Abu Dhabi launches ‘Summer Like You Mean It’ tourism campaign

Abu Dhabi launches ‘Summer Like You Mean It’ tourism campaign
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Abu Dhabi has launched a new destination campaign to attract travellers to the UAE’s capital during the summer. (WAM)
Abu Dhabi launches ‘Summer Like You Mean It’ tourism campaign
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Abu Dhabi has launched a new destination campaign to attract travellers to the UAE’s capital during the summer. (WAM)
Abu Dhabi launches ‘Summer Like You Mean It’ tourism campaign
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Abu Dhabi has launched a new destination campaign to attract travellers to the UAE’s capital during the summer. (WAM)
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Updated 08 May 2022

Abu Dhabi launches ‘Summer Like You Mean It’ tourism campaign

Abu Dhabi launches ‘Summer Like You Mean It’ tourism campaign
  • New offers including the Abu Dhabi summer pass will be rolled out with promotions
  • Prices at top hotels across Abu Dhabi in summer will be 30 percent less than during high season

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi has launched a new destination campaign to attract travellers to the UAE's capital during the summer.

The new campaign showcases unique and memorable experiences that visitors to Abu Dhabi can experience during the summer, Emirates News Agency reported.

There is something for everyone and activities vary from swimming with tiger sharks at the National Aquarium to taking a ride on the world’s fastest roller coaster at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and stargazing in the desert at night.

Those interested in culture and history can visit the Qasr Al-Hosn and Qasr Al-Watan palaces, whilst those wanting to channel their inner peace can participate in yoga sessions at sunrise in the iconic surroundings of Louvre Abu Dhabi.

New offers including the Abu Dhabi summer pass will be rolled out with promotions across experiences, cultural sites, and family entertainment attractions.

The pass will give visitors access to three leading theme parks (Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi), all cultural sites including Louvre Abu Dhabi, Qasr Al-Watan presidential palace, Qasr Al-Hosn, and free transportation via Yas Express and Abu Dhabi bus systems.

Specific details will be unveiled in the coming weeks as the pass is rolled out.

Prices at top hotels across the city in summer will also be 30 percent less than during high season.

“Global travellers have their eyes on the Middle East, so now is the perfect time to be sharing Abu Dhabi with the world, shining a light on just how many unique and diverse experiences are waiting to be explored affordably in and around the UAE’s capital,” the Director General of Tourism at Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism, Saleh Mohamed Al-Geziry, said.

“This summer, we want travellers to experience the known and unknown of Abu Dhabi, uncovering the hidden gems of our destination – at their own pace, whether it’s the thrills of our world class indoor theme parks or the race of the Yas Marina Circuit, to the rich depth of culture and activities that ensure the whole family is inspired and entertained,” Al-Geziry added.

“The UAE capital has something for everyone. We want to make those precious memories more accessible by providing competitive and compelling offers throughout the season so travellers can experience summer exactly as it can and should be enjoyed.”


Where We Are Going Today: Polarbox - for a family desert picnic

Photo/Supplied
Photo/Supplied
Updated 25 September 2022

Where We Are Going Today: Polarbox - for a family desert picnic

Photo/Supplied
  • It’s lined on the inside with expanded polystyrene foam, a material that’s lightweight and has excellent thermal insulation

Whether you’re going to the beach or on a desert trip with your friends, it’s always a good idea to carry an icebox with you to keep your food and beverages cool in the heat. But did you know you can now do so in style?

Polarbox is a Spanish-made icebox that comes in pastel colors (lavender, blue, turquoise, pink and yellow), has a retro font design, a leather strap, and looks eminently attractive and reliable.

It’s lined on the inside with expanded polystyrene foam, a material that’s lightweight and has excellent thermal insulation.

I took my stylish pastel yellow Polarbox to a family desert picnic and it kept the beverages cool for long hours. I found it to be a great tool and an actual necessity for road trips and the like.

I ordered my icebox from www.gfz.sa and a fun feature on the website is that you can choose your straps. It can come in different patterns such as floral, colorful leopard prints, tie-dye, geometric, patchwork and more.

You can adjust the strap three ways to carry it on the shoulder, by hand, and to close the cover securely.

The colorful iceboxes are delivered every Wednesday. The company can deliver from Riyadh to any city in the Kingdom.

I am taking my fashionable Polarbox along for all my outdoor activities, and I am excited to use it for those sunny days at the beach.

 


‘Next-generation’ theme park SeaWorld Abu Dhabi to open in 2023

‘Next-generation’ theme park SeaWorld Abu Dhabi to open in 2023
Updated 14 September 2022

‘Next-generation’ theme park SeaWorld Abu Dhabi to open in 2023

‘Next-generation’ theme park SeaWorld Abu Dhabi to open in 2023
  • The opening will mark the first SeaWorld park to be built outside the US
  • The research and rescue center is slated to open this year

DUBAI: SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, a next-generation marine-life theme park on Yas Island, is 90 per cent complete and will open in 2023, property developer Miral announced on Wednesday.

The development includes the UAE’s first dedicated marine research, rescue, rehabilitation and return center. To be located next to the marine-life theme park, the research and rescue center will open this year. It will support regional and global conservation efforts, with a focus on indigenous Arabian Gulf and marine life ecosystems.

The marine-life theme park will feature themed guest environments, habitats, rides and immersive experiences. (Supplied)

Built on five indoor levels with a total area of approximately 183,000sqm, the marine-life theme park will feature themed guest environments, habitats, rides and immersive experiences. It's set to be home to the region's largest multi-species aquarium, with more than 58 million litres of water and 150 species, including sharks, manta rays, sea turtles, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.

“Abu Dhabi and the UAE has delivered longstanding marine conservation, and SeaWorld Abu Dhabi signifies the start of a new chapter in regional and global marine life knowledge, conservation, and sustainability,” said Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of Miral. “Our partnership with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment to bring this next-generation marine-life theme park to the capital will further help position Abu Dhabi as a global tourism hub and contribute to its economic growth and diversification vision.”


David Beckham stars in Qatar Tourism campaign

Qatar Tourism has launched a holiday campaign featuring British superstar David Beckham. (File/ AFP)
Qatar Tourism has launched a holiday campaign featuring British superstar David Beckham. (File/ AFP)
Updated 28 August 2022

David Beckham stars in Qatar Tourism campaign

Qatar Tourism has launched a holiday campaign featuring British superstar David Beckham. (File/ AFP)

DUBAI: Qatar Tourism has launched a holiday campaign featuring British superstar David Beckham.

The campaign shows off the former footballer’s action-packed stay in the country over the course of 48 hours — Beckham explores the spice markets of Souq Waqif, dishes up tacos inspired by Qatari flavors and hits the streets of Doha on a motorbike.

 “Qatar has surprised me with a wide range of great experiences you can have in just 48 hours. The people are warm and welcoming, and it is a great place to spend a few days,” Beckham said in a released statement.

“The people of Qatar are really passionate about their culture and the mix of modern and traditional creates something really special. I saw so much during my trip from spice markets to museums to enjoying a ride on my motorbike, which was one of the highlights,” he added.

Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Chairman of Qatar Tourism and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “It has been a pleasure to welcome David to Qatar, where he has immersed himself in the culture and experienced first-hand the warm hospitality of our people. I encourage the millions who transit through Qatar every year to follow in David’s footsteps and create their own exciting adventure and memories. We have something for everyone at incredible value, whether it’s sun, sea and sand, rich heritage and culture, surprising nature, or a modern and fun city break.”


Visitors take a trip to Saudi Arabia’s Taif to rejuvenate in nature

The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape. (SPA)
The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape. (SPA)
Updated 13 August 2022

Visitors take a trip to Saudi Arabia’s Taif to rejuvenate in nature

The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape. (SPA)
  • The region has more than 2,000 flower farms that produce more than 200 million roses every season

TAIF: Visitors from all over the Kingdom and the Gulf are flocking to Taif this summer to get respite from the heat and rejuvenate in the region’s mountains.

The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape, several of which are also working farms or have beautiful gardens planted with the famous Taif roses and wild plants including basil, al-baitran, and marjoram.

Tourists and visitors can also stay in cozy, rural hostels made of old stone ornamented with carvings and sculptures of animals, where they can enjoy stunning views of the mountains and valleys of Taif, which are home to a variety of rare birds.

The city and other nearby areas such as Al-Hada and Al-Shifa are also famous for their fruits.

The region has more than 2,000 flower farms that produce more than 200 million roses every season. Taif roses have historic, economic and religious importance. The oil is used to perfume the walls of the Kaaba, which is also washed twice annually with its scented water.

Besides basking in nature, visitors to Taif can also visit museums, local markets, rose factories in Al-Shafa and Al-Hada, the cable car, a strawberry farm, the zoo, and historic castles.

 


 


Crushed by war, Syrian tourism eyes expat uptick

A visitor uses a mobile phone as she walks at Al Azem Palace in Damascus, Syria July 31, 2022. (REUTERS)
A visitor uses a mobile phone as she walks at Al Azem Palace in Damascus, Syria July 31, 2022. (REUTERS)
Updated 10 August 2022

Crushed by war, Syrian tourism eyes expat uptick

A visitor uses a mobile phone as she walks at Al Azem Palace in Damascus, Syria July 31, 2022. (REUTERS)
  • Foreign visitors to Syria today come mostly from countries that have good relations with President Bashar al-Assad's government
  • Syria's economy is in dire straits, hurt by factors including a precipitous decline in the currency's value since 2019, prompted by neighbouring Lebanon's financial collapse

DAMASCUS: Somar Hazim had high hopes when he opened a hotel in Damascus in 2009, adding to a growing number of boutique guest houses in the Old City that were proving to be a hit with tourists, before war broke out and forced him to close down.
Although security returned to Damascus years ago, big-spending foreign visitors have not, with Syria still fractured by war.
Hazim has no plans to reopen his Beit Rose Hotel, an 18th century house with rooms set around a picturesque courtyard, a decision that reflects the weakness of tourism and the wider economy of a country suffering from 11 years of conflict.

People sit at a rooftop lounge in Damascus, Syria August 3, 2022. (REUTERS)

“The number of foreign tourists in Syria — as they were before 2011 ... are still few,” said Hazim, smoking a water pipe at a cafe he owns in another old Damascene house. But he sees a glimmer of hope: more Syrian expats are visiting.
At its peak in 2010, Syria attracted 10 million tourists, many of them Westerners. That all changed in 2011 with the onset of the war that has killed at least 350,000 people and uprooted half the population, forcing millions abroad as refugees.
Foreign visitors to Syria today come mostly from countries that have good relations with President Bashar Assad’s government. They include Iraqis, Lebanese and Iranians on pilgrimage to sites revered by Shiite Muslims.

A man and a woman play backgammon at Somar Hazim's cafe in Damascus, Syria July 31, 2022. (REUTERS)

Visitor numbers rose to 750,000 in the first half of 2022 from 570,000 in the same period of 2021, Tourism Minister Mohammed Rami Martini told Reuters, attributing the rise to the easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions.
He expects visitor numbers this year to recover to levels last seen in 2018 and 2019.
“We have close to 100,000 Iraqis, and there are Lebanese and others from friendly states. But the biggest number are the expatriates,” he said, describing this as a boost to the economy because they spend amounts similar to foreign tourists.
Syria’s economy is in dire straits, hurt by factors including a precipitous decline in the currency’s value since 2019, prompted by neighboring Lebanon’s financial collapse.

Sami Alkodaimi, a Syrian expatriate who lives in Saudi Arabia, uses his laptop at his home in Damascus, Syria August 6, 2022. (REUTERS)

Subsidies on essential goods have been gradually lifted, with prices of items such as fuel rising to unprecedented levels.
Although the currency’s collapse has boosted the purchasing power of expatriates visiting with wads of foreign currency, the gaps in some basic provisions has been frustrating.
Sami Alkodaimi, a Syrian expatriate who lives in Saudi Arabia, stayed away from the country from 2011 to 2019, during the peak of the country’s conflict.
In Syria this summer, Alkodaimi said he felt less hope during this visit, noting higher prices, fuel shortages, and poor electricity provision in the heat of summer.
“I came in my car from Riyadh. The gasoline issue is very annoying. We are trying to obtain it, but with difficulty,” he said.