Emirates Airline announces FIFA partnership deal until 2014
Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive
Emirates Airline and Group, left and Joseph (Sepp) Blatter, FIFA President,
hold aloft the FIFA World Cup trophy, while flanked by Emirates’ cabin
Emirates Airline last month signed a USS195 million or
THB 7.38 billion deal to become a FIFA Partner from 2007 to 2014 - by which
time the airline will be approximately twice its current size.
The landmark sponsorship deal, by far the largest the Dubai-based airline
has ever been involved with was signed by Emirates Chairman, His Highness
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum and FIFA President, Joseph S. Blatter, at
Park Hyatt Dubai.
Commenting on the deal Sheikh Ahmed said: “As an Official Partner of the
2006 FIFA World Cup, Emirates wanted to strengthen our association with
international football, the most widely supported sport in the world. It is
part of Emirates plan to become a global brand and household name and
association with the most high-profile sporting event in the world is one
part of Emirates’ strategy to achieve that aim.
“We believe sport is an ideal vehicle to communicate with our passengers
and football is a perfect platform for us to share and enjoy their passion
and commitment. This Partnership will enable us to achieve global awareness
of our brand at football events all around the world as well as in our home
territory of Dubai.”
“It is our intention for the United Arab Emirates to host a FIFA Beach
Soccer World Cup during the rights period, which would be the first event of
its kind to be held in the Arab world. Emirates becoming a FIFA Partner is
good for Emirates, good for Dubai and good for the UAE.”
In addition to hosting a FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, Emirates can also
choose to host a second official FIFA tournament in the UAE, further
enhancing the country’s position as a centre of sporting excellence.
Hosting world-class sporting events is something the UAE excels at and these
two FIFA events will bring travelers from all over the world to Dubai where
the emirate can showcase its capabilities and infrastructure for hosting
world class events, as well as its luxury hotels, beaches, leisure
facilities and great weather.
As part of its Partnership status with FIFA, Emirates will have exclusive
rights to broadcast matches of the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups either live
or delayed on its in-flight entertainment systems.
Two kingdoms ink open-skies pact
Thailand and Bahrain have signed an open-skies agreement
that permits designated airlines to operate an unlimited number of flights
between the two countries. Both countries have actively pursued open-skies
agreements to strengthen their aviation hub status and boost tourism.
Air traffic between Thailand and Bahrain has increased 15 per cent annually
over the past five years, according to authorities. Gulf Air expects to
carry around 140,000 passengers to Thailand this year, while it is believed
Thai Airways International is considering resuming its Bahrain service.
China set to become world’s second biggest tourist nation
China is set to become the second largest tourism economy
in the world in ten years, according to a report by the World Travel and
Tourism Council (WTTC).
China’s consumption and investment in the tourism industry will grow by 14
percent year on year to 2.77 trillion yuan (346.3 billion U.S. dollars) in
2006. With a projected annual growth of 8.7 percent from 2007 to 2016, China
is expected to boast the second highest growth in tourism demand in the
world, says the report.
The China National Tourism Administration figures show China received 120
million inbound visitors last year. The number is expected to grow by eight
percent in the next five years and the country is expected to receive some
137 million visitors by 2019 to become the world’s biggest inbound tourism
Safety was considered one of the most important reasons for China’s
attraction to foreign tourists, said Wei Xiaoan, a researcher with the
Tourism Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The
tragedy of September 11 was a reminder that safety should be considered in
appraising a tourism environment, said Wei.
China has also become one of the largest tourism sources for the
international industry. Chinese nationals made 31 million trips abroad last
year and the figure is expected to grow by 10 percent this year.
Many countries have instituted preferential policies to attract Chinese
tourists. Russia began offering visa-free entry to Chinese tourists in April
whilst Italy is offering Chinese services at many of its most popular
World’s largest cruise ship sets sail
Royal Caribbean International (RCI) on April 25 took
delivery of the world’s largest cruise ship, Freedom of the Seas, as the
vessel got set for its’ inaugural cruise out of Southhampton, bound for
Featuring industry-first attractions such as a shipboard surf park and
cantilevered whirlpools suspended 112 feet above the ocean, the vessel is
the first in RCI’s Freedom-class of ships. Other jaw-dropping amenities
include a full-sized boxing ring and a 14-person family suite.
With a width of 185 feet, and standing at 208 feet tall when measured from
the waterline to the top of the funnel, the ship has been designed to
attract a broad consumer base. Its Royal Promenade is a 445-foot-long
shopping, dining and entertainment boulevard that spans the length of an
entire football field.
At 160,000 gross rated tonnes and holding 3,634 guests double-occupancy,
Freedom of the Seas is four-times larger than the Titanic. It will sail
seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami calling in at Cozumel,
Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Hispaniola.
The Finnish-built vessel supplants rival cruise line Cunard’s Queen Mary 2
as the world’s largest passenger ship although its’ time at the top may
only be short lived. Royal Caribbean has ordered an even bigger ship
(nicknamed project Genesis), which is expected to gross 220,000 tonnes and
be capable of carrying up to 6,400 passengers for delivery in 2009.