Emirates commences second daily A380 service from Birmingham to Dubai

Emirates has said that it has commenced its second daily A380 service to Dubai from Birmingham Airport.

The second daily service comes following increased demand from customers and after nearly two years of its inaugural A380 flight from the city. Emirates’ second flight EK39 departs from Dubai at 07:25 hours and arrives in Birmingham at 11:25 hours. The outbound flight, EK40, departs from Birmingham at 13:30 hours and arrives in Dubai at 00:35 hours the following day.

Laurie Berryman, Emirates Vice President, UK, said: ‘The launch of the second daily A380 service shows our continued commitment to this important route, allowing more passengers travelling from Birmingham to take advantage of our A380 to A380 connectivity via Dubai.

‘Thanks to its strategic position in the Midlands, the route allows both visitors and businesses to travel to Dubai and beyond from the heart of the UK. Now in its seventeenth year, we have seen a pronounced growth in the popularity of our Birmingham service and look forward to a bright future with our twice daily A380 service.’

William Pearson, Aviation Director commented: ‘We are delighted that Emirates has launched a second A380 service from Birmingham to Dubai with this iconic aircraft. Emirates’ hub in Dubai offers connections to 154 destinations, over six continents, giving our region’s travellers global connectivity with an award-winning airline.

‘Having this additional capacity on the lunchtime service to Dubai and onwards ensures flexibility and choice for passengers and also shows the commitment that Emirates has in the Midlands region.’

Since the launch of the first A380 service on March 27, 2016, the airline has flown nearly 500,000 passengers on the aircraft between the two cities. Passengers travelling in Business Class are offered a dedicated lounge at Birmingham Airport as well as Emirates’ Chauffeur-drive service to and from the airport within a 70-mile radius.

Emirates started flying between Birmingham and Dubai on December 18, 2000, operated by a 278-seat Airbus A330. Since then, the airline has carried over 5.2 million passengers between Dubai and Birmingham, the Airport noted.

Emirates announces second daily A380 service from Dubai to Birmingham

Emirates has announced that it will introduce a second daily A380 service between Dubai and Birmingham, starting October 2017.

According to a release by the Birmingham Airport, Flight EK39/40 – currently operated by a Boeing 777 – will now be operated by the Emirates A380, adding to the existing daily A380 already operating on the route.

The addition of the new A380 follows the suspension of one of Emirates’ flights to Birmingham. The world’s largest passenger aircraft, A380 features 615 seats. With the new service, starting October 2017, the airline will operate a twice-daily, all-A380 service to the Midlands.

Emirates’ A380 service reportedly has had high demand from passengers. Since the first A380 service from Dubai to Birmingham commenced on March 27, 2016, over 300,000 passengers have already flown on the aircraft between the two cities.

Emirates’ flight EK39 departs from Dubai at 07:25 hours and arrives in Birmingham at 11:25 hours. The outbound flight, EK40, departs from Birmingham at 13:30 hours and arrives in Dubai at 00:35 hours the following day. Tickets are available to book at www.emirates.com.

The A380 features one of the widest individual in-seat Economy Class screens, measuring in at 13.3 inches and offering over 2,500 channels on the in-flight entertainment system. Similar to the current A380 used on the route, the aircraft will operate in a two class configuration, featuring 58 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 557 seats in Economy Class, as well as Emirates’ Onboard Lounge.

With Emirates offering A380 services to key destinations in the East such as Auckland, Bangkok, Beijing, Perth, Singapore and Sydney, passengers travelling beyond Dubai have an increased opportunity to fly on the A380 on both legs of their journey. As with the current service, travellers will also have connectivity to Emirates’ network of 31 destinations in the Indian Subcontinent and Africa. In addition, Emirates currently offers new passenger services to places including Cebu and Clark in the Philippines, Yinchuan and Zhengzhou in mainland China, Yangon in Myanmar and Hanoi in Vietnam. On July 1, 2017, Emirates will also start flying daily to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Thomson Cruises announces addition of Dubai in 2016

Thomson Cruises has announced that the Thomson Celebration cruise ship will be operating from the port of Dubai for the first time next winter, offering choices to British holiday makers.

The UK holiday company has announced two new itineraries, available for sale from November 2015, featuring seven new ports of call: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Manama (Bahrain), Doha (Qatar), Khor Fakkan (UAE), Muscat and Khasab (Oman). The move comes as Dubai’s popularity as a tourist spot has risen, with 13 million tourists visiting the destination in 2014.

The new seven night itineraries – ‘Arabian Nights’ and ‘Cities of Gold’ – will stop overnight in Dubai and visit six new destinations including Khasab and Muscat in Oman, Manama in Bahrain, Doha in Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Khor Fakkan in UAE. Holiday highlights include the spectacular sites of the Burj al Arab and Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi and the Grand Mosque in Muscat. Tourists can also explore the magnificent Musafi Mountains in Khor Fakkan and try out desert safaris.

Customers looking to combine their cruise with a seven night stay in Dubai can stay in luxury hotels including Atlantis the Palm. Offering further flexibility, cruise customers can fly direct to Dubai from six regional airports including Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and London Gatwick.

Managing Director for Thomson Cruises, Helen Caron, said: ‘At Thomson Cruises we know that destinations are one of the key deciding factors for our customers and our decision to set sail from Dubai will allow holiday-makers to see and experience more destinations than ever before. As Dubai becomes more and more popular for winter sun and incredible excursions, we know our customers will be as excited as we are to welcome this destination to our programme. With the average Brit visiting more than 14 foreign countries in their lifetime*, we can’t wait for everyone to discover Arabia, from the glamour and opulence of Dubai and Abu Dhabi to the ancient heritage sites in Oman.’

 

Dubai to overtake Heathrow as world’s busiest airport

Dubai International Airport is set to overtake London Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport next year, News24.com has reported, citing Willie Walsh, CEO of the International Airlines Group (IAG), the holding company of British Airways and Iberia.

‘In 2001 Dubai was number 99 in the world in terms of international tourist arrivals. London Heathrow was number one. Last year in 2012, Dubai ranked number two. London Heathrow was still number one, but next year Dubai will overtake Heathrow,’ Walsh said, adding that the growth of Dubai as an aviation hub was helped by the enabling role played by the gulf governments.

Walsh said that the government in Dubai recognised the strengths of their geographic location and the value of aviation for the region. ‘So they created the environment for the industry to flourish. They built world class airports and other infrastructure for Emirates and created a tax environment that was in favour of the airline,’ he said.

Dubai Airports chairman, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, also told Bloomberg that Dubai International Airport will overtake London Heathrow to become the world’s busiest civil aviation hub by next year. Dubai’s annual traffic report showed that 57.6m passengers passed through the hub last year, a 13.2 percent increase compared to 2011. The statistics made Dubai the world’s third busiest airport, overtaking Hong Kong International.

Walsh hit out at the UK government’s high aviation taxes, saying: ‘The continued high taxes is madness. And it’s damaging the industry and the UK economy.’

Airline, Bmi, and over 250 UK business leaders have recently asked the UK government to abolish the high air taxes in line with a similar move by Ireland.

In the meantime, a study conducted by travel search site, Skyscanner, has named Heathrow the best European airport for families. Presently the world’s busiest airport, London Heathrow carries almost 70 million passengers each year.

 

World’s tallest hotel opens in Dubai

In its bid to constantly outdo itself, Dubai is about to open the world’s tallest hotel, replacing the previous world’s tallest hotel that is situated in…Dubai!

At 1,164 feet tall, the newly opened JW Marriott Marquis has torn the ‘Biggest Bed & Breakfast’ record from the – frankly diminutive – Rose Tower Dubai, which sits at a stunted 1,093 feet tall.

Staff at the Guinness Book of World Records will have had to carry out a hasty rewrite to the tome’s pages concerning excessive hostelries, as the new Marriott’s 72 floors – spread over 355 metres – trample all before them. And not content with building just one elongated edifice, and with an admirable disregard for history, the hotel’s designers opted for a twin-tower format.

Only one tower will be open initially, with the second expected to open by 2014, but even as it pines for its partner the current edifice has enough available space to pack in 804 rooms of various shapes, sizes and expense, 9 restaurants, 5 bars, 2 ballrooms a spa, and a health club. It also has the capacity to host conventions with up to 1,000 delegates.

Marriott International president and CEO, Arne Sorenson, was quoted in the Daily Mail, saying, ‘Dubai is an important destination for Marriott International as one of the world’s most exciting cities offering world-class facilities and infrastructure, central location in the region and future growth potential. Our expanding collection of world-class JW Marriott hotels offers accomplished travellers a one-of-a-kind luxury experience. The investment in this unique and visually stunning hotel is testament to the continued opportunities that lie ahead for the brand and company.’

Travellers with a head for heights will be keen to know that the Emirates Group-owned hotel will have room prices commencing from around GBP215.

 

Emirates Announces New Service to Warsaw from February

UAE-based airline company, Emirates Airline, has announced that its inaugural service to Poland will be commencing from February 6, 2013.

Emirates has launched its service to Poland with a trade preview of the airline’s main A380 aircraft, with a reproduction of a First Class Private Suite on display.

The airline will be offering a daily service to Warsaw in Poland, from Dubai in the UAE, with a 237-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

Richard Jewsbury, the airline senior vice president of commercial operations for Europe and Russian Federation, said, ‘Warsaw will be the first new route for Emirates in 2013 and our preparations for launch are currently in full swing. With less than a month to go we are ramping up our activities on the ground in Warsaw and around our global network, in order to increase tourism flows in both directions.

Poland continues to see significant economic growth and our new flights, connecting Poland with our destinations in the Far East, Africa, Middle East and Australasia, will play a pivotal role in further boosting the city’s projected fiscal growth’

The airline is also offering Emirates SkyCargo services, which will be carrying 238 tonnes of belly-hold capacity per week, to aid the increasing trade ties with Poland from the other destinations in the airline’s network.

The airline has recently launched a second daily flight to Dubai Airport from Glasgow Airport with a 364-seat Boeing 777 aircraft. The new service commenced from January 1, 2013. The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft replaces the earlier Airbus A340-300 used on the same route. The new aircraft has added around 650 seats every week, as well as an extra 70 tonnes of cargo capacity.

Chinese to scrap QE2

The QE2, once the pride of cruise company Cunard’s fleet, is to be sold to the Chinese for scrap.

The GBP20m scrap deal follows the apparent collapse of a proposal to bring the ship back to the UK from its present mooring in Dubai, with the intention of turning it into a floating 5-star hotel. Investors had intended to moor the ship on the Thames, opposite the O2 Arena, and had presented a proposal to Dubai World, the owner of the vessel since its purchase for GBP64m in 2007.

However, it now appears that a separate deal has been done with a Chinese breaking yard, and the Daily Mail has reported that a twenty-strong Chinese crew is already on board the ship.

The newspaper quoted Roger Murray of QE2 London, saying, ‘We have been told the ship is going to be put into a dry dock before being taken to an unknown destination in the far east. That is a tragedy because it almost certainly means the QE2 is being sold as scrap. Our investors were going to give GBP20 million for the ship itself, plus GBP60 million for renovation and the cost of bringing the ship back to Britain. But the ship could raise as much as GBP20 million as dead weight scrap, and the Chinese cash would be immediate.’

Alaric Errington, a spokesman for Equity in Finance, the organisation that was leading the investment consortium behind the QE2 London bid, said, ‘This is a fantastic opportunity and we put forward a very commanding commercial proposition that was designed to give Dubai a future return. The QE2 is an icon but our proposal also makes business sense. The cost of renovating the QE2 and bringing it back to the UK is no more than acquiring land in central London to build a luxury hotel.’

Selling the vessel for scrap appears to be at odds with the agreement signed in 2007 by Istithmar, part of the state conglomerate, Dubai World, which included a clause that the ship would not be sold on for at least 10 years, but Dubai World believe that ‘a contract modification could be agreed’, according to the report.

The UK hotel project had the potential to create up to 2,000 new jobs.

 

Where to go for afternoon tea in Dubai

Afternoon tea is a British tradition, but if you’re planning to go to Dubai anytime soon, it’s well worth treating yourself to this classic cake-and-tea combination while you’re there. Why? Well, there’s always a sense of indulgence around afternoon tea, which means it fits well with Dubai’s luxurious hotels and general affluence. Also, it’s delicious – and doe anyone need a better reason than that!
We’ve put together a shortlist of the establishments with the best reputations for afternoon tea below.

The Westin

You’ll find this hotel on Al Sofouh Road, with afternoon tea served in The Atrium lounge. One of the best things about coming here is that the cakes are really beautifully decorated, so you can enjoy the decadent feel that often comes with tucking into afternoon tea.

As well as the usual staples like Breakfast Tea, there are some pretty unusual-sounding teas to try too, like Organic Dragon Well and Flowering Osmathus. So, this is a great place to be adventurous and give something new a go!

The dress code is smart-casual, and the staff are polite and helpful.

Sofitel Jumeirah Beach

You can’t go to Dubai and not visit the famous Jumeirah Beach area, and while you’re there you may as well treat yourself to a little afternoon tea break. You are on holiday, after all!

Afternoon tea here is served in the hotel’s 24-hour bar, Plantation. Designed to resemble a colonial conservatory, this venue has a very sophisticated feel – something that’s reflected in the menu too. Alongside afternoon tea, the bar also serves up French delicacies, and you’ll notice some French flourishes in the former too, such as lobster sandwiches.

Another thing that makes the Sofitel stand out is that its presentation is quite unusual – the afternoon tea is usually served on robust black crockery, reminiscent of Japanese-style teas.

Bateaux Dubai

If you fancy doing something a little bit different, reserving a table for afternoon tea on Bateaux Dubai is a brilliant choice. Instead of just sitting down to a tasty selection of sandwiches, scones and pastries, you’ll also enjoy a 45-minute cruise on a boat that offers 360-degree views. It doesn’t get much better than that!

The food here is fabulous, too, so you needn’t worry that you’re sacrificing the quality of your tea for the fun of cruising. Plus, the staff are very attentive, which is always a bonus.

Park Hyatt Dubai

Another great place for afternoon tea is the Park Hyatt Dubai. The Lounge is a pretty, Arabic-themed venue that has some great and unusual features, like a central indoor garden. So, it’s got a great elegant-but-casual atmosphere.

Afternoon tea is served daily between 14:00 and 18:00 local time, but if you’re celebrating a special occasion, why not treat yourself to a champagne tea? You can get these from 14:00 to 16:00.

One&Only Royal Mirage

The last afternoon tea venue on my shortlist is the One & Only Royal Mirage. If you want to enjoy your tea in lavish surroundings, this establishment’s Samavor Lounge is definitely the place to go – it’s Arabic theme includes incredibly soft sofas and velvet drapes.

Perhaps the best thing about coming here, though, is that the portions are nice and generous, while the food looks virtually too good to eat.

Have you had afternoon tea in Dubai recently? Drop us a line and let us know where you went and, more importantly, how it was!

Emirates Expands Glasgow to Dubai Route Capacity with Boeing 777 Aircraft

UAE-based airline company, Emirates Airline, has announced an upgrade of its services from Dubai to Glasgow Airport in Scotland.

The airline has launched a second daily flight to Dubai from Glasgow with a 364 seat Boeing 777 aircraft. The new service commences from January 1, 2013. The new Boeing 777-300ER replaces the Airbus A340-300 that is currently used on the same route. The new aircraft will add around 650 seats a week, as well as an extra 70 tonnes of cargo.

Laurie Berryman, the airline vice president for the UK, said, ‘As a result of the popularity and success of the second daily flight to Dubai, the upgraded service will be bigger and better. It is not only great news for all our customers in Glasgow, but also for the Scottish economy.

It highlights Emirates’ continued investment and support for the area since we launched the route in 2004, and comes hot on the heels of Emirates being unveiled as an Official Partner of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Official Airline of the Queen’s Baton Relay.

No one can be in any doubt that growth remains a key objective for Emirates here in Scotland. We can now seamlessly connect even more Scottish passengers to our extensive route network, without them having to travel via London or other European airports – and we are doing so in style with our Boeing 777-300ER.’

Amanda McMillan, the managing director of Glasgow Airport, said, ‘Emirates’ twice daily service to Dubai is of huge economic importance to Glasgow and Scotland as a whole, and it is no surprise that the second service has proved extremely popular since its launch earlier this year.

The decision to upgrade the aircraft so soon after the launch is further evidence of this success and it will, once again, increase Emirates’ capacity to and from Glasgow.’

New and Stylish Accommodation on Offer in Dubai

In recent times Dubai, in the UAE, has become a major attraction for visitors from the UK during the holiday seasons.

Dubai is claimed to be home to some of the world’s most stunning hotel architecture, including the Armani, Burj Al Arab and Atlantis the Palm. According to an earlier industry forecast issued by international industry consultant, Business Monitor International (BMI), the number of foreign tourists heading to the UAE in 2012 is expected to reach almost 9 million.

A Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) report has suggested that in the second quarter of 2012, hotel and apartment booking in Dubai has increased to 170,452, from 154,180 during the same period in 2011. The average stay for travellers from the UK has also increased by 5 percent in the second quarter of 2012, from that in same quarter of 2011.

New hotels in Dubai include the Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah, the Palazzo Versace Dubai and W Hotel Dubai.

The 330-room Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah will be opening in 2014, and will be offering a 600 metre private beach, a health spa and a number of outdoor pools. The hotel will also be offering ten restaurants and bars.

The Palazzo Versace Dubai will open in 2014, claiming to offer a luxury lifestyle experience, while W Hotels is opening its new hotel on the Sheik Zayed Road, with 384 guest rooms.

Ian Scott, director of Dubai Tourism for UK and Ireland, said, ‘Dubai is becoming a much more affordable destination and it’s great to see so many families choosing to visit the emirate for the first time.

Dubai has, however, built a reputation as a luxury destination, and due to demand a number of new five star hotels is set to open over the next four years.

It’s great to see such a wide variety of accommodation available in the emirate – from an extensive range of self catering options to family resorts and boutique hotels – there really is something for everyone.’