Shivani DDPPL

Sharjah hospitality revenue is now worth AED 372 million

HE Khalid Jasim Midfa

Sharjah’s hospitality sector revenues witnessed a remarkable 7.8 per cent increase during the first half of 2017 compared with the previous year, with its value reaching AED 372 million, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) announced. The announcement came as the emirate steadily positions itself as a destination of choice for local, regional, and international tourists. SCTDA reported a massive 70 per cent occupancy rate from January to June this year. The total number of guests for the first half of the year reached 885,000, representing a 3.5 per cent increase versus the same period in 2016. Saudi nationals occupied many of the local hotels’ lists of top guests. During the first two quarters of the year alone, hotels welcomed at least 72,000 Saudi travelers. HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said: “The remarkable expansion in the occupancy rate is the result of the Sharjah Government’s intensive efforts to attract local, regional, and global tourists as part of its comprehensive and ambitious socio-economic development plan. Our ultimate goal is to draw 10 million visitors a year by 2021, a grand accomplishment that will help accelerate the emirate’s unprecedented growth in the 21st century. To achieve this end, we will launch forward-thinking initiatives, bold projects and campaigns, as well as maximize all our assets and resources to place Sharjah, the UAE’s cultural capital, on the global tourism map and enhance its brand and profile on the international stage.” According to Al Midfa, part of the strategic plan for this year is to sustain the high tourist arrivals from Saudi Arabia. SCTDA has set into motion a number of road shows covering major cities in the KSA to …

Read More »

New Four Seasons opens in Kuwait at Burj Alshaya

FS Hotel Kuwait Al Soor and Staircase

Located within the new two-tower Burj Alshaya development in Kuwait City, Four Seasons is ideally located for business and leisure travellers visiting the city, as well as the local guests. With 2,912 square metres of event spaces hosting up to 1,200 guests, Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait already has many important business meetings and social events on the calendar – including 21 weddings so far. The property boasts of 217 guest rooms plus 67 lavish suites, and offers myriad options for shopping, sightseeing and playing in the outdoor pool. A two-level spa complex hosts innovative treatments as well as a state-of-the-art fitness centre and second swimming pool.

Read More »

Millennium Hotels takes over 2 prime properties in Makkah

Makkah Millennium Hotel and Towers

Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Middle East and Africa has signed a management agreement with Makkah Construction & Development Company, to operate Makkah Millennium Hotel and Makkah Millennium Towers, with effect from September 1, 2017. The move solidifies the Group’s target to open over 20 hotels in Saudi Arabia within the next four years. The 614-key Makkah Millennium Hotel is scheduled to go under extensive renovation with the plan to convert the hotel into a unique luxury property part of The Biltmore Collection set to provide the highest level of guest experience to pilgrim travellers. Meanwhile, the 802-room Makkah Millennium Towers adjacent to Makkah Millennium Hotel will deliver the high service standards expected from Millennium Collection. As the nearest hotels to Al Masjid Al Haram, with direct access to The Holy Kaaba, the properties occupy a premium location in Makkah, providing an ideal base for pilgrim travellers.

Read More »

City-wide celebrations for Eid Al Adha in Dubai

Fireworks

As people come together to celebrate the joyous Eid Al Adha holiday, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishments (DFRE) an agency of Dubai Tourism, has released the line-up of exciting events and activities taking place across the city for residents and tourists to enjoy. As there are many GCC visitors during this period many interesting programmes are lined up. It will consist of two concerts taking place across the city by two renowned Arab music icons. On September 2, Emirati singer Shamma Hamdan will perform at Dragon Mart 2 at 6.30pm whilst later in the week Mohammed Abdo will take to the stage at Dubai World Trade Centre on 6 September at 9pm to delight fans with a raft of hit songs. The highly anticipated fireworks will take place on the first day of Eid at Dubai Festival City at 9pm and 11pm. Firework displays will also take place at The Beach opposite JBR daily from August 31 to September 3 at 8.45pm. The venue will also host various performances on a daily basis to keep families entertained throughout the Eid holiday. La Perle as it opens its doors this Eid from 31st August. Sports-lovers can head to Dubai World Trade Centre which is hosting the 7th edition of Dubai Sports World featuring sports, tournaments, academies and activities designed for both serious athletes and sporting novices of all ages.

Read More »

Etihad Airways enters code share with Aerolíneas Argentinas

Etihad--Aerolineas

Etihad Airways and Aerolíneas Argentinas have launched a new codeshare partnership. Under the agreement, Etihad Airways customers will enjoy convenient connections via Rome and Madrid to Buenos Aires (EZE) and onwards to nine other popular Argentinian destinations – Córdoba (COR), Mendoza (MDZ), Rosario (ROS), Iguazú (IGR), Salta (SLA), Mar del Plata (MDQ), Bariloche (BRC), Trelew (REL) and Ushuaia (USH). In turn, Aerolíneas Argentinas guests can have access to Etihad Airways’ network of over 100 destinations from its Abu Dhabi hub via the Italian and Spanish capitals. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways Executive Vice President Commercial, said: “This codeshare demonstrates the importance of Argentina as a vital travel market for Etihad Airways in Latin America given the growing tourism, cultural and business opportunities that exist between the UAE and Argentina. We wish to give travellers flying Aerolíneas Argentinas the opportunity to enjoy the acclaimed service and hospitality for which Etihad Airways is renowned throughout the world. This codeshare will make the experience that much easier.” Diego Garcia, Aerolíneas Argentinas Chief Commercial Officer, said: “This is a very good opportunity to consolidate and increase our offer to one of the most important hubs in the Middle East. It also allows us to improve our load factors, optimise the use of the fleet and strengthen the image of Aerolíneas Argentinas in the Asian market. We hope that this agreement will also be the gateway for many tourists to visit some of the most attractive landmarks in our country.”

Read More »

1st AVANI resort to open in Maldives in Q4 2019

Alejandro Bernabe - Group Director AVANI Hotels & Resorts

AVANI Hotels & Resorts has announced the development of its first resort in the Maldives. AVANI Fares Maldives Resort will be located on Fares Island in the Baa Atoll and is scheduled to open in Q4 2019. The new upscale AVANI Fares Maldives Resort will comprise 200 guest rooms, including standard rooms and a selection of villas. Every attention will be given to wellbeing. The décor will be a blend of comfort and modernity, soothing materials, textures and high-tech equipment such as complimentary Wi-Fi, media hub docking station and 40-inch flat screen TV. Ideal for millennial minded travellers, this untouched, private 12.4 hectare island will provide a natural playground surrounded by a soft white sandy beach and every colour of blue imaginable. This $70-million resort development is a joint venture partnership between Minor Hotels and Cyprea Group. Cyprea Group’s diversified Sri Lanka and Maldives business portfolio includes ownership and operation of Club Med Kani Maldives Resort located in North Male’ Atoll. Alejandro Bernabe, Group Director AVANI Hotels & Resorts said: “The AVANI design philosophy is interestingly relaxed and contemporary and in tune with the environment of this development, using natural textures, colours and materials that reflect the location whilst incorporating advanced technology and modern conveniences.”

Read More »

RAK’s Destination Dawn beach festival on Oct 6

2. Ras Al Khaimah - Destination Dawn

Destination Dawn, the 12-hour beach festival on Ras Al Khaimah’s Al Marjan Island, will return to the emirate on October 6, 2017. The biannual festival, organised by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), saw more than 2,000 party-goers descending on Al Marjan Island in May. The pristine beaches of Al Marjan Island – Ras Al Khaimah’s coral-shaped archipelago – will again be transformed into a festival hangout with food trucks, beverages and chill-out zones, Destination Dawn ticket holders can choose to either camp at the festival, reach the party via free shuttle buses from Dubai, or book a staycation in one of the island’s luxury hotels. with headliners R3HAB, one of Holland’s hottest music exports, Dutch duo Bassjackers, and Russian trio Swanky Tunes. Kicking off at 5 pm on October 6, revelers can dance all night until 5am on Saturday. Ticket holders can bring their own tents and camp on the beach, making the festival a truly unique experience. Tickets for the over 18’s only event will be on sale from beginning September through www.destinationdawn.com, Virgin Tickets, and Platinum List.

Read More »

Al Zorah, Ajman set to launch Kayak Tours this Sept

Kayaking at Al Zorah_2

Al Zorah, the 5.4 million sqm luxury and lifestyle destination in Ajman, is ramping up its tourism appeal with the launch of ‘Kayak Tours’ through its natural mangroves and lagoons this September. Offering visitors the opportunity to explore one of the region’s most prized natural mangroves, which has been officially declared as a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention, the Kayak Tours will be conducted by ‘Quest for Adventure,’ an adventure sports company. Open to the public including students through a guided schools programme, the Kayak Tours are expected to catalyse the tourism scene and further establish Al Zorah as a must-visit tourist and lifestyle destination. Imad Dana, Chief Executive Officer of Al Zorah Development Company, said, “Al Zorah is a luxury destination in the Middle East built around an undisturbed ecosystem underlined by rich biodiversity. With the Ramsar Convention placing Al Zorah on the global map to highlight its immense environmental value, we are offering visitors, including students, the opportunity to explore the natural mangroves and creek through the Kayak Tours. The tours will open doors to memorable experiences with the promise of sighting a range of native and migratory birds. The serene ambience of the mangroves will be truly uplifting for every visitor.”

Read More »

TIME Hotels receives Green Key status for all properties

green-key-certificate-group-picture

UAE-headquartered hospitality company, TIME Hotels Management has achieved Green Key status for all of its hotels and hotel apartments across the hospitality groups’ entire portfolio. A leading international standard of excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the tourism industry, the Green Key award is a voluntary eco-label that represents a commitment by hospitality and tourism establishments to adhere to the strict criteria as stipulated by the Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC). To qualify for the award, TIME Hotels had to pass an exhaustive audit, which recognised TIME’s contribution towards eco-friendly programmes, such as energy and water-saving initiatives, as well as waste management projects, all of which help to reduce TIME’s carbon footprint, limiting its negative effect on the environment. Mohamed Awadalla, CEO, TIME Hotels, said, “The whole ethos of TIME Hotels is built on pursuing an active sustainability strategy that gain stakeholder traction, without whom, we would not be able to incorporate the various initiatives, events and programmes across our entire portfolio. We are no strangers to Green Key certification, but it is testament to the team that we refuse to rest on our laurels and continue to strive to become a more responsible corporate citizen.”

Read More »

Marriott signs new deal with Khamas Group

Senior members from Marriott International and Khamas Group at the signing

With an aim to add 250 rooms to the company’s UAE portfolio in 2020, Marriott International has entered an agreement with the Khamas Group of Investment LLC for a Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn by Marriott in Dubai’s upcoming Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC). The two hotels combined will further strengthen the company’s regional presence in the mid-market segment. Courtyard by Marriott JVC will offer 150 rooms and Residence Inn by Marriott JVC will add another 100 rooms to the upcoming development. The interconnected hotel complex will share facilities including food and beverage outlets, a health and leisure club with a swimming pool and meeting spaces. “We are excited to work with the Khamas Group to open a new Courtyard and Residence Inn in the up and coming JVC Development which is strategically located and in close proximity to the site of the World Expo in 2020. Not only does this agreement illustrate our commitment to growing Marriott International’s portfolio in the UAE but it also reinforces the demand for mid-market hotel development in the market,” said Jerome Briet, Vice President – Lodging Development, Middle East, Marriott International. Commenting on the signing, Bader Mohamed Yousuf Bukhamas, Chairman of Khamas Group of Investment Companies said, “We are happy to partner with the best operator, Marriott International and looking forward to the opening of the Hotel.” Pawan Kachroo, Managing Director of Khamas Hospitality added, “The Courtyard and Residence Inn are both internationally renowned brands that offer guests not only quality hotel and residence products and facilities but also a high level of service excellence. Along with exciting food and beverage concepts, we look forward to bringing a refreshing hospitality experience in the …

Read More »