Mr. Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director for Tourism at TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “We are delighted that Abu Dhabi has been chosen as the Official Host Destination for this year’s SIIMA event. We can now look forward to welcoming some of the biggest names in the South Indian film industry, as well as their legions of fans, to our wonderful emirate, as we build awareness of our destination and get to showcase Abu Dhabi’s multitude of offerings, including fantastic family attractions, some of the best retail outlets on the planet, and world-class entertainment options. We are sure our famed hospitality and our world-class facilities will ensure the event is a resounding success.”
Mr. Naveen Saldanha, Managing Director at Royal Arabian, said, “As a Destination Management Company, we understand the gravity of an event of this scale. We extend our support and expertise to SIIMA to make this a memorable event. Abu Dhabi as a destination with its strong culture and heritage is beautiful and will create a gorgeous backdrop for the SIIMA 2017.”
Over 600 hundred Indian movie stars and technicians will grace the red carpet and fans can look forward to a star-studded event with performances from several top stars.

Dubai now has its own font

World first sees city continue to grow as a global brand

Having partnered with Microsoft, Dubai has become the first city in the world to develop its own bespoke font.
On the face of things it seems a bit out of the left field, but the development of its own font means Dubai can continue to develop itself as a global brand, with a unilateral marketing typeface becoming part of the marketing strategy.
The city has positioned the font as an enabler for self-expression and creativity, having designed four different font weights as part of the family.
It’s completely free of charge to use, with the Dubai authorities and Microsoft making the font available globally in Office 365. It can be used in design, office communication and even within applications, all without the cost of licensing fees.

Plans to bring ICEBERGS to UAE unveiled

UAE Iceberg Project says work is underway for a 2018 start

Plans have been unveiled to tow an iceberg from Antarctica all the way over to the Fujairah coastline; as part of an environmental sustainability and biodiversity drive in the region.

The National Advisor Bureau announced the plans and sees the opportunity to move an iceberg, which on average contains 20 billion gallons of fresh water, as the ideal way of pumping more fresh water into the region. It’s also intended to bring a more exotic clime to the Rub’ El Amer projects (Filling the Empty Quarter) which intends on turning the desert into gardens after cold air pumping out from the iceberg brings thunderstorms and downpours throughout the year.

Shah Rukh’s Dubai Tourism film wins international award

#BeMyGuest, a promotional film produced by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) starring Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, has won two top awards at the 10th anniversary of the International Tourism Film Festival, “Tourfilm Riga”, held in Riga, Latvia.
#BeMyGuest won the main award, the Grand Prix, as well as first prize in the ‘Tourism Destination’ category at the festival held on 29 April. Organised by the Riga City Council of Latvia, the event is represented in the prestigious International Committee of the Tourism Film Festivals (CIFFT) and is dedicated to films promoting tourism destinations across the globe.

Wasl launches Dubai’s second Mandarin Oriental hotel project

New hotel to open in November 2020

A second Mandarin Oriental hotel is set to open in Dubai, according to wasl Asset Management Group, the real estate development and management company behind the project in Dubai.
It is due to open in November 2020, and will be located on Shaikh Zayed Road, anchoring the 63-storey mixed-use wasl Tower.
The hotel will open two years after the first Mandarin Oriental in Dubai, opening on Jumeirah Beach in the fourth quarter of 2018.
His Excellency Hesham Al Qasim, CEO of wasl Asset Management Group, commented: “We are pleased to be partnering once again with Mandarin Oriental to bring another elegant and sophisticated hotel to Dubai, which furthers wasl’s mandate to supply the Emirate’s hospitality sector with quality hotels. Combined with the premium property offering at wasl Tower, we are offering the height of luxury in both the hospitality and residential sectors, which wasl works to support in alignment with the vision of the UAE’s wise leadership.

UAE among top picks for Muslim travellers

UAE maintains position behind Malaysia, which is top destination

The UAE maintained its position as one of the top destinations for Muslim travel, according to the latest data from the Global Muslim Travel Index.
The UAE was the second best performing destination for the second consecutive year behind Malaysia, which kept the top spot while Indonesia moved up to third place in the overall rankings.
The Mastercard-CrescentRating index, which covers 130 destinations, showed a number of non-Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) destinations in Asia move up the rankings as a result of their efforts to adapt their services to cater to and attract Muslim travellers.
Singapore retained its pole position for non-OIC destinations, with Thailand, the UK, South Africa, and Hong Kong rounding up the top five. Japan moved up two places to take sixth spot, with Spain entering the top 10 for the first time.

Abu Dhabi to build on tourism success with visits to five Chinese cities

China has now overtaken India as the largest overseas source market for international visitors

The Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, TCA Abu Dhabi, is embarking on a promotional tour to several cities across China in May to capitalise on the growing popularity of the emirate as a tourist destination.
China has now overtaken India as the largest overseas source market for international visitors into the emirate with close to 100,000 Chinese staying in the emirate’s 167 hotels and hotel apartments between January and March this year. The number of guest nights has also climbed by 48 per cent to 138,747 in the first quarter of this year. TCA Abu Dhabi will promote the emirate during an initial four-city roadshow beginning on May 4th in Chengdu and stopping in Wuhan, Guangzhou and ending in Nanjing on May 9th.
The roadshow, which will also be attended by Etihad Airways, along with hotels and tour operators, takes place as the emirate strives to reach its target of 600,000 Chinese visitors a year by 2021.

Hyatt Hotels to expand footprint in GCC

Hotel operator to open at least 8 new properties in Saudi Arabia over next 4 years

Hyatt Hotels and Resorts said it is expanding its geographical footprint across the region, with plans to open three hotels in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) by the end of this year or early next year.
The US-based hotel operator is also planning to expand strongly in Saudi Arabia, and is expected to open at least eight properties there over the next four years.
“We’ll have our first property at Palm Jumeirah island (in Dubai). Hopefully, we’ll open by the end of this year or first quarter next year, and it will be a Hyatt Centric property. It’s going to be the first Centric in the Middle East, and the second one will be next year in Doha, Qatar,” said Tareq Daoud, Hyatt’s regional vice-president for sales for the Middle East and Africa.
He added, “Another project we have is the Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi, 450-plus room hotel and residence. Again, this will hopefully open end of this year or first quarter 2018.”