Louvre Abu Dhabi, a record number of visitors in early 2017 in Dubai, first Sleep 'n' Fly Lounge...
Louvre Abu Dhabi:
November 2017 will witness the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a massive structure designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. The museum represents a milestone in the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, who led the commissions to build a network of global projects in Abu Dhabi that also include branches of the Sorbonne, New York University and Cleveland Clinic.
Louvre Abu Dhabi is significant for a number of reasons. At the outset, it is the very first universal museum in the Arab world, displaying an expansive array of human cultural production from Africa, to Asia, Europe and the Americas. This allows visitors to gain a better understanding of human creativity throughout the ages. Louvre Abu Dhabi will act as a conduit not only for the Middle East to learn from western best practices, but will also channel Middle Eastern and “global south” best practices and knowledge to the West. There are just as many lessons we can teach as there are to learn from the world, and that is the opportunity that Louvre Abu Dhabi will hopefully present.
What the Louvre Abu Dhabi will also do is to present Arab and regional art in a historical context since the museum is designed in a chronological order of displays. The question of what constitutes art and culture has for centuries been based on Eurocentric ideas of beauty and aesthetics. After all, an appreciation of regional cultures, aesthetics and artistic traditions are essential to understand the world we live in. These include Quranic manuscripts and modern Arabic Hurufism art, tent making, dhow building, and a wide selection of artefacts and adornments that are currently on display at the Lest We Forget exhibition at Warehouse 421 including jewellery, daggers, burkas and traditional garments worn by Emirati women and men.
One of the most anticipated by-products of Louvre Abu Dhabi will be the seminars, talks and conferences that it is expected to host throughout the year. The Agency France-Museums network, that oversees the Louvre in Paris, includes an array of scholars and researchers who can share their knowledge about the global artefacts in the possession of the museum and elsewhere. The Louvre Abu Dhabi resident experts will also be able to assist regional countries in their plans to develop their own institutions and collections. It will also give a boost to publishing of artistic books that are produced in the Arab world and will lessen the need to depend on western-based expertise and research can be conducted at least partly in the UAE.
The new museum can also play a role in identifying looted regional items and storing them until they are ready to be repatriated to their respective country of origin. Sadly, across the Middle East and as a result of the numerous conflicts this is a recurrent matter that needs all the resources we can spare.
A record number of visitors in early 2017:
A record total of 8.06 million international overnight tourists arrived in Dubai during the first six months of 2017, reflecting a stellar 10.6 per cent increase over the same period last year.
Figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing affirm the foundational strength, and sustained acceleration of the emirate’s tourism sector, as it stayed the course of its impressive growth trajectory from January this year, underscoring the expanding appeal of Dubai as a global tourism destination of choice.
Almost all of Dubai’s top 20 inbound visitor source markets saw positive or near stable year-on-year performances in the first half of 2017, with five of the top ten delivering standout double-digit growth.
India continued to top the list of traffic generators, for the first time crossing the one million mark over a six-month period with 1,051,000 Indians visiting the city between January and June, up 21 per cent over the same period last year.
Saudi Arabia and the UK retained their spots as the second and third largest feeder markets respectively, with the former rallying to stabilize in June despite facing economic challenges in 2017, while the latter delivered reliable volumes backed by solid four per cent year-on-year growth.
The strategic impetus of recent regulatory changes granting citizens from China and Russia free visa-on-arrival access to the UAE was evident in the continued growth peaks being delivered from these markets as they topped the charts with 55 per cent and 97 per cent increases respectively over the first six months of 2016.
As a result, China delivered 413,000 visitors to end half one of 2017 in fifth place, and Russia cemented its return to the top ten with 233,000 visitors.
The USA continued its resurgence to end mid-year up six per cent in sixth place, followed by Pakistan up 11 per cent in seventh, Iran up 27 per cent in eighth, and Germany up 6 per cent in ninth spots respectively.
Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai Tourism, commented: “We are extremely pleased that Dubai has sustained the momentum of growth we achieved in the first quarter to deliver a strong double-digit performance through half one of 2017, setting the stage for continued acceleration in tourism volumes and GDP contribution this year.
“Our strategic investments, innovative destination promotion programs, responsive federal policy reforms, and long-term global partnerships are evidently paying dividends as we ramp up efforts to increase Dubai’s accessibility, visibility and overall appeal, minimize barriers to travel, and ultimately drive both first-time and repeat visitation.”
Dubai International welcomes first Sleep ‘n’ Fly Lounge
Passengers flying through Terminal 3 at Dubai International now have more options to get some rest with the launch of the Sleep ‘n’ Fly Lounge, offering a total of 27 pods and cabins.
Scandinavian-designed for comfort and style, DXB’s new sleep lounge features 20 state-of-the-art ‘igloo’ sleep pods, plus seven premium double cabins with pull-out children’s beds.
Inspired by nature, Sleep ’n’ Fly provide an oasis of relaxation for a one-hour power nap, an entire night, or any duration in between.
Eugene Barry, executive vice president, Dubai Airports Commercial Group, said: “The opening of sleep ‘n’ fly expands Dubai International’s existing range of rest and relaxation options, and is the latest in a line of personalized and engaging products we are rolling out to cater to the evolving needs of global travelers.”
Located close to Gate A1 in Concourse A, the Sleep ’n’ Fly Lounge provides more choice for passengers travelling through DXB, which also boasts five-star hotels.
Geoffrey Carrier, general manager On ground Hospitality, said: “After operating dedicated airport sleep lounges for several years now we have taken our unique concept to a new level at Dubai International. Having launched our new flagship Sleep ’n’ Fly lounge, we are very excited to be part of the amazing DXB experience, and we look forward to offering some much-needed rest to the ever-growing number of passengers passing through the airport.”
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