17 August 2017

People & Places

Celebrity Cruises reveals the next exciting feature on its newest ship, Celebrity Edge, which debuts next year. Eden, is a unique venue where state of the art design is fused into every element, including cuisine served by “Edenists.” Spanning three decks at the aft of the ship with almost 650 sq m of glass, Eden has more outward-facing glass than any other room at sea. It is a design and architectural feat, brought to life in collaboration with internationally renowned visionaries.

Eden exemplifies the innovative outward-facing design of the new Edge Class ships. The first of these game-changing vessels, Celebrity Edge, launching in December 2018, reimagines what it means to be connected to the sea and transforms how guests experience each destination. The scale of Eden, measuring 10,440 cubic metres., is bigger than the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, and Eden's area, at 1,175 sq m is larger than the Van Gogh Museum atrium in Amsterdam.

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has renewed its long-term partnership with Right4Children, giving more disadvantaged young people access to hospitality training and job prospects in the Middle East. The global hospitality firm and Nepal-based NGO have agreed to run their successful Mövenpick Hospitality Programme for at least another year, offering underprivileged youngsters and their families the chance to boost their living standards through skills creation and career opportunities. Craig Cochrane, senior VP human resources, Movenpick Hotels Resorts, is seen here with Right4Children graduates currently working at Movenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate.

An Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner touched down in Beijing last month after its inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi. To celebrate the milestone event, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in Abu Dhabi, attended by senior executives from Etihad Airways, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the UAE, and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority. Ni Jian, Chinese Ambassador to the UAE also visited Etihad Airways Innovation Centre to mark the occasion. The new 787-9 Dreamliner features Etihad Airways’ next-generation Business and Economy Class seats. It will operate with 299 seats – 28 in Business Class and 271 in Economy Class, representing a 14 per cent capacity increase.

Over 10 million Chinese tourists visit Thailand each year. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) polled many of them for the 2017 People’s Choice Awards and Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at Central World was voted “Best City Hotel.” The poll, just completed in June, is evidence of Chinese visitors’ growing importance to Thailand, and Centara’s success in meeting their needs. Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand’s largest hotel operator, is making a concerted effort to appeal to Chinese guests.

Travelex has partnered with Heathrow to launch VAT Refund by Appointment, a new service for customers reclaiming their tax when leaving the UK. Customers flying from Heathrow Terminal 5 can now book private refund appointments for a fast, efficient service at a time convenient to them. The appointment service offers private, one-to-one consultations at a screened desk within VAT refund by appointment office; no waiting time – all appointments at a fixed time arranged in advance; meet-and-greet welcome at the door; help with form filling, if needed; English, Arabic and Chinese-speaking hosts; and personal reminder by phone 24 hours before your appointment.

Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai has launched exclusive discounts every Monday, when ladies can enjoy complimentary pool and beach access at the resort with six complimentary beverages, and delicious bites at Soul Lounge. Ladies can also enjoy 50 per cent off selected treatments at Nikki Spa. The party continues between 4pm and 9pm wherein guests can catch the hottest tracks and beats courtesy of DJ Bia. All this and more at only Dh150 ($41) for ladies. On Pampered Mondays, guests can extend their relaxing experience with 50 per cent off best available room rates and receive exciting food and beverage vouchers starting from Dh200 ($55).

Rove Hotels is launching a new community initiative in partnership with The Courtyard Playhouse, Dubai’s first and only dedicated improvisational theatre experts. Starting on August 17, there will be an impro’ theatre night at one of the Rove Hotels on the third Thursday of each month. Featuring top impro’ actors from the Courtyard Playhouse Company and featuring two of their most popular shows ‘This is Impro’ and ‘Racy Desis’ each performance is, as the name suggests, unrehearsed, unscripted and simply improvised.

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