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Dubai is home to most vibrant creative sector in region, new survey reveals

DUBAI, 28th December, 2019 — A new survey on local perceptions of Dubai’s brand has revealed that the city is home to the most vibrant creative sector in the region.

The survey, which looked at perceptions of Dubai’s creative sector among UAE-based arts and culture professionals and consumers in comparison to other countries in the region, was commissioned by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority based on the parameters of an international index. In its key findings: 95 percent of respondents saw Dubai as having a vibrant creative sector, the highest rating in the region.

90 percent defined the emirate as “innovative” and 89 percent as “creative”.

82 percent of consumers favour Dubai’s homegrown culture and arts production to their home countries, while 90 percent are highly engaged in local culture and arts activities.

76 percent of Dubai-based art and culture professionals and 60 percent of art and culture professionals based in other emirates agree that Dubai’s ecosystem has developed enough for the creative sector to flourish, which marks the progress of the emirate in recent years.

H.H. Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, said: “Dubai’s ambitious cultural strategy puts the emirate on the fast track to become on par with global creative hubs, whether as a centre for culture, an incubator for creative ideas and businesses, or a forum for local and international talent to express and actualise their ambitions. Research to gain feedback on the sector’s successes, opportunities and challenges from locally-based creative professionals and enthusiasts is one of the most invaluable tools we have to work towards this vision.”

“The fact that our survey’s respondents ranked Dubai as the most vibrant creative city in the region is a true testament to the homegrown passion and talent we witness here. These results show that we are on the right path, and they also help us to identify the steps we need to take to support the ongoing development of the sector, such as investing in talent and creatives and setting new policies that facilitate a flourishing creative ecosystem. Through initiatives like the Global Grad Show, the Dubai Art Season, the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature, and Dubai Next, apart from new initiatives launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, as part of Dubai Culture’s new direction, we are working to maintain Dubai’s position as the number one creative sector in the region, enhancing our position as a global cultural centre,” She added.

The survey explored two key elements of Dubai as defined by the FutureBrand Country Index 2019: purpose (which include the country’s value system, quality of life, and business potential) and experience (heritage, culture, tourism, products and services, made in).

The FutureBrand index measured perceptions of Dubai among international communities, ranking it at 16th place in the 2019 Country Brand Ranking among 75 countries (coming up three places from 2014 and maintaining its 1st place within the Middle East) as well as ranking at 11th place on the ‘Most Influential City’ list. Dubai Culture’s survey mirrored the index’s approach to capture a complementary view of perceptions of Dubai among locally based creative communities.

The survey built on and customised the pillars of purpose and experience as defined by the index, to achieve an understanding of how Dubai’s cultural sector is perceived by UAE residents. Respondents then shared their opinions on the emirate’s creative sector, specifically relating to its offering, variety, evolution, and ecosystem.

The survey was conducted online, in English and Arabic, among 100 UAE residents who work in the creative sector across the different emirates, and 200 UAE residents between 21 and 65 years who have visited cultural attractions such as museums, theatres, and arts institutions (like Art Dubai, d3 and Alserkal Avenue) at least twice in the past 12 months.

The creative sector participants included architects, artists, film and TV producers, writers, fashion, graphic and interior designers, as well as advertising and marketing professionals.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Rabbi Amjad - December 30, 2019 at 11:32 am

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UAE jumps 10 spots in competitiveness rankings in 4 years

ABU DHABI, 29th December, 2019 — The UAE has jumped ten spots on the list of most competitive countries in the world during four years, acquiring 5th place in 2019 compared to the 15th spot in 2016, according to the annual World Competitiveness Ranking 2019 published by the IMD Business School.

The UAE has proven its standing as one of the world’s most competitive economies, going above and beyond in areas such as productivity, digital transformation and entrepreneurship.

The IMD World Competitiveness Rankings, established in 1989, incorporate 235 indicators from each of the 63 ranked economies. Information gathered from the indicators are then filtered into four core areas – economic performance, infrastructure, government efficiency and business efficiency.

The young nation also ranked in the top 5 in various sub-factors of the report, including tech regulatory frameworks, wireless broadband connectivity, management of cities, public-private partnerships and attitudes towards globalisation.

To become a global leader in international competitiveness arenas, the UAE government set out the UAE National Agenda, developed by over 300 officials from 90 federal and local government entities. The Agenda includes a set of national indicators in the sectors of education, healthcare, economy, police and security, justice, society, housing, infrastructure and government services.

These indicators are long-term, measure performance outcomes in each of the national priorities, and generally compare the UAE against global benchmarks. The national indicators are periodically monitored by Government leadership to ensure their targets are achieved by 2021 in which the UAE will celebrate its Golden Jubilee.

Indicators, like that of the IMD World Competitiveness Rankings, highlight the UAE’s growing ability to compete with advanced economies and join the list of top ten countries in the dynamic global landscape.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Rabbi Amjad - at 11:14 am

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Construction sector leads business activities acquiring licences in 2019

ABU DHABI, 26th December, 2019 — The construction sector has taken the lead in the top ten list of business activities that acquired licences in the UAE in 2019, according to the latest statistics issued by the UAE Ministry of Economy.

Three licences were being issued daily for both construction contracting and general commerce activities, following by restaurants, which acquired two licences daily, reflecting an increase after a period of slowdown.

The return of activity in various national economic sectors encouraged the UAE’s banking system to provide more financial support to these sectors in 2019.

A total of 1,050 licences were issued by local economic departments in all emirates for construction contracting businesses in 2019 while some 1,004 licences were issued to general commerce businesses.

Some 868 licences were also issued for hot and cold drinks businesses, as well as around 755 for new restaurants and 671 for dessert businesses.

The top ten list includes the transport sector, with 521 licences issued for transporting general materials by light trucks and 508 by heavy trucks, along with 429 licences to sell perfumes, 403 for retail clothing, and 390 for building cleaning services.

The total number of licences issued for the top ten businesses activities amounted to 6,599, accounting for 14.6 percent of new licences issued for all economic activities in the country in 2019.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Rabbi Amjad - December 28, 2019 at 12:52 pm

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Dubai is home to most vibrant creative sector in region, new survey reveals

DUBAI, 28th December, 2019 — A new survey on local perceptions of Dubai’s brand has revealed that the city is home to the most vibrant creative sector in the region.

The survey, which looked at perceptions of Dubai’s creative sector among UAE-based arts and culture professionals and consumers in comparison to other countries in the region, was commissioned by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority based on the parameters of an international index. In its key findings: 95 percent of respondents saw Dubai as having a vibrant creative sector, the highest rating in the region.

90 percent defined the emirate as “innovative” and 89 percent as “creative”.

82 percent of consumers favour Dubai’s homegrown culture and arts production to their home countries, while 90 percent are highly engaged in local culture and arts activities.

76 percent of Dubai-based art and culture professionals and 60 percent of art and culture professionals based in other emirates agree that Dubai’s ecosystem has developed enough for the creative sector to flourish, which marks the progress of the emirate in recent years.

H.H. Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, said: “Dubai’s ambitious cultural strategy puts the emirate on the fast track to become on par with global creative hubs, whether as a centre for culture, an incubator for creative ideas and businesses, or a forum for local and international talent to express and actualise their ambitions. Research to gain feedback on the sector’s successes, opportunities and challenges from locally-based creative professionals and enthusiasts is one of the most invaluable tools we have to work towards this vision.”

“The fact that our survey’s respondents ranked Dubai as the most vibrant creative city in the region is a true testament to the homegrown passion and talent we witness here. These results show that we are on the right path, and they also help us to identify the steps we need to take to support the ongoing development of the sector, such as investing in talent and creatives and setting new policies that facilitate a flourishing creative ecosystem. Through initiatives like the Global Grad Show, the Dubai Art Season, the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature, and Dubai Next, apart from new initiatives launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, as part of Dubai Culture’s new direction, we are working to maintain Dubai’s position as the number one creative sector in the region, enhancing our position as a global cultural centre,” She added.

The survey explored two key elements of Dubai as defined by the FutureBrand Country Index 2019: purpose (which include the country’s value system, quality of life, and business potential) and experience (heritage, culture, tourism, products and services, made in).

The FutureBrand index measured perceptions of Dubai among international communities, ranking it at 16th place in the 2019 Country Brand Ranking among 75 countries (coming up three places from 2014 and maintaining its 1st place within the Middle East) as well as ranking at 11th place on the ‘Most Influential City’ list. Dubai Culture’s survey mirrored the index’s approach to capture a complementary view of perceptions of Dubai among locally based creative communities.

The survey built on and customised the pillars of purpose and experience as defined by the index, to achieve an understanding of how Dubai’s cultural sector is perceived by UAE residents. Respondents then shared their opinions on the emirate’s creative sector, specifically relating to its offering, variety, evolution, and ecosystem.

The survey was conducted online, in English and Arabic, among 100 UAE residents who work in the creative sector across the different emirates, and 200 UAE residents between 21 and 65 years who have visited cultural attractions such as museums, theatres, and arts institutions (like Art Dubai, d3 and Alserkal Avenue) at least twice in the past 12 months.

The creative sector participants included architects, artists, film and TV producers, writers, fashion, graphic and interior designers, as well as advertising and marketing professionals.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Rabbi Amjad - at 12:48 pm

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Abu Dhabi Government, Aldar Properties agree to strategic land exchange transaction

ABU DHABI, 25th December, 2019 — The Government of Abu Dhabi and Aldar Properties have agreed on an exchange of land assets in a transaction that will see the redistribution of land resources suitable for development in accordance with both the Abu Dhabi Government and Aldar’s respective strategic priorities.

The agreement, implemented by the Abu Dhabi Department of Municipalities and Transport, contributes to the Government of Abu Dhabi’s strategy of closely collaborating with the private sector to manage real estate supply and ensure stable and sustainable development of the market. The real estate sector is a key enabler of sustainable growth and economic diversification in Abu Dhabi.

As per the agreement, which will be implemented from December 2019, land with total developable gross floor area, GFA, of approximately six million sqm will be exchanged.

The Government of Abu Dhabi will receive land on Al Raha Beach, Lulu Island and other land parcels on Abu Dhabi island in non-investment zones. Aldar will receive infrastructure enabled land plots in the Saadiyat Cultural District and Mina Zayed, which closely match the company’s key areas of focus for future development.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Rabbi Amjad - December 26, 2019 at 12:13 pm

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Dubai Culture launches first edition of Hatta Cultural Nights

DUBAI, 23rd December, 2019 — The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority announced the launch of the first edition of “Hatta Cultural Nights”, a cultural programme that will feature festive events and activities designed to introduce the community to the cultural fabric of the emirate and highlight the richness and values it embodies.

The event will be held at Wadi Hatta Park in the city of Hatta and will coincide with the 25th edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival on 26th December, 2019. It will run until 11th January, 2020. The programme opens from 16:00 to 22:00 from Sunday to Thursday, and from 16:00 to 00:00 on Friday and Saturday.

Hala Badri, Director-General of Dubai Culture, said, “There is a deep cultural and heritage value to this initiative, which is being held for the first time. It is a distinctive demonstration that reflects the spirit of oneness and diversity that Dubai as an emirate exemplifies. It upholds our vision of highlighting the richness that people from various countries living here impart to the overall cultural identity of the emirate. This is also reflective of the value of tolerance that the UAE has adopted since its establishment. It provides visitors with an opportunity to explore Dubai’s traditional side and this, in turn, helps us reinforce Dubai’s position as an epicentre of culture, an incubator of creativity, and a thriving hub of talent.”

Hatta Cultural Nights will feature folkloric paintings, folk songs, and folk dances, which will be presented by artists not only from the UAE but across the world in an effort to build constructive cultural bridges between people of various countries.

Fine art exhibitions will showcase artwork created by the people of determination, along with the market that will feature a unique collection of homemade brands, traditional Emirati food, and sweets. Majalis for Senior Emirates (male and female) will also participate to share their experiences in culture and heritage with the future generation.

There will also be a Gallery of Antique Doors, wherein different sections will tell a story that symbolises an era in the emirate’s ancient history. There will also be poetry evenings along with fun Emirati folk games, and workshops for children including activities such as face painting, henna painting, heritage competitions, and more.

Hatta Cultural Nights is being held in cooperation with the Dubai Municipality, the Community Development Authority, and the Sheikha Maitha Bint Rashid Al Maktoum Center for People of Determination.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Rabbi Amjad - December 24, 2019 at 1:39 pm

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Etihad Airways announces new seasonal flights to Malaga

ABU DHABI, 23rd December, 2019 — Etihad Airways has announced that it will launch new seasonal flights to Malaga in Spain, to meet strong customer demand from across the UAE and GCC for flights to the popular gateway to the province of Andalucía.

Three weekly flights will operate via the Moroccan capital, Rabat, from 26th June to 13th September, 2020.

Commenting on the announcement, Robin Kamark, Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “Malaga has been on our wish-list for some time and we are tremendously pleased to announce summer season services to the Costa del Sol, a region which for decades has been popular with travellers from across the United Arab Emirates. This will be the only service between the UAE and the main gateway to Andalucía.

“Together with Madrid and Barcelona, Malaga will be Etihad’s third destination in Spain, further boosting our successful operations to the Iberian Peninsula. The new flights will be operated by our next-generation 787 Dreamliners, ensuring we provide the best product and service to our customers heading on business or on holiday.”

Etihad Airways’ three-class version of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner features 8 private First Suites, 28 Business Studios and 190 Economy Smart Seats. The introduction of the aircraft will also provide new belly-hold cargo capacity between southern Spain and Abu Dhabi, and beyond to destinations on Etihad’s global route network.

The number of visitors from the UAE to Spain has been rising rapidly, thanks in part to a successful Schengen visa waiver programmer introduced for UAE nationals in 2015.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Rabbi Amjad - at 1:34 pm

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Etihad, Kuwait airways launch new codeshare partnership

ABU DHABI, 22nd December, 2019 — Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwaiti flag carrier, Kuwait Airways, have signed a codeshare partnership on selected services on bookings effective 22nd December 2019, for travel from 5th January 2020.

According to a statement by Etihad airways, the national airline will place its ‘EY’ code – subject to regulatory approvals – on Kuwait Airways operated flights from Abu Dhabi to Kuwait, Najaf and Dhaka.

“In turn, Kuwait Airways will place its ‘KU’ code on Etihad flights from Kuwait to Abu Dhabi, Belgrade, Casablanca, Rabat, Khartoum, Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi, Male in the Maldives, and Mahe in the Seychelles,” the statement added.

Commenting on the announcement, Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group, said, “This is a great first step in what we hope will be a mutually beneficial and growing relationship between Kuwait Airways, one of the region’s oldest and most experienced airlines, and Etihad, one of its youngest and most acclaimed. The joint network and product advantages of our codeshare collaboration with Kuwait Airways will create tangible benefits for our customers, building on the strong relationship between our two nations, while providing greater convenience and superior in-flight service and hospitality.”

He went on to say that the codeshare partnership gives the national airline “unprecedented access to important markets not served by Etihad, particularly to Iraq and Bangladesh.”

Kamel Al-Awadhi, Chief Executive Officer of Kuwait Airways, said, “We welcome Etihad as a codeshare partner. This new partnership will bring enhanced connectivity and increased convenience to our customers, who can expect the same level of impeccable service that they receive from our airline when they travel on codeshare flights to and from Kuwait to Abu Dhabi and beyond.

“The agreement will support Kuwait Airways and Etihad operations between our two capital cities and provide more travel options beyond both gateways,” Al-Awadhi added.

Etihad Airways currently operates five return daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Kuwait, and Kuwait Airways serves Abu Dhabi with a daily service.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Rabbi Amjad - December 23, 2019 at 10:54 am

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Etihad Cargo awarded ‘CEIV Fresh’ certification

ABU DHABI, 22nd December, 2019 — Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Airways, has become the second carrier to be awarded IATA’s Center of Excellence for Perishable Logistics, CEIV Fresh, in Abu Dhabi.

The new award elevates Etihad Cargo as the first Middle East airline to hold both of IATA’s CEIV Fresh and CEIV Pharma certifications, and one of the two carriers globally to claim this dual honour.

To secure the twin certifications within a frame of one calendar year, Etihad Cargo was required to meet global IATA standards, International requirements and best practices, as well as pass stringent food safety management protocols within Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point, HACCP, methodology.

Abdulla Mohamed Shadid, Managing Director Cargo and Logistics at Etihad Aviation Group, said, “Acquiring our second CEIV certification in a single year is a significant achievement for Etihad Cargo and underlines the product-specific quality of service we deliver across our global network. In-line with our commitment to offer a diverse portfolio of industry-leading products to Etihad Cargo’s global customers, FreshForward is destined for further investment and growth.”

Frederic Leger, Director, Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security Products, IATA, added, “Perishable goods is a growing market for air cargo. Ensuring that these delicate and short shelf-life products reach the customer unspoiled with minimal loss is essential.

“I want to congratulate both Etihad Cargo and Etihad Airport Services, EAS, in achieving the Center of Excellence for Perishable Logistics, CEIV Fresh, certification. CEIV Fresh certification provides stakeholders throughout the air cargo supply chain with the assurance that certified companies are operating to the highest quality and standards in the transport of perishable products.”

In addition to covering Etihad Cargo’s airline operations, the CEIV’s Fresh Certification also comprises cargo handling and warehousing at Abu Dhabi International Airport, AUH. With a multi-phased cargo infrastructure development strategy in place, including an expanded fresh facility, Etihad Cargo is committed to developing a Cool Chain Center of Excellence at its state-of-the-art UAE hub.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Rabbi Amjad - at 10:51 am

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Dubai tops list of tourism destinations during Christmas, New Year

ABU DHABI, 22nd December, 2019 — The world’s attention will be focused on Dubai during the Christmas and New Year holidays, as it tops the list of global tourism destinations, due to its rich tourism and entertainment options.

Local tourism authorities and travel companies point out that Dubai will host some five million tourists during the peak period of Christmas and New Year, when the emirate receives millions of visitors annually, especially when major events are taking place that are appropriate for all age groups.

Dubai is ranked among the top ten favorite international destinations in 2020 in the annual list of Lonely Planet, one of the leading international travel and tourism guides.

The emirate also boasts a variety of hotel options that are suitable for all budgets and provide comfort and entertainment.

Dubai is a cosmopolitan city with an architecture that combines modernity and originality. It also has an attractive view of the Arabian desert and many unique landmarks, and it hosts some of the largest and most unique tourism projects in the world, such as the largest dancing fountain and the tallest building in the world, the 163-floor Burj Khalifa.

It also has the largest artificial archipelago, the tree-shaped Palm Jumeirah, as well as water parks and numerous and diverse shopping malls. Among top tourism attractions in the emirate is the Dubai Miracle Garden, a 72,000 sqm garden boasting some 150 million flowers and plants arranged in a myriad of shapes and designs.

Dubai is famous for its leadership and its ongoing efforts to set new world records that will attract more visitors, as well as for its world-class shopping experience. In addition, the city will host Expo 2020 Dubai next year. In previous years, Dubai has succeeded in creating more tourist attractions, including the Dubai Eye, Al Shindagha Museum, a world-class art centre, and many others.

The Emirate of Dubai embraces many historic treasures, museums and heritage areas, including the Grand Jumeirah Mosque, the Dubai Museum, traditional markets and Al Seef on Dubai Creek.

Dubai also has many prominent projects under construction, which, upon completion, will add to its list of attractions, including the site for Expo 2020 Dubai and the Museum of the Future, which is a unique incubator for exploring the future of science, technology and innovation with a unique concept, by employing Arabic calligraphy.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Rabbi Amjad - at 10:47 am

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First-ever cruise turnaround conducted at Fujairah Port

ABU DHABI, 18th December, 2019 — Fujairah Terminals, wholly-owned by Abu Dhabi Ports, has celebrated the official start of the 2019-2020’s cruise season with the first-ever cruise turnaround conducted at Fujairah Port.

The recent call by the Marella Discovery, a cruise liner operated by TUI UK, at Fujairah Terminals marked the first time a visiting vessel dropped off arriving guests and welcomed new visitors during the ship’s stay at the port.

To facilitate the turnaround call process, Fujairah Terminals established a temporary Cruise Terminal to oversee the movement of visitors. The fit-for-purpose facility features a passenger hall, luggage-handling area, and has onsite traffic and logistics support for travellers transferring to and from Dubai World Central airport.

AbdulAziz Al Balooshi, Acting CEO of Fujairah Terminals, said, “For the first time at Fujairah, we conducted a cruise turnaround call to celebrate the start of the 2019-2020 cruise season.

“This event marks a key moment for the emirate and is a culmination of all the hard work done in close collaboration with our government partners to support cruise operations, while at the same time elevating Fujairah’s place as a top destination within the global cruise market.”

Noura Rashed Al Dhaheri, Cruise Terminal Manager at Abu Dhabi Ports, said, “We are excited to announce the official start of cruise season here in Fujairah with the arrival of Marella Discovery. The ship is the first of 16 cruises scheduled to arrive for the season, which is slated to end on 15th May 2020.

“Starting with seven cruises back in 2016, the number of annual cruise calls has increased significantly over the past few years, highlighting the growing popularity of Fujairah as a top travel destination, and Abu Dhabi Ports’ commitment to growing the cruise market in the UAE.”

Since receiving the first cruise ship back in 2016, Fujairah Terminals has experienced a steady increase in the number of calls each year. Expecting to receive 16 cruise calls during the 2019-2020 season, the cruise terminal has recorded a 185 percent increase in the number of cruises over the past four years.

Marella Discovery features 11 decks with 918 cabins and can transport up to 1,800 guests.

Embarking on a two-week cruise after leaving Fujairah, Marella Discovery is set to stop in Abu Dhabi. From there, the ship will continue with several excursions planned in Oman and India, before finally arriving in Cochin, India.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Rabbi Amjad - December 19, 2019 at 1:02 pm

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New Year’s Eve destinations: Where do people from the UAE like to travel to the most?

According to airlines and booking companies, here are the top destinations for residents

Dubai: New Year’s Eve is the one night a year when the entire world comes alive to celebrate.

While many UAE residents love to spend New Years’ Eve right here in Dubai, some will go abroad to experience something new.

Agooda, a fast growing digital travel platform, analysed their data and revealed that UAE residents chose Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Tokyo as their destinations-of-choice to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

UAE residents rate Dubai as their top NYE destination
Dubai clinched top spot for the fourth consecutive year that Agooda have conducted this study. It is the most popular destination for UAE residents to celebrate in, due to the fireworks displays across the emirate and the variety of outdoor activities that are available during this time of year, especially because the weather is at its best.

Dnata’s Head of Retail and Product, Emily Williams also confirmed that despite the large amount of traveling done by UAE residents during New Year’s Eve, many of them like to stay here. “UAE travellers are certainly travelling abroad more, and more adventurously. Yet, domestic travel within the UAE remains the most popular choice. With a wealth of world-class hotels and resorts on our doorstep, it isn’t surprising that residents across the country want to experience the long-standing, iconic properties and latest openings for themselves.”

The next most booked destinations to celebrate the New Year for UAE residents included Tokyo, Goa and Singapore. Another top Asian destination was Bangkok. Interestingly, in 2018, London was the number two most booked destination to visit for New Year’s Eve from the UAE, but has now dropped to number seven.

“Outside the UAE, dnata Travel has seen its highest number of bookings to the UK, Maldives, Thailand and Turkey – countries which have remained ever-popular choices for UAE travellers,”Williams told Gulf News. “This year, the highest growth in bookings overall has been to one particular destination – Russia. At just over a five-hour flight time from the UAE and with its cooler climate, a lift on visa restrictions, and it being an affordable option – travel to Russia has witnessed a massive spike at the end of 2019. The largest cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg have proved most popular, being at the center of the country’s rich history, famous art and architecture, grand buildings from palaces to metro stations, and beautiful, untouched nature, alongside excellent hotels and restaurants.”

Gulf News also spoke to Vishnu Rajendran, the Area Manager in the Middle East for Cathay Pacific, who said “Manila is one of our most prominent routes over this New Year season. We see a large number of residents either flying home for the festive season or tourists attracted by the numerous activities taking place across Philippines during December and early January.”

Tokyo is another key destination that UAE residents love to visit during New Year’s Eve. “This comes with little surprise given the level of celebrations which take place in the country. Ringing in the New Year is frequently billed as the most important holiday in Japan with festivities going all through the night coupled with the extravagant firework displays and feasts on offer,” Rajendran said to Gulf News.

The data from tajawal revealed Europe as a top New Year’s Eve destination for UAE flyers. Muzzammil Ahussain, Executive Vice President of tajawal told Gulf News “This upcoming holiday season, we are seeing a rise in flight bookings to far-flung destinations as UAE travellers explore Paris, Amsterdam, Munich, Frankfurt Rome and London. There is also a boom in the bookings to Istanbul in Turkey. We also observed a growth in the demand of four-star and three-star accommodations with 39 per cent and 34 per cent of total bookings, respectively. Luxury 5-star accommodation reservations are also strong at 23 per cent as increasing numbers of people seek more premium experiences.”

Top 2019 New Year’s Eve Destinations (based on Agoda Booking Data)

  1. Dubai
  2. Abu Dhabi
  3. Tokyo
  4. Goa
  5. Ras Al Khaimah
  6. Bangkok
  7. London
  8. Paris
  9. Singapore
  10. Al Ain

Turkish Airlines has also revealed the top travel destinations of 20202, which include London right at the top, followed by fellow UK city, Manchester, then over to Frankfurt in Germany. Then the order jumps over to Manila, Mumbai, Paris, New Delhi, Almaty Dusseldorf at number nine and Munich as the top 10 destinations of 2020 as they’ve studied industry trends.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Rabbi Amjad - at 12:54 pm

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Metro timings to and from Dubai Airport extended over peak travel period

From December 19 to January 6 five million passengers will pass through DXB

Dubai: Dubai Metro services to and from Dubai International Airport will be extended during peak travel periods, it was announced on Wednesday.

The joint plan between Emirates airline, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Police, Dubai Customs, the General Directorate of Foreign Residency Affairs (GDRFA) and Dubai Airports is in a bid to ease traffic with over five million people expected to pass through the airport from December 19 to January 6.

Passengers are recommended to check-in online prior to arriving at the airport during this period, and to make use of the quick-baggage drop counters at the terminal. Passengers should arrive at the airport at least three to four hours prior to their flight.

Between December 27-28, the Red Line between Rashidiya and DMCC stations will run from 5am to 3.30am, while all stations on the Green Line will be open from from 5.30am to 3.30am.

From December 31 to January 1, the Red Line between Rashidiya and DMCC stations will be open 24 hours, and all stations on the Green Line will be open 24 hours.

On January 2-3, the Red Line between Rashidiya and DMCC stations will be open from 5am to 3.30am, and all stations on the Green Line will be open from 5.30am to 3.30am.

To ease congestion on roads leading to the airport, Dubai Police will provide detours for traffic.

All passengers are requested to adhere to the displayed instructions and guidance to and from the airport.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Rabbi Amjad - at 12:34 pm

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Watch New Year’s Eve fireworks from a Dubai Abra or Water Taxi

Special offers from RTA to watch displays from all Dubai marine transit modes

Stunning fireworks extravaganza awaits marine transit riders on New Year’s Eve.

Dubai: The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched special offers and premium services to watch New Year’s Eve firework displays aboard marine transit modes, such as the Dubai Ferry, Waterbuses, Water Taxis and Abras.

Mohammad Abu Baker Al Hashmi, Director of Marine Transport at RTA’s Public Transport Agency, said, “Watching stunning firecrackers from the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab and Atlantis during a charming tour of the Dubai Waterfront is bound to bring unforgettable memories to marine transit riders including residents, visitors and tourists.

The traditional Abra that carries passengers across Dubai Creek

“Individuals interested in availing this service can call RTA’s dial-free number (8009090) or send e-mail to (wtbook@rta.ae) to learn more about the Water Bus, Water Taxi, Dubai Ferry and abra journeys. Water Taxi and Dubai Ferry cruises will start from 09:30pm on the New Year’s Eve and continue up to 01:30am (of the following day). The Water Bus and abra trips will start at 10:30pm and end at 01:30am (of the following day). The air-conditioned abra will offer services from the Marina Mall station (Dubai Marina) at a fare of Dh125 for adults, while children under two go free,” he added.

RTA’s marine transit fleet on Dubai Water Canal

Dubai Ferry trips will start from Marina Mall Station (Dubai Marina), Ghubaiba Station (Dubai Creek) and Aquarium Marine Station (Sharjah). The fare is Dh300 for silver class and Dh450 for gold class, with 50 per cent discount for children aged two to 10, and free for infants (less than two). Abra journeys will start from Dubai Festival City, Jaddaf Station and Ghubaiba Station at a fare of Dh125 for adults, and free for infants under two. Water Taxis will start off at Marina Mall Station (Dubai Marina) at a fare of Dh450 per person, and free for children under two. Chartering the entire boat will cost Dh4,500,” said Al Hashmi.

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UAE weather: Overcast skies, light rain and rough seas today

Rainfall was reported early morning in many places of the UAE

Parts of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, and the Jais mountains, as well as islands in the northern region, will receive light rainfall today. Picture used for illustrative purposes only

Keep your umbrellas ready, it might rain today. According to the National Center of Meteorology, it will be “partly cloudy to cloudy at times with a chance of rainfall over some coastal and northern and eastern areas, with another drop in temperature.”

Parts of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, and the Jais mountains, as well as islands in the northern region, will receive light rainfall.

Rainfall was also reported early morning in many places.

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