The MoU signed between the Saudi Tourism Authority and Emirates Airline is another boon for the kingdom's rapidly developing tourism sector (Courtesy Emirates).

Islamic Lifestyle

Newswrap: Islamic lifestyle

A summary of the latest Islamic lifestyle news from around the world.


Abu Dhabi and Airbnb ink deal to promote holiday homes

Abu Dhabi's Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) signed a deal with holiday rental platform Airbnb to develop and grow the vacation rental home sector in the Emirate. Under the deal the platform will provide the Emirate’s tourism body with access to its ‘City Portal’, reported The National. A new ‘responsible hosting’ page is to be released that informs hosts about the Emirate’s rules for holiday homes. Abu Dhabi has required holiday home owners to register properties on a new online licencing system. "In partnering with the world-leading home rental platform, we are ensuring tourists and residents in Abu Dhabi are provided with more choice for safe and secure short-term accommodation," Saood Al Hosani, undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, was quoted as saying. "This co-operation will help us meet the rising demand for high-quality alternatives to established hotels and hotel apartments across Abu Dhabi.”

Kahlil Gibran musical 'Broken Wings' staged in London

Renowned Lebanese-American author Gibran Kahlil Gibran’s autobiography, Broken Wings, has been adapted into a musical in London’s West End theatre district. Gibran is famous for his 1923 work, The Prophet. The musical was written by British-Lebanese actor Nadim Naaman and the musical score composed by Qatari musician Dana Al Fardan, reported The National. Naaman and Al Fardan have also co-written another musical, which is still in production, Rumi: The Musical, about the 13th century Iranian philosopher and poet.

Abu Dhabi airport to double passenger numbers in 2022

Abu Dhabi International Airport passenger figures are expected to rebound this year following a slump due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The airport expects some 10.7 million passengers, more than double the figure of 2021, reported The National. Last year, passenger traffic was down 5.5%, with activity only increasing in the last quarter, when 2.43 million passengers used the airport, equivalent to 46% of the entire year’s activity. The National reported that the airport’s top five source countries in terms of passenger volumes in 2021 were India with 932,949 passengers, followed by Pakistan (550,728), Egypt (446,883), the USA (254,201) and Saudi Arabia (244,954). “The busiest destinations served by Abu Dhabi International were Cairo with 372,456 passengers, Islamabad (209,280), New Delhi (197,012), Lahore (184,315) and Dhaka (182,983), the operator said.”

Saudi Tourism Authority and Emirates Airline sign tourism MoU to bolster tourism to the kingdom

The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) and Emirates have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost inbound tourism into Saudi Arabia and attract new segments of travellers across the airline’s extensive global network. The new agreement aims to capitalise on the airline’s global network of over 120 cities to raise awareness and amplify the Saudi Arabian experience for leisure travelers to come and visit the kingdom’s unique attractions, according to a press release. Through the strategic partnership the airline will also explore opportunities to align its schedules from key source markets in the Emirates network to its gateways in Saudi Arabia, providing greater connectivity and convenience for its customers and further developing inbound tourism arrivals. Emirates and the Saudi Tourism Authority will also evaluate ways to enhance the travel experience that cultivates a more supportive visitor infrastructure for those journeying to Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Medina, the airline’s four gateways. "The MoU signed between the Saudi Tourism Authority and Emirates Airline will enable us to reach over 120 destinations around the world and attract tourists from these destinations to various Saudi destinations,” said Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Board Member of the Saudi Tourism Authority.

Turkey and UAE ink cooperation agreements

During a visit to Abu Dhabi, the President of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan, several bilateral cooperation agreements were signed, reported The National. Co-operation agreements, memoranda of understanding (MoUs) and protocols were inked for health and medical sciences; sea, land and transport; advanced industries and technologies; climate action; culture; and economic partnerships. Cooperation agreements were also signed for the media and between the UAE's National Library and Archives and the General Directorate of State Archives, affiliated to the Turkish Presidency.