 million
people experienced City
Sightseeing tours and now,
the tour will be just as popular
in Dubai.”
City Sightseeing Dubai
on Oct 2, 2014 and can
be booked in advance or
direct from the bus or any
of their ticket booths
around Dubai.
TRAVTALK O C T O B E R 2 0 1 4
Hawthorn Suites scoops
‘Count On Me’ award
It has earned its first ‘Count
On Me’ recognition from the
Wyndham Hotel Group for
successfully establishing top­
quality service culture and
philosophy, with its guests and
among its associates
Wael El Behi
General Manager
Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham
Hawthorn Suites stood
out among the properties
under Wyndham Hotel Group,
in delivering the core princi­
ples of the group’s “Count On
Me” service. With a special
committee headed by Front
Office Manager Mustafa
Hassan, the hotel organised a
Service Culture Week where
the employees were given a
week­long training to increase
awareness and incorporate the
culture to the day­to­day
operations and interaction
with the guests.
Wael El Behi, General
Manager, Hawthorn Suites by
Wyndham, commented: “I
would like to commend my
team for their dedication,
cooperation, and consistent
efforts. We opened less than a
year ago and bagging this
award means a lot to us.
The ‘Count On Me’
model guides and
develops our
associates by
providing them
with the right
challenges and
which will aid in
their growth.
Keeping our associates
engaged and motivated is
important in building a strong
service culture in our hotel, as
these values will strongly
reflect on the quality of service
that we provide to our guests.”
Expanding its ME footprint
Swiss-Belhotel International, the global hospitality management company,
has launched Swiss-Belhotel Seef in Bahrain. It continues its expansion,
operating up to seven hotels in the Middle East by 2015.
he 149-room SwissBelhotel Seef officially
opened on July 27, 2014 with
a ribbon-cutting ceremony in
Bahrain's new business
district. It will provide a
high quality four-star hotel
with all the hallmarks of excellence in services and professionalism for which Swiss-
N Swiss-Belresort
N Swiss-Belhotel Plaza
N Swiss-Belinn Ghubra
Muscat Oman
N Swiss-Belhotel
N Swiss-Belhotel Erbil
Upgrading hospitality
Belhotel International
Swiss-Belhotel Seef
Bahrain offers ideal accommodation for business and
leisure travellers in the
Kingdom of Bahrain.
Swiss-Belhotel International Chairman and
President Gavin M. Faull
informed, “We are excited to
expand in the Middle East
and Bahrain is a very important market which we are
delighted to enter. I am confident our blend of efficient
service, professionalism, spacious rooms, much larger
than normally found in a hotel
in this category, and highvalue rates will be popular
among business travellers in
the region."
The Hong Kong-based
firm is in the midst of a period
Gavin M. Faull
Swiss-Belhotel International Chairman
and President
We are excited to
expand in the
Middle East and
Bahrain is a very
important market
which we are
delighted to enter
of expansion that will see 20
hotels open this year.
The hotel company will
extend its range of twoto five-star brands in the
Middle East, where SwissBelhotel Seef will be
joined this year by SwissBelresort Ghantoot in Dubai
adding to its existing properties Swiss-Belhotel Plaza in
Kuwait and Qatar's SwissBelhotel Doha. In 2015,
Swiss-Belinn Ghubra Muscat
in Oman, Swiss-Belhotel
Riyadh in Saudi Arabia
and Swiss-Belhotel Erbil in
Iraq will open.
Swiss-Belhotel International has more than 120
hotels, resorts and projects in
its global portfolio with a presence in China, Vietnam,
the Philippines, Malaysia,
Indonesia, Australia, New
Zealand, Kuwait, Qatar,
Bahrain, Iraq, Oman and
Saudi Arabia and is exploring
options elsewhere.
Four Seasons for family
The first 3 floors will be renovated by October when the Set to open on Nov 1, 2014, the new Four Seasons
hotel will be operated as the Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi Resort at Jumeirah Beach, Dubai will be situated on an
untouched 270-metre beach front.
Downtown, leading to a full renovation by 2015-end.
onsidering the latest technology and the modern
trends with contemporary layout that features an elegant
comfortable guest room,
Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi
Downtown will have a fresh,
upgraded feel.
“We have worked hard
not to lose the identity
Cedric Gaillard
General Manager
Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi Downtown
We have worked hard not to lose the
identity which our loyal customers have
come to know
restaurants to a state-of-theart health club with sauna, fitness facilities and a rooftop
Group’s vision for Holiday Inn
Abu Dhabi City Center Hotel
is to be a contemporary 4-star
hotel that offers 5-star services and facilities at convenient
prices. Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi
Downtown is a successful
blend of contemporary style
and charm with traditional
Arab hospitality. It is the ideal
home away from home for
leisure and business visitors
in Abu Dhabi.
Peerless Service
which our loyal customers
have come to know,” said
Cedric Gaillard, General
Manager, Holiday Inn Abu
Dhabi Downtown.
Ideally located in the
heart of the city, within city
reach of commercial and business districts, government
offices and embassies,
Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi
Downtown will boast of 257
well-appointed and decorated
rooms. It features host of
amenities from exceptional
N Intercontinental Hotels
Group’s vision for
Dhabi City Center Hotel
is to be a contemporary
4-star hotel that offers
5-star services and
facilities at convenient
he resort,” informs
Regional Vice President,
General Manager Four
Seasons Resort Jumeirah
Beach, Dubai, “breaks away
from what I perceive as
Dubai’s over-the-top, often
ornate hospitality by providing
comfort, familiarity and style
bundled together in everything
the guests experience while at
the resort with the trademark
Four Season’s personalised
service in play.”
In keeping with the surrounding coastal neighbourhood, the resort is a mere 10
minutes away from the commercial district at Sheikh
Zayed Road. In close proximity to the tourist attractions in
downtown Dubai, the resort is
perfectly situated for work and
play. The resort itself has been
designed blending Spanish
and Mediterranean architec-
Simon Casson
Regional Vice President, GM, Four
Seasons Resort Jumeirah Beach, Dubai
The Four Seasons
Resort Dubai at
Jumeirah Beach
and the new Four
Seasons Hotel
Bahrain Bay are
also set to open
later this year
ture with Arabic accents.
While the 237 ultra-spacious
suites are designed with aim
of being coveted, the resort
will in time also unveil a free
standing villa hidden in the
gardens of the property which
shall rival the best luxury standards anywhere in the
world. Adding to these luxury
suites is 12, 900 sq ft of event
space designed to handle
anything from beach weddings to high-tech meetings
and conferences.
Casson mentions, “The
Four Seasons Resort Dubai
at Jumeirah Beach and the
new Four Seasons Hotel
Bahrain Bay are also set to
open later this year and join
Four Seasons Hotel Doha
in Qatar as the brand’s
portfolio of Arabian Gulf
properties continues to
expand. Future developments have also been
announced in Oman and
Kuwait, and a second UAE
property in Abu Dhabi and a
second location in Doha,
with more to come.”
SE Asia gets a new Address
The Address Hotels + Resorts looks at hotel management agreements in
key emerging markets. Across the Emaar Hospitality Group itself, it has
launched two other hotel brands - Vida Hotels and Resorts, and Manzil.
ida Hotels and Resorts is
a refreshingly different
hotel concept for the new generation of business executives, entrepreneurs and
leisure travellers. A modern
boutique hotel brand, under
Emaar Hospitality Group,
Manzil celebrates the
fabled tradition of Arabian
property under the new
brand is Manzil Downtown
Dubai (formerly Al Manzil),
located directly opposite
Souk Al Bahar.
ITB Asia 2013 has
offered the opportunity to
showcase the diverse portfolio of five-star premium hotels
in Dubai, explored potential
opportunities for hotel management agreements and
ITB Asia, according to
The Address Hotels &
Resorts, is one of the key
industry events that brings
together all the travel industry
stakeholders. With its focus
on corporate, MICE and
leisure sectors, it serves
as a one-stop platform to
Seema Pande
Group Director of Sales & Marketing
The Address Hotels & Resorts
In 2013, travel
agents contributed
to over 99,930 room
nights, and the yearto-date figures have
already surpassed
65,791 room nights
further strengthen industry
“While we did not participate in ITB Asia 2013, we are
looking forward for our presence in ITB Asia 2014 in
Singapore. As a premier
industry event, it brings
together stakeholders from
worldwide, particularly from
Asia. We see the exhibition
and conference as significant
in further expanding our outreach in one of our core feeder markets. Over the years,
Southeast Asia and Asia have
evolved as significant
feeder markets for The
Address Hotels and Resorts,”
informed Seema Pande,
Group Director of Sales &
Marketing, The
Hotels & Resorts.
“In 2013, travel agents
contributed to over 99,930
room nights, and the year-todate figures have already surpassed 65,791 room nights.
They continue to be the first
point of information for several
travellers underlining the
strategic role they play in driving the growth of the hotel
sector,” Pande further stated.
“Our commitment is to be at
the forefront of Dubai’s hospitality sector, as well as expand
our footprint to high-growth
markets globally.
Prime Position
N The first property under
the new brand is Manzil
(formerly Al Manzil),
located directly opposite
Souk Al Bahar
A first for Suba Group
Suba Group of Hotels
launched its first hotel in
Deira, Dubai in September
2014. The four star hotel com­
bines the traditional Arabic
design with contemporary ele­
ments of modern architecture
and is the first four star hotel
in Dubai to offer tablet con­
trolled room lighting and tel­
evision facilities.
Suba Hotel houses nine­
ty­two tastefully decorated
rooms and suites, modern
leisure facilities and multi­cui­
sine dining options. Located
in the heart of old Dubai,
the hotel is in close proximity
to the renowned tourist
landmarks and historic
Mansur Mehta, Founder
and Chief Managing Director,
Suba Group says, “We are
excited to bring the brand to
Middle East and offer high
quality services to our valued
clients. Along with the expe­
rienced team of professionals
led by CEO, Mubeen Mehta,
and General Manager, Wajeed
Bagwan, we are enthusiasti­
cally looking forward to our
regional growth in the coming
few years.”
The rooms at the hotel
are equipped with state­of­the­
art facilities including satellite
TV, high speed Wi­Fi internet
and tablet controlled lighting
and television facilities and the
suites have additional facilities
including private Jacuzzis and
rain showers.
Suba hotel also offers
indoor facilities that can
accommodate 10­70 guests
and outdoor catering services
for up to 300 guests for busi­
ness conferences, meetings
and seminars.
Restaurants and Cafés at
the Suba Hotel showcase
diverse cuisines ranging from
Arabic, Continental, and
Indian to Chinese. Cinnamon,
Lobby Café, and fine
dining outlets provide the
guests a unique blend of
local and international
flavors under one roof.
With the establishment of
the hotel in Dubai, Suba
Group of Hotels is planning on
launching three hotels in the
region by the end of 2017.
TRAVTALK O C T O B E R 2 0 1 4
Int’l hotel brands move in on RAK
International hotel chains are making Ras Al Khaimah their latest target for expansion. The Emirate is
flourishing with newfound benefits. The UAE, Germany, Russia, UK and India are the top source markets for
RAK as it witnessed an increase of tourists from these nations.
ne of the driving forces
behind RAK’s tourism
confidence is the higher profile of the destination afforded
by new luxury properties like
Waldorf Astoria, Rixos and
Based on Ras Al
Development Authority’s data,
the emirate has recorded a
total of 1.02 million
guest nights in the first half of
2014, representing an
increase of 63 per cent. In
addition, the average daily
rate (ADR) of beach
properties reached US$165,
increasing the revenue
by 57 per cent as compared
to 2013.
According to STR
(Smith Travel Research) data
for July, 2014, Ras Al
Khaimah average daily room
rate was 19 per cent higher
than Abu Dhabi. It demonstrates the strong demand for
the portfolio of luxury properties now available in RAK.
With the addition of 4 five-star
properties in Marjan Island
and Al Hamra area in the last
nine months, the revenue
numbers have almost dou-
bled. The international and local visitors
are increasingly finding Ras Al Khaimah
a tourism destination
of choice.
Steven Rice
Chief Executive Officer
others,” said Steven Rice,
Chief Executive Officer of
RAK TDA. “In addition, the
emirate’s diverse nature and
unspoiled beaches, rich heritage, history and tranquil
atmosphere are some of the
main selling points,” he added.
hotel openings on Al
Marjan Island are
the 650-key Rixos
Bab Al Bahr Resort,
which is the largest
all-inclusive resort in
QAIA shows passenger,
aircraft movement growth
Airport International Group
(AIG) ­ the Jordanian compa­
ny responsible for the rehabil­
itation, expansion and opera­
tion of the Queen Alia
International Airport (QAIA)
­ announced an increase in
passenger numbers and air­
Kjeld Binger
craft movements at QAIA dur­
ing July 2014. For the seventh
consecutive month in 2014,
passengers reach reached a
figure of 578,026 and aircraft
movements touched 6,335 on
a steady rise. The numbers
showed a surge of 5.6 per cent
and 8.4 per cent respectively,
compared to July 2013.
Since the
beginning of 2014
and up till July,
passengers and
aircraft movement
statistics rose by
11.8 per cent and
8.6 per cent
as opposed to the same period
in 2013, to come in at
4,154,288 passengers and
42,384 aircraft movement.
"July's figures represent
a positive year­on­year
increase in PAX and ACM sta­
tistics, and were especially
enhanced by the Eid Al­Fitr
vacation. This resulted in a
direct increase in flights to and
from holiday destinations
including the GCC, Egypt,
Erbil, London and Vienna,"
stated AIG CEO Kjeld Binger.
the UAE, the 302-room
Marjan Island Resort & Spa,
the 484-key DoubleTree
by Hilton Resort &
Spa, Marjan Island. The 265room Santorini Hotel, a part
of The Bin Majid Group, is
scheduled to open by 2015.
The 346-room Ras Al
Khaimah Waldorf Astoria,
which was the Hilton
luxury brand’s first in the
UAE, opened in the second
half of 2013.
Recent Hotel
N Rixos Bab Al Bahr
N Marjan Island Resort &
N DoubleTree by Hilton
Resort & Spa, Marjan
N Santorini Hotel
N Ras Al Khaimah Waldorf
All for medical tourism
Dubai medical tourism packages will be launched in the 1st Health Regulations
Conference. Taking place on Oct 22-23, the conference will act as a platform
to discuss best practices in health regulation and medical tourism.
he medical tourism
packages will be rolled
out for tourists and residents
alike in Dubai. We have collab-
Ibrahim, Director of Health
Regulation and Medical
Tourism at the DHA. “The packages are comprehensive and
convenient. For tourists, it will
include hotel stay and flight
The packages are comprehensive and
convenient. For tourists, it will include
hotel stay and flight tickets. For residents,
it will offer discounted rates for certain
medical services
Holidays, Dubai Immigration,
Department of Tourism and
Commerce Marketing and
other stakeholders to roll-out
several medical tourism packages,” explained Dr Ramadan
tickets. For residents, it will offer
discounted rates for certain
medical services,” added he.
Dermatology, dental
health check-ups, plastic sur-
gery, orthopedics and ophthalmology will be the areas
of treatment to be covered in
the package. "In the first
phase, we will only roll out
packages for wellness and
health-checkups. As more
and more people adopt a
wellness lifestyle, travel
agents can expect to see an
increasing number of clients
who want to incorporate wellness into their trip planning,"
Ibrahim further stated.
The wellness and health
check-ups package will
include specialised packages
from executive to basic ones
offering comprehensive health
services. Packages for men
and women will be of specialist consultation, lab tests and
other diagnostic tests. There
will also be a weight-loss
package that includes dietician consultation and diet
plans based on the person's
medical history. It will offer discount from 10 to 40 per cent
at prime health facilities in
Dubai. Residents can buy the
packages during the two-day
exhibition and the tour operators will provide these packages for overseas visitors.
The wellness tourism
market includes primary and
secondary wellness tourists.
Primary wellness tourists
travel entirely for wellness
purposes while secondary
wellness tourists engage
in wellness-related activities
as part of a trip. Secondary
wellness tourists constitute
the significant majority of
total wellness tourism trips
and expenditures.
On the road to hike India inbound
With Indians producing the largest number of international hotel guests for Abu Dhabi over the
past year, the emirate’s tourism industry had embarked on a five-city roadshow. Aimed at keeping
the destination foremost in the country’s outbound influencers’ mindset, the roadshow pulled in
more than 500 travel professionals from over 400 companies.
round 14 Abu Dhabi
tourism stakeholders
including Etihad Airways, Yas
Chennai and New Delhi which
has been organised by Abu
Dhabi Tourism & Culture
Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).
Nuaimi, Director, Promotions
& Overseas Offices, TCA Abu
Dhabi. “This will be boosted
In the first six months of
2014, 107,995 Indian guests
checked in Abu Dhabi’s hotels
and resorts – a growth of 35
per cent over the same period
in 2013. The arrivals delivered
408,862 guest nights, which
was up 22 per cent year-onyear with the average-lengthof-stay being 3.79 nights.
Mubarak Al Nuaimi
Director, Promotions & Overseas
Offices, TCA Abu Dhabi
Island, hotels, tour operators
and attractions have joined
the roadshow across Mumbai,
“The destination is benefitting from excellent air boost
from India now with Etihad
Airways and its partner Jet
Airways providing convenient
and quick travel options to
Abu Dhabi from Tier-I and
Tier-II cities all over the country,” informed Mubarak Al
The destination is benefitting from the
excellent air boost from India with
Etihad Airways and its partner Jet Airways
providing convenient and quick travel
options to Abu Dhabi from Tier-I and
Tier-II cities all over the country
further on February 2015
when Etihad launches daily
flights from Kolkata to Abu
Dhabi.” Presently, Etihad
Airways operates 112 flights
per week from 10 Indian destinations to Abu Dhabi
Bayshore at Abu Dhabi
InterContinental, Abu
Dhabi, recently announced
the launch of the ‘Bayshore’,
Abu Dhabi’s most private
InterContinental Abu Dhabi’s
picturesque marina, and just
five minutes from the
Corniche, the Bayshore is set
to become the capital’s most
desirable beach and health
club. The brand new destina­
tion combines health, relax­
ation and entertainment with
300m of natural beachfront,
an infinity pool, swim­up bar,
separate children’s pool and
play area, premium health
and sports facilities, day spa
and restaurant. The Bayshore
is open to InterContinental
Abu Dhabi hotel guests
and with a range of annual
membership and day pass
options for local residents and
Resident Manager Khaled
Zaki said: “We are thrilled to
announce the opening of the
Bayshore, which is a stunning
new area for guests and local
residents to enjoy. The
InterContinental Abu Dhabi’s
proud history in the capital and
offers our guests the outstand­
ing quality of service and
facilities that they expect from
us in a new and exciting beach
front location.”
A cruise terminal concept
The concept design of Abu
Dhabi’s planned permanent
cruise passenger terminal is to
be unveiled later this month at
Europe’s most prestigious
cruise event, Seatrade Med
2014, from Sept 16­18 in
Barcelona, Spain. The model
is being showcased by Abu
Dhabi Ports Company
(ADPC) following an interna­
tional design competition and
extensive industry stakeholder
input. ADPC will be at
Such is the size of Indian
interest that the recentlyopened, five-star The St. Regis
Seatrade Med with an
Abu Dhabi Tourism and
Culture Authority (TCA Abu
Dhabi) delegation in the
Emirate’s first dedicated
‘Cruise Abu Dhabi’ interna­
tional promotion.
Abu Dhabi, says the market
already accounts for 15% of its
leisure business. Indian weddings are actively pursued by
Abu Dhabi stakeholders. The
iconic Yas Viceroy handled
three huge Indian weddings
over the past few years.
Le Royal Meridien Abu
Dhabi, which has recently
undergone total refurbishment, has specifically tailored
some products for the Indian
market. Al Diar Hotels, which
operates a number of budget
properties in Abu Dhabi,
maintained Indian business
up by 30 per cent in 2014 and
has now dedicated a sales
person specifically for the
market. Lama Desert Tourism,
which opened an office in Abu
Dhabi city two years ago, is
offering packages to the emirate, says it has seen a 15-20
per cent rise in its business
especially from India’s Tier-II
cities. The travel trade fraternity responded favourably to
Abu Dhabi’s range of affordable accommodation options
at the best of hotels at very
compelling value.
rebranded as
IBTM Arabia
IBTM Arabia is the new
name spearheading a transformation of the former
annual GIBTM show. The
event will also have a new
location – the five-star, The
St Regis Hotel Saadiyat
Island Resort, Abu Dhabi with new dates, from
February 10-12, 2015. The
key features of IBTM Arabia
2015 includes a new exclusive, closed door event format based on mutually
matched business appointments, providing more
touch points for exhibitors
and buyers. In addition to
an all- inclusive pricing
structure, the new event
will also accommodate a
one-to-one ratio of hosted
buyers and exhibitors.
TRAVTALK O C T O B E R 2 0 1 4
One of the Middle East’s largest fun destinations with a twist!
When one thinks of more rides, more slides and more
fun, there’s Dreamland Aqua Park – one of the very
few theme parks in the Middle East that features
unique interactive individual and group oriented
rides, intended to double the thrills and
excitement! Not to mention, the adrenaline
pumping activities, that’s enough to keep
everyone in high spirits all day long.
ocated at Umm Al
Quwain, Dreamland
Aqua Park is one of
the largest water
parks in the region set on an
amazing 250,000 sq m of
land. Set up in 1997, it is the
oldest and the most frequented water theme parks
in the UAE. The park is
accessible from Emirates
Road through Exit No 103
Ghassan El Kesti
Park Manager
Dreamland Aquapark
while driving towards
Ras Al Khaimah.
A well designed
landscaped green
oasis, Dreamland has
natural features interlaced with over 30
thrilling rides, crazy
slides and a lot of other
attractions. It is big
enough to entertain 7,000
visitors per day and is the
ideal place for safe
leisure pursuits.
Visitors can watch
out for the 1,250,000
liters of water at the
gigantic wave pool
which is the largest in
the region. They can also
slide down a 40-meter long
tunnel, or take a 2-meter nose
dive! There’s the ‘not to be
missed’ wild rafting river with
2 gigantic body slides; Hippos
Partnering with hotels in the northern
emirates to sell a fully packaged product/
experience (hotel accommodation +
water park experience) has been of a
great success and experience for the
Park, the hotel and mainly the guests
and visitors. We value and count on
such partnerships
Island – complete with light
and sound effects, Twisting
Dragons or Kamikaze.
Visitors can live the Dead Sea
experience in the one of its
kind ‘high salinity’ pool. For
the sporty type of visitors,
Dreamland Aqua Park
offers Basketball, Beach
Volleyball, Mini Football,
Badminton, Tennis and
Frisbee playing facilities.
Dreamland also features an aquatic obstacle
course. Kids
can bounce,
slide, crawl
down while racing down the
finish line. The
park has dry
attractions like
amphitheatre, tennis & basketball
court, and mini zoo
that features a well kept
collection of small animals
and birds. The Atlantis
Restaurant is perfect for all
day dining experience for
170 seated people. The Taj
Mahal Restaurant offers a
world of spicy and colourful
dishes from authentic Indian
and Asian cuisine. Snack
Attack’s a wide selection of
pizzas and combos makes it
ideal for fast-food lovers.
Dreamland also boasts
of the U.A.E.'s largest
pool bar offering a variety
of beverages. Saj Zaman
& Shisha Majlis let visitors, relax and enjoy the
sunset while savouring
hand toasted Lebanese
crepes and other delicacies, along with
different flavours of
Shisha. For visitors who
fancy an overnight stay,
there is the Waterside
Camping, a unique service
in the UAE. Over the years,
illustrious personalities and
stars like the famous
Lebanese singer Najwa
Karam, have enjoyed their
time at Dreamland Aqua
Park. Apart from individual
families, Dreamland also
caters to the needs of
bigger groups, with affordable tailor-made packages.
Furthermore, its Catering
Division oversees the
and hosting of
banquets and
weddings. The
attractive rates and
packages for groups of 20
people or more. It’s an excellent venue for school excursions, team building and corporate outings. Additionally,
Dreamland has conference
facilities to organize private
or business meetings.
The park also features
a massive ‘Amphi Theatre’
that can accommodate 1500
seated persons in a setting
perfectly adapted for musical
concerts, corporate events
and shows.
To know more about
Dreamland, call 06- 768- 1
888 or visit the website:
or join the Facebook Group.
Sharjah calling India
The 2014 Sharjah Roadshow in India is being hosted by the Sharjah
Commerce and Tourism Development Authority in cooperation with Air Arabia
and leading players of Sharjah’s hotel and tourism industry.
from India in 2013, registering 41 per cent growth
over 2012, expecting to
grow steeply in months and
years ahead.
fter successful campaigns in Europe and the
Gulf, Sharjah has turned its
focus once again on Indian
tourism market with its India
Road Show, from September
15- 22, 2014.
The promotional campaign will see Sharjah, being
celebrated as the Islamic
Culture Capital for Year 2014,
promote itself in major Indian
cities including Mumbai, New
Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai
and Bangalore.
Khalid Jasim Al Midfa,
Director General, Sharjah
Commerce and Tourism
explained, “India is one of the
most promising tourism markets for Sharjah. The emirate
attracts thousands of tourists
from the country every year.”
Khalid Jasim Al Midfa
Director General, Sharjah Commerce
and Tourism Development Authority
The Emirate is
getting ready
for the grand
as the Arab
Tourism Capital
in 2015
more than 123,010 visitors
“The promotional campaign, held in five major metros of the country, is truly special as it is being happening
during the time when Sharjah
is being celebrated as the
Islamic Culture Capital for
2014 by the OIC memberstates. The Emirate is
getting ready for the grand
celebrations as the Arab
Tourism Capital in 2015,”
added Al Midfa.
Al Midfa said that relations between India and the
UAE and Sharjah have always
been very warm. Sharjah and
the UAE are also home to a
large Indian community. Air
Arabia now has a vast daily
flight network in place which
speaks volumes of this special relationship.
The Sharjah road show
began with Mumbai (Sept 15),
thereafter New Delhi (Sept
16). The third stop on the itinerary was Hyderabad
(Sept 18,). The Sharjah
team headed to Chennai on
Sept 19 followed by
Bangalore on Sept 22.
Building Bonds
N Air Arabia now has a
vast daily flight network
in place which speaks
volumes of this special
N The
campaign will see
Sharjah promote itself in
major Indian cities
including Mumbai, New
Chennai and Bangalore
BIA selects SITA to
optimise IT solutions
Bahrain Airport Services
Co. (BAS) has selected air
transport IT specialist SITA to
automate staff rostering and
International Airport in a new
five­year deal. SITA’s
resource management system
will help the ground handler
achieve its objective by
increasing the efficiency and
productivity of its airport
staff. SITA is providing
BAS with a complete end­to­
end solution that connects
employees on the move and
their mobile devices with
back­office systems. This
ensures the ground handler
can make decisions as needs
change for more effective use
of resources.
Qatar starts direct
Doha-Phuket flights
Qatar Airways will boost
services to Thailand with the
introduction of non­stop
flights to Phuket, effective
October 26, 2014. The airline
currently serves
the Doha–Phuket
route daily via a
Malaysian capital,
Kuala Lumpur.
The direct flights
to Phuket will be operated
with an Airbus A330 in a
two class­configuration of
24 seats in Business Class and
236 in Economy.
TRAVTALK O C T O B E R 2 0 1 4
‘Must-attend trade show’
Contd. from page 1
operators, suppliers and intermediaries from the different
regions will engage with Asia.
one-stop shop to get updated.
At ITB Asia 2013, we met new
contacts from European
exhibitors and had some partnerships established. Being
tented with the overall outcome. “We have been exhibiting in ITB Asia for all seven
years and I believe this year
also, it will be a great success.
Sunny Augustine
Ziya Öztürk
Sentot Mujiono
Executive Director
White Sands Tours & Travel
Vice President, Marketing & Sales
(Asia & Far East), Turkish Airlines
Vice President, Region Southeast
Asia, Garuda Indonesia
For anybody
looking into
business from
these Asian
ITB Asia is the
best platform
The venue
offers a neutral /
location for
industry players
to meet
each other
So events like these will
always be good starting platforms for the trade.”
headquartered in Singapore,
we participate in this event
every year,” he added.
“Companies usually
showcase their new products
at such events too, so it’s a
White Sands Tours &
Travel had participated ITB
Asia 2013 and were very con-
Through ITB Asia,
we’ve been
able to
connect with
potential buyers
and partners from
across the globe
into business from these
Asian markets, ITB Asia
is the best platform,” affirmed
Sunny Augustine, Executive
Director, White Sands
Tours & Travel.
Garuda Indonesia has
been participating in ITB Asia
since 2010. “Through ITB
Asia, we’ve been able to successfully connect with potential buyers and partners from
across the globe. We always
had productive meetings at
the event and look forward to
gaining insights at the tailored
conferences. It is a major
trade show that attracts quality international delegates
each year and we’re confident
in the show’s ability to
form networks, generate busi-
ness leads and forge partnerships,” declared Sentot
Mujiono, Vice President,
Region Southeast Asia,
Garuda Indonesia.
“ITB Asia is always growing year-on-year and we’re
expecting an even bigger and
better show this year at the
new venue, Sands Expo and
Convention Centre. We’ll be
showcasing our new products
and services and look forward
to quality meetings at ITB Asia
and positive follow up business
after the show,” he added.
Turkish Airlines had
participated ITB Asia 2013
and participating ITB Asia
2014 as well under the
Turkish Tourism stand. “Even
though it is now on its 7th
year, we believe it plays an
important role for worldwide
travel and the tourism indus-
try. Apparently there will be
some familiar faces or organisation present but will also
be some new players. The
venue offers a neutral /
strategic location for industry
players to meet each
other,” mentioned Ziya
Öztürk, Vice President,
Marketing & Sales (Asia &
Far East), Turkish Airlines.
Blend of
leisure and
W Hotels, in collaboration
with highly celebrated
designer, Tahir Sultan,
brought its passion for fashion to life. This initiative by
them is to amplify the W
experience for guests staying
at the retreat.
Sultan is all set to unveil
his Spring/Summer collection at the fourth edition of
Dubai Fashion Forward, the
Middle East's largest fashion
extravaganza which runs
from 4 to 6 October 2014.
Of Kuwaiti and Indian
heritage, Sultan has always
been passionate about fashion. Sultan's imagination for
his new collection, named
“Infinite days & Infinite
nights” is inspired by the
iconic W Maldives. Its white
sand beaches and turquoise
lagoons, vibrant house-reef,
rich aquatic life and unique
shapes and colors of the
corals, served as an inspiration for his designs.
His new collection is a
modern twist incorporating
embroideries and prints referencing local Maldivian
reefs and wildlife. His unique
flip flops are already a musthave item on the island and
were inspired while he went
diving and explored the
vibrant house reef. The colors on the sole of the shoes
are completely unique to
the Maldives.
To transform the mid-market segment
Known for its Amari brand, presently with properties in Thailand and the Middle East, OZO is the latest
and the base brand for ONYX Hospitality Group. The OZO brand made waves within the hospitality
industry’s mid-market sector.
Strong trend in demand
is observed by families for
both high-quality services with
affordable accommodation
solutions on the one hand,
and an increase in young travellers seeking well-connected
hospitality options, with limited
additional services, but with
the basics done well.
NYX recognises that in
rapidly evolving hospitality landscape, there is
great potential for a select
service brand with character,
like OZO.
On OZO’s brand development, Peter Henley,
President and CEO, ONYX
Hospitality Group commented, “We have recognised that
this segment is getting
increasingly popular, especially as both business and
leisure travellers are forced to
assess budgets and reduce
accommodation costs. With
Peter Henley
President and CEO
ONYX Hospitality Group
OZO, we aim to surprise our
guests and continue to
meet and exceed their expectations as regards to product
and services.”
“Our Amari and OZO
brands compliment these
industry demands and trends
perfectly. So we expect these
brands to increase, especially
in the Middle East where there
is call for more value-oriented
and mid-scale accommodation brands,” he asserted.
Commenting on the
plans for further Arabian
expansion, Henley informed,
at expanding our presence in
the region in near future, not
just with the Amari brand, but
Our Amari and OZO brands compliment the
industry demands and trends perfectly. So
we expect these brands to increase,
especially in the Middle East where there is
call for more value-oriented and mid-scale
accommodation brands
Hospitality Group has also
increased outreach for travellers from this region visiting
a number of key properties in
Asia. Travellers from the
Middle East and North Africa
are an increasingly important
growth area of our business,”
he added.
N ONYX Hospitality Group
“The opening of our first
Amari property in the Middle
East in Doha was a pivotal
point in the Amari brand’s
development. We are looking
also with properties representing our full spectrum of
hospitality brands.” “In addition to our physical presence
in the Middle East region with
has also increased
outreach for travellers
from Middle East region
visiting a number of key
properties in Asia
Jumeirah Group
Centro Capital Centre Hotel by Rotana
Abu Dhabi
Jumeirah Group has appointed Doris Greif as Regional Vice
President Europe as well as General Manager of Jumeirah
Frankfurt. Doris Greif moves from her
current position as General Manager
of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu
Dhabi. A German national, Doris
Greif first joined Jumeirah in 1999
and since then has successfully
undertaken a number of senior
roles in the company Doris
Greif takes up her new role on
1st October 2014.
Stefan Fuchs joined as the General Manager of Jumeirah at
Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi. Fuchs, also German, first joined
Jumeirah in 2006, working at Madinat
Jumeirah in Dubai for three years as
Director of Food & Beverage. He rejoined the company in 2010 as Hotel
Manager at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers
to assist with the pre-opening of the
hotel. Stefan's previous industry experience spans over 15 years working for
well-known brands such as Ritz-Carlton
and Kempinski Hotels.
Ayman Ashor has been appointed as General Manager of Centro
Capital Centre Hotel by Rotana, the third property in Abu Dhabiunder
Rotana’s Brand “Centro Hotels by Rotana”.
Egyptian, holding a Dutch National, Ashor
holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel
Management and completed his MBA in
Marketing and Communications in
Netherlands. He has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry gained during his 20 years tenure. As the new
General Manager of Centro Capital Centre,
Ashor will be the key leader overseeing the
entire operations of the property with
its 414 rooms.
HMH - Hospitality Management
Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel
Betsy Cordova Lopez has been appointed as Business
Development Manager at the Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel in Dubai,
moving from the Dubai Courtyard by
Marriott where she was employed in the
sales department. Hailing from Peru and
multi-lingual in English, Spanish, French,
German and her mother tongue, Italian,
Betsy worked in Canada, England,
Spain and Peru before moving to
the UAE in 2013 as a
trainee in the Regional
office at The Address
Downtown Dubai.
Holiday Inn® Abu Dhabi Downtown
Abu Dhabi
Cedric Gaillard joins Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi Downtown in
Sept 2014 as the property’s General Manager. Cedric’s career
with IHG has spanned over 15 years
during which he has served in
various successive positions and
most recently holding the position of
Hotel Manager with the InterContinental
Doha The City’ Hotel.
Chris Bradley has been appointed as Head
of Sales at HMH – Hospitality
Management Holdings. A Canadian
national with 16 years’ experience
across the hospitality and consultancy
sectors, Chris joins the team from
Hertz where he was part of the GSA
team for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Chris
started his hospitality career
in Canada with Fairmont and
InterContinental before moving to the UAE in 2007 with
IHG’s global sales team.
Another Raviz in Dubai
The Raviz brand has added another property, Raviz Centre Point, in
Dubai to its portfolio. It is expected to carry forth the same practice of
localised hospitality with international standards.
anoj Padhi, Group
ManagerHospitality, Raviz International
Hotel Management Co, and
now for the Versailles Hotel
and the Raviz Center
Point Hotel, Dubai, said,
“We have had a soft opening
of the hotel in Sept 2014, as
we feel this will be the right
time to assess guest feedback
and fine-tune it to meet the
demands of the upcoming
Located in Khalid Bin Al
Waleed Road, the Raviz
Centre Point hotel was
acquired by the group in a
and has been converted
into a full service 4-star property. It’s repleted with 109
Restaurant, an exclusive
Asian Entertainment and
Night Venue and a
Conference venue.
Manoj Padhi
Group General Manager-Hospitality,
Raviz International Hotel Management Co
We have
contracted major
inbound tour
operators to Dubai
and corporate
“We expect to do a
round-the-year occupancy
between 80-85 per cent in the
first year of operations. We
have also contracted the
major worldwide inbound tour
operators to Dubai and corporate houses. The travel trade
has also signed on for backto-back
for property assessment,” he
added. The location of the
hotel has already attracted
several banks and airlines to
set up corporate relations
with the hotel.
On the topic of ITB Asia
and its continued dominance
as the definitive travel show
for Asia, Padhi stated, “ITB
Asia has always been a stellar
trade exhibition in the Asian
Travel Market, and even the
seventh edition is bound to be
an event that, not only brings
buyers and sellers together,
but usher in both inbound and
outbound business. This is
one trade exhibition in Asia
that has grown over the years
to benefit not only countries in
the region but also across to
the Middle East and Europe.
It has been a must-attend
exhibition for the travel trade
and will continue to do so till
Singapore looms large on the
travel scope.”
The group is looking to
inaugurate the 286 room
Crowne Plaza on the Dubai
Marina and ready to receive
guests by late 2016. Further
down the pipeline are plans
for Deluxe furnished apartments in Downtown Dubai
Mall area.
On the Anvil
N The group is looking to
inaugurate the 286 room
Crowne Plaza on the
Dubai Marina and
ready to receive guests
by late 2016
N Further down the pipeline
are plans for Deluxe
furnished apartments
in Downtown Dubai
Mall area
A ‘One and only’ kind of
Kerzner International
Holdings Limited and Sevens
Holding, recently entered into
a partnership to develop
and operate a new
‘One&Only’ resort in Seef,
Bahrain. This new resort is
scheduled to begin welcoming
guests in 2016.
With approximately 150
luxurious guest rooms and
suites as well as villas and
estates, world­class dining and
retail options, plus a
One&Only Spa, the resort is
set to become a destination for
both business and leisure. The
property will be strategically
located in Seef, on the north­
western coast of Bahrain, and
will command an enviable pri­
vate beachfront. In addition,
the resort will boast extensive
meeting facilities with easy
“I am thrilled we are able
to partner with Sevens
Holding to develop this world­
class destination. More and
more visitors are discovering
Bahrain for both leisure and
business and I am looking for­
ward to introducing the resort
to our loyal One&Only guests
and new guests alike,” says
Alan Leibman, CEO, Kerzner
International. “The beachfront
location is remarkable and I
am very confident that the
resort will define ultra­luxury
in Bahrain”, he adds.
Like all properties within
the One&Only collection,
One&Only Bahrain will place
an emphasis on privacy with
a variety of accommodation,
including exclusive luxury
estates that are perfect for
large families.
The stylish resort will
also be home to a variety of
boutiques from the world’s
leading brands, offering
the very latest in retail
indulgence. A signature of
One&Only, this resort
will offer innovative program­
ming for families with chil­
dren whilst carefully preserv­
ing space for only adults
as well.
Guests will also have
access to a host of unique
sporting and entertainment
facilities on­site.
‘Leadership Forum’ hosted
Travelport has hosted a special event for some of its key customers from
Egypt and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recently at its Leadership Forum in
Beirut. The two-day event focussed on the trends, developments and
opportunities that lie ahead for the regional and global travel industry.
s part of the forum, an
honorary get-together
was held for guests and
attended by Lebanon’s
Minister for Tourism, Michael
Pharaon, who outlined
his views on the importance
of a strong tourism sector to
the country’s economy.
Presentations were also given
by the Travelport spokesperson and included the themes:
Economic and Aviation
Travel Trends and Redefining
Airline Distribution through
As part of the company’s regional events program,
Forum is run enabling it to
engage with customers, share
Rabih Saab, President
and Managing Director,
Middle East, Africa and South
Asia, Travelport, informed,
“We are delighted to have
hosted a number of our
esteemed customers from
across the Middle East at this
Rabih Saab at the Leadership Forum
week’s Leadership Forum in
Beirut. It served as an excellent platform for sharing industry knowledge and strengthening relationships.”
The event also explored
the unique aspects and benefits of Travelport’s Travel
Commerce Platform which
comprises Smartpoint, its
industry-leading agency desktop technology and its mer-
chandising platform. “It was
also an honour to have
had the pleasure of the
gave insight into the importance of travel and tourism
where Lebanese economic
development is concerned,
and he shared our optimism
for the outlook for the
sector in the coming years,”
he added.
We are delighted
to have hosted our
customers from
across the ME at
this week’s
Leadership Forum
in Beirut
Rabih Saab
President and MD, ME, Africa
and South Asia, Travelport
trends and developments
within the travel sector.
Abu Dhabi Duty Free
sees record revenue
announced that
Abu Dhabi Duty
Free has achieved
record sales in the
first six months of
2014, reaching
AED 487.9 million,
which represents a
rise of 11.5 per
cent compared to
the first six
months of 2013
(AED 437.6 million). The total number of
transactions in the period
was just over two million,
12.8 per cent higher than the
first half of 2013.
Now, check-in via your
mobile at Marriott
JW Marriott Marquis
Hotel Dubai has launched
the Marriott Mobile Check-In
and Check-Out service
which allows visitors to
download a mobile application and have their room
key waiting for them on
Simple to use, the application enables Marriott
Rewards members to receive
push notifications on their
Apple iPhones or Android
devices after 4 pm of
the day before their
arrival alerting them they
can check-in.