Category Archives: Agents

Travelport signs deal with Saudi agency Al Hashim Travel

Travelport and Al Hashim Travel have announced a new, exclusive, long-term agreement. Al Hashim Travel is located in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia, with 10 branches in the region. The agency is also set to expand across in Saudi Arabia in 2017. The agreement with Travelport will see Al Hashim Travel benefit from the industry leading merchandising and desktop technology, Travelport Smartpoint.  Travelport Smartpoint allows travel agents to not only sell airline tickets, but also the branded fares and ancillaries of over 400 of the world’s leading airlines, including network and low-cost carriers. Additionally, over 650,000 unique hotel properties and 36,000 car rental locations are available through Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform. Commenting on the new agreement, Abbas AlSaleh, Chief Executive Officer, Al Hashim Travel, said: “This exclusive deal with Travelport provides a great opportunity for our business to advance our operations. We strongly believe that Travelport’s pioneering technology will support our business to work smarter, grow revenues and enhance our online presence.” Asgar Khan, General Manager, Al Hashim Travel, said: “Travellers are increasingly expecting a more personalised travel experience. They want more choice and flexibility when they book. Travelport’s technology is cutting edge in enabling us to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations around new travel trends.” Ibrahim El Mohandes, Country Manager, Travelport Saudi Arabia, said: “We are delighted that Al Hashim Travel, a leading travel agent in Saudi Arabia, has seen the value in our Travel Commerce Platform. Our innovative technology solutions will not only help them to boost their online presence and grow sales but also increase their brand awareness both within the Kingdom and internationally.”

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Golden Sands engages Indian travel trade in Pune

In a bid to attract a bigger share of Indian visitors to the UAE, the team of Golden Sands Hotel Apartments, part of A.A. Al Moosa Enterprises and pioneered the concept of hotel apartments in the region, recently returned from a  successful roadshow in Pune. Headed by Shazia Ahmed, Sales Manager the team visited India together with Orient Tours and met with more than 150 top agents from the city of Pune who are marketing Dubai in large numbers. Shazia Ahmed, Sales Manager, noted: “We have a very successful event. This show provided us the ideal platform to interact with key agents on one to one basis and the results definitely affect the future business. It is good to have Dubai delegates gathered in one roof to give information and answer questions from the agents from India. It was a very good face to face interaction and it helped increase their knowledge about the UAE. It was so heartwarming to hear that some of the agents attended the event because they heard about our participation. It only meant the popularity of GSHA all over India.” “The Indian market is in our top three visitors because we offer good value for their money and because of our ideal location thus we are expecting an increased number of guests from this market this year, both from our loyal and new guests,” said Mohammed Khoori, General Manager. Golden Sands Hotel Apartments receives a monthly average of 25% to 30% of their total hotel guests from the Indian market. Golden Sands Hotel Apartments offers a wide range of facilities and holidaymakers can benefit from its favorable location close to the city’s exhibition center and …

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Dollar Rent A Car opens new branch in Muscat

Dollar Rent A Car has opened  a new branch in Oman to service customers at Muscat International Airport. The car rental company will offer premium fleet, service and competitive prices to passengers departing from and arriving into the Muscat International Airport. Marwan Al Mulla, General Manager, Dollar Rent A Car-UAE and Oman, commented: “This new branch is another example of Dollar Rent A Car’s commitment to rapid expansion into the region. The Muscat International Airport is expected to have a capacity to handle approximately more than 12 million passengers every year so this is indeed the perfect opportunity to get a share of these passengers.” Customers will enjoy driving Dollar Rent A Car’s fleet of wide range of various Japanese and other great vehicles. The company is staffed with professional agent who can recommend the best vehicle for both business and leisure travellers looking for short- or long-term leases of a wide selection of vehicles. Currently, Dollar Rent A Car has seven locations in Oman.  The new outlet is located at Muscat International Airport, Arrival Hall and open 24 Hours.

Read More » partners with Visa has announced a partnership with Visa across the UAE, Qatar and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and launch of dedicated websites for Qatar and KSA. “At we like to exceed our traveller’s expectation. The travel marketplace is very competitive. Our partnership with Visa is a significant step for the rapidly growing travel industry in the UAE and GCC. We anticipate this to make an even more scalable business with the expertise to change the booking experience for travellers. The idea is to focus on getting people to move from offline booking to online booking. This association will be our next chapter of high-growth in this dynamic industry,” commented Sachin Gadoya, Managing Director and Co-founder of also announced a special offer for all the travellers. A traveller will be able to save AED 200 on ticket booking using Visa debit or credit card until December 31, 2016. Travellers can save up to AED 1200 (for up to six people), using a Visa card only. Customers across the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, can receive their discounted air tickets in three easy steps.  Once the destination is booked, customers will be redirected to the GOVISA page where the service will SMS a security code. After typing the code into checkout section, AED 200 will automatically be deducted from the original price.

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AVIAREPS launches online payment

AVIAREPS has launched AVIACOLLECT, an online payment solution that allows small to medium offline airlines, hospitality brands, including standalone hotels and resorts, Destination Management Companies (DMCs), and providers of travel services, such as visa application, ground transportation, airport lounge access, car hire, attractions, sightseeing and travel insurance, to economically and effectively extend their international consumer and travel agent sales networks around the world. AVIACOLLECT was launched in response to the urgent business development needs of many small to mid-size tourism related companies to extend their sales distribution channels and presence internationally, in a manner that respects their unique brand, and is cost-effective to ensure a return on investment given limited resources. The payment solution can be used as a white label solution for AVIAREPS clients, allowing them to accept payments in targeted countries with local bank connections and in local currencies. As an AVIAREPS product AVIACOLLECT is naturally supported with in-market on the ground proactive promotion and distribution management by AVIAREPS professionals to established consumer and travel trade networks. AVIACOLLECT is also tailored to the needs of consumers and local travel agents seeking an online one stop information and payment platform, as visitors to the site can book all types of services for travel around the world; including accommodation, airport transfers, tours, airport lounge access and more, and then pay for them all in one online credit card payment. Each AVIACOLLECT portal is also tailored to the consumers and travel agents of each particular market, so that language, currency payments and even visa and other information is specific to that specific country or region. Clients too can tailor seasonal and promotional offerings to each individual market.

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Medical tourism conference to strengthen Brand UAE

The 3rd Annual Conference on Health and Medical Tourism – Brand UAE, organised by Thumbay Hospital and Gulf Medical University, was held at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Dubai. The theme for this year was nurturing partnerships and exploring opportunities. Spokesperson from Gulf Medical University reiterated that they are making efforts to create a new workforce in this sector in keeping with the vision of the government of Dubai to make it a destination or a hub for health tourists from around the world. Chief Guest for the event was H.E. Dr. Amin Al Amiri; Assistant Undersecretary for Medical Practice and License Sector Ministry of health, UAE with Guest of Honour was Thumbay Moideen; Founder President, Thumbay Group UAE. At the event leading medical tourism experts from UAE were honoured with special awards of honour and recognition and the third batch of graduates from the medical tourism facilitator course also received their certificates at the event.

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VFS launches France Visa Application Centre in Muscat

Residents of the Sultanate of Oman can now apply for visas to France at the visa application centre launched for the Embassy of France in the capital city of Muscat. Applicants can visit VFS Global’s centre to submit visa applications and enrol for biometrics. The Muscat centre is conveniently located in main city centre at Level 1, Tilal Office, Muscat Grand Mall, Dohat Al Adab Street, Al Khuwair, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Services at the centre commenced on 08 November 2016. With France being a popular tourist destination with Omanis, the launch of this new centre will bring added convenience and ease to applicants through quicker and more streamlined application processes. Furthermore, the new centre joins 5 other client governments served at the same premises, making it more convenient for travellers planning multiple business or leisure trips abroad. The Sultanate of Oman is the fourth country in the Middle East, after Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, from where applicants can apply for a visa to France. Since commencing visa processing operations in the Sultanate of Oman in 2005, VFS Global now serves 9 client governments in the country. VFS Global has been serving the Government of France since 2004, and currently serves the client in 15 countries from 52 visa application centres globally. Some of the key features of the centre include: Convenient and centrally-accessed location, professional staff with local language capability to handle queries and applications, well-appointed centre for enhanced comfort of applicants, automated queue governance for smooth flow of applicants, dedicated website for easy access to information including visa categories, requirements, check-list and applicable fees, 100% secure handling of passports, documents and personal information, door-step delivery of …

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50 per cent rise in ME medical tourists to Korea

Medical tourists from the Middle East region to Korea increased by over 50 per cent annually, with UAE patients averaging medical expense (per patient) is $13,560, which is comparatively higher than average medical expense per patient of $1,970, stated officials from the Korean National Tourism Organization. This year the Korea National Tourism Organisation, the state-run tourism organisation, in cooperation with the Financial News, a leading South Korean newspaper company, opened a two day event at the Intercontinental hotel Abu Dhabi “the Korea Medical Tourism Convention,” a medical tourism exhibition which gathered 16 Korean health establishments, government departments and medical agencies to promote attractive and reasonable medical & travel combo packages for patients wishing to seek medical treatment in world-class healthcare facilities in South Korea. The slogan for the event was ‘Care by Heart, Visit Medical Korea!’ According to the Korea National Tourism Organization, South Korea hosted 296,889 medical tourists from over 190 countries in 2015, reflecting an increase of 11.4 per cent from the 266,501 patients in 2014 and the 211,218 patients in 2013. The growth complements the plan of receiving one million international patients by the end of 2020. Korea offers a blend of high-quality care with high-tech techniques and procedures at prices far less than its counterparts in Europe, Japan and the United States (US). The country has become one of the leaders in organ transplants and cancer treatments throughout the world due to its superior techniques in curing severe conditions such as brain disease, cardiac disorders and cancer. Korea is also ranked the highest for five-year survival rates of cancer treatment patients over Canada, Japan and the US. The health industry in Korea also surpass the US …

Read More » launches online visa in UAE has launched the online visa application service. Tourist visas to the UAE and 14 other destinations can now be directly applied on and have their travel documentation processed and completed with no hassle. They are the first travel provider in the GCC region to introduce this service online. Under the simplified procedure, applicants submit their application documentation and payment directly on to the website post which the visa will be processed and emailed back to the customer, ready to be shown at the immigration section of the airport. This new product is expected to increase in inbound as well as outbound travel. This new product launch aligns with the UAE’s ambitious Vision 2021 that encompasses all elements that lay the foundation of a smart city, inclusive of the smarter travel industry. With the recent change in the UAE visa norms for GCC expats, travellers into the UAE from the GCC countries will now have to apply for their visa prior to their travel. With this product flexibility, there will be a noticeable shift of visa applications online.

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SCTDA on roadshow drive in India

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) and Hamriyah Free Zone both launched new marketing roadshows targeting India during the past few days, building on a busy year of promotion activities by Sharjah authorities. The SCTDA kicked off a four-city roadshow in Mumbai this week, which also visits New Delhi, Chandigarh and Bengaluru (Bangalore). The roadshow introduces seven Sharjah hotels, two destination management companies, plus leading budget carrier Air Arabia, to key Indian outbound tour operators and other industry contacts. Trade, investment and tourism from India have become a top priority for Sharjah, as its trade promotion organisations campaign widely to capitalise on growing interest in the emirate. Meanwhile, a delegation from Hamriyah Free Zone, headed by Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, Director of Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA) and Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone), met with business leaders in Delhi a few days ago. Hamriyah Free Zone and SAIF Zone have both organised an extensive calendar of trade and investment promotion campaigns in India this year, visiting all major commercial centres in the country. Benefits such as 100 percent ownership, tax exemptions and allowing companies to repatriate 100 percent capital and profits have made the free zones very popular with Indian businesses. According to official estimates, about 7,000 of the 15,000 companies operating out of the two free zones are owned and controlled by Indian investors.

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