Monday, April 12, 2021

People & Places

Tourism Ireland’s annual GCC Sales Mission event turned virtual this year, with Virtual Ireland Meets the Middle East 2021. The aim of the event was to connect the island of Ireland’s industry experts with high-end travel agents and tour operators from across the Middle East (including UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Turkey), with workshops providing an opportunity for the island to share key updates and information to market the destination in the Middle East for 2021 and beyond. The event took place on March 8-9 with over 300 travel agents and tour operators attending and joining the one-to-one video appointments and networking sessions. 

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara in Abu Dhabi is expanding its Sustainable Luxury ethos through a number of green initiatives. The resort will completely phase out plastic water bottles by April 2021, replacing them with biodegradable bottles. The sustainable material is made from corn, where lactic acid is extracted and converted into 100 per cent plant resin and biodegrades in 80 days. Recycled in bio-degradable bins, it either goes to composting or is reused to make new plant resin bottles.

Dubai Tourism honoured its Al Safeer Congress Ambassadors recognising their role in spearheading efforts to attract international business events to the city and creating a platform to lead the global business events rebound. Since establishment of programme in 2010, ambassadors have helped to win over 180 events bringing almost 250,000 global experts and thought leaders to the city. Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau and a division of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, presented awards to 12 member organisations at the Program’s annual appreciation ceremony, held on March 3 at the Intercontinental Dubai Festival City.

Qatar Airways and Qatar Duty Free (QDF), the Official Airline and Retail Sponsor of the Qatar Total Open 2021, congratulate Petra Kvitova on being crowned the winner of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) event in Doha after her 6-2, 6-1, victory. The prestigious annual tournament was held at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha, from March 1 to 6, 2021. With its recent announcement as the Official Airline for the UEFA EURO 2020, Qatar Airways continues to strengthen its presence in the world of sport; with the likes of FIFA, CONMEBOL, Paris Saint-Germain and others in the carrier’s global football sponsorship portfolio.

Riot Games, developer and publisher of League of Legends and Valorant, announced that two of its most significant esports events would take place back-to-back in Reykjavík this May. Competition for both events will occur in Reykjavík's Laugardalshöll indoor sporting arena. For the first time, Riot Games brings not one but two of its best-in-class esports competitions to Iceland.

Lumi, the car rental business of Seera Group, is expanding its retail service network in Saudi Arabia, having won the bid to open counters at Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport, Ta'if Regional Airport and Al-Baha Domestic Airport in Saudi Arabia. These join the current network of 8 airport counters and the total network of 26 branches in the region. Accelerating the development of some sophisticated technology solutions, Lumi is swiftly becoming one of the top car rental brands offering digital-driven services in the Kingdom. This progression is also part of Seera’s omnichannel strategy to create a seamless experience across different channels for the customers.

Barceló Hotel Group, in collaboration with the artist Valeria Palmeiro, known as Coco Dávez, is paying tribute to the first female travellers on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Inspired by their lives and accomplishments, Coco Dávez has created a colourful illustration, highlighting their resilience to fight until they reached their destination. The original illustration can be downloaded from, together with a Traveller’s Guide with practical tips and recommendations for female travellers in 21st century to support during the planning of their next trip.

Asia’s economic recovery is not far away, provided the pace of vaccination is increased so the region arrives at a herd immunity, Nandan Nilekani (top left), the co-founder of Infosys, said during a virtual session at the World Government Summit Dialogues. He also said that Asia’s economies will recover quicker than most from the pandemic; Asia’s tourism, travel and hospitality sectors will witness a boom in next few months; globalisation of services will be a key sector government can invest in; and “Splinter-net” trend could lead to multiple variations of the internet based on a country’s profile and government.

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