In brief

Hotelbeds predict strong growth

Hotelbeds, the global accommodation wholesaler, expects more than 50 per cent growth in the Middle East destinations for 2013 due to the positive growth in demand for this market for inbound and outbound travel.

The upsurge in the number of airlines which connect the Middle East to key European cities has also played an important role in the growth of the market, it said during the Arabian Travel Market (ATM).

The company has been developing its proposition in the Middle East to ensure that it delivers a customised service to client and supplier requirements. The Middle East is now increasing its sales as an inbound market, driven by the high quality and luxury of its hotels, it added.


YasWaterworld showcases offerings

YasWaterworld Abu Dhabi showcased at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) its unique mix of offerings that cater to both the individual leisure traveller and Mice market, including innovative and tailor-made programmes for activities such as team-building, rewards and incentive trips, and other such events – all held in the unique setting of one of the best waterparks in the world. The park also highlighted its unique “Ladies Night”, the female-only evenings at the Park every Thursday to cater to the cultural sensibilities of the region.


VIP offering at Boutique 7 Hotel and Suites

Set to open this month, the Boutique 7 Hotel and Suites in Tecom, Dubai, UAE, has been designed for those who value luxury and privacy. Offering 79 rooms, the property will be equipped with high-end amenities and beautifully furnished. The name of the hotel is equally unique and inspired from the seven emirates of the UAE. The hotel’s facilities include the 1Up sports and entertainment lounge, Garden of Eden outdoor coffee shop and shisha lounge, all-day-dining restaurant, 2GO coffee shop and sandwich bar, a discotheque with a capacity of 450 people as well as a spa and swimming pool.


Hanco signs regional deals at ATM

SAUDI Arabia’s Hanco, one of the Middle East’s largest car rental and leasing companies, signed a trio of strategic alliances at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) with several Gulf-based tour operators. This follows on from its earlier announcement to launch a Dubai office, its first outside of the kingdom, with a further five office openings scheduled for 2013.

The new strategic alliances cover operations in both Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with an agreements signed between Hanco and Jeddah-based Haj and Umrah tour operator Mamlakat Al-Asfar Travel & Tourism; Qasswa Travel & Tourism Company, also in Jeddah; and the UAE’s Lama Group of Companies. All three agreements cover the provision of both self-drive and chauffeur vehicles.


Saudi hotel brand makes ATM debut

Saudi Arabia’s Frontel for Hospitality made its Arabian Travel Market (ATM) debut looking to take its growing portfolio of properties beyond the kingdom’s borders, with a strategic development plan for the Middle East. The company also announced three properties in Pakistan as the branded operator or on a franchise basis, having opened up negotiations for two of most significant hospitality landmarks.

Already actively in Saudi Arabia, it will launch its first Frontel property, the 1,350-key Frontel Village Hotel, Madinah, in 2014 followed by the Frontel Hotel Al Baiya, Madinah in 2015 with further plans to launch its first three-star property in Jeddah in 2016 under the branding of ‘Frontel Eco’.


Mideast stays on top for Rocco Forte

Rocco Forte Hotels finished its financial year 2012/13 on a high with record revenue delivered from the Middle East, amounting to more than $13 million.  The region is now in the company’s top five source markets and represents Rocco Forte Hotels’ third largest international outbound market. Taking part in its third Arabian Travel Market (ATM) last month, Rocco Forte Hotels continued to consistently attract leisure and business travellers from the Arab world. At ATM, the brand highlighted its upcoming Jeddah project and project investments and its commitment in the Middle East. 


Abidos Hotels rolls out new hotels 

Abidos Hotels generated phenomenal interest among trade professionals, hotel developers, investors, technology providers and media during Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2013 as it announced two new projects in Poland. Abidos Hotels has chalked out an aggressive expansion strategy with an ambitious target of 20 hotels by 2017. The brand launched its second hotel in Dubai, UAE, and the fourth in its portfolio with the unveiling of Abidos Hotel Apartment – Al Barsha. Owned by Al Shafar General Contracting, the property was formerly known as Corp Executive Hotel Apartment – Al Barsha.


New additions to Kempinski

Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates announced the second phase of its enhancement programme after Aspen by Kempinski, the hotel’s signature luxury lobby lounge, reopened in December 2012.  The second phase will see the some new restaurant concepts, including a Spanish Tapas Bar scheduled to open in December.  The hotel will also embark on a room enhancement programme this year and is currently finalising the new interior design for its 393 rooms and suites, which will see not only a change in décor but also new and enhanced bathrooms and a number of technological innovations.