DUBAI, 24 March 2017: Travellers across the Middle East expressed frustration Wednesday at a ban on large electronic devices for flights to the United States and Britain that has sparked confusion and speculation.
From Saturday, passengers on flights to the United States and Britain from major hubs in Turkey and the Arab world will have to check in any device larger than a smartphone, including laptops and tablets.
The United States and Britain have cited intelligence indicating passenger jets could be targeted via explosives planted in electronic devices. Read more
BANGKOK, 15 March 2017: Gulf Air is backing the 2017 Skal Asian Area Annual Congress and General Assembly in Bahrain with a 30% discount on fares to Bahrain for all delegates.
Skal members and their guests attending the 46th Asian Area Congress, this May, receive a discount code when registering. The code applies to selected fares in economy and business class available on the Gulf Air website.
“This is a fantastic gesture by Bahrain’s national carrier and it reflects the importance of our forthcoming congress in a tourism destination that is growing in popularity,” said Skal Asian area president Robert Sohn. Read more
BANGKOK, 9 March 2017: Despite the US president signing off on a revised travel ban, Monday, Iran’s deputy foreign minister says Iran’s “retaliatory decision” over Trump’s initial travel ban remain in place.
The semi-official ISNA news agency quoted deputy foreign Minister, Majid Takht-e Ravanchi as saying that the measures Iran implemented over the initial Trump executive order last January US entry is “still in force” and that there is “no need for a new decision.”
Iran had previously said it would reciprocate by banning Americans from getting visas to visit Iran, after the country was listed on the travel ban. Read more
BANGKOK, 27 February 2017: Egypt says it is delaying an increase in its tourist visa until 1 July, mainly due to pressure from the tourism industry that said the move would damage tourism.
Struggling with the task of winning back tourist confidence, Egypt’s Ministry of Interior has taken the unusual step of more than doubling tourist entry visas from USD25 to USD60. It was supposed to be introduced 1 March.
The country’s State Information Service announced the changes that prompted a strong backlash from the country’s travel industry. Read more
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
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, 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
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, 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
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