In Brief


Name change for Lisbon Corinthia
THE Corinthia Group affiliated International Hotel Investments (IHI), a public company based in Malta, with hotel investments in Budapest, Lisbon, Malta, and St Petersburg, has announced that its five-star Corinthia Alfa Hotel in Lisbon is to be renamed the Corinthia Lisboa Hotel, better reflecting the fruitful association that exists between the internationally recognised Corinthia Brand and the city of Lisbon in Portugal.

Following extensive renovation work in 2004, the 24-storey Corinthia Alfa Hotel emerged as the newest five-star hotel in the city. The hotel has 517 rooms and suites and 3,000sqm allocated to state-of-the-art meeting facilities, with 17 meeting and syndicate rooms, the largest of which houses up to 750 delegates in theatre style. This makes Corinthia Alfa the largest conference hotel in Lisbon, able to handle 1,400 delegates at any given time, supported by a 24th floor Executive Lounge affording spectacular views of Lisbon, complete with boardrooms, executive check-in and business facilities. Moreover, all the hotel’s communal areas have wireless internet access.

DTCM to host six new MICE events
DUBAI will host six new MICE conferences in 2007-2008, it was confirmed at the recent Asia-Pacific Incentive and Meetings Expo (AIME 2006) in Melbourne, Australia, where the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) had a 75sqm stand that was shared by 14 co-participants from the private sector. Says Saleh Al Geziry, who is DTCM deputy manager overseas promotions and who led the delegation, “The DTCM has been striving to show off its expanding MICE facilities through presentations and meetings with the representatives of different tour operators. There will be six new MICE conferences that will be hosted by the DTCM during 2007-2008 with the number of participants ranging from around 600 to 1,500 travel and trade professionals.”

Chariots of Jordan
THE Jordan Tourism Board is promoting Roman-style chariot racing in an authentic Roman Hippodrome in the country’s historic city of Jerash to the incentives market. Jerash is the largest and best preserved Roman city outside of Rome. The Roman Army and Chariot Experience (RACE), first seen at the opening of the Kempinski Amman in 2005, is now also recreated in customised sunset shows followed by a Roman banquet in Jerash, in a Roman setting complete with lit torches, trumpets heralding the guests, legionaries serving as honour guards and citizens in togas adding to the electric atmosphere. Book at

New conference centre for Pattaya
AMARI Hotels and Resorts has launched a brand new conference centre, within the grounds of the Amari Orchid Resort & Tower, Pattaya. It is set to open by late 2006.
The conference centre is to be a luxurious 500sqm column-free multi-purpose function facility with a 6m-high ceiling. The efficient Amari Orchid Resort & Tower Conference Centre team will cater to any event, large and small, from cocktail receptions to conferences, wedding parties and incentives. A series of breakout rooms is readily available and the attractive gardens of the resort and Mantra Restaurant and Bar provide the ideal setting for post-conference parties and functions.

Sarawak announces Convention Bureau
THE State of Sarawak has announced the formation of a new convention and incentive travel destination-marketing agency, the Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB). The decision coincides with the decision to build a new convention and exhibition centre in Kuching with a capacity of up to 1,500 delegates and over 30,000 sqm of gross floor space. Inspired by the rainforest, it is being developed at a cost of 200 million ringitt ($54.2) on a six-hectare riverfront site in the capital Kuching and will form part of a new marina and shopping mall development. The state government is currently selecting an operator to manage the centre and, in the interim, the Sarawak Convention Bureau will take a leading role in marketing the venue.

Four Seasons Doha in top 100
THE 232-room Four Seasons Hotel Doha, the city's landmark hotel in the heart of the West Bay Complex, has been voted as one of the Best 100 New Hotels in the World for 2006, by Conde Nast Traveler magazine, one of the world’s leading travel publications.
The hotel’s internationally acclaimed spa and wellness centre has received rave reviews from both guests and industry insiders was also named one of the World’s Hot New Spas for 2006.

CA goes direct in Egypt
CA, one of the world's largest IT management software companies has launched a direct presence in Egypt with a partner showcase for its protection software solutions at the Cairo Marriott Hotel. The event focused on the latest CA Protection Suites r2.0 for SMB customers, providing channel partners with interactive demonstrations on the suite’s functionality and key benefits. CA also unveiled its corporate Integrated Threat Management r8 (ITMr8) security solution which provides comprehensive and scalable protection against viruses, malware, spyware, rootkits, blended threats, and other forms of malicious code. The Protection Suites r2.0 is a fully integrated backup, antivirus, antispyware, and desktop migrator solution with a ‘single install’ and a ‘single console’, eliminating complications resulting from the installation of multiple software applications.

The Better Homes alternative
LEADING Dubai realtor Better Homes has launched a short-term renting scheme that offers gorgeous properties in key locales, for a period of stay that suits guests’ needs best – a few days or a few months. Under the short-term rental scheme, guests can avail of Better Homes’ ready-to-live-in, self-catering apartments and villas. The company has a number of executive properties situated in prime locations with basic facilities within reach.
Better Homes is also looking for landlords seeking to lease out their properties.

Savoy Apartment in renovation
THE Savoy Hotel Apartments, which is the flagship hotel of the Savoy group of Hotel Apartments situated in central Bur Dubai, is to undergo a total renovation over a period of two months. It will see the Savoy Hotel Apartments reposition itself as a deluxe hotel apartment property in the market.
Says group general manager D Dominic, “In today’s scenario where the hotel apartments have become a very popular option with both the business and leisure coming into Dubai, it is very important that we are clued on to the needs of our guests and their changing requirements to stay one step ahead of the competition and this entire exercise of renovating the Savoy Hotel Apartments is precisely a step in that direction”. While the Savoy Hotel Apartments is under renovation, the other two hotel apartments of the group namely Savoy Park and Savoy Crest will be operational and will continue to receive guests.

Moevenpick Doha is Special
THE Mövenpick Hotel Doha has recently been accepted as a member of Special Hotels of the World, a privately owned, global luxury marketing alliance for the world’s specialist hotels that is headquartered in the UK. Special Hotels of the World offers sales and marketing opportunities for unique, interesting, city centre and resort properties that offer excellent facilities and services in the premium sector of the hospitality marketplace. Membership is by invitation only and is limited to exceptional hotels within recognised niche lifestyle markets. Special Hotels of the World represents over 65 of the world’s specialist hotels and resorts.