27 February 2009

Air Arabia and Dubai Islamic Bank launch electronic ticket payment service

Sharjah : Air Arabia, the first and largest low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, and Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), the world’s first full-fledged Islamic bank, announced today the launch of a fast and convenient ticket payment facility for Air Arabia customers via DIB’s electronic banking channels. Through this service, ticket payments can now be made anywhere in the UAE through DIB’s Cash Deposit Machines (CDM).

Dubai Islamic Bank is currently in the process of enabling Air Arabia payments through the bank’s e-channel network, including Internet banking, mobile banking, phone banking, and Automated Teller Machines (ATM).

Ali Al Hamdany, Director of IT and Corporate Projects, Air Arabia, said: “We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Dubai Islamic Bank. This step further enhances the value-for-money services we offer to our customers seeking to travel to the 44 destinations we serve worldwide. Through this partnership, Air Arabia now offers its customers even more options to pay less and fly more.”

Musabbah Al Qaizi Head of Electronic Banking, DIB, said: “Dubai Islamic Bank, in partnership with Air Arabia, is pleased to offer this unique service for the benefit and convenience of the entire UAE population. The success stories of DIB and Air Arabia are founded upon a similar commitment to providing enhanced services for our customers. Through our fast-growing partnership network, we continue to explore opportunities to widen the appeal of both the bank and Air Arabia to all the communities that we serve.”

Nadeem Busheri, Head of IT, DIB, said: "Partnering with Air Arabia comes in line with DIB's commitment to investing in technology to offer value-added services to our customers. DIB’s IT Department has implemented a range of projects and processes to provide timely, cost-effective, high-quality and secure services to its customers. As we work towards integrating Air Arabia payments across our e-channels, we are confident that DIB and Air Arabia customers will find this service extremely convenient.”

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06 February 2009

Melbourne holidays debut in "World Deals" promotion

Etihad Holidays, a division of Etihad Airways, has launched its first packages to the Australian city of Melbourne, with deals starting from Dhs 4,480 for a four night stay and return economy tickets. Holidays to Melbourne are a key feature of the new "world deals" promotion from Etihad Holidays which features new concepts like 'bonus offers' which provide free extra nights and upgrades at select hotels as well as free breakfast and hotel transfers at many hotels.

There is also the introduction of the new 'hot deal' tag on some holidays which highlights deals of exceptional value for customers.

Tony Gauci, head of Etihad Holidays, said: "This promotion is one of our most exciting to date because it offers great value holidays at a time when people are looking for top deals to top destinations. It is also fantastic to be offering holidaymakers in the UAE the chance to visit Melbourne when Etihad starts flights at the end of March."

The Abu Dhabi-based airline will launch flights to Melbourne on 29 March and Etihad Holidays' deals to Australia's cultural capital, with its many museums, theatres and restaurants, are set to raise excitement further in the build-up.

Customers can fly with Etihad to Melbourne and stay at one of five hotels for four or five nights including the five star Sofitel "on Collins" from Dhs 5,640, the four star Grand Hyatt from Dhs 5,450 and the four star Citigate Melbourne from Dhs 4,695.

The new promotion offers customers the chance to book breaks to London and watch Chelsea Football Club in action in the Barclays Premier League.

As platinum sponsor of Chelsea FC, Etihad is offering breaks to London which include accommodation at the Copthorne Hotel Stamford Bridge, dinner on night of arrival, guided tour of stadium and match day tickets from Dhs 3,775.

The games on offer in the promotion include Chelsea against Hull City on Saturday 7 February, Chelsea versus Wigan Athletic on Saturday 28 February and Chelsea versus Manchester City on Saturday 14 March.

Mr Gauci added" "We are very proud of the wide range of holidays included in this promotion, as there is something for every taste, from vibrant cities to tranquil beaches, as well as another opportunity for football enthusiasts to watch Etihad-sponsored Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge."

In addition to Melbourne and London, the "world deals" promotion from Etihad Holidays offers packages to more than 20 destinations in 15 countries, with highlights including Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Johannesburg.

Holidays to Kuala Lumpur, where beautiful mosques and colonial buildings nestle up to the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, start from Dhs 1,990 including flights and five nights accommodation with complimentary breakfast and transfers.

Extensions are available to visit the serene beaches on the island Penang from Dhs 1,080 for three nights including domestic airfares, or three nights on nearby Langkawi island from Dhs 1,875.

New York will also appeal to both those looking for high culture as well as anybody looking for first-class shopping or famous sights. Promotional prices start at Dhs 3,310 for three nights in the four star New York Marriott East Side hotel in Manhattan.

Etihad Holidays also offers holidays to Thailand, where beach extensions can be added to a visit to the bustling capital Bangkok. A three-day Bangkok city break starts at Dhs 2,490 with the three day beach extensions to Pattaya starting at Dhs 755. Beach extensions to Phuket are also available from Dhs 1,530.

Sun, sea and safari is on offer for visitors to Johannesburg in South Africa. Five nights at the four star Protea Hotel Balalaika Johannesburg costs Dhs 3,590. The optional two night safari extension adds Dhs 2,150 to the total and includes open vehicle game drives with field guide, two nights lodge accommodation, breakfast, dinner, and transfers.

'The Paris of the Orient', as Beirut is known, is a popular destination for UAE holidaymakers, with its rich history and stylish boutiques, and café culture. Three nights stay at the five star Safir Heliopolitan Hotel Beirut start from Dhs 1,295.

The promotion also includes breaks to Muscat, Jordan, Beijing, Frankfurt, Moscow, Dublin and Geneva in a line-up designed to cater for all tastes and budgets. In total, more than 60 hotels spread over 21 destinations in 15 countries are included in the promotion.

Customers can fly with Etihad to Moscow and stay at one of five hotels for three nights from Dhs 2,980. These hotels include the four star Holiday Inn Lesnaya hotel from Dhs 3,120, the four star Park Inn hotel from Dhs 3,805 and the five star Baltschug Kempinski from Dhs 4,940.

Etihad Holidays offers breaks to the Omani capital, Muscat, which include a two night stay at the five star Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa hotel from Dhs 2,085 per person including breakfast and transfers to Seeb airport.

Notes: To book one of the winter offers customers can visit Etihad Holiday shops in Al Wahda Mall, Khalidiyah Mall and Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi or call the UAE toll-free telephone number 800 2324.

The offers are valid for travel before 31 March 2009. Fares are per person with return economy flights from Abu Dhabi. The fares do not include airline taxes and fuel surcharges. Terms and conditions apply.

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03 February 2009

Opening of Boots flagship store at The Dubai Mall

A flagship Boots store opened at The Dubai Mall, the city’s newest shopping destination situated next to Burj Dubai. The 400 sq m store is the 16th Boots branded outlet to be opened, owned and operated by M. H. Alshaya in the UAE. This opening marks an important milestone in the development of the Boots retail brand in the Gulf.

The store was officially inaugurated by Mohammed Alshaya, Executive Chairman of M. H. Alshaya Co., Boots franchise partner for the Gulf region, and Ornella Barra, Board Member and Wholesale and Commercial Affairs Director, Alliance Boots, who heads Boots International. The event was attended by senior managers from Alliance Boots and M. H. Alshaya Co as well as suppliers and other partners.

This flagship Boots store offers visitors the widest selection of internationally trusted healthcare, skincare and toiletries, all under one roof. Shoppers can choose from over 6,000 health and beauty products, including 3,000 own brands, ranging from cosmetics, skincare and toiletries. The store will also have dedicated health areas focused on healthy living. Professional pharmacists will offer expert advice on all pharmacy-related topics and there is a private consultation room available for patients. The store is also equipped with a special beauty counter for customers to receive makeovers from No7 beauty consultants.

Mohammed Alshaya, Executive Chairman of M. H. Alshaya Co., said: “The Boots retail brand has transformed pharmaceutical retailing in the region and the flagship store will showcase the most extensive range of medicines and cosmetics in The Dubai Mall. Boots Dubai Mall reinforces our presence in the region’s retail hub and also makes us part of one of the most iconic retail developments in the Gulf. Boots has always played a strong role in making healthcare available to everyone. One of the aspects that I look forward to developing is the unique way in which Alshaya can, with Boots’ support, help shape the primary healthcare services. Our dialogue with the federal and local authorities has been excellent, and I am convinced we can make a contribution to improving the healthcare of the nation.”

The new store adds to the rapidly expanding presence of the Boots retail brand in the Gulf and takes the total number of Boots stores in the region to 31. The first Boots stores in the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) market were opened two years ago in partnership with M. H. Alshaya Co. who, in addition to Dubai, has also opened outlets in Kuwait, Qatar, Sharjah, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.

Ornella Barra, Board Member and Wholesale and Commercial Affairs Director, Alliance Boots, said: “Alliance Boots has a strong commitment to helping improve overall health in the region by making healthcare more accessible and affordable. Choosing Dubai to open this landmark Boots store shows our confidence in the region’s retail sector and the strength of Dubai’s business leadership. The Boots retail brand has a growing presence in the Gulf, and I am sure that the flagship Boots store at Dubai Mall will provide consumers with the perfect one-stop shopping experience.”

Mohammed Alshaya explained: “The opening of our new store further demonstrates our commitment to bringing the unique product range and service concept of Boots to key retail locations in the Middle East. We will continue to work in partnership with Alliance Boots and its Boots International teams to pursue further opportunities in this market and grow the business to serve the region’s expanding communities.”

The award-winning Boots range of health and beauty brands include No7, the UK’s leading cosmetics and skincare brand; Soltan, the UK’s biggest-selling suncare range (also recently launched in four countries in continental Europe) and Botanics, the holistic range of skin, hair, bath and body products created in conjunction with the Royal Botanical Gardens in London.

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02 February 2009

ADAC Highlights Efforts to Successfully Recruit Nationals with Special Needs at Recruitment Show

Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) announced yesterday its participation in the Abu Dhabi Recruitment Show 2009, which will be held in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, between 3-5 February. The ADAC pavilion at the show has been designed to provide extensive information and an environment which meets the needs of UAE nationals searching for employment opportunities with major national institutions such as ADAC.

Sheikha Al Maskari, ADAC's Vice President of Corporate Affairs, said:

"The aim of ADAC's participation is to attract the national workforce and involve them in the progress and development of our many facilities and in the progress and expansion worth $6.8 billion which is currently underway at Abu Dhabi International Airport."

Al Maskari added:

"ADAC seeks to invest in human resources and particularly in our national resources, as we consider them an important investment for which we have great hopes."

The exhibition is good opportunity to meet university students and graduates to discuss employment opportunities available in ADAC and its subsidiaries. The plans aim to activate the role of UAE national employees in the aviation sector.

This can be through offering an opportunity to develop their skills and provide them with qualifications and experience necessary to cope with the rapid changes occurring in the community and playing a key role in the development of the economy and developing society. This is in line with the objectives of the federal government and its strategic plans.

Human resource managers involved in management, training and development will be available at the ADAC stand to interview candidates, answer any questions and discuss the opportunities available in ADAC.

Mrs. Al Maskari asserted ADAC's commitment to recruit, train and develop the skills of UAE Nationals with special needs. "We are taking steps to ensure that our facilities are equipped with the necessary equipment to cater for the requirements of UAE nationals with special needs," she said.

The airport company has prepared special forms for applications which will be distributed to at the exhibition. It will also provide comprehensive information about its activities and recruitment procedures and incentives and training courses available.

The exhibition's focus on employment provides opportunities for companies to display the location of vacancies and employment available. The exhibitors include government institutions and quasi-governmental institutions, banks, building and construction companies, educational institutions and commercial and service companies and other companies interested in employing people.

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