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Travel & Hospitality

Travel & hospitality news from the Middle East. All the important stories, plus authoritative opinion and analysis.

PIF and Cain invest $900m in hotelier Aman Group

Saud Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and London-based real estate investment firm Cain International said on Monday they had invested $900 million in luxury hotel group Aman, which Cain said valued Aman at $3 billion. The PIF and Cain said, in separate announcements, the investment would support Aman Group’s “global expansion of ultra-luxury hotels and […]

Tokyo diners can nosh on food at ‘Stranger Things’ cafe

Japanese fans of the sci-fi hit “Stranger Things” can chow down on demonic pasta and rock out to retro 1980s tunes at a pop-up cafe inspired by the Netflix Inc horror drama. The shop, a partnership with local restaurant chain Pronto Corp, recently extended its run in the fashionable Shibuya district of Tokyo several months […]

Sharjah unveils holiday home project to diversify revenue

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has launched “Holiday Homes Project,” which aims to offer a framework to allow residents to lease their apartments to tourists and visitors. The move is in cooperation with several government and private companies to diversify the sources of income for the hospitality sector, WAM, the UAE state-owned news […]

The sky’s the limit for cloud kitchens in the Gulf

While many businesses suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic, cloud kitchens – companies that prepare food solely for home delivery without having sit-down restaurant space – were beneficiaries of the online ordering boom. The GCC has been a hotspot for this growth with companies including Sweetheart Kitchen, Kitopi, KLC Virtual Restaurants and kaykroo overseeing delivery […]

Korean Air to resume flights to Israel in January

Korean Air Lines will resume non-stop flights to Israel in January with a Seoul to Tel Aviv route, Israel’s Tourism Ministry said on Thursday. Korean Air, which stopped its flights to Israel due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, will operate three weekly flights on the route, it said. The ministry noted […]

Emirates ‘flies against grain’ with $2bn investment pledge

Emirates president Sir Tim Clark has taken a swipe at his rivals, pledging to invest $2 billion while claiming others are cutting costs in response to industry pressures. The Dubai airline plans to enhance its inflight customer experience, including a programme to retrofit over 120 aircraft with the latest interiors, plus an array of other […]

Crushed by war, Syrian tourism eyes expat uptick

Somar Hazim had high hopes when he opened a hotel in Damascus in 2009, adding to a growing number of boutique guest houses in the Old City that were proving to be a hit with tourists, before war broke out and forced him to close down. Although security returned to Damascus years ago, big-spending foreign […]

Oman’s hotel revenues surge 121.4% in H1 2022

Revenues of hotels in Oman surged 121.4 percent year-on-year to reach 83.36 million rials ($217 million) by the end of June 2022 year-on-year (YoY), state-owned Oman News Agency reported, citing the National Centre for Statistics and Information. The number of guests in the three and five-star hotel categories increased 44.6 percent YoY in the first […]

Saudi PIF joins France’s Ardian to bid for Heathrow stake

French private equity firm Ardian is looking at a possible joint proposal with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) to buy Spainish firm Ferrovial’s 25 percent stake in London’s Heathrow, Reuters reported, citing informed sources. The sources said that Ardian has talked with its own advisers on a possible joint proposal with the Saudi sovereign […]

Shortfall of skilled staff could hamper GCC tourism goals

The GCC’s tourism sector is forecast to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022, generating revenue of $26.3 billion, but experts question whether future growth could be stymied by shortages in the region’s skilled hospitality workforce.  UAE-based investment banking advisory firm, Alpen Capital, said the sector registered a 74.8 percent growth over the past year, adding […]

Manama goes all out to woo international holidaymakers

If the number of people that poured into Bahrain in March for the Formula 1 Grand Prix is any guide, the country’s tourism prospects look bright. One observer reported seeing more private jets at the airport than ever before, and the race-day attendance of 35,000 fans was a record. Those signs of revival from the […]

Airplane, Aircraft, Transportation

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi to resume flights to Russia in October

European budget airline Wizz Air will resume flights from Abu Dhabi to Moscow from October, it said on Thursday, more than five months after the carrier suspended all services to Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February. The airline’s Abu Dhabi-based joint venture, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, will operate the daily flight from October […]

Building, Water, Shoreline

Dubai receives 7.1m tourists in first half of 2022

Dubai attracted 7.12 million international overnight visitors between January and June 2022, recording more than 183 percent year-on-year growth, UAE state news agency WAM reported, citing the latest data from Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET). According to the DET data, the number of tourists received in H1 2022 was close to the numbers […]

Middle East air traffic takes off in June on global tourism revival

Middle Eastern airlines reported a 246.5 percent year-on-year rise in passenger traffic in June 2022, driven by a continued recovery in international traffic, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a new report. International revenue passenger per kilometres (RPKs) currently stands at 25 percent below its level in June 2019 for the regional airlines. […]

Meet the Irishman selling ice in the desert

In the ever-competitive Dubai bar and restaurant market, a new supplier has launched this week, aiming to offer venues another unique selling point: high quality, hand-cut ice. Since he officially launched on August 1, John Gillespie, founder of Artisan Ice Co., has been targeting the top 30 venues in the city and he said the […]

Package Delivery, Cardboard, Box

Kuwait’s Agility finalises $924m buyout of UK aviation firm

Kuwait’s Agility, one of the largest Gulf logistics companies, said on Thursday it has finalised its £763 million ($924.37 million) acquisition of British aviation services company John Menzies. Agility said it will combine the acquisition with its National Aviations Services (NAS) and the deal values Menzies at approximately £571 million on a fully diluted basis […]

Dubai Aerospace uncertain of getting planes back from Russia

Major airplane lessor Dubai Aerospace Enterprise said on Thursday it didn’t know if it would ever get back 19 jets leased in Russia after Moscow passed a law allowing for hundreds of jets to be seized in response to Western sanctions. The Dubai state-owned lessor reiterated that it had written off $576.5million (AED2.12billion) for the […]

Saudi Arabia open airspace to more flights serving Israel

Cathay Pacific and Air Seychelles have overflown Saudi Arabia for Israel flights for the first time, aviation data showed on Thursday, after Riyadh announced last month it would open its airspace to all airlines, paving the way for more overflights to and from Israel. Opening Saudi airspace to flights to and from Israel was a […]

Airplane, Aircraft, Vehicle

UAE’s Etihad confirms Airbus A350 freighter order

European planemaker Airbus said that Abu Dhabi state-owned carrier Etihad Airways has confirmed seven new generation A350F freighters jets. The freighters will upgrade Etihad’s freight capacity by deploying the most efficient cargo aircraft available in the market, Airbus said in a press statement on August 4, 2022. This order of the A350F sees the UAE […]