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Mid-East travel and tourism industry to increase spending on IoT technology by 22% by 2022, says Arabian Travel Market report

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  • E. online travel and hospitality sales to exceed US$100 billion by 2022
  • ATM to launch ‘Travel Forward’ conference to examine next-gen’ industry innovation

The Middle East’s travel and tourism industry is expected to increase its spending on Internet of Things (IoT) technology by 22% by 2022, according to data published ahead of the inaugural edition of Travel Forward, which will take place alongside Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2020 at Dubai World Trade Centre from 19 – 22 April 2020.

With technological advances not only continuously evolving, but indeed accelerating the quality of life, and the introduction of new innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, Virtual Reality (VR) and IoT, Colliers International predicts the Middle East online travel and hospitality market will outpace the global market by 17% over the next three years, with annual sales exceeding US$100 billion by 2022.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “Technology, and the use of technology, is increasingly part of everyday life. Travel, tourism and hospitality are at the very forefront of tech innovation with many organisations investing huge sums of money to gain competitive advantage, while improving the customer journey and overall experience.

“That is why the introduction of events such as Travel Forward are so important to our sector’s future. Enhancing our existing technology offering, Travel Forward – which will be co-located with ATM 2020 – will showcase the very latest innovations from some of the brightest minds in the travel and tourism industry, allowing delegates to test new technologies and applications that could help them boost efficiency and transform their operations.

“With an array of high-profile keynote speakers and world-class technology experts lined up for the Travel Forward Conference Theatre, the event will connect buyers and suppliers from across the Middle East and beyond as well as facilitating face-to-face interviews and business opportunities.”

The debut Middle East edition of Travel Forward will cover the full spectrum of industry tools, from emerging innovations such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and machine learning, to existing systems such as booking engines, business management software and end-user technology.

In addition to the Travel Forward Conference Theatre, ATM’s own dedicated Travel Tech Theatre will also be returning – enabling exhibitors to conduct live demonstrations for attendees.

The standalone event will also feature ‘The Startup Showcase’ – a forum in which the brightest minds in the travel and hospitality industry will not only introduce and explain the theory behind their innovations but also demonstrate their advantages in real time.

A ‘Startup Competition’ will give suppliers the opportunity to make a six-minute visionary pitch about their latest innovation to a panel of judges. The three most impressive tech startup pitches will then be selected to present to the entire conference theatre, where audience members will vote for a winner who will receive service ‘tokens’ from a company and/or cash and/or mentoring.

Curtis added: “Travel Forward was originally launched during World Travel Market 2018 in London. Based on the success of the event to date, Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) rolled out a Latin America edition earlier this year, with the Middle East and a South Africa version to follow in 2020.

“The launch of Travel Forward at ATM 2020 not only confirms our commitment to continuously innovating our offering for all industry stakeholders, but also provides a platform for the industry to come together to take advantage of technological advances and stay at the forefront of innovation.”

ATM, considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, welcomed almost 40,000 people to its 2019 event with representation from 150 countries. With over 100 exhibitors making their debut, ATM 2019 showcased the largest ever exhibition from Asia.

Adopting Events for Tourism Growth as the official show theme, ATM 2020 will build on the success of this year’s edition with a host of seminar sessions discussing the impact events have on tourism growth in the region while inspiring the travel and hospitality industry about the next generation of events.

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Air Arabia wins ‘Low-Cost Airline of the Year’ honour at Aviation Business Awards

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Air Arabia, the first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) in the Middle East and North Africa, has won the ‘Low-Cost Airline of the Year’ recognition at the 13th Aviation Business Awards (AVB) gala ceremony held recently in Dubai.

Air Arabia was adjudged in the ‘Low-Cost Airline of the Year’ category by an expert panel of industry judges for the carrier’s innovation, sustainable performance and continuous growth.

Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia, said: “Winning the ‘Low-Cost Airline of the Year’ award reiterates Air Arabia’s industry leadership, and the exceptional value that we deliver to our customers. Led by a focus on innovation and a commitment to draw on the latest technology, we will continue to focus on adding new routes that connect more people across the world while continuously providing added value to our customers.”

Air Arabia has added 10 new routes to its global network in the first half of this year. Currently, Air Arabia operates flights to over 170 global destinations in 50 countries from four hubs in the UAE, Morocco, and Egypt. To add to the customer experience, during the first half of 2019, Air Arabia launched a new complimentary in-flight entertainment system ‘SkyTime’ that allows passengers to live stream digital content on smartphones, tablets or laptops while traveling with the carrier.

In April, Air Arabia received the ‘Best Low-Cost Carrier Award’ by Oman Airports in recognition of its continued commitment to passenger satisfaction and development within the industry.

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Chief Executive Officer of Jannah Hotels and Resorts Ranked 30th Place Among 50 Hoteliers in Middle East Power List

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Jannah Hotels and Resorts is delighted to announce the recognition of their CEO, Richard Haddad, ranking 30th place as one of the most influential hospitality figures in the prestigious Hotelier Middle East Power 50.

Richard Haddad has proven his competence and dedication in the hospitality industry and the Middle East for 27 years now, two of which he has spent with Jannah Hotels and Resorts. Since Haddad took over, the group has expanded its properties, performed well financially as well as he has introduced various performance development initiatives.
CEO of Jannah Hotels and Resorts, Richard Haddad said “I am extremely grateful to be part of this noteworthy recognition for acknowledging my utmost dedication and commitment leading the Jannah Hotels and Resorts group. I am looking forward to spending more years working with the competent team, expand our horizons and aiming to keep our position as one of the leading hospitality brands in the Middle East.”

A statement from the owning company shared, “Richard has efficiently managed the groups operations since 2018 and has ensured ongoing development and success to the business. It is a remarkable accolade and acknowledgement of all the hard-work and dedication he has given to this brand.”

“With this, I am confident that we will continue to expand our presence in the Middle East across an exquisite blend of hotels and resorts. We will continue to provide our guests with unparalleled experiences that caters to the needs of all travelers,” he added.

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Sports fans will want to be caught offside at Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort. ​

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The first sports lounge on Saadiyat, Offside, opens on 17th October 2019, offering the residents and tourists of Abu Dhabi a new place to support their favourite teams.

Offside is set to become the city’s go to venue for sports lovers, broadcasting games and tournaments across 11 screens including a giant 5×3 metre projector screen, showing the action live, from the Grand Prix and tennis, to rugby, golf and of course, football!

An extensive menu will also be on offer featuring classic bar foods from around the globe in a contemporary style. Enjoy proper English fish and chips with your choice of haddock or cod, authentic Buffalo wings – choose your heat! Beef or lamb ribs and an oxtail pie to make you feel right at home.

Are you hungry yet???  Well don’t miss the burger of the month (BOTM) where our chefs will create the unimaginable.

The beverage menu is also jam packed with a selection of international and craft hops with a total of 9 taps, plus a great range of bottled brews hailing from UK, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, Scotland and China, including a gluten free version.

Offering cool and casual vibes and a place to kick back with friends, Offside is the perfect venue to catch a game, grab some food and relax either inside or on the terrace where man’s best friend can also join and enjoy some tasty treats.

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Submerge in an Exceptional Aquatic Adventure  

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Discover the most enthralling freshwater creatures and ecosystem at the AQUATIS Aquarium-vivarium in Lausanne. Immerse in an awe-inspiring journey exhibiting animals through a totally interactive and innovative scenography th1at combines environmental education and leisure.

Experience an intimate and immersive trip to the 3500M2 vicinity of the AQUATIS, flaunting 46 aquariums/vivarium’s/terrariums. Be mesmerized with over 10,000 fishes, 100 reptiles and amphibians. Dive into an extraordinary tour across five continents to explore the foremost freshwater environments and their flora and fauna.

The exceptional freshwater aquarium in Lausanne carries two-floor levels, boasting different educational exhibits and adventures. Start off your journey with Europe, a course along the first floor featuring freshwater of the Rhone uncovering formed landscapes as well as diverse species of fish, snakes, and amphibians. On the second floor, come across the African lakes, the River Zaire and be ready to encounter desert crocodiles. Learn about the mangroves in Asia and the rice-fish farms that run along the Mekong River with its floating villages. Mark the end of your AQUATIS visit in the tropical greenhouse dedicated to the world’s largest reservoir of biodiversity, the Amazon. Don’t miss out to dine in the thematic restaurant and terrace with an atmosphere of Amazon.

 For more information, visit

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Maximize Your Beachfront Break with Ultra All Inclusive  and Full Board Packages at Rixos Alamein  

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Rixos Alamein is inviting guests to maximize their stay in paradise with an alluring new Ultra-All-Inclusive Package featuring a choice of exquisite accommodation, limitless delectable gourmet fare across two a la carte restaurants and one buffet restaurant, and all-day drinks from six specialty bars!

Under this fantastic and one-of-a-kind all inclusive offer, every day starts with a bountiful buffet breakfast at the resort’s vibrant Mediterranean Main Restaurant, including a wide range of freshly baked breads and pastries, tropical fruit juices, cold cuts and hot local and international delicacies.

For lunch guests will be treated to an exhaustive list of culinary flavours at the People’s Food Court that have a wealth of specialties from across the globe. Dinner is an extravagant affair as guests can choose between Lalezar Restaurant and Layali Restaurant, both serving traditional Turkish and Lebanese cuisines respectively. Not in the mood for experimenting? Head back to the comfort of the main restaurant for a glorious dinner buffet or choose to snack on delicious bites at Cafe la Plage. Needless to say, your staycation at Rixos Alamein ensures that no two mealtimes are the same.

And that’s not all; guests will also enjoy unlimited all-day drinks round the clock, including cool cocktails, local beers, house wines, selected spirits and soft drinks from distinctive bars that include the Pool Bar, Beach Bar and the People’s Bar. So whether you are splashing about on the pristine stretch of private beach or chilling out by the pool, Rixos Alamein makes sure you are kept fully refreshed.

The Rixos Ultra-All-Inclusive Package features a choice of exceptional accommodation, including the Superior Room with Sea View, Deluxe Room with Sea and Pool View, Junior Suite with Sea and Pool View, Executive Suite with Sea and Pool View, and the Presidential Suite with Sea View. For a holiday that befits royalty, opt to indulge in the Rixos Alamein Villa experience that comes with a private butler and chef, a fully stocked fridge, a fresh fruit basket, the choicest traditional & international desserts, a selection of fruit and vegetable juices, temperature controlled wine storage and premium spirits, an assortment of teas, capsule coffee, and shisha service.

With its secluded seafront setting and world-class amenities, including six exotic pools, tropical gardens, the serene Anjana SPA, an all encompassing children’s facility Rixy Club, and elegant restaurants, Rixos Alamein is the perfect choice for your next all inclusive beachfront break.

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Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa returns magical desert brunch experiences, with two luxurious offerings starting from September 27th.  The luxury desert retreat offers the Friday Garden Brunch and the 360°Nature Brunch, catering to everyone including families and guests of all ages, starting from AED 225. Set amongst rolling sand dunes and surrounded by natural desert landscape, Bab Al Shams creates the ideal atmosphere for an unparalleled weekend in a beautiful ambiance with exquisite cuisine.

Friday Garden Brunch

Guests are invited to experience the ultimate family brunch set in the lush green gardens of Al Forsan, with exciting activities for everyone. Diners can enjoy indoor and outdoor live cooking stations, sections of organic and healthy spreads, free flowing beverages, as well as a special beautiful buffet laid out for the little ones. Parents can relax to the tunes of live entertainment,  while kids have fun with activities such as face painting, a petting zoo, a bouncing castle as well as camel and pony riding. Magicians and jugglers will also be present to entertain both kids and adults.

  • Friday, from 27th September
  • Timing: 1.00pm –  4.00pm
  • AED 365.00 per person inclusive of soft drinks, water and selection of fresh juices
  • AED 545.00 per person inclusive of selected alcoholic beverages
  • AED 182.50 for children between 6 to 12 yrs. old
  • Children under 6 yrs dine free
  • Nannies dine free (one nanny per table | t &c apply)

Saturday Al Forsan 360°Nature Brunch

The 360°Nature Brunch features a twist on the typical brunch experience, offering a beautiful picnic set-up in the lush oasis gardens of Bab Al Shams. Visitors can expect world class cuisine, live entertainment and an array of fun activities. Parents can dine and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere with live music by DJ Angela, while kids get busy with games, pony and camel rides, and bouncing castles.

  • Saturday, from 28th September
  • Timing: 1.00pm –  4.00pm
  • AED 225 inclusive of soft beverages and bottled local water
  • Kids from 6 – 12 years are given a special discount of 50%
  • Children under 6 yrs dine free

For more information on brunches at Bab Al Shams or to make reservations kindly call +971 4 809 6194

or e-mail

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Pamper yourself with Utmost Relaxation at Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi Hotel

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Be delighted in an utmost relaxation and enjoy a bespoke experience at Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi Hotel featuring a relaxing Summer Hammam Package at Anantara Spa.

Guests visiting the luxurious hotel can step into a blissful and peaceful world with spectacular views of the mangrove lagoon before pampering their bodies with ultimate composure by the unique hammam experience.

The Hammam treatment combines traditional Turkish and Moroccan elements by incorporating locally sourced fresh ingredients from the Emirates. Brewed with mineral-rich camel’s milk sourced directly from the desert, the product is infused with the finest dates from Ras Al Khaimah, Arabian coffee, aromatic za’atar, and circulation-boosting Saffron body oil. These natural and organic ingredients have been specifically chosen for their vitamin and mineral inducing properties that benefit the skin, hair, and body.

Priced at AED 660 net, spa-goers may luxuriate between a complimentary 30-minute massage with Royal Ottoman Hammam / Moroccan Hammam or experience a free 60-minute massage enhanced with a signature Hammam ritual valid until 30th of September, 2019.

Guests will leave relaxed, rejuvenated, refreshed and ready to face the scorching Arabian heat.

For reservations, please call +971 2 656 1146 or email or visit

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Visit Orlando Launches New Collection of Travel Trade Tools

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Orlando Travel Academy Graduates can take advantage of more than 50 offers ranging from 50% off select theme park tickets to $49 room rates

Visit Orlando, the official tourism association for the most visited destination in the United States, launched new interactive sales tools and resources for travel advisors, including a re-designed Orlando Travel Academy.

The Orlando Travel Academy (, the destination’s premier training tool, will provide travel advisors with quick and easy access to sales planning resources, including itineraries, a new media gallery and an all-new educational course. This enhancement will educate travel advisors on how to sell the destination, keep clients updated on the latest news and help provide increased value for their customers’ vacation experiences. It is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese as well as a mobile-friendly version.

“We realize how essential updated travel trade tools are in helping travel advisers across the globe increase their sales,” said Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel. “Our team is committed to doing everything we can to support our key stakeholders as they continue selling vacation packages to the Theme Park Capital of the World®.”

Upon completion of the program, Orlando Travel Academy graduates receive the designation of “Certified Orlando Expert,” as well as earn four continuing education credits from The Travel Institute, an organization that provides education programs, professional certifications and customized learning solutions for travel professionals, attractions, restaurants and more.

They can also take advantage of more than 50 “Orlando Travel Expert” offers, ranging from 50% off theme parks tickets and complimentary attraction tickets to discounts up to 35% off hotel rates, allowing them to take advantage of massive savings while planning their own trip to The Theme Park Capital of the World®.

A few of the “Orlando Travel Expert” exclusive perks include:


• Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista: Enjoy discounted rate of $49.99 plus tax

• Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista: Special rates are available for $79 per night

• Holiday Inn Club Vacations: Save 35% off your stay

• Villas of Grand Cypress: Club Suite Accommodations for $99 plus tax and discounted golf tee time of $49.99.

Theme Parks & Attractions

• SeaWorld Orlando: Take a 50% discount on admission to SeaWorld Orlando or Aquatica Orlando for the Orlando Travel Expert and one guest

• LEGOLAND: Receive 50% off LEGOLAND Florida Resort & Water Park tickets

• Gatorland: Enjoy complimentary general admission to Gatorland

• ICON Park: Half-off admission valid for The Wheel, Orlando Sea Life Aquarium and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.

• iFLY Orlando: Receive complimentary flight package for two people

More than 50 offers ranging from attractions and accommodations to arts & culture and outdoor adventure are available to Orlando Travel Academy graduates through Dec. 31, 2019.

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Emirati Women’s Day: Emirati first officers at Emirates spread their wings to five continents

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To mark this year’s Emirati Women’s Day, five talented and passionate Emirati first officers at Emirates airline helped put the spotlight on women in aviation, and the advancement of women in the UAE, by flying to five continents on the same day.

Watch the video, released on Emirates’ social media platforms, and see how these women literally spread their wings and spread a message of inspiration from the UAE to the world.

“Emirati women are icons of tolerance, exemplifying the core values held by our community via their care, determination, ability to nurture future generations, and pursue success in their various fields of work. Their hard work and talent have helped build our company and nation, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all Emirati women for setting new benchmarks and continuing to make us proud,” said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group.

Emirati women continue to make their mark in the aviation industry. In the Emirates Group, more than 1,100 Emirati women are employed across diverse functions. Their professions span a myriad of roles across the company, from operational departments like Flight Operations and Engineering to frontline roles at Emirates Airport Services, Commercial Sales and Customer Affairs, to corporate functions like HR, Group IT, Finance and Commercial, amongst others.

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