In Brief

The Rania

Sharaf to be agent for Maldives yacht
Rania, a luxurious 86-foot GulfCraft Majesty speed yacht from the Maldives with its own private island, has announced the appointment of Dubai-based Sharaf Travel as its first GCC agent.

Vijai Singh, general manager, Rania and Water Garden Island Spa estimates that there are over 200,000 multi-millionaires in the Middle East and hopes that Sharaf Travel will help his company target these high net-worth individuals.

Avis targets 20,000 cars
AVIS Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) said the company would more than double its fleet size in the Middle East to reach 20,000 cars in five years. The car rental company has just renewed its agreement with local partners Mohamed Hareb Al Otaiba for Avis UAE. Avis provides business and leisure customers with a wide range of services around the Middle East through operations in nine countries in the Middle East including the GCC as well as Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.

Emirates Holidays revenues up 22pc
Emirates Holidays has reported a 22 per cent increase in revenues to Dh435 million ($118 million) for 2005. The company named the top 10 destinations were Dubai, Thailand, Malaysia, the UK, Egypt, Mauritius, Singapore, France, the Maldives and Turkey, according to a report. John Felix, vice president, told media the company expected a 15 per cent growth for this year. He said Dubai accounted for about 45,000 to 46,000 of the total 100,000 travellers that Emirates Holidays served. The group earlier announced 4.9 per cent growth in net profits to Dh2.8 billion ($762 million) for the financial year ended March 31, compared to the previous year's record profit of Dh2.7 billion ($726 million). The company has released 500,000 brochures to be distributed through travel agents around the region.

Qatar Duty Free launches draw
QATAR Duty Free, a subsidiary of Qatar Airways, has launched its biggest-ever jackpot raffle prize giving lucky passengers the chance to win $1million in its new millionaire draw. Passengers flying to and from Doha International Airport will be able to purchase raffle tickets, each priced at QR950.

Dubai Airport Expo gets upgrade
THE Airport Expo Dubai – the home of the Dubai air show – is to get its third upgrade to accommodate growth for Dubai 2007 – the 10th international aerospace exhibition. The upgrade will include a fully air-conditioned, 2,000 square metre tented structure to cater to increased exhibitor demand, a face-lift for the hospitality chalets and the construction of additional hospitality suites and meeting rooms.

Dnata expands into Saudi
THE Dubai-based Dnata has launched its commercial operations in Saudi Arabia and is now poised for kingdom-wide growth, with a variety of retail and corporate services, many of them new to Saudi Arabia. Modelled on Dnata’s Dubai flagship office, the new Dnata Travel Centre in Al Khobar has the same one-stop travel shop concept for retail and corporate travel services, with a 24-hour customer hotline. It will operate as Dnata’s country headquarters and is to be joined by offices in Riyadh and Jeddah.