In brief

Hilton launches Egypt booking page
EGYPTIANS and international residents can now book Hilton resorts across Egypt online.

The new online booking page offers rates in Egyptian pounds for any of Hilton’s 13 resorts in Egypt, and is accessible directly through the website at: Members of the Hilton HHonors loyalty programme will receive extra rewards on using the new facility.

Bahrain Hotels H1 profit up 21pc
Bahrain Hotels Company has reported a 21 per cent increase in profit in the first six months of this year. Net income rose to $9.3 million from $7.7 million a year earlier, said the owner and operator of hotels. Second-quarter profit increased 60 per cent to $4.24 million from $2.65 million a year ago, it said in a statement. During first quarter, the company reported net profit of $4.9 million. And its total revenue climbed to $16.6 million from $14.9 million.

Banyan Tree villa among ‘top suites’
The royal villa at the Banyan Tree Desert Spa and Resort in Bahrain has been chosen as one of the best 101 top luxury suites around the world by global travel and luxury lifestyle magazine Elite Traveller.
The 101 featured suites were selected by Elite Traveller's editors together with a panel of globe-trotting celebrities and athletes.

Mixed-use project for Sohar
A five star hotel and commercial centre are to be developed in Sohar by Omani and Kuwaiti investors, according to Kuwaiti news agency KUNA. The hotel is to be managed by an as-yet unnamed international firm and construction is to start in a few months.

October launch for Oberoi’s Zahra
India’s Oberoi Group has said it will launch Zahra, a new luxury Nile cruiser, this October. The group’s $218-million joint-venture at Dubai’s Business Bay will see the opening of a 249-room hotel at the end of 2009. Other new properties are being planned in Abu Dhabi, Oman and Morocco.

IFA Hotels & Resorts profits up
IFA Hotels & Resorts said the company achieved year-end profits of KD22.82 million ($80.8 million), which is 76.81 fils per share. These positive results are attributed to the successful strategy that the company has adopted of diversifying investments and further developing its international presence.

KHI buys Four Seasons Jakarta
PRINCE Alwaleed Bin Talal’s Kingdom Hotel Investments has acquired the Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta for $48 million. The acquisition is KHI’s first in Indonesia and reflects the group’s investment and diversification strategy in high growth emerging markets, a statement said. The 365-room hotel is one of the most well-known hotels in the region.

Swiss-Belhotel plans new Dubai hotel
Swiss-Belhotel International, headquartered in Hong Kong, plans to set up a new hotel in Dubai. The company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a leading investment company for the hotel. The name of the company was not given. The announcement marks the group’s fourth property in the Gulf region, following quickly on the heels of hotel announcements in Kuwait, Doha and Sharjah. The new four-star business hotel will be called Swiss-Belhotel Elite, Dubai and will be located on the Mina Road nearby Port Rashid and the Dubai Cruise Terminal. The hotel is ideally situated for business travellers, offering easy access to the World Trade Centre and commercial district of Dubai. The low-rise hotel will feature 168 spacious rooms, three food and beverage outlets (including piano bar, all-day dining restaurant and a specialty restaurant), business centre, meeting rooms, retail shops, health club and gymnasium.