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					                                                                                                                                                                             Vo l . I N o . 8 ; D e c e m b e r 2 0 0 5




                                  Rotana receives ‘Great Hotels of the World’ status............................................3
                                  Kanoo Travel opens office at Dubai Investment Park ....................................13
                                  Lufthansa Technik hogs limelight at Dubai Air Show ......................................14



Coral aims for 25                                                                                                                                                      IN BRIEF
                                                                                                                                                                       DTCM teams up with
                                                                                                                                                                       Kesari Tours &
properties by 2008                                                                                                                                                     Medicine Shoppe
                                                                                                                                                                              Dubai's Department of Tourism and
                                                                                                                                                                       Commerce Marketing (DTCM) in association
                                                                                                                                                                       with Kesari Tours and The Medicine Shoppe
                                                                                                                                                                       - world's largest franchised chain of
Proud to be the first chain in the Middle East to have a no-alcohol policy, Coral aims for ‘a balance between                                                          pharmacies in India, recently launched a
pleasure and conscious living’. Michel PJ Noblet, managing director, Coral International Hotels, Resorts and                                                           nationwide promotion. The joint promotion
                                                                                                                                                                       titled 'Season Special Dubai Promotion' is
Spas in an exclusive rendezvous with            Middle East outlines the group’s growth plans.                                                                         being conducted for a period of three
                                                                                                                                                                       months across 75 Medicine Shoppe outlets
    NEERJA SINGH                                                                       For a company that was         fastest-growing commercial centres with          in India. During the promotional activity,
                                                                                founded in 2003, that is a searing    business travel estimated to be valued at        these outlets will provide a coupon to
          oral International Hotels recently                                   pace of growth by any measure.         $1.2 billion last year and more than five        customers who have made purchases for a


C         opened the group’s fifth prop-
          erty, Coral Boutique
          Hotel Apartments in
Al Barsha, built at a cost of
Dh90 million. This is the
                                                                                    So, what makes the chain
                                                                                         attractive to hotel own-
                                                                                          ers? “We achieved 90
                                                                                          per cent occupancy
                                                                                           across all of our prop-
                                                                                                                      million visitors to the emirate.”
                                                                                                                             Amongst the 400-odd hotels in Dubai
                                                                                                                      alone, Coral International is the only chain
                                                                                                                      that has a no-alcohol policy. Sharing his
                                                                                                                      views about the group’s inhibitions to be
                                                                                                                                                                       specific amount. The coupons designed
                                                                                                                                                                       have a brief write-up on the destination
                                                                                                                                                                       Dubai, followed by two easy questions. At
                                                                                                                                                                       the end of the promotional period, a lucky
                                                                                                                                                                       draw will be conducted which will
group’s fifth property in two                                                               erties last year and      projected so radically different from the rest   announce a prize consisting of a trip to
years. The MD divulged                                                                      this year we expect       of the market, Noblet commented, “We are         Dubai for a couple.
details about the group’s                                                                    this to go even high-    not at all worried. Of the many hotels in
ambitious growth plan as
well as its distinct branding
                                                                                              er (expected 92-93
                                                                                               per cent) - a testi-
                                                                                                                      Dubai, several are iconic. They all offer a
                                                                                                                      great product, excellent service and world-
                                                                                                                                                                       Jordan to host METTS
as the only alcohol-free                                                                         mony to the          class facilities. If we were to create a name    in Feb '06
chain in the Middle East.                                                                       strong demand         for ourselves, we had to have a distinct per-
       Already, there are                                                                        created,”    said    sonality in keeping with our culture and               The Middle East Travel and Tourism
several ongoing projects -                                                                       Noblet adding,       deepest convictions. As a local chain, we        Summit 2006 (METTS), a two-day event
two properties coming up                                                                         “With both busi-     pride ourselves on the ability to live and       will take place at the Dead Sea in Jordan
in Beirut – one in Raouche                                                                       ness travel and      grow without disrupting the environment or       from February 26 to 27, 2006. The event
                                         Michel PJ Noblet, managing director,
and another in Commodore.                Coral International Hotels, Resorts and Spas            tourism    rising    hurting the sentiment of our host countries.     will witness the conglomeration of senior
Also underway is a major expansion                                                                                                                                     executives from leading international and
at Coral Beach Resort, Sharjah that will add                                                                                                                           regional travel agencies. Supported by the
                                                                                                                                                                       Jordanian ministry of tourism and antiqui-
64 deluxe chalets and 150 rooms to the exist-
ing 156 keys. It will also add to the property
                                                                 The group is planning to come up with two new                                                         ties and the Jordan tourism board along
a banquet hall with a seating capacity of
1,000 and a unique state-of-the-art spa and
                                                               properties in Beirut – one in Raouche and another in                                                    with other international and regional
                                                                                                                                                                       organisations and companies, this British-
fitness centre. The group is also working                         Commodore. It is also working on a 40-storey                                                         led regional and international conference
on a 40-storey tower in Sharjah and a unique                                                                                                                           will focus on sustainable development
project in Abu Dhabi as well as two resorts in                 tower in Sharjah and two resorts in Ras Al Khaimah.                                                     through tourism by building strong part-
Ras Al Khaimah.                                                                                                                                                        nerships between local, regional and
       In the three projects being undertaken                                                                                                                          international private and public sectors.
in UAE alone, Coral International Hotels will              rapidly in Dubai, and setting the pace for the             Also, research shows that the world over,        METTS is produced and organised by the
be spending approximately Dh500 million.                   rest of the region, Coral International has seen           customers prefer a safe environment for          Middle East Association (MEA) and
Other properties are being planned in Ras Al               a growth rate of 31 per cent in revenue, and               their families. We therefore took a conscious    Compass Rose International, both belong-
Khaimah, Saudi, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Tunisia               expects to benefit from the boom in meetings               decision to adopt a no-alcohol policy and are    ing to UK, in association with Events
and Morocco; in fact, the group hopes to have              and conferences as well as regional leisure                proud of the fact that we are the only chain     Unlimited of Jordan.
25 operational properties by 2008.                         travel. Dubai is turning into one of the world’s                                        Contd. on page 7
                                                                                                                 MOVEMENTS
         Foreign Exchange                                                              Millennium Abu Dhabi                  Murooj Rotana
                    DIRHAM VALUE                                                          Adnan Dayoub has recently             Amandio Martins has
                       (Subject to variation)                                         joined Millennium Hotel as the new     recently joined the
                                                                                          food and beverage manager. He      Murooj Rotana Hotel and
Major Currencies ........CN Buy ....................CN Sell                                  brings with him 15 years of     Suites as their revenue
US Dollar ........................3.665 ....................3.6750                           experience and has worked       manager. A Portuguese by
Euro ................................4.283 ......................4.384                       with some international         birth, Martins holds a
Sterling Pounds ..............6.280 ......................6.376                              hotel chains.                   degree in International
Canadian Dollars ............3.069 ......................3.170                                                               Relations and Politics from
Japanese Yen ............. 0.0289.................. 0.0315                                                                   Ecole des Hautes Etudes
Bahraini Dinar ..................9.70 ........................9.74
Cyprus Pound ..................7.375 ......................7.752         Tourism Australia                                   Internationales, Paris,
                                                                                                                             France as well as Six
Egyptian Pound ............ 0.620.................... 0.660                 Andrew Oldfield has been
                                                                                                                             Sigma Green Belt
Jordanian Dinar ..............5.138 ......................5.197          appointed as the industry devel-
Kuwaiti Dinar ................12.500 ....................12.610                                                              since July 2002.
                                                                         opment manager at Tourism
Lebanese Pound ........ 0.00228 ................ 0.00252                                                                        He brings with him a wealth of experience in
                                                                         Australia office in the GCC.
Omani Riyal ....................9.500 ......................9.540                                                            the field of revenue management from his previous
                                                                         He will be responsible for
Pakistan Rupee............ 0.0580.................. 0.0630                                                                   assignments in various European hotels within
Qatari Riyal ..................1.0050 ....................1.0100
                                                                         educating and servicing
                                                                                                                             Starwood Hotels and Resorts Group. Martins' main
Saudi Riyal .................... 0.975.................. 0.9800          the travel trade, negotiat-
                                                                                                                             objective in his new role with Al Murooj Rotana
Syrian Pound .............. 0.0650.................. 0.0685              ing airline agreements and
                                                                                                                             Hotel and Suites will be to optimise the global rev-
Danish Krone ................ 0.552.................... 0.587            working towards increas-
                                                                                                                             enue of the property.
Norwegian Krone .......... 0.545.................... 0.557               ing tourism numbers from
Scottish Pound ..................5.15 ........................6.25       the Gulf to Australia in the
Swedish Krone .............. 0.435.................... 0.460             seasons to come.
Swiss Franc ....................2.761 ......................2.842
Australian Dollar ............2.650 ......................2.756                                                              Murooj Rotana
Bangladeshi Taka .......... 0.057.................... 0.058                                                                     Sami Hattar has been appointed as the
Hong Kong Dollar ...... 0.4597.................. 0.4897                             Novotel Abu Dhabi                        conference and banqueting director at the
Indian Rupee .............. 0.0825 .................. 0.0855                              Marilyne Morin has recently        Murooj Rotana. He has earlier held several
Malaysian Ringit .......... 0.942.................... 0.997                              joined the Novotel Abu Dhabi as     positions in sales and has been catering with
Philippine Piso ............ 0.0640.................. 0.0690
                                                                                          the public relations and market-   leading hotel chains in UAE and Jordan.
Singapore Dollar ............2.117 ......................2.207
Sri Lankan Rupee .......... 0.036.................. 0.0420                                ing manager. At Novotel Centre,       Prior to this, he has worked as the banquet
Thai Bhat .................... 0.0850.................. 0.0920                            she will be incharge of manag-     and conference manager with InterContinental
Moroccan Dirham........ 0.3875.................. 0.4316                                       ing different communication    Resort, Al Ain. In his new role he will be
New Zealand Dollar ........2.496 ......................2.570                                 vehicles to maintain good       responsible      for     overseeing     extensive
                                                                                             relations with media, guests    conference and banqueting operations of
    DUBAI: Khalid Bin Walid Road, P.O.Box. 2095,                                              and community while keep-      Al Murooj Rotana Hotel and Suites ensuring
              Bur Dubai, Dubai UAE                                                            ing ACCOR and its proper-      the highest standards of customer service and
                      (As on 23-11-2005)                                                      ties continuously visible.     competitive edge.




2                DECEMBER, 2005
                                                                                                HOTELS
                                                                                                                                             wooden desks, down cushioned chaise lounges, luxurious

Rotana receives 'Great                                                                                                                       duvets and pillow-top beds, roof top pool and all-day dining
                                                                                                                                             Moka Café, Villa Rotana Suites is about service and amenities.
                                                                                                                                                    State-of-the-art conference facilities are available, with
                                                                                                                                             flexible space suitable for a private meeting with a few col-

Hotels of the World' status                                                                                                                  leagues or a social event. Technology-wise, the hotel offers
                                                                                                                                             everything from video support to telephone, fax, internet data
                                                                                                                                             ports and much more.
One of the leading hotel chains in the Middle East, the Rotana Group's Al Murooj Rotana Hotel and
Suites, Dubai, has recently been accepted as a member of Great Hotels of the World. The group
meanwhile has also opened its 118-studio/suite-hotel in Dubai.                                                                                Team-building
    ME BUREAU                                                                                                Meanwhile, in another
                                                                                                                                              exercise for
         l Murooj Rotana Hotel
                                                                                                      development, the Rotana group
                                                                                                      recently opened the 118-stu-            Millennium Hotel
A        and Suites, Dubai, has
         been accepted as a
member of Great Hotels of
the World - Incentive &
                                                                                                      dio/suite-hotel in the busy busi-
                                                                                                      ness district of Dubai's ideally
                                                                                                      located Sheikh Zayed Road, five
                                                                                                      minutes away from the Dubai
                                                                                                                                                     The Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi's management, in
                                                                                                                                              an ongoing effort to improve on the quality of its products
                                                                                                                                              and services, held a two-day training session for its entire
Business Travel Collection,                                                                           International Financial City,           department heads. The group conducted several team-build-
one of the five niche pro-                                                                            Dubai Media City and Dubai              ing exercises to reach the ultimate goal of guest satisfaction.
grammes operated by Great                                                                             Internet City.                          Quality is never an accident, it is always the result of high
Hotels of the World, the glob-                                                                               "The opening of this             intention, sincere efforts, intelligent direction and skillful
al luxury hotel marketing                                                                             magnificent hotel is a sign of
alliance. Chosen for its superb                                                                       great things to come for the
facilities for business trav-                                                                         Rotana Group of Hotels. Villa
ellers, meetings and incentive                                                                        Rotana Suites is strategically
groups, Al Murooj Rotana                                                                              located in Dubai's most presti-
Hotel and Suites will be fea-                                                                         gious and refined neighbour-
tured in the winter 2005                                                                              hood. Our hotel is a testament
issue of Great Hotels of the                                                                          to understated elegance with a
World - Incentive & Business                                                                          distinctive design, superb loca-
Travel Collection, available                                                                          tion, and outstanding service.
later this year.                                                                                      Our warm, relaxed atmosphere            Millennium Hotel holds team-building exercise
        The hotel features 253                                                                        embraces the distinctiveness of
luxurious rooms and suites,                                                                           Dubai's local culture. Combined         execution and is a conscious choice. "We promise our guests
10 global dining venues, a                                                                            with the variety of services            the most enjoyable experience from the minute we say hello
Bodylines Health and Fitness                                                                          offered, guests will be able to         till we say goodbye with a 'Yes We Can' motto," says Moine
Club with temperature con-                                                                            create their own unique experi-         Kandil, general manager, Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi.
trolled outdoor swimming                                                                              ence, never to be forgotten,"                  We regret the typographical error in the interview
pool, massage rooms and ten- Al Murooj Rotana Hotel and Suites, Dubai                                 said Kinan Ghraoui, general             with Moine Kandil of Millennium Hotel, Abu Dhabi, in our
nis courts. A spectacular 744                                                                         manager, Villa Rotana Suites.           November issue. The reference to increase in room rates
square metre pillar-less Ballroom, one of the biggest in Dubai,               Rotana Group of Hotels conceived Villa Rotana Suites            since last year should have read, " This year, we have had an
along with nine additional meeting rooms totalling 1,393                with the purpose of inspiring the business traveller.                 average occupancy of 85 per cent and ARR has been Dh 600
square metre for smaller meetings and banquets with the lat-            Throughout the 56 large, modern deluxe studios and 62 execu-          as compared to Dh 300 (and not 30 as printed) last year."
est state-of-the-art equipment is also situated inside the hotel.       tive suites, offering a world of lavish living from oversized



Moscow Hotel targets                                                                                      Palm Trump International to
corporate travellers                                                                                      offer time-sharing benefits
This November, the Makhtoum Street in Dubai saw the opening of an                                         The Palm Trump International Hotel and Tower is all set to provide a
opulent $41 million 4-star property. Managed by the Capitol Group, the                                    luxury $400 million centrepiece hotel on The Golden Mile -
Moscow Hotel is located in the heart of the city, making it ideally positioned                            the exclusive residential and retail boulevard on the trunk of
for both travellers and business visitors.                                                                The Palm Jumeirah.

    ME BUREAU                                                 Rooms are elegantly furnished and are          ME BUREAU                                              countries in the Middle East region and 17
                                                       equipped with high-speed wireless Internet                                                                   major brands. The Trump Organisation will be
     resent at the grand opening of the                and satellite TV among other standard                     he Palm Trump International Hotel and              investing substantial sums directly in the proj-

P    Moscow Hotel was Iossif N Ordjonikidze,
     deputy mayor for external relations, gov-
ernment of Moscow. Located near the clock
tower, the hotel has 138 rooms including 20
                                                       amenities. The suites have creek views with
                                                       a large lounge, dining and bedroom
                                                       areas along with a jacuzzi. Suite residents also
                                                       have their own 24-hour butler service and
                                                                                                          T      Tower will be the first to apply the prin-
                                                                                                                 ciples of time-sharing to a residential
                                                                                                          hotel. When in residence, owners will have full
                                                                                                          access to the 5-star amenities and services at
                                                                                                                                                                    ects, and will have sales, marketing and man-
                                                                                                                                                                    agement responsibility for each real estate
                                                                                                                                                                    development, including introducing The
                                                                                                                                                                    Trump Touch concierge services to the UAE.
emperor suites and two executive floors. The           access to the executive lounge.                    the hotel. When not occupied, owners will                 Sales for The Palm Trump International Hotel
                                                                                    Russian business-     have the option of making
                                                                             men and travellers are       their room available as
                                                                             an integral part of          part of the hotel. The pro-
                                                                             Dubai's tourism industry     gramme is highly flexible            The development will feature
                                                                             and the hotel looks          with no minimum or max-
                                                                             forward to attracting        imum stays required. Each           approximately 500 apartments
                                                                             these tourists with the      hotel guestroom will be
                                                                             promise of the famed         purchased, which owners            (one/two/three bedroom studios
                                                                             Russian hospitality and      may sell or transfer at any
                                                                             service excellence.          time in the future.                 and penthouses), which can be
                                                                                    Jean     Samman,      Whether an owner occu-
                                                                             general manager, Capitol     pies the unit or places it
                                                                                                                                            bought to own, and each residence
                                                                             Group also outlined the
                                                                             group's expansion plans,
                                                                                                          for rent, the hotel will
                                                                                                          manage and maintain
                                                                                                                                               will have the luxury of 5-star
                                                                             saying       two      new    all facilities.                      hotel services and amenities.
                                                                             properties will shortly              The development
                                                                             be added, significantly      will feature approximately
                                                                             increasing capacity in the   500 apartments (one /two
                                                                             near future.                 /three bedroom studios and penthouses),                   and Tower will be launched at the end of 2005
                                                                                    Elite        Hotel    which can be bought to own, and each resi-                with a groundbreaking ceremony in Dubai.
                                                                             Apartments on Mina           dence will have the luxury of 5-star hotel serv-                 The tower's iconic 'tulip' design will
                                                                             Road, close to the Capitol   ices and amenities. The development will be               incorporate a state-of-the-art exo-skeleton
interiors have been designed in a modern,              Hotel, will consist purely of 100 one-two bed-     the first project in Dubai where each room, on            frame, which will minimise the number of
yet classically Russian theme, with the                room furnished apartments. Capitol Plaza is        the entire 360 degrees of the tower, will be              internal structural columns, thus maximising
crystal chandelier and Apollo painting in the          located in the Al Barsha area, close to mall of    guaranteed a sea view.                                    floor space and ensuring uninterrupted views
lobby recreating the ambience of the famous            the Emirates and will feature 200 rooms and                The Trump Organisation's agreement                of both The Palm and the Arabian Gulf
Bolshoi Theatre.                                       100 one-two bedroom apartments.                    with Nakheel includes exclusive rights for 19             throughout the tower.

                                                                                                                                                                                              DECEMBER, 2005    3
                                                                                                                     OPINION
                                                     Delta Air Lines targets
                                                     transatlantic expansion
     Budget carriers                                 With international traffic having risen by 8.3 per cent compared to 2004, the future certainly looks good
    take to Gulf skies                               for the aviation industry.           Middle East holds an exclusive tête-à-tête with Jimmy Eichelgruen,
                                                     manager, GSA sales - Europe, Middle East and Africa, Delta Air Lines to receive a better insight.

        ourism today is a global phenomena               NEERJA SINGH                                now based in Atlanta and flies                                           aircraft leases or allow


T       and the fastest growing industry world-
        wide. According to the latest statistics
by the World Trade Organisation, the increase
in the number of international arrivals at the
                                                     I   nternational traffic has gone up by
                                                         8.3 per cent so far this year, com-
                                                         pared to 2004. In America, total traf-
                                                     fic is up by 5.4 per cent and in Europe
                                                                                                     some 340,000 passengers on
                                                                                                     about 1,870 flights a day. It is
                                                                                                     the world's second-largest air-
                                                                                                     line in terms of passengers car-
                                                                                                     ried and the leading US carrier
                                                                                                                                                                                redundant planes to be
                                                                                                                                                                                 re-possessed. Fewer planes
                                                                                                                                                                                 mean lower fixed costs.
                                                                                                                                                                                 The idea is to preserve the
                                                                                                                                                                                 company and give it time
                                                     the rise has been 6 per cent. In Asia,          across the Atlantic, offering                                              to get itself out of the
world level last year was 11 per cent while the      IATA (International Air Transport               daily flights to 506 destinations                                         financial doldrums.
                                                     Association) is forecasting continuing          in 91 countries. The airline                                                       When asked the rea-
Middle East registered a growth of over 20 per       annual growth of 6.8 per cent through to        offers the world's                                                                  son for not simply
cent. Furthermore, the proliferation of the          2009, while China and some east                 largest selection of                                                                letting economics
low-cost carriers into the Gulf skies has            European countries will go on growing           connecting        flights                                                           drive the fares
                                                     by around 10 per cent.                          through its extensive                                                               instead, he said,
fuelled the already soaring tourist figures in               Aircraft      manufacturers       are   network in Atlanta,                                                                 "Low Cost Carriers
the Middle East.                                     stretched to capacity with orders; Boeing       with nearly 1,000                                                                   (LCCs) are growing
                                                     had 650 orders, with just over 400 for          connecting opportuni-                                                               bigger in the short
         Catering to the escalating demands by       Airbus at the end of September. Some            ties to 180 cities                                                                  to medium haul
the mounting number of travellers, copious           observers think Boeing could finish this        each day.                    Jimmy Eichelgruen, manager, GSA sales - Europe,
                                                                                                                                                                                         journeys within the
low-cost airlines are fast emerging on the gulf      year with almost 1,000 orders, while                    However, on          Middle East and Africa, Delta Air Lines                US. Customers are
                                                     Airbus will net nearly 900. In a good year      September 14, 2005, it                                                              very clear that they
horizon. Popularly referred to as the no-frills or   the two manufacturers usually share 800         too filed for Chapter 11 protection, citing              need cheap fares, safe planes and no
discount airlines, there is little doubting the      orders between them.                            the spike in jet fuel costs, which have                  service except to reach their destination
fact that the low-cost carriers are here to stay.            Yet, this year, an industry with        soared nearly 20 per cent since June 1,                  on time. This means we cannot sell in
                                                     revenues of about $400 billion will end         2005, as the prime reason. "It comes as a                the local markets, should we choose to
         International experience suggests that                                                            shock, but Delta actually needs to                 increase fares. That is the reason Delta is
to foster competition - routes, capacity and          New routes by Delta                                  pay $25 million extra in the year for              planning to move 13 planes for now to
                                                                                                           every cent increase in fuel costs.                 more profitable, long-haul international
flight frequency should be determined by mar-         • Atlanta-Tel Aviv, Israel                           The recent hike has meant that the                 flights. Currently, Delta is the largest
ket conditions, not rigid licensing regimes and       • Atlanta-Düsseldorf, Germany                        airline needs to find an extra                     transatlantic carrier, based on the
national ownership while control rules should         • Atlanta-Copenhagen, Denmark                        $1.5 billion, over and above                       number of cities served. By May 2006,
                                                      • Atlanta-Edinburgh, Scotland                        the budgeted costs for the                         we will add 11 new destinations in
be kept to a minimum.                                                                                      current year. Southwest is the only                Europe, making it the largest transat-
                                                      • New York (JFK) - Budapest, Hungary
         The recent debut of Jazeera Airways,         • Atlanta-Nice, France
                                                                                                           airline making profits right now                   lantic carrier, bar none." With next sum-
Middle East's first privately-owned budget air-                                                            because they hedged for oil at $28 -               mer's additions, Delta will serve 66
                                                      • Atlanta-Athens, Greece                             and are still paying that amount,”                 international destinations in 40 coun-
line, has in more ways than one signalled the         • New York (JFK)-Dublin/Shannon, Ireland             says Eichelgruen.                                  tries from Atlanta - making Delta's
dawn of an era of low-fare operators, which are       • New York (JFK)-Manchester, England                         In fact, the price rise since              Atlanta hub the third largest internation-
                                                      • Atlanta-Venice, Italy                              June has thrown most of America's                  al gateway in North America.
poised to dominate the Middle East aviation                                                                airlines off-balance. Currently,                               As part of the largest internation-
                                                      • New York (JFK) - Kiev, Ukraine
and throw a major challenge to the region's                                                                several of them (United, US                        al expansion in its history, Delta Air
legacy carriers with a fare war. Being the sec-                                                            Airways, Delta and Northwest) are                  Lines plans to begin non-stop, wide-body
                                                     up paying $97 billion for its fuel.             flying under Chapter 11, sheltered from                  service from its transatlantic gateways at
ond airline in the country and as a low-cost         According to IATA, had the price of oil         creditors and restructuring routes,                      Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
carrier, Jazeera is giving a new impetus to the      stayed where it was in 2003, at $30,            re-creating a leaner infrastructure                      Airport and New York's John F Kennedy
travel sector by generating more traffic growth      instead of rising to the average $57            and negotiating with unions to accept                    International Airport to 11 new
                                                     expected for the whole of this year, the        cuts in paychecks.                                       markets throughout Europe and the
in the Middle East. Apart from Jazeera, two          world's airlines would have made more                   The bankruptcy law in America                    Middle East. With this growth, Delta
more budget airlines from Kuwait are expected        profit ($45.6 billion) than they have lost      allows an airline to stay in the air with                will become the world's largest airline
                                                     in the past five years.                         lower costs because payments to credi-                   across the Atlantic.
to make their debut soon.                                    Delta, founded in 1928 in Monroe,       tors are phased out by law. Also, Chapter                            As part of the restructuring, Delta
         It wouldn't be wrong to say that the        Louisiana, (hence the airline's name), is       11 leaves them free to walk away from                    has pulled out of the Dallas-Fort Worth
success of Air Arabia, which was the Gulf's first                                                                                                                     hub as it cuts one-fifth of its capaci-
                                                                                                                                                                      ty. Already it has got rid of 40 air-
no-frills operator and is all set to make profits
in the third year of operation, has played a
major role in inspiring several low-cost airlines
                                                      Delta to reconfigure                                                                                            craft and has another 80 to go.
                                                                                                                                                                      7,000 of its 60,000 staff will be
                                                                                                                                                                      made redundant, leading to signifi-
to soar. These fast-emerging budget airlines
are expected to give the legacy carriers a run
                                                      Song’s fleet                                                                                                    cant savings. The staff has accepted
                                                                                                                                                                      salary cuts and negotiations are on
                                                                                                                                                                      with the pilots' union to do the
                                                               Song, the award-winning low-cost airline by Delta, will continue to fly as a                           same. Investment in technology that
for their money. Kuwait Airways, which has                                                                                                                            saves on labour (e-ticketing, check-
                                                       separate brand and customers will be able to book flights on Song until May 2006.
incurred losses in all but one of the past 15          The aircraft will then be scheduled on high-demand routes throughout the Delta                                 in kiosks), cutting back on unprof-
years and Gulf Air, established more than three        network during the transition, replacing wide-body aircraft that will be re-deployed                           itable routes and planning for faster
                                                       from domestic to international destinations as part of the largest international                               turnaround times at airports are
decades ago, are already facing tough competi-                                                                                                                        some of the measures being
                                                       expansion in Delta's history.
tion from the low-cost airlines.                               Through the end of 2006, Delta will reconfigure the Song fleet into the new                            employed to make Delta leaner and
         The consistent upping of the tourism          two-class, long-haul standard and introduce them on transcontinental routes.                                   more efficient.
                                                       In all, more than 100 aircraft will be outfitted for Song service, giving customers                                    Additionally, as part of its
graph of Middle East indicates that the region is                                                                                                                     efforts to reconfigure aircraft, Delta
                                                       access to the largest fleet of video-on-demand aircraft in the US.
geared to accommodate more aircraft - budget                                                                                                                          plans to update the interiors of its
                                                       Other changes will include:                                                                                    entire international fleet to make the
or no budget - as more and more people venture         • Adding 26 first-class seats to Song's existing fleet of 48 Boeing 757-200 aircraft,                          travel experience more comfortable
to travel. For the airline passenger in the Middle         making the service more attractive to business travellers and significantly enhancing                      for international customers. This
East this is good news. Competition among                  revenue opportunities.                                                                                     includes a refreshed BusinessElite
                                                       • Converting an additional 50-plus Delta aircraft to two-class Song service, complete                          product and the introduction of
regional carriers will keep service levels high            with all-leather seating and new interiors throughout.                                                     Delta's improved domestic coach-
and ticket prices low. There will also be more         • Expanding state-of-the-art personal digital in-flight entertainment to all 100-plus                          class cabin on international routes.
flights available to more destinations than ever           aircraft, with 24 channels of live television, 10 on-demand video channels,                                        Delta's increased international
                                                           interactive video games and MP3 programming that allows customers to create their                          service will also present multiple
before, on board the most modern aircraft. The             own play lists from an inventory of more than 1,600 songs.                                                 opportunities for freight forwarders
coming times certainly look exciting for the air       • Offering this service initially on all transcontinental Delta flights beginning fall 2006                    and cargo shippers. The added
                                                           and expanding the service to include all routes over two years.                                            freight capacity will benefit
passenger, who with the growing number of air                                                                                                                         shippers to and from many of
                                                       • Incorporating Delta's new uniforms, improved snack service and award-winning
travel options, is bound to be the king.                   SkyMiles program to offer customers the best value in transcontinental travel.                             these transatlantic and Latin
                                                                                                                                                                      American destinations.

4          DECEMBER, 2005
                                                                                            FEATURES
                                                                                                                                                                            retain them in the long term."

Rotana to add 13 more                                                                                                                                                       Reminiscing about how the face
                                                                                                                                                                            of the industry has changed in
                                                                                                                                                                            the last 20 years, Kaddouri
                                                                                                                                                                            points out how each successive

properties to its portfolio                                                                                                                                                project announced becomes big-
                                                                                                                                                                          ger, grander, one more iconic
                                                                                                                                                                        than the other. Rotana too will
                                                                                                                                                                                   soon have the tallest all-
One of the fastest-expanding chain of hotels in the Middle East, Rotana is widely recognised as one of the                                                                             suite hotel in the
best managed. Omer Kaddouri, director - operations, Dubai and Northern Emirates and general manager,                                                                                    world, with 72 floors
                                                                                                                                                                                        and     480      suites.
Al Bustan Rotana, in an exclusive rendezvous with                        Middle East outlines the group's future plans.                                                                 "Physically, hotels are
                                                                                                                                                                                        certainly looking more
     ME BUREAU                                 giving them exposure to key markets in the       the tightrope between maximis-                                                          glamorous. However,
                                               UK, USA and Scandinavian countries. The          ing yield and occupancy by mix-                                                         the factors that bring
       he Rotana group started operations in   group has also established a second sales        ing regular but lower-paying                                                            customers repeatedly

T      Abu Dhabi in 1993 and today manages
       17 properties throughout the Middle
East with 13 more to be added to its portfolio
soon. The group had a record year in 2004,
                                               and marketing office in Frankfurt, from
                                               where a team of 40 executives will cover all
                                               German-speaking countries. Over the next
                                               24 months, additional sales offices are
                                                                                                tourist business with better
                                                                                                paying corporate travellers.        Omer Kaddouri, director - operations, Dubai and
                                                                                                                                    Northern Emirates and general manager,
                                                                                                       Commenting on the bal- Al Bustan Rotana
                                                                                                ance that the hotels must con-
                                                                                                                                                                                        to a hotel have little to
                                                                                                                                                                                        do with how it looks. I
                                                                                                                                                                                      believe that service
                                                                                                                                                                                      standards are falling
with average occupancy reaching 82 per cent    being planned in Doha, Jeddah, Milan,            stantly maintain between various market               and many of us are getting complacent. We
(up 7 per cent from 2003) and year-on-year     Moscow and Paris.                                segments to ensure maximum yield,                     should be constantly listening to our cus-
revenue growth of 35 per cent. In Dubai alone,         The group has a great mix of properties, Kaddouri feels that
there are 10 Rotana hotels with a total        making sure there is something for everyone -    being a local chain,
capacity of 2,400 rooms.                       whether it is transit accommodation near the     the Rotana man-
                                                                                                agement is very
   Future Projects - Rotana Hotels                                                              close to its cus-
                                                                                                tomers and has a
  Name of Hotel                     Location         Expected Opening         Number of         long-term perspec-
                                                                            Rooms & Suites      tive on profitability.
                                                                                                "We are here to stay
  Amwaj Rotana Resort                Dubai                Mid-2006                300           this is our home
  City Center Rotana                 Doha                 Mid-2006                400           and our business
  Manshar Rotana Hotel and Suites    Kuwait               Late-2006               200           strategy     reflects
  Khartoum Rotana Hotel & Suites     Sudan                Late-2007               400           this belief. All
  Raouche Rotana Suites              Lebanon              -                       170           industries         go
  Solidere Rotana Suites             Lebanon              Late 2008               250           through      cyclical
                                                                                                phases; today the
  Rose Rotana Suites                 Dubai                2006                    480
                                                                                                hotel industry in
  Khalidiya Rotana Resort & Suites   Abu Dhabi            -                       400           the Middle East is
  Fujairah Rotana Resort             Fujairah             -                       250           booming and some
  Total additional rooms planned                                                2,850           hotels are seizing
                                                                                                this opportunity to
                                                                                                make as much money as possible. Frankly, I            tomers, reviewing our treatment and working
        Earlier this year, Rotana signed       airport, boutique hotels, luxury resorts or cor- believe rates today are scary. I would rather         on measures to improve service, because
strategic marketing alliances with Thistle     porate-friendly hotels close to business cen-    keep our short-term ambitions realistic so            ultimately, that is the only factor that
Hotels, Affinia Hospitality and First Hotels,  tres. It also seems to be successfully walking   that we do not upset our regular clients and          customers remember," he explains.



No alcohol at Coral
properties in Middle East
     Contd. from page 1                             which will especially focus on providing a
                                                    culturally rich experience to hotel guests in
to do so in the Middle East.”                       all of the chain’s properties. For example,
       He was also firm in asserting that this      the Ras al Khaimah property is in the vicin-
exclusive policy in no way keeps the guests         ity of two environmentally sensitive areas –
away from countries that do have a culture          mangrove forests and turtle breeding areas.
that enjoys drinks. “If you take a look at our      Before the hotel even gets off the ground,
guest register, you will find a mix of several      the department has been assessing the envi-
nationalities – European, Middle-Eastern            ronment and how the building could be con-
and Asian. The importance of serving alco-          structed so as to cause minimal disturbance
hol on-site is over-rated as our experience         to the mangroves or future generations of




Coral Boutique apartment


has shown. It is the warmth of service that         turtles. “The philosophy of the group
ultimately keeps our guests coming back             goes beyond the surface to respect and
from all over the world,” says Noblet, visibly      treasure every aspect of our culture.
proud of the organisation’s deep conviction         Visually too, the hotel building will blend
in its policies. Interestingly, the chain has a     into and enhance its setting, rather than
newly established ‘Heritage’ department,            overpower it,” concludes Noblet.

                                                                                                                                                                                      DECEMBER, 2005         5
                                   FAMILY ALBUM
It’s party time at Gulf Air                                           Al Diar Gulf Hotel & Resort in Abu Dhabi was
                                                                      the venue for an Iftar invitation by Gulf Air, for
                                                                      all their staff in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain offices.
                                                                                                The Iftar was attended
                     GULF STAFF
                                                                                                by Maen Abdulhalim,
                                                                                                general manager, Gulf
                                                                                                Air in Abu Dhabi and Al
                                                                                                Ain; Abdl Khaleq Saeed,
                                                                                                vice president technical;
                                                                                                Haider Ali, head offline
                                                                                                maintenance and
                                                                                                Shehab Al Shehab, base
                                                                                                manager for Gulf trav-
                                                                                                eller in Abu Dhabi.
                                                                                                Meanwhile, the top
                                                                                                travel agents were
                                                                                                entertained at a gala
                                                                                                party at the Millennium
                                                                                                Hotel Abu Dhabi.
                                                                                                Abdulhalim played
                                                                                                the perfect host.



                     GULF AGENTS




India Tourism hosts
Iftar party in Dubai
                                   Prakash Jajoria,
                                   regional director (West
                                   Asia and Africa), India
                                   Tourism Dubai recently
                                   held an Iftar party at
                                   the Metropolitan Palace
                                   Hotel in Dubai. Yash
                                   Sinha, counsel general
                                   of India along with people from the industry and media attended the event.




6   DECEMBER, 2005
                                                                                          TECHNOLOGY
Amadeus Bahrain turns three;                                                                                                                                           myTravelChannel
                                                                                                                                                                       .com joins hands
e-Travel unit wins award                                                                                                                                               with Axis
                                                                                                                                                                       The union with Axis Holidays will
Amadeus Bahrain recently celebrated its third anniversary, marking its successful years of serving the needs of                                                        boost the wide range of travel
Bahraini travel agents at the industry's highest standards. Meanwhile, Amadeus’ e-Travel unit for the second year                                                      choices offered to the seven million
in a row, won an award at the World Travel Awards, for its outstanding performance.                                                                                    users who frequently use the website.
   ME BUREAU                                       Amadeus Selling Platform (Vista), the                                   this year. The event acknowledges              ME BUREAU
                                                   travel industry's first high output,                                      and celebrates excellence in the
       madeus Bahrain, branch office of            browser-based, front office reser-                                          global travel and tourism industry.             xis Holidays, the wholesale leisure

A      Amadeus Gulf, recently celebrated its
       third year of operation by holding a cus-
tomer event at Novotel Bahrain. With atten-
dance of Bahrain's travel industry major play-
                                                   vation software.
                                                          "It's been nearly three
                                                   years that we have been build-
                                                   ing with you a project that has
                                                                                                                                  Travel professionals cast votes
                                                                                                                                   across 200 countries.
                                                                                                                                           The repeated recogni-
                                                                                                                                    tion for Amadeus is achieved
                                                                                                                                                                       A       travel experts, who procure and pro-
                                                                                                                                                                               vide travel products to agents through-
                                                                                                                                                                       out the GCC, will use myTravelChannel.com
                                                                                                                                                                       as a platform from which its partners can also
ers, Amadeus expressed its commitment to the       materialised successfully,”                                                      on the strength of the contin-     feature their own travel products.
travel agency community and thanked its cus-       said Saleh to the travel                                                           ued, stellar performance of             In this new arrangement, consumers of
tomers for their trust and loyalty.                agency        community,                                                              its     e-Retail    Engine    online travel will benefit from an even wider
       The Bahraini branch of Amadeus Gulf,        adding, "Amadeus has                                                                      (Planitgo). In addition   product choice and better deals with key part-
the sales and marketing office of Amadeus for      been working with you                                                                     to a world-leading on-
the Gulf market, operates in partnership with      providing the solutions                                                                   demand hosting solu-
Etihad Airways, the UAE's flagship carrier.        you most need. A hot
                                                                                   Ghulam Saleh, general manager, Amadeus Gulf
                                                                                                                                             tion, Amadeus worked        The site provides up-to-
With a dedicated team of highly qualified pro-     topic in the sector is                                                                    to develop new prod-
fessionals, Amadeus Bahrain has achieved an        now zero commission.                                                                  uct features and services         the minute exchange
accumulated growth of 10.7 per cent reserva-       Once again, Amadeus is in a position to help                 to enhance the end-user's online experience,
tions between October                                                     the travel community to               in the last one year. This included pre-sales           rates, destination profiles,
2004 and October 2005.                                                    overcome obstacles to                 merchandising and post-sales servicing online,          news, weather and useful
       Hosted by Ghulam                                                   profitability.     Amadeus            both of which have boosted conversion and
Saleh, general manager,
Amadeus Gulf, the cele-
                                                                          Service Fee Manager is
                                                                          the only worldwide prod-
                                                                                                                retention rates. During this period, the
                                                                                                                reliability metrics of Amadeus' servers for
                                                                                                                                                                          traveller information.
bration included presen-                                                  uct with the most coher-              Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas, has
tations on Amadeus' strengths as the leading       ent front-to-back integration, allowing auto-                exceeded 99.9 per cent.                                ners including KLM, Emirates Airline,
IT provider for the travel industry. Amadeus'      matic service fee calculation and displays fees                       "Amadeus would like to thank all its          Jumeirah International and Royal Caribbean.
Javier Pellón, regional market manager,            at the point of sale at any stage of the bookings.           e-commerce customers and partners for con-             At the same time, Axis Holidays' partners
Middle East and Africa and Hafedh Bakir,           I express our deepest commitment to keep on                  sistently delivering excellent services to trav-       can also enjoy an additional online sale and
business solutions manager, presented the lat-     bringing value to you in the long term."                     ellers booking online," said Jerome Destors,           marketing outlet.
est achievements of the company on the tech-              Meanwhile, in another development,                    commercial director, Amadeus e-Travel. "This                  Leo Fewtrell, manager, Dnata Holidays
nological front and gave details of the            for the second year running, e-Travel, the                   award underlines our ability to deliver high           and Events says, "With millions of visitors
Amadeus solutions for the travel sector.           e-commerce division of Amadeus, has                          value, reliable and scaleable technology that          using myTravelChannel.com on a regular
Bahrain's travel agents are familiar with the      bagged the prestigious 'World's Leading                      enables continued satisfaction for our cus-            basis, there is a need to keep refreshing the
competitive advantage provided by Amadeus's        Internet Booking Engine Technology                           tomers. We look forward to setting the bench-          available online products to provide customers
technological leadership, especially with the      Provider' prize, at the World Travel Awards                  mark for many years to come," he added.                with as many options as possible."




                                                                                                                                                                                            DECEMBER, 2005        7
                                                          FAMILY ALBUM
SkyTeam makes merry                                                        SkyTeam, a global alliance which includes several European, American
                                                                           and Asian airlines recently hosted a corporate cocktail for key business
                                                                           accounts of Dubai, Sharjah and the northern emirates. The function,

at corporate cocktail                                                      held onboard the Bateaux cruise, also coincided with the 5th year
                                                                           celebration of the formation of the alliance.




Joint Iftar party                                                      SriLankan showers accolades
for travel agents                                                      upon travel agents
Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board and                                   SriLankan Airlines recently held a grand ceremony on the lawns of
Singapore Tourism Board recently came together                         the Ritz-Carlton hotel to award the travel agents who have con-
for a joint Iftar party at the Al Khayama                              tributed to the airline's successful year. Mohamed Junaid, SriLankan
Restaurant at the Dubai Marine Beach Resort                            Ambassador in the UAE, graced the event. The elegant dancers of
and Spa, held especially for travel agents and the media. Present at   Colombo-based Channa Upuli Dance troupe performances provided
                                                  the venue were       the special highlight of the evening.
                                                  Syed Muhadzir
                                                  Jamallulil -
                                                  Malaysian Tourism
                                                  Board and Alan Tan
                                                  from the Singapore
                                                  Tourism Board.


Pictorial celebrations
mark World Tourism Day
India Tourism Board - Dubai recently played host to a reception to
celebrate the World Tourism Day. A superb collection of photographs
                                           by renowned Indian
                                           photographer Benoy
                                           K Behl, was on display
                                           for the guests.




 8         DECEMBER, 2005
                                                                                             TECHNOLOGY
                                                                                                                                                                  Naumovitch said, "In an era when GDS oper-

Sabre Travel endeavouring to                                                                                                                                      ators are going to have to offer enhanced
                                                                                                                                                                  value to travel providers, or simply fade off
                                                                                                                                                                  the radar screen, we believe Sabre Holdings
                                                                                                                                                                  is well placed to compete. Not simply

carve its distinct identity                                                                                                                                       because of our leading presence in every
                                                                                                                                                                  channel of travel sales and distribution out-
                                                                                                                                                                  lined above, but also because of our impor-
                                                                                                                                                                  tance in the field of operational technology
Sabre GDS, the first system to connect the buyers and sellers of travel across the globe, has today carved a niche                                                and consulting services for airlines." Sabre
for itself in the industry.      Middle East presents the second and concluding part of the exclusive interview                                                   Travel Network's sister business, Sabre
                                                                                                                                                                  Airline Solutions, is the world's largest
with Daniel Naumovitch, CEO, Sabre Travel Network, Middle East.                                                                                                   provider of software products, passenger
                                                                                                                                                                  management systems and consulting services
    ME BUREAU                                                      However, there is little doubting the       (Sabre       Travel      Network/Travelocity,      for the airline industry. Sabre Airline
                                                         fact that the world of GDS operators has long         Amadeus/Opodo and Cendant/Orbitz).                 Solutions is a significant part of the Sabre
    n a scenario where the alternative distribu-         been alike - they look alike, offer similar                  "I believe the emerging picture is one      Holdings business.

I   tion channels become more used and the
    GDS fees turn into a smaller part of the
company's total earnings, it becomes exceed-
ingly difficult for any company to diversify
                                                         technology and have similar business strate-
                                                         gies. But braving competition is what Sabre
                                                             is best at and thus makes every effort to
                                                                        stand apart from the crowd. "For a
                                                                                                               where Sabre Travel Network (STN) is clearly
                                                                                                               standing apart from its competitors in terms
                                                                                                               of value and variety of product offering. Also,
                                                                                                               we use the enormous base of travel agency
                                                                                                                                                                         "We believe that in the years ahead,
                                                                                                                                                                  Sabre Airline Solutions' expertise and capabil-
                                                                                                                                                                  ity in the field of operational technology and
                                                                                                                                                                  consulting services for the airline industry will
its revenue base and Sabre is no excep-                                   long time now, the world of GDS      customers worldwide, together with our             help us here at Sabre Travel Network negoti-
tion. "For years we have been urging                                       operators has been a hall of        leadership in every channel of distribution, to    ate attractive content deals for our travel
travel agencies to diversify their rev-                                    mirrors - we were similar in        negotiate supplier participation in our GDS,       agency customers. The breadth of products
enue streams and to reduce their                                           several aspects. But times are      and the broadest possible range of content         and services offered by Sabre Travel Network
dependence on payments from air-                                           changing and one can now            at the best possible price. In turn, we            and Sabre Airline Solutions will, together, help
lines. In the meantime, to practice                                        see clear differences in            are using this content to grow the number          us offer each individual carrier the right mix of
what we preach, we have been using                                          GDS business strategies where      of travel agency customers we service,"            technology and marketing services to meet its
each of our different business units to                                          few existed before,"          divulged Naumovitch. Sharing his views on          current and future business objectives,"
open up new and innovative rev-                                                     he commented.              his plans for STN in the Middle East,              Naumovitch concluded.
enue streams for the business as                                                           Proving      this
a whole," said Naumovitch.                                                          statement right are two
       Examples of the same
include booking fees from corpo-
                                                                                    GDS operators who
                                                                                    have built strong
                                                                                                                Sabre introduces automated
rations using Sabre's GetThere                                                      airline operations busi-
self-booking systems, merchant
content negotiated with suppli-
                                                                                    nesses (Sabre Travel
                                                                                    Network and Amadeus),
                                                                                                                ticketing technology in Yemen
                                      Daniel Naumovitch, CEO,
ers, booking fees and advertising     Sabre Travel Network, Middle East             and have started down              Sabre Travel Network is introducing ATB2, the most advanced paper ticketing technolo-
through Travelocity and, of                                                         the road of providing       gy available today, to travel agencies in Yemen. Sabre-connected agencies in the country will
course, income from the manage-                                                    merchant content to          now be able to benefit from simplifying their ticketing procedures and providing simple-to-read
ment support and hosting services that it                travel agencies (Sabre Travel Network - by             and comprehensive travel information to their customers. "Automated ticketing will dramatical-
offers the world's airlines through Sabre                negotiation - and Cendant/Galileo - through            ly increase the customer service that agencies provide to their customers while at the same time
Airline Solutions. "Gone are the days when we            acquisition). These two iconic organisations           reducing the cost of ticket distribution," said Daniel Naoumovitch, CEO, Sabre Travel Network,
were completely reliant on GDS fees from                 have developed strong online self-booking              Middle East. ATB2 improves the efficiency of the printing process while reducing ticket stock
travel providers. This will continue to be an            solutions for corporate travel (Sabre Travel           used. Auditor coupon and credit card charge form printing can be suppressed, multiple copies
important, if not the most important, revenue            Network/GetThere and Amadeus/eTravel),                 of accounting and passenger documents can be printed, and departure and arrival terminals can
stream for us, but we will continue to                   while three companies have developed online            be provided on the ticket as well. An up to 24-segment itinerary can also be accommodated.
diversify," he added.                                    retail businesses for the consumer market




                                                                                                                                                                                        DECEMBER, 2005         9
                       World Travel Market, recently held from
Increased attendance   November 14 to 17 in London, experienced its
                       greatest year ever with a 5 per cent overall

marks WTM ’05          increase in attendance to almost 49,000, more
                       than 4 per cent expansion in exhibiting space
                       and a notable rise in both Meridian Club and
                       trade visitors from overseas, compared to last
                       year's event. Un-audited figures reveal that
                       out of the 13,193 Meridian Club visitors (plus
                       2 per cent), a total of 5,270 buyers had trav-
                       elled to the ExCeL London from across the
                       world - an 8 per cent increase in international
                       visitors. The rise in the number of overseas
                       trade visitors was even higher with an 11 per
                       cent rise. Significantly, the number of agents
                               and other trade visitors on the last day
                               of World Travel Market also rose by 4
                               per cent to nearly 3,000 and reflected
                               the popularity of the ambitious 'Wise
                               Up' - the educational programme for
                               travel agents in which five of the
                               largest multiple retailers participated.
                               Media attendance also grew by 7 per
                               cent to 2,909.
                                                                                                            AGENTS
Kanoo Travel opens office                                                                                               DCCI elects a new
at Dubai Investment Park                                                                                                representative committee
Kanoo Travel has opened its newest office at the Green Community Mall in                                                Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) recently held elections
Dubai Investment Park. The new office will cater to the travel                                                          to select the new representative committee of the Travel and Tourism
requirements of residents and businesses in and around the area.                                                        Agencies Business group.
     ME BUREAU                                              ships with its large customer base in the region               ME BUREAU                                        ing the performance of tourism-related sec-
                                                            for which it has won numerous service-quality                                                                   tors. Lootah explained during the meeting that
          anoo Travel has been the pioneer of               awards in both the leisure and business travel                   he recently-held elections by DCCI was         establishing DTTAG is part of DCCI's strategy

"K        the Arabian Gulf's travel industry as
          we set up the first travel office in this
region in 1935. We have a unique distinction of
serving our customers throughout the Middle
                                                            sectors. Kanoo Travel is the first and the only
                                                            travel management company to win the presti-
                                                            gious Dubai Quality Award in 2001 and the
                                                            Sheikh Khalia Excellence Appreciation Award
                                                                                                                        T    attended by Anwer Gergash, chairman,
                                                                                                                             Economic Affairs and Trade Activities
                                                                                                                        Committee; Tariq Hilal Lootah, director, Trade
                                                                                                                        and Industrial Development Department;
                                                                                                                                                                            in developing the private sector and offering
                                                                                                                                                                            value-added services for its members.
                                                                                                                                                                                   Speaking about the group experience
                                                                                                                                                                            and its success, Noori revealed how mem-
East through our own servicing network. As                  in 2004 and 2005. In order to provide service               Mohammed H Al Khatib, business develop-             bers had benefited from DTTAG and the




                                                                                                                        ment manager; Rashid Al Noori, chairman,            group's role in protecting this vital sector
                                                                                                                        DTTAG in the previous round and Sam Poddar,         that is a major contributor to the GDP of
                                                                                                                        general secretary.                                  Dubai, which looks set to double during the
                                                                                                                              During the course of the elections,           next few years.
                                                                                                                        Gergash pointed out that Dubai Travel and                  A total of nine members were elected for
                                                                                                                        Tour Agencies Group (DTTAG) is one of the           the representative committee - Rashid Al Noori;
Opening of the new Kanoo Travel office                                                                                  most active business groups under the               Abdul Majeed Mulla; Saleh Sharaf; Ali Abu
                                                                                                                        umbrella of DCCI and expressed satisfaction         Monassar; Nasir Jamal Khan; Tanvir Khawaja;
part of our strategy to expand our network and              support to customers for any type of travel-                with its operation. He further explained            Asim Arshad; Samir Andraos and Sam Poddar.
to be closer to our customers, we decided to                related services, Kanoo Travel established a                DCCI's obligation towards the business groups       Two elected reserved members were Narendra
open the first travel management office in                  24-hour regional call centre. Kanoo Travel has              in general and its special interest in monitor-     Bhatia and Sunny Augustine.
Dubai Investment Park, which will cater to the              a strong global presence through its network
travel needs of residents and
businesses in the area," says
Mishal Kanoo, deputy chairman,
Kanoo Group.
                                                To provide service support to                                           Jumeirah group launches
       He further added, "Kanoo                   customers for any type of
Travel operates an extensive net-
work of more than 170 travel                       travel-related services,                                             global competition
offices throughout the region. By
opening travel outlets in develop-
                                               Kanoo Travel has established a                                                                                               prize being a one week (seven nights) stay at a
                                                                                                                           ME BUREAU
ments such as Dubai Investment                  24-hour regional call centre.                                                                                               Jumeirah property for the next 10 years.
Park, we want to offer our cus-                                                                                              umeirah, the Dubai-based luxury hospi-                Other grand prizes in the competition
tomers convenience and a high
level of customer service whenever they have
a travel requirement." Kanoo Travel provides
the most comprehensive and specialised serv-
                                                            partner - American Express Travel
                                                            Services. The opening of the new office in
                                                            Dubai Investment Park is an example of
                                                                                                                        J    tality group, has launched 'The World's
                                                                                                                             Most Luxurious Competition', offering
                                                                                                                        travel agents worldwide the chance to win a
                                                                                                                        stay at Jumeirah for the next 10 years to cele-
                                                                                                                                                                            include a five night stay (half board)
                                                                                                                                                                            at Jumeirah's flagship hotel Burj Al Arab
                                                                                                                                                                            including an Assawan Spa experience, a
                                                                                                                                                                            five night stay (half board) at Jumeirah
ices in the travel industry, placing special                Kanoo's committment towards its ever                        brate the launch of the group's new private         Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert
emphasis on servicing and managing relation-                increasing base of customers.                               label, GDS Code.                                    Resort and Spa, Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah
                                                                                                                               'The     World's    Most      Luxurious      Beach Club Resort and Spa and Jumeirah
                                                                                                                        Competition' promotion is part of a fully inte-     Emirates Towers and a three night stay
                                                                                                                        grated marketing communications campaign            (half board) at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower

SWISS passenger wins                                                                                                    Jumeirah has launched - Think Jumeirah,
                                                                                                                        Think JT - to promote the group's new private
                                                                                                                        label GDS code JT, which will officially go live
                                                                                                                                                                            in London including a GBP100 Harvey
                                                                                                                                                                            Nichols voucher.
                                                                                                                                                                                   Eligible travel agents can now register

two return tickets                                                                                                      on December 1, 2005.
                                                                                                                               The competition, which is open to trav-
                                                                                                                        el agents using a GDS to process hotel reser-
                                                                                                                                                                            to participate in 'The World's Most Luxurious
                                                                                                                                                                            Competition' by visiting www.bookjt.com. The
                                                                                                                                                                            first phase of the competition, which also
                                                                                                                        vations, provides participants with the chance      serves as the official registration, is an online
Government employees in Dubai who booked their vacation through Dnata                                                   to win many fabulous prizes with the ultimate       memory game.
were entered into a draw for the companion tickets as part of a
SWISS/Dnata summer promotion.
     ME BUREAU
     uma Shaikha, who booked
                                                                                                                         E-gate cards now essential
J    her summer vacation
     with Swiss International
Air Lines (SWISS), has
won two return tickets to
                                                                                                                                 Considering the soaring tourist figures of the people coming to visit the UAE, Brig Bin
                                                                                                                         Bleilah, director general of Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department recently
                                                                                                                         announced that the purchase of an e-gate card is compulsory for everyone applying for, or
                                                                                                                         renewing their resident visas in the region. He announced that an e-gate card was needed for
the    destination    of    her                                                                                          everyone who travelled because it helped the passengers complete passport control within a
choice on the SWISS European                                                                                             few seconds, as it had an electronically operated fingerprint identification system.
network, which she can                                                                                                           "Our officials at the department are informing those who are applying for residents visa
avail with SWISS' daily                                                                                                  or renewing their residents visa for themselves or their spouses that they should get the
non-stop service to Zurich                                                                                               e-gate card," he averred.
from Dubai.                                                                                                                      The e-gate system is a fast-track electronic passport control system, offering
      "I am delighted to have                                                                                            cardholders a speedy exit through passport control. Dubai International Airport was the first
won the return tickets with (L-R) Dinesh, sales and business development manager, Dnata; Kazim Al Fattah,                airport in the Middle East, and the third airport in the world to install such an advanced
Swiss International Air Lines. I manager, Dnata Government Travel and Local Affairs; Ali Ateeq Al Murar, the winner's    passenger clearance system. "The number of tourists visiting the UAE has been steadily
                                         and Hazel Saldanha,
have used the airline once in husband Arabian Gulf, SWISS manager marketing, public relations, customer relations
                                 UAE and
                                                                                                                         increasing each year, thus amplifying the need to provide the highest levels of service to trav-
the past and was very satisfied                                                                                          ellers at airports, and also within airlines. The availability of latest technological advancements
with the quality of the service onboard,            and hence the very good value-for-money,"                            has facilitated faster automation at airports with the objective of easing air travel for
not to mention the competitive prices               said Shaikha.                                                        customers," added the director general.

                                                                                                                                                                                                   DECEMBER, 2005       11
                                                                                                       AIRLINES
Lufthansa Technik hogs                                                                                                                                                         IN BRIEF
                                                                                                                                                                               Air France starts
limelight at Dubai Air Show                                                                                                                                                    night flight on
                                                                                                                                                                               Dubai-Paris route
The 9th International Aerospace Exhibition Lufthansa Technik proved to be a great success for German                                                                                With effect from October 30, 2005, Air
Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) provider Lufthansa Technik. The company signed a $100 million contract                                                                    France introduced the latest offering from
                                                                                                                                                                               its fleet - Boeing B777-200. The new
at the Dubai Air Show.                                                                                                                                                         aircraft, which will serve as a night flight,
                                                                                                                                                                               will carry passengers to and fro on the
    ME BUREAU                                                                                                                           For more than 40 years Lufthansa       Dubai-Paris route.
                                                                                                                                 Technik has been involved with the                    The new aircraft is equipped with a
          olfgang Mayrhuber, chairman,                                                                                           Middle East. Outside of Europe, the airline

W         Deutsche Lufthansa AG, recent-
          ly announced the company's first
Total Technical Support (TTS) contract in
the Middle East with Kuwaiti private
                                                                                                                                 companies of the Middle East now form
                                                                                                                                 one of the key customer groups of
                                                                                                                                 Lufthansa Technik AG. In early 2005, Gulf
                                                                                                                                 Air signed a Total Component Support
                                                                                                                                                                               tri-class configuration seating 270 passen-
                                                                                                                                                                               gers and offering 12 seats in L'Espace
                                                                                                                                                                               Première (first class), 56 seats in L'Espace
                                                                                                                                                                               Affaires (business class) and 202 seats in
                                                                                                                                                                               Tempo (economy). Each class in the aircraft
carrier Jazeera Airways, which will now                                                                                          (TCS), valued more than $100 million.         offers facilities ensuring unparalleled com-
operate 10 new Airbus A320 airplanes.                                                                                            The agreement includes a sale and lease-      fort, relaxation and entertainment. The
As part of the agreement, Lufthansa                                                                                              back of components as well as their MRO       flight departs from Paris at 1315 and
Technik will provide engineering                                                                                                 and the participation in Lufthansa            reaches Dubai at 2245, while the return
services and maintenance support at                                                                                              Technik's vast component pool. The serv-      flight takes-off from Dubai at 0210 and
Jazeera Airways' hub in Kuwait over the                                                                                          ice is offered for nine Boeing 767, six       arrives at 0630 in Paris. The introduction
next ten years.                                                                                                                  Airbus A330, nine Airbus A340 and 10          of the Boeing B777 on the Dubai-Paris
       Emirates Airline has signed a serv-                                                                                       Airbus A320 with services for more than       route increases Air France's seat capacity
ice contract for its Boeing fleet with                                                                                           1,400 part numbers. This is the first time    by 16 per cent per week.
Hawker Pacific, a 100 per cent subsidiary                                                                                        that Lufthansa Technik will provide total
of Lufthansa Technik. The service contract
entails the exchange, overhaul and sup-
                                                                                                                                 component support and management to
                                                                                                                                 an airline in the Gulf region.
                                                                                                                                                                               Air Malawi wings its
port for the landing gears of Emirates' 21                                                                                              Qatar Airways has signed two           way to Dubai
Boeing 777-200, 777-200ER and 777-300                                                                                            agreements with Lufthansa Technik -
aircraft which operates with different                                                                                           engine maintenance and overhaul of the             Air Malawi has recently re-introduced
maximum take-off weights of 545k, 632k                                                                                           airline's Airbus A320 fleet over the next     its services to Dubai; the airline used to
                                                                                              Lufthansa Technik as a token
and 660k lbs, respectively. The first August Henningsen, chairman, executive board, of an Arabian Horse, stitched of 10 years. Lufthansa Technik's Engine
                                             appreciation offered an exclusive art collection                               in
                                                                                                                                                                               earlier operate as a joint service with Air
exchange is due at the end of next month copper to general Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, crown prince Services will be servicing the different                        Tanzania in 1998. Using B737-300 and
and the contract will run until 2013.        of Dubai and defence minister, UAE at the Lufthansa Technik stand present at IAE V2500 engine variants of Qatar                   operating jointly with Precision Air of
                                             the inaugural day of the Dubai Airshow 2005
       In the field of VIP and Executive Jet                                                                                     Airways' 17 Airbus A320 family air-           Tanzania, the airline provides three flights
Solutions, Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al              their owners and operators in the Middle East                          planes under a Total Engine Support (TES)
Nahyan, chairman, Amiri Flight, Abu Dhabi           market. The comprehensive product portfolio                            contract. The second agreement will have
and August W Henningsen, chairman,                  will offer the complete range of services for                          Lufthansa Technik installing Rockwell
Executive Board, Lufthansa Technik signed a         VIP and executive aircraft, including FBO                              Collins´ Tailwind 560 for onboard live satel-
MoU, laying the foundation for the pursuance        services, fuelling, ground handling, line main-                        lite television. Qatar Airways will become the
of a potential partnership in maintaining and       tenance and interior refurbishment at the Abu                          first international airline offering its passen-
supporting VIP and executive jet aircraft and       Dhabi International Airport.                                           gers live TV in the sky.                            a week on Sunday, Monday and Thursday.
                                                                                                                                                                               Air Malawi also operates connecting flights
                                                                                                                                                                               to most parts of Malawi like Mzuzu,
Air India now on Thai flies to Moscow                                                                                                                                          Blantyre and Lilongwe and Club Makokola.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Traditionally, Air Malawi operates as
                                                                                                                                                                               a feeder between the hubs of Nairobi and
Dubai-Pune sector and Islamabad                                                                                                                                                Johannesburg. Al Rais offers African con-
                                                                                                                                                                               nections with Precision Air, which runs
                                                                                                                                                                               direct flights between Dar-Es-Salaam and
After commencing flights from Amritsar to Toronto,                                      The coming month will see Thai Airways starting                                        Dubai in partnership with Air Malawi. The
                                                                                        operations to Moscow and Islamabad from its hub in                                     carrier operates three flights a week to
Air India is now geared to connect Pune with Dubai,                                                                                                                            Dubai in partnership with Air Malawi on
effective December 12, 2005.                                                            Bangkok. The time schedule on all routes is also                                       Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays from Dar-
                                                                                        convenient for passengers to take onward flights.                                      Es-Salaam with return trips on Mondays,
    ME BUREAU
                                                                                                                                                                               Thursdays and Sundays. The partnership
                                            stands at 40 of which approxi-                                                                                                     with Kenya Airways means Precision Air
                                            mately 50 per cent are on lease.                ME BUREAU                               ate twice weekly, routed Bangkok -         passengers to Dubai have a total of
        ir India of late has been           Acquisition plans for 68 new                                                            Islamabad. Flight TG509, Bangkok

A       adding several new desti-
        nations after leasing new
aircraft. Frequencies into London,
Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala
                                            generation aircraft - 50 for Air
                                            India and 18 for AIE is progress-
                                            ing fast and is awaiting approval.
                                                   The wholly-owned sub-
                                                                                        T     his year from November 1,
                                                                                              Thai Airways started its
                                                                                              direct, non-stop flights
                                                                                        linking Bangkok to Moscow. The
                                                                                                                                    to Islamabad, will operate on
                                                                                                                                    Wednesdays and Saturdays,
                                                                                                                                    departing from Bangkok at 1930
                                                                                                                                    hours and arriving in Islamabad at
                                                                                                                                                                               13 options to choose from including the
                                                                                                                                                                               10 weekly flights by Kenya Airways to
                                                                                                                                                                               Dubai via Nairobi.

Lumpur and Hong Kong have                   sidiary of Air India, Air India                                                                                                    Gulf Air launches
been increased, and new flights
have been introduced to
                                            Express is also expanding its
                                            wings. Air India Express made its
                                                                                                                                                                               e-ticketing
Birmingham, Toronto and Seoul,              entry into UAE on April 29, 2005                                                                                                        Towing the line of paperless travel that
with plans afoot for Mauritius and          with its first flight operating from                                                                                               is fast gaining ground in the aviation sec-
San Francisco.                              Cochin to Abu Dhabi. Later,                                                                                                        tor, Gulf Air recently launched electronic
       In spite of spiralling fuel          Dubai-Cochin and Dubai-Calicut                                                                                                     ticketing in four locations, allowing cus-
costs, Air India, which had made            were also started. As of today,                                                                                                    tomers to benefit from safe and secure
a profit of Rs 92.33 crore in               there are 51 flights operating                                                                                                     ticketing facilities.
2003-04, went on to make a                  from UAE and Oman to India.                                                                                                                E-ticketing with Gulf Air is now
profit of Rs 96.36 crore in 2004-                  The operations are with                                                                                                     available for passengers travelling on any
05. This is against severe com-             three 737-800 series aircraft,              flights depart Bangkok every                2245 hours, landing at Islamabad           Gulf Air flight between Bahrain, London,
petition from other carriers who            which are new, with 180 Economy             Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday              International Airport.        Flight       Singapore and Sydney and is being rolled
                                                                                        at 1035 hours, arriving in                  TG510, Islamabad to Bangkok,               out across the remainder of its network
                                                                                        Moscow at 1625 hours.                       will operate on Thursdays and              gradually. People travelling from these
                                                                                               Return flights depart                Sundays,       departing       from        locations no longer need to visit a Gulf Air
                                                                                        Moscow at 1820 hours the same               Islamabad at 0005 hours and                ticket office to get their tickets issued, or
                                                                                        days, arriving in Bangkok the fol-          arriving in Bangkok at 0645 hours.         rely on the postal service to have their
                                                                                        lowing morning at 0705 hours,                      With this schedule, Thai            tickets delivered.
                                                                                        allowing ample opportunity to               Airways offer convenient flight                    With e-ticketing, Gulf Air is provid-
                                                                                        passengers to connect to onward             connections in Bangkok for pas-            ing its passengers with a more secure form
                                                                                        flights. The flights operate from           sengers      travelling     to/from        of ticketing. E-tickets eliminate the need
                                                                                        Moscow's Domodedevo Airport,                Islamabad destined for travel              for traditional paper tickets that can be
                                                                                        which is 45 minutes by express              to/from other destinations beyond          lost, stolen, or simply left behind.
                                                                                        train from the Paveletsky station           Thailand, such as USA, Australia,          Passengers can now simply arrive at their
were given rights to operate into           seats. The fleet will be extended           in the city centre.                         China, Hong Kong, Singapore,               departure airport, present their e-ticket
India. Total revenues increased             to seven by April 2006, which                      Also begun in November               Malaysia, and Japan. Thai is the           receipt along with their booking reference
by 22 per cent and overall                  would then improve reach into               was Thai's service to Islamabad,            first and only airline from the            and appropriate ID and then proceed with
increase in passengers carried by           India from additional points in             Pakistan, utilising Airbus A300-            Southeast Asia region to operate           check-in as normal.
16.7 per cent. The fleet strength           Bahrain and Doha in the Gulf.               600 aircraft. The flights will oper-        into the capital of Pakistan.

  12              DECEMBER, 2005
                                                                                          AIRLINES
Eastern SkyJets becomes
Dubai's new charter operator
The 9th International Dubai Airshow marked the official launch of Eastern SkyJets, which has
been operating from base at Dubai International Airport since early 2004. Their two
medium sized executive and passenger jets are supplemented by a range of pool aircraft on an 'as
and when required' basis.

    ME BUREAU                                      sightseeing tour of Dubai, which provides a        are firmly aimed at intro-
                                                   spectacular new perspective of sights such as      ducing additional corporate
          ith the formal announcement of its       the Dubai Marina, the Palms, the World and         aircraft to expand its CIP

W         Air Operators Certificate (AOC) at the
          Dubai Airshow 2005, Eastern
SkyJets is quickly gaining reputation and
recognition for its fresh approach to the
                                                   the Sheikh Zayed Road fly-by. This is comple-
                                                   mented by a range of other leisure flight serv-
                                                   ices including sightseeing tours to regional
                                                   destinations such as Fujairah, Bahrain and
                                                                                                      (Corporate        Important
                                                                                                      Person) business as well as
                                                                                                      the planned introduction of
                                                                                                      a range of larger aircraft to
region’s aircraft charter market. The company      Salalah, aerial parties for celebrations and       supplement its DC9 on
                                                                                                                                    The Eastern SkyJets stand at the Dubai Air Show
is founded on the philosophy that travel by pri-   special occasions, and private travel packages     regional passenger opera-
vate aircraft should not be just the preserve of   for the family or individuals alike.               tions. The company is also engaged in expand-             UK-based aerospace and defence consultancy
the super rich and famous. Their firm intent is           As for the future, Eastern SkyJets' plans   ing                                             its       business into the region.
to change this perception and
to demonstrate that aircraft
charter is a surprisingly
affordable reality for a new
breed of cost-conscious trav-
ellers from the corporate, pri-
vate or leisure sectors alike.
        The company, which is
UK-backed and operates west-
ern aircraft and standards,
started life with a Cessna
Citation aircraft serving the
Gulf region in corporate and
medical evacuation (medevac)
charter roles. Captain Ashraf,
one of the founding directors
of the company, has had a
lifelong passion for aviation.
While confirming his team's
commitment to taking a
hands-on, personal approach,



    The official
       launch
     of Eastern
  SkyJets brings
  a new concept
    to the Gulf,
   one that has
        been
       happily
      received
       by the
 regional leisure
      industry.

he says, "Eastern SkyJets'
mind is firmly on putting the
customer first and they
already have demonstrable
success in undertaking what
others have described as 'dif-
ficult missions', particularly to
the airfields of Iraq and
Afghanistan, practically all of
which have been serviced by
our company."
       The acclaimed leisure
travel arm of the business
brings a new concept to the
Gulf and one that has been
enthusiastically received by
the regional leisure industry.
The company's flagship
'Private Jet Leisure Flight' is
an innovative low-level aerial

                                                                                                                                                                                DECEMBER, 2005       13
                                                                                               WTM
Nakheel is world’s leading                                                                                                                                WTM AWARDS
                                                                                                                                                          World Travel
property development company                                                                                                                              Awards for the
Tourism property developer Nakheel's stamp of superiority was achieved at the World Travel Awards, when it was                                            Middle East
declared the winner for the year 2005.                                                                                                                    Middle East's Leading     Dubai's Leading Resort
                                                                                                                                                          Airline                   Madinat Jumeirah
   ME BUREAU                                         both Nakheel and Dubai to be officially                                                              Qatar Airways
                                                     recognised by industry professionals                                                                                           Dubai's Leading Golf
                                                                                                                                                          Middle East's Leading     Resort
       roperty developer Nakheel was voted the       as the world's leading tourism

P      World's Leading Tourism Property
       Development Company at the World
Travel Awards 2005. The winner was decided,
based on votes polled by travel industry
                                                     property developer, which illustrates
                                                     the positive impact their efforts have
                                                     made on a global stage.
                                                             "It rounds off what has been an
                                                                                                                                                          First Class Airline
                                                                                                                                                          Gulf Air
                                                                                                                                                          Middle East's Leading
                                                                                                                                                                                    Jebel Ali Golf Resort &
                                                                                                                                                                                    Spa

                                                                                                                                                                                    Dubai's Leading Spa
                                                                                                                                                          Business Class Airline
professionals worldwide. This year more              excellent year for Nakheel with such                                                                 Emirates                  Resort
than 175,000 people from 200 countries               highlights as the launch of the Dubai                                                                                          Le Royal Meridien
                                                                                                                                                          Middle East's Leading     Beach Resort & Spa
voted. Voting was held to choose 'the travel         Waterfront and the sale of Dh13 billion
professional's choice'.                              worth of land for the first phase,                                                                   Airport
                                                                                                                                                          Dubai International       World’s Leading
        The World Travel Awards, established         Madinat Al Arab within five days; the                                                                                          GDS/CRS
more than a decade ago and recognised                successful opening of Ibn Battuta Mall;                                                              Airport
                                                                                                                                                                                    Sabre Global
as the world's most prestigious travel               and the announcement of our exclusive                                                                Middle East's Leading     Distribution System
industry award, was held at London's                 partnership      with     The     Trump                                                              Beach Resort
Royal Opera House.                                   Organisation to develop 17 Trump The Palm Trump International Hotel and Tower                        Le Meridien Al Aqah       World’s Leading Travel
        Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, executive          brands in the Middle East starting with                                                              Beach Resort, Fujairah    Internet Site
chairman, Nakheel, accepted the award. Also          The Palm Trump International Hotel and           more than five million in 2004.                                               Travelocity
present on the occasion were James Wilson,           Tower on The Palm, Jumeirah," he elaborated.            Divulging further, Cooke said, "A key        Middle East's Leading
CEO, Nakheel and Dubai Waterfront Company,           Graham E Cooke, president, World Travel          factor in this phenomenal growth has been           Car Hire                  World’s Leading
Hamza Mustafa, general manager, The World,           Awards, described Dubai as one of Middle         Nakheel's spectacular and iconic real estate        Europcar                  Internet Booking
and other senior Nakheel management offi-            East's great success stories in terms of growth  developments, which not only stand up as                                      Engine Technology
cials. Sharing his views on the achievement,         of its tourist market. The number of visitors to luxury property developments, but also as           Middle East's Leading     Provider
Bin Sulayem said that it was a great honour for      Dubai has doubled in the last five years to      tourist attractions in their own right."            Conference Centre         e-Travel, Amadeus
                                                                                                                                                          Dubai World Trade
                                                                                                                                                          Centre, Dubai
                                                                                                                                                                                    Jordan's Leading Hotel
                                                                                                                                                                                    Amman Marriott Hotel
Gulf Air wins big at Qatar aiming to add                                                                                                                  Middle East's Leading
                                                                                                                                                          Conference Hotel
                                                                                                                                                          Madinat Jumeirah,         Jordan's Leading Spa
                                                                                                                                                                                    Resort
                                                                                                                                                          Dubai
World Travel Awards 41 new hotels                                                                                                                         Middle East's Leading
                                                                                                                                                          Destination
                                                                                                                                                                                    Jordan Valley Marriott
                                                                                                                                                                                    Resort & Spa

                                                                            Qatar tourism is bullish like never before; backed by                         Dubai                     Kuwait's Leading Hotel
The 12th Annual World Travel Awards held recently on                                                                                                                                JW Marriott Hotel
                                                                            government initiatives, it is cruising on the fast track.                     Middle East's Leading     Kuwait City
November 13 saw Gulf Air bag the prestigious honour
                                                                                                                                                          Golf Resort
of being the world's leading airport lounge at a gala                           ME BUREAU                           set to promise more of the same.      Jebel Ali Golf Resort &   Lebanon's Leading
                                                                                                                    The Middle East region is             Spa, Dubai
ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London.                                        atar     showcased        its   undoubtedly the fastest growing
                                                                                                                                                                                    Hotel

   ME BUREAU

       he airline has beaten the
                                             Hogan further elaborated,
                                       "We are constantly reviewing
                                       what we offer to our passengers,
                                                                            Q       achievements and plans
                                                                                    for the future at the
                                                                            recently held London World
                                                                            Travel Market. "We took this
                                                                                                                    region for tourism, experiencing
                                                                                                                    an estimated 17 per cent
                                                                                                                    growth rate in the first four
                                                                                                                    months of this year.
                                                                                                                                                          Middle East's Leading
                                                                                                                                                          Hotel
                                                                                                                                                          Burj Al Arab, Dubai
                                                                                                                                                                                    Metropolitan Palace
                                                                                                                                                                                    Hotel Beirut

                                                                                                                                                                                    Lebanon's Leading

T      competition to win the
       Middle East Leading
First Class Airline and has
also won the World's
                                       and now provide a host of
                                           service and products which
                                             set us apart from the
                                              competition. From our
                                                                            opportunity to present Qatar's
                                                                            remarkable achievements in
                                                                            establishing itself as a tourist des-
                                                                            tination and an important player
                                                                                                                           The current 6 per cent con-
                                                                                                                    tribution of tourism to Qatar's
                                                                                                                    GDP is expected to rise along with
                                                                                                                    development plans including proj-
                                                                                                                                                          Middle East's Leading
                                                                                                                                                          Hotel Brand
                                                                                                                                                          Jumeirah
                                                                                                                                                                                    Resort
                                                                                                                                                                                    Sheraton Coral Beach

                                                                                                                                                                                    Lebanon's Leading Spa
                                                                                                                                                          Middle East's Leading     Resort
Leading Airport Lounge,                        award-winning         Sky    in international travel," a             ects such as the new airport          Resort                    InterContinental
for its First and Business                     Chefs to our unique Sky      spokesman for the Qatar Tourism         expansion, at least 41 new hotels     Madinat Jumeirah,         Mountain Resort & Spa
Class lounge in the                            Nanny, Gulf Air is now a     Authority said.                         and hotel apartments by the end       Dubai                     Mzaar
Kingdom of Bahrain.                            leading boutique airline            The country's attendance         of this decade and unique tourist
        "This is a very                       offering personal com-        at the WTM this year increased          attractions such as the Losail        Middle East's Leading     Oman's Leading Hotel
proud moment for                             fort and dedicated servic-     dramatically to 19 industry part-       Circuit, where the MotoGP was         Presidential Suite        Al Bustan Palace
us. The entire                                 es, getting people where     ners including representatives          recently held, Museum of Islamic      Le Meridien Al Aqah       InterContinental
team at Gulf Air                                     they want to go,       from The Pearl Qatar project, the       Arts, Qatar National Library,         Beach Resort, Fujairah    Muscat
has        worked                                        when       they    15th Asian Games, Doha, 2006,           and the multi-faceted North
                                                                                                                                                          Middle East's Leading     Qatar's Leading Hotel
relentlessly to                                          want to, and in    various Qatar hotels and other          Beach development.                    Spa Resort
provide the best                                         a style that no    tourism stakeholders.                          The rapid expansion of                                   Ritz-Carlton Doha
                                                                                                                                                          Le Royal Meridien
service in the                                           other airline             In terms of infrastructural      Qatar Airways both in route           Beach Resort & Spa,
sky and on the                                           can     match."    development, there are few              expansion and as a five-star air-     Dubai                     Qatar's Leading Resort




                                 “
                                                                            countries in the region that can        line will enhance Qatar's profile                               Sheraton Doha Hotel &
                                                                            match Qatar's optimism. With            and connectivity worldwide. The       Middle East's Leading     Resort
                                                                            the $15 billion tourism master          next few years will see Qatar         Tourist & Convention
                                                                            plan unveiled in 2004 surging           evolve into a significant tourist     Bureau                    Saudi Arabia's Leading
          From our award-winning                                            ahead, the next few years look          hub in the Middle East.               Qatar - Qatar Tourist     Hotel
                                                                                                                                                          Authority                 Al Faisaliah Hotel
    Sky Chefs to our unique Sky Nanny,
                                                                                                                                                          Abu Dhabi's Leading       Saudi Arabia's Leading
    Gulf Air is now a leading boutique
     airline offering personal comfort
                                                                              It’s raining awards for                                                     Hotel
                                                                                                                                                          InterContinental Abu
                                                                                                                                                                                    Resort
                                                                                                                                                                                    Sunset Beach Resort
                                                                                                                                                          Dhabi
           and dedicated services.                                            Jumeirah group of hotels                                                    Abu Dhabi's Leading
                                                                                                                                                                                    Sharjah's Leading Hotel
                                                                                                                                                                                    Millennium Hotel
                                                                                     Jumeirah, the young and dynamic Dubai-based luxury hospi-            Resort                    Sharjah
                               James Hogan                                    tality group that has just expanded in to the US, took the title of         Emirates Palace
                  President and chief executive, Gulf Air




                                 ”
                                                                              'Middle East's Leading Hotel Brand' at the World Travel Awards, held                                Sharjah's Leading
                                                                              recently in London. In addition, three of Jumeirah's hotels in Dubai;       Bahrain's Leading Hotel Resort
                                                                              Burj Al Arab, Madinat Jumeirah, The Arabian Resort - Dubai and              The Ritz-Carlton        Radisson SAS Resort
ground. We have invested heavily       The ceremony was attended by           Jumeirah Emirates Towers, received a string of top accolades.               Bahrain Hotel & Spa     Hotel
in our refurbished planes, which       Danny Barranger, vice president               Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah's flagship hotel, won three separate
                                                                              awards, titled 'World's Leading Hotel', 'World's Leading All-Suite Hotel'   Bahrain's Leading Spa
has led to the creation of one of      marketing and sales, Gulf Air;                                                                                     Resort                    Syria's Leading Hotel
the best First Class products          Rohan Alce, regional general           and 'Middle East's Leading Hotel'. Madinat Jumeirah, The Arabian            The Ritz-Carlton          Safir Al-Sayedah
in the skies, and with this award,     manager Europe, Africa and             Resort - also took four high profile awards, namely, 'Middle East's         Bahrain Hotel & Spa       Zeinab Hotel
it is now officially the best in       America; Reem Antoon, head             Leading Resort', 'World's Leading Conference Resort', 'Dubai's Leading
the Middle East," says James           of corporate affairs and               Resort' and 'Middle East's Leading Conference Hotel'. Jumeirah's ded-       Dubai's Leading Hotel     Yemen's Leading Hotel
Hogan, president and chief             Jo Copestake, key account              icated business hotel, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, won the award for          Jumeirah Emirates         Sheraton Gold Mohur
executive, Gulf Air.                   executive, UK.                         'World's Leading Business Hotel' and 'Dubai's Leading Hotel'.               Towers                    Hotel & Resort

  14            DECEMBER, 2005
CLIPBOARD




            DECEMBER, 2005   15
                                                                                      END MARK
Turkey expecting 3.2 million                                                                                                                                                          cures too. The most popu-
                                                                                                                                                                                         lar spas are concentrated
                                                                                                                                                                                          in the Marmara and
                                                                                                                                                                                           Aegean regions of


tourists from ME in 2006                                                                                                                                                                     western Turkey and
                                                                                                                                                                                              are easily accessible
                                                                                                                                                                                              from Turkey's major
                                                                                                                                                                                              cities, Istanbul, Izmir,
Turkey welcomed 50,000 visitors from the Middle East in 2004, of which only 11,000 were from UAE.                                                                                              and Ankara.
                                                                                                                                                                                                         The Kangal
Towards the end of October in 2005, the country had already seen 260,000 visitors from the Middle East,                                                                                           Hot Springs with
32,000 from UAE alone.            Middle East team met with Abdi Keskinsoy, cultural and information attache                                                                                      Fish, in Turkey's
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Central Anatolian
in the Turkish Consulate to find out more about the treasures Turkey can offer to the visitors.                                                                                                   Region is a unique
                                                                                                                                                                                                  spa in the world.
     ME BUREAU                                    media teams and travel agents to the lesser        ern cities or visiting one of the several hun-                                                This healing spa is
                                                  known areas of Turkey and unveil some of its       dred museums or mosques in the country. In        Abdi Keskinsoy, cultural and informa- 13 kilometre from
                                                                                                                                                       tion attache in the Turkish Consulate
   n August 2004, the Turkish Tourism and         diverse offering of history, culture, architec-    accommodation too, there is a wide selection                                                  the town of Kangal

I  Cultural Office (TTO) shifted its office to
   Dubai from Kuwait, where it has been for
15 years, primarily because the office believes
                                                  ture, naturally-healing hot springs, medical
                                                  facilities and much more that remains undis-
                                                  covered by the average traveller.
                                                                                                     of 5-star hotels, budget hotels and lots in-
                                                                                                     between. The average hotel offers a high stan-
                                                                                                     dard of construction, facilities and service
                                                                                                     while also being relatively affordable. For a
                                                                                                                                                                                                   in the province of
                                                                                                                                                         Sivas. The beneficial waters contain myriad
                                                                                                                                                         small fish (2-10 cm long), which perform a lit-
                                                                                                                                                         eral curettage operation in groups working
                                                                                                     budget of under                                                                       together to cure skin
                                                                                                     $100, one can stay in                                                                 lesions and chronic skin
                                                                                                     3-4 star hotels and       The Kangal Hot Springs                                      conditions. The spa has
                                                                                                     eat all meals at fairly                                                               been filmed extensively
                                                                                                     decent restaurants.
                                                                                                     For over $150, it may
                                                                                                                                    with fish, 13 km                                       and tested by doctors,
                                                                                                                                                                                           who now recommend
                                                                                                     be possible to stay        from town in Turkey's                                      it to anybody beyond
                                                                                                     at 5-star hotels,                                                                     normal cures.
                                                                                                     depending upon the           Central Anatolian                                                 The       Turkish
                                                                                                     time of the year.                                                                     Tourism Office is cur-
                                                                                                            In     medical     Region is a unique spa                                      rently       working    on
                                                                                                     tourism, Turkey is                                                                    improving infrastruc-
The Kangal Hot Springs                                                                               considered one of the         in the world with                                       ture, increasing number
                                                                                                     top seven leading             healing qualities.                                      of hotel rooms and facil-
that Dubai is the true Middle-Eastern hub, in            Turkey's diverse regions have different     nations in the world.                                                                 ities in some of the rela-
terms of communication, infrastructure, busi-     climates because of irregular topography. The      Apart from its mod-                                                                   tively unknown regions
ness potential and demographic diversity. The     Taurus Mountains are close to the coast and        ern hospitals, the                                                                    such as Kapadokya,
move has instantly proved successful.             trap rain clouds, which cannot penetrate to the    region has 1,200-1,500 natural hot springs          Mardin, Van, Tunceli, Rize etc so as to make
        The TTO handles marketing of the          interior parts of the country. Since coastal       with water that has been tested for drinking        them capable of receiving more tourists.
entire Middle Eastern region along with India     areas receive most of
and Pakistan from its Dubai office and hopes to   the       rain,      the
attract the large prosperous middle class from    Mediterranean        and
the subcontinent to its diverse offerings.
Turkey is in on advantageous position of being
                                                  Aegean regions are
                                                  temperate and mild in
                                                                               Two German cruise liners set anchor
officially a European nation and having an
open culture, yet being Islamic and physically
and historically close to Asia and the Middle
                                                  weather. In the Eastern
                                                  region      of    inland
                                                  Anatolia, winters are
                                                                               in Dubai
East. After 9/11, the country has seen signifi-   long and cold, with                 The Arabian Gulf as a cruise
                                                  minimum temperatures         destination is receiving attention with
                                                  of up to -30°C to -38°C      two German liners that are setting
    For a budget of under                         and snow that may lie
                                                  on the ground 120 days
                                                                               the tone at the Dubai cruise terminal.
                                                                                      Two German cruise liners
    $100, one can stay in                         of the year.
                                                         The country is
                                                                               called at the state-of-the-art Dubai
                                                                               Cruise Terminal this year on
   3-4 star hotels and eat                        a natural business           November 8 and 9, marking the
                                                  hub and regularly wel-       beginning of the winter season and a
       all meals at fairly                        comes several people         renewed interest in the Arabian Gulf
                                                  visiting the region          as a cruise destination.
      decent restaurants.                         for sourcing European-              Awadh Seghayer Al Ketbi, act-
                                                  made clothes, con-           ing manager of the Dubai Department
  For over $150, it may be                        sumer       goods      or    of Tourism Commerce and Marketing
  possible to stay at 5-star                      industrial goods.
                                                         For the holiday-
                                                                               (DTCM)-operated Dubai Cruise
                                                                               Terminal, said, "The first ship,
   hotels, depending upon                         maker, Turkey offers an
                                                  almost unlimited choice
                                                                               Europa, arrived from the Iranian port Europa at Dubai
                                                                               of Bandar Abbas and made the termi-
     the time of the year.                        of activities, from          nal its hub for two days." The cruise ship then headed towards Abu Dhabi with 338 Europeans and 273 crew
                                                  beaches and water            members on board.
                                                  sports to yachting, sail-           The second vessel, Hanseatic, visited Dubai for the first time on November 9, 2005 with 122 passengers and
                                                  ing, skiing, walking in      116 crew members. The cruise liner set sail for Doha after halting at the Dubai Cruise Terminal for a day, before
cant rise in tourist numbers, primarily because   tranquil hills, relaxing     moving onto Salalah in Muscat.
most nationalities receive a visa quite easily,   in natural hot springs or           The passengers on both ships were treated to traditional Arabic hospitality starting with a special welcome
although the cost and duration it is issued for   getting a famous Black       ceremony that featured floral decoration, sprinkling of Arabic perfume and incense and special dance performances
can vary from country to country.                 Sea mud bath, seeing         by school children. Orient Queen, the first-ever pan-Arabian Gulf cruise liner, started in the last week of October and
       Seeing the encouraging results so far,     monuments that are           three and four-day cruises are being offered to destinations in Oman, Qatar and Bahrain. The service will remain in
Turkey is doubling its budgets for the tourism    thousands of years old       place till May 2006.
office from 2006. They plan to take several       co-existing with mod-




  16                 DECEMBER, 2005

				
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