Donald swings golf in Dubai

February 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Middle east, News

DUBAI, 20 February 2017: The American president’s sons opened the Trump International Golf Club Saturday as Dubai hosted the first foreign launch of a venue bearing Donald Trump’s name since he took office.

The Trump International Golf Club, developed in the glitzy Gulf city state by luxury real estate firm DAMAC Properties, was inaugurated by the billionaire’s sons Eric and Donald Jr.

The event marks the Trump Organisation’s first public overseas launch since the president’s 20 January inauguration. Read more

Air Arabia reports loss

February 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

DUBAI, 10 February 2017: Air Arabia, the Middle East’s largest low-cost airline, announced, Thursday, its first-ever quarterly loss, blaming challenging market conditions and overcapacity.

The UAE carrier reported a net loss of 33 million dirhams (USD9 million) in the last three months of 2016, while revenue dropped 15% to 814 million dirhams.

Earnings of the Sharjah-based carrier “were impacted by (a) continuous drop in yield margins as a result of the overcapacity deployed in the market and the slow growth environment in major economic hubs,” said Air Arabia chairman Sheikh Abdullah al-Thani. Read more

Dubai tourism grows 5%

February 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Middle east, News

DUBAI, 8 February 2017: Dubai welcomed a record 14.9 million visitors in 2016, the city’s tourism department said, Tuesday, as the Gulf emirate capitalised on its reputed safety in a region wracked by turmoil.

The city-state, one of seven sheikhdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates, aims to attract 20 million visitors annually by 2020 when it hosts the global trade fair Expo 2020.

As turmoil hits traditional tourism destinations in the Middle East and North Africa, Dubai has benefitted from its reputation as a safe haven for tourism and business. Read more

Oman launches budget airline

January 31, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

MUSCAT, 31 January 2017: Omani budget carrier SalamAir launched operations, Monday, becoming the latest Gulf airline competing for the region’s low-cost travel market.

The airline said it began operations with a domestic flight from the southwest city of Salalah to the capital Muscat.

In addition to the domestic market, SalamAir will fly to Dubai, as well as Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, and Karachi in Pakistan, chairman Khalid al-Yahmadi told reporters. Read more

Dubai accelerates passenger traffic

January 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

DUBAI, 26 January 2017: Dubai International cemented its title as the world’s busiest airport for international passengers in 2016, with a 7.2% increase in travellers to 83.6 million, its operator said Tuesday.

Dubai Airports said “near record numbers” in December had pushed annual traffic at the Gulf hub to 83,654,250 passengers, compared with 78,014,838 in 2015.

The airport, which serves as the home of Emirates airline, became the world’s busiest in terms of international passenger traffic in 2014. Read more

Etihad’s Hogan steps down

January 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

DUBAI, 25 January 2017: Australian James Hogan is to stand down as head of the Etihad Airways group, the company said Tuesday, as the Abu Dhabi-based carrier struggles with investments in European airlines.

After piloting the state-owned Gulf airline through more than a decade of growth, Hogan will leave his post in the second half of 2017, Etihad Aviation Group said in a statement.

Hogan was the architect of a strategy that saw Etihad buy significant stakes and make major investments in other airlines, notably Air Berlin and the long-struggling Alitalia. Read more

Nakheel and Centara joint venture

January 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Hospitality, Middle east, News

DUBAI, 24 January 2017: UAE real estate developer Nakheel and Thai hotel group Centara Hotels and Resorts signed, earlier this month, a joint venture agreement to build and operate a 550-room, beachfront resort with waterpark at Deira Islands in Dubai.

Under the agreement, signed in Bangkok, by Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah and Centara chairman Suthikiati Chirathivat, the two companies will deliver an upscale resort on a prime stretch of beach on Deira Islands – Nakheel’s new, 15.3 sq km, tourism, leisure, retail and entertainment hub.

Nakheel’s joint venture with Centara is the latest development in the company’s aggressive expansion into Dubai’s hospitality sector and its second international joint venture for Deira Islands. The first, an 800-room, AED900 million all-inclusive resort and waterpark with Spain’s RIU Hotels & Resorts, was confirmed in February last year. Read more

Saudi low-cost airline buy aircraft

January 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

RIYADH, 17 January 2017: Low-cost Saudi carrier flynas on Monday signed an USD8.6-billion deal with European plane manufacturer Airbus to purchase 80 A320neo single-aisle jets.

Flynas chairman Ayed al-Jeaid said at a ceremony in Riyadh that the deal includes an option for 40 more of the short to medium-haul planes, to cater for what airline executives described as a growing domestic market.

Bander al-Mohanna, the chief executive of NAS Holding, of which flynas is a division, signed the agreement with Fouad Attar, Middle East director for France-based Airbus. Read more

Bomb hoax grounds plane

January 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

KUWAIT CITY, 16 January 2017: A German plane carrying 299 passengers made an emergency landing in Kuwait on Sunday over a hoax bomb threat, authorities in the Gulf emirate said.

The aircraft was operated by Eurowings, a low-cost carrier owned by Lufthansa, that competes head-on with Ryanair and Easyjet.

The aircraft was travelling from Salalah in Oman to Cologne in Germany when the captain requested an emergency landing. Read more

Qatar closed 2016 flying high

January 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

DOHA, 12 January 2017: Qatar Airways celebrated a successful 2016 through strategic investments, fleet and partnership expansion claiming it will add another 14 destinations to its network over 2017 to 2018.

At a time when airlines are downsizing, Qatar Airways inaugurated 14 new destinations across its global network and welcomed 19 new aircraft to its fleet, taking the count to 192.

The airline in a review of 2016 said it had made strategic investments in other airlines and airline groups. Read more

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