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    Miral announces the much-anticipated SeaWorld® Yas Island, Abu Dhabi to open its doors on 23 May

    Miral, Abu Dhabi’s leading creator of immersive destinations and experiences, announced today that SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is set to open its doors to the public on the 23rd of May 2023. The next-generation Marine Life Theme Park will tell a captivating ‘One Ocean’ story that uncovers the interconnectivity between life on earth and our ocean. SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will deliver engaging, and immersive family-friendly experiences through eight of its uniquely themed realms, featuring up-close animal encounters, exciting rides, inspiring entertainment, as well as unmatched dining and shopping experiences.
    A collaboration between Miral and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi’s eight realms can be explored across five indoor levels spanning an area of approximately 183,000m2 with the Endless Ocean realm set to be home to the world’s largest and most expansive multi-species aquarium. This innovatively designed aquarium will contain over 25 million liters of water and will be a dynamic habitat for more than 68,000 marine animals, including sharks, schools of fish, manta rays and sea turtles. Located on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, in total there will be over 100,000 marine animals including 150 species of birds, fish, mammals and reptiles at the Marine Life Theme Park. Animal habitats in each realm of SeaWorld Abu Dhabi have been custom designed using state-of-the-art technology and the highest standards for animal welfare.
    Chairman of Miral, His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, said: “We are delighted to announce the opening of SeaWorld Abu Dhabi this May, and proud of our partnership with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment to bring the region’s next-generation Marine Life Theme Park to Abu Dhabi and to Yas Island. As part of our commitment to the Year of Sustainability, the marine life park will embed Sheikh Zayed’s legacy and profound respect for nature and all its beauty, as well as play a key role in promoting environmental awareness and protecting marine life in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the wider region. Through its innovative programs and its state-of-the-art facilities, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi aims to inspire the next generation of conservationists and marine life scientists while fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world. SeaWorld Abu Dhabi’s opening will mark an exciting new chapter in Yas Island and Abu Dhabi’s ongoing efforts to promote tourism, showcase the emirate’s truly unique offerings and position it as a top global destination.”
    Designed according to standards set by the Association of Zoos and Aquarium (AZA) and American Humane, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi’s next-generation marine life habitats feature state-of-the art design and technology that will enable animals to live in dynamic habitats alongside other fish, birds, and animals as they would in nature.  Other spaces have been designed to provide flexibility for animal welfare allowing the SeaWorld Abu Dhabi animal care team to recreate social seasonal patterns for animals such as the walrus. Unique systems such as the Advanced Animal Lighting System (AALS) recreate night/day and seasonal light cycles while also providing the health benefits of full spectrum light and the Animal Life Support System (ALSS) that manages water quality to support the diverse array of fish and mammals living together in dynamic environments are some of the cutting-edge features at SeaWorld Abu Dhabi.
    Chairman of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Scott Ross shared his thoughts on the occasion, saying: “We’re very excited to share that the highly anticipated SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will open its doors very soon.  We cannot be prouder and more honored to open our first SeaWorld outside of the United States with such dynamic and innovative partners as Miral and the UAE. It is only through the strength of our partnership,  unwavering support, and commitment that we are bringing this incredible experience to Yas Island. Years in the making, SeaWorld’s world-renowned team of animal care specialists, scientists, and engineers have worked alongside the visionary team at Miral, leading architects and designers to develop a next-generation SeaWorld park. By leveraging a fundamental SeaWorld design principle of putting animal well-being and care at the core of the design, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is set to redefine the standards of excellence for marine life theme parks across the world. The result is an enriching and immersive experience not only for our animals, but also for our guests. Across all eight realms, the enthralling One Ocean story comes alive through realm designs that simulate the natural and dynamic environments found within the ocean alongside fun and educational experiences that inspire guests of all ages to take an interest in our ocean’s future.”ADVERTISEMENTBased on the interconnectivity between all life on earth and our ocean, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will take guests through its unifying ONE OCEAN story, with stops in the tropics, the rocky coasts of the Pacific Northwest, the Arabian Gulf, the vast ocean and its smaller ecosystems along the way. Situated in the center of the park, the One Ocean realm acts as a portal to the park’s other realms and features One Epic Ocean, an immersive multi-media story shown on a 360◦screen. The realm also offers a glimpse into the Animal Care Center – the heart of SeaWorld Abu Dhabi. There, guests are welcome to observe veterinarians and animal care experts providing animals from the park with around-the-clock care, routine check-ups and treatment when needed.

    The guest journey begins in the ABU DHABI OCEAN realm, where guests will be carried to the shallow shores of the Arabian Gulf to learn more about the UAE’s historic seafaring tradition of pearl diving and trading. Abu Dhabi Ocean will allow guests to experience up-close encounters with animals native to the emirate and wider region. This realm features several dining options including Matbakh Ummi, a signature dining experience with Arabic cuisine, and is also home to retail outlets in a Souk paying homage to Abu Dhabi’s heritage and its profound connection with the Arabian Gulf. Abu Dhabi Ocean will also be the first touchpoint for guests to enroll in SeaWorld Abu Dhabi’s parkwide interactive game – S·E·A Guardian.
    POLAR OCEAN houses two unique realms taking visitors from the icy expanse of ANTARCTICA to the rich, bio-diverse tundra of the ARCTIC, illustrating how these distinct and extreme environments of Polar Ocean form an essential chapter of the One Ocean story. In these realms, guests can enjoy the colorful Juhani village and its harbor, depicting life in the North Pole, where walruses can be seen exploring their dynamic state-of-the-art habitats. The coldest of all realms will also simulate the temperatures that can be found in our planet’s polar regions – creating an environment well-suited for animals like penguins and walruses. At the Polar Ocean realm, guests can enjoy an immersive ride, indulge in dining options, explore retail outlets and visit a massive research vessel filled with fun interactive ways to learn more about these diverse regions and their inhabitants.
    When visiting the MICROOCEAN realm, small is BIG and small is IMPORTANT as guests will be swept by the ocean tides and feel shrunk to the size of plankton. In this realm, guests will have the chance to explore the ocean’s smaller wonders in a burst of colors and an immersive design highlighting the vital role of the ocean’s smallest marine-life. MicroOcean features family-friendly rides, play areas for the little ones, whimsical characters and performers, a playful retail outlet, and dynamic experiments taking young explorers on an unforgettable educational journey. 
    Beyond the little wonders of the ocean, lies the expanse of the ENDLESS OCEAN realm. Home to the largest multi-species aquarium in the world, stunning observation decks and a beautiful glimpse from a 20m viewing window, aptly named the Endless Vista, in a sea cave, this realm’s possibilities are truly endless. There will be over 68,000 animals within its awe-inspiring habitat including sharks, rays, eels and many more inspiring guests to explore the endless beauty and diversity of the vast ocean. Endless Ocean offers delectable dining options, including one fine dining option with mesmerizing views of the aquarium and one retail outlet.
    Bask in the warm sun along the sandy shores of the TROPICAL OCEAN, the largest realm in SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, in a magnificent medley of colors, dancing waterfalls and a crystal-clear lagoon. In Tropical Ocean guests will be able to see dolphins, flamingos and tropical birds including toucans in their lush rainforest aviary. Tropical Ocean also offers a thrilling roller-coaster ride, as well as retail outlets and delicious dining options with multiple viewing areas, both above and below water.
    Moving from the sun-kissed tropics to the USA’s rugged Pacific Northwest, the ROCKY POINT realm features a beautiful hidden cove with nesting sea lions and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to interact with these animals. Not as cold as the Arctic and Antarctic, Rocky Point will also include dynamic habitats for the sea lions with a climate that emulates the Pacific Northwest. The realm also includes a boardwalk-inspired snack stand.
    Adjacent to SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, the park is home to Yas SeaWorld Research & Rescue Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, the first-of-its-kind dedicated marine research, rescue, rehabilitation and return center in the region, serving as an advanced marine science knowledge hub and a key contributor to marine life conservation in the UAE and wider region. Yas SeaWorld Research & Rescue opened in February 2023.

    For more information or to pre-book your tickets, please visit:

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    TRON Lightcycle / Run Presented by Enterprise Opens April 4, 2023, at Walt Disney World

    Beginning April 4, 2023, Walt Disney World Resort guests, also known as Users, will be digitally scanned into a mysterious game world in TRON Lightcycle / Run presented by Enterprise. As members of Team Blue, they will board high-speed Lightcycles for a thrilling race through a dark, computerized world, facing off against a fierce group of Programs known as Team Orange.
    The new attraction, located in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Park, is the fastest coaster attraction in a Disney theme park, alongside its sister coaster at Shanghai Disneyland. It masterfully blends coaster thrills with speed, visual effects, music and a one-of-a-kind ride system to create an experience like no other.
    Following events in The Walt Disney Studios 2010 film, “TRON: Legacy,” TRON Lightcycle / Run enables guests to enter the digital world via gateways that Grid creator Kevin Flynn’s son, Sam Flynn, opened. The Magic Kingdom gateway complements another gateway located in Shanghai Disneyland. Sam created the Lightcycle / Run competition as a “friendly” way for Users and Programs to interact in a gaming-style, competitive event.
    >◎//: Welcome to TRON
    With its massive, awe-inspiring “curved wave” canopy, the new attraction is a stunning addition to the Tomorrowland skyline. Lightcycle trains appear from seemingly out of nowhere, making flowing, high-speed twists and turns beneath the gleaming canopy as they launch onto the Game Grid. The experience is even more dramatic after dark as shifting patterns of light and color create a powerful visual for riders and bystanders alike.ADVERTISEMENT >◎//: Onto the Grid
    The experience of TRON begins before guests board Lightcycles. After passing beneath the dazzling attraction canopy, they will enter a Digitizer for another powerful preview of what’s in store when they join the games. Then it’s time to board Lightcycles in the Sync Chamber and prepare for upload.
    Launching onto the Grid is an unforgettable experience for Users as their powerful Lightcycles arc gracefully beneath the towering attraction canopy and charge into a mysterious game world of light, sound and speed. The quest: Race through eight Energy Gates to defeat the menacing group of Programs known as Team Orange.
    >◎//: Gear Up for the Grid with New TRON Merchandise
    An all-new retail experience is the place to gear up for the Grid with racing-themed apparel, collectible pins, must-have toys and light-up accessories all inspired by the TRON films and the new attraction. Guests can also purchase and customize their own TRON action figures.
    >◎//: Power Up at Energy Bytes
    Energy Bytes, a new quick-service kiosk near TRON Lightcycle / Run, will put a fun spin on global cuisines. Items both savory and sweet offer nods to regional food offerings at Shanghai Disneyland, where the first TRON gateway is located. Selections include:
    Digital Dumplings – Choose from Buffalo Chicken: Chicken Dumplings, Blue Cheese Powder and Cayenne Pepper Broth; or Beef & Broccoli: Beef Dumplings, Broccoli Pesto and Ginger-Soy BrothStrawberry IceOform – Strawberry Ice Cream Mochi, Graham Crackers and Cheesecake FoamWatermelon Refresher – A frozen beverage with Yuzu and GingerChocolate Doughnut Holes with Mocha SauceJoffrey’s™ Cold Brew Coffee with Mocha SauceThe new “bytes” are the perfect way to power up for competition.

    >◎//: TRON Lightcycle / Run – Data Points
    TRON Lightcycle / Run is the fastest coaster attraction in a Disney theme park, alongside its sister coaster at Shanghai Disneyland.It took more than 3,800 pieces of steel weighing almost 1,900 tons to create the attraction. The ride track is more than 3,000 feet long.The dramatic attraction canopy covers more than 50,000 square feet, reaches 105 feet high and features more than 1,200 lights.The Lightcycle ride vehicle incorporates onboard audio and lighting, as well as a specially crafted safety restraint that allows riders to lean forward on the cycles.The urgent, moody musical score for the attraction was written by composer Joseph Trapanese.The attraction’s 10-acre footprint is the largest expansion of Magic Kingdom since New Fantasyland opened in December 2012. >◎//: Prepare for the Grid
    To prepare for upload onto the Grid, guests will input bags, purses, hats and other items into double-sided lockers that are opened and locked using a MagicBand, MagicBand+ or ticket media. Smaller items such as cellphones, sunglasses or wallets can be placed in a small compartment located on each Lightcycle. Following the race, guests will return to the real world and retrieve their belongings.
    With Disney PhotoPass, Users have myriad ways to commemorate their experiences on the Grid with special photo and video effects, including Magic Shots.
    Guests with valid park admission and Magic Kingdom Park reservations can request to join the virtual queue to experience the attraction via the My Disney Experience app on the day of their visit. The virtual queue is limited and subject to availability and is not guaranteed. Guests will also have the option to purchase individual Lightning Lane entry for the attraction via the My Disney Experience app on the day of their visit. Lightning Lane purchases are limited in availability. More information about the virtual queue is available at A standby queue will not be available for TRON Lightcycle / Run.
    To experience TRON Lightcycle / Run, guests must be at least 48 inches tall. Guests can visit for more information about planning their visit.

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    Reimagined Mickey’s Toontown Reopens March 19, 2023, at the Disneyland Resort

    Disneyland Resort continues the Disney100 anniversary celebration with the reopening of the reimagined Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland Park on March 19, 2023.At this animated neighborhood, families can explore, play, discover and unwind together while enjoying new interactive experiences, returning familiar favorites and the new attraction Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.At Mickey’s Toontown, guests can play in their own way, invite others to play and play together. The environment and the experiences in this land were designed to allow guests to see, hear, feel and interact with one another in various ways.
    The reopening of Mickey’s Toontown offers young families even more experiences to enjoy together in a distinct area of Disneyland Park, adjacent to Fantasyland, home of “it’s a small world” and the Fantasyland Theater, which features the uplifting “Tale of the Lion King” live show on select days.
    New interactive areas and grassy spaces
    The reimagined Mickey’s Toontown was thoughtfully designed by Walt Disney Imagineering to try to remove as many barriers to play as possible, with more open green spaces for gathering and play. Guests will experience thoughtful elements for different needs of young families, from companion restrooms and a quieter area for decompression to a curb-free land that helps make navigation easier for guests of differing abilities.
    CenTOONial Park is the first space guests see when they enter the land. CenTOONial Park will be anchored by two new interactive play experiences: a beautiful fountain featuring water tables designed for play that invite guests to have a sensory experience, plus a nearby dreaming tree with sculpted tree roots for children to crawl around and explore.ADVERTISEMENTGoofy’s How-To-Play Yard incorporates a whimsical sound garden where kids will discover new ways to make wacky noises, as well as an all-new, elevated clubhouse. Inside Goofy’s House, guests can help operate a fun, interactive candy-making contraption that only Goofy could imagine.
    Donald’s Duck Pond will help little ones get the wiggles out and make a splash. Perched in the duck pond, Donald’s Boat is surrounded by larger-than-life spinning water lilies, balance beams and rocking toys. Explorers can look into the boat’s portholes to witness bubbles of fun inside featuring familiar ducklings Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby.
    Mickey’s Toontown is also home to the new, family-friendly attraction Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which debuted Jan. 27, 2023. The attraction features no age/height restriction, so families can travel all together into the wacky and unpredictable cartoon world of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. More details on how guests can experience this attraction can be found on
    When Mickey’s Toontown reopens, guests will also be able to enjoy favorite returning attractions like Mickey’s House, Minnie’s House and Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin once again. Plus, the fun-sized attraction has transformed into Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster, where guests can go nuts on a coaster created by the resident tinkerer of Mickey’s Toontown, Gadget Hackwrench.
    Classic characters, cartoon cuisine and whimsical wares
    While visiting this whimsical world, guests may spot and take photos with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and their pals Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Pluto, Clarabelle and Goofy. For the first time at any Disney park, Pete will also make appearances as he causes mischief around the neighborhood. Mickey Mouse will sport a new outfit specifically for when he is greeting guests outside of his home.
    Two all-new dining locations in Mickey’s Toontown will serve colorful comfort foods and scrumptious snacks that are sure to satisfy kids and kids-at-heart. Café Daisy, which offers food and beverages via mobile ordering through the Disneyland app*, serves up playful spins on diner classics – including a plant-based option. The Good Boy! Grocers farmers market stand offers grab-and-go drinks, snacks and novelties. For a memorable mealtime and while supplies last, families can pick up the Souvenir Slushee Sipper or Perfect Picnic Basket novelty, which includes guests’ choice of three snack-sized items. Guests can also add on the Perfect Picnic Blanket to go with their baskets. While supplies last, the popcorn cart near Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster will feature a “yummy” souvenir popcorn bucket.
    Located next to Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, EngineEar Souvenirs features a selection of Mickey Mouse and pals toys, apparel, headwear and more to “choo-choo-choose” from – including the new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Remote Control Trackless Train.** EngineEar Souvenirs offers merchandise mobile checkout, which enables guests to scan and pay as they shop for select items right from their phones using the Disneyland app.
    Disney100 anniversary celebration at the Disneyland Resort
    Mickey’s Toontown is among the new experiences debuting as part of the Disney100 celebration at the Disneyland Resort, which honors Disney’s 100th anniversary with new and limited-time offerings throughout the year. The celebration also features exciting entertainment, including two all-new nighttime spectaculars, “World of Color – ONE” at Disney California Adventure Park and “Wondrous Journeys” at Disneyland Park, and the return of the “Magic Happens” parade at Disneyland Park.
    For a limited time, Southern California residents may visit the Disneyland Resort for as little as $73 per person per day with the purchase of a three-day, one-park per day weekday ticket, which is valid through May 25, 2023, subject to park reservation availability.*** Guests may find more information at

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    Tourism Ireland’s new campaign set to ‘win hearts’ around the world!

    Specially timed to coincide with this week’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations, the new adverts will be seen in some of Tourism Ireland’s key markets, including Great Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the Nordic countries. The campaign will continue to be rolled out in other markets over the coming weeks.The ‘Fill your heart with Ireland’ campaign is all about celebrating the different ways in which the island of Ireland fills the hearts of its visitors and of locals, and inviting potential holidaymakers to come and experience those for themselves. The advocates and personalities starring in the adverts share the things that fill their heart with Ireland, dialling up what differentiates Ireland from other destinations. They will shine a light on Ireland’s characters, character and culture, through engaging personal anecdotes told by those who love it best – its stars, local characters and visitors.
    The first adverts of the new campaign feature actors Sharon Horgan, from Bad Sisters, and Saoirse-Monica Jackson and Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, from Derry Girls. On St Patrick’s Day, Tourism Ireland’s new ‘Fill your heart with Ireland’ campaign will be rolled out in Great Britain with a special TV ‘mega spot’. At 21:00, a bespoke 60-second advert will air on more than 100 channels across Great Britain, including ITV, Channel 4, Dave and Channel 5 – reaching more than 7.7 million people. Click here to view the advert.

    Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “As people everywhere around the world celebrate St Patrick’s Day, we are delighted to roll out our new ‘Fill your heart with Ireland’ campaign this week. It will highlight our rich and authentic experiences, breath-taking landscapes and, in particular, our warm welcome – encouraging people to put the island of Ireland on their holiday ‘wish-list’ for 2023.
    ADVERTISEMENT“Our aim is to deliver ‘stand-out’ for Ireland in the hugely competitive international marketplace. Our ‘Fill your heart with Ireland’ campaign will position the island of Ireland as a place that fills the heart and restores the spirit. Our people and welcome are key differentiators for Ireland from our competitor destinations; and this campaign puts them front and centre.”

    The ‘Fill your heart with Ireland’ adverts will run on multiple channels including TV, cinema, social media, online and outdoor. They will also be shared on Tourism Ireland’s social media platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok.

    St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season and, as the rebuilding of overseas tourism to the island of Ireland continues this year, it offers a unique opportunity to launch the new ‘Fill your heart with Ireland’ global campaign, as Tourism Ireland capitalises on Ireland’s heightened profile around the world during this St Patrick’s Day period.

    The campaign will deliver over 100 million impressions (opportunities to see) in the first half of 2023. An additional 50 million impressions will be delivered in the second half of this year.

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    National Veterans Memorial and Museum to Host National Vietnam War Veterans Day Ceremony on March 29

    In observance of National Vietnam War Veterans Day, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM) invites the public to join in honoring and welcoming home our Vietnam Veterans with a special in-person and live-stream ceremony on March 29 at 10 a.m in the Great Hall. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the return home of U.S. combat troops from Vietnam and the repatriation of U.S. prisoners of war (POWs).Museum admission is free to all guests on March 29, thanks to the support of NVMM sponsors. Free Welcome Home Ceremony tickets are available on the NVMM website. The event will be live-streamed on NVMM’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
    “The Vietnam War was the first war from which many Americans did not welcome our Veterans back home as heroes, so we want to take this day as a time to recognize these Veterans and say ‘thank you,’” said Lt. General Michael Ferriter, U.S. Army (Retired), president and CEO of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum. “Vietnam Veterans served when they were called upon by our country, and they and their families deserve our honor and gratitude for their service and sacrifice.”
    The Welcome Home Ceremony will feature a keynote speech from Captain Charles “Charlie” J. Plumb, U.S. Navy (Retired). He will share his story as a “Top Gun” jet fighter pilot who completed 75 combat missions before being shot down by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected from his aircraft, parachuting into enemy territory where he endured six years as a POW. He now uses his journey of courage and resilience to help others face their challenges during speaking events and through his book, Who Packs Your Parachute: A True Story about Charles Plumb. Books will be available for purchase at the event, and Plumb will meet with guests after the ceremony.
    National Vietnam War Veterans Day was established as a national observance in 2017, the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War, to recognize the 9 million Americans who served during the Vietnam War. March 29, 1973, was the day U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, was disestablished and the last U.S. combat troops departed Vietnam.

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    ATM has launched an ‘Exhibitor Environmental Checklist’ and ‘Most Sustainable Stand’ award

    The organisers behind Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2023 have implemented an ‘Exhibitor Environmental Checklist’ and introduced a brand-new ‘Most Sustainable Stand’ award as part of their commitment to ensuring the upcoming show is the most climate-conscious in its history. The 30th edition of ATM will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 1-4 May.Developed by show organiser Reed Exhibitions (RX) in line with ATM 2023’s theme of ‘Working Towards Net Zero’, the new checklist has been created with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in mind. It features practical advice for participants on how to manage waste, minimise their energy consumption and reduce CO2 emissions, as well as guidance on how to create greener promotional materials and exhibition stands.
    By introducing a ‘Most Sustainable Stand’ category to the ATM 2023 Best Stand Awards, RX aims to highlight the importance of ‘thinking green’ when it comes to large-scale conferences and exhibitions. Entries will be judged based on an extensive range of sustainable criteria, including supplier choice, material usage, operational efficiency, and even what happens to the stand once the show has concluded.
    Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “We’ve really had to think outside the box this year when it comes to supporting and encouraging sustainability. From an internal perspective, our team has implemented a range of purposeful innovations and changes ahead of ATM 2023, such as the removal of printed show guides, QR codes for scanning purposes and digital leads capturing to remove the need for exhibitor to hand out brochures.
    “We are confident that by engaging stakeholders with tools and initiatives such as our Exhibitor Environmental Checklist and Most Sustainable Stand category, ATM 2023 will not only set a new benchmark for sustainability within the Middle East’s exhibitions space but also help drive climate-conscious decision-making across the region’s travel, tourism and hospitality industry,” Curtis added.
    Other on-the-ground innovations set to shape ATM 2023 and future editions include a ban on single-use plastic across the venue, water refill stations, a reduction in the volume of printed graphics and signage, and the use of recyclable materials across the show.ADVERTISEMENTOn a broader level, ATM 2023 will explore the future of sustainable travel in line with its theme of ‘Working Towards Net Zero’. Having officially initiated its journey to net zero, the conference programme will explore how innovative sustainable travel trends are likely to evolve, allowing delegates to identify growth strategies within key vertical sectors, while providing a platform for regional experts to explore a sustainable future ahead of COP28, which will take place in November 2023 at Expo City Dubai.
    ATM 2023 is held in conjunction with Dubai World Trade Centre and its strategic partners include Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) as the Destination Partner, Emirates as the Official Airline Partner, IHG Hotels & Resorts as the Official Hotel Partner and Al Rais Travel as the Official DMC Partner.


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    Abu Dhabi tourism tax scrapped for events

    Abu Dhabi has removed the tourism fee taxation on event organisers across the capital. Event organisers will now be exempt from the 10 percent tourism fee for each ticket sold.The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT – Abu Dhabi) stated in a recent circular: “With reference to the above subject, and based on Law No. (8) of 2018, establishing the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) with an overall mandate to develop and elevate quality standards of the tourism industry to achieve tourism development in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and the Executive Council Resolution No. (54) of 2018, regarding event licensing in Abu Dhabi Emirate, and Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi decision No. (18) of 2023, concerning extending the exemption from the fees for issuing, distributing and marketing tickets in accordance with the Events Licensing System in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi;
    “For further support to the investment environment in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, it has been decided to exempt event organisers from the tourism fee of 10% on tickets sold.”
    You can see the full circular here.
    Source: Hotelier Middle East

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    PATA Annual Summit and Adventure Mart 2023 to be held in Pokhara, Nepal from May 29 – June 1

    The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is set to organise the PATA Annual Summit and Adventure Mart 2023 in Pokhara, Nepal from May 29 – June 1. The event will be hosted by the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).The announcement was made by NTB CEO Dr Dhananjay Regmi at the PATA Networking Lunch on March 8 at ITB Berlin. The event is comprised of conference presentations, workshops, and a B2B mart, as well as the PATA Executive Board and Board meetings and Annual General Meeting on May 29.
    “Our members and industry colleagues in Nepal have always been a staunch supporter of the Association, and therefore we are excited to be organising this year’s PATA Annual Summit and Adventure Mart in country with such beautiful landscapes and rich culture and heritage,” said PATA Chair Peter Semone. “On behalf of PATA, I would like to thank the Nepal Tourism Board for hosting the PATA Annual Summit. Furthermore, to provide more networking opportunities for our members and industry colleagues, this year we will also be adding a travel mart component to the event, so I take this opportunity to invite all PATA members and non-members to join us for what is certain to be an extraordinary event.”
    “The Government of Nepal, Nepal Tourism Board and the entire tourism fraternity is proud to be hosting the PATA Annual Summit and Adventure Mart 2023 in Nepal. This is the 3rd time Nepal will be hosting the Adventure Mart and 1st PATA Annual Summit. We all are indeed excited for this opportunity. The tourist numbers are gradually coming steady to Nepal post Covid. We are expecting to reach the pre-covid numbers by end of 2023,” said NTB CEO Dr. Dhananjay Regmi.
    “The events will be held in Pokhara the tourism capital of Nepal. This will be an opportunity for us to showcase a different destination to the delegates with a taste of pure Nepalese Hospitality. We will be working on the theme “Sustainability through Community Based Tourism” in this event. With the new International Airport being operated from Pokhara starting January 2023, the majestic Pokhara is all set to welcome all of you with open arms.”
    Pokhara’s tranquil beauty has been the subject of inspiration for many travel writers. Its pristine air, spectacular backdrop of snowy peaks, blue lakes and surrounding greenery make it ‘the jewel in the Himalaya’, a place of remarkable natural disposition. With the magnificent Annapurna range forming the backdrop and the serenity of the Cluster of 9 Lakes with three major ones – Phewa, Rupa and Begnas – Pokhara is a great destination for a weekend getaway as well as a long relaxing holiday. Pokhara Valley, gateway to the Annapurna region where many a trekker finds his Shangri-la, sits high on the list of ‘must visit’ places in Nepal.ADVERTISEMENTPokhara once lay on the important trade route between India and Tibet. To this day, mule trains set up camps on the city outskirts, bringing goods from remote Himalayan regions including Mustang. Gurungs and Magars, who have earned world-wide fame as fierce Gurkha warriors, are predominant here. Thakalis, indigenous of the Thak Khola region of Mustang, are known for their entrepreneurship and run tea houses along the trek routes in the Annapurna region. The Pokhara is best known for the stunning view of the Annapurna range. It is perhaps one of the few places on earth from where mountains above 6,000 m can be seen unobstructed from an altitude of 800 m within the distance of 28 km.
    For more information, please visit or email [email protected]

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