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INDIA TOURISM, DUBAI

INDIA TOURISM, DUBAI

1. The Ministry of Tourism, under the “Incredible India” banner, would be showcasing the immense tourism potential of the country – business, leisure and medical value travel in Dubai. More than 20 participants from India, representing the travel trade, diversity of Heritage, Nature, Culture and Wellness tourism are participating in the India Pavilion set up by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India at ATM – 2018.
2. India Pavilion has participants representing the State Tourism Departments of Kerala, Air India, Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Hoteliers/Resorts, Wellness, Spas and Ayurveda Centres, who would be showcasing innumerable tourism products of ‘Incredible India’
3. The theme chosen for ATM-2018 is “Adventure, Yoga & Wellness Tourism”. One of the highlights of the ‘Incredible India’ being showcased at ATM-2018 is the depiction of India as a multi-faceted tourist destination for Luxury, Wildlife, and Wellness / Medical Tourism. India has 36 World Heritage Sites which include historic monuments and natural wonders and are being promoted by the tour operators.
4. The Indian tourism outlook is very promising with an upswing in the growth of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India in the recent years. In 2017, India received 10.18 million FTAs with a growth rate of 15.6%. The Gulf and the Middle East region are an important market for India. There has been a consistent and positive growth of Foreign Tourist Arrivals from this region to India over the last 3 years with the year 2017 having registered an overall growth of around 10% over the previous year. The aim is to maintain the same pace of growth rate in international tourist arrivals over the next 3 years including Middle East through a multi-pronged approach, including proactive marketing strategies in partnership with our tourism stakeholders. Some of the countries, particularly the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman, Egypt, Turkey and Sudan have registered a significant growth and are emerging as major tourism generating markets for India from this region.
5. India has emerged as a Destination for Medical / Wellness Travel in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The percentage of Foreign Tourist Arrivals visiting India for Medical Treatment has been increasing over the years and growing rapidly since year 2000. India is poised to become a hub for medical tourism because of several factors viz. world class hospitals with latest technology; highly skilled Indian physicians and surgeons; cost effective treatment; excellent quality of care and nursing; less waiting time for availing of medical services; traditional healthcare therapies like Ayurveda & Yoga combined with allopathic treatment providing a holistic wellness destination.
6. India has a rich and diverse Natural, Cultural and Religious Heritage which provides a unique opportunity for tourism, from the architecture of India’s temples, palaces, forts, to the grandeur of its sculptures, and the beauty of its paintings, from mountaineering to meditation, yoga to white water rafting in the Ganges, Brahmaputra, or in any of India’s mighty rivers, all offer an unparalleled experience to the visitors. Seventy Three percent of the Himalayas are in India. The Indian Himalayas are a complete destination in themselves and span across six states of India namely, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and the hill regions of West Bengal To improve infrastructural facilities in the country, the Ministry of Tourism has launched a new scheme for the integrated development of thematic circuits.

7. The Ministry of Tourism has also taken the initiative of identifying, diversifying, developing and promoting nascent / upcoming niche tourism products viz. Golf Tourism, Adventure, MICE & Cruise Tourism. India’s advantage in respect of promoting cruise tourism is the long coastline from Gujarat to West Bengal and strong positioning of ports that has natural advantage to the country in attracting international cruise liners. Another advantage for India is its proximity to already popular cruise destinations in the South Asian region. There is enormous potential in the country to develop cruise tourism, both international and domestic and the Ministry of Tourism is making all efforts to promote this segment by developing required world class cruise infrastructure. With the aim to promote India as a year-round destination, attract tourists with varied interests and ensure repeat visits, it was recently decided to do away with bio metrics for e-visa passengers at the sea ports to ensure that passenger movement out of the ship is expedited.
8. To promote Adventure Tourism to India and to create awareness about the varied adventure options available, the Ministry of Tourism has decided to celebrate the year, 2018 as ‘The Year of Adventure Tourism’. Dramatic Himalayan landscapes in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, each dissected by raging rivers, provide the perfect geography for adventure sport such as white water rafting, rock climbing, skiing, low and high altitude trekking, canyoning and paragliding and horse polo, and water sports such as scuba diving, parasailing, kayaking and canoeing in Kerala, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Lakshadweep and Andamans.
9. One of the regions in focus is the North Eastern region of India which comprises the eight States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. Promotion of tourism of the North Eastern States of India with its rich and diverse tourism products viz. a variety of attractive flora and fauna and also home to the unique Asian one horned Rhino, is being given special emphasis. This area is also becoming popular with tourists for River Cruises. The rich natural beauty, serene landscapes and rare flora and fauna are the main attractions in these areas.
10. The Ministry of Tourism promotional website www.incredibleindia.org is available in Arabic, Chinese (simplified), French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish languages. Other IT related initiatives include availability of guided, multimedia and interactive walking tours. The Ministry of Tourism is also active on Social Media with its own popular Face book, Google Plus pages, YouTube channel and Twitter handles, Instagram, Pinterest, Vimeo, Periscope and LinkedIn.
11. One of the priorities of the Government of India is the Safety and Security of both Domestic as well as International Tourists traveling in India and accordingly, several measures have been taken in this regard. The launch of a 24×7 Toll Free Tourist Helpline in 12 International languages including German is a big step in this direction. This Helpline is available on the existing Toll Free Number 1800111363 or on a short code 1363 for dialing in India. Ministry of Tourism has also taken steps to sensitize drivers, guides and other stakeholders to highlight the theme of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ which means ‘Guest is God’.
12. The Government of India has taken path breaking initiative to liberalize the Visa Regime by providing easy access to visitors to the country in the form of e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) which was launched in November 2014. The e-Tourist Visa facility, now extended to 163 countries (including Jordan, Oman, Palestine & UAE), has led to the ease of travel to India. During the year 2017 total of 16.97 lakh tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 10.80 lakh during year 2016 registering a growth of 57.2%. E-Visa is now available under three sub-categories i.e. ‘e-Tourist Visa’, ‘e-
Business Visa’ and ‘e-Medical Visa’. The window for application under e-Visa has been increased from the existing 30 days to 120 days and the duration of stay in India under e-Visa has been increased from the existing 30 days to 60 days. Complete list of countries is available on https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html and 18599 & 34134 visitors travelled from UAE to India and e-visa in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The total number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals from UAE saw a rise from 67165 during 2016 to 68045 during the year 2017 (provisional) with an increase of 1.31%.
13. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is taking new initiatives with a new marketing strategy. With the launch of “Incredible India 2.0 Campaign”, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is engaging with all stakeholders to ensure widespread publicity to offer maximum support to its tourism industry and to highlight India’s diverse range of tourism products.
14. A new Incredible India website is being developed with a view to provide an enhanced experience to visitors. The new Incredible India website will have a range of features, such as personalization, responsive designs, social media marketing, content creation and management. Google through their Arts and Culture initiative is partnering with the Ministry of Tourism in enriching the new website with 360 degree videos, museum views, etc.
15. Diverse tourism products are our strength and India Tourism along with all our tourism stake holders will be working hand in hand to take Incredible India to greater heights.

MOBIKON EXPANDS ITS PRESENCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

MOBIKON EXPANDS ITS PRESENCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Restaurant solutions start-up aims to add more 2000 more customers in the region

Mobikon, the leading AI-driven consumer engagement and predictive analytics SaaS platform for the food and beverages (F&B), continues its global expansion plans to serve more restaurants and establishments worldwide, especially in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE has over 16,000 F&B outlets and is expected to increase to over 19,000 by 2020, representing the highest number of F&B outlets, per capita, in the world[1]. Mobikon sees this as an opportunity to further expand its business in the Middle East.

Establishments in the UAE currently using Mobikon’s solutions include Citymax Group, Zaroob, 800 Pizza, and Majestic Hotels.

Mr. Kumar Katra, President of Business Development at Mobikon, said, “The UAE is a highly-promising market for us due to the considerable boom in its F&B scene. Based on our observations, we are now seeing more establishments leveraging technology to better engage consumers and differentiate themselves within a highly-competitive market while improving cost and efficiency as well automating customer engagement & marketing. By scaling-up on our services in the UAE, we are continuing on our journey to build an integrated global AI- driven customer engagement and analytics platform for the F&B industry.”

Participating in the ‘Restaurant Show Middle East’ event in Dubai on 14-15 April 2018, the restaurant solution start-up highlighted the involvement of technology in driving restaurant business more efficiently. At the event, Mobikon emphasised the importance of artificial intelligence (AI), big data, global customer profile and marketing automation to restaurant owners and managers, to drive more business and get better engagement & marketing ROI.

Headquartered in Singapore, Mobikon provides a single dashboard – for the entire range of restaurants  including quick service, fine dining, pubs and lounges, casual dining and cafés – which allows for intelligent customer engagement, smart insights, and automated marketing with operational integration across ordering, reservations, feedback, payments and point-of-sale (POS) platforms. Mobikon’s proprietary platform, mEngage, is the only platform which allows F&B marketers to have a 360-degree and a global view of their customers and provide automated lifecycle marketing which helps to improve revenues by 12 percent, increase customer loyalty, drive targeted and result oriented marketing and provide seamless consumer experience.

To date, Mobikon has since grown and established its presence to nine countries, including Singapore, India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Malaysia and the Philippines, servicing over 700 restaurants brands and 3,400+ food outlets worldwide. The leading brands currently using Mobikon’s solutions include; Citymax Group, Zaroob, 800 Pizza, Majestic Hotels (UAE), Minor Group (Singapore), Shakey’s Pizza (Philippines) and the Bistro Group (Philippines), as well as; LiteBite Foods, Pan India Foods, Pind Speciality Restaurants (Mainland China Group), Billion Smiles and Jaypee Group (India).

In October 2017, Mobikon raised USD7 million in Series B funding to penetrate deeper in existing markets and strengthen its leadership team in the UAE, among other markets.

SalamAir expands Dubai operations

SalamAir commenced operations with daily flights between Oman and Dubai International Airport.  With prices starting from just under AED 252 (one way), guests can now book their tickets on www.SalamAir.com

The new route will complement the airline’s current flight to Al Maktoum International Airport until 28 October 2017, when the airline has set plans re-route all flights to Dubai International Airport. SalamAir will be operating daily morning and evening services to and from Terminal 2 with the first flight departing at 10:50 and returning at 17:30.

Captain Mohamed Ahmed, CEO of SalamAir, said: “The number of passengers traveling between Muscat and Dubai has been growing exponentially over the past years. Our decision to introduce these direct flights is a result of the increasing demand and we are confident that, backed by our easy fare options and convenient travel times, we will further help increase connectivity between Oman and the UAE.”

Today, SalamAir’s network includes Muscat, Salalah, Suhar, Dubai, Jeddah, Karachi and Sialkot.

 

Emaar showcases the ‘Address Harbour Point’

Emaar Hospitality Group has highlighted the locational advantage of its Address Harbour Point project. The new mega-development is in the heart of Dubai Creek Harbour and just 10 minutes from Dubai International Airport.

The property operated by Address Hotels + Resorts will offer 202 rooms and suites and is part of a 1.4 million sq ft development that will also feature Address Residences Harbour Point – a collection of branded apartments, as well as retail and food and beverage outlets.

The Address Harbour Point comprises two towers, 65 and 53 storeys each. Address Residences Harbour Point will offer a choice of one, two, three and four-bedroom homes and an exclusive ‘Sky Collection’ of four- and five-bedroom penthouses on the upper levels.

Olivier Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Hospitality Group, said: “The mega-development is billed to be a popular tourist and lifestyle destination. The project stands out for its design, waterfront location, views and a wide range of amenities.”

Emaar Hospitality Group now has 11 operational hotels and three serviced residences in Dubai under Address Hotels + Resorts; Vida Hotels and Resorts and Rove Hotels.

Emirates connects to Hanoi

Emirates commenced daily direct flights from Dubai to Hanoi saving approximately 2hrs 30mins of travel time.

The first direct flight EK394 from Dubai departed at 03:30hrs and arrived at Noi Bai International Airport at 13:05hrs local time. The new non-stop service is operated with a two-class configured Boeing 777-300ER with 42 seats in business class and 386 seats in economy class.

The return flight, EK395, departs from Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport at 01:30hrs and arrives in Dubai International Airport at 05:05hrs.

Emirates touches down in Phnom Penh

Emirates expanded its presence in Southeast Asia with launch of a new daily linked service from Dubai to Phnom Penh in Cambodia, via Yangon in Myanmar.

This new service is operated with a Boeing 777 aircraft, broadens the airline’s network in Southeast Asia to 13 cities in eight countries. Phnom Penh is the first destination within Cambodia to be served by Emirates.

Badr Abbas, Emirates’ senior vice president, commercial operations Far East, was on-board the inaugural flight with a number of senior executives of the airline and a VIP delegation.

Flights to Phnom Penh will depart daily from Dubai International Airport at 0915hrs local time, arriving in Yangon at 1725hrs. It will depart Yangon at 1855hrs, before arriving at Phnom Penh International Airport at 2125hrs.

 

Emirates partners with BMW Group

Emirates has partnered with BMW Group to provide luxury automobiles for its complimentary chauffeur-drive service for business class passengers in the UAE.

The new fleet, featuring BMW 520i touring cars, are being rolled out progressively from now until the end of the year, as the previous fleet of cars are retired. This fleet upgrade is part of Emirates’ ongoing investment in product and service both on ground and on board.

The service complements Emirates’ worldwide lounge offering with seven located in Dubai International Airport’s concourses A, B and C, and 34 dedicated lounges in other major airports across the globe. The airline also recently introduced ‘pay-per-visit’ lounge access, enabling Emirates Skywards members and guests travelling on Emirates to enjoy the lounges at Dubai International Airport and abroad.

Key management changes at Emirates

Mohamed Khoory, manager Iran, Emirates

Mohamed Khoory will be taking on the role as manager Iran. He joined Emirates in 2011 as part of the UAE National Management Programme for commercial operations. He held commercial support roles in India and the United States before taking on the role as district manager in Dammam, KSA. More recently, he held the role of manager Jordan and West Bank, heading the market’s commercial and business development activities.

Abbas A Haji, Vice President Hub Operations for SkyCargo, Emirates

Emirates has appointed Abbas A Haji as vice-president hub operations for SkyCargo. In his new role, Abbas will be managing Emirates SkyCargo’s hub operations in Dubai at both Al Maktoum International Airport and Dubai International Airport. He joined the Emirates Group in 1977, working for dnata Cargo. He has held several positions across the group since then and previously held the role of Vice President Iran, Iraq and Central Asia, running the airline’s commercial operations activities in multiple markets.

Sultan Alriyami, manager Jordan and West Bank, Emirates

Sultan Alriyami, manager Jordan and West Bank, Emirates

Emirates has appointed Sultan Alriyami to drive its commercial priorities in the market as well as build on the airline’s business performance as Manager Jordan and West Bank. Sultan joined Emirates in 2014 as part of the UAE National Trainee Management Programme for Commercial Operations. Since then, he has held commercial support roles in Singapore, and more recently in Iran.