Category Archives: Hotels

Emirates Holidays open summer bookings

Emirates is offering UAE nationals and residents a chance to plan a quick escape this summer to Seychelles. The airline was the first international airline to return to the island country, coinciding with its re-opening to tourists on 1st August. Book now and unwind at some of the world’s most pristine, white sand beaches and crystal clear water. COVID-19 PCR tests are mandatory for all inbound and transit passengers arriving to Dubai (and the UAE), including UAE citizens, residents and tourists, irrespective of the country they are coming from. Economy Class passengers can enjoy fares starting from AED 3,705, Business Class passengers can enjoy fares starting from AED 10,915, and First Class passengers can enjoy fares starting from AED 22,045. The offer is valid for bookings made starting today until 7 September 2020, for travel until 31 May 2021.*Visitors to Seychelles will be captivated by its stunning white sand beaches and lush, tropical forests. Go on an adventurous hike, relax in five-star hotel resorts or enjoy exploring the island’s diverse marine life. To visit the popular Indian Ocean holiday destination, UAE travellers must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, conducted within 72 hours of the date of travel. Emirates is offering customers convenient access to Seychelles with four weekly flights, utilising a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Emirates flight EK705 will depart Dubai at 02:10 am and arrive in Mahe at 06:45 am local time. The return flight, EK 708, will depart Mahe at 23:50 pm and arrive in Dubai at 04:20 am local time, the following day. COVID-19 PCR tests are mandatory for all inbound and transit passengers arriving to Dubai (and the UAE), including UAE citizens, residents and tourists, …

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RCU and Habitas partner to construct resort in Ashar Valley


The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has started construction of a new community-focused, eco-friendly resort in the desert canyons of Ashar Valley AlUla following the signing of a new partnership with Habitas. RCU is expanding AlUla’s economic opportunities through light-touch tourism and sustainable development, while Habitas is redefining modern luxury by focusing on bringing likeminded but diverse travellers together, who prioritise human connection and experiences over the traditional luxury experience of five-star hotels. Commenting on this collaboration, Amr AlMadani, CEO of the Royal Commission for AlUla said, “This agreement reflects our commitment to making AlUla a global destination that offers visitors unique, authentic experiences as we protect, share and celebrate our natural and cultural heritage. Construction is underway, a fact that signals that we are actively opening up new opportunities for regional and international investors in the hospitality sector while empowering and enabling our community.” Oliver Ripley, CEO of Habitas added, “From our very first trip to AlUla we were really inspired by the people we met and by its natural beauty and heritage. Travel is an incredible gift to create greater compassion and understanding in the world between different people and cultures. We are grateful to RCU for the opportunity to create our home here and invite our community to discover the unique history of AlUla, to share unforgettable experiences and adventures, and make new friends that stay with us long after we leave.” Ripley continued “RCU’s approach to sustainable development aligns very closely to our values and DNA and in our mission to support local communities. The world, now more than ever, needs to create places for people to reconnect with one another and with nature.”

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First Grand Millennium debuts in Tabuk, KSA

Kevork Deldelian

Millennium Hotels and Resorts MEA is delivering on its growth plans for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with debuting its first Grand Millennium Hotel in Tabuk Province. “Grand Millennium Tabuk represents the first Grand Millennium in Saudi Arabia and unfolds a story of the bygone era. The hotel is reminiscent of the vintage Hejaz Railway and the intricate design speaks volumes of stories reminding of the nostalgic Hejaz Railway,” said Kevork Deldelian, Chief Executive Officer of Millennium Hotels and Resorts Middle East and Africa. Hejaz Railway holds great importance in the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, departing from Damascus and making its way through Tabuk and Hejaz region to Al Madina Al Munawara. The hotel is conveniently located on the Duba Road close to Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Airport. Guests can sink into the nostalgic era by choosing from a sprawling list of 218 luxury rooms, suites and a Royal Suite spread across six lavish floors of the hotel, with the fascinating view of Tabuk City. Every room is designed keeping in mind the heritage of the Hejaz Railway station exploding from every inch especially the photographs and wall-art that reflect the trains of the bygone era. The hotel outlets include Al Maksoura (The cabin) All-day dining restaurant, Juzurna Arabesque restaurant, Al Multaqa (The gathering place) Lobby Café and Al Manzar Pool Lounge in addition to a grand ballroom for weddings and events with a total space of 1082 sqm with a total capacity up to 800 people, five meeting rooms with a total meeting space of 283 sqm equipped with state-of-the-art modern technology and a pre-function/welcome area with a total space of 536 sqm. The hotel …

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Tiri Consultancy to represent crossroads Maldives throughout the GCC

Nour Aridi

With a focus on developing regional business Hard Rock Maldives and SAii Lagoon Maldives, Tiri Consultancy and Crossroads Maldives will work together to bring these unrivaled properties to GCC clients. Crossroads Maldives is the first multi island leisure destination in the Maldives nestles between the Kaafu Atoll and the Enboodhoo Lagoon and just a 15-minute speedboat ride from Velana International Airport in Male. Hard Rock Hotel Maldives introduces unique music inspired stays with a full range of signature experiences for the all ages. With over water and beach villas as well as global brand recognition The Hard Rock Hotel Maldives is the perfect getaway for travellers from the GCC. If the music inspired Hard Rock Hotel doesn’t suit your taste then SAii lagoon certainly will. The Curio Collection by Hilton property overlooks the Indian Ocean and boasts an array of accommodation options which are suitable for couples and families alike. “These properties are absolutely perfect for the GCC market” says Nour Aridi, Managing Director of Tiri Consultancy. She goes on to say “These are two properties which will suit GCC travellers both in terms of accommodation and activities with travellers having the option to eat in various restaurants and enjoy shopping as well as the idyllic Maldivian experience, I am extremely excited to start working with the properties to develop the GCC market”. We are delighted to be working with Tiri Consultancy to target this market for Crossroads Maldives which houses both Hard Rock Hotel Maldives and SAii Lagoon Maldives. We believe we have an excellent proposition to attract guests from the GCC and we are very much looking forward to working with the GCC trade through Tiri Consultancy to …

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Mall of Oman to open in September 2021

Mall of Oman

Majid Al Futtaim has announced a new opening date for its flagship Mall of Oman. The mall is now scheduled to open its doors to customers in September 2021. The revised opening schedule has been put in place to ensure that Mall of Oman’s tenant partners are best placed, with ample time, support, and resources, to prepare their new stores adequately. This will enable them to deliver the quality of service they and Majid Al Futtaim are renowned for. Shireen El-Khatib, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al Futtaim – Shopping Malls said, “We take great pride in crafting cherished memories for the friends and families that make up the communities in which we operate. To accomplish this, we believe we must make use of every resource and take every step that we can to deliver the standard of customer service for which we are acclaimed. That is precisely why we have taken this considered and thought-out decision to put in place a new opening date for Mall of Oman.” Mall of Oman is primed to become Majid Al Futtaim’s fifth and largest shopping and entertainment destination in the Sultanate. It will have 145,000 sqm of retail space, comprising of dining outlets and a range of lifestyle experiences. In addition to 350 retail outlets, the mall will also house Oman’s largest VOX Cinemas, a Magic Planet family entertainment centre, a 12,100 sqm Carrefour Hypermarket, and the largest indoor snow park in the Sultanate. Additionally, the mall will play a significant role in supporting local communities, enhancing the Sultanate’s retail and entertainment offerings for both residents and tourists, and boosting the local economy by creating 3,500 jobs once opened.

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Dubai tourism extends deadline to July 1, 2021 for hotels sustainability

Habtoor City

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has extended the deadline for implementation of the 19 Sustainability Requirements and Carbon Calculator submissions by 12 months. The requirements have been laid out to support the emirate’s hotel establishments in their compliance with Dubai Tourism’s hotel classification system, and the long-term objective of advancing sustainability performance across the sector.In light of the current situation surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic, hotels will benefit from an additional 12 month implementation period to finalise their sustainability compliance, a decision that has has been announced by Dubai Tourism to strengthen the foundations for recovery of the hospitality sector. All requirements will now be mandated from 1 July 2021 with the extension also including the postponing of the Carbon Calculator monthly submissions until the same deadline. The 19 Sustainability Requirements include sustainable management approaches, performance metrics, energy, food and water management plans, guest education, employee training initiatives, the presence of sustainability committees within hotel establishments and corporate social responsibility programmes for local communities. Through improving internal sustainability operations, hotel establishments in turn will enhance the competitiveness of Dubai’s tourism-linked economy. Since its inception in January 2017, the Carbon Calculator – part of the Tourism Dirham Platform, is a tool that has been measuring the carbon footprint within Dubai’s hospitality sector. On a monthly basis hotels submit their consumption of 11 carbon emission sources, including; electricity, district cooling, water, waste, fuel for transportation, fuel for generators, fire extinguishers, and liquefied petroleum gas for analysis. This information is aggregated and analysed to provide valuable industry insights on the sector’s collective carbon footprint. In addition, by formulating a baseline along with consistent tracking, this information enables hotels to …

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RCU partners with Accor to expand the Banyan Tree brand in AlUla


The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) announced a partnership agreement with Accor as part of its strategy to develop AlUla as a tourism destination for nature, culture and heritage. The agreement will see Accor operate an expanded Ashar Resort under the Banyan Tree brand. There will be 47 new units added, which will bring the resort’s total number up to 82 high-end villas, along with a luxury spa and several gourmet restaurants. This will be guided by a sensitive design that allows each villa to blend discreetly into the striking natural scenery of the Ashar valley, located 15km from the Kingdom’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hegra. Commenting on the agreements, the CEO of the Royal Commission for AlUla, Amr Al Madani, said, “We’re working with the world’s best developers and hotel operators to deliver projects that complement our cultural oasis, as well as benefitting our local community. The partnership agreement with Accor is part of a major series of capital projects and multiple investments made by RCU into fifteen plans in AlUla, many of which will be announced in the coming months.” Sebastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of Accor said, “In line with our commitment to grow Accor’s unique portfolio in Saudi Arabia, and as one of the first global hospitality groups to set foot in the Kingdom, we are extremely proud to take part in the development of the historic county of AlUla, thus celebrating the Kingdom’s vast heritage and culture.” Commenting on the agreement, Bander M. Alharbi, Head of Hotels and Resorts at the Royal Commission for AlUla, said, “The Ashar Resort forms part of our strategy to create an immersive boutique destination that offers transformative experiences …

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Al Wathba Desert Resort and Spa debuts in Abu Dhabi

Al Wathba

Marriott International welcomed Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa to its unique ensemble of iconic hotels, marking the debut of the portfolio in the UAE capital. Just a 30-minute drive from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa is located deep within the expansive landscape of Abu Dhabi. With a design reminiscent of a historic desert village, it is an intimate retreat suffused with natural beauty, unique tranquillity, and rare experiences. “We are delighted to welcome Al Wathba, Desert Resort & Spa to our ensemble of hotels that define the destination and offer our global explorers an authentic desert experience alongside warm Arabian hospitality,” said Guido De Wilde, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East, Marriott International. “Abu Dhabi’s legacy as an international cultural destination with a rich history and heritage, together with the diversity of its dramatic landscapes, offers a unique opportunity for us to guide our guests on transformative journeys that touch their spirits and enrich their lives.” Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa offers cultural immersion opportunities to discover the rich heritage and history of the region. Guests can discover Fossil Dunes or tour the surrounding desert on horseback for an understanding of the Emirati passion for all things equine. The Al Wathba camel race track educates guests about the UAE’s 7th century tradition, and skilled falconers offer private shows of the UAE’s national bird. Al Wathba is also home to diverse flora and fauna, including 4,000 greater flamingos that call the Al Wathba Wetlands home. Guests can take a guided tour of the sabkhas, or sand flats, and dunes, for an insight into their inhabitants and bird migration patterns as well as discover the …

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Rotana reveals 65% on weekend staycations

Heralding growing confidence among travellers in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Rotana has revealed that occupancy levels are continuing to rise at its properties. The company’s UAE portfolio recorded an average of 60% to 65% occupancy during the weekends since last month, with growth in guest numbers fuelled by an increasing demand for short ‘staycation’-style breaks among residents. Reflecting on the latest developments, Guy Hutchinson, President & CEO, Rotana commented, “The hospitality industry is embarking on the next phase of its recovery as guests begin to regain confidence in travel by enjoying local breaks. We are proud to contribute to the acceleration of this process through our industry-leading Rotana Safe Space programme, which has been very well received and enables guests to relax, safe in the knowledge that they are in caring hands at all of our properties.” Rotana also revealed that between 5% and 6% of bookings at its UAE properties have been made by overseas travellers, a number that is projected to rise as international flights gradually resume. The figures underline the resilience of the nation’s hospitality sector, which has successfully weathered the storm created by travel restrictions implemented around the world in response to the crisis. Hutchinson continued, “The UAE has done a tremendous job in containing the virus and is ready to welcome international guests, as highlighted by the recent WTTC Safe Travels stamps awarded across the country. While the journey toward a full recovery will take time, we are well on our way to rebuilding the trust of travellers and embracing the future with a renewed sense of optimism. We look forward to welcoming guests from around the world to share Treasured Time …

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Aleph Hospitality re-opens the Ramada by Wyndham Addis

Aleph Hospitality took over the management of the Ramada by Wyndham Addis, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia earlier this year. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which followed soon after takeover, the hotel was partially closed but fully re-opened on June 22, 2020. In support of Aleph Hospitality’s brand values and the company’s ‘count on us to put safety first’ campaign – featuring best in class health and hygiene protocols in line with the guidelines and regulations of the World Health Organization and local health authorities – the hotel has re-opened with a complete set of measures to protect the safety and wellbeing of its guests. Bani Haddad, Managing Director of Aleph Hospitality said, “The sector grew by 48.6% in 2018, according to the latest data from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), and now represents 9.4% of Ethiopia’s total economy. Through our world-class systems and dedicated management support, as part of our third-party management model, welook forward to working with owners ADM Business PLC and to capitalising on this growth, which we are confident will deliver superior results for the owner in these challenging times.” Adugna Bekele, owner of the Ramada by Wyndham Addis said, “Addis Ababa is a truly cosmopolitan destination. Our hotel is in a superb location in the city centre and we offer warm, contemporary rooms and a choice of great restaurants. Now, with Aleph Hospitality as our trusted partner, I’m looking forward to both increasing the satisfaction of our valued guests and to boosting the profitability of our business for the long-term.” Haddad commented, “Makeda Abraham becomes the first female General Manager of Aleph Hospitality in Africa, a true milestone of which we are very proud. …

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