Kuwait bans visa issuance to five nationalities
Kuwait has banned nationals from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan from entering the country, according to immigration sources quoted by Kuwaiti media. The ban includes suspending all tourism, visit and trade visas as well as visas sponsored by spouses. They attributed the ban to the “difficult security conditions in the five countries” and to “the remarkably increasing tendency of nationals from the five countries to apply for visas to bring in relatives who faced or could face arrest by the local authorities to Kuwait”.
World's first fashion hotel to open in Dubai
Dubai will be the home of the world’s first Fashion Hotel, with more to follow in key fashion cities around the world. French-based broadcaster Fashion TV said it has signed a deal with the UAE’s Al Habtoor Group to build the five-star hotel. No specific details on location or opening dates were given.
Jordan firm inks management deal for Dead Sea resort
Jordan-based Winter Valley Tourism Investment Co has signed a management agreement with Warwick International Hotels (WIH) for a 4-star deluxe resort on the coast of the Dead Sea in the kingdom. The resort comprises 161 rooms, a gourmet restaurant, a lobby cafe/bar, a deli, an outdoor dining area and a pool bar, a ballroom with breakout rooms, a spa and gym and three outdoor swimming pools and a ‘kids’ club. Soft opening is scheduled for August 2011, while the grand opening is slated to take place before the end of this year.
Mideast unrest prompts drop in tourist arrivals
The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has said the unrest in some countries in the region has resulted in a 10% drop in tourist arrivals across the Middle East, while North Africa saw a 9% decline in the first two months of the year, The National has reported. However, the organization is still forecasting growth of 4% to 5% for international tourism arrivals this year. “The fall in demand in Tunisia, Egypt and Japan is expected to have bottomed out, and the recovery of these important destinations will surely be consolidated during the year,” Taleb Rifai, UNWTO secretary general said.
Emirates eyes 'several hundred routes' in expansion Article
Emirates plans to fly to more places and order more planes, ignoring claims of unfair competition from rivals, the airline’s chairman said on Tuesday. The airline’s aggressive expansion has been criticized by European carriers who say the Dubai-based company and other Gulf carriers are effectively subsidized, provoking fears that Gulf-based superjumbos will draw traffic from their hubs. Emirates, which is state-owned, will soon fly to “several hundred destinations” from 111 locations now, Emirates’ chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said after the airline reported a 52 percent jump in 2010 profits. “I’m sure this will make a lot of people unhappy but the market is there to grow. Airlines in Europe don’t want to see us there because we are giving them competition. But we get good market share because of the product,” he said. “We have big plans. We will operate more to North and South America and also Asia,” he added. Sheikh Ahmed indicated that Emirates would announce new aircraft orders at the Dubai Airshow in November. Dubai has led the charge in a war of words between North American and European carriers and their Gulf rivals over subsidies, export credits and landing rights, blaming their woes on “parasitic” taxes. “If they spend as much time running their business as they do trying to run us down they might make even more money,” Emirates president Tim Clark said last year. The UAE failed to gain greater access for Emirates and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways in Canada last year, leading to tension between the two countries. Meanwhile, German airline Lufthansa has asked that Emirates be denied landing slots at Berlin’s new airport. Emirates is the largest customer for the Airbus A380 superjumbo and has so far ordered 90 of the aircraft. It plans to increase its fleet to eventually include 120 A380s, from the 15 it currently flies. That could turn the European aviation market upside down. “If Emirates continue to execute as they have done they will force a restructuring of the industry simply by deploying the 90 or so A380s they have on order or in service,” Sudeep Ghai, a partner at London-based Athena Aviation, said. “Expect other markets to start making even more protectionist noises than they have been in defense of their local carriers.”