In Brief


Relaxed luxury at JW Marriott, Dubai
A Night’s stay at the JW Marriott Hotel Dubai is set to be more comfortable and luxurious following the recent roll-out of a new range of new bedding standards for the JW Marriott brand of hotels internationally.

The new upgraded selection of bedding ensures that top of the range materials are used for that extra relaxed sleep. The complete range has been well thought of and no detail has been overlooked. The new seven-inch mattresses with quilted tops sit on a skirted strong base of the bed. Similar attention to detail has been used on the pillows and there are three types of pillows on the beds.

Courtyard, Green Community, inaugurated
The 165-room Courtyard by Marriott Hotel – Dubai, Green Community, Dubai Investment Park, has been formally inaugurated. Located 40 km from downtown Dubai, the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel – Dubai, offers unique dining experiences, leisure facilities and innovative banquet facilities. With premium services at a moderate price, it is ideally positioned to become the preferred choice for both frequent business travelers as well as residents of the Green Community and the neighbouring Jebel Ali.

Coral International joins BHRI
Coral International Hotels, Resorts & Spas is to become the inaugural Middle East member of Boutique Hotels & Resorts International (BHRI), the first hotel alliance to assess and rate independent boutique properties. Headquartered in Miami Beach and currently comprising nearly 50 hotels and resorts in the US, Caribbean, Europe and Asia, BHRI has ambitious plans to grow in size to a total of 200 properties by 2006, and has chosen Coral International to spearhead its expansion in the Arabian Gulf.

Luxurious new partnership in spa industry
Champneys Health Resorts, the luxurious and largest destination spa group in the world and Cleopatra’s Spa, Dubai’s largest and most renowned day spa, have joined efforts to offer their guests a well-being programme “Passport to Wellness”, which begins in Dubai, follows on in England and finishes back in Dubai. Highlighting the organisations’ commitment to improve people’s lifestyles, Cleopatra’s Spa, and Champneys Health Resorts, have created a special programme, tailormade to satisfy client needs.

Coral Oriental opens for business
Coral International Hotels, Resorts & Spas has announced the launch of its latest property, Coral Oriental, Dubai. The new hotel is a 4-star property equipped with all modern amenities. Michel PJ Noblet, managing director of Coral International Hotels, Resorts & Spas, said: “Coral Oriental, Dubai is a modest, friendly and efficiently-run establishment, perfect for families, tourists and businessmen on a budget.” Coral International aims to have 25 properties in the first five years of operations.

Concierge service opens doors at LHW
With the recent launch of toll-free reservations in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) has introduced a concierge-style operation for travel bookers in the region, offering not only access to 420 premium hotels worldwide, but also transfers, restaurants, tours and other travel requirements. According to Michael Lutze, director of sales Middle East for the group, the new service aims to be more than a call centre for room reservations. He said:  “Anything a concierge can do in a hotel, we can do for groups as well as individual travelers.”

Accor expands in Saudi Arabia
ZAMZAM Sofitel Grand Suites with its 1,240 luxury suites in the heart of the Holy City of Makkah is well on schedule to open in September next year, Accor, the owners of the Sofitel brand, announced.
Dr Abderahman Belgat, director general Accor, Saudi Arabia, and GM of the Saudi French Company for Hotel Management, said that construction of three more Accor hotels in the Kingdom has begun. The new hotels will include the 230-room Sofitel Al Khobar and the 210-room, Novotel Al Anoud in Riyadh. Both properties are scheduled for opening early 2007. The 230-room Mercure Mak-kah expected to join the Accor Group later this year is also planning an extension of 220 additional rooms in 2007.

Sofitel to manage Jumeirah hotel
Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH) has signed an agreement with Accor’s Sofitel brand to manage its first hotel project in Dubai. The 450-room, beachfront hotel will be known as the Sofitel Jumeirah Hotel and Beach Resort, and will open in late 2007, within the prestigious Jumeirah Beach Residence project.

Versace start work on resort in Dubai
Italian fashion house Gianni Versace plans to start building its second beach resort early next year in Dubai as luxury groups keep betting that the ultra-rich will follow their label lust on holiday. Versace was the first luxury group to extend its brand beyond the regular boundaries of perfume and sunglasses, opening its Palazzo Versace resort on Australia’s Gold Coast in 2000. The Palazzo Versace Dubai, offering tourists 215 suites and 204 villas decorated with a specially-designed line of Versace homewear, should open in 2008, the company said.

InterCon opens second hotel in Kuwait
InterContinental Hotels Group is so confident about the future of Kuwait that it recently opened its second property in the country and is already looking at future opportunities. Now in addition to the stunning Crowne Plaza Kuwait, busy business travellers can enjoy the Holiday Inn Kuwait. The 135-room Holiday Inn Kuwait, which is located 200 metres from the seafront and 22km from Kuwait International Airport, will target both the business and leisure markets.

LHW launches toll-free number in region
A hassle-free holiday at one of more than 420 luxury hotels around the world is only a phone call away, with the news that The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) has launched its regional toll-free numbers. The new call service centre offers full concierge service to travel agents as well as end consumers. It can be reached in the UAE on 800 532 3464; in Saudi Arabia on 800 897 1488 and in Bahrain on 8000 4086.

Qatar Airway and Starwood ink deal
Qatar Airways and Starwood Hotels have entered into a strategic partnership to provide members of their respective loyalty programmes with an array of flight and accommodation benefits. Under the agreement, members of Privilege Club – Qatar Airways’ frequent flyer programme – will be able to earn Qmiles when staying at any of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts brands globally. To celebrate the new partnership, Starwood Hotels is offering Privilege Club members triple Qmiles for each stay at selected Starwood properties around the world during a three-month promotion starting on June 1, 2005.

FS opens regional sales office in Dubai
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has set up a worldwide sales office in Dubai headed by Shaker Akbar, who was recently been appointed regional director of sales, Middle East. Formerly director of marketing at Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh, Akbar’s role is to coordinate the Toronto-based luxury hotel and resort group’s sales and marketing efforts in the Middle East, as well as assist its worldwide sales operation. “Dubai is a strategic hub for Four Seasons Middle East activities,” said Akbar.

Kempinski to launch regional sales hub
Kempinski has announced plans to open a dedicated sales and reservations hub in Dubai and is planning the launch of its first Qatar property as the group gears up for the biggest expansion drive in its 108-year history. Its new waterfront hotel in the Al Dafna area, right at the heart of Doha’s Diplomatic District, will be a new landmark of the country and of its growing Middle East property portfolio. Later this year, the group will see the opening of its first Dubai property, the all-suite Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates.