In Brief


New generation website for Corinthia International
CORINTHIA Hotels International launched its next generation website, featuring a more modern design and the latest technological advancements that allow for easy browsing and a more streamlined hotel booking facility.

Front-page information now features a number of exceptionally priced year-round leisure packages under Corinthia’s ‘Escape & Enjoy’ brand, and a host of other special offers and last minute deals, including a ‘Great Savers’ section. Corinthia’s dedicated conference and events programme ‘Events@Corinthia’, features prominently with a vast coverage of meeting facilities available. Appealing to the eye, but also practical, the new website offers extensive information on each Corinthia hotel, and the countries and regions where they operate.

Shangri-La Hotel Dubai goes wireless
WHAT is the most common item left behind at a hotel pool? At the Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai, thanks to their free WiFi, it’s the laptop.
Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai has announced wireless connectivity throughout the award-winning five-star luxury hotel property.  And it’s free. “The competition never stands still, a few years ago so long as you had internet access you were ahead of the game, now a days, it’s whether it is free or not.  Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai offers complimentary broadband connectivity in the guest rooms and now also offer wireless connectivity in our ballrooms, meeting rooms, business centre, boardrooms, almost all public areas including the lobby and even at the outdoor swimming pool, free of charge,” said Sharon Garrett, director of communications, Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai. More and more guests are coming out of their rooms and are attacking that congested email inbox while soaking up the sun poolside. Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai has partnered with 3com (which was founded in 1979) for their wireless solutions.

Mövenpick Bur Dubai announces new environment committee
Thomas Tapken, general manager of the Mövenpick Hotel Bur Dubai announced the formation of the environment committee at the hotel. As part of the Mövenpick Hotel Bur Dubai’s continuous effort to contribute to the wellbeing of the environment, the committee will be responsible for implementing and planning the hotel’s environment agenda. “We have examined the current state of our environment and it is one that is, unfortunately in rapid decline. As such, we have taken into consideration what little steps we can all take to begin to see an improvement.” said Thomas Tapken, general manager of the Mövenpick Hotel Bur Dubai. The committee, formed of the chief engineering Arwan Nazir, the executive housekeeper, Shobna Malikarju as well as the chief steward, Vengal Cheryan Oommen, will ensure that policies are strictly followed in all departments of the hotel.

More benefits for Hyatt Gold Passport members
HYATT Gold Passport members can now experience the improved functionality and innovative design enhancements of the new Beginning with the simplified login process, members will discover how’s new back-end technology provides for personalised and convenient online account management.  Once logged on, a comprehensive summary instantly provides members with account details, including point balance, membership level, last stay information and future reservations. Further, throughout members’ online experiences delivers customised messages and offers based on member tier status, travel activity and personal travel preferences. Using a new awards calculator, members can now easily compute how many points are needed for a specific award to their favorite destination. Additionally, Platinum and Diamond members can now redeem Passport Plus awards online to enjoy free nights, even when award inventory is sold out, for a 60 per cent point premium.

InterCon Abu Dhabi gets ready for renovation
Intercon Abu Dhabi celebrates its 25th anniversary, marking another milestone in the hotel’s vibrant and prestigious history. From the end of September the hotel will see a complete renovation that will transform many public areas and rooms. This multi-million dirham project has been initiated by National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels and InterContinental Hotels Group to ensure that set standards are maintained. The course of work will take 16 months to complete.  Not only will the guests staying at the hotel see comfortable and modern rooms, they will also see additional restaurants, seven state-of-the-art meeting rooms and a brand new Club InterContinental lounge. The lobby will also go through a similar process whereby the project will run from November 2005 till 2006 and opening new areas in stages.  This part of the project will encompass the renovation of the shopping arcade, tea garden and the auditorium. InterContinental Abu Dhabi being the only other hotel to have a separate VIP entrance will be putting this to full use by creating a temporary lobby for all guests with direct access to guest elevators and transport everyone with ease and efficiency. 

Oasis Beach launches executive sea-view rooms
OASIS Beach Hotel, the 252-room beach property of Jebel Ali International Hotels, has launched a new room category due to an increasing demand from the corporate sector. In addition to impressive sea views from the spacious balconies, executive sea view rooms also feature high speed internet connection conveniently located in every room making it ideal for the discerning business traveller. Guests staying in executive sea-view rooms will receive complimentary access to the Oasis Privilege Club where they can make use of the business facilities amidst the stylish décor. The spacious seating lounge provides exceptional views, complimentary continental breakfast, soft drinks, afternoon tea, sundowner cocktails and canapés.

Martin van Kan bags GM of the Year Award
Chosen from over 600 hotels across Europe, Middle East & Africa, InterContinental Doha has been awarded as an outstanding performer, winning an award for Middle East & Africa – general manager of the Year. 
This prestigious award is given to the best hotels within InterContinental Hotels Group portfolio. All of the group’s four hotel brands - InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Express by Holiday Inn – battle it out annually to win the accolade. Martin van Kan, general manager of InterContinental Doha and recipient of General Manager of the Year award, stated: “We are delighted to have won this award and be honoured from amongst so many hotels. I am very proud of all our employees. This has been an excellent team effort and one that we will strive to win again next year!”

Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain welcomes new staff to its “family”
The guestrooms and suites of the 264-room Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa may be closed for renovations, but the human resources department continues to aggressively recruit new “ladies and gentlemen,” especially Bahrainis, this summer. The award-winning hotel recently welcomed 18 citizens of the Kingdom of Bahrain. “Even though the resort is undergoing a major renovation this summer, we want to demonstrate our commitment to the national Bahrainisation program,” says general manager Pascal Duchauffour.  After participating in the mandatory two-day orientation programme, the new ladies and gentlemen will be placed in the front office, security, culinary, food and beverage, and housekeeping departments.

Le Meridien Al Aqah unveils ‘Nail Art’
Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort has added a new attraction at the hotel with the launch of ‘Nail Art’, providing guests with complete care coupled with indulgence. At Nail Art, guests can choose from a variety of services, including treatments such as nail extensions, nail art and air brushing, pedicures and manicures, all aimed at enhancing the beauty of hands and feet. Speaking on the launch of the Nail Art, Patrick Antaki, general manager said, “Nail Art is part of our endeavour to provide guests maximum comfort and luxury during their stay with us.”

Traders Hotel supports EK’s Seoul-Dubai services
Traders Hotel, Dubai has joined with several other Dubai properties and tour operator Arabian Adventures, to support the inauguration programme of the new Emirates airlines’ Seoul office and their non-stop services to Dubai. Emirates Group chairman, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, visited Seoul in South Korea to celebrate the new services and to officially open the Emirates' elegant town office. “Traders Hotel is delighted to be supporting the Emirates and Arabian Adventures initiated media familiarization as a host hotel for South Korean journalists.  The participants will enjoy an exciting itinerary of activities which showcase Dubai and which will allow them to experience first hand the dazzling tourist attractions, dining options and of course bear witness to the rapid rate of development within the Emirate reflected in an ever-changing skyline,” said Anny Tan, director of sales and marketing, Traders Hotel, Dubai. 

InterCon Dubai scoops achievement award
InterContinental Dubai has been awarded as an outstanding performer, winning an award for best “Market Performance Achievement”. The hotel had an increase in occupancy level of five percent in 2004 compared to the previous year, over 45 percent increase in average rate and 52 percent raise in RevPar. This prestigious award is given to the best hotels within InterContinental Hotels Group portfolio. All of the group’s four hotel brands InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Express by Holiday Inn – battle it out annually to win the accolade. Tom Meyer, general manager of InterContinental Dubai said: “We are delighted to have won this award and be honoured from so many hotels. This has been a tremendous team effort and one that we will strive to win again next year!”

Ritz-Carlton, Dubai is there for every event
If there is one thing the ladies and gentlemen at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai know about, it’s stylish service and attention to detail. The dedicated Conference and Catering team can arrange any kind of special event – whether it be a wedding, a birthday celebration perhaps, or even a corporate launch.  ‘Our clients can rest assured that we will take care of their every requirement, allowing them the freedom to play the elegant host with quiet confidence,’ commented Maya Saliba, assistant conference and catering director.

Fairmont Dubai implements centralised credit card system
The Fairmont Dubai, Middle East flagship property for Toronto-based luxury hotel group,  Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, implemented a fully integrated credit card processing facility into both their Fidelio Property Management and Micros Point of Sale System. Working together with 3C Communications International, Micros Fidelio International and Emirates Bank International (EBI), The Fairmont Dubai became the first hotel in the UAE to implement this system. The 3CIntegra Hospitality system allows credit card processing to take place internally and automatically, removing the need for traditional credit card processing terminals, which greatly increases performance and efficiency. The centralised 3C credit card server is interfaced directly to the hotel's PMS and POS systems and connects via multiple modems directly to EBI's card processing systems. Additionally, the hotel benefits in using the system are increased guest service and satisfaction, efficient reconciliation and book-keeping, environmental friendliness with the reduction of power and paper usage, and centralised control and management of the processing system.