In Brief


Team work at Al Bustan
AL BUSTAN Centre and Residence expects a 12 per cent growth this year, having experienced a 70 per cent occupancy rate during 2007and a growth of eight per cent compared to a year before that.

Moussa El Hayek, chief operating officer of Al Bustan Centre and Residence, said, “We are extremely pleased with our achievements last year. This has only been possible due to the fact that we have set and covered very clear goals as well as tapped new markets in GCC, CIS, India, Far East and other growing Asian markets. This year we intend to pursue the same policy and intend to provide new services to tour operators to extend our reach.” Moussa maintained such a steady growth has only been possible through a trained, motivated and enthusiastic team and good customer relationships.

Rocco Forte comes to Abu Dhabi
AL FARIDA Investments Company signed a management contract with The Rocco Forte Collection to operate the Bridgeway, Abu Dhabi’s premier hotel project. This marks Rocco Forte’s expansion into the Middle East region. Located on Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Road, the city’s main artery linking Maqtaa Bridge to Abu Dhabi’s business centre, facilities at the 12 storey hotel will include two swimming pools, a health and fitness club and spa, plus speciality restaurants. Of the 282 bedrooms, two will be presidential suites measuring 290 sq m each and 30 other suites. Of varying sizes. The Bridgeway development also offers 154 fully serviced apartments in an adjacent tower, which will also be managed by the Rocco Forte Collection.

Al Osaimi launches resort in Dubai
KUWAIT based Al Osaimi Investments and Real Estate recently launched its $408 million Dusit Emirates Saray, Palm Jumeirah Hotel Resorts & Residences, a luxury resort, spa and residence project located on the Crescent of The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. The project, which is targeted for completion in 2010, comprises Dusit Devarana, Dusit Thani and The Residence. The mega project, covering one million square feet, is highlighted by The Residence, a 178 unit Arabian themed residence, encompassing two storied townhouses, three bedroom apartments and three bedroom penthouses, each unit having a terrace, pool, garden and parking facilities.

Refurbishment is out of Africa
THE Mِvenpick Royal Palm Hotel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania has recently received a $4 million refurbishment. Extending from improvements in service and cuisine to redesigned rooms, suites, public areas, conference centre and restaurants, this five star hotel is often chosen by top government officials and presidential delegations. African designs, textures and carvings feature throughout the hotel. All 230 rooms have been upgraded and 193 club rooms modernised with additional room and bath amenities. The executive level on the seventh floor offers 24 executive rooms and junior suites, and its executive lounge has been doubled in size. Fine dining is provided in the new L’Oliveto à la carte restaurant. The Serengeti Restaurant has also undergone a facelift.

Wahat Hili suites get a Rotana touch
The Sultan Bin Rashed Group recently launched the Wahat Hili project comprising 192 upscale hotel apartments and a shopping mall north of Al Ain near Hili Fun City. Wahat Hili - meaning the oasis of Hili - will cost Dh700 million. The new Hili Rotana Suites will be operated by the Rotana Group and the Wahat Hili Mall will be managed by Aswaq Management & Services, a property consultancy company. The new development is scheduled for completion by the first quarter of 2010. The Hili Rotana Suites will offer facilities including a large swimming pool and an oasis themed relaxation area on the first floor. The Wahat Hili Mall will have an Arabian theme with white walls, blue domes and wood framed balconies.

Bussola reopens at the Westin Dubai
BUSSOLA, the Italian restaurant at the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina has been re-opened. According to the new Italian restaurant manager, Gianluca Cugnetto, "We have taken Bussola to a new level of dining pleasure. Apart from our trademark service and the sheer richness of our cuisine, there are many new additions including creative touches, and an updated menu.” Bussola features its trademark double-decker layout. Downstairs, the restaurant sets the ambience for more formal dining, while upstairs, the detached roof pizzeria provides a relaxed and casual family atmosphere with a view.

ALDAR Properties partnership
ALDAR Properties and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) signed a development agreement detailing a strategic partnership between the two companies which will result in the development of a number of new IHG branded hotels in Abu Dhabi.  In addition, three individual management contracts were signed between the parties at a ceremony held in Abu Dhabi. Initially, a Crowne Plaza with 430 rooms and apartments and Abu Dhabi’s first Staybridge Suites hotel will be developed, holding 165 suites. Both hotels will be located in the heart of Aldar’s Yas Island development. The hotels will commence development shortly and are scheduled to open in 2009. Another contract was signed to develop a new InterContinental hotel at the Al Dana precinct at Aldar’s Al Raha Beach area. The hotel will provide over 300 rooms and suites and is scheduled to open in 2011.