In Brief


Hicap honours PRS Oberoi
Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (Hicap), the pre-eminent hotel investment conference in Asia Pacific, honoured PRS Oberoi, chairman, The Oberoi Group, with the Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual Conference in Hong Kong last month.

This award has been given in recognition of Oberoi’s long involvement and contribution to the hospitality industry and his pioneering leadership in making The Oberoi Group a global brand. On receiving the award, Oberoi said, “I am indeed grateful that you have honoured me… Building good hotels is not enough. It is important to create a pool of employees that share a common passion and vision.”

Grand Hyatt Muscat goes hi-tech
Grand Hyatt Muscat now has broadband internet in all its 280 deluxe rooms, Grand Club Lounge, Business Centre as well as the lobby. Inter- touch, a leading provider of wireless broadband connectivity, powers this new service. Access to the service outside the guestrooms is via a cost-effective pre-paid card. Customer support is also available toll-free 24 hours a day.

Hilton Egypt doubles share of UK market
Hilton Egypt’s 17 hotels and resorts have doubled their share of the UK market. This year, Hilton Egypt has driven room nights up by 63 per cent from the UK market over the previous year, generating almost $8.7 million in revenue until August 2005. The robust growth in revenue is almost double the last year said Simon Hasdell, VP, operations Hilton Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. “The fact that we keep getting a greater slice of a steadily expanding pie points to the suitability of our product to the UK traveller,” he said.

New look for Sheraton Doha
Following a three-and-a-half month makeover, the first and second floor of the Sheraton Doha Hotel & Resort now wears a completely new look. All 99 rooms and suites on these two floors underwent a total revamp at Qatar’s landmark property. Amin Mitry, deputy GM of the hotel, added: “The new rooms provide our guests with a warm interior colour scheme, an inviting balcony and a two-level split design, which separates the sleeping area from the sitting area. Moreover, easy wireless and wired high speed internet access emphasize the comfortable services one expects of a five-star hotel.”

Zaidi bags coveted award
Hilton International has awarded its Annual Global Service Excellence Award for General Manager of the Year to Shuja Zaidi, general manager of Makkah Hilton & Towers. It has also appointed three new GMs within the Arabian Peninsula. Zaidi beat 250 other general managers to scoop the award at Hilton’s annual management conference – presented to him by David Michels, chief executive of Hilton Group and Ian Carter, CEO of Hilton International. “This award truly is a recognition of my outstanding team, who are committed to maintaining our standards of excellence,” said Zaidi.

New website for InterCon Le Vendome
The InterContinental Le Vendôme’s new website – – invites its visitors to a virtual experience of the personalised service that this luxury boutique hotel prides itself for. Throughout the different sections of the website, guests are taken into an amazing journey to visit the rooms, suites, restaurants, banquet and conferences rooms as well as the wonderful city of Beirut. The richness of the details and the delicate surfing match the quality and attentiveness in service of Le Vendôme’s team, which has earned the hotel an ISO 9001:2000 certification for implementing and maintaining a Quality Management System.

Jumeirah in deal with Saraya Aqaba
Jumeirah group and Saraya Aqaba Real Estate Development signed a letter of understanding following the announcement that Jumeirah will manage a select group of five-star luxury hotels and a waterpark in the new large-scale real estate tourism project, Saraya Aqaba, Jordan. Saraya Aqaba was founded by Saraya Jordan, a real estate development holding company, who will develop the project over the next four years. Once completed, Jumeirah will manage the luxury hotels and waterpark within the development that is expected to transform the beachfront town of Aqaba in to a world-class waterfront resort city. A key feature of the development will be a man-made lagoon on the coast, which will be surrounded by hotels and other facilities that will captivate and impress visitors with its old Arabian magic.

InterCon launches online service in Arabic
InterContinental Hotels Group announced that Arab-speaking customers worldwide will now be able to experience online reservation in Arabic with the launch of IHG’s Arab language website, Being the first major hotel company to offer the online Arabic service is a reflection of InterContinental Hotels Group’s commitment to meeting the market needs and providing its guests with a comprehensive and leading service, with the Arabic content available for the company’s 3,500 hotels across all of its seven brands and its Priority Club Rewards programme.

Golden Tulip and Expedia ink deal
Golden Tulip Hospitality and Expedia have entered a global agreement involving a preferred marketing partnership that provides and customers with enhanced access and connectivity to over 400 properties that comprise the Golden Tulip Hospitality Group and alliance partners. Hotels brands include Golden Tulip, Tulip Inn, Pacific International Suites, Pacific International Apartments, Pensione, Plaza Hotels, Grand Pacific and Golden Tulip Resort.

Special packages at Regency Palace, Adma
The Regency Palace Hotel, Adma, has launched special promotional packages, which are valid until June 2006. These special offers include conference packages for delegates and corporate voyager packages to reward loyal corporate clients. “We are anticipating that packages will draw a good response,” said Nicole Barghoud sales manager of the hotel.”

Facelift for Hatta Fort Hotel
The Hatta Fort Hotel has completed its extensive refurbishment programme and revealed a new look and feel which has transformed the retreat into a mountain destination of note. The fully-renovated East Wing comprising 24 new deluxe chalet-style rooms is probably the most impressive new addition. The new deluxe chalet-style rooms feature a signature balcony or terrace overlooking the Hajar Mountains and manicured gardens. Café Gazebo has also been extended to create the Gazebo Terrace which offers outdoor seating. In addition to these, the Hatta Fort Hotel’s gourmet Jeema Restaurant has also been revamped, along with the cosy Roumoul Bar.