In brief


RAK passenger traffic up 114pc

DUBAI: Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, boosted by tourism, saw 161,832 passenger arrivals last year compared with 75,633 in 1999 - a 114 per cent increase, it was revealed. The airport was ranked fourth in passenger growth development by Airports Council International. Some of the major destinations served by the airport are countries in the Gulf, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Indian Sub-continent. New destinations are expected to be added this year. Cargo volume rose by 4 per cent to 25,782 tonnes.

Radisson set for May opening CAIRO: Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts will open its Sharm El Sheikh property on May 15, the first of three Egyptian hotels scheduled to open this year marking the group's entry into the Middle East and North Africa region. The five-star, 328-room Radisson SAS Golden Resort, Sharm El Sheikh is owned by El Dahabia for Touristic Resorts EPC, Egypt, which invested $45 million for its development. It is located in Nabq Bay, on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula on the Red Sea shore, just ten-minutes drive from the local airport.

Passenger numbers up at Seeb

MUSCAT: Passenger traffic at Oman's Seeb International Airport saw an increase of eight per cent at the end of last February rising to 456,888 passengers from 423,145 passengers during the corresponding period last year. The number of arriving and departing passengers increased by 11 per cent (to 225,870 from 203,529 passengers) and 4.1 per cent (to 219,050 from 194,876 passengers) respectively, during the period. The number of transit passengers dropped during the first two months this year by 54.6 per cent to 11,968 compared with 24,740 passengers during the same period last year.

Dubai winter charms prove a winner

DUBAI: Dubai was voted the second-best winter destination at a major travel expo in Siberia. The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) was awarded a gold medal and a diploma at Toursib 2001, after being voted the second-best winter outbound destination for 2000-2001.

AIBTM targets 300pc rise in exhibitors

MANAMA: The Arab International Business Travel and Meetings (AIBTM), a meetings and incentive show which made its debut in Bahrain this year, has targeted a 300 per cent increase in exhibitors next time around, its organiser said. The next AIBTM exhibition and seminars will be held on January 30 and 31 next year at the Gulf Hotel's Gulf International Convention Centre. The debut event in February, held at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre, attracted 50 participants.

India imposes airport service fee

NEW DELHI: India has started charging a service fee on all passengers using its airports, whether on international or domestic flights. This in addition to a $11 departure tax levied on passengers leaving the country. The $5 passenger service fee (PSF), previously charged only on domestic tickets bought in Indian rupees, will now be levied by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) on all tickets purchased overseas for domestic travel, for every international journey made out of an Indian airport, on tickets issued for international and domestic travel in a single document, on infant tickets, complimentary tickets, and tickets issued to travel staff on duty or staff on leave, a report in Khaleej Times said.

Hertz to open new branch in Yemen

DUBAI: Hertz car rental services is launching a major fleet upgrade and expansion in Yemen with the opening of a new branch in Mukalla. The new branch, the fourth to be operated by Universal Rent a Car, the Hertz international franchisee in Yemen, will begin operating from the middle of May.

Accor site clicks with the French

MANAMA: Accor's online reservations site has received the 'Silver Click' for the best e-commerce site at the fifth 'Grand Prix du Web' organised by the magazine CB News. Out of 973 sites in nine categories, the portal was nominated from 117 registrations in the e-commerce category. was singled out for its online transcription of the Accor brand hotels offering worldwide, consistency and functionality. The site was produced by Le Studio (formerly Le Studio Grolier).