In Brief

El Maghraby presents the award to El Chiaty

Top award for Jumeirah Int’l
DUBAI: Jumeirah International was named ‘Best Hotel/Resort Group in the Middle East’ for the fourth consecutive year by UK and Irish travel agents, during the 2004 Selling Long Haul magazine Travel Industry Awards.

This year yielded a volume of votes that exceeded previous years, as well as an unprecedented involvement from the UK’s travel agents underlining an enormous respect and esteem for the Jumeirah International Group. This is a record fourth time that Jumeirah International has received this award from the widely-read magazine, which is a credit to the continuous dedication and hard work of all Jumeirah International team members.

Bahrain Hotels revenues up
MANAMA: The Bahrain Hotels Company, the parent company of the Gulf Hotel, reported soaring revenues for the first nine months of the year. They reached BD12.5 million ($33.15 million), compared with last year’s figure of BD10.4 million, an increase of 20.3 per cent. The net profit, meanwhile, increased by 90 per cent to BD2.5 million compared with the same period last year. The company is expanding its horizons beyond the Gulf Hotel and has already begun operating the Ocean Paradise Resort, in Zanzibar, which the company manages and partly owns. The company also started the construction of a 15-storey service apartment block next to the Gulf Hotel, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2006.

ADNH profits rise 15pc
ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH) has announced a 14 per cent increase in profits to Dh172 million for the first nine months of this year, compared to Dh151 million for the same period last year. “Our impressive net revenue this year has been partly due to the dramatic rise in tourism to Abu Dhabi, facilitated by the growing impact of Etihad Airlines as it extends its network,” said ADNH chairman Khalifa Nasser bin Huwaileel Al Mansoori. The hotel division has delivered excellent results, with profits up 48 per cent compared to the same period in 2003.

Travco scoops top award
CAIRO: The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism held its annual awarding ceremony to present travel professionals and companies with tourism merit prizes under the auspices of the Minister of Tourism Ahmed El Maghraby. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the No. 1 Travel Company in Egypt award, which went to Travco Group for the eighth year in a row, for realising the highest number of incoming tourists. In addition to this prestigious tribute, presented to Travco Group CEO Hamed El Chiaty, Travco also received an Award of Excellence for the sixteenth time. Furthermore, several Travco members, representing international travel agencies and tour operators, were acknowledged for their efforts in promoting incoming tourism

Rezidor SAS scoops award
PARIS: Rezidor SAS has won the worldwide hospitality award for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development for its responsible business (RB) initiatives. The awards ceremony, held in Paris recently, highlighted Rezidor’s strategic group-wide approach to changing mentalities and practices in favour of improved environmental and social performance. Since inception in 2001, the group’s RB campaign has seen an enormous success.

Hilton Maldives Resort
MALDIVES: Described as “the epitome of every tropical paradise fantasy you’ve ever had” by Elle Magazine and runner up for “Best Eesort in the World” in British Business Traveller Magazine, the Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa is already known for it luxurious over-water villas and spectacular glass-floored spa set over coral reefs on Rangali island. In April 2005, the resort will re-open sister island Rangalifinolhu, which has been undergoing a massive reconstruction since April of this year. The $25 million building works have resulted in the demolition of all existing buildings on the island to make room for a stunning six-star resort that will include 70 luxurious beach villas, four new restaurants and spa. The reopening of Rangalifinolhu Island will enhance the resort’s reputation as the premier hotel in the Maldives and will boast superlative facilities including the world’s first all-glass underwater restaurant.

New look for Hilton Phuket
PHUKET: Just weeks after the 685-room Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa was reflagged following a multi-million dollar renovation programme, the resort has set an ambitious plan to grow its MICE market by 130 percent. The hotel offers the biggest and best MICE facilities on the island. For the more action oriented groups, Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa is the only hotel on the island to have an arrangement with Oriental Leisure Company for a License To Thrill team building exercise. Ideal for the UK market, between 50 and 600 delegates break into smaller groups and compete against each other over a series of action-packed 007-style activities including high-speed boating on the Andaman Sea, Thai Kickboxing and ATV riding.

Sharjah hotels post 86pc occupancy
SHARJAH: Sharjah’s hospitality sector enjoyed a 17 per cent increase in the number of guests during the first three quarters of the current year, compared to the same period last year.

A Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) report showed that the 53 hotels and serviced apartments enjoyed 23 per cent growth in room nights and 86 per cent occupancy Sharjah the period. Sharjah’s 53 hotels and furnished apartments accommodated 868,958 guests in 2004 compared with 708,455 guests in 2003 and total room nights were 868,498 by the end of the third quarter of this year compared to 706,381 in 2003, said Mohammad A Al Noman, SCTDA director.

Voice mail for Crowne Plaza
ABU DHABI: The Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi has made available a new voice mail facility to all hotel guests. This state-of-the-art system enables our guests to personally check his or her messages whether inside or outside of the hotel during their stay. Five languages are supported:  Arabic, English, French, Italian and German, with each guest able to record a personal greeting. The introduction of this new service is part of the new service programme Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi has introduced to ensure the latest technology is available to make every guests stay as comfortable as possible.

Sheraton Doha wins gold and bronze
DOHA: Upali Niyarepola of the Sheraton Doha Hotel & Resort won the gold and bronze medals at the “Olympics of the cooks” (“Olympiade der Koeche”) in Erfurt, Germany. The competition, organised every four years in Germany, is the toughest in the world regarding food art and competition is fierce. Upali, a native Sri Lankan, won the gold medal in the category “Butter Sculpture” with his piece representing two basketball players and bronze in “Artistic pastry show piece”, comprising three rice pictures showing Albert Einstein, saxophonist John Coltrane and the face of a woman, each made from more than 60,000 tiny colored sagu seeds.

Fairmont offers Skywards Miles
DUBAI: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Skywards, the frequent-flyer programme of Emirates and SriLankan Airlines, have announced a new marketing partnership.  Effective immediately, guests at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts can earn 500 Skywards Miles for every qualifying stay at all Fairmont locations including The Fairmont Dubai, New York’s The Plaza and The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. To celebrate this newly-formed partnership, Fairmont is offering an added incentive of double Skyward Miles for all qualifying stays up until December 31, 2004. Qualifying stays are subject to hotel availability at published rack, corporate or package rates.