Category Archives: Hotels

Ghaya Grand partners with Emirates Airline Twenty20 tournament

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The five-star Ghaya Grand Hotel, in Dubai’s International Media Production Zone, is all set to host the cricketing legends and star players as Emirates Airline Twenty20 tournament kick starts in Dubai. Named the official hotel partner for this event, this is the first time that Ghaya Grand hotel is partnering to host a sporting event. In an inauguration ceremony held at The Ghaya Grand Hotel, cricketing legends Jimmy Anderson, Aaqib Javed, Ashley Giles and Paul Collingwood discussed the upcoming two-day tournament scheduled for the weekend (March 23– 24,2017) at the ICC academy in Dubai’s Sports City. Olwin Desouza, General Manager, Ghaya Grand commented “We are delighted to host the players and team officials for the tournament and we look forward to enjoying some top-quality cricket. Being an avid sports follower, my ideology is based on if you can dream it you can achieve it. Supporting sporting events like these is part of our strategy and this event provides us with the platform to engage with our customers directly.” The 2017 edition of Emirates Airline T20 is slated to be the biggest till date with both new and existing teams competing for the coveted title. Emirates has been successfully bringing international cricket clubs to Dubai to compete for the trophy. The tournament has grown substantially, since its inception in 2010, featuring stars such as Yuvraj Singh, Alister Cook, Nick Compton among its various teams. In its seventh year, the cricketing tournament will be played by six T20 teams with international and domestic players from countries across the globe.

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Ramada Ajman deploys software for fast action on customer requests

Ramada Ajman

Seeking to provide a more efficient and prompt service to its guests, Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman recently inked a partnership with ProntoResolved, a software which manages propriety complaints and handles special requests. The contract was signed by Iftikhar Hamdani, general manager of Ramada Ajman, and Franco Moline, president of ProntoResolved. ProntoResolved allows hotels to have a paperless operation by electronically streamlining guest service issues and requirements. The software takes in and resolves the requests in a timely manner; then generates reports and tracks the proficiency of response of the departments involved. Hamdani commented: “Our property is pleased to partner with ProntoResolved in providing enhanced service to our clients, thus generating higher ratings in several platforms. In addition to its systematic and effective process, the software also enables us to have a paperless, sustainable operation, which is in line with our green vision.” Moline enthused: “ProntoResolved is happy to help Ramada Ajman take customer service experience to advanced level. We are confident that this will be a fruitful partnership, and boost the property’s satisfaction ratings in various booking engines and review websites.”

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Shurooq launches eco-tourism project – Kalba Kingfisher Lodge


The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has begun implementing the Kalba Kingfisher Lodge, its latest ground-breaking eco-tourism project, in collaboration with the Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA). Shurooq said that the five-star hospitability project, featuring a tented camp that offers unique experiences within the mangrove nature reserve in the heart of Kalba’s natural beauty, is the perfect addition to its strategy of promoting environmentally friendly tourism. The Kingfisher Lodge, due to be completed by the end of the first half of 2017, will house 20 luxury tents. With a private swimming pool for each tent, the accommodation is designed to provide guests with comfort, privacy and amazing views overlooking the Indian Ocean and a forest of mangrove (Qurm) trees surrounding the lodge – also home to a number of kingfishers and a host of flora and fauna. With an ambience of luxury and convenience, the Kingfisher Lodge will include an outdoor yoga and wellness centre and a range of public facilities, including an information desk, a reception lounge, restaurants and outdoor recreational areas.  The tented lodge is being constructed in compliance with the highest global standards of green and sustainable building in order to have minimal impact on the surrounding environment. H.E. Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO, Shurooq, said: “There are so many parts of Sharjah which qualify as outstanding areas of natural beauty and we have identified that there are numerous hospitality opportunities which could cater to that market. We understand that there are a growing number of eco-tourists, and a shift in trends towards visitors who want to enjoy incredible natural surroundings in a luxury environment. The Kalba Kingfisher Lodge is an ideal fit …

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Ascott signs new property in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia

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The Ascott Limited (Ascott) will manage another Citadines-branded property located in central Al Khobar in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).  Citadines Al Khobar will comprise 54 one-bedroom apartments with various layouts. Managed and operated by Ascott, facilities will include a breakfast area, residents’ lounge and fully equipped gym, making it an excellent choice for accommodation amongst business and leisure travellers. “We are delighted to have signed an agreement to manage Citadines Al Khobar,” commented Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s Country General Manager of Middle East & Turkey. “KSA remains a highly significant growth market and this latest signing will not only expand our presence in KSA but also reinforces our leadership position in the Middle East.” “Citadines Al Khobar is the third property, together with Citadines Abha and Somerset Al Khobar, that we will be working with developer AREIC (the real estate arm of Al Mutlaq Group) and we are pleased to strengthen our partnership with them.” Citadines Al Khobar is situated in central Al Khobar, in a highly sought after location between King Salman and Prince Fawaz streets on the 4th main street in Al Khobar Al Shamaliah, which offers numerous dining, shopping and leisure options.

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Hotel development in the Middle East increases by 1.3%


STR’s February 2017 Pipeline Report shows 153,460 rooms in 540 hotel projects Under Contract in the Middle East and 58,374 rooms in 309 projects Under Contract in Africa. Two key markets in the Middle East and Africa region reported more than 10,000 rooms In Construction: Makkah, Saudi Arabia (22,370 rooms in 17 projects) and Dubai, United Arab Emirates (19,578 rooms in 64 projects). Under Contract data includes projects in the In Construction, Final Planning and Planning stages but does not include projects in the Unconfirmed stage. The Under Contract total in the Middle East represents a 1.3 per cent increase in rooms Under Contract compared with February 2016. Specifically in the In Construction phase, the Middle East reported 83,106 rooms in 263 hotels. Based on number of rooms, that is a 3.4% increase in year-over-year comparisons. The Under Contract total in Africa represents a 6.1% decrease in rooms Under Contract compared with February 2016. In the In Construction phase, Africa reported 29,084 rooms in 159 hotels. Based on number of rooms, that is a 1.6 per cent decrease in year-over-year comparisons.

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Rezidor Group appoints Saudi Arabia’s 1st woman GM

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The Rezidor Hotel Group has marked a new milestone in its history by appointing its first Saudi female General Manager in the company and the hospitality industry. Maram Kokandi will be the General Manager of a new Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, scheduled to open later this year. The appointment complements the Saudi Vision 2030 launched last year, which emphasizes the significance of Saudi women and their role in leading the development of both social and professional growth of the Kingdom. Wolfgang M. Neumann, President & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group, said, “We are very proud to be part of this historic appointment. We are committed to empowering our women in leadership at Rezidor, and this announcement is a momentous achievement, not only for our group but for the hospitality industry worldwide. We are confident that this milestone, the appointment of the first Saudi female General Manager, will inspire other women across the region to pursue their career aspirations in hospitality.” Kokandi studied hospitality management in the United Kingdom before moving back to the Middle East region, taking up various hospitality roles in Saudi Arabia. She takes on the responsibility of launching the new Park Inn by Radisson Jeddah Madinah Road as its General Manager.

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Miami-style Vida Hotels and Resorts debuts in Dubai Marina

Emaar Vida Residences Dubai Marina

Emaar Properties has unveiled a collection of branded residences in Dubai Marina that overlook the Arabian Gulf. Located in levels 14 to 56 to maximise views, Vida Residences Dubai Marina has only 360 one to four-bedroom apartments that take inspiration from Dubai Marina’s nautical legacy. As part of the Vida Dubai Marina Hotel, residences and Yacht Club, they will have within reach an assortment of lifestyle amenities and marine pursuits. The residences share a range of amenities with the Vida Hotel, an upscale, contemporary hotel brand that brings a trendy and chic boutique-style approach and delivers stimulating environments for the new generation of business executives, entrepreneurs and leisure travellers. Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director of Emaar Properties, said: “Vida Residences Dubai Marina offers a distinctive lifestyle choice for residents who prefer waterfront living in a central location. With its focus on the nautical heritage of Dubai Marina, the homes are ideally suited as first homes for long-stays or as a holiday home, thus appealing to both UAE-based and international investors. Dubai Marina is one of the vibrant lifestyle destinations in the city and our new residences bring exceptional value for customers.”

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Katara Hospitality launches LaLiga Lounge in Doha


Katara Hospitality, the hotel owner, developer and operator based in Qatar, has announced its partnership with Spanish football league LaLiga, the sport’s most popular domestic league competition, to launch the world’s first LaLiga Lounge at Hotel Park, a public family-friendly park situated in the heart of Doha’s bustling business district. The new sports lounge, expected to open mid-2017, will offer football fans the opportunity to experience one of the most popular global football brands, LaLiga, in a unique and engaging environment at Katara Hospitality’s newly opened Hotel Park. The lounge will feature various facilities and amenities including big-screen televisions that will broadcast live coverage of matches, an official league shop, and the first themed restaurant for sports fans in Doha. His Excellency Sheikh Nawaf Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al-Thani, Chairman of Katara Hospitality said: “We are proud to partner with LaLiga to bring the world’s first LaLiga Lounge to the heart of Doha’s business district in Hotel Park. Katara Hospitality has been at the forefront of Qatar’s hospitality industry and has developed a reputation for innovation, having created a series of firsts to leave an outstanding legacy for future generations. We are pleased to today announce yet another first by connecting residents and tourists of Qatar with the world’s most popular football brand through the world’s first LaLiga Lounge in Doha.”

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Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh opens in Saudi Arabia

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The Ascott Limited (Ascott), the world’s largest serviced residence owner-operator, is strengthening its presence in Saudi Arabia with the opening of its latest luxury executive residence, Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh. The 234-apartment luxury executive residence opened on March 12, 2017 in the financial heart of KSA’s capital. The exclusive serviced residence will provide guests with luxurious lifestyle facilities, within an elegant environment and complete with efficient business support services. With a soft opening scheduled for March, Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh is an ideal choice for short, medium and long-term visitors who want the luxury of an internationally-branded hotel, with the flexibility and privacy of an apartment. The property is located close to King Abdullah Financial District – the city’s prime financial centre – and 15 minutes’ drive from Riyadh King Khalid International Airport, making it highly convenient for business travellers. The onsite business centre ensures executives have everything they require, from meeting rooms and AV equipment to secretarial and courier services. Additional facilities include a residents’ lounge, prayer rooms, boutiques and a selection of restaurants and cafes. There is also an outdoor terrace, swimming pool, gymnasium, steam and sauna room, separate day spas for men and women and a children’s playroom. “We are delighted to welcome guests to Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh, our first serviced residence to open in the Saudi capital,” says Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s Country General Manager, Middle East & Turkey. “The Ascott brand is renowned for providing attentive and highly personalised service which is exactly what travellers need to enjoy a hassle-free stay in this busy and dynamic city.”

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First St. Regis Polo resort opens in Dubai

St.Regis Polo hotel Dubai

St. Regis Hotels and Resorts announced the opening of The St. Regis Dubai, Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club. Owned by the Al Habtoor Group, the resort is feted as the first St. Regis property of its kind, promising exhilarating polo experiences combined with the brand’s iconic personalized service across 136 rooms and suites, 25 St. Regis branded villas and six culinary venues. The St. Regis Dubai, Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club is set around four lush polo fields, approximately 25 minutes from Dubai’s Downtown area. The association between St. Regis and polo emerged at the turn of the 20th century, as both polo and The St. Regis New York were essential to New York’s vibrant summer social scene. Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Founding Chairman, Al Habtoor Group, said: “The Al Habtoor Group creates luxury lifestyle destinations in Dubai. We are committed to growing with the UAE and promoting it as a tourism destination. The St. Regis Dubai, Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club is a unique destination that will attract equestrian enthusiasts locally, regionally and internationally.” “Today we are proud to debut the first St. Regis polo resort in the brand’s history with the opening of The St. Regis Dubai, Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club, featuring the bespoke service delivery for which the St. Regis brand is known,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President And Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “This opening not only strengthens our collaboration with the Al Habtoor Group, but it also reinforces our leadership position in the United Arab Emirates and brand’s commitment to the ‘sport of kings’.”  

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