In Brief

Skywards VP Brian LaBelle with The Hyatt’s John Wallis

Hyatt signs with Skywards
CHICAGO: Hyatt has announced a partnership with Skywards, the frequent flyer programme of Emirates and SriLankan Airlines, with a special offer launch of double miles.

Skywards members will receive double the regular 500 miles earned for stays at par-ticipating Hyatt properties until April 30. Members can exchange miles for free flights, upgrades and luxury goods and services.

Hertz Kuwait opens new branch
KUWAIT CITY: Business travel-lers visiting the commercial and banking district of Kuwait city will be able to rent cars on-the-spot at Hertz Kuwait’s newly-opened city centre branch. Located in the just-opened Courtyard hotel, the new branch is the sixth Hertz locations in the country.
Hertz Kuwait’s fleet includes vehicles like the Hyundai Accent and Sonata, Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Grand Marquis, the Mercedes E240 and S320 as well as four-wheel-drive options such as the Mitsubishi Pajero and the GMC Yukon.

Jumeirah Palm goes to MET
DUBAI:  The Al Habtoor Group has purchased a hotel plot on the Crescent of The Palm, Jumeirah for a five-star deluxe, 250 all-suite hotel. Covering an area of approximately 500,000 sqft, the hotel will be part of the prestigious Metropolitan Hotels International and as a luxury resort destination will complement the other hotels on the Crescent.

IFA and SI sign alliance
DUBAI: IFA Hotels & Resorts (IFA), Kersaf and Sun International (SI), Africa’s leading tourism and leisure group, have announced that they have signed an agreement for the development of resorts in Palm Island, Dubai, Zanzibar and the Zimbali Coastal Resort in South Africa.  Under the agreement IFA and Sun International will be jointly responsible for all planning and related studies. SI will be responsible for the provision of development and operating management services. The agreement covers other potential projects in the Middle East, Africa and Indian Ocean, including the Maldives. The proposed resorts, which will be operated under the Sun International brand, will have hotel accommodation together, in some cases, with timeshare that will be marketed and operated under the highly-successful Sun International Vacation Club brand.

Khobar to have ‘future city’
AL KHOBAR: Real estate development company Rikaz is to build a $200-million waterfront ‘future city’ destination around a 300,000 sq m of manmade lagoon in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
The 3.3 million sq m City Fanar project will be located on the Al-Khobar-Dammam Corniche and will offer world-class residential, commercial and leisure facilities, including an unmatched blend of entertainment, dining, shopping, marina and hotels.

US top choice for UAE travellers
DUBAI: America continues to be among the
top three destinations for UAE-based travellers, according to
The portal received 10,000 flight search enquiries for American destinations alone last year. "Many Arabs and Indians study in the US and have a strong connection with the country,” said Simon Lewis, manager of

Swiss seek more ME tourists
DUBAI: Switzerland is mounting an all-out drive to attract tourists from the Middle East, already the source of 260,000 overnights in 2003 – and growing.
A 20-strong delegation from Switzerland Tourism and its local partners is currently making a
series of presentations across five Gulf cities, reaching the travel industry, media and VIPs.  The group represents a cross-section of the Alpine country’s holiday resorts, hotel chains, and hospitality businesses. Their itinerary includes Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh and Jeddah. The travelling roadshow, mounted in conjunction with Swiss International Airlines, highlights the country’s attractions, followed by workshop sessions.

Kuwait visa on arrival
KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait will grant 34 nationalities entry visas upon arrival, according to a new decision from the Ministry of Interior.
Among those that will benefit are nationals from the US, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, the Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea and China. Other countries can can obtain visas through Kuwait Airways offices as the airline has an online facility to process the visa through the Ministry of Interior.

Destinations of the World Dubai set for Indian roadshow
DUBAI: Destinations of the World Dubai, the pioneer wholesale travel company based in Middle East, will be launching an online website in India during the Dubai tourism roadshow in India – to be held in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad from April 6 to 10 – which they are co-sponsoring.
“The online system provides the travel agent access to reserve rooms in across 600 cities worldwide with ground arrangements,” says its head of marketing, Sanjeet Joher. “Presently, there are around 7000 agents working alongwith the system, which is very user friendly. The system allows the agents easy access to various categories of rooms all around the globe. Destinations of the World has now appointed sales managers in all the major metros in India in order to service the travel trade alongwith the online product they offer.