Category Archives: Govt

NEOM announces Elanan, a unique wellness retreat embedded in nature

The Board of Directors of NEOM has announced Elanan, an exclusive guest retreat that redefines luxury and well-being experiences, set in the heart of nature. Its announcement marks the latest addition to NEOM – the evolving sustainable development taking shape in northwest Saudi Arabia. Situated on the pristine Gulf of Aqaba coastline where the mountains meet the sea, Elanan sensitively emerges from within its lush oasis surroundings, fed by ancient natural springs. Featuring 80 bespoke rooms and suites, the retreat is designed with well-being at its core, offering a unique nature resort that embraces all the senses. Elanan takes a modern approach to wellness, perfectly blending new technologies in a discreet luxurious setting that promotes relaxation and reflection. The signature facilities provide numerous options for guests to embrace themselves in tranquility, rest and recharge. Elanan’s architectural vision is underpinned by innovation and natural harmony. Utilizing ultra-modern design techniques, it creates intricate sculptures that delicately blend with the surrounding natural beauty. It boasts a contemporary aesthetic but retains a synergy with nature, creating a unique architectural experience for all to enjoy. Guests can explore the large plazas, enjoy specialty private dining, find relaxation in the sun garden, or soak up the spectacular views from the top of the observation tower. From the moment visitors arrive, they begin a rejuvenating journey within the calming embrace of nature. The revealing of Elanan follows the recent announcements of Leyja, Epicon, Siranna, Utamo, Norlana, Aquellum, Zardun, and Xaynor which are sustainable tourism destinations within the Gulf of Aqaba, all interlaced by NEOM’s commitment to sustainable development.

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AVIAREPS and the Shanghai Government launch ‘game-changing’ B2B Platform “SmoothTravel” to boost global business with the Chinese Travel Market

AVIAREPS together with the Shanghai Municipal Government announced the launch of Shanghai’s official online B2B travel platform, SmoothTravel. SmoothTravel serves as the official gateway for the global travel industry to connect with both inbound and outbound Chinese travel agencies, tour wholesalers, online travel agencies (OTAs), and MICE agents in the East China market. SmoothTravel aims to seamlessly link international travel businesses with the thriving Chinese travel market. The platform is designed for all segments of the travel industry around the world, including major destinations, receptive tour operators, hotel groups, retailers, attractions, rental car agencies, cruise lines, and more, all eager to broaden their business outreach to the Chinese market. Key Features of SmoothTravel: • China Partner Search: SmoothTravel empowers overseas members to identify new inbound or outbound China travel trade partners. Members can easily connect with Smooth Travel’s Member Matching Manager, facilitating introductions to highly-qualified Chinese travel trade partners based on their specific requirements. • Risk Mitigation: Addressing differences in payment practices, SmoothTravel provides a unique payment guarantee system to minimize risks associated with new China travel industry partners. A comprehensive travel insurance program is also offered for Chinese members to ensure risk reduction for both outbound and inbound sectors. In addition, a bilingual mediation system to resolve any disputes is provided at no cost to members. • China Outbound Market and Consumer Insights: Leveraging extensive China government and industry resources, SmoothTravel delivers the latest research on China’s outbound travel market, industry trends, and consumer preferences. This includes surveys, interviews, focus group discussions, workshops, and on-site visits. • Training and Support: SmoothTravel offers a comprehensive two-way training platform with specialized courses for both overseas and Chinese members. All members can …

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H2O Hospitality establishes regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi

In collaboration with Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), H2O Hospitality (H2O) has established its regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi. ADIO provided H2O, which operates in the accommodation and leisure sector, with a comprehensive range of growth-enabling support, including financial incentives, setup enablement and connections to the Abu Dhabi ecosystem and international trade opportunities. H2O’s solutions will also contribute to Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector. The company is connected to more than 85 online travel agencies, in addition to managing over 190,000 units and 680 properties. It provides solutions which automate the front and back-end processes of hotels by digitising the process flow, enabling paperless and contactless procedures that improve efficiency and profitability for operators. H2O’s solutions in Abu Dhabi will enhance guest experience with mobile-based booking, check-in, smart locks, in-room services and payments. John Lee, Founder and CEO of H2O, said: “Digital transformation has become an even more pressing matter for the hospitality industry. The move highlights the strong economic cooperation between South Korea and Abu Dhabi, which has become increasingly focussed on innovation and technology. In the past 10 years, South Korea has been ranked as the most innovative nation six times by the Bloomberg Innovation Index. Abu Dhabi was also named the smartest city in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for 2023 in the IMD Smart City Index, released by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD). Badr Al-Olama, Acting Director General of ADIO, said: “Both Abu Dhabi and South Korea are globally known for their approach to innovation, sharing similar visions for digital transformation, and are natural partners to navigate the tech-enabled future. “At the same time, Abu Dhabi has become renowned for its diverse investment climate, …

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Hatta announces the first ever Hatta Farming Festival

The Supreme Committee to oversee the development of Hatta announced the launch of the first ever Hatta Farming Festival. To be held from 23 to 27 February, 2024 at the Hatta Hall, the event will be organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment in cooperation with the Dubai Municipality, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), and the Hatta Traders Council. The launch of the festival is an initiative of the Supreme Committee to Oversee the Development of Hatta, aimed at enhancing Hatta’s economic and tourism development, supporting traders and small business owners, encouraging them to display their agricultural products, and celebrating the rich heritage and agricultural production of the region. The inaugural Hatta Farming Festival, which is free to enter, will run from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. Bringing the community together in a vibrant setting that celebrates agricultural and environmental practices, the event offers a platform for local farmers to display their activities and produce. Over five fun-packed days, visitors can join in exciting educational workshops and sessions, go on tours to nearby heritage sites, and sample culinary delights from local businesses in Hatta, including six food trucks and pop-up cafes, in a coming-together of the area’s farming community. Open to guests of all ages, every visitor will find something to enjoy, with entertainment events being held throughout the festival including roaming performances by Dubai’s beloved characters, Modesh and Dana. The festival features more than 25 workshops on sustainability-focused topics such as food security, water purification, diverting food from landfill, and growing your own food. Guests can also learn how to keep and rear their own animals, such as chicken and goats. In sessions designed to ignite a …

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Qatar tourism unveils first festival of lights

Qatar Tourism has unveiled Qatar’s first Festival of Lights, Noor, on February 21 and running until March 2 at Al Saad Square in Darb Lusail, concluding the winter season. The first festival of its kind in Qatar, open to the public daily from 18:00 to midnight, is based on providing a unique and enjoyable visual experience, accompanied by the installation of approximately 20 interactive models distributed over five experiences, in addition to theatrical performances, and other performances suitable for all ages. Noor Festival will host world-renowned bands such as Candela, Buggy and Woogie, to entertain people of different cultures and contemporary life, suitable for different ages and tastes. Artistic and theatrical performances will also be accompanied by musical performances by artists from the region and the world. Commenting on the festival, Eng. Abdulaziz Al Mawlawi, Head of Tourism Marketing and Promotion at Qatar Tourism, said: “We are concluding the winter season with the same momentum that the season has witnessed since its inception several months ago, with a festival that is the first of its kind in Qatar, combining innovation and dazzling, and suitable for all ages and tastes. This festival reflects Qatar Tourism’s interest and focus on diversifying the annual events calendar in line with our position as a distinguished family tourism destination, and in line with our strategic objectives. Qatar Tourism continues to strengthen our collaboration withall partners in the tourism sector, and we are delighted to partner with Qatari Diar to host this unique festival.” Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Coordinates the country’s real estate development priorities and is the Official Partner of Noor Festival. Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Ahmed Al Tayeb, Chief Investment Officer at …

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Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi Highlights Focus on Excellence through Sustainability Conference and Quality Certification System

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and the Department of Economic Development Competitiveness Office of Abu Dhabi held a conference to discuss various themes contributing to tourism excellence to further build capacity in the emirate’s tourism sector,  in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization’s Academy (UNWTO Academy). Aiming to further build capacity in the emirate’s tourism sector, DCT Abu Dhabi and UNWTO Academy also recently introduced the UNWTO.QUEST Certification for quality assurance in the industry, and the UNWTO. TedQual Certification, a programme which aims to enhance the quality of tourism education, training and research programmes in UAE universities. Titled ‘Sustainability and Competitiveness: Tourism Potentials and Challenges’, the conference brought together experts in sustainability and tourism, and helped attendees develop an understanding of the role of diversity, equity, inclusion, sustainability, and strategic leadership in enhancing destination competitiveness. The conference agenda discussed practices and strategies that could be adopted by tourism stakeholders to contribute to the development of more a competitive and responsible tourism destination. Among the attendees were H.E. Hala Khaled Al Ameri, Executive Director of the Competitiveness Office of Abu Dhabi (COAD) at the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development; H.E. Hanan Ahli, Director of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre; and Mr. Ammar Anwar Sajwani, Director of Tourism Development Department, UAE Ministry of Economy. H.E. Saeed Ali Obaid Al Fazari, Executive Director of Strategic Affairs at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Through various initiatives, we are enabling industry-wide discussions that contribute to a sustainable tourism future. With a focus on education, we are keen to deliver continued tourism excellence, channelling innovation through a fresh lens. Encouraging these vital discussions is key to creating enduring, …

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Dubai Municipality launches Ramadan Souq

The ‘Ramadan Souq’ organized by Dubai Municipality, will kick off tomorrow (Saturday, February 17) and will run until March 9, 2024. This souq is a famous and ancient tradition in Dubai that celebrates the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan. The event will take place at the historic Old Municipality Street in Bur Deira, a renowned traditional market in Dubai, drawing a significant crowd of shoppers seeking personal and household essentials, along with lively commercial activities and food showcases. Ramadan Souq draws diverse segments of society, including citizens, residents, tourists, and visitors alike. The event offers the opportunity for a unique shopping experience at competitive prices. The event includes a mini marketplace featuring a traditional market offering various items and gadgets essential for Ramadan preparations. It also offers special products for celebrating ‘Hag Al Laila’. In addition, the event provides various services, live entertainment shows, and activities for children. Encouragement Dubai Municipality gives high importance to the development of heritage sites and old markets within the emirate. It channels resources and capabilities towards organizing a variety of entertainment, tourism, and commercial events. These activities highlight the historical and heritage significance of Dubai, reinforcing efforts to support investors and attract investment. Additionally, the Municipality is committed to providing diverse and engaging attractions that contribute to the overall attractiveness and quality of life in Dubai, solidifying its position as an international tourist destination. By launching Ramadan Souq, Dubai Municipality aims to not only showcase traditional markets and their offerings but also to safeguard the heritage and authenticity of age-old customs associated with preparations for the blessed month of Ramadan. The municipality has set the timing of ‘Ramadan Souq’ between 10AM and …

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Dubai World Trade Centre solidifies its position as a premier hub for business tourism with a dynamic line-up

Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) has unveiled an exceptional H1 calendar featuring an impressive line-up of over 70 Exhibitions, Conventions and Conferences to be held across the two venues, DWTC and Dubai Exhibitions Centre (DEC) located at Expo City Dubai. The events spanning sectors like Healthcare, Food, Energy, Tourism, Transport and Technology are to set to further boost DWTC’s contribution to Dubai’s economy and reinforce its status as a global hub for the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) industry. Mahir Abdulkarim Julfar, Executive Vice President at DWTC, said: “As a global MICE industry leader, DWTC stands as a testament to Dubai’s unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation. In 2024, our focus is on growth and expansion – with both our venues, the DWTC and DEC, gearing up to host a series of high profile and transformative events. We look forward to the introduction of new exhibitions such as FESPA Middle East, as well as welcoming back prestigious legacy events including Arab Health, Gulfood, Arabian Travel Market and many more. These major exhibitions and ground-breaking conferences and conventions are poised to propel Dubai’s reputation as a leading global business and tourism destination.” In addition to showcasing an impressive roster of business events, DWTC continues to serve as a versatile world-class venue, hosting corporate meetings, sports and entertainment events. These diverse events contribute significantly to Dubai’s vibrant citywide calendar. DWTC’s content-rich calendar featured some of the world’s leading events such as: Dubai International Pharmaceuticals and Technologies Conference and Exhibition (DUPHAT) (9 – 11 January), Intersec (16 – 18 January), World of Coffee Dubai (21 – 23 January), Arab Health Exhibition and Congress (21 January – 1 February), UAE International Dental Conference …

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Miral inaugurates solar rooftop project at Warner Bros. World

Miral champions sustainability as Miral inaugurates Abu Dhabi’s largest solar rooftop project at Warner Bros. World  Abu Dhabi, incorporating approximately 16,000 solar modules, producing nearly 40 percent of its annual energy demand with a 7-megawatt peak (MWp) capacity. This will benefit Miral’s three hotels, Hilton Abu Dhabi, Yas Island and WB Abu Dhabi, Curio Collection by Hilton. The frameworks follow a similar agreement between Miral and Emerge to deploy on-site solar energy systems at SeaWorld® Yas Island, Abu Dhabi with a capacity of 8.4 megawatts (MW). In parallel, nearly 150 rooftop solar panels significantly reduce energy consumption across Miral’s three hotels, Hilton Abu Dhabi, Yas Island and WB Abu Dhabi, Curio Collection by Hilton. Miral’s sustainability drive extends to its three hotels on Yas Island. In addition to more than 45 electric car chargers for guests, the hotels are committed to minimising single-use plastic bottles, reducing food waste, and implementing energy-efficient lighting and air conditioning systems. Innovative technologies, such as air-to-water generators, produce more than 148,200 litres of pure, drinkable water for guests per day across all three hotels – equivalent to almost 302,400 plastic water bottles. Additional water conservation and harvesting measures contribute to substantial annual savings in water consumption, exceeding 1,200,000 litres between all properties. In addition, nearly 150 solar collectors for hot water systems ensure collective monthly savings of 72,000 kWh in energy consumption. Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, Group CEO, Miral, commented: “Sustainability remains an integral part of Miral’s vision to transform the leisure, entertainment, and tourism sector. Guided by the UAE’s vision to transition to a more sustainable, low-carbon economy, our continued commitment to combat climate change is testament to our efforts in creating a sustainable …

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Dubai to unveil a floating sustainable city

URB, a Net Zero developer of sustainable cities, has unveiled a gigantic and diverse ocean restoration project along the coast of Dubai, spanning over 200 square kilometres. A huge step towards creating a green economy, Dubai Reefs will be home to around one billion corals and 100 million mangroves. Dubai Reefs will provide various services and amenities for visitors, local residents as well as a new workforce living on the ocean. It will create green jobs & empower a greener economy from the oceans to the city. It will be the first floating sustainable city of its kind offering a mix-use facility of educational, research, residential, retail, hospitality, entertainment & community facilities. As a floating self-sufficient hub, Dubai Reefs also aims to reconnect the ocean with the city. It will provide a healthy blue infrastructure that promotes social, environmental and economic benefits. Local residents will benefit from a reward scheme for the use of services or products connected to Dubai Reef. The project will also offer a carbon offsetting scheme called ‘blue carbon’, whereby organizations are able to offset their carbon by planting mangrove trees along the coast. Dubai Reefs aims to reinvent the way we plan our cities to consider the opportunities of living in harmony with the ocean and how to nurture a sustainable relationship between land & water. This sustainable floating city is said to house residential, hospitality, retail, educational and research facilities, and create over 30,000 job opportunities. Given that floating cities could be the future of urban living as sea levels continue to rise rapidly in the next few decades; Dubai Reefs will become more than a model for blue urbanism; it will become an eco-destination for human & …

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