Almosafer Academy to hone next-gen travel advisers

Seera Group‘s senior management inaugurated Almosafer Academy with Gazi bin Thafer Al-Shahrani, deputy minister of labor for nationalization affairs, in attendance.
Updated 21 September 2019

Almosafer Academy to hone next-gen travel advisers

Almosafer, an omni-channel travel brand in Saudi Arabia, celebrated the launch of Almosafer Academy, which offers a 10-week specialized recruitment program focused on shaping a new generation of Saudi male and female travel advisers. The inauguration ceremony was held at a state-of-the-art facility in Riyadh and was attended by senior officials from the company as well as several VIPs and stakeholders.

With the rollout of 25 new interactive stores across the Kingdom by the end of this year, Almosafer is utilizing the academy to equip passionate Saudi nationals with the skills and industry knowledge they need to succeed and grow as travel consultants within the company. Forty-eight Saudi recruits from key cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah and Makkah, will begin the program this month, with a female-to-male ratio of 56 to 44 percent.

The program will entail various familiarization trips to top destinations identified by Almosafer as well as dedicated destination training sessions delivered by tourism boards and travel specialists, including VisitBritain, Dubai Tourism, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, Azerbaijan Tourism Board, Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority as well as Experience Hub — the trade and promotion arm of Yas Island Abu Dhabi.

Fahad Mohammed Al-Obailan, VP retail of Almosafer, said: “At a time when global travel brands are scaling back on a brick-and-mortar presence, it’s very exciting to have the opportunity to give the brand a physical presence that works in perfect synergy with our other channels. With 50 new retail outlets scheduled to open in key cities across the Kingdom by Q1 2020, we believe that having the option of booking travel face-to-face with a specialized travel adviser will enrich customers’ experience and help them find tailored packages to suit their every need. 

“Almosafer Academy is an integral part of our retail transformation as we are immersing Saudi talent in intensive and specialized training that will give them the knowledge and skills to help customers make the right travel decisions.”

Sofia Santos, GCC country manager at VisitBritain, said: “We are excited about our collaboration with the Almosafer Academy, and the opportunity to be part of training the next generation of Saudi travel advisers. Most Saudi travelers are familiar with London. We will use this opportunity to showcase hidden gems in London and less well-known areas beyond London, such as the Cotswolds and Lake District.” 

Abdulla Yousuf, acting director, proximity markets at Dubai Tourism, said: “We’re giving graduates from Almosafer Academy the opportunity to visit and experience Dubai’s ever-changing choice of tourist attractions, landmark hotels and world-class restaurants and shopping destinations.”

Sevinj Zeynalli, director of international market management at Azerbaijan Tourism Board, said: “Educating Almosafer’s new recruits about our country will not only help raise further awareness around it as a tourism destination but will also boost inbound tourism from Saudi Arabia to Azerbaijan.”


Burj Al-Arab named No. 1 city hotel in MENA

Updated 13 July 2020

Burj Al-Arab named No. 1 city hotel in MENA

Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah, the crown jewel in hospitality leader Jumeirah Group’s portfolio and global icon of luxury, has been named the No. 1 city hotel in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by Travel + Leisure at its World’s Best Awards.

Every year, Travel + Leisure — one of the largest travel media brands in the US — provides its 6 million plus readers the chance to have their say in choosing the most outstanding destinations, hotels, resorts, spas, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators and rental car agencies around the world as part of its annual survey. This year marks 25 years of celebrating the best in travel, with Burj Al-Arab recognized on the “World’s Best” list for its hospitality excellence, intuitive luxury service and iconic appeal.

Currently celebrating two decades of operations, the hotel is renowned across the globe for its boundary-pushing architecture and innovative design, with the team going above and beyond to create bespoke experiences for guests. It is also known for culinary excellence with a collection of restaurants led by renowned chefs and overseen by Michael Ellis, chief culinary officer and former managing director of the Michelin Guide.

José Silva, chief executive officer of Jumeirah Group, said: “Burj Al-Arab represents the very pinnacle of luxury, known world-over for its elevated design, service beyond expectations and unmatched physical spaces. International recognition such as this not only reaffirms the hotel’s iconic standing on the world map but also serves as a thank you to all those who go above and beyond, every day, to make our guests’ stay truly remarkable.”

Jumeirah Group, a member of Dubai Holding and a global luxury hotel company, operates a 6,500+-key portfolio of 26 properties across the Middle East (including the flagship Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah) Europe and Asia, with more properties currently under construction around the globe.

Prioritizing the health and safety of its guests and colleagues, Jumeirah Group has implemented a series of protective measures across all of its hotels, while strictly adhering to each market’s respective government directives. Four of its hotels in Dubai were recently awarded the Bureau Veritas SafeGuard label, with Jumeirah Al-Naseem being the first hotel in the world to receive the prestigious certification. The group is working closely with Bureau Veritas to certify its wider portfolio.

This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results, therefore, reflect Travel + Leisure’s readers’ experiences before the pandemic.