In Brief

The iconic Dusit Dubai

Suite deals at the Dusit
THE Dusit Dubai Hotel on the city’s tony Sheikh Zayed Road is offering special weekend rates on one- and two-bedroom suites until the end of 2006.

On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, a one bedroom suite is available at Dh999, while a two-bedroom suite comes at Dh1399, inclusive of taxes and service.

Kingdom in capital move
DUBAI-BASED Kingdom Hotel Investments is exercising an over-allotment option to increase a stake floated in its initial public offering, the company said. Kingdom Hotel, which includes the Four Seasons and Moevenpick hotel chains, floated a 25 per cent stake in February and said it would raise that to 27 per cent should the over-allotment option be exercised.
The IPO priced at $9.25 per share, near the top of the offer range, valuing the company, owned by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, at $1.59 billion. “The over-allotment shares have been placed with investors at the offering price of $9.25 per share,” the company said in a statement. “No further stabilisation activities will be undertaken.” Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley acted as joint global book runners of the offering.
In other news Kingdom Hotel Investments said it had bought the Movenpick Resort & Spa Mauritius hotel for $50 million.
The firm said in a statement on the Dubai International Financial Exchange website that the price included $19.5 million of debt. It did not name the seller.
In related news, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved plans by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company, to acquire Fairmont Hotels and Resorts for $3.9 billion. The FTC’s approval of the acquisition was direct and confirms the non-discriminatory policy of the US in welcoming foreign investors, especially Arab investors, said a Kingdom Holding statement.

Jebel Dhanna offers silver
DINERS at Zaitoun, the signature restaurant at the five-star beach resort Danat Resort Jebel Dhanna, can take home a reminder of their trip, with the handpainted ceramics and silver bracelets that are used in the restaurant. Extra touches include the studded silver bracelets which serve as napkin rings during the meal and given to diners as souvenirs after dinner, says general manager Manoj Kanwal. Zaitoun’s cuisine is influenced by Italy and the Arabian peninsula, and the fine-dining menu includes home-made pasta. 

ISO award for Bab Al Shams
JUMEIRAH Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa has recently been awarded the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 9001:2000 Certification by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance for their Quality Management System.
The structure of Jumeirah’s Quality Management System is supported at the highest level by the company Vision, which outlines the future direction of the company and the Quality Policy which outlines management commitment in achieving our objectives for quality. Both in turn are supported by Guiding Principles, which are the values that guide Jumeirah colleagues through their daily activities.

Indian Hotels-ETA in deal
THE Indian Hotels Company Limited has signed a 10-year management contract with Dubai-based property developer ETA Star for a luxury hotel and residential apartment complex in Dubai, officials from both companies said. Indian Hotels’ luxury Taj Hotels brand will operate and manage the Taj Exotica resort and spa and the Grandeur Residences located at the Palm Jumeirah Crescent in Dubai, as it seeks to expand its presence in fast-growing international markets. ETA Star will develop the $330-million project, which will comprise a luxury hotel and 200 luxury residential apartments for sale and lease, overlooking the famed man-made Palm island. The property will be operational in the first quarter of 2006. The apartments will be priced from $520,000 for a one-bedroom unit to $3.5 million for a four-bedroom villa. Hotel rooms are likely to be priced at between $350 and $500.

Golden Mile contract inked
IFA Hotels & Resorts and joint- venture partner Istithmar have announced the appointment of Al Shafar General Contracting as the main contractor for their Palm Golden Mile project. The announcement earmarks a key milestone for this prestigious development, with the planned completion for this Dhs 1 billion plus project on track for the first Quarter of 2008. The Palm Golden Mile is located along the centre of the trunk on The Palm, Jumeirah, and will include an international shopping, office and residential destination covering some 60,000 square metres.

New face for Intrepid Safaris
Maasai Mara: Heritage Hotels has fitted out two of its Kenyan camps, in the Samburu and Maasai Mara game reserves, with the latest in ‘luxury canvas’ technology. Handcrafted by the renowned East Africa Canvas Company, all 61 open-plan style tents now include electronic safes and personal mini-bars, and specially designed spacious ensuite bathrooms. The comfortably appointed tents with extra-large windows open onto private softly lit, furnished balconies. To book a stay, visit

Crowne Plaza does Russia
THE Russian Federation’s first Crowne Plaza hotel will open in early 2007 after outstanding agreements were signed recently at the InterContinental Hotel Group’s global headquarters in Windsor.  The 572-room Crowne Plaza Moscow – World Trade Centre is situated in the heart of Moscow and is part of the World Trade Centre building.  It will have extensive amenities on its doorstep including substantial meeting facilities, parking and a shopping mall with restaurants and bars. 

Dubai’s Carlton Tower in renovation
THE four-star Carlton Tower Hotel is being extensively upgraded complete with a new façade to better reposition the property among tourists seeking quality, good-value accommo-dation, says general manager Hosni Hadi. “The hotel will undergo complete renovation involving rooms, public areas and the façade. We will be adding an health club and will also reopen Acropolis, the Greek night club.”
Conveniently located in the heart of Dubai's Deira business, banking and shopping area, the hotel is 10 minutes from Dubai Airport, and 15 minutes from the World Trade Centre. The hotel, which opened in 1977, has 159 spacious rooms with 18 junior suites, one executive suite and 139 deluxe rooms. All rooms and suites have individually controlled air-conditioning, satellite channels, high-speed internet, mini bar and IDD telephones. Restaurants include La Marguerite coffee shop with international buffet, Sensations English pub, and Iranian, Indian and Russian and contemporary nightclubs.
The hotel will also open the five-star-quality Carlton Marina Luxury Apartments on Sheikh Zayed Road by September 2006. It will offer 96 individually decorated and furnished, spacious guest rooms ranging from single to deluxe two-bedroom suites with living and dining areas.

InterCon for $800m record-breaker
HOSPITALITY Development Group of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has announced plans to develop Palazzo del Lago, an $800 million, luxury destination resort in Central Florida. It will include the InterContinental Resort & Residences Orlando, the largest InterContinental hotel in the world, with a mix of 1,260 luxury hotel and hotel apartment units. The resort is an official hotel of the Orange County Convention Center. It will also include The Villas at Palazzo del Lago, a 994-unit resort residential apartment development. One of the few waterfront resorts in the area, Palazzo del Lago is being developed on 42 acres located on Lake Bryan, a 214-acre spring-fed lake, with its main entrance on International Drive, just two minutes from Disney.