A DDP PUBLICATION Pages: 24 ddppl.com TravTalkMiddleEast.com 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. S U S M I TA G H O S H 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 agreement with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to produce an even stronger conference programme over the next three years. O Nino Gruettke Andrew Phua Russell C. Gonzales Executive Director ITB Asia Director of Exhibitions and Conferences 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 must-attend events for the entire Asian travel trade industry ITB Asia will continue to identify strategic partnership with leading 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 European exhibitors and had some partnerships established 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. TT B U R E AU 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. T 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 European markets. 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 announced.” 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 shows have expansion plans that will add 24 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 US$217.79. 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. INTERVIEW OC forays into the Middle East EDITORIAL 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. G 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? Publisher Director Editor Assistant Editor (ME) Desk Editor Design Business Development Manager Manager Advertising Sales & Admin Assistant Circulation Manager Manager Production U74899DL1989PTC038620 : 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 MICE 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 travel? 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 developments? 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. Offices: 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 how Orange County 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. 6 TRAVTALK O C T O B E R 2 0 1 4 FAMILY ALBUM [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. TECHNOLOGY 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 directly to overseas audiences to develop these markets further. OCTOBER 2014 TRAVTALK 7 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. TT B U R E AU 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. I Graham Nichols, 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, offering comprehensive travel solutions that 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 is present in the UAE, China and India. 8 FAMILY ALBUM 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 professionals from 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 . TT B U R E AU 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 ‘over-delivering’. How do you customise? We customise offers, keeping in mind the specific requirements of a customer. We have Aswini K Borkotoky Managing Director CARLEASE 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 respectively? 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. short- and 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 mostly? 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 2014? 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. AGENTS OCTOBER 2014 TRAVTALK 9 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. TT B U R E AU 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. T 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 with increasing investments 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 the construction of the Louvre and the Guggenheim on Saadiyat Island. 10 AVIATION 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. TT B U R E AU ircraft movements 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. A 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 Airport were London 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 of Abu Dhabi 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. TT B U R E AU 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. T Mohamed Thamir Al Kaabi, Chief Operations Officer at Bahrain Airport Company informed, “The renewal of 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 The Aerodrome Certification is issued by the CAA in pursuance to its obligation, ensure the enforcement of the CAA Authority Law that determines international regulations 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 is responsible for 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. TT B U R E AU 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. T 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 benchmarked ourselves against some of the world’s leading hotels and restaurants 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 benchmarked ourselves 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. TT B U R E AU 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 T Etihad Airways schedule for Karachi flights, effective 18 November 2014 Flight No. Origin Departs Destination Arrives FreAirquency craft EY200* Abu Dhabi (AUH) 16:00 Karachi (KHI) 19:20 Daily A320 EY201* Karachi (KHI) Abu Dhabi (AUH) 23:35 Daily A320 02:35(+1) Daily A320 22:00 EY221 Abu Dhabi (AUH) 23:15 Karachi (KHI) EY222 Karachi (KHI) Abu Dhabi (AUH) 07:00 05:25 Daily A320 The additional flights will also provide more than 700 weekly connections to key destinations in the GCC, Middle East, Europe and North America. 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. AVIATION OCTOBER 2014 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. TT B U R E AU 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. “I 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 President 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. TT B U R E AU 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. T 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 International Airport 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 airlines are planned. 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 system presently handles approximately 600,000 movements a year. N It is estimated that Dubai will handle 660,000 movements by 2020. TRAVTALK 11 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 numbers at Sharjah 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. 12 NEWS 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." TT B U R E AU 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. T 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 Travel and Shipping 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. TT B U R E AU emirate should be officially represented in this 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. “R 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 opportunities 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. The International 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. HOTELS OCTOBER 2014 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. TT B U R E AU 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. T 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. TRAVTALK 13 In search for Hotel Excellence! 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 Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, Marriott International. 14 AVIATION 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. S U S M I TA G H O S H 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. O 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 business travel rush 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 facilities. 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 Airport. 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. FAMILY ALBUM OCTOBER 2014 th 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. TRAVTALK 15 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 Tourism and other exhibitors, the exhibition was inaugurated by the Minister of Health, 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. TT B U R E AU nata, and City Sightseeing, the world’s leading open top bus tour operator, have partnered to showcase Dubai’s 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. d “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 people 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 their own language,” said 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 tours begin operating on Oct 2, 2014 and can be booked in advance or direct from the bus or any of their ticket booths around Dubai. 16 HOTELS 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 opportunities 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. TT B U R E AU 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- T Upcoming Properties N Swiss-Belresort Ghantoot N Swiss-Belhotel Plaza N Swiss-Belinn Ghubra Muscat Oman N Swiss-Belhotel Riyadh N Swiss-Belhotel Erbil Upgrading hospitality Belhotel International renowned. is 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. TT B U R E AU 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. C “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 swimming pool. Intercontinental Hotels 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 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 TT B U R E AU he resort,” informs Simon Casson, 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.” “T 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.” HOTELS OCTOBER 2014 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. TT B U R E AU 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 hospitality. The first 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 partnerships. V 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 collaborations. “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. Address “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 Downtown Dubai (formerly Al Manzil), located directly opposite Souk Al Bahar TRAVTALK 17 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 destinations. 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. 18 NTO 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. TT B U R E AU 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 “O Based on Ras Al Khaimah Tourism 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 RAK TDA 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. The recent 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 CEO, AIG 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, year-to-date passengers and aircraft movement statistics rose by 11.8 per cent and 8.6 per cent respectively 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 Openings N Rixos Bab Al Bahr Resort N Marjan Island Resort & Spa N DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa, Marjan Island N Santorini Hotel N Ras Al Khaimah Waldorf Astoria 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. TT B U R E AU he medical tourism packages will be rolled out for tourists and residents alike in Dubai. We have collab- "T 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 orated with Emirates 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 procedures, preventive 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. NTO OCTOBER 2014 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. TT B U R E AU round 14 Abu Dhabi tourism stakeholders including Etihad Airways, Yas A 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, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, “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 International. Bayshore at Abu Dhabi InterContinental, Abu Dhabi, recently announced the launch of the ‘Bayshore’, Abu Dhabi’s most private beachfront destination. Located within 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 nonguests. 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 Bayshore builds upon 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. TRAVTALK 19 GIBTM 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. 20 DESTINATION 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 L 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 and splash 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 Pizza (Manakeesh), 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 arrangement and hosting of banquets and weddings. The Park offers 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: www.dreamlanduae.com or join the Facebook Group. NTO OCTOBER 2014 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. TT B U R E AU 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. A 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 Development Authority 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 celebrations as the Arab Tourism Capital in 2015 Sharjah received 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 relationship N The promotional campaign will see Sharjah promote itself in major Indian cities including Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore TRAVTALK 21 BIA selects SITA to optimise IT solutions Bahrain Airport Services Co. (BAS) has selected air transport IT specialist SITA to automate staff rostering and allocation at Bahrain 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 linked service through the 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. 22 COVER STORY 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 markets, ITB Asia is the best platform The venue offers a neutral / strategic 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 successfully connect with potential buyers and partners from across the globe For anybody looking 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 fashion 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. S U S M I TA G H O S H 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. O 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 Amari Doha, ONYX 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. Target 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 MOVEMENTS OCTOBER 2014 Jumeirah Group TRAVTALK 23 Centro Capital Centre Hotel by Rotana Frankfurt Abu Dhabi Rotana 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 Holdings Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel Dubai 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 General Manager’s 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. TT B U R E AU anoj Padhi, Group General 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 season.” M Located in Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road, the Raviz Centre Point hotel was acquired by the group in a semi complete state and has been converted into a full service 4-star property. It’s repleted with 109 rooms, all-day Dining 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 worldwide inbound tour operators to Dubai and corporate houses “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 group tours 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 Dubai A ‘One and only’ kind of partnership 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 accessibility. “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 villas and secluded 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. TECHNOLOGY OCTOBER 2014 ‘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 U S M I TA G H O S H 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 merchandising. As part of the company’s regional events program, Travelport’s Leadership Forum is run enabling it to engage with customers, share A 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 company of Minister Michel Pharaon, who 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 knowledge and best practice and identify trends and developments within the travel sector. TRAVTALK 24 Abu Dhabi Duty Free sees record revenue Dhabi Abu Airports has 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 arrival. 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.
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