Archives for category: Middle East

During the recently held Arab Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai, Taameer Investment (SAOC), in the presence of elite international and Omani travel and tourism senior executives headed by Maitha al Mahrouqia, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, and some top executives from Oman Air, signed a ‘Hospitality Management Contract’ with Shaza Hotels.
The contract was signed by Suleiman bin Masoud al Harthi, CEO of Taameer Investment and Simon Coombs, CEO of Shaza Hotels, in the presence of Shaikh Salim bin Ahmad al Ghazali, Chairman of Taameer Investment. A ‘Resort Management Contract’ was also signed for Dhofar Beach Resort, a tourism project developed by Taameer Investment in the Dhofar Governorate.
Taameer Investment decided to announce the signing ceremony during the ATM due to the importance of the Arab Travel Market being the largest travel and tourism event in the Middle East region.
Located in Salalah, Taameer aims to develop a global five-star resort with a capacity of 300 rooms including serviced apartments and international restaurants. Once completed, the project will introduce a premier concept for hotel services in Salalah and thereby enhance tourism in Dhofar Governorate.
Earlier, Taameer Investment had signed other contracts with a number of internationally reputed consultants to develop and carry out the design of interiors, landscaping and swimming pools.
Shaza Hotels is an independent five-star hotel operator, supported by Kempinski, hoteliers since 1897 and Guidance Hotel Investment Company — Shaza’s regional financial partner and also a member of the Global Hotel Alliance.
Suleiman al Harthi, CEO of Taameer Investment, commented: “The signing ceremony would be followed by various activities and preparations for the start of the construction while the inauguration of Dhofar Beach Resort is planned for September 2012.
Taameer Investment (SAOC) is one of Oman’s leading investment companies with various investments in real estate, industrial, financial and service sectors. Taameer Investment was established in 2006 and since then, the company has grown progressively to be one of the leading investment companies in Oman with effective contribution towards the national economic growth.


Frasers Hospitality Pte Ltd has won the much coveted Best Serviced Apartment Company in the Middle East Award at the annual Business Traveller Awards, which was announced at a gala event in Dubai on the eve of the Arabian Travel Mart on 1st May 2012.

Readers of Business Traveller Middle East were invited to cast their votes for their preferred airline, airport, hotel, car rental provider and serviced apartment company in the prestigious annual awards.

Receiving the award on behalf of the group were Mr Olivier Briand, General Manager of Fraser Suites Seef Bahrain; Mr Mustapha Henini, General Manager of Fraser Suites Doha and Mr David Brown, General Manager of Fraser Suites Dubai.

Said Mr Brown, “We are all absolutely thrilled to receive this accolade. Since we opened our first property with Fraser Suites Seef Bahrain in this region three years ago, which was followed by Fraser Suites Dubai in 2010 and Fraser Suites Doha last year, we have seen increasing take-up of our brand from the corporate segment.

“Business executives appreciate the generous space, elegant home comforts and myriad facilities of our Gold Standard serviced residences and we are looking forward to taking this brand to even more cities in the Middle East.”

Frasers Hospitality Pte Ltd’s current portfolio, including those in the pipeline, stands at 73 properties in 39 key gateway cities, and more than 12,200 apartments worldwide.

From left: Olivier Briand, General Manager of Fraser Suites Seef Bahrain; Mustapha Henini, General Manager of Fraser Suites Doha;
Shashi Shetty, Director of Sales & Marketing for Fraser Suites Dubai and David Brown, General Manager of Fraser Suites Dubai.

The Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the fastest growing hotel companies worldwide and a member of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, announces the Park Inn by Radisson Jeddah. The property featuring 350 rooms is Rezidor’s 10th hotel in Saudi Arabia, bringing the group’s portfolio in the country to 2,400 rooms in operati

on and under development. The new hotel is scheduled to welcome the first guest


s in Q4 2014.

“Saudi Arabia is a key development market for Rezidor. The country experiences continuous economic growth amid regional turmoil and global economic tremors. Its strong domestic market, its important religious sites in addition to a strong real estate sector and a healthy hospitality market, call for a strong hotel presence,” said Kurt Ritter, President and CEO of Rezidor.

Speaking on behalf of Olayan Real Estate Company- the owner and developer of the Park InnJeddah and the real estate arm of The Olayan Group, Abdulrahman Al Binali said, “We’re pleased to be working with Rezidor on this exciting new development in Jeddah, and look forward to a continued relationshipand future projects, including a possible new hotel in Riyadh for which we’re already signed an MOU.”

ElieYounes, Vice President of Business Development for MENA at Rezidor added, “We are committed to growth in Saudi Arabia and to further contribute to its tourism industry. We are thrilled to partner with Olayan, a group known for its great ability to plan and successfully execute projects and we are looking at working together across the Kingdom in the future.”

Jeddah lies on the Red Sea coast and is the second-largest city in Saudi Arabia, after the capital city Riyadh.

The new Park Inn by Radisson will feature 250 rooms and 100 serviced apartments and will benefit from an excellent location on Al Madinah Road. It will have two restaurants and a lounge, 500sqm of meeting space, a fitness centre with outdoor swimming pool and a business centre.

Being situated on one of Jeddah’s main commercial roads, the hotel provides easy access to the shopping and commercial centers of the city.

Jeddah’s international airport is a short drive away and the holy cities of Makkah (65km) and Madinah (330km) are also within an easy driving distance.

Jeddah is an ethnically diverse city because of its role as gateway to Mecca for thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. Jeddah has a population of 3.5 million and is considered to be one of the major commercial centers of the country.

Dubai’s tourism industry achieved a 20 per cent jump in revenues to Dh16 billion last year due to a number of factors, including Arab Spring and the addition of new properties.
The emirate’s 575 hotels and serviced apartments catered to 9.30 million tourists last year, a growth of 10 per cent over the 8.49 million in 2010.
Of these, 7.26 million guests stayed in hotels, up from 6.56 million in 2010.
This reflects an increase in room rates as hotel occupancy stabilised at 74 per cent, said a latest report by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the tourism regulatory body.

Dubai’s tourism infrastructure coupled with the Arab Spring helped divert tourists traffic to Dubai.
“We have seen a 30 per cent increase in hotel rates in recent months,” Muin Serhan, general manager of the Millennium Plaza Hotel, told Gulf News.
“Of course, the Arab Spring has helped tourists to come to Dubai, and its world-class infrastructure has also helped attract visitors from the region.”
Guest nights rose 23 per cent to 32.84 million in 2011. Hotels contributed 23.26 million guest nights.
Hotel apartments experienced an increase of over two million guests, with these properties contributing 9.5 million guest nights last year against 7.5 million in 2010.
Similarly, the average length of stay stood at 3.6 days, up by 12 per cent over the previous year.
Gassan Aridi, chief executive of Alpha Tours, said, in addition to the Arab Spring, the long-term reputation of Dubai helped.
“There is a combination of factors for this growth. Dubai has a strong reputation as a leading tourism destination — that helped along with the Arab Spring,” he said.
“Besides, new tourism products and hotels have helped attract visitors, such as the Burj Khalifa and hotels in that neighbourhood.
He said room rates will stabilise. “There are a number of new hotels coming on line this year which will increase supplies.”
One of the key reasons for growth is the expansion of Emirates airline, which is the biggest supplier of hotel guests.
Emirates carries more than 34 million passengers a year, a significant number of whom stay in the hotels.
However, DTCM Director General Khalid Al Bin Sulayem said: “We have been successful in boosting the number of tourists to Dubai due to our initiatives to enhance our position in established markets and tap new and emerging tourism source markets.
“The substantial gains by hotels and hotel apartments reflect, once again, the vibrancy and dynamism of the tourism industry in the emirate.”
In 2011, Saudi Arabia emerged as the top source market for Dubai’s tourism industry with 873,152 guests, followed by India with 702,142, and British tourists with 643,196.
The number of tourists from Iran reached 476,708 and the US rose to 462,653.
Industry may face headwinds
Dubai: Despite attracting more tourists from the GCC and Asian countries last year, Dubai may expect some strong headwinds in the near future, analysts said.
“The year 2011 began with a marginal rebound in the GDP of developing economies with developed economies registering gradual growth. However, towards the end of the year, most developing economies in Asia including India and China reported a decline in GDP growth and lower GDP outlook for the year ahead. We may also expect sluggish growth in US and Europe due to various economic issues that need attention in 2012,” Sheetal Kothari, Research Analyst, Business and Financial Services Practice, Frost & Sullivan, told Gulf News.
“These circumstances of the global economy would exert a downward pressure on oil prices. On the other hand, increasing unrest due to the Iran-US standoff has the potential to push oil prices upward. The interplay of these factors increases the uncertainty in the outlook for oil prices. The outlook for UAE tourism is uncertain.”

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The Hong Kong-based group is keen to partner with investors in the right locations in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Dubai International luxury hotel investment and management group Mandarin Oriental is planning to open a number of hotels in the Middle East, according to a senior group executive.

The Hong Kong-based group, which operates some of the world’s most prestigious hotels, resorts and residences, has already signed up two projects in the region — one each in Abu Dhabi (on Saadiyat Island) and Doha (in Musheireb area). Both properties — each housing 160 luxurious guestrooms and suites in addition to serviced apartments, are scheduled to open in 2014.

“Mandarin Oriental will see properties coming up in Abu Dhabi and Doha in approximately two years’ time — by 2014,” Andre Devillers, director of sales and marketing at Mandarin Oriental Paris, told Gulf News during his recent visit to Dubai.

He added that the group is looking at potential opportunities in markets such as Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. “We are looking for opportunities everywhere in the region. For us, the Middle East is a very important market and to enter this region is extremely important for the brand and the company as a whole,” Devillers said. “However, we have to do it correctly and it always takes time, especially if you want to find the right location and the right investors. So it’s important to take your time and location is key.”

This year, the company will open a hotel in Guangzhou followed by one opening in Milan in early 2013. “Besides, we have a project each in Shanghai, Taipei, Peking, Maldives,

Scheduled to open in the first quarter 2013, the hotels will be located in the commercial centre of Doha just 300 metres apart.

Shangri-La International Hotel Management Limited president and chief executive officer Greg Dogan said: “The opening of both Shangri-La and Traders hotel in Doha reconfirms our commitment to expansion in the Middle East. Our target is to build a regional presence and we are delighted to be opening two hotels in Doha in a prime location with such dedicated owners”.

Shangri-La Hotel, Doha will feature 252 guest rooms, 42 serviced apartments, an 840m² ballroom, and the group’s signature spa brand, Chi The Spa.

Restaurants will include a The Den, a piano bar; Sridan, a Middle Eastern food souk, Fuego, a Latin American outlet; and Shanghai Club, a Chinese restaurant/lounge.

The neighbouring Traders Hotel will offer 238 guest rooms including 44 suites and 84 serviced apartments with kitchenettes. Outlets include a sushi and noodle restaurant and steakhouse and recreation facilities comprise a health club and spa with indoor pool and sun deck.

Hong Kong-based Shangri La Hotels and Resorts owns and/or manages 72 hotels under the Shangri-La, Kerry and Traders brands.

The luxury lifestyle hotel will be designed exclusively by Rosita Missoni and feature around 200 rooms and 70 serviced apartments.

Kurt Ritter, president and CEO of Rezidor, said: “Qatar benefits from very healthy economic conditions. Its people are receptive towards a new kind of luxury and lifestyle – our Hotel Missoni flagship will be a perfect addition to Doha’s rising market.”

Sheikh Khalid Bin Jassin Al Thani, CEO of Al Jassim Group said: “Inspired by Qatar Nation Vision 2030, we actively seek out new partnerships and aim to raise the bar at every opportunity. Hotel Missoni Doha will add significant value to the existing urban aspect and contribute to the commitment and vision of Qatar by greatly supporting the transformation of Doha into one of the world’s leading business, sport and cultural cities.”

The hotel will be situated just 10 minutes from the International Airport and the West Bay area, along the C Ring Road. It will feature a signature Cucina restaurant as well as an 800 square metre spa and fitness area and around 1500 square metres of conferencing and banqueting facilities, including a ballroom nd business centre.

Millennium & Copthorne, one of the world’s largest owned-and-managed hotel companies with more than 120 hotels across 20 countries, has revealed it will be making its first mark on the deluxe serviced apartments sector when it opens a modern and stylish property in the popular Dubai Marina area in the coming six months.

Once open, this Marina Promenade property will boast 151 spacious and contemporary serviced apartments, comprising 91 one-bedroom, 36 two-bedroom, 13 three-bedroom units, two penthouse apartments and eight villas. The serviced apartments cater to professionals and families attracted to a range of nearby shopping, dining and entertainment venues. With a spa, health club and two swimming pools for guests, the serviced apartments are expected to appeal to both long term residents and short term leisure and business travelers. The project, currently under development by owner ARJ Properties, is expected to enter its soft opening phase in Q2, 2012.

Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi, President and CEO of Millennium & Copthorne Middle East and Africa, commented: “We are delighted to bring one of our brands to this desirable area of Dubai. The entire development is of the high quality standard our guests expect from a Millennium & Copthorne property and it is the perfect vehicle for our first foray into the serviced apartments arena in the region. Bringing together excellence in service, value and location, we foresee a good level of demand from the start.”

Maa’n Nassereddine, Executive Director, ARJ Properties, said: “Millennium & Copthorne is well known for its experience and expertise in the hospitality sector, delivering returns for its owners without compromising on its trademark quality for guests. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with its dedicated team.”

The programme will comprise three tiers and work on a points basis, offering the brand’s most loyal guests priority, attractive rates and special offers, Hotelier Middle East can reveal.

“We have never had a loyalty programme in the past as serviced residence is already based on a very long-term relationship, some people have been staying with us for eight years,” Frasers director of group branding and communications Jastina F Balen told Hotelier Middle East.

“However it will be nice to give back to our customers,” she added.

When asked whether the hotel group would back-da

te points for to encompass clients’ previous stays at the brand’s properties, Balen said: “We’re going to try and have a percentage of retrosp

The hotel group was established in Singapore in 1998 and now has a worldwide network of properties, including in the Middle East in Bahrain, Dubai and the recently-opened Fraser Suites Doha.ective points, but not all [previous stays will be taken into account] because it’s too far on.

Up to 80% of the Frasers Hospitality’s residents are said to come from Fortune 500 and Forbes corporations.

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