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Travel & Hospitality

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


Saudi giga-projects: ‘enough work for every sector of the industry’

While much of the global economy is reeling from a sharp slowdown in growth, Saudi Arabia recorded a GDP growth rate of 8.6 percent in the third quarter this year, with its economy being propelled forward by ambitious projects in its tourism sector.  The Red Sea Global (RSG) giga-project, which comprises the kingdom’s flagship tourism […]


Saudi targets superyacht owners with Neom’s Sindalah launch

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the development of Sindalah on Monday, the first luxury island destination in the $500 billion giga project Neom. A main gateway to the Red Sea offering bespoke nautical experiences, Sindalah is expected to start welcoming guests from early 2024.  It is anticipated that the development will create 3,500 […]


UAE goes vintage with classic car race and centre for collectors

The UAE and supercars have been synonymous for decades, with the very latest luxury models frequently spotted on its roads – but a new industry of classic cars is also gaining speed. This weekend the country plays host to 100 classic cars from around the globe in the first ever UAE edition of Italy’s 1,000-mile […]

Airport, Jet, Airplane

Dubai’s first passenger drones to fly in 2024

A senior Dubai sheikh has signed a deal with a Hungarian aviation firm to manufacture passenger drones in the UAE, with the first aircraft due to roll off the production line in early 2024. Sheikh Rashid Bin Ahmed Al Maktoum’s RAM Investment Ltd will partner with Jakabszállás-based Genevation Aircraft Ltd to build the drones as […]

Diriyah Saudi

Global hotel brands rush to be part of Saudi tourism push

International hotel brands are flooding into Saudi Arabia as the transformation of Diriyah, the birthplace of Saudi Arabia, gathers pace. Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA), responsible for the Diriyah project, has announced the addition of 16 new global hotel brands to its hospitality portfolio.  This brings the total of hotel management agreements to 32, with […]

Europe’s Ryanair in talks to expand into Egypt and Libya

Europe’s largest airline by passenger numbers, Ryanair, is in talks with authorities in Egypt and Libya about operating flights to the countries for the first time, chief executive Michael O’Leary said on Tuesday. Ryanair’s only flights outside of Europe currently are to and from Morocco, Israel and Jordan. Its Hungary-based rival Wizz, which flies to […]

Food, Snack, Fries

KFC Mena franchisee generates $105bn in orders for dual IPO

Americana Restaurants, the Middle East and North Africa franchisee of KFC and Pizza Hut, has set the final offer price for its upcoming initial public offering at $0.71 per share in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the UAE state-owned WAM news agency reported. The dual listing on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and the […]

Part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 is to increase tourism

Saudi may open military airspace as part of $100bn aviation drive

Saudi authorities may open up some restricted military airspace to accommodate a surge in civilian flights, as part of the kingdom’s $100 billion investment to handle 330 million passengers a year by the end of the decade. Only 56 percent of Saudi airspace is open to civil aviation, with the remaining 44 percent used for […]

Dubai Airports ups 2022 annual passenger forecast to 64.3m

Dubai Airports has increased its annual forecast for passenger traffic at Dubai International (DXB) to 64.3 million following its strong performance in the third quarter and the prospects of a stronger surge in the offing in the final three months of 2022, the UAE state-owned WAM news agency reported. Average monthly traffic exceeded the six-million […]

Formula One fans pack the stands for the Bahrain Grand Prix in March. The 2022 race had a record attendance

Bahrain to gain 1,000 extra tourism jobs in next three years

Bahrain’s tourism sector is expected to gain more than 1,000 jobs after the Gulf kingdom attracted direct investments of $291 million during the first nine months of 2022. The Bahrain Economic Development Board said the investments came from eight travel and hospitality-related companies expanding or entering Bahrain for the first time. They are expected to […]

Fanfare for first flight from Israel to Qatar for World Cup

Balloons festooned the departure gate for the first commercial flight between Israel and Qatar on Sunday, permitted by Doha for World Cup fans despite a lack of formal bilateral relations. While the excitement was mainly at being able to attend the soccer tournament, for which Israel did not qualify, with such surprising ease several passengers […]

TUS Airways gets nod for Israel-Qatar flights during World Cup

Cyprus-based TUS Airways has received final permission to operate non-stop flights to Qatar from Israel during the soccer World Cup, a source at TUS told Reuters on Friday. In all, TUS will operate six flights between Tel Aviv and Doha, beginning on Sunday, the source said. FIFA announced last week that Qatar would admit the […]

Israel deploys diplomats to World Cup to help fans settle

Israel has sent diplomats to help its citizens attending the World Cup in Qatar and plans to launch temporary direct flights to Doha on Sunday as the countries find a measure of accommodation for the soccer tournament despite having no formal relations. Between 10,000 and 20,000 Israelis are expected at the month-long matches in the […]

Atlantis Palm

UAE hotels likely to see record occupancy and room rates in Q4

Hotel occupancy and room rates across Dubai and Abu Dhabi are likely to hit record levels in the remainder of 2022. And the UAE is setting its sights on attracting an extra AED 100 billion ($27.23 billion) in tourism investments by 2031. Key performance indicators continue to show resilient levels, despite total hotel visits still […]

Qatar airport’s final expansion phase to start in early 2023

The final phase of Hamad International Airport (HIA) expansion will start early next year, Qatar Tribune newspaper reported, citing Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker. The expansion will increase the airport’s annual capacity to up to 75 million passengers. Phase A of HIA’s expansion plans is now ready for the much-anticipated FIFA World […]

Qatar Airways and Airbus clash over regulators at London hearing

Airbus and Qatar Airways skirmished on Friday over relations with aviation watchdogs and a deluge of confidential documents as legal claims over grounded jets hit $2 billion. Filling a large courtroom in the London High Court, the latest procedural hearing in a high-stakes contractual and safety dispute laboured over the intricate details of ‘shared drives’ […]

Las Vegas’s Wynn Resorts confirms Gulf’s first casino in RAK

Las Vegas’s Wynn Resorts will build a casino within its hotel complex on Ras Al Khaimah’s Marjan Island, the company’s CEO confirmed in an analysts call this week. Wynn announced plans back in January for the multibillion-dollar resort, which it said would be completed by 2026 and feature more than 1,000 rooms, a shopping mall, […]

Chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline Group, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum

Emirates Group hires 10% more staff following record profits

Emirates Group reported a record half-year profit on Thursday despite fuel costs trebling as passenger numbers soared and customers opted for premium seats.  The Dubai-based conglomerate, which includes Emirates Airline and travel agent dnata, attributed its performance to strong demand for air travel following the gradual easing of Covid 19-related restrictions worldwide.  Middle East airlines reported […]

Egypt needs to portray itself in a different way to attract tourists

Egypt solves riddle of how to attract 30 million tourists

Egyptian tourism minister Ahmed Issa has said that the country has worked out plans to attract 30 million tourists.  “Egypt has always felt that it deserves 30 million tourists and the challenge that has been given to me as a problem solver [is to] figure out what to do and what needs to be done,” he […]

Israel to start self-driving public bus pilot programme

Israel has launched a two-year pilot programme in which four companies will operate self-driving public buses in a bid to ease road congestion, the country’s innovation authority said. The authority, along with the transportation Mministry and Ayalon Highways, chose four groups – including Egged, Israel’s largest bus operator – that will start running independent autonomous […]

Emirates confirms order of five new Boeing jets worth $1.7bn

Dubai-based Emirates has announced a firm order for five new Boeing 777-200LR freighter aircraft worth over $1.7 billion at list prices. Two units will be delivered in 2024, while the remaining three units in 2025, the airline said in a statement. The agreement takes the airline’s total order book to 200 wide-body aircraft. Sheikh Ahmed […]