BA profits quadruple to $543m

Europe's largest airline, British Airways, has reported a quadrupling in annual profit to £380 million ($543 million) and said passenger yields had posted the biggest improvement of 7.7 per cent since the company was privatised 14 years ago. BA flagged further cuts in capacity this year and painted a confident outlook despite slower world economic growth and the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Britain which has deterred visitors to the country.

Al Bustan Palace to close for renovation

MUSCAT: Oman's landmark Al Bustan Palace Hotel will undergo major renovation and therefore will be closed for four months from June 1, a hotel spokeswoman said. The hotel will completely renovate 106 Continental rooms which will be transformed into Al Bustan Deluxe rooms, a report said.

New visa rules for women tourists

MANAMA: Bahrain is to tighten rules governing the entry into the country of single women from the former Soviet Union travelling alone. Assistant Under-Secretary for Tourism Affairs Dr Kadhem Rajab said all single women tourists from there must possess entry visas before travelling to Bahrain. They would not be issued visas at Bahrain airport or other entry points.

Golf show on course for full house

MANAMA: The International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), to be held later this year in South Africa, is on course for a full house, its organiser Reed Travel Exhibitions said. Reed said that nearly 60 per cent of space had been booked in a span of just over a month for the event to be held at Sun City in South Africa from December 5 to 8.

Dnata will move to new headquarters

DUBAI: Dnata, general sales agent to more than 30 airlines in Dubai, will move this summer to a sophisticated Dh100 million ($27.2 million) building, officials said. They said the new Dubai Airline Centre (NDAC) on Shaikh Zayed Highway would provide a hi-tech one-stop-travel shop to airlines and corporate and leisure travellers.

UAE has most skyscrapers in Gulf

DUBAI: The UAE has the most number of skyscrapers in the Gulf, followed by Saudi Arabia. The Emirates has a total of 237 high-rise buildings and this will rise to 286 with another 49 coming up over the next three years, a report from Starconcept of Germany said. A total of 137 skyscrapers are presently located in Abu Dhabi, 124 in Dubai and 32 in Sharjah.

Tourism centre opened in Yanbu

YANBU: A tourism centre has been opened by the Saudi Royal Commission in Yanbu to cope with the growing number of visitors to the Kingdom, a report said. Information on tourist spots will be provided to the thousands of visitors during the summer holidays.