Category Archives: Hotels

Strong growth on Dubai’s holiday home sector

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Dubai’s holiday home sector is going from strength to strength, with the latest figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) revealing a total of 1,805 approved units to date, benefitting both homeowners and visitors to Dubai. In the short time since the introduction of updated regulations in May, a total of 109 homeowners submitted applications for a holiday home permit, of which 39 have now been approved, enabling them to enter the market. These join the 78 approved holiday home operators already doing business in Dubai, moving forward, Dubai Tourism anticipates further growth across the sector. To obtain a licence, homeowners must ensure their property meets the required quality, health and safety standards, while also offering all necessary amenities and guest services, as well as insurance coverage and wider community integration. Owners are also accountable for ensuring the property meets all legislative requirements and complaint management policies, and is accurately listed to visitors and sufficiently maintained. This growth is being driven by effective government regulations designed to increase competitiveness, transparency, safety and standardisation, and comes on the back of Dubai Tourism’s decision earlier this year to allow private homeowners to apply for a holiday home permit and start leasing their properties directly.

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Golden Sands Hotel Apartments explores German market

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A team from Golden Sands Hotel Apartments, part of A.A. Al Moosa Enterprises and pioneered the concept of hotel apartments in the region, has returned from a recent trip to Germany to meet with key tour operators in a bid to increase inbound tourists from Germany to the property. German guests are one of the top source markets for Golden Sands Hotel Apartments and the trip was organised to strengthen ties with their key partners who were recognised for their continuous promotion of Dubai and the property to this segment. The team of Mohammad Khoori, General Manager and Nives Deininger, Director of Sales shared vital information about industry developments including packages for the upcoming winter season. Trophies of appreciation were also handed to several key partners such as Thomas Cook, TUI Deutschland, Meier’s Weltreisen, Dertour and FTI Touristik during the visit. The German market has played a significant role in the UAE’s developing tourism industry and tourists are still flocking to the country in large numbers. Tourists from this segment have an average stay of five to six nights in the emirate.

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Marriott & Sabre together unveil wholesaler program

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Marriott International together with Sabre Hospitality Solutions has unveiled a new distribution and booking solution, www.MarriottWholesalers.com, that provides thousands of authorized wholesalers, destination marketing companies, and tour operators access to real‐time rates and inventory for more than 4,200 Marriott properties around the world. The solution is part of Marriott’s strategy to transform the wholesale and leisure segment with technology and shift to dynamic rates and automated reservations, replacing antiquated processes for contracting, accessing inventory and booking hotel rooms. Approved wholesalers can now search real time hotel net rates and inventory globally to create tailor‐made packages for their customers. All hotel bookings are confirmed instantly online. The solution provides significant value to smaller wholesalers by removing the need for them to make a technology investment to gain direct, dynamic access to rates and inventory. The solution will make it more efficient than ever to distribute Marriott’s inventory to the broader leisure package segment. Wholesalers can establish or renew access in seven languages at MarriottWholesalers.com and once authenticated, they immediately have access to the booking engine.

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Action Hotels announces new hotel in Melbourne

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Action Hotels, the owner, developer and asset manager of branded three and four-star hotels in the Middle East and Australia, has announced that it has secured a long-term, 92-year lease on a plot of land at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre for the development of a new four-star hotel.  The new hotel, which is expected to open in Q1 2018, will comprise 317 rooms and 14 apartments, making it the second largest hotel in Action’s portfolio. The hotel will be Action’s fourth property in Australia and third in Melbourne. The approximate total project cost is $69 million, which Action will fund partially through a new debt facility for the project and partially through existing resources. The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is the largest convention centre in the Southern hemisphere and currently accommodates over 5,500 delegates, last year hosting 1,030 events and attracting over 680,000 attendees.

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Four Seasons at Kuwait’s Burj Alshaya to open by 2017

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Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Alshaya announced plans for a Four Seasons hotel in Kuwait. Located in downtown Kuwait City, Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya will open in early 2017 as part of Alshaya’s new Burj Alshaya mixed-use development. The 284-room Four Seasons Hotel will be located in the Burj Alshaya’s 22-storey Eastern Tower. The Hotel will become the newest addition to a collection of outstanding Four Seasons properties in the Middle East and North Africa region, where the company has been present for the past 16 years, and the latest property in a series of recent openings in the GCC, including Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre and Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island. Featuring two soaring glass towers, the 140,000 square metre (1.5 million square foot) Burj Alshaya complex will combine modern architecture, avant-garde luxury and bold design cues to create a prestigious backdrop for business and a new focal point of the city’s elite social scene.  The luxurious Four Seasons address will offer both indoor and outdoor pools, creating an urban resort oasis complete with a poolside waterfall, lush greenery and outdoor cabanas. The Hotel will also feature a world-class spa, yoga studio and state-of-the-art fitness centre as well as two ballrooms and a range of conference and banqueting rooms able to welcome up to 2000 people.

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Dubai reaches 100,000 rooms milestone

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Key players in Dubai’s tourism industry came together to mark the city’s milestone achievement of reaching 100,000 rooms across its expanding hotel and hotel apartment inventory following the soft opening of The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City. In attendance were His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), and Mohammed Khalaf Al Habtoor, Vice Chairman and CEO of Al Habtoor Group, together with Marriott International’s Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director Middle East and Africa, and Guido de Wilde, Chief Operating Officer Middle East. Commenting on the occasion, His Excellency Almarri said that for the hotel sector, high demand from international travellers, and the consequent growth in tourism volumes, has been the cornerstone of fostering continued investment in supply enhancement, which has seen us cross this historic 100,000 rooms threshold. This has been a journey undertaken collaboratively and achieved through the enduring strength of our public and private partnerships that underscore Dubai’s maturing prominence on the world stage.

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252-room Centro Shaheen Jeddah opens doors

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Rotana and SHUAA Capital Saudi Arabia, officially announced the opening of Centro Shaheen Jeddah, the group’s first property to open under ‘Centro by Rotana’ brand in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. SHUAA Capital is the Fund Manager and Developer of this joint project. Located on Madinah Road, just 20 minutes away from King Abdulaziz International Airport, Centro Shaheen offers 252 rooms and studios all in a contemporary and stylish setting. Great care has also been taken to optimise room configurations and styles. Some of the special features include the design as well as innovatively styled bathrooms, and the latest technology and in-room entertainment options. Addressing the official opening, Omar Al Jaroudi, CEO of SHUAA Capital Saudi Arabia said that they are witnessing a significant milestone that is the launch of Centro Shaheen Jeddah, one of the joint projects courtesy of the strategic SHUAA Capital Saudi Arabia and Rotana collaboration. This great hospitality product and brand, is expected to be a key contributor to the Kingdom’s already bustling leisure and hospitality sector. Having already proven a unique concept in the United Arab Emirates and Qatari markets, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was only the next natural step for this admirable lifestyle brand. Recent reports show that the much-applauded Saudi Vision 2030, which has captured world attention, lends strong support to the hotel and tourism sector as a significant source of investment, while promising job opportunities in a series of sweeping economic reforms.

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Sheraton reopens in Oman

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Following a massive renovation program, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts reopened with newly transformed guestrooms, public spaces and food and beverage offerings. Owned by Al Hashar Hotels LLC, under the umbrella of Al Hashar Group, and in association with Twenty14 Holdings, the 230-room hotel has been a landmark in Muscat for over three decades ensuring guests can experience more in the heart of the city. Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Al Muhannad Al Hashar said that Sheraton Oman, the tallest building in the country, has played a key role in shaping the hospitality sector in Oman since it first started business in 1985. The hotel interior has been completely redesigned, leaving the exterior shell as it is. With this magnificent transformation, the hotel is well positioned not only to be a leader in the sector but also to support the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism in promoting the country’s tourism potential at the international level. Significantly, with the Sultanate all poised for a long-term, major growth in the MICE segment, Sheraton Oman’s enhanced conferencing facilities are sure to add great value to the future of tourism. For business travellers, the hotel offers nine meeting rooms, two boardrooms and the Oman Ballroom which is designed to pay tribute to the splendour and generosity of Omani hospitality. With a capacity to host large events of over 1,000 guests and smaller intimate gatherings as well, Sheraton Oman is the perfect choice for both private celebrations and business functions.

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22 properties by Preferred Hotels in ME

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More than 100 delegates from 60 member hotels around the world are currently attending the Preferred Hotels & Resorts 2016 Global Conference taking place for the first time in the Middle East, at Palazzo Versace Dubai, from October 12-16, 2016. Lindsey Ueberroth, President & CEO, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, stated that the decision to host their 2016 Global Conference in Dubai gives them an ideal opportunity to underscore their strategic plans for growth and to provide further support to their partners in the region. The announcement was made stating that 22 new properties are in the offing in the region.  Also the appropriate time to recognise the exceptional growth of the tourism sector throughout the Middle East, especially in the GCC countries, as their respective governments try to diversify their economies away from hydrocarbon receipts, affording great opportunities for all of their members. Dubai has emerged as the undisputed tourism hub, with overnight visitors expected to touch 15 million in 2016, and targets to attract 20 million visitors per year by 2020 plus an additional 5 million visitors expected for Expo 2020 itself.  

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Four Seasons Abu Dhabi opens at Maryah Island

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The first Four Seasons was unveiled in Abu Dhabi at Maryah Island.  The 34-storied hotel has 200 rooms including 38 suites with a collection of six dining concepts, a spa, rooftop pool and venues for business meetings, weddings and social functions. The location is targeted at both the leisure and business traveller. The location is at the newest financial free zone in Al Maryah Island Abu Dhabi. The opening ceremony was held on Monday October 3, attended by Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Mubadala Group CEO and Managing Director; Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Mubadala Deputy Group CEO & Emerging Sectors CEO; Ali Eid Al Mheiri, Executive Director, Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure and Simon Casson, President, Hotel Operations, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. The ceremony featured speeches from Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi management and Mubadala executives.

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