Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah has added Le Diwan, an Arabesque lounge, to its current choice of dining venues. Le Diwan will offer a delectable variety of mezzeh, Arabic juices and hot beverages alongside a New York cigar concept, paying tribute to Waldorf Astoria’s American heritage. With an aim to bring to together the contemporary and the classic, Le Diwan will serve up authentic Arabic cuisine and shisha alongside live Arabic league sports games, popular TV shows and complimentary games, such as backgammon.
Hilton London Bankside has launched its very own fleet of bicycles for guest use, in partnership with a local business, Bamboo Bicycle Club. The hotel now offers guests use of six custom-built unique bamboo bicycles, built from scratch by hotel staff – under the expert guidance and tuition of the team at Bamboo Bicycle Club. The bicycles are available for hotel guests to use at any time during their stay, free of charge.
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and the Emirates Heritage Club have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote heritage and cultural activities to attract local and international visitors to Abu Dhabi, as well as identify investment opportunities in the emirate. For prominent cultural elements, the focus is to make Unesco lists of tangible and intangible heritage, something mirrored in the strategic goals of the two sides.
Tourists planning to visit Oman can now apply online for visas by submitting their applications at www.evisa.rop.gov.om and paying with a credit card. Last year, the number of tourist arrivals to Oman reached three million and it is expected to increase to more than four million by 2020. The eVisa system will allow Oman to receive more tourists from key markets such as China, Russia and the US, and drive the demand for experiential travel to the Sultanate.
Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MoI), Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Qatar Airways announced that Qatar will allow visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries. Citizens of those countries wishing to visit Qatar will no longer need to apply or pay for a visa; instead, a multi-entry waiver will be issued free-of-charge at the port of entry, upon presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket. Last month, Qatar launched an e-visa platform, www.qatarvisaservice.com, through which travellers of all nationalities can apply for tourist and visitor visas with more efficiency and ease.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz has appointed commissions to develop Al-Ola and Diriyah Gate into major tourist attractions as the country’s tourism industry matures. The new royal orders are an outgrowth of Vision 2030, the Kingdom’s roadmap to the future. Al-Ola is one of the most fascinating vestiges of ancient Arabia, lying 380km north of Madinah. The town was founded in the sixth century and serves as the gateway to the Kingdom’s first Unesco World Heritage Site, Mada’en Saleh.
Turkish Airlines has now started to provide specially designed baby packs in order to make its cross-continental flights more comfortable for families who fly with their babies (0-2 ages). The baby packs, offered within specially designed bags, include a diaper changing mat, disposable baby bib, rash cream, baby lotion, baby shampoo, baby wipe and breast pad. The products do not contain paraben, alcohol, paint, SLS and SLES (harmful chemicals), and are all produced considering the sensitivity of baby skin.
Travelport announced a new agreement with First Diana Travel, which will see the leading Lebanese agency access Travelport’s unrivalled choice of travel content. The agreement further extends Travelport’s position in the region after its recent endorsement as the “Best GDS” at the Arabian Travel Awards. By connecting to the Travelport platform, First Diana now use Travelport Smartpoint as their desktop tool to search beyond rate and availability to purchase more personalised and tailored travel, to drive performance and increase revenues.
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.