Archive for March, 2011

Tourists, businesses flee to Dubai to escape storm


DUBAI |
Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:37pm IST

Besides businessmen, tourists are staying away from travel hotspots such as Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh, now known as the beach town where President Hosni Mubarak fled at the height of the uprising. Tunisia, seen as ground zero for regional unrest, is also off the tourist map.

“We changed our plans when we saw TV pictures of the huge rallies and violence in Egypt. We originally wanted to head to Sharm el-Sheikh,” said Reinhold Fleischhacker from Germany, as he boarded a sightseeing bus at the Dubai Mall with his family.

Dubai has world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, the Gulf’s only indoor ski slope and has built an artificial palm-shaped island complete with resorts.

Even more extravagant projects were being dreamt up when the cranes came to stop and construction sites fell silent when the asset and property bubble burst as the global financial crisis drew easy money away from Dubai and the region.

The unexpected influx of business and tourism — in other words cash — is a welcome boost for the emirate, which has struggled with an estimated $115 billion debt thanks to the collapse of the real estate market.

The International Monetary Fund expects the Dubai gross domestic product to rise by 2.8 percent this year, compared with 0.5 percent in 2010.

Dubai might be one of the few places in the region to see growth increase on a year-on-year basis amid political turmoil in the Gulf, said Rachel Ziemba, senior research analyst at Roubini Global Economics.

Ziemba cautioned that the initial boost might not herald a long-term positive outlook for the emirate.

“Dubai and, more broadly, the UAE is somewhat sheltered and could see some benefit of tourism flows,” she said. “However the scope of the unrest and particularly its escalation to regions like Bahrain means even Dubai is not immune.”

(Additional reporting by Dinesh Nair; Editing by Andrew Dobbie)

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 31, 2011 at 12:45 am

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Dubai Takes Lead at World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress

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Dubai Health AuthorityDubai Health Authority is the diamond sponsor for the prestigious conference

United Arab Emirates, Dubai, 7 September, 2010 The Medical Tourism Association announces that the Dubai Health AuthorityDubai Health Authority has taken a leading step by participating as the Diamond Sponsor in the World Medical Tourism and Global Health Congress, taking place in Los Angeles from 22nd to 24th September 2010.

His Excellency Qadhi Saeed Al Murooshid, Director General of the DHADHA said, “In recent years, Dubai has seen a phenomenal growth in the health sector and this has been possible because of the vision of our leader, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who has given significant importance to the health sector in the Dubai strategic plan 2015. Medical tourism is an integral aspect of healthcare, especially in the context of today’s globalised world and the DHADHA is keen to further strengthen and establish Dubai’s position on the medical tourism and global healthcare map.”

Laila Al Jassmi, CEO of the Health Policy and Strategy Sector at the DHADHA seconded this opinion and said, “It is our vision to provide quality healthcare to residents and visitors alike and Dubai has a lot to offer to the global consumer looking for quality healthcare services. At the DHADHA, we consider the private sector to be a key stakeholder and thus both the public and the private health sector in Dubai will be a part of this conference. We believe conferences such as this one are an opportunity to share the latest information and is a platform where we can gain further insight with regard to medical tourism. We are also keen to explore public-private partnerships which will further help us in strengthening our position as a global healthcare provider.”

The DHADHA and the Department of Tourism and Commerce MarketingDepartment of Tourism and Commerce Marketing are strategic partners in this initiative which aims to strengthen Dubai’s position as a global medical tourism hub.


“The Medical Tourism Association welcomes this move,” said Renee-Marie Stephano, President of the Association. “Dubai provides an accessible, effective and integrated healthcare system through its private and public healthcare institutions. It’s definitely a great advantage to the Medical Tourism Industry. Hence, we welcome Dubai’s move to participate in the Medical Tourism Congress to further strengthen Medical Tourism Industry growth.”

The 3rd Annual World Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Congress is made up of three conferences 1) Medical Tourism Conference, 2) Expatriate Healthcare Travel Insurance Global Health Insurance Conference, and 3) Healthcare Development Conference; together they make most resourceful and immense congress of the world attended by government representatives, elite professionals and influencing organizations; up to 2000 participants from over 70 countries will be gathered in this congress.

More information on the Congresses is available at their respective websites:

http://www.medicaltourismcongress.com

http://www.expatriateconference.com

http://www.healthcaredevelopmentconference.com

-Ends-

The Medical Tourism Association
The Medical Tourism Association™ (Global Healthcare Association) http://www.medicaltourismassociation.com is the first and only international non-profit trade association for the medical tourism and global healthcare industry made up of the top international hospitals, healthcare providers, medical travel facilitators, insurance companies, and other affiliated companies and members with the common goal of promoting the highest level of quality of healthcare to patients in a global environment. Our Association (Global Healthcare Association) promotes the interests of its healthcare provider and medical tourism facilitator members. The Medical Tourism Association™ (Global Healthcare Association) has three tenets: Transparency in Quality and Pricing, Communication and Education.

The DHADHA:
The Dubai Health AuthorityDubai Health Authority (DHADHA) was created in June 2007, by Law 13 issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai As the strategic health authority for the Emirate of Dubai, the DHADHA is empowered to set policies and strategies for health and to assure the application of those health policies and strategies. His Excellency Qadhi Saeed Al Murooshid is the Director General of the Dubai Health AuthorityDubai Health Authority (DHADHA).

The DHADHA‘s aim in Dubai is to provide an accessible, effective and integrated healthcare system, protect public health and improve the quality of life within the Emirate. This is a direct translation of the objectives of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Keeping the strategic plan in mind, the DHADHA‘s mission is to ensure access to health services, maintain and improve the quality of these services, improve the health status of nationals, residents and visitors and oversee a dynamic, efficient and innovative health sector.

In addition to overseeing the health sector for the Emirate of Dubai, the DHADHA also focuses on providing services through DHADHA healthcare facilities including hospitals (Al Wasl, Dubai and Rashid), specialty centres (e.g. the Joslin Diabetes Center) and DHADHA primary health centres spread throughout the Emirate of Dubai.

The main pillars of service delivery at DHADHA health facilities are quality, efficiency, patients and staff. It is our aim to maintain and/or improve the quality and efficiency of DHADHA health services. An important aspect of the service delivery strategy is to focus on patients, their needs and satisfaction as well as as well as attract, retain, nurture and support outstanding staff.

For more information, please contact
Amelia Fernandez
US 001.561.792.6676
Amelia@MedicalTourismCongress.com
www.MedicalTourismCongress.com

Kamakshi Gupta
Communications Analyst
Institutional Marketing and Communications Department, DHA
klgupta@dha.gov.ae
009714- 2197455

© Press Release 2010

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 30, 2011 at 12:36 am

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Dubai Green Tourism Award to attract more entries

Dubai: The second cycle of the Dubai Green Tourism Award was launched yesterday by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Dubai’s tourism marketing and licensing body.

The award is a part of the DTCM’s initiatives to turn the emirate’s successful tourism industry green and sustainable and is expected to see an increase in the number of participants.

Launched in 2009, the first round of the Dubai Green Tourism Award attracted 79 hotels, and 450 general managers of different hotel establishments participated in four workshops and seminars.

Hotels and hotel apartments were invited to participate in the award programme and their business practices were assessed for a wide range of environmental, economic and social issues, including energy saving, nature conservation and community involvement.
 
The environmental programme which aims to reduce hotels’ carbon emissions by 20 per cent was soft-launched in 2009 and has already enrolled a number of prominent fivestar properties in Dubai.

Participation has been extended to two-star hotels and standard hotel apartments this year to expand the green initiative and more than 120 hotels are expected to go through eight workshops to create more awareness.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 29, 2011 at 12:31 am

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Dubai’s sukuk rise most in year on debt accords

The yield on Dubai’s Islamic
bond fell the most in more than a year last week, leading a rally in
Arabian Gulf sukuk, as government-related companies complete debt
restructurings and posted better-than-expected earnings.

The yield on
Dubai’s 6.396 percent dollar sukuk due in November 2014 fell to a
record low 5.59 percent March 25, taking the weekly decline to 57 basis
points, the most since the week ended March 5, 2010, data compiled by
Bloomberg show. The difference in yield between Dubai’s Islamic note
and the Malaysian government’s 3.928 percent Islamic note due June 2015
dropped 72 basis points, or 0.72 percentage point, to 275, the lowest
on record, the data shows.

Dubai World,
the state-owned holding company that sought to alter the terms on about
$25bn of debt, signed a final accord with lenders last week,
overcoming investors’ concern the emirate may default on borrowings.
Government-controlled DP World Ltd, the world’s fourth-biggest port
operator, reported a 13 percent increase in profit last year as global
trade rose.

“The
announcement of debt restructuring by Dubai World has obviously
improved sentiment toward the credit of both DP World and Dubai’s
government sukuk,” Akber Khan, a director at Al Rayan Investment in the
Qatari capital Doha, said in a telephone interview March 27. “Investors
are pricing in lower risk of Dubai government-related entities not
meeting their debt obligations.”


Average yields on Shariah-compliant debt in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes the United Arab Emirates
and Saudi Arabia, dropped 36 basis points, the most since the five days
ended Nov. 5, to 5.5 percent, according to the HSBC/NASDAQ Dubai GCC US
Dollar Sukuk Index. The extra yield investors demand to hold the debt
over the London interbank offered rate narrowed 48 basis points to 353.

The rate on DP
World’s 6.25 percent dollar-denominated Islamic bond due July 2017
declined 48 basis points last week to 6.4 percent March 25, the lowest
since Jan. 25, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The Dubai
government-controlled company’s profit rose to $374.8m in 2010, beating the $324.5m mean of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Fitch Ratings
assigned DP World a BBB- credit rating, the lowest investment grade,
with a stable outlook on March 23. The company is rated BB at Standard
and Poor’s and Ba1 at Moody’s Investors Service, both junk rankings.

“DP World
rallied last week as a result of receiving an investment grade rating
by Fitch, which means it can be purchased by a lot of accounts that
only buy investment grade paper,” Usman Ahmed, the head of fixed-income
at Dubai-based Emirates NBD Asset
Management, a unit of the UAE’s biggest bank, said in an interview
March 27. “They also posted solid earnings last week.”

Dubai’s
economy, the second-biggest of seven that make up the UAE, is
recovering from the credit crisis, helped by a revival in trade and
tourism. Real gross domestic product expanded 2.2 percent in 2010 from
a year earlier, the statistics bureau said on its website March 21.
Economic growth is expected to accelerate to 4 percent this year,
according to Standard Chartered in December.

Dubai spent
billions of dollars since 2002 on developing its property industry and
transforming itself into a tourism, trade and financial-services hub.
In the process, the emirate and its state-owned companies ran up debt
of at least $129.3 billion, estimates by Credit Suisse Group show.
The emirate received a $20bn bailout from the Abu Dhabi
government and the UAE’s central bank in 2009.

“Dubai-related
entities still have significant debt maturing in 2011 and 2012, so
Dubai credit default swaps are still the highest in the GCC,” Al
Rayan’s Khan said.

Credit-default
swaps on Dubai’s government debt dropped 26 basis points last week to
404 on March 25, the lowest close since Feb. 9, according to CMA prices
in London. The cost of insuring debt from Bahrain, which has suffered
six weeks of unrest, fell 28 basis points to 330, the data show.

The yield on
Bahrain’s 6.247 percent sukuk due in June 2014 dropped 22 basis points
last week to 4 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Still,
investors demand a yield premium of 165 basis points to hold Dubai’s
Islamic notes rather than Bahrain.

Sales of
Islamic bonds from the GCC rose to $697 million this year from $450m in the same period last year, according to data compiled by
Bloomberg. Sukuk, or bonds that use asset returns to comply with
Islam’s ban on interest, from the region returned 2.1 percent so far
this month, the HSBC/NASDAQ Dubai GCC US Dollar Sukuk Index shows. Debt
in developing markets gained 1.1 percent, JPMorgan Chase Co.’s
EMBI Global Diversified Index shows.

The
Bloomberg-AIBIM-Bursa Malaysia Sovereign Shariah Index, which tracks
nine of the most-traded ringgit-denominated government securities, was
at 101.816 March 25, compared with 101.756 a week earlier. The gauge
has gained 0.3 percent this month.

Nakheel,
the developer of palm-shaped islands off Dubai’s coast, expects to
reach an accord with trade creditors on $10.5bn of debt in the
first half of this year. The developer owned by Dubai World said
restructuring agreements will be issued “shortly” to trade creditors
and the final term sheet to its bank coordination committee, according
to an e- mailed statement March 23.

“The Dubai
World debt deal has set a precedent for a real road map for any other
trouble with the government related entities,” Haissam Arabi, chief
executive officer at Gulfmena Alternative Investments in Dubai, said in
a telephone interview from Beirut on March 27.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 12:31 am

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Dubai Tourism Gets A Boost, But Egypt and Bahrain Will Struggle This Year: Citibank

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27 March 2011
Dubai’s economy may benefit as international visitors choose the safe-haven emirate over other troubled regional tourist destinations, notes Citibank. But Egypt and Bahrain will suffer from poor growth.


The UAE may benefit from the unrest in other parts of the Middle East, according to Citibank, with Dubai set to grow 5% this year and at an even faster clip at 6% in 2012.

“Due to its relative political stability, we believe there is a possibility of a diversion of commercial, investor and tourist activity from less stable parts of the region. The external sector thus is the main driver of the recovery, with gains being posted both in export growth, and a reduction in imports,” notes Citibank.

“Dubai’s economy, in particular, is showing signs of strong externalled recovery as sectors such as tourism, trade, logistics and transportation respond strongly to the rebound in the global economy and may get a boost from the political instability in regional competitors.”

Tourism body IATA’s data shows air traffic to both Egypt and Tunisia fell by 100,000 since the unrest decimated both countries’ tourism industries in January. This translates to a fall of 6.2% in available seat kilometres _ a barometer for airline capacity which measures seats on sale adjusted for the distance flown, says Reuters, adding that airlines removed 776 or 32% of flights to or from Cairo during January to March.

Meanwhile, UAE air traffic grew by 7.6% in February.


However, it is Bahrain that is concerning Citibank economists: “We now believe events in Bahrain are likely to have an impact on near term economic growth, and have lowered our forecast for 2011 to just 1%.”

The U.S. bank expects the tiny Kingdom’s growth to return in 2012 as the $10-billion bailout fund from other GCC states trickles into the economy and planned housing works and other projects are accelerated. “Long-term, however, the violent unrest may take its toll on Bahrain’s ambitions of fostering a regional financial centre.”

Also Read: Marshall Plan Blues

Citibank does not expect the unrest in Saudi Arabia to escalate or impact on oil production in the country.

“The economic impact on Saudi Arabia from the crisis thus far has been benign, in our view. With our view that oil prices are now likely to average US$105 in 2011, we have sharply revised upwards our fiscal surplus expectations to 8.5% of GDP. This takes into account an anticipated rise in current expenditure of over 50%, reflecting the measures taken by King Abdullah in the past few weeks. The rise in the government balance also reflects a 10% rise in oil production as Saudi Arabia pumps more crude to compensate for the loss of Libyan production.

“This 10% rise in oil output raises our GDP growth expectations for 2011 to 7.5%, up around 3% from our previous estimate, reflecting the share of oil productions in GDP.

“While comfortably accommodated in the near term, the rise in expenditure raises the fiscal breakeven oil price for Saudi Arabia to over US$80 per barrel, potentially leaving public finances exposed to any future fall in the oil price,” the Citibank notes.

Also Read: The King’s Speech

Further west, Egypt’s economy will fall off a cliff from 5.1% in 2010 to 1.4% in 2011, as the authorities in that country come to terms with the monumental upheavals which led to the ouster of its long-serving President Hosni Mubarak.

“The current government should just about be able to ride out the economic dislocation caused by the political unrest in 2011, even if it faces financing issues. But in order to restore growth and confidence in the economy, a new government will have to quickly formulate a more coherent policy for 2012.”

Clearly, analysts are waiting to see how the governments handle the promising North African economy.  Citibank warns that a populist economic policy may prove to be unpromising, but a reformist government could devalue the Egyptian pound to boost growth.

“But the key aim of protestors, the need to create jobs and reduce inflation, will remain a tricky policy goal for any new government in our view, especially one with only limited political experience and a weak fiscal inheritance.”

Also Read: Emerging Markets Oil Inflation

© AlifArabia 2011

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 28, 2011 at 12:18 am

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"Medical Tourism Doesn’t put Patient at Risk, Poor Planning Does" says Dr Prem – Author of Medical Tourism Guidebook

DUBAI, UAE, March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Recently media has been ablaze
of reported stories regarding medical tourism (Medical Travel) of botch
surgeries, lack of legal recourse for patients and post-operative
complications. All these stories have led several patients to believe that
medical tourism is unsafe and leads to risk. Addressing this issue, Dr Prem
Jagyasi
, author of recently launched Medical Tourism Guidebook argues that
cross border healthcare won’t put a patient at risk, rather the lack of
meticulous planning and preparation will. He emphasised that medical tourism
is an age-old concept that has been occurring since the period before Christ,
it has lots to offer if planned meticulously.

According to the recent medical tourism research conducted by Dr. Prem, a
staggering 94% of industry experts think that medical tourism has yet to
reach its full potential. Also, 59% of them believe that accessing reliable
information is big hurdle in the growth of Medical Tourism.

To help address this knowledge deficit, Dr. Prem Jagyasi has launched a
comprehensive Medical Tourism Guide (Health Tourism Guide), consumers and
experts would get much needed knowledge and insight into Global Healthcare
and medical travel industry via the launch of Dr Prem’s Guidebook – Medical
Tourism, the book is available for free preview at http://www.DrPrem.com

Dr Prem advises “Even though the process of accessing care in a foreign
location might seem like a seemingly simple process, there are several
intricacies, challenges and issues associated with the industry that all
potential medical travellers should be made aware of.” The decision to avail
medical services abroad is a crucial aspect on whether or not your journey
will be successful.

In order to ensure meticulous planning, the comprehensive guidebook lists
all the essential preparation steps to ensure a safe and successful medical
journey. “Patients need to organize all the post-operative arrangements
before they travel, appropriately budget for medical tourism and pack the
essential items they would require during the trip.” added Dr Prem, who is
also a leading consultant of the medical tourism industry.

The guide book also provides essential info on the top 50 medical tourism
destinations around the world. Dr. Prem Jagyasi says, “Picking the right
healthcare destination is an essential factor that determines the success of
your medical journey. The risk of picking the wrong country can be eliminated
via thorough research on that region before a medical tourist travels.”

Important links:


Free preview of Medical Tourism Guide
http://www.drprem.com/medical-tourism-guidebook/

View Dr Prem’s Video Guide http://www.drprem.com/video/


Medical Tourism Research
http://www.drprem.com/medical-tourism-research-surv
Medical Tourism Destination Guide
http://www.drprem.com/medical-tourism-destinations/

Media Contact – Prem@Jagyasi.com | +971-4-4370170 | http://www.DrPrem.com

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 27, 2011 at 12:17 am

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Trolley bus tours start in Downtown Dubai

Dubai: The iconic attractions in Downtown Dubai, described as The Centre of Now, can now be accessed by visitors using luxury trolley buses.

The Emaar Properties has introduced air-conditioned trolley buses, each with a capacity of 25 passengers to enhance the ease of access for visitors to Downtown Dubai.

The 500-acre mega-development in the heart of Dubai features several must-visit tourist attractions including Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building; The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination, and The Dubai Fountain, the world’s tallest performing fountain.

Important hub

A hub for leisure, shopping, hospitality, entertainment, business and modern living, Downtown Dubai also has six world-class hotels including the world’s first Armani Hotel Dubai in Burj Khalifa, which also features At.mosphere, the world’s highest restaurant located on Level 122 of the tower.

A magnet for leisure and business visitors, the flagship development of Emaar also has a vibrant business park, the Emaar Square, and several residential communities. The trolley buses have been envisaged as a vital link for tourists and guests in the various hotels of Downtown Dubai to tour the development in a convenient hop-on/hop-off fashion with the purchase of one ticket for a day.

Nasser Rafi, Chief Executive Officer, Emaar Malls Group, said: “The addition of the trolley buses in Downtown Dubai will significantly enhance the ease of accessibility of tourists as well as ease the traffic during peak hours. The high-quality buses, specially designed for Downtown Dubai, highlight our commitment to offer our visitors the opportunity to experience every tourist attraction in the development at their leisurely pace.”

Desert Safari from Downtown

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 26, 2011 at 2:24 am

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Dubai hotels see rise in demand as pipeline slows

Occupancies and revenues plummeted in recent years in Dubai as demand failed to keep pace with rising supply. As the market struggled, many hotel companies delayed projects in the emirate, including Kempinski, which last week said it was further pushing back the opening of its 253-room hotel on the Palm Jumeirah by two years due to oversupply concerns.

Dubai tourism officials had forecast that 10,000 new hotel rooms would open in the emirate this year, but that figure is likely to be much lower. A recent report by Jones Lang Lasalle predicted that just 3,400 rooms will be added to the sector this year, down 55% from the 7,700 that came on stream in the emirate last year.

Hotel performance on upswing

The consultancy believes the hospitality market in Dubai will ‘stabilise’ in 2011, and so far that has proven to be the case. Dubai’s hotels recorded a 7.9% rise in occupancy to reach 76.6% in January, according to data from STR Global. Dubai hotels also recorded a 2.6% in revenue per available room (RevPAR) to reach $178 for the month.

As the influx of new supply slows, experts say demand will play an increasingly important role in determining how well hotels perform. “The number and pace of new hotel rooms entering the Dubai market is becoming less important in affecting general hotel performance,” said Chiheb ben Mahmoud, the senior vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels Middle East and Africa.

“Hotel performance in 2011 and beyond is more likely to be affected by the capacity of and possibility for Dubai, as a destination, to maintain and grow the leisure tourism momentum, especially in the wake of what’s happening in the region and the perceived turbulences.”

While pointing out that there are ‘a number of hotels which are not open despite being close to completion’, Chiheb said he does not believe that Dubai’s hotel sector is saturated. “There is not such a thing really as a ‘saturated market’ when it comes to a leisure tourism destination,” he explained. “There could be bottlenecks in the tourism supply chain linked with the infrastructure such as airports, but this is not the case of Dubai. Most of the bottle necks have been addressed.”

From an investment point of view, interest in Dubai remains strong among hotel operators, he claims. “As some management agreements are reaching their terms and properties are ageing, a number of properties are expected to change ‘hands’ not in terms of owners but in terms of operators,” he noted. “One example is the new Crowne Plaza in Deira, which was operated by Marriott under the Renaissance brand and which was for a long time an FB landmark for Dubai residents.”

Regional unrest boosts demand

Hotels that forged ahead with their plans as the market struggled and opened their doors in recent months are getting a boost from the unrest in the region. Michael Nugent, the general manager at Movenpick Deira, said his hotel has seen strong demand since opening in mid-January.

“February was an extremely buoyant month for hotels across the city. We managed to close just short of 80% occupancy for the month, which is a big figure for a hotel open just 10 weeks,” he told AMEinfo.com. “I think there is still a lot of confidence,” he added. “March is turning out to be quite a healthy month. Everyone is still doing well.”

He acknowledged that the influx of supply poses challenges for hotels in the emirate. “There is a lot of inventory coming in and the customer is benefitting from that,” he said. “They are getting five-star products in a number of key locations at prices you could not get in Europe. So it’s not easy, there is no doubt about that, but the city can absorb it.”

But for now, the new supply provides ‘healthy competition’ for the market, he maintains. “We are achieving results that my European colleagues would be extremely happy with,” he said. “Most properties are sitting in the low to mid-70s. Those are good figures. Hotels are still making money. The customer is getting a much better deal.”

He added: “I think it is healthier for the city to be in this scenario. And I think most businesses would not want to go back to the situation in 2008. It wasn’t sustainable, and it was detrimental to the destination and to the tourists. If we have our product, service, and marketing right, we have nothing to worry about,” he said.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 12:12 am

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Dubai’s art exhibition brings Arab, global scene together

During times of civil unrest in the Middle East, Dubai has always been a safe haven for tourism, banking and culture. After an exclusive preview Tuesday, the edition of the 5th Art Dubai, a four-day exhibition in the luxury resort Madinat Jumeirah, opened to the public Wednesday.

“Certainly the Arab art scene is growing and Art Dubai tributes to that fact, but we also want to build bridges between the Eastern and the Western cultures,” the event’s new Art Director Antonia Carver said.

While the Gulf state of Bahrain became unstable amid civil unrest, triggering a three-month state of martial law, Dubai, as well as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at large, has not seen any demonstrations or clashes.

Inaugurated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE’s vice president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai, Art Dubai brought the scene from the East and the West together. Some 80 galleries exhibited paintings, sculptures and video animations. Two galleries were from China and one from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Liu Ding, founder and head of his own gallery “Liu Ding’s store ” in China’s capital Beijing, exhibited a very Asiatic way of painting. He took a white canvas and painted just small colorful objects, animals, trees and landscapes, somewhere in the middle.

“These paintings are part of my project ‘Take Home and make real the priceless in your heart’,” Liu said.

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(Editor:梁军)

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 12:12 am

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Dubai World signs final debt restructuring deal

DUBAI – DUBAI World, which rocked markets across the globe in late 2009 with its debt woes, announced on Wednesday that it has signed a final agreement to restructure US$14.7 billion (S$19 billion) of debt.

The government-owned conglomerate announced in September that it has reached an agreement with 99 per cent of its lenders on a proposal to restructure US$24.9 billion of debt.

The final agreement restructures all Dubai World’s liabilities with some 80 creditors, the Dubai government office said, adding the group’s assets had ‘appreciated over past months’ on the back of a relative global recovery.

It said Dubai World will divide its liabilities into two tranches, with US$4.4 billion to be repaid in five years and the remaining US$10.3 billion to mature in eight years.

The government of the formerly booming Gulf city state announced last year that it will convert US$8.9 billion of financial support for Dubai World into equity.

The southern Gulf emirate, a regional business, leisure and tourism hub, rocked global financial markets in November 2009 when it announced a freeze in debt repayments by Dubai World, its largest group. — AFP


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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 12:12 am

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Second Durban-Dubai flight on the cards

SUREN NAIDOO

KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development and Tourism MEC Michael Mabuyakhulu is expected to announce today that Emirates Airlines plans to introduce an additional daily flight between Durban and Dubai before the end of the year.

Another Middle Eastern airline, Qatar Airways, has opened an office in Durban.

Tourism and aviation industry insiders expect an imminent announcement of Qatar’s new Durban-Doha route.

Several industry sources have confirmed that the second daily Emirates flight and Qatar Airways’ first are on the cards, but the airlines have remained tight-lipped.

Quizzed by The Mercury on the sidelines of the launch of the national tourism sector strategy in KwaDukuza yesterday, Mabuyakhulu said: “You have to wait, by tomorrow you will hear.”

The MEC will be introducing his budget vote today.

“I cannot say anything, but it is worthy to note that Emirates’ daily route from Durban has been successful, with passenger load factors of more than 75 percent,” he said.

“There has also been keen interest from another Middle East-based airline as well as other international carriers.”

Vuwani Ndwamato, the Department of Transport’s director of air transport, said South Africa had signed an agreement with the Qatari government in November that allowed Qatar Airways further air access rights.

“The agreement allows Qatar Airways to increase its weekly flights from seven to 28. This makes way for 14 flights a week from Joburg, seven from Durban and seven from Cape Town,” Ndwamato said.

“However, they have daily flights to Joburg and the agreement states that they can access the further slots in Joburg only after they take slots in Durban and Cape Town.

“When they take up the slots is up to them and will be based on a business case for the route.

“With these new agreements, we are trying to incentivise international airlines to establish routes out of Durban and Cape Town.”

Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said he was aware that Emirates was looking at a second daily flight to Durban.

“We need more air access into South Africa to support the growth of the tourism industry,” he said.

“This issue regarding air access is seen as one of the main inhibitors to tourism growth. As part of our new National Tourism Sector Strategy we aim to deal actively with this problem.”

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Medical Tourism doesn’t Put Patient at Risk, Poor Planning does” says Dr Prem – Author of Medical Tourism Guidebook

Recently media has been ablaze of reported stories regarding medical tourism of botch surgeries, lack of legal recourse for patients and post-operative complications. All these stories have led several patients to believe that medical tourism is unsafe and leads to risk. Addressing this issue, Dr Prem Jagyasi, author of recently launched Medical Tourism Guidebook argues that travelling across borders to access healthcare won’t put a patient at risk, rather the lack of meticulous planning and preparation will. He emphasised that medical tourism is an age-old concept that has been occurring since the period before Christ.

According to the recent medical tourism research conducted by Dr. Prem, a staggering 94% of industry experts think that medical tourism has yet to reach its full potential. While, 59% of them believe that accessing reliable information is big hurdle in the growth of Medical Tourism.

To help address this knowledge deficit, Dr. Prem Jagyasi has launched a comprehensive Medical Tourism Guide (Health Tourism Guide) to educate patients and provide an accurate resource for consumers.

Dr. Prem’s Guidebook – Medical Tourism is an initiative to provide a comprehensive source of information for anyone considering medical travel. The book is aimed for consumers, but it also works as a reference guide for industry experts. It includes key information on deciding for medical travel and 20 essential planning and preparation steps for the entire medical journey. It also highlights the top medical tourism destinations around the world and common medical procedures that patients travel for. Finally, the book is enhanced with checklists and recommendations to further enhance the reading and understanding of this burgeoning industry. The Medical Tourism Guidebook is part of Dr Prem’s Guidebook Series.

The Medical Tourism Guide book is available for a free preview at http://www.DrPrem.com, user can also watch video guide on same site to know more about medical tourism.

About Dr Prem Jagyasi

A successful entrepreneur, healthcare leader and experienced strategic professional, Dr Prem Jagyasi is a renowned Chartered Management, Healthcare Marketing and Medical Tourism Consultant. Providing high-profile consultancy services to Government authorities and private healthcare organizations, Dr. Prem Jagyasi is a noticeably leading medical tourism consultant in the world. Currently, He is MD CEO of ExHealth, a Dubai HealthCare City based firm engaged in offering multi-dimensional healthcare solutions in international domain and founder of Global Healthcare Network.

Contact Dr Prem – www.DrPrem.com/Contact

Source: Business Wire India

BusinessWireIndia

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China fastest growing tourism group, says Dubai’s Jumeirah

Jumeirah Group, the hotel-management company that operates Dubai’s sail-shaped Burj Al Arab, has identified travelers from China as the fastest growing group of guests in its hotels, chairman Gerald Lawless said.

Chinese customers now represent about five percent of guests, up from less than one percent three years ago, Lawless said in an interview at the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin.

Jumeirah, the operator of luxury hotels and resorts owned by Dubai’s government, plans to open about nine hotels this year, including two in the Maldives. Properties will also be opened in Frankfurt, Shanghai, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait.

 


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The Jordan Tourism Board increases GCC presence by opening Dubai office

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The Jordan Tourism Board (JTB)Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) has strengthened its commitment and presence in the Middle East with the appointment of a permanent GCC representation office provided by the Mohamed Al Geziry Consultancy based in Dubai.

This partnership has been forged to deliver JTBJTB‘s marketing strategies and goals in the region, to further promote Jordan’s diverse and exciting product and to reflect its true image as a rich and diverse destination for history, religion, archaeology, business, health and wellness, cultural heritage and adventure.

The Kingdom has long captivated visitors of various interests with its many iconic attractions including Petra, which is one of the world’s seven wonders, and the Dead Sea, which is the lowest spot on earth.

Jordan Tourism Board Managing Director Nayef H. Al-Fayez said “We are truly excited about the appointment of Mohamed Al Geziry Consultancy, whom we are confident that with their well established presence and solid expertise and relationships in the market will greatly assist us in strengthening the positioning of Jordan as a destination of choice for both Arab Nationals and Expatriates alike

Al-Fayez added that JTBJTB‘s strategy in the GCC will focus on strengthening trade awareness through actively participating in trade fairs, workshops, road shows, joint trade promotions and events in the region as well as hosting trade media FAM trips. Our strategy to increase Consumer Awareness will be through the development of niche segments, targeted PR, Consumer advertising and promotions.

Mohamed Al Geziry Consultancy General Manager, Julie Muirhead, said “We are truly delighted to be representing Jordan in the Middle East. Jordan has grown as a highly desired destination with unique attractions, yet still has a large untapped potential to exploit as Middle East travellers become more aware of the diversity offered by the destination with its ease of access and short travel distance.”


“Jordan offers a unique range of natural landscapes, cultural and religious attractions in addition to its wide range of health wellness, entertainment and tour experiences. All of this in a safe, attractive and friendly environment where families and friends can freely explore and experience the very best that Jordan has to offer” says Muirhead.

“Jordan as a year round destination caters to all types of discerning travellers from the Middle East in both the leisure and business sectors.” advised Muirhead.

-Ends-

© Press Release 2009

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Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel Dubai successfully participates at ITB

European market is considered as one of the consistently growing key potential markets for Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel Dubai therefore the first presence at the show was increasingly important for the newly opened property.

Utilizing the exceptional networking facilities of ITB the hotel’s professional team promoted the property itself and StayWell Hospitality Group also to a global gathering of travel trade professionals and top decision-makers in tourism industry.

The delegation focused on potential European travelers and incentive groups, presenting an exciting range of promotional packages such as competitive room rates, tour packages for corporate and leisure travelers, special services for business meetings, conferences and seminars.

The property also introduced one of its initiatives, an aggressive promotional and marketing campaign, “Kids Go Free in Dubai” in partnership with Dubai Tourism Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Emirates and other stakeholders offering families an incredible saving when they visit Dubai with Emirates. Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel Dubai participates in the campaign running from 14th May to 30th September 2011 with extremely special promotional packages proving that the brand new property is a perfect destination for families chosing the property to stay in during the summer period.

“Our first participation at ITB was extremely beneficial in terms of networking, we had several opportunities to hold meetings with a diverse group of people, negotiate and conduct business with potential clients and explore new business ventures under one roof. StayWell Hospitality Group, the property itself and our team were keenly welcomed at the show and the initial feedback that was received from this exhibition was very promising as German tour operators indicated a very positive turn in the market and much interest in our property and the new products being offered.” commented Hassan Al Jawhari, Director of Sales and Marketing of Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel Dubai.

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