flydubai looks to boost trade and tourism links with India | Travel Daily ME

Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO, flydubai

Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO, flydubai

India will soon witness increased focus on growing trade and tourism links from UAE. The recent flydubai inaugural flight highlighted this trend with its new connections to Delhi, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.

There has been consistent and positive growth of Foreign Tourist Arrivals FTA from the Middle East to India over the last three years. This has primarily been as investment, tourism and trade ties continue to strengthen between the two regions.

Sudhir Sreedharan, senior vice president – commercial GCC, Subcontinent and Africa for flydubai said: “Tourism, investment and trade between India and UAE are important economic drivers. Since we started flying to India in 2010 there has been strong demand for our flights.”

His Excellency Mohamed Sultan Abdalla Al Owais together with business leaders attended a dinner in Delhi to mark the commencement of flights. Business Class will be available on all three new routes in India too.

via flydubai looks to boost trade and tourism links with India | Travel Daily ME.

KSA & UAE travellers are top mobile online users in Middle East – Zawya

Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions

50% of Saudi Arabian and 35% of UAE travellers use smart phones to access online services

mark_2014_04_29The Arabian Travel Market’s (ATM) Travel Technology Theatre which runs alongside the ATM exhibition from Monday 5 to Thursday 8 May 2014 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, will focus its attention on the effect mobile and internet penetration is having on the regional travel industry.

Sponsored by Sabre, the travel technology solutions provider, this year’s series will feature four sessions that will specifically examine the effect of mobile devices on regional online booking patterns and the action and future direction that marketing professionals need to take.

Commenting about a report on travel trade website Tbnooz.com, Mark Walsh Portfolio Director at Reed Travel Exhibitions, the organiser of ATM, said:

“Of the regional travelers who generally plan their trips online, 48% had used a smart phone during the previous 12 months to carry out travel-related activities, a figure that rises to 69% if tablets are included. Indeed, 50% and 35% of Saudi and UAE travelers respectively access online services via their smart phones, presenting travel professionals with tremendous marketing opportunities, using mobile channels.”

However, the Middle East’s online, let alone its mobile travel market, is only scratching the surface. Given the region’s demographics, in particular a young growing population, and the fact according to Cisco, the number of mobile devices in the Middle East and Africa will rise exponentially from the current 133 million to 598 million devices by 2017, the trend is likely to accelerate in the years ahead.

One session, ‘The impact of mobile in travel’ which is being moderated by Nick Hall from the digital tourism think tank, will no doubt intensify the competition between regional and national tourism organisations, which will have to maintain a competitive edge when creating their digital marketing strategies. To that end an innovative “fish tank” interactive debate will engage global thought leaders to identify the opportunities and solutions that will help secure the future of tourism destinations.

An interesting seminar run by PhoCusWright Inc, entitled ‘Middle East travel online today, mobile tomorrow’, will look at several local and global brands already competing in the emerging online travel space, as well as highlighting that the mobile channel is almost virgin territory and travel companies need to create loyalty or risk being left behind such is the pace of change. Globally more than 40% of online traffic related to travel enquiries now come from mobile devices including tablets, says HeBS Digital, while tablets are preferred for booking future travel according to Mobiquity research.

‘How airlines and other travel companies have approached and are succeeding on mobile’ is a dedicated session presented by Kara Moddemann, industry manager, travel MENA at Google, for the airline and related travel agency sector. This will make delegates aware of how travelers use mobiles to research, book and share their travel experience, as well as how to reach them with relevant marketing messages. Typically 44% of travellers will use their smart phone to research travel while they are actually travelling, according to a JiWire travel report.

‘Mobile in today’s online experience’ is the final panel discussion that will examine how travel organisations can adapt to mobile marketing, such as ensuring websites are mobile optimised, as well as learning some tips of how to use social media platforms that are prominent in the mobile space. According to Atmosphere research Group, a shopper will visit 22 websites before booking a trip.

“The growing travel technology trend is also evident on the exhibition floor with a record 72 exhibitors participating this year, covering more than 2,000 square metres of floor space, a 22% increase over last year,” remarked Walsh.

In total the Sabre Travel Technology Theatre will cover 18 hi-tech sessions, with 34 industry experts voicing their opinion, through a series of presentations and panel discussions.

via KSA & UAE travellers are top mobile online users in Middle East – Zawya.

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Amadeus to Showcase connected, personalised and sustainable travel solutions at ATM 2014 |

Tuesday, April 22 – 2014 @ 09:34

Amadeus-182x212Amadeus, a technology partner for the global travel industry, has announced its 13th consecutive annual participation at Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the Middle East’s premium travel and tourism exhibition. ATM 2014 is set to run from 5 – 8 May at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Amadeus’ new corporate branding and identity, ‘Let’s shape the future of travel’ will be on spectacular display at ATM 2014. Amadeus will additionally leverage its presence at the region’s definitive travel exhibition to establish effective collaborations with customers and partners towards positively and sustainably impacting the travel landscape.

Exhibiting at stand TT6020 in the Technology Hall at ATM 2014, Amadeus will introduce visitors to its latest range of travel technology products and solutions aimed at empowering travel partners to ‘Connect, Serve and Manage’ their business. In addition, the travel-technology expert will highlight solutions designed to meet the demands of the next generation traveller, a key focus area for the industry today.

The solutions include enhancements to its market leading mobile platforms and technological solutions that enable travel agents to go online and corporations to provide self-service travel tools. Amadeus’ new traveller alert technologies will also be on display along with a Social Media Suite that enables travel agencies to engage more actively with their customers.

Antoine Medawar, Vice President, Middle East and North Africa, Amadeus, said: “To the amadeus new logo on bluenext generation traveller, connectivity, personalisation and sustainability are paramount, and as service providers in an end-user driven industry, we need to be geared to meet these demands. Amadeus has been working relentlessly over the years to observe, understand and anticipate the changing end-user dynamics that directly impact travel trends.

“Our research has enabled us to design comprehensive solutions that equip the industry to serve their customers in a mutually satisfying and sustainable manner. ATM 2014 provides the ideal opportunity for Amadeus to showcase our portfolio of avant garde travel technology solutions that enable our customers to stay well ahead of the competition in an increasingly dynamic trade environment.”

Amadeus will host a press conference on Day 2 of ATM – Tuesday, 6 May – to highlight its Travel Intelligence and Big Data Tools. Given the relevance of market intelligence for all types of travel agents, Amadeus will demonstrate the integration of its leading Big Data technologies into the travel agency environment for improved decision making and productivity. Senior company executives will also share significant travel trends with the media.

As part of its participation at ATM 2014, Amadeus will also conduct two seminars on 6 and 7 May, gathering customers, travel industry players as well as the media. Headlined ‘Big Data and Advertising’, the first seminar will focus on ways to leverage Big Data to rapidly obtain market insights, and subsequently optimise promotional spending by utilising all available platforms.

The second seminar, ‘The Future of Online Travel in MENA’, will provide an overview of the online travel landscape in the MENA region, and share insights gained via Amadeus’ new travel intelligence tool. Visitors to the Amadeus stall at ATM 2014 will also receive a sneak-peek of Amadeus’ soon-to-be published research paper ‘The Future of Travel in the GCC’.

An event with high regional relevance, Arabian Travel Market 2013 witnessed a participation of more than 8,473 exhibitors and over 21,000 visitors, 77% of them from the GCC countries. ATM 2014 will serve as a perfect platform for Amadeus to reinforce its position as a leader in the global and regional travel market with the purpose of shaping the future of travel.

Contact:

Tara Basrur

APCO Worldwide

+971 4 369 2831

Anushka Kadam

APCO Worldwide

+971 4 361 5435

via Amadeus to Showcase connected, personalised and sustainable travel solutions at ATM 2014 |.

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World’s first Arabic iOS travel metasearch app launched by Wego

World's first Arabic iOS travel metasearch app launched by WegoSingapore, 25 March, 2014 – Wego, the leading travel metasearch site in the Asia Pacific and Middle East, today launched the world’s first dedicated flights and hotels travel metasearch mobile app in Arabic for iOS.

“The response from GCC countries to Wego’s fully Arabised site has been overwhelming,” said Mohamad Ibrahim Masri, Managing Director, Wego Middle East and North Africa.“This is particularly true of mobile and tablet users, so it made complete sense to invest in a fully localised version of our mobile app, especially where experts predict an almost 14-fold increase in MENA mobile data traffic by 2018.”“

The app for iOS comes complete with right to left language support Arabic RTL support for android coming soon, for comfortable navigation of Wego’s extensive global metasearch platform, available in multiple currencies, displaying both local and global air services and accommodation options.”“Wego was the first comprehensive travel metasearch site to be launched in the Middle East, also in Arabic, at http://www.wego.ae in 2012,” added Masri. “We continue to build valuable partnerships with local travel tourism businesses in the region including Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, GulfAir, Musafir, ArabRooms and more to be announced shortly.

”Tourism businesses can now also use their own branded version of Wego’s metasearch platform on mobile in Arabic, using Wego’s APIs available through the Wego Affiliate Network http://www.wan.travel.Wego’s free travel metasearch app was recently launched in the company’s core markets and is rapidly gaining traction; ranking number one new travel app in Singapore, China and Thailand, number two in India, and in the top 100 travel apps in 20 countries

.“We’ve had very positive reviews of the application so far and the download momentum is continuing to accelerate,” said Matthew Varley, Wego’s Chief Operating Officer.“There were a number of challenges that we faced in developing an authentic user experience in Arabic that would meet the expectations of the local market,” Varley continued. “We spent a great deal of time consulting our Arabic speaking colleagues so that every minute detail was reviewed and verified. We paid careful attention to numbers, calendars, currencies and labels and the complexities of tools required for right to left translation, screen transition directions and swipe gestures were all a huge challenge.”“We’re very proud of our product team, made up of mostly English speakers, who, in conjunction with our MENA colleagues, were able to produce such a high quality app in Arabic which is one of the most challenging languages in the world in terms of translation.”“Wego has now be

via World’s first Arabic iOS travel metasearch app launched by Wego.

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How 16 Middle Eastern Airlines’s Social Efforts Stack Up – Skift

With global ad campaigns starring international sports stars, is it any surprise that Turkish Airlines‘ Twitter followers are more than double the next closest Middle Eastern airline?

What may be surprising is that Turkish Airlines is one of the least active and engaged of its regional peers on social media, and that airlines like Nasair and Jazeera Airways have a better grasp on Twitter than growing global giants like Etihad and Emirates.

Using numbers collected from SkiftSocial, we looked at how and how often airlines based in the Middle East tweet and talk to their passengers. In some cases carriers have accounts in multiple languages or targeted to one geographic area. We focus on airlines’ English-language Twitter accounts.

via How 16 Middle Eastern Airlines\\\’ Social Efforts Stack Up – Skift.

Airlines Twitter Followers Daily Tweet Rate
Turkish Airlines (Turkey) 327,869 0.9
Saudia Airlines (Saudi Arabia) 138,360 12
Qatar Airways (Qatar) 104,849 13.8
Nasair (Saudi Arabia) 83,003 18.9
Jazeera Airways (Kuwait) 36,644 1.3
Royal Jordanian Airlines (Jordan) 34,341 12.8
Etihad (UAE) 25,916 2.9
Oman Air (Oman) 18,724 3.1
Gulf Air (Bahrain) 15,882 1.2
Egyptair (Egypt) 13,717 11.1
Emirates (Dubai) 13,471 0
El Al (Israel) 10,106 0.8
Tunisair (Tunisia) 3,254 0.6
FlyDubai (Dubai) 2,032 0
RAK Airways (UAE) 1,593 0.7

AirGuideOnline.com — Saudi Arabia places a large order for the iconic London black cab

Saudi Arabia has become the latest Middle Eastern country to place a major order for the iconic London black cab.

The kingdom’s Ujra Holding Company has ordered 200 black taxis and 200 in assorted colours, according to BBC News.

They are due to be delivered by the end of the year.

Dubai also has ordered 200 black taxis, according to the London Taxi Company, which manufactures the cars.

“We’ve got a very good business partner in the Middle East and he’s developed the London Taxi concept into Riyadh in particular,” London Taxi Company vice president Peter Johansen said.

“People prefer to use our taxis over the local taxis because they’re more comfortable and, in particular, in Saudi women are treated slightly differently from the west.

“Because our taxi provides a segregated compartment, separate from the driver, ladies in Saudi are allowed to use our taxis on their own, whereas they’re not allowed to use the local taxis.”

The company said it was also in talks with Azerbaijan.

Abu Dhabi and Bahrain also made large orders of the taxis in 2007 and 2008, respectively, as a tourism initiative, although as yet they have not put the cars on the road.

via AirGuideOnline.com — Saudi Arabia places a large order for the iconic London black cab.

Abu Dhabi and TUI join forces to target buoyant Indian market

ABU DHABI – Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and TUI, one of the world’s leading leisure travel companies, have teamed up to stage a month long destination campaign in New Delhi to further bolster Indian visitor numbers to the emirate. It is the first large-scale consumer facing activation for TCA Abu Dhabi in the Republic since opening its dedicated promotions office there early this year and reinforces the two organisations’ commitment to the Indian market – the largest overseas catchment for the emirate this year in terms of hotel guests. Dubbed ‘Abu Dhabi Month’, the campaign, which runs throughout August in the dedicated TUI flagship store at the Indian capital’s hugely popular Select Citywalk Mall, will see a number of marketing and online activations staged, including in-store branding and collateral as well as Abu Dhabi banners on the TUI website and a joint e-marketing campaign. – See more at: http://www.traveldailynews.com/news/article/56246/abu-dhabi-and-tui-join#sthash.uA2MqIER.dpuf

via Abu Dhabi and TUI join forces to target buoyant Indian market.

Emirates becomes the first Airline in the Middle East to use Google Now™ | Emirates United Arab Emirates

DUBAI, U.A.E., 6th August 2013: Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines today announced that it will start to roll-out Google Now™ cards for their passengers who book via Emirates.com.

A feature of the Google Search™ app, Google Now is available and fully integrated for Android™ (devices running Android 4.1 and above) and iOS (iPhones and iPads).

via Emirates becomes the first Airline in the Middle East to use Google Now™ | Emirates United Arab Emirates.