India Knocks | 2017-01-12
2016: Looking back, looking ahead



Come December! It’s the time for holiday extravaganza promotions, exclusive offers and value added benefits. Standing at the edge of the year, the travel and tourism industry shared their experience with TravelScapes ME summing up every trends entire 2016 have decided on.


Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Constellation will be the first premium cruise ship to sail in the Arabian Gulf this winter. Celebrity Constellation, a 13 deck high ship with a capacity of 2,170 guests on double occupancy, will sail shorter cruises within the gulf in addition to the longer round trip cruises visiting India, UAE and Oman.


A 14-night sailing starting from Abu Dhabi on December 19, visiting Dubai, Muscat and some of the interesting ports in India during Christmas and New Year holidays. The ship will be in Dubai for the New Year’s Eve for the guests to enjoy the signature Dubai fireworks before returning to Abu Dhabi on January 1, 2017.


Elaborating on the expansion plans and strategies, Lakshmi  Durai, Chief Executive Officer Travel Matrix, Middle East Representative for Celebrity Cruises expressed, “We see a consistent increase in the number of Middle Eastern guests interested in cruise vacations every year. Celebrity Cruises, offering luxury vacation with spacious accommodation, enriching onboard activities, world class cuisine and personalized service with a guest-to-staff ratio of 2:1, is very appealing to the Middle Eastern guests who are keen on taking quality vacation.”


“We have 2 new ships added to our unique Galapagos Itinerary in 2017. With the existing Celebrity Xpedition we will have 3 ships offering this unique vacation in Galapagos Island year round from 2017. Celebrity is also building new class of ships called the Edge class. We will have 4 new ships in this class with the first ship ‘Celebrity Edge’ entering service in 2018,” she added. The modern luxury cruise line has also announced the name of Edge’s sister ship, “Celebrity Beyond,” signalling the experience guests can expect on board Celebrity Edge and the entire Edge Class, changing the way travellers see the world.


Standing at the verge of the year, Durai stated how the organization fared this year, “2016 has been an excellent year for us. We have more than doubled our guest volume compared to 2015 and we look forward for more to come in 2017.”


Actively overseeing the expansion portfolio of Royal Continental Hotels in Middle East region, currently involved with the pre-opening of this Four Star deluxe property of 168 keys in Deira, Dubai, WajeedBagwan, General Manager, Royal Continental Hotel explained, “As usual for the winter months, the GCC records positive growth across its key hospitality markets, with its mild winter weather, numerous tourist attractions and events attracting tourists from across the region and from around the globe. The increases in tourists can be largely attributed to the peak tourism season in Dubai. January’s mild winter weather, coupled with the high number of tourist attractions in the Emirate including the Dubai Shopping Festival, continues to draw visitors to Dubai over the winter months. We are very hopeful to commence our hotel opening soon and be a part of the growing markets catering to tourists across the globe.”


With a variety of rooms to suit all requirements and tastes, host of business and leisure facilities, dining out lets and amenities, Royal Continental Hotel provides the discerning traveller with impeccable accommodation and service in relaxed contemporary surroundings, perfectly suited to Botha short city break and an extended vacation

“We pride ourselves on offering a unique and technologically-advanced experience through our innovative in-room hospitality facilities, which are unrivalled among4-star hotels in the city” he added.


Oasis Palm, part of a group of companies, like Asia Pacific Travels and Tourism, Al Wasl Passenger Boats and Yacht Rental, acts as the leading tours and excursions provider in the region. Owned independently managed infrastructure, their tour excursions ply on the land, sea and in the air across the UAE.


Discussing on the special promotions for winter or Christmas, Ishrat Ali Khan, Group Managing Director, Oasis Palm Tourism, informed, “Being a group of companies with a large range of excursions we offer different promotions at different times of year. The special days like in public holidays, Christmas and New Year eve we offer promotions for Yachts, Desert Safari and Dhow Cruise Dinner Marina. These are the customized offers which suit guest’s needs with our quality commitment and budget friendly prices.”

 “We are always open to new ideas and believe in an open minded approach at our workplace. Conducting business, value feedback and constant endeavour will give the very best to our diverse clientele in line with their requirements with a single minded focus on ‘delivering satisfaction,’ asserted Khan.


The Group recently launched the biggest and first ever brand new Dhow, Al Wasl Dhow in Marina. Another brand new dhow has joined Dubai a week ago and it will be offered to guest in first week of December and another dhow is in pipeline before next summer.


Standing at the verge of the year, Khan stated, “In regards to growth, 2016 proved to be a better year than 2015.  Dubai reached a historical milestone of 100,000 rooms and many mega projects are on the way. Dubai got the world biggest indoor theme parkopened for its guests and many more contributing for the tourism business in coming days.”


“Dubai will achieve new levels in volume and quality. There will be additional inflow of guests from across the world with most challenging market dynamics, sustainability being the key to success,” he added.

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