In Brief


Summer camp at Sheraton Abu Dhabi
ABU DHABI: The Sheraton Abu Dhabi is organising a summer camp that runs until August 18, from 9am to 1.30pm.

This annual camp is open to children between the ages of five and 13 with either daily or weekly enrollment available. The camp offers a one-stop opportunity for children to play the games they want in the safety that gives parents peace of mind.
Activities included are water sports, swimming lessons, boat rides, island trips, painting, ball games, treasure hunts, quizzes and tournaments, arts and crafts, martial arts, board games and field trips. The camp is in no way a baby-sitting service, but rather a well-rounded programme of exciting adventures and activities.

More Russians tourists at  Dubai hotels
DUBAI: More than 259,000 Russian tourists stayed at Dubai's hotels and service apartments last year, a 16.56 per cent increase over the previous year, a report said. Nearly 100,000 Russians stayed in hotels in Dubai during the first quarter of this year, according to the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), which has launched a major advertising campaign in Russia to tap into its vast tourist market.
Dubai’s trade with Russia also increased by 39.10 per cent last year compared with the previous year. The number of Russian tour operators promoting Dubai increased by 31.70 per cent last year compared with the previous year. The number of Russian passengers using the Dubai International Airport increased  by 18.73 perc ent in the last year.

Beau-Rivage seeks Middle  East guests
LAUSANNE: The Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne Switzerland is beckoning green-fingered garden lovers from the Middle East to come and see the innovative garden creations on display at the recently-opened Lausanne Jardin 2004 show. Until October 17, unique garden displays will be on show in the picturesque lakeside town of Lausanne in Switzerland demonstrating how gardeners can turn wasteland into verdant oases.
Dotted along the railway line between Lausanne and Renens the 36 garden designs that make up the exhibition can be viewed during a railway ride – the train making stops along the way so that visitors can savour the detail of each garden. With a beautiful lakeside park of its own, the Beau-Rivage Palace is perfect for enthusiasts to start their garden exploration. The hotel also has several rooms and suites with views of the lake and garden.

24 pc rise in Sharjah hotels’ occupancy
SHARJAH: Sharjah’s 53 hotels recorded a 24-percent growth in room occupancy during the first half of the current year, compared to the same period last year, according to a Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) release. The emirate’s hotels accommodated 438,410 guests from January to June 2004 as compared to 352,576 guests during the same period last year. The number of visitors to the 24 museums in Sharjah showed a 19 per cent increase. It recorded 278,380 as compared to 232,897 visitors in the first six months of 2003.

Bird to train Al Safir staff
BAHRAIN: Al Safir Hotel and Bahrain International Retail Development Centre (Bird) have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU). Bird, retail training specialists, will thus undertake to provide all training for Al Safir in line with their needs. Bird will provide a comprehensive range of training for Al Safir at all levels. The MoU was signed following successful completion of several training programmes conducted by Bird.
Hotel managing director Hameed Al Halwachi and Bird general manager Essa Sayyar signed the agreement at a ceremony attended by Bird marketing officer Suzan Kamel Atoul and hotel operation manager Sudhir Bali.

InterCon bonanza for Doha shoppers
DOHA: Middle East visitors to Qatar for the Summer Wonders shopping festival are in for a double bonanza – a bargain in the malls, and also at the InterContinental Doha. A booking for five nights at the hotel will receive an additional two nights absolutely free. Prices start at $198 per room, per night including breakfast and all taxes and service charges, a spokesman said.
Located on the waterfront of the fashionable West Bay area and close to the shopping malls, the InterContinental Doha is the ideal place for bargain hunters and those in search of a little luxury rest and relaxation. Guests will get a guaranteed sea view as all 246 rooms and suites offer stunning views of the bay. The deal is available until September 5, 2004

Buy a coffee, stay for free
DUBAI: The Hatta Fort Hotel’s August promotion offers guests a free night at the property on the purchase of a cup of coffee for Dh199 per couple.
The offer, valid only for UAE residents, gives guests a chance to stay overnight in a beautiful chalet-style double room in the undisturbed seclusion of the majestic Hajar Mountains. Enticing pools, superb dining with breathtaking views and enthralling outdoor activities give this offer the double delight. The offer is only valid weekdays, from Saturday to Wednesday and is available till September 15.

Kempinski website relaunched
DUBAI: Kempinski Hotels & Resorts’ new website – – went live last month.  Featuring improved navigation, the website has been entirely redesigned and allows visitors to access information on destinations and book rooms online with greater ease.
Kempinski unveils a new approach to choosing a destination, whereby visitors can select from Wedding & Honeymoon, Wellness & Spa, Weekend Rendezvous, Arts & Culture, Golf or Family & Kids packages and book these on-line. The Early Booker Rate and the Events Calendar are new features to the website. The Kempinski Shop offers hotel gift vouchers and will expand to include more.

Bateaux Dubai launches  unique promotions
DUBAI: Bateaux Dubai offers unique promotions this August, including a gourmet dinner and a Friday brunch. While dinner aboard the luxurious Bateaux Dubai is a gourmet experience with stunning a stunning 360-degree view, the Friday brunch includes a stunning 360-degree view of Dubai Creek, a sumptuous brunch buffet, live entertainment and lots of fun for the children. Boarding is at 11.30am and the vessel sails at 12.30pm.
Both cost Dh160 per adult. Brunch is also available to children, for Dh80 per child under the age of 12 and is free for kids under 6 years including a soft drink. Andy Stuart will entertain with magic, mystery, juggling and lashings of comedy on the Bateaux Dubai every Friday. The offer is valid until September 15.

ADNH posts $34m profit
ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi National Hotels has announced a 26 per cent increase in profits to Dh126.3 million ($34.38 million) for the first half of 2004 compared to the same period last year. Khalifa Nasser Bin Huwaileel Al Mansoori, chairman, said: 'The encouraging results come as a result of our clear strategic planning and strong balance sheet. The hotel division is delivering excellent results and has experienced high levels of occupancy throughout 2004. In addition, our catering division, ADNH/Compass has continued to progress showing very strong performance, benefiting from its growing presence throughout the region. We have also seen encouraging revenue trends in our transportation business Al Ghazal and across all our divisions.”
Peter Cardnell, director general, said the hotel division results are particularly good as compared to first half 2003 despite the difficult social, economical and political conditions effecting the region. The refurbishment of the group’s Hilton Hotel in Abu Dhabi is scheduled for completion at the end of 2004.

Shangri-La offers feathered sleep
DUBAI: SHANGRI-LA Hotels and Resorts has introduced its own custom-designed mattress and pillow menu. The new Shangri-La Simmons Beautyrest mattress with body-contouring technology has been installed in guest rooms at all recently opened and renovated hotels including the 301-room Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai, which recently celebrated its first birthday, and the newly-opened deluxe 250-room Traders Hotel, Dubai located in Deira.
The mattress – made exclusively for Shangri-La – has a patented non-flip construction and Simmons patented individual Pocketed Coil technology. Shangri-La guests can now choose their pillows: firm or soft goosedown. On the executive level Horizon Club or Traders Club floors and in suites, travellers can choose contour, buckwheat, foam or bolster pillows.

Kids’ day at Sheraton Miramar
EL GOUNA: In keeping with their social responsibility programme and belief in the effect of teamwork, Sheraton Miramar El Gouna, in cooperation with the Social Affairs Office of the Red Sea, hosted a group of handicapped children and orphans for a charity party and a day out at the resort.
The children enjoyed their day which was filled with entertainment and fun. They started the day with a hotel tour visit and enjoyed entertainment and games, besides a trip to the beautiful Gouna’s lagoons. As the main target of this day was the happiness of the children, other hotels in El Gouna contributed to the event. The Mövenpick, the Gouna Golf Club, El Gouna HR and the Orascom Hotel Holding Company all played a part.

JJW closes $102m deal in Paris
LONDON: MBI International, a $3bn corporation with strong interests in the Middle East and Europe, has finalised a  $102-m hotels acquisition in France through its JJW Hotels and Resorts Group, including two boutique hotels in Paris, the De Vigny and the Balzac. Said MBI chairman and CEO, Sheikh Mohamed bin Issa Al Jaber,  “Boutique hotels form part of a growing high-value added sector of the travel industry and one in which we intend to further expand investments.” The purchase was made from from Sir John Beckwith's London-based Pacific PLC and it brings the number of JJW four-star properties within Paris’ golden triangle to five, complementing the Amarante Champs Elysee, the Amarante Beau Manoir and the Amarante Arc de Triomph.