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Abu Dhabi International Airport marks highest passenger traffic increase in airport’s history

Abu Dhabi International Airport marks highest passenger traffic increase in airport’s history

4170Abu Dhabi Airports today reported a year of solid growth

in 2014, setting new annual records in passenger figures, aircraft and freight traffic.

During the year, the airport welcomed around 20 million inbound, outbound and transfer passengers, representing an annual growth of 20% - the highest ever in Abu Dhabi International Airport’s history. The airport handled 154,821 traffic movements, up 14.5% compared

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to last year. Cargo throughput rose 12.8% year on year, reaching 797,069 million tonnes.

Commenting on these numbers, H.E. Ali Majed Al Mansoori, Chairman of Abu

Dhabi Airports, said: “Abu Dhabi Airports is

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global position as a key player in various dynamic industries, including aviation, both through offering excellent services for passengers, and by increasing capacity to meet the continuing growth in demand. The continuing growth in passenger numbers translates this ambition as it strengthens Abu Dhabi’s position as a growing global transportation hub. Travelers are increasingly choosing to make Abu Dhabi their final destination or stopping point, whether for business or for pleasure, and we will maintain our commitment to improving their experience at Abu Dhabi International Airport, applying imagination and innovation to everything we do. This will be seen in all of our operations, not least in the Midfield Terminal Project, which is making excellent progress towards its opening in 2017.”

In 2014 two new airlines joined Abu Dhabi International Airport; the Greek Aegean Airline and Nikki Airways from Austria, and a further 12 new destinations were added during the year. The top five destinations from Abu Dhabi were India, Germany, United Kingdom, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Last month, the airport re-opened its newly renovated Southern Runway as part of its expansion plans in preparation for the iconic Midfield Terminal Complex (MTC) becoming operational in 2017. The Southern Runway is now fully functional alongside the parallel Northern Runway. Together, both runways will reach a total combined capacity in excess of 500,000 aircraft movements annually making Abu Dhabi International Airport one of the largest two-runway operations in the world.

Figures for the month of December 2014 show that the airport ended the year on a high note. Passenger traffic was up 21.7% with 1,833,868 million travelers compared to December 2013. Cargo tonnage was up 5.6% to 69,736 tonnes. The number of aircraft movements went up by 17% to 14,105 movements. December was the airport’s second busiest month of the year following August 2014 .

Al Mansoori added: “2014 was also a year of remarkable development as much as it was a year of growth as we focused on enhancing our facilities to keep in stride with the fast pace of growth and to offer a world class travelling experience to the passengers. I would like to take this opportunity and thank our partners and stakeholders, including the Departments of Ports and Airports Security, Immigration, Customs and our airlines, for taking part in our initiatives and supporting our ambition to deliver state-of-the-art services to all passengers.”

Last year saw the production of 20 new bus gates, 21 new code E aircraft

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These infrastructure developments form part of the Capacity Enhancement Programme (CEP) for Abu Dhabi International Airport. The airport capacity will be boosted further by 30 million passengers when the Midfield

Terminal is fully operational.

In November, a total of 1,537,952 passengers passed through Abu Dhabi Airport during the month, a

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15.6% increase compared with November 2013. There were 13,501 aircraft movements, which was a 13.9% increase over November 2013’s generic viagra 20 mg figure of 11,856. Cargo activity comprised 75,726 tonnes handled at the airport’s three terminals in November 2014, a 13.8% increase when compared to November 2013.

In 2014, the airport won the prestigious title of the “Best Airport for the Middle East region” twice from the Airports Council International (ACI) and by The World Airport Awards of Skytrax, for the third

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ETIHAD CARGO LAUNCHES NEW HERMES CARGO MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

ETIHAD CARGO LAUNCHES NEW HERMES CARGO MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

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A key benefit of implementing the new system is that it ensures customers are better informed through real-time shipment tracking across Etihad Cargo’s global network, with updates being automatically forwarded to them on a regular basis.

The handling and tracking of cargo shipments across the hub in Abu Dhabi is also enhanced and has become more efficient, with hand-held terminals being used to identify, track and verify all shipment details.

David Kerr, Vice President, Etihad Cargo, said: “The implementation of the new Hermes cargo management system is a very positive customer service enhancement that

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enables us to handle and transport our customer’s shipments more efficiently. It also means that our customers are provided with greater transparency,

by being regularly advised and updated on the whereabouts of their shipment across the transportation chain.”

To ensure a smooth transition to the cargo management system, Etihad Cargo has been closely monitoring its operation during the cutover stage and proactively advising its customers if there are any changes to their bookings.




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Azadea Group serves up tasty dining and fashion offers at the 20th anniversary of the Dubai Shopping Festival

Azadea Group serves up tasty dining and fashion offers at the 20th anniversary of the Dubai Shopping Festival

4155Azadea Group is offering a host of special tasty dining and exciting fashion promotions, in the spirit of Dubai Shopping Festival’s “Journey of Celebrations” – the special theme of the festival on the occasion of its 20th anniversary edition.

During the 32-day festival period, Azadea Group has tailored special offers and promotions for eating and drinking at Argo Tea Café, Eataly, Kösebasi and Rosa Mexicano, in addition to two draws weekly for the chance to win gift vouchers from the Decathlon fashion brand.

While the Argo Tea Café is offering a 20% discount on all items throughout DSF, shoppers also have the chance to lunch or dine at Eataly, Sunday through Thursday from 3PM to 7PM, for only AED 39 per person and enjoy 25% to 65% discount on all the products. Finally, both Kösebasi and Rosa Mexicano brands are giving away a free dessert with every bill that ends with the number 20. As for the fashion brand Decathlon, a draw is running twice weekly for a chance to win an AED 200 gift voucher which can also be redeemed with any purchase.

Senior management at the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) recognise that the wholehearted support of leading retailers like Azadea Group is an essential component of the continuing success and popularity of DSF.

H.E. Laila Mohammed Suhail, CEO, DFRE, said: “It is the support and enthusiastic promotional concepts from companies like Azadea Group that are integral to the continued success of the Dubai Shopping Festival. We would like to thank the Group for their active participation during what we believe is set to be a record breaking festival for everyone.”

Commenting on their participation in the festival’s 20th anniversary celebrations, Said G. Daher, CEO of Azadea Group stated: “We are thrilled to take part in the annual Dubai Shopping Festival, and especially this year, as it marks the event’s milestone 20th edition.

“Thanks to DSF and its appeal to international audiences, we have the opportunity to reach out to thousands of local, regional and multinational customers, providing them with a memorable and exciting shopping and dining experience.”

DSF 2015 is organised by DFRE, an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). The festival runs until 1 February, offering more than 150 citywide events, mega attractions, numerous shopping experiences and winning options for visitors and residents from around the world.


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DSF Shoppers enjoy a fantastic performance by ‘Fantesca’ at 
WAFI Mall

DSF Shoppers enjoy a fantastic performance by ‘Fantesca’ at 
WAFI Mall

4154Hailed as one of Dubai’s best shopping malls for luxury, WAFI Mall offered a very special DSF treat for shoppers and families, featuring one of the most well-known ‘ballet juggling’ performers from Europe named ‘Fantesca’. A truly delightful attraction to watch, the act left the shoppers in awe of the performer’s versatile talents as she presented her stunning juggling skills while showcasing her graceful ballet moves and poses.

“The show is superb, it’s really mind-boggling!” said Eliza Alexandra, a 27-years old visitor from Brazil and a self-confessed WAFI Mall fan “I love WAFI! It is not that huge but it not small, it is just perfect for shopping and it has everything that you need. I feel like I have privacy when I shop here. I love coming here with my sister and while I am waiting for her, I watched the show and I was really bedazzled. She is one of the best jugglers and performers that I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Janki Rajpara, a 19-year old Indian lady was also impressed with the show “The way the artist juggles is just majestic! It takes a lot of passion to do that. I tried doing it at home but I really cannot imitate it,” Janki said with a wide smile. “They are really talented and I thank DSF for bringing incredible shows. This wonderful city is really the best place to shop. I love the Dubai Shopping Festival.”

Adil Ali, a 38-year old tourist from Saudi, brought his wife and children Bashir, Noor, Joud and Nazir to WAFI after his friends told him about the mall’s family-friendly appeal. “It is true, it is not crowded here, so from now on I will always visit this amazing mall and today, it’s extra special because my children were treated to a fantastic show,” says Adil. “The show is splendid and it is the kind of show that everyone will enjoy especially the little ones like my children and everything that makes them smile, and as their father, makes me smile too.”

Families and friends can also share their DSF experiences with others on the festival’s official social media accounts using the hashtag #myDSF.

DSF 2015 is organised by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) and will run until 1 February 2015, offering more than 150 citywide attractions and mega events, numerous shopping opportunities and winning options for visitors from around the world.




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SAIF Zone showcases Its Role in Boosting UAE-Japan Trade at Tokyo Show

SAIF Zone showcases Its Role in Boosting UAE-Japan Trade at Tokyo Show

4149Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, Director of  Sharjah Airport  International Free Zone (SAIF Zone) and  Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA led a high-level delegation to Tokyo to   further explore the Japan market in order to utilize its potential for both sides. The team actively participated  in  the recently concluded   Nepcon Japan, which is Asia’s largest exhibition for electronics.

“The trade between the UAE and Japan has been prospering and the value of two-way trade between Japan and the UAE during the first six months of 2014 was $25.92 billion,” Al Mazrouei pointed out.

“Sharjah Airport International Free Zone has a keen interest in many firms in Japan and the show gathered a variety of exhibitors from automotive electronics and renewable energy. We met investors from different sectors and visited some well-known companies,” he  further elaborated.

Nepcon Japan is rated as the best way to attract businesses   from Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan. The 43-year old event attracted attention as a venue where one will get to see the latest technologies in the world of electronics.

According to statistics, Japan’s exports to the UAE surged by nearly 13 per cent to $ 4.59 billion, and imports by 2.76 per cent to $ 21.34 billion during the first six months of 2014.

The UAE is Japan’s 5th largest export destination of passenger motor cars in the world, after the United States of America, China, Russia and Canada.

Notable increase in exports from Japan to the UAE was registered for general machinery, iron and steel products, optical and photographic products.

The SAIF Zone team   consisted of  Saud Salim Al Mazrouei,  Raed Bukhatir,   Wafa Balaswad and Boutheina Manai.



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Dubai Tourism is all set for a brighter year

Dubai Tourism is all set for a brighter year

4147Alpha Tours, one of leading travelling solutions provider in the UAE and GCC, held its first congress for 2015 to kick start the New Year. The event brought together Natalie Tours and TUI, 2 leading tour operators from around the world.

The congress was held at Radisson Royal Hotel in Dubai bringing in 55 TUI agent’s representing different Russian regions. The event focused on the efforts and initiatives of Natalie Tours and TUI for tourism in the UAE along with their plans for 2015.

Natalie Tours has carved a niche as one of the leading tour operators into the UAE, bringing around two million tourists from Russia and the CIS states over the past decade. The company has been working closely with Alpha Tours for the growth of tourism in the region.

TUI is a leading tour operating firm from Germany and also the world’s number one integrated leisure tourism Group. They are known for providing high quality end-to-end customer experience to 30 million customers in 31 major source markets.

The congress commenced with a welcome speech from Mr. Vladimir Vorobiev, President of Natalie Tours. This was followed by speeches from Mr. Adnan Aridi, Managing Director of Alpha Tours and Ms. Inessa Verkhovskaya, Cluster Sales Manager Radisson Royal Hotel.

The event saw a healthy dialogue of all participating parties with the agents, discussing the current tourism scenario in the region and the steps that can be taken in to make 2015 the biggest year for tourism in the UAE. Dubai alone is expected to attract more than 15 million tourists from around the globe in 2015. This reflects positively to the growth of the hotel industry. With Abu Dhabi surpassing its target of attracting 3.1 million hotel guests in 2014, the UAE is continuing to prove itself as a popular destination for tourists across the world, snatching the title of world’s number one destination for hotels.

“With targets to attract 3.5 million hotel guests to Abu Dhabi in 2015, and a vision to bring in 20 million tourists per year to Dubai by 2020, the UAE’s tourism industry is ready for an exciting new year and a brighter future”, said Mr. Adnan Aridi, Managing Director of Alpha Tours.

To end the congress, some of the key partnering hotels made presentations showcasing their plans for the future.


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Sheraton Amman Al Nabil Hotel organized a Soccer Tournament to support UNICEF

Sheraton Amman Al Nabil Hotel organized a Soccer Tournament to support UNICEF

4145As part of its ongoing support to the community, Sheraton Amman Al Nabil Hotel recently organized a soccer tournament to raise funds for UNICEF.

The charity soccer tournament, which witnessed the participation of a number of the 5-star hotels in Amman, that ended up in Landmark hotel winning the tournament cup was designed to show Sheratons Amman support for UNICEF projects and activities which is aimed at helping the underprivileged people of Somalia get access for clean water and sanitation.

“Taking part in the tournament enables us to support UNICEF’s development projects and helps us effectively contribute to the community as part of our corporate social responsibility programme,” Sheraton Amman Al Nabil Hotel General Manager Mr. Enda Mullin said.

The event also provided an opportunity for further boosting team spirit among the hotel’s employees who took part in the event. And will pave the way for the coming fund raising activities that Sheraton Amman will organize with the support of its partners.


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Excitement mounts in DSMG’s ‘A Million Reasons To Shop’ promotion during DSF

Excitement mounts in DSMG’s ‘A Million Reasons To Shop’ promotion during DSF

4141The second week of the Dubai Shopping Malls Group’s (DSMG), ‘A Million Reasons To Shop’ promotion, held at Century Mall, left winners overwhelmed with joy. The month-long promotion started on January 1st and continues throughout the 20th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival, delight residents and visitors in Dubai.

The promotion supported by 18 malls across Dubai, under the aegis of DSMG, holds raffle draws every Saturday giving away prizes valued at a total of AED 1 million. The latest weekly draw saw five winners each take home AED 20,000, while a single winner walked away with the Mega Bumper Cash Prize worth AED 100,000. The promotion has led to a substantial increase in visitor number and sales signalling a successful festive period for the participating shopping malls.

The winners were selected from shoppers who purchased merchandise worth AED 200 or more at any of the retail outlets at the participating malls. Mia Paula Azurin, a Philippines national, could not contain her excitement when she was chosen from amongst the thousands for the cash prize. Commenting on her win she shared, “I am ecstatic! 20 thousand dirhams is a huge amount for me, or anyone in fact. This has to be the best day of my life. I am going to go out and do some more shopping now with my prize money; who knows I might win again.”

During the mega event arranged every year, retailers offer various fairs, exhibitions, sales and offers which include fashion accessories, jewellery, clothes, furniture, perfumes and much more. Apart from shopping, contests and other events organized by the malls and retailers are also a major attraction. Deepak Chawla, Operations Manager at Sunset Mall, Palm Strip and Twin Towers, said: “The prospect of winning every time you shop has helped us record a significant increase in the number of visitors to our mall. We expect the positive momentum to continue and reach record levels in the coming two weeks for Dubai Shopping Festival.”

While the adults take advantage of the sales and promotions, malls such as Al Mulla Plaza, Times Square, Oasis Mall, Palm Strip and Etihad Mall have organized varied and more exciting activities for children such as the option to get a customized picture taken, creative arts and crafts sessions and kids tea parties.

There is something for everyone at this year’s shopping extravaganza, with malls adorned with decorations in keeping with the festival theme.

The shopping malls participating in the campaign include Al Bustan Centre, Al Ghurair, Al Manal Centre, Al Mulla Centre, Arabian Center, Bin Sougat Centre, Century Mall, Lamcy Plaza, Mazaya Centre, Oasis Centre, Sunset Mall, Palm Strip, Times Square Centre, Etihad Mall, Barsha, Karama Centre, THE BEACH opposite JBR and CITY WALK.


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Travel tech in focus at ATM as online bookings grow to 31%

Travel tech in focus at ATM as online bookings grow to 31%

4139Technology in the travel industry will come into focus at Arabian Travel Market this year, with the four-day event set to highlight tech growth within the industry, as online travel bookings in the MENA region increased by 10% in 2014.

According to YouGov data (which surveyed 22,686 online respondents, all MENA residents) 31% of those surveyed booked all of their travel requirements online, an increase of 10% over 2013. Of those surveyed 25% used their smartphones to book hotels online while mobile usage to access online travel guides or to book leisure activities rose by 6%.

“Throughout the region, we are witnessing major growth in online bookings as airlines, tour operators and hotels develop ever-more sophisticated digital platforms and social media strategies to ensure they reach out effectively to both existing and potential guests,” said Nadege Noblet, Exhibition Manager of Arabian Travel Market, which takes place at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, on 4-7 May 2015.

“The industry as a whole is embracing technology like never before, to compete in a digital market place where accessibility and speed are critical to the demands of today’s tech-savvy travelers, especially mobile compatible sites for hotels, tour operators and leisure attractions,” added Noblet.

Spontaneity in the decision making process for choosing a destination has increased by 11% according to the YouGov data, thanks to upgraded technology. Paul Richer, senior partner of travel technology consultancy, Genesys, will host two dedicated seminar sessions at this year’s exhibition addressing a range of topics including latest developments in mobile, digital marketing and digital distribution issues and how these are impacting the consumer.

The seminars are panel-led discussions which focus on how Gulf destinations can better utilise technology, as well as outlining the latest trends and best ways of meeting the needs of the tech-savvy traveler.

The Gen Y market (those aged 18-30) in the region is placing even further emphasis on the hotel industry’s need to offer uninterrupted broadband internet access for guests as well as a consistent social media campaign, marketing a bouquet of hotel services. According to a Viacom report, the Middle East’s Gen Y population is more internet reliant than any other region, with four out of five staying connected wherever they are.

One Dubai-based hospitality company at the forefront of technological advances is TIME Hotels Management. The group was the first in the UAE to introduce ‘cloud’ collaboration software across all of its IT platforms.

“Technological developments, now more than ever, are playing a major role in the hospitality industry, something we look to harness and develop to ensure we remain at the cutting edge of advances. Greater guest interaction, more targeted campaigns and better internal systems are all advantages we have seen through our technological upgrades,” said Mohamed Awadalla, CEO, TIME Hotels.

TIME will be joined at the 2015 exhibition by a number of new and returning travel tech specialists. Amadeus, Sabre Travel, Payfort and M-hospitality return to the show while LeGate, 24×7rooms.com and TravelClick will make their debut.

“At the core of our tech strategy is making the guest experience from booking to check out as seamless as possible. This includes ease of searching and booking the hotel in the first instance through, to the quality of communication during their stay. Technology is an inevitable aspect of the hospitality industry, investment in the latest hardware and software is crucial, along with the training that goes with it,” added Awadalla.

The technology theme is only a part of a packed agenda being developed for ATM 2015. Other highlights include budget travel, health and wellbeing, shopping, transportation, luxury, sports, culture and heritage, and adventure.

The 2015 event will also build on the success of last year’s edition with the announcement of an additional hall as Reed Travel Exhibitions looks to add to its record-breaking achievements in 2014. Last year ATM saw total attendance increase by 12% with 33,000 participants and business deals signed worth more than US$2.1 billion over the four days.




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Boost for economic sectors in first two weeks of Dubai Shopping Festival

Boost for economic sectors in first two weeks of Dubai Shopping Festival

4135The first two weeks of Dubai Shopping Festival’s 20th Anniversary has led to a boom in business across key economic sectors including retail, aviation and hospitality, and given a major boost to ancillary services like money exchange houses and travel agencies.

Preliminary economic indicators show that shopping malls have witnessed an increase in footfall and sales at their retail outlets, as visitors from around the world have been availing themselves of discounts of up to 75 % on a wide range of merchandise from electronics to home appliances, computers to perfumes, cosmetics and fashion.

Families have also been flocking in large numbers to DSF’s key attractions at several locations in Dubai including Global Village and the Carpet and Art Oasis a trend that is ample testimony to the fact that the festival has grown from being focused on sales and promotions to a citywide achievement offering unique retail experiences through events, promotions and innovation with the active participation of people from all nationalities and cultural backgrounds.

The milestone 20th edition of DSF will continue until 1 February under the theme “20th Anniversary – A Journey of Celebrations” offering unique shopping experiences through over 150 events and activities that are being held across the city. DSF is organized by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

H.E. Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General, DTCM, said: “The successful first two weeks of the Dubai Shopping Festival 20th anniversary has given Dubai’s retailers a confident start for 2015 and also highlights the emirate’s position as a leading family tourism destination. The upsurge in economic activity during DSF is also testament to the retail sector’s contribution to Dubai’s economy and the Dubai government’s strategy of using festivals and events to support tourism growth, as envisaged in Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2020. We expect this positive momentum that has been generated to continue throughout the remaining period of DSF”.

Commenting on the performance of various sectors in the first half of DSF, H.E. Laila Mohammed Suhail, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said: “Our responsibility as organisers of Dubai Shopping Festival has increased manifold given that the festival has now become the longest running festival of its kind in the world and a much-awaited annual global attraction. DSF has been an engine of growth for the retail sector in Dubai and has also given a boost to various other sectors like aviation, hospitality, travel and financial services. Today, as we celebrate its milestone 20th anniversary edition, we are delighted at the impact that the festival has made in its first two weeks, and this strong performance reaffirms the continued trust reposed in the festival by our partners, supporters and residents and visitors from around the world. “

“People have always found Dubai an attractive place for shopping, especially during DSF, and particularly due to the shopping-linked activities and promotions. True to our expectations, DSF has further consolidated its status as the best shopping and entertainment extravaganza in the region, largely made possible by the longstanding support of the private sector, especially our Strategic Partners and Key Sponsors. As residents, families, and tourists continue to explore and enjoy the various DSF offerings, we will strive hard to ensure that the remaining two weeks of the festival become even more memorable”.

DFRE’s Strategic Partners for 2015 are Emirates, AW Rostamani Group, Al Futtaim Group, Emaar Malls, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, Paris Gallery, ENOC/EPPCO, Nakheel (Ibn Battuta Mall), Dubai Duty Free, Al Zarooni Group, Meraas Holding, and Etisalat while the Key Sponsors of DSF 2015 are Visa, Emirates NBD, Jumbo, Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group, WAFI and Global Village.

Aviation

Sheikh Majid Al Mulla, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial Operations, Centre, said: “It’s great to see the Dubai Shopping Festival in full swing for its momentous 20th edition and Dubai is buzzing with bustling shopping malls and numerous associated events, activities and promotions happening around the city. We know many of the visitors that we are bringing to Dubai during this period are coming to avail the best deals during DSF, and this further establishes Dubai as a centre of a broad range of attractive events.”

Malls lure DSF visitors with shopping options, world-class entertainment and array of prizes

Nasser Rafi, Chief Executive Officer, Emaar Malls, said: “The 20th edition of DSF continues to define Dubai as the must-visit retail and leisure destination for families around the world, reflecting the theme of the Dubai Plan 2021 announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to establish Dubai as the preferred place to work, live and visit.

“The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest retail and entertainment destination, and Emaar Malls flagship asset, as well as our other malls in the city have recorded robust visitor arrivals and retail sales during the first weeks of DSF. As a Strategic Partner of DSF, we are rolling out a wide range of entertainment activities at the malls as well as the opportunity to win AED 1 million at The Dubai Mall. We are confident that DSF 2015 will be a milestone success and continue to energise the retail sector.”

Hussain Moosa, Associate Director, Shopping Malls for Majid Al Futtaim Properties, said: “The 20th Anniversary of the Dubai Shopping Festival has been a resounding success for our three flagship shopping malls: Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Deira and City Centre Mirdif with positive feedback from our retail partners and valued customers, creating great moments for everyone, everyday,” said Hussain Moosa, Associate Director, Shopping Malls for Majid Al Futtaim Properties. “We have witnessed robust increases in visitation during the first two weeks of the festival period as a result of our tremendous shopping options, unique prizes and signature events such as the International Fashion Photography Exhibition and the Middle East debut of the Tom & Jerry show. As a Strategic Partner, Majid Al Futtaim extends its congratulations to the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, for a successful start to its 20th Dubai Shopping Festival.”

Omar Khoory, Director of Nakheel Retail, said: “Nakheel is delighted to be a strategic partner with Dubai Shopping Festival as we celebrate the milestone of its 20th Anniversary. At the half way mark of DSF 2015, Ibn Battuta Mall has already welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors, and we expect this success to continue to grow as the festival gathers pace.

“The exciting shopping opportunities, prize giveaways, dazzling entertainment and wholesome family fun on offer at Ibn Battuta Mall are proving a big draw for Dubai’s residents and visitors, and we look forward to continuing our Journey of Celebrations this DSF.”

Commenting on the first two weeks of DSF, Nisreen Boustani, PR and Corporate Communication Manager at Mercato & Town Centre Jumeirah, said: “Mercato is thrilled to be an integral part of Dubai Shopping Festival’s 20th anniversary and is proud to be associated with the longest running shopping festival of its kind which now spans two decades. Since the first day of DSF, Mercato’s exciting Italian themed shows, shop and win promotion and in-store sales and discounts have certainly played a major role in attracting thousands of tourists and local residents to the mall.

Dubai Shopping Festival is an important event on the annual Dubai calendar for both customers and retailers. Since the start of DSF we have witnessed a remarkable increase in mall footfall and we envisage that this will continue over the next couple of weeks”.

Brad Merchant, General Manager, Dubai Festival City Mall, said: “Visitors to Dubai Festival City Mall during this milestone 20th anniversary of the Dubai Shopping Festival are benefiting from the amazing deals and promotions that are being offered by our retailers.The events schedule that we organised in partnership with DFRE also enriched the overall retail experience for residents and tourists of all ages. Moreover, the mall has introduced a ‘Spin the Wheel’ activity with the grand prize centered around the number 20. The activity will entitle customers to win instant prizes from all participating retailers! All this will complement the overall festive mood at the mall and we encourage everyone to visit us during this very special time of the year”.

Abdullah Ibrahim, Director of Local Affairs and Human Resources, WAFI said: “The Dubai Shopping Festival has truly contributed in positioning Dubai as a leading international shopping destination by becoming one of the biggest and the longest running festival of its kind in the world. It is an honor for us to be one of the key sponsors of DSF to offer an array of fantastic shopping, entertainment and winning experiences to residents and visitors from around the world. WAFI Mall is one of the key destinations during DSF, giving tourists the opportunity to enjoy the Egyptian theme of the mall in addition to the many offerings at the popular Souk Khan Murjan and luxury outlets. We have also organised an exciting lineup of retail experiences at the mall including many options to win great prizes with the Wafi Rewards programme. The increase in the use of these cards indicates the growth in the number of visitors and the purchases being made during this period.

Dubai Shopping Malls Group reports 18 % increase in mall visitors

Dubai Shopping Malls Group (DSMG), an umbrella organization of malls set up under the patronage of the Dubai Department of Economic Development, has reported a 18 % increase in the number of mall visitors in the first half of DSF, thanks to promotional campaigns luring mall-goers with attractive discounts and fabulous prizes this year including the “A Million Reasons to Shop” promotion offering shoppers the opportunity to win up to AED 1 million in prizes at participating malls.

Majid Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Shopping Malls Group said, “We are obliged to contribute and further enhance the Dubai Shopping Festival experience. With visitors and tourists flocking to the region to take advantage of the exciting promotions, it is evident that Dubai stands tall with its vision of being an international destination for shopping. So far the promotions have led to a sharp increase in footfall in our malls and we are expecting the final phase to exceed our expectations as well. With the support of our member malls and our commitment to constant growth we are sure to lead the revolution in Dubai’s mall culture to greater heights making it the quintessential value shopping destination.”

Exciting Retail Experiences

ENOC records double digit growth

Burhan Al Hashemi, Managing Director of ENOC Retail, said: “ENOC has been an active supporter of the Dubai Shopping Festival since its inception and is privileged to extend its partnership on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. DSF 2015 further builds on the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to further develop the city’s economy through its focus on boosting tourism and the retail sector.

“We have witnessed an overwhelming response from our customers to the various initiatives we have undertaken at the halfway stage of DSF this year. Both the daily Nissan Grand Raffle and the Infiniti Mega Draw have been extremely popular with customers resulting in double digit growth in both ZOOM and promo pack sales compared to the same period last year.”

Mohammed Abdul Rahim Al Fahim, CEO of Paris Gallery Group of Companies, said: “It is as expected. In this 20th anniversary edition of Dubai Shopping Festival, the shopping malls have witnessed high footfall of both visitors and residents. The international marketing campaign that DFRE launched in the GCC, North Africa, China, Russia and India to promote DSF 2015 and highlight DSF’s 20 years of success is proving to be very effective. People are converging in Dubai from all parts of the world this year with high expectations, and I am sure that the city is living up to these expectations. Sales have been very good so far. Paris Gallery has registered an increase of 14 percent compared to last year, which was about 10 percent. We are expecting the same for the next two weeks. This leads me to conclude that the 20th edition of DSF will be a complete success. We are proud to be partners with DFRE, and this fruitful relationship is proving to be good both for us and our customers.”

Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman, Dubai Duty Free, said: “The 20th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), which attracts many visitors to Dubai during the beginning of the year, plays an important role in driving the retail sector across the board.  All passengers travelling through Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International - Dubai World Central can enjoy enticing offers and promotions across all Concourses and Terminals. The retail sector’s great deals during DSF have definitely generated a positive response from tourists all over. As a strategic partner of Dubai Festival & Retail Establishment (DFRE), Dubai Duty Free constantly strives to offer passengers a world-class shopping experience. It underlines our commitment to actively promote Dubai as the region’s business and tourism hub.”

Michel Ayat, CEO of Arabian Automobiles Company, Flagship Company of AW Rostamani Group and the exclusive dealer for Nissan, Infiniti and Renault in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, said: “Since its inception 20 years ago, AW Rostamani Group has long been a proud sponsor of the Dubai Shopping Festival. The strategic partnership was established with the aim of bringing many exciting events and festivities to Dubai including the groundbreaking ‘Aquatique’ water show from 1997 to 2001. DSF’s growth and success has exceed all of our initial expectations and the ongoing success of the festival has brought together people from all over the region to take part in its delights. AW Rostamani Arabian Automobiles foresees the vision and Dubai’s prospect for growth, and DSF plays an integral role in contributing to its development.”

He added” Over the years, Arabian Automobiles has given away as prizes over 1,000 Nissan and Infiniti cars and other great incentives across a wide range of products and services. As we continue the momentum into 2015, we hope to put a smile on many faces with a 20-car raffle and guaranteed cash prizes. We are excited to give back this festival season as we’re especially proud of our relationship with Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment and DSF, and we are committed to helping it flourish in the coming years.”

Tawhid Abdullah, Chairman, Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group, said: “The jewellery sector managed to pull in higher traffic to the stores during the last 19 days and this has translated into an increase in the average value per transaction compared with what it was during the previous three months, Based on an analysis we conducted at the midway stage of DSF, we observed that the participating jewellery outlets witnessed a reasonable growth in sales volume during the group promotion compared to the previous year and the figure is steadily growing. The prize of 100 kilos of gold is too big a winning proposition to ignore with the mega raffle draw alone offering a whopping 40 kilo gold and 8 carat solitaire diamonds in prizes to be given away among 8 lucky winners. Shoppers are eagerly looking forward to this life changing opportunity.”

Jumbo sees 15 % rise in sales

Nadeem Khanzadah, Head-OmniChannel Retail at Jumbo Group said: “Product sales have been very positive this DSF. Jumbo saw sales revenue grow by 15 per cent as we crossed the two-week mark since the start of the event, as compared to the same period last year.”

Telecommunications

Fares Hamad Fares, Vice President - Corporate Communications at Etisalat, said: “Etisalat’s Strategic Partnership with the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) during Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) comes as part of our national duty and commitment to support the government’s efforts in strengthening the UAE’s and particularly Dubai’s position as a leading family tourism destination in the world. DSF has a significant impact on all the various sectors of the country, as it attracts millions of visitors from around the world each year. This eventually has a positive effect on our business and gives us the chance to reach out to a higher number of customers through our unique services. At Etisalat, we are very pleased to extend our support to all the activities and festivals that give a boost to the country’s tourism industry and economic sector.”

Over 200,000 visited Global Village in first two days of DSF

Ahmad Hussain, Chief Operating Officer, Global Village, said: “The Dubai Shopping Festival period is an important period for Global Village in terms of visitor numbers and this was apparent within the first two days of DSF itself when we welcomed 200,000 visitors to Global Village. Over the years Dubai Shopping Festival has driven a lot of families from other countries to our entertainment and shopping destination, and with each year the footfall grows larger.”

“Guests to Global Village this season can expect some fantastic highlights during the Dubai Shopping Festival celebrations. There are bespoke shows taking place throughout the festival at Global Village, with lots of special acts being brought in specifically for DSF. Shows such as The Musical Spectacular, special events for children and other family friendly entertainment. We are also bringing popular mainstream Arab artists to perform concerts during the month of Dubai Shopping Festival to add to the visitor experience.”

Hotel enjoying high occupancy levels

Commenting on the performance of the InterContinental Hotels Group Dubai Festival City during DSF Mr.James Koratzopoulos , Area General Manager, said: “DSF is traditionally a very important event for the image and development of Dubai - so naturally it is important that InterContinental Hotels Group Dubai Festival City plays its role in this successful initiative. As we are linked to the Dubai Festival City Mall we ensure that there is mutual benefit to all the businesses that are part of Dubai Festival City. Every year in the first quarter, which coincides with the DSF, hotels in our group - InterContinental, Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City and InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Festival City enjoy high occupancy levels as much as 90 %. The great news is that InterContinental Hotels Group Dubai Festival City is one of the best performers in the region for the company. In terms of specific markets, InterContinental Hotels Group Dubai Festival City is always very well supported by the UAE and GCC markets, as well as traditionally strong overseas inbound markets - during DSF we are ready to cater to all markets.

Tarek Aouini, Manager, Emirates Grand Hotel, said : “The majority of our guests came from the GCC markets, while the next big group of guests came from Europe during the first two weeks of DSF. Other markets also contributed a good share to our hotel occupancy levels. This trend will continue strongly and we are expecting to run a full house for the remaining two weeks of DSF.  Further, with the opening of a new Emirates Grand property – Emirates Grand Hotel Apartments - and its increase in the number of rooms, we as a hotel partner are looking forward to continuing our excellent cooperation with DFRE during the 20th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival”.

Travel sector records 5 % growth

Saeed Al Abidi, Chairman of Alaabdi Holding LLC, said: “The percentage of hotel bookings and occupancy at our travel agency has increased and exceeded our expectations. The travel sector has witnessed an increase of around 5% compared to the same period last year, given that Dubai Shopping Festival is as vibrant and sparkling as usual. There is also an increase in the number of bookings to Dubai especially from all the Gulf countries. Already, arrivals from these countries comprise the maximum number of tourists visiting Dubai due to the wide variety of travelling opportunities offered by the numerous travel agencies that successfully cater to their diverse needs. Further, inbound tourists from these countries are spoilt for choice in terms of the wide range of hotels and accommodation choices available for every budget”.

Carpet & Art Oasis achieves over AED 34 million in sales

Abdul Rahman Issa, Chairman of the Carpet and Art Oasis Committee is inviting residents and visitors who love handmade carpets and arts to the Carpet & Art Oasis which is celebrating its 20th edition this year. He said, “The Carpet & Art Oasis visitors have the chance to enter daily raffle to win a handmade carpet just by visiting the exhibition. They also have the opportunity to see “Al Mahmal Al Shami” (a ceremonial palanquin carried on a camel which was the centrepiece of the pilgrim caravan to Mecca). The exhibition has attracted more than 6,000 visitors and recorded over AED 34 million in sales in the first two weeks. Also, more than 1,000 handmade carpets were sold during this period”

Money exchange house sees 10 % rise

Osama Hamza Al Rahma, Chief Executive Officer at Al Fardan Exchange, said: “We have witnessed an ever growing number of tourists at our outlets. Currency exchange transactions have increased in the first two weeks of DSF by 8 to 10% compared to the same period last year. Today, Dubai has become an important destination for people from around the world. Given the festival’s huge popularity, Dubai is experiencing a higher volume of tourists at its many shopping malls, which is creating a positive impact at the exchange outlets and on currency exchange transactions – eventually contributing to Dubai’s economy.”


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