In brief

Strategic tourism plan for Bahrain
THE tourism directorate at Bahrain’s ministry of information will introduce a strategic plan to boost tourism in the Kingdom in cooperation with the economic development board, Minister Dr Mohammed bin Abdul Ghaffar said.

He told the Bahrain daily Akhbar Al Khaleej in a recent report that the ministry was studying various aspects to come up with a strategy to promote tourism. Among the ideas are encouraging the private sector to join in government efforts as the most important partner, and urging Bahraini society to create tourism infrastructure for entertaining families and tourists.

Dnata offers Shariah travel deal
DNATA Travel has tied-up with The Saudi British Bank (SABB) to offer Dnata Holiday products under the SABB Easy Buy programme. The programme is a fully Shariah-compliant retail installment product from SABB designed to offer Dnata customers a third payment alternative to cash and credit cards. Aimed at the middle income group including both Saudi nationals and expatriates, the programme is now available for travellers, who buy travel packages from Dnata Travel, which would include a combination of air tickets, hotels and a variety of travel services.

Lebanon puts best face forward
LEBANON’S Tourism Ministry has tried to put the best face on Lebanon's political crisis by launching a promotional campaign branding the country “the safest place on Earth.” The centerpiece of the campaign is a television commercial enticing Lebanese expatriates to spend holidays in their ancestral homeland. The ministry commissioned advertising agency Impact BBDO to produce the spot.

Iran opens seven new offices
Iran has opened tourism information offices in seven foreign countries to promote the country’s tourist spots, the Iran Daily reported. These include offices in Thailand, Oman, Pakistan, Greece, Turkey, Bahrain and Syria. Thirteen more offices are to be launched this year, according to the story.

Two new UK visa centres for UAE
TWO new centres where people can get UK visas were set to open in the UAE last month, in a bid to ensure that applications will no longer be lodged at the British Embassies. Applicants will have their fingerprints scanned and their face photographed when they visit the Visa Application Centres (VACs) in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which opened on September 26. Officials say there will be no increase in the cost of UK visas.