A new sustainable tourism destination has been announced for Saudi ArabiaThe futuristic megaproject of Neom.

Meanwhile, in the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is crowned the third best city in the world for its winter sun, as new Maldives airline celebrates its launch in Dubai.

Here’s a roundup of recent travel and tourism news, in case you missed it.

New Maldives airline to take off next month

Beyond, a new premium airline from the Maldives, unveiled its aircraft designs this week at a global event in Dubai. Its first aircraft is a 44-passenger Airbus A319 in a completely flat configuration, which will be displayed at the Dubai Airshow next month.

The airline’s inaugural flights are scheduled to take off next month, with the first flight to Riyadh departing on November 9, followed by Munich on November 15 and Zurich on November 17. Routes from Milan and Dubai will launch in March. Ultimately, it aims to serve passengers throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

“Our goal is simple: take our customers to the most exclusive and unspoiled destinations where they can unleash their inner explorer on the most memorable vacation of their lives,” said Tero Taskila, CEO and founder of Beond.

Saadiyat Island breaks Guinness World Record

The largest display of messages in bottles is what earned Saadiyat Island a Guinness World Record this month.

Participants were asked to write a short note expressing their affection for the island of Abu Dhabi or sharing their personal reflections on the idea of ​​love.

These bills were then placed in 1,100 bottles and transferred to the Saadiyat Beach Club, where a local sand artist arranged them into a large installation forming the words “I heart Saadiyat Island.”

All materials used were eco-friendly, including glass bottles, recyclable paper and jute twine, emphasizing the island’s commitment to preserving its natural environment and native wildlife.

Neom announces Leyja, its latest sustainable tourism destination

Neom, Saudi Arabia’s multibillion-dollar futuristic megaproject, has announced its latest tourism destination plans for a sector called Leyja.

The area begins on the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba and winds inland to form a valley carved between 400-meter-high mountains. Around 95 percent of Leyja will be preserved for nature, while the rest will combine ecological design and construction techniques to ensure the development blends into the landscape, according to a statement.

There will be three hotels, with 40 keys each, offering 120 boutique rooms and suites. The first property will focus on active adventure as the design ascends the wadi walls like a ladder, folding towards the top of a cliff and the sides of the valley. The second property will be located in the heart of the wadi’s largest oasis, while the third will be a wellness retreat with a reflective façade that will reflect the surrounding valley walls.

There will also be great restaurants and rooftop infinity pools, while guests will have the opportunity to go on guided wadi walks, mountain biking trails and rock climbing adventures.

Abu Dhabi crowned third in the world for tropical winter sun

A new study by British site Travelbag, part of air and travel services provider dnata, has determined the best destinations around the world to enjoy the winter sun.

It was analyzed which cities have the greatest number of hours of sunshine per day throughout the season. It found that Cape Town is the sunniest destination for a winter getaway, with an average of 10.25 hours of daily sunshine between October and January, while Santiago in Chile came in second with 9.25 hours and Abu Dhabi ranked third place with nine hours.

Dubai came fourth with 8.75 hours, tied with Doha, Phoenix, Bali, Johannesburg and Riyadh. Jaipur, in India, completes the top 10.

Dubai to start winter camping season on Tuesday

Dubai Municipality has announced the launch of its temporary winter camping season, which will begin on Tuesday and run until the end of April in the Al Awir area of ​​the city.

Family campgrounds have been set up for visitors to enjoy the wilderness during the winter with all the necessary equipment, services and amenities available to ensure a safe and comfortable experience.

Determined people and seniors can reserve spots in front of designated campsites, while sites have also been reserved for shop owners to offer goods and services to campers.

Campers can begin registering their winter camping applications at wintercamp.dm.gov.ae and once those permits are issued, applicants can build their own camping space with temporary fencing, as long as it is for family use.

Amsterdam will increase tourist tax next year

Although Amsterdam already has the highest tourist tax in Europe, it’s about to make it even more expensive to visit the Dutch capital, according to a new budget released by the city government.

The daily rate charged to cruise ship visitors will increase from 8 to 11 euros ($8.50 to $11.60), while the nightly rate included in the price of hotel rooms will now be 12.5 percent. cent of the room rate.

“The tourist tax will be increased further to finance additional spending and for visitors to make a greater contribution to the city,” the document reads.

This comes as the city addresses growing issues of overtourism.

Updated: October 16, 2023 at 12:04 pm