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Travel & Hospitality

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

Emirates says ‘substantial’ ticket revenue still trapped in Nigeria

Dubai-based Emirates has a “substantial” amount of ticket sale revenue trapped in Nigeria, a spokesperson said. The airline declined to release the amount trapped in Nigeria, however, the spokesperson added about half of the amount in its backlog was overdue for repatriation, Reuters reported. The process “remains beset with constant delays”, the airline added. Nigeria’s […]

women, air hostesses

VistaJet continues to fly high from Qatar World Cup

Private jet operator VistaJet has seen enduring business benefits from the Qatar World Cup, staged at the end of 2022. It witnessed a 146 percent year-on-year increase in its Qatar flights in 2022, driven by a 561 percent rise in December compared to the same month in 2021. Demand at the Dubai-based company has continued […]


Nigeria says most funds repatriated to Dubai’s Emirates

Emirates has got most of its funds out of Nigeria and has around $35 million that still needs to be released, aviation minister Hadi Sirika said. President Muhammadu Buhari in February directed the central bank to increase the amount of foreign currency allocated to Emirates after the airline suspended flights to and from Nigeria because it […]

Aircraft, Airplane, Transportation

Saudi Arabia launches second new airline

Saudi Arabia has announced its second new airline in a matter of weeks with the launch of Neom Airlines. The carrier will solely serve the $500 billion Neom city in the north west of the kingdom. The first flights for tourists, residents and commercial partners are scheduled to take off in the fourth quarter of […]

Jordan tourism

Tourists beginning to catch on to more than the wonder of Petra

Given the Hashemite kingdom’s surfeit of historical sites – from the Nabataean city Petra through the natural beauty of Wadi Rum to the Roman towns of Jerash and Gadariyya – Jordan could be forgiven for being blasé about the need to market its tourism attractions more aggressively.  But the authorities in capital Amman are determined […]

Aircraft, Flight, Transportation

Interim approval granted for Qantas-Emirates alliance

Australia’s competition regulator has granted interim approval for Qantas Airways and Dubai’s Emirates to continue their passenger and cargo transport alliance. Qantas and Emirates’ existing deal, which was granted in 2018, is set to expire on March 31, 2023, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said in a statement. Under the current agreement, both airlines […]

Abu Dhabi International airport: residents in the UAE are happy to travel again following the lifting of Covid restrictions

UAE embraces travel again as Ramadan airfares spike

Airfares from the UAE to key expat locations have increased over the Ramadan period as a new report shows that residents in the Emirates have the biggest appetite for travel. A global survey of 18 countries by research firm YouGov, carried out in November last year, found that 58 percent of UAE respondents said travel […]

Blazer, Clothing, Coat

India resists allowing Gulf carriers to increase air traffic to its cities

India is resisting calls from both Dubai and Kuwait to increase their national airlines’ flights to the subcontinent’s fast-growing aviation market. The country wants its own domestic airlines to offer non-stop long haul flights rather than increasing air traffic from Emirates and Jazeera Airways, its civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia told Reuters on Tuesday. “The minute […]

Paolo Barletta, CEO of Arsenale, with Saudi Arabia Railways chief Bashar Al Malik

Italian travel company to invest $75m in Saudi luxury train

An Italian hospitality company is investing around €70 million ($75 million) to develop the first luxury train for “rail cruising” across Saudi Arabia. Arsenale Group has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia Railways to introduce the train on a 770-mile route from Riyadh to the northern city of Al Qurayat, close to the border with […]

buildings, light, medinah

Marriott signs deal with Saudi firm for eight Madinah hotels

American hotelier Marriott International has signed a deal with Rua Al Madinah Holding Company to open eight hotels in the Saudi Arabian city of Madinah. Located close to the Prophet’s Mosque, Al Masjid An Nabawi, the openings will add 4,400 rooms across the eight Marriott brands. The expansion forms part of the Rua Al Madinah […]


$5bn extra Ramadan spending splurge predicted in UAE

People in the UAE are upbeat about shopping and dining out more this Ramadan despite inflationary pressures and an elevated cost of living. Retail sales are set to rise to $66 billion over the holy month, up $5 billion compared to last year, a study by India-based Redseer Strategy Consultants says. It said that constant […]

Qatar Airways planes

New UK tourist visa set to boost GCC trade corridor

Visitors from Qatar will be the first to benefit from the new UK tourist visa scheme, ahead of a worldwide expansion of the scheme throughout 2024.  Qatari visitors will be the first to be able to apply for an electronic travel authorisation (ETA) in October. The rest of the GCC and Jordan can apply for […]


Emirates in expansion drive as new Saudi rival orders 72 jets 

Dubai’s flag carrier Emirates is doubling down on plans to expand its route network and flight capacity as competition for air travel in the Middle East sharpens with the launch of Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Air.  Emirates said in a statement on Tuesday it has boosted operations by 31 percent based on available seat kilometre (askm […]

Tony Douglas, CEO of Riyadh Air

Riyadh Air set to spark price war among regional rivals

Saudi Arabia’s new national airline is bound to intensify the rivalry between Gulf carriers, analysts have said, and price wars are likely. Riyadh Air, which is wholly owned by the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, was launched on Sunday and will be run by aviation veteran Tony Douglas. The carrier’s first international flight will take off […]

Airport, Clothing, Footwear

UAE firms at forefront of fuelling sustainable aviation

Emirates operated its first flight with one of its engines powered entirely with sustainable aviation fuel last month – a milestone for UAE firms as they seek to lead the industry towards decarbonisation.  The flight, which took off from Dubai International Airport and flew for more than an hour, was a showpiece event for the […]

Remote working visas in the UAE are opening the door for more rentals in the region

Landlords benefit as UAE and Saudi embrace Airbnb model

The UAE’s introduction of a remote working visa and Saudi Arabia’s plan to allow residents to rent out rooms in their homes has led to the Gulf embracing the Airbnb model and a boom in the short-term rental sector. In March 2021 the UAE cabinet introduced a remote work visa, allowing workers to set up […]