Qatar summer festival from July 9


Qatar Tourism Authority will launch its summer festival on July 9. The Qatar Summer Wonders Festival, which will last up to August 8, promises to be great fun for everyone, according to a press release. The month-long event will be packed with excitement and fun activities for the whole family. Bshara, the official icon of the festival, will welcome residents and visitors, children and parents alike to participate in the many cultural and "edutainment" activities.

Saudi carrier rules out domestic fares hike

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Airlines is not seeking to raise domestic fares to offset its losses, local newspapers reported. Airline director general Dr Khaled Ben-Bakr said the airline had not asked the Shura (advisory Council) to increase domestic fares, the Arab News reported. He said the airline earned more than SR1.8 billion a year from international flights, enough to cover the airline's losses on domestic flights. The Shura intends to present recommendations to the government to improve the airline's finances ahead of a planned privatisation of the state-owned carrier. Shura members have already opposed any move to increase domestic fares and want the airline instead to adopt other means of boosting revenue.

Dubai Synergy to boost MICE sector

Dubai: The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has launched Dubai Synergy, a programme of educational visits involving 28 Dubai-based partners working together. The initiative will give more than 70 meetings and incentive travel organisers based in the UK and Ireland an opportunity to visit Dubai over the next 12 months (May 2003-April 2004). The DTCM has announced this programme in conjunction with Emirates and Gulf Air, 18 hotels and eight UK-based DMC representatives.

Global aviation traffic slips 18.5pc

Geneva: World air passenger traffic plunged by 18.5 per cent in April against the same month last year. In the Asia-Pacific region it slumped by 44.8 per cent, the global airlines body IATA said on Friday. The slump was attributed to the fallout of the US-British invasion of Iraq and the SARS virus crisis in east and Southeast Asia, said IATA.