ISLAMABAD: Over the last 10 years flydubai has emerged as one of leading low cost airlines, flying to over 90 destinations. Kyiv in Ukraine is among the most unique and fastest growing destinations in the network. Hence, for this year’s Top Achievers trip, the beautiful city of Kyiv was selected as the destination of choice.
flydubai in each of its market focuses on developing destinations for leisure and business. Ukraine is one of the fastest growing trade partners of Pakistan while also is positioned as a unique travel destination offering spectacular views, cuisine, history and culture. Today, as political revolutions come and go, and as conflicts in the east smolders, Ukraine’s capital has rebelled culturally to prosper as a tourist attraction. The city has experienced a creative wave, embodied by urban art, vintage cafes and vibrant night life. Seemingly overnight, Kyiv has become hip. Kyiv not only offers diverse cuisine but at very affordable prices. One can dine at internationally acclaimed restaurants and drink at hidden cocktail bars for a fraction of what it would cost in many other Western capitals.
flydubai Pakistan extended invites to 18 top business partners to acknowledge their performance and support. The Ukrainian Embassy in Pakistan made special arrangements working closely with flydubai to facilitate issuance of visa for all participants. The trip began on 10th April with the travel partners along with respective flydubai Sales Managers arriving in Dubai, to be welcomed by Vijayakumaran Avili, Senior Regional Manager flydubai Pakistan. After a pleasant welcome dinner in Dubai and some rest, the group departed for Kyiv.
The participants arrived in Kyiv, greeted by pleasant weather and beautiful scenery. As the first day, the participants were treated to a leisurely long lunch on the first day was at the excellent Kazan Divan offering Middle Eastern cuisine with a Ukranian twist. Upon some rest at the quaint President Hotel, dinner was at the Chichiko restaurant offering Caucasian cuisine and treated to a classic Georgian trio folk show reflecting the long history of Kyiv.
For the second day in Kyiv, the participants embarked on a half day city tour. This included a walking tour through the oldest street in Eastern Europe, the legendary Andriivsky Descent as well as visiting the most ancient East Slavic temple, the St. Sophia Cathedral and Pecherskaya Lavra monastery. Indeed, Kyiv is a city provides a glimpse of historical ancient times. The local hills are the same as they were dozens of centuries ago, the Dnieper continues to flow lazily yet majestically. The historical and cultural heritage of the city is unique, featuring 2,000 monuments of archeology, architecture, history and nature. The main highlight of the tour was the visit to the lady Motherland Monument. More than the historic significance, the magnanimous size of the structure left the group awe, standing 62m tall. The monument has huge placements of military equipment i.e. planes, helicopters, tanks etc. as a memorial of World War II.
Upon Friday prayers at the nearby mosque, the group headed to Plov, to sample Uzbek cuisine, another famous delicacy of the region. The second half of the day involved some thrill with the visit to the shooting club of Kyiv, Kupol. They shooting range offered three long arms, Dragunov, Mosin and the revered AK-47. It was a thrilling experience and for most, a first time experience handling fire arms. The day ended with a relaxing dinner at Musafir, featuring Tatari cuisine coupled with ethnic Tatar music.
Saturday involved a full day itinerary. The day commenced with a lengthy and informative historical tour of the former Ukranian President’s Palace, Mezhyhiria. The Mezhyhiria is an estate in Kyiv, where Viktor Yanukovych lived when he was Prime Minister and then as President of Ukraine. It is now a museum displaying Yanukovych’s luxurious lifestyle. The Mezhyhirya residence was built in the Soviet period on the site of a monastery that had stood there since the 14th century before being destroyed by the Bolsheviks. The estate is beautifully decorated with the grounds around the house have laid out as a lush green park with decorative landscaping and water features. Furthermore, Mezhyhiriya features its own private zoo, where one can admire not only local flora and fauna but also ostriches and even kangaroos, imported specially for the president’s pleasure. The group also visited the yacht club, a garage complex for the president’s collection of 70 cars and private aircraft hangar.
The evening was the highlight of the trip, the Top Achievers Gala Dinner and Award Night at the President Hotel in Kyiv. The event organized by the flydubai Pakistan team specially in appreciation of trade partners included specially designed menus and entertainment provided by local dance performances. To honor the top achievers of Pakistan, we brought Pakistan to the capital of Ukraine with the entire event themed as a Pakistani night. All the achievers, including all flydubai sales team were dressed in full elegant Shalwar Kameez with waist coat and Peshawari Chappals. As much as the festivities were organized for the participants, the event was also a change of pace for the hotel and its guests to experience the vibrant colors of Pakistan.
With flydubai colors all around the venue, the event exuded an atmosphere of celebration with excellent piped music. All the achievers were provided the VIP treatment and personally escorted to their designated seats. Khurram Salar – Sales Manager Pakistan kicked off the event with a welcome address followed by Mr. Vijayakumaran Avili, Senior Regional Manager flydubai Pakistan, who expressed appreciation of the support of the gathered trade partners to flydubai and highlighted the many milestone achievements for the recent business year. The chief guest at the occasion was Mr. Sudhir Sreedharan, Senior Vice President Commercial of flydubai, who shared his views on success and the expanding future plans of flydubai with special focus on Pakistan.
There were 3 categories of awards; Platinum, Gold & Silver based on revenue performance of business partners and presented to the deserving participants by Mr. Sudhir. To celebrate the winning performances, belly dancers entertained the participants along with a wide array of local musical performances. As a night faded away, the participating trade partners expressed their appreciation of a mutually fruitful business relationship with flydubai Pakistan and commended on the tram for organizing the trip. The next day, on April 13th, after a relaxing breakfast, the group prepared to depart to return home. As the participants remarked, Flydubai Pakistan’s initiative of developing new destinations like Baku and now Kyiv are enlightening the travel market of Pakistan, providing opportunities for leisure travel to unique and beautiful destination at affordable prices. The trip proved to be an all-round success with all on ground arrangements made by flydubai Holidays including hotel, tours, meals, local transport, airport transfers, tour guides and Top Achievers Gala Dinner and Awards Night. flydubai would like to place on record our sincere appreciation to His Excellency Ukrainian Ambassador and his excellent team supporting the organization of this successful trip and to create awareness of Kyiv and other leisure destinations across the flydubai network.