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                                               Arab & Turkish

                 & Travel Magazine             w w w. a r a b t u r k i s h t r a v e l . c o m                               MAY 2009

Treasures of Istanbul
Palaces & Pavillions

News from the Countries

Algeria   Bahrain     Comoros     Djibouti           Egypt             Iraq           Jordan       Kuwait       Lebanon     Libya    Mauritania

Morocco   Oman      Palestine   Qatar        Saudi Arabia    Somalia          Sudan        Syria      Tunisia      Turkey    U.A.E     Yemen


          As you remember we have started to publish Arab
          Turkish Travel Gazette - at the end of January. As the interest grows for the
          online publication, through the website and e-newsletters; we have also an-
          nounced that we are launching Arab Turkish Travel Magazine. Now we are
          saying “Marhaba” again; this time for our readers with a printed magazine.
          Throughout a year families and individuals visit Turkey for many reasons, and
          that’s why Turkish Tourism Ministry allocates 3 million US Dollars for 2009 to
          promote Turkey in the Arab world. In return, more than 8 million Turkish tour-
          ists visit the world annually; the Arab world is very close to Turkish tourists and
          need to be promoted.
          With the facts that Turkey has became one of the favorite destinations for Arab
          Tourists, whether as families or business travelers, we have decided to publish
          a specialized magazine to show what Turkey has to offer for Arab Tourists.

          On the other hand, we believe that there are also big possibilities for Turkish
          tourists and business men to visit Arab countries.
          We aim to promote and increase the travel and tourism traffic between the
          all Arab countries and Turkey both ways and to promote travel and tourism to
          Arab countries and Turkey from the entire world.

          What we are planning to do is to reach and visit all tourism destinations in Tur-
          key and make our reports live, meaning we will write and we will shoot photos
          for our readers in English languages about what Turkey has to offer.

          We will also make hotel inspections and write our reports with photos for our
          readers from the public and travel trade sector.

          We try to be voice of all travel professionals in the Arab countries.

          Therefore, we are waiting news, press releases from all travel professionals as
          Hoteliers, Airlines, Tour operators …etc. in 22 Arab countries and in Turkey.

          The 1st issue of “Arab Turkish Travel Magazine” is just published and now
          distributing to all visitors and exhibitors of the ATM- Arabian Travel Market in
                                                                Hope to get your cooperation.
                                                                               Kind Regards

A&T Travel Magazine                                                                 May 2009 3
                                                                                               Inside This Issue

                                                                   24                             AT
                                                                                              Travel Magazine
                                                                                       Arab & Turkish Travel Magazine


 19                                                                                                       Istanbul

Marhaba       4
Treasures of Istanbul,
Palaces & Pavillions           6
Aviation News        28
                                     Egypt                                                                   13
  Country News          12                                 Lebanon                 Palestine                Syria

         Algeria                  Egypt                    Libya                   Qatar                    Tunisia

         Bahrain                  Iraq                     Mauritania              Saudi Arabia             Turkey

         Comoros                  Jordan                   Morocco                 Somalia                  U.A.E

         Djibouti                 Kuwait                   Oman                    Sudan                    Yemen

Arab & Turkish Travel Magazine Prepared by S&M Publication Ltd. ART DIRECTOR: Fatih Tahtalı OFFSET PREPARATION:
Repronet Reprodüksiyon FILM&PRINTED: ÖzgürMatbaacılık HEAD OFFICE: S&M PUBLICATION LTD.Muratreis Muradiye
Mektep Sokak 13/1 Baglarbasi- 81140 Istanbul-TURKEY Tel:+90.216.391 3795 Fax:+90.216.391 3796 www.arabturkishtravel:com

4 May 2009                                                                                   A&T Travel Magazine
Treasures of Istanbul, Palaces & Pavillions

    Maiden’s Tower

T   wo thousand one hundred forty years after the foundation of the
    city, a young Ottoman sultan conquered the city at the age of
twenty-three. Mehmed the II, given the name Fatih “Conqueror” in
                                                                         making institutions of a far-flung empire and it remained so from the
                                                                         late 15th century to the middle of the l9th.

honor of his victory, made his conquest the capital of his vigorous,     Topkapı Palace
expanding empire. With his ambitions for world domination, he chose
as the site of his administrative center and residence the very same
place on which the original city was founded: a coincidence, perhaps,
                                                                         W    ith its “irregular, asymmetric, non-axial, and un-monumental
                                                                              proportions” as some European travelers described it, Topkapi
                                                                         Palace was certainly quite different from the European palaces
but more likely a reaffirmation of the rules of locational determinism;   with which they were familiar whether in terms of appearance or of
for even the length of the surrounding walls and the area they           layout. But it was also fundamentally different from oriental or Islamic
contained were close to those
of ancient Byzantion.
At the time of his conquest,
                                    Topkapı Palace
Sultan Mehmed encountered
an impoverished city with a
population of a mere forty thou-
sand souls who lived scattered
about in isolated residential
sections set amidst cultivated
fields. The site he chose for
his palace was typical: a hill
covered with an olive grove,
presumably several abandoned
monastic structures, chapels,
and bathhouses, and a small
residential district by the sea.
This was the beginning of an
unprecedented scheme of
grandiose proportions which
became synonymous with Otto-
man cultural and administrative
history. More than a residential
complex for the royal house-
hold, the new palace was to
become the pivotal institution
for the planning and decision-

6 May 2009                                                                                                         A&T Travel Magazine
                                                                             Treasures of Istanbul, Palaces & Pavillions
palaces even though they might have had similar patterns of spatial          of Mehmed II exhibit the same spatial order based on the principle of
organization. In fact, Topkapi was a sui generis microcosm, a paradise       interconnected courtyards, each located in clearly defined public, semi-
on earth or “to borrow a term from Ottoman palace terminology” The           public, and private zones. These courtyards were arranged according
Palace of Felicity. Topkapi may be considered a trans-cultural focal         to hierarchical considerations with their shapes being determined by
point in which a holistic civilization was created from the nomadic          topography rather than precise geometric or orthogonal principles.
culture of Turkish tribesmen whose forefathers had set out from              The number of these courtyards was flexible: there had to be at
Central Asia and reached Asia Minor with stopovers in Persia and             least two but could be as many as nine, as in the case of the Edirne
Mesopotamia. Within the historically short period of two centuries, the      place. Only five of them, however, were given the designation meydan
Ottomans rose from a small, feudal principality to become a major            (square) or taslik (courtyard) according to the particular palace’s
-the major- world power, yet at the same time they possessed a court         terminology. Palaces evolving around courtyards in the course of their
tradition and culture of their own that was over a thousand years old.       historical development existed in both oriental and occidental cultures
Undoubtedly Topkapi involved a synthesis of Byzantine elements but           long before the Ottoman experiment. Spatial organization principles
what grew up on the peninsula by the Golden Horn cannot possibly be          considering courtyards as “unit spaces” constituted a common design
divorced from its predecessors in Ottoman history. After the conquest        vocabulary that quite often was implemented as both an integrating
of Istanbul in 1453, a new palace for the Ottoman house was built            and segregating spatial constraint. The use of walls and courtyards
within the walls of the city at a place called Forum Tauri. It replaced an   and of clear and strong transitions between and among them is one
abandoned monastery there. Also referred to in old Ottoman sources           way of expressing domains. The spatial system of a palace (or of any
as Eski Saray, this palace covered a rather large area. Sultan Mehmed        other structure for that matter) is an expression of a human behavioral
did not, however, live there much, preferring to take up residence           system. In this context, unwanted behavior and interaction that can
in Edirne between campaigns. When Istanbul was declared the                  be prevented (or controlled) through rules (manners, hierarchies,
empire’s formal capital however, Eski Saray acquired the status of the       avoidance) can be reinforced through architecture that creates areas
sovereign’s residence. Mehmed lived there until about the middle of the      (zones) that are arranged hierarchically and occupied by various groups
1470’s, by which time                                                                                                         creating a balance of
he had realized that he                                                                                                       power among them,
needed to construct                                                                                                           which in turn makes it
a new palace                                                                                                                  possible to create the
whose grandeur and                                                                                                            “system” through which
magnificence were                                                                                                              group identities are
more in accord with                                                                                                           formed, maintained,
his imperial ambitions                                                                                                        and integrated. It is for
as evinced in the title                                                                                                       this reason that all the
“Ruler of the Two                                                                                                             legendary palaces that
Seas and the Two                                                                                                              are formed around a
Continents” that he                                                                                                           system of courtyards
assumed. Within the                                                                                                           -Beijing or Forbidden
remarkably short span                                                                                                         City, Delhi, Akra,
of only ten years, four                                                                                                       Fatehpur Sirki, and
palaces were built in                                                                                                         Alhambra- exhibit striking
succession. It was                                                                                                            spatial/organizational
probably this more                                                                                                            similarities. Since
than anything else                                                                                                            an absolute ruler’s
that firmly established                                                                                                        philosophical vision of
the roots of the                                                                                                              what should be the
extraordinary spatio-                                                                                                         administrative and
social evolutionary                                                                                                           residential constituents
process that was to                                                                                                           evolved around a
become the Ottoman                                                                                                            common behavioral
palace tradition.
                             Topkapı Palace                                                                                   system and tradition,
The developmental                                                                                                             they naturally reflect
stages of these palaces clearly define the royal house’s developing           similar sources and guiding principles. Today Topkapi Palace functions
conceptualization of what a palace should be: seat of government and         as a museum and only a very small part of its original domain and
imperial residence. The elements of this duality mutually influenced          environment can be appreciated. The ravages of time have resulted in
and transformed each other affecting the spatial and functional              the destruction (by fire) and the demolition (through new building) of
components of the Ottoman palaces until the early 18th century.              many of its original structures. Despite this, the original 15th century
Although he originally selected as the site of his palace a location that    spatial organization based on a triple courtyard order that integrates,
was thoroughly urban, he later chose to relocate it to another that was      segregates, and defines the palace’s residential, ceremonial, and
(at the time) relatively remote and isolated. His motives in this cannot     functional requirements has remained remarkably intact. When we
be precisely discerned. Did he anticipate the separate (or integrated)       are talking about Palaces we mean the Imperial Palaces and Pavilions
primary function of the new palace as a private domain or residence or       from the Ottoman Empire Period (1299-1923). After the Fatih Sultan
as a ceremonial domain that would be fitted out with the administrative       Mehmet the conqueror took the city over from the Byzantines in 1453
functions of the state? Another related, and unresolved, problem was         , many palaces were built in the city. The Palaces were the homes of
why Yedikule, which was designed and built in accordance with the            the Sultan and the imperial family and the empire was governed from
most sophisticated concepts of military architecture of the day, was to      the main palace. The first main palace was located in the Beyazit area
function solely as an imperial treasury. What purpose did he originally      and unfortunately we do not have any remains of this one. The second
envision this structure serving? Compared with this, his intentions and      palace which has been used nearly 600 years is the famous Topkapı
aims in the construction of his kulliye (multi-functional complex) in        Palace. After the Topkapı palace, the Dolmabahçe Palace and finally
the modern-day district of Fatih are clear and well formulated: it was       the Yıldız palace were the main palaces the empire was ruled from.
here that the class of civil servants who would serve the state and          There are many other summer or smaller palaces around Istanbul
make scholarly and technological contributions to its progress were          serving the imperial family and Sultans in different periods..
to be educated. All the palaces built (or completed) during the reign

A&T Travel Magazine                                                                                                           May 2009 7
Treasures of Istanbul, Palaces & Pavillions

Dolmabahce Palace                                                               mill and those of later date at the mill in Hereke. The Mabeyn where
                                                                                the sultan conducted affairs of state is the most important section

U   ntil the 17th century the area where Dolmabahçe Palace stands               in terms of function and splendour. The entrance hall known as the
    today was a small bay on the Bosphorus, claimed by some to                  Medhal Salon, the Crystal Staircase, and the Süfera Salon where
be where the Argonauts anchored during their quest for the Golden               foreign ambassadors were entertained prior to audience with the sultan
Fleece, and where in 1453 Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror had his                   in the Red Room are all decorated and furnished in a style reflecting
fleet hauled ashore and across the hills to be refloated in the Golden            the historical magnificence of the empire. The Zülvecheyn Salon on
Horn.This natural harbour provided anchorage for the Ottoman fleet               the upper floor serves as an entrance hall leading to the apartments
and for traditional naval ceremonies. From the 17th century the bay             reserved for the sultan in the Mabeyn. These apartments include a
was gradually filled in and became one of the imperial parks on the              magnificent hamam faced with Egyptian marble, a study and drawing
                                                                                                                  rooms. The Ceremonial Hall situated
                                                                                                                  between the Harem and the Mabeyn is
                                                                                                                  the highest and most imposing section
                                                                                                                  of Dolmabahçe Palace. With an area of
                                                                                                                  over 2000 square metres, 56 columns,
                                                                                                                  a dome 36 metres high at the apex,
                                                                                                                  and a 4.5 ton English chandelier, this
                                                                                                                  room stands out as the focal point of the
                                                                                                                  palace. In cold weather this vast room
                                                                                                                  was heated by hot air blown out at the
                                                                                                                  bases of the columns from a heating
                                                                                                                  system in the basement. On ceremonial
                                                                                                                  occasions the gold throne would be
                                                                                                                  carried here from Topkapı Palace, and
                                                                                                                  seated here the sultan would exchange
                                                                                                                  congratulations on religious festivals with
                                                                                                                  hundreds of statesmen and other official
                                                                                                                  guests. On such traditional occasions
                                                                                                                  foreign ambassadors and guests would
                                                                                                                  sit in one of the upper galleries, another
                                                                                                                  being reserved for the palace orchestra.
                                                                                                                  The self-contained Harem occupies two
                                                                                                                  thirds of the palace, corridors linking
                                                                                                                  it to the Mabeyn and the Ceremonial
                                                                                                                  Hall. Access to the Harem was by iron
                                                                                                                  and wooden doors, through which only
    Dolmabahce Palace                                                                                             the sultan could pass freely. Here are
                                                                                                                  a series of salons and galleries whose
Bosphourus known as Dolmabahçe, literally meaning “filled garden”.                                                 windows look out onto the Bosphorus,
A series of imperial köşks (mansions) and kasırs (pavilions) were built         and leading off them the suites of rooms belonging to the sultan’s wives,
here, eventually growing into a palace complex known as Beşiktaş                the high ranking female officials of the Harem, and the sons, brothers,
Waterfront Palace.Beşiktaş Waterfront Palace was demolished in                  daughters and sisters of the sultan. Other principal sections are the
1843 by Sultan Abdülmecid (1839-1861) on the grounds that it was                suite of the Valide Sultan (sultan’s mother), the so-called Blue and Pink
made of wood and inconvenient, and construction of Dolmabahçe                   salons, the bedrooms of sultans Abdülmecid, Abdülaziz and Mehmed
Palace commenced in its place.Construction of the new palace and                V. Reşad, the section housing the lower ranking palace women known
its periphery walls was completed in 1856. Dolmabahçe Palace had                as the Cariyeler Dairesi, the rooms of the sultan’s wives (kadınefendi),
a total area of over 110.000 square metres and consisted of sixteen             and the study and bedroom used by Atatürk. All the main rooms are
separate sections apart from the palace proper. These included stables,         furnished with valuable carpets, ornaments, paintings, chandeliers and
a flour mill, pharmacy, kitchens, aviary, glass manufactory and foundry.         calligraphic panels. Restoration of Dolmabahçe Palace has now been
Sultan Abdülhamid II (1876-1909) added a clock tower and the Veliahd            completed and every section is open to the public. Two galleries are
Dairesi (apartments for the heir apparent), and the Hareket Köşks in            devoted to an exhibition of precious items of various kinds, and fine
the gardens behind. The main palace was built by the leading Ottoman            examples of Yıldız porcelain from the National Palaces collection are
architects of the era, Karabet and Nikoğos Balyan, and consists of              displayed at the İç Hazine (Privy Purse) building. Paintings from the
three parts: the Imperial Mabeyn (State Apartments), Muayede Salon              National Palaces collection can be seen in the Art Gallery, where they
(Ceremonial Hall) and the Imperial Harem, where the sultan and his              are displayed in rotation in the form of long-term exhibitions. On the
family led their private lives. The Ceremonial Hall placed centrally            lower floor beneath this gallery is a corridor containing a permanent
between the other two sections is where the sultan received statesman           exhibition of photographs showing the bird designs which feature in the
and dignitaries on state occasions and religious festivals.                     palace’s architecture and its furnishings and ornaments. Abdülmecid
The palace consists of two main storeys and a basement. The                     Efendi Library in the Mabeyn is the other principal exhibition area at
conspicuous western style of decoration tends to overshadow the                 Dolmabahçe. The Mefruşat Dairesi at the palace entrance now houses
decidedly Ottoman interpretation evident most of all in the interpretation      the Cultural and Information Center, which is responsible for research
evident most of all in the interior plan. This follows the traditional layout   projects and promotion activities carried out at all the historic buildings
and relations between private rooms and central galleries of the Turkish        attached to the Department of National Palaces. The center contains
house, implemented here on a large scale. The outer walls are made              a library, mainly relating to the 19th century, which is available for
of stone, the interior walls are made of stone, the interior walls of brick,    researchers. There are cafes in the grounds near the Clock Tower,
and the floors of wood. Modern technology in the form of electricity             the courtyard of the Mefruşat Dairesi, the Aviary, and the Veliahd
and a central heating system was introduced in 1910-12. The palace              Dairesi. Items available in the souvenir shops here include books
has a total floor area of 45.000 square metres, with 285 small rooms,            about the National Palaces, postcards, and reproductions of selected
46 reception rooms and galleries, 6 hamams (Turkish baths) and 68               paintings from the art collection. The Ceremonial Hall and gardens
lavatories. The finely made parquet floors are laid with 4454 square              are available for private receptions. Special exhibition areas have now
metres of carpets, the earliest made at the palace carpet weaving               been established, and numerous cultural and art events are held in the

8 May 2009                                                                                                                  A&T Travel Magazine
Treasures of Istanbul, Palaces & Pavillions

Beylerbeyi Palace                                                           The Sale Palace , the largest and most exquisite of the buildings,
                                                                            reveals the luxury in which the sultans lived and entertained, Set in a
                                                                                                   huge park of flowers, shrubs and trees gathered
                                                                                                   from every part of the world, the palace grounds
                                                                                                   offer one of the most beautiful panoramic views
                                                                                                   of the Bosphorus. Because of restoration work,
                                                                                                   only the Sale and park are open to the public.
                                                                                                   (Open every day except Tuesday).
                                                                                                  Kucuksu Pavillion
                                                                                                  T   he Goksu Palace, also known as Kucuksu,
                                                                                                      takes its name from the streams which
                                                                                                  empty into the Bosphorus near the tiny palace.
                                                                                                  Built by Abdulmecit I in the middle of the 19th
                                                                                                  century, it was used as a summer residence.
                                                                                                  (Open every day except Monday and Thursday).
                                                                                                  Aynali Kavak Pavilion
                                                                                                  O    riginally built in the 18th century and later
                                                                                                       restored by various sultans, the Aynali
                                                                                                  Kavak Summer Pavilion assumed its name,
                                                                                                  Mirrored Poplar, when its famed mirrors, a gift
    Beylerbeyi Palace                                                                             from the Venetians, were installed in 1718.
                                                                                                  This palace on the Golden Horn is one of the
                                                                                                  most beautiful examples of traditional Turkish

T   he Beylerbeyi palace was built between 1861-1865 by Sultan
    Abdulaziz and is located in the Asian side of Istanbul on the eastern
shore of the Bosphorus. It is much smaller than Dolmabahce palace
                                                                            architecture. (open every day except Monday and Thursday).
                                                                            Ihlamur Pavilion
and it was the Sultans’ summer palace. There is no heating in the
palace and the floor was covered with straw bought specially from            T  he 19th-century lhlamur Pavilion is named for the linden trees
                                                                               that grow in its gardens. Now in the heart of metropolitan Istanbul,
Egypt. The palace was built in a luxurious and sumptuously
neoclassic style that can be noticed as soon as one enters.
Sultan Abdulaziz loved ships. During his reign the Turkish navy
was second in the world only to that of England. The Sultan’s
passion for ships can be observed by the strong naval motif in
the decorations and the many paintings of ships.
Very illustrious and distinguished persons were guests of the
Sultan, among them the French Emperor Eugenie, Nasruddin
the Shah of Persia and the Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia.
Surrounding the palace there was an area of 160,000 square
meters of comprising a hunting area, a zoo and a garden with
different flora from all over the world.
                                                                    Ihlamur Pavlion
Yıldız Palace
I n addition to the State Pavilions at the Yildiz Palace complex,
  the compound includes a series of pavilions and a mosque. It was
completed by Abdulhamit 11 at the end of the 19th century.
                                                                            when it was originally constructed, the pavilion lay in the rolling
                                                                            countryside that surrounded the city. The Merasim Pavilion was used
                                                                            for official ceremonies while the Maiyet Pavilion sheltered the sultan’s
                                                                                                    entourage and, on occasions, his harem on their
                                                                                                    excursions out of the palace confines. (Open
                                                                                                    every day except Monday and Thursday).
                                                                                                   Maslak Pavilions
                                                                                                   T   he Maslak Pavilions on a shady green
                                                                                                       hill were conceived by Sultan Abdulaziz as
                                                                                                   hunting lodges. These are particularly noteworthy
                                                                                                   as superb examples of the late 19 the century
                                                                                                   Ottoman decorative style. The Malta Pavilion
                                                                                                   is presently used as an inexpensive restaurant
                                                                                                   while both the Maslak Pavilion and Limonlu Gate
                                                                                                   are open as cafes. (Open every day).
                                                                                                   Florya Ataturk Pavilion
                                                                                                   T   he Florya Ataturk Sea Pavilion served as
                                                                                                       a summer residence for Turkish presidents,
                                                                                                   beginning with Ataturk Built in 1935 in a
                                                                                                   T-shaped design on land jutting out over the Sea
                                                                                                   of Marmara, this building serves as a showcase
                                                                                                   for some of the loveliest examples of early 20th
                                                                                                   century furnishing. (Open weekdays except
    Yıldız Palace                                                                                  Monday and Thursday).

10 May 2009                                                                                                          A&T Travel Magazine
News From Countries
                                                                                and local travel and tourism bodies to further this objective. “Bahrain is
                                                                                poised for new growth and expansion in the travel and tourism arena. As
                   Algeria                                                      the governing body overseeing the interest and growth of the local travel
                                                                                agencies in Bahrain, we understand that technology plays a crucial role
                                                                                in business sustainability and longevity. At ABTTA, we are committed
                                                                                to working together with global partners to benefit the local travel and
  Algerian Tourism Sector Underperformed in                                     tourism industry and we are confident of Amadeus as our technology
  2008                                                                          partner for the future,” said Sofyan AlMoaayad, Chairman of ABTTA.
                                                                                By partnering with Amadeus, ABTTA members will now have easy
                                                                                                access to new travel technologies to streamline business
                                                                                                operations, boost productivity and offer customized
                                                                                                solutions and services from a single source. Amadeus
                                                                                                solutions will allow the travel agents to access most
                                                                                                relevant content from leading airlines, low cost carriers,
                                                                                                hotels, car rental companies, etc, with the best faring
                                                                                                possible. In the Middle East, the Amadeus System is
                                                                                                installed on more than 9,800 travel agency point of sale
                                                                                                terminals that can make bookings on all of the Middle
                                                                                                East full service carriers. Amadeus maintains customer
                                                                                                operations in 76 countries covering more than 217

                                                                                                First Conrad Hotel to Launch in
                                                                                                Kingdom of Bahrain

                                                                                                H      ilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) will open the first
                                                                                                       Conrad hotel in the Kingdom of Bahrain in 2011.
                                                                                                  The Conrad Bahrain, will be located in one of Bahrain’s
                                                                                                  most luxurious developments, the newly-built Reef Island
                                                                                                  off Bahrain’s capital city Manama and will feature 250
   Algeria                                                                                        guest rooms and 50 apartments. Bahrain is the Gulf
                                                                                                  region’s financial hub and offers zero corporate tax policy
                                                                                                  for businesses and a transparent regulatory system.

T   hough the tourism sector in Algeria is progressing, the sector is still
    underperforming. This is due to the lack of superior accommodation
in addition to security problems, which have been somehow improved
                                                                                Located a short distance from Manama’s Central Business District
                                                                                and the Bahrain Financial Harbour, the Conrad Bahrain will be a key
                                                                                destination for business travellers. The hotel will offer easy accessibility
over the last few years. According to the World Tourism Organization            to the international airport, to the new sea port and to the causeway to
(UNWTO) report on tourism highlights 2008, Algeria ranked 4th on                the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A new causeway, set to be the longest
Africa (excluding Egypt and Libya) in terms of number of tourist arrivals       bridge connection in the world, and scheduled to complete in 2013, will
in 2007, as they reached 1,743 thousand tourists, representing 3.9%             provide an additional link between Bahrain and Qatar. The Conrad will
of the continent’s total. This implies a y-o-y growth of 6.4%, as this          also offer its business guests unparalleled meeting facilities, including a
number amounted to 1,638 thousand tourists in 2006. In the mean                 business centre incorporating the latest technology, six sizeable meeting
time, it implies a CAGR of 10.5% over the 7-year period, from 2000 to           rooms, two banquet rooms and an impressive ballroom. To wind down,
2007. On the other hand, tourist receipts reached US$215mn in 2006,             guests will be able to enjoy the hotel’s shopping arcade or utilise the
compared to US$184mn in 2005, a y-o-y growth of 16.8%. As for the               fitness facilities, including a tennis court, squash court, swimming pool
North African Countries -excluding Libya, Algeria’s number of tourists          and health club. Reef Island’s features will also include, among other
was the least in the last three years, ending 2007. As mentioned earlier,       attractions, open parks, an Aquarium, a luxury shopping mall, a marina
it captured only 3.9% of total tourists visiting Africa in 2007, a relatively   and a Yacht club. The Conrad Bahrain will boast impressive dining
small share compared to its peers.                                              facilities, including a stylish all-day dining outlet, and three speciality
                                                                                restaurants featuring international cuisine. The hotel will also offer two
                                                                                bars, a coffee shop and a shisha cafe for a unique flavour of the region.
                   Bahrain                                                                                                                  Bahrain

  ABTTA Extends Strategic
  Partnership with Amadeus

A    madeus, a global leader in technology and
     distribution solutions for the travel and tourism
industry, entered into a strategic partnership with
Association of Bahrain Travel & Tour Agents (ABTTA).
The agreement which extends for a period of three
years is a step forward in enabling local travel agencies
remain competitive and offer best-in-class services to
business and leisure travellers in Bahrain. ABTTA which
comprises of the leading Bahrain-based travel agencies
is responsible for developing and promoting travel and
tourism opportunities in Bahrain. The association also
plays a key role in training Bahrainis to work in the travel
and tourism sector and collaborate with the government

12 May 2009                                                                                                                A&T Travel Magazine
                                                                                                                  News From Countries
                                                                               Egypt Invites Tourists to Explore Ancient
                                                                               Civilization & Cultural Richness
                                                                             E    gypt attracts more tourists to country each year thanks to its
                                                                                  promotional activities by the government and increasing popularity
  Nakheel Completes Expansion of Djibouti                                    of its ancient sites. Despite the economical crisis started last year,
                                                                             tourist arrivals in Egypt rose sharply by around 19% to 13 Million
  Palace                                                                     in 2008 while income from tourism was around US$ 11.6 Billion,
                                                                                           which is huge 23% up from 2007. Banking on its ancient
                                                                                           civilization and cultural richness, the Egyptian Ministry of
    Dijibouti                                                                              Tourism is adopting aggressive marketing campaigns to
                                                                                           promote its tourism industry internationally. The Ministry is
                                                                                           promoting the country under the slogans “The Gift of the
                                                                                           Sun” and “Egypt… the Incomparable” and is aiming to a
                                                                                           greater number of visitors from Europe. Other promotional
                                                                                           campaigns have also been engineered both locally and
                                                                                           overseas to attract tourists from around the world. For
                                                                                           example, due to strong promotional campaigns, tourists
                                                                                           from the US reached 319,000 in 2008, 17% higher
                                                                                           over the previous year. Egypt’s immense archaeological
                                                                                           richness is luring the tourists from around the world. The
                                                                                           enduring fascination, particularly in Europe and the US,
                                                                                           with the pharaonic era of Egypt’s past is a major pull.
                                                                                           The Giza pyramids are one of the world’s must-see sites,
                                                                                           and the tombs and temples of Luxor and Abu Simbel are
                                                                                           globally renowned. Other pharaonic sites along the Nile
                                                                                           Valley are driving the tourism industry in Egypt. In fact, the
                                                                                           country has started state-of-the-art Nile Cruises to attract
                                                                                           tourists to take a look at Luxor and Aswan.
N    akheel Hotels said that it has completed the second phase
     extension of the Djibouti Palace Kempinski. The extension of
the hotel has now increased its initial 177 guest room inventory to a
total of 254 rooms and 55 furnished apartments. The Djibouti Palace            The Address Hotels + Resorts Unveils First
Kempinski opened in November 2006 and was the first five-star                    Property in Egypt
hotel to open in Djibouti and the first hotel operated by Kempinski in
East Africa. Nakheel Hotels’ current investments under management
exceed $4 billion.                                                           T    he Address Hotels + Resorts, the newly launched 5 star premium
                                                                                  hotel brand of Emaar Hospitality Group LLC, has unveiled its
                                                                             first hotel property in Egypt – The Address, Uptown Cairo. Located
  New Port Terminal to be Opened in Djibouti                                 in Uptown Cairo, a luxury master-planned community developed
                                                                             by Emaar Misr for Development S.A.E, the hotel also marks the
A    new shipping terminal of 1,200-metre length inaugurated in the
     Port of Djibouti, an economic adviser to the French Embassy
in Djibouti, Andre Massida, said in Paris. “This new terminal is an
                                                                             international expansion of the brand. The hotel will be the flagship
                                                                             brand of The Address brand in Egypt and is scheduled to open in
                                                                             2011. The Address, Uptown Cairo will offer a premium, benefit-
important stage in building Djibouti Port capacity.. It draws 16 meters
against 12 for other terminals,” said Massida, the economic advisor
                                                                             rich guest experience through its 200 rooms and 300 serviced
for Djibouti, Eritrea and Somalia at the French embassy in Djibouti.         apartments.”
“Capacity building in the port is part of a massive programme promoting      The US$2.1 billion Uptown Cairo development highlights an inimitable
investments and including the extension of railways from Djibouti to         living experience that meets the demanding requirements of Egypt’s
Ethiopia,” he added in a chat with the press. Taking advantage of its        upwardly mobile population. Uptown Cairo is located on 1,000
strategic position on the Red Sea, Djibouti has developed its economic       hectares within Mokattam Hills, removed from the bustle of the city.
relations with the Gulf states that control the airport, the port, customs
and the hotel trade of the country. Source:

  3,500 year Old Tomb Discovered in
A tomb decorated with 3,500-year-old paintings has
been discovered in Luxor. The tomb, part of the Dra
Abu El-Naga necropolis, also includes drawings and
hieroglyphics taken in part from the Book of the Dead, the
ancient Egyptian funerary text. It is reported that the burial
chamber of about 3.5 square meters (37.6 square feet)
and 1.5 meters (five feet) high, is one of the first to have
been entirely decorated with paintings from the era.               Egypt

A&T Travel Magazine                                                                                                           May 2009 13
News From Countries
  Egyptian Government Helps Tourism                                          agreements with all the major consortia and we hope to see a
                                                                             considerable increase in business, particularly with the forecast growth
  Industry                                                                   in tourism to Egypt. We already work with many Advantage members

E    gypt will exempt hotels from paying an annual fee towards               on an individual basis so the signs are encouraging.” Peltours offers
     promoting tourism this year to help the hospitality sector cope         a range of year-round holidays, luxury golf packages, exclusive Nile
with the global financial crisis. The country’s tourism industry has          Nile cruises and tailor made options to Egypt. The 2009 brochure
started to feel the negative effects of the crisis, with hotel bookings      offers more tours in its successful Jordan programme. The UAE
this month down 30 per cent on January last year.Dubai hotels have           were featured for the first time last year and now include add-ons
also experienced a sharp drop in occupancy rates and authorities             to Dubai with a choice of excellent five star resorts in the Northern
in the emirate are also offering incentives to help sustain business.        Emirates. With holidays outside the Eurozone offering excellent value
The Egyptian tourism minister, Zoheir Garrana, has agreed to exempt          for money, a huge surge in interest is forecast in Egypt, Jordan and
hotel establishments from tourism promotion fees, which the ministry         the United Arab Emirates for 2009. Continued Panto “Peltours
collects from the hotels, to lessen their burdens during the financial        provides many unique products in the market. Our tailor-made holidays
crisis. Source: The National                                                 are of the highest quality, and with our own exclusive weekend flights
                                                                             to Taba, dedicated golf and groups departments, and staff with first
  Egyptian Tourists to Travel to Antalya by                                  hand knowledge of the destinations, we are well placed to provide
                                                                             outstanding service to Advantage agents. We look forward to working
  Cruise Liners                                                              together.

E     gyptian tourists would travel to southern resort city of Antalya of
      Turkey by cruise liners every week for shuttle trade, an executive       Globe09: Egypt as a Top Destination

from Turkish tourism sector reported. Ata Kuner, executive board                   lobe confirmed its Mediterranean selection by picking up Egypt as
chairman of Antalya-based AKIS Maritime, Shipping, Tourism and                     the Top Destination at the third edition at Nuova Fiera di Roma.
Trade Corp, announced that foreign cruise ship companies would               The land of Pyramids proves to be one of the top destination with over
prefer Turkey this year due to its suitable port and service prices. An      1milion 73 thousand Italian visitors in 2008 (9.1% more compared to
Italian-flagged cruise ship would bring Egyptian people to Antalya every      2007). This year the Egyptian Government participated to Globe09
week and also British and German-flagged ships would visit the city           with a significant booth, and it proves evidence of the interest in
this year, Kuner said.                                                       investing in the larger incoming countries especially in the exhibiting
                                                                             areas. In order to support tour operators and to face the crisis, Egypt is
  The Cairo Marriott Hotel Celebrates The                                    proposing a great number of marketing activities such as sponsorship
  25th Anniversary of Marriott Rewards                                       investments, promoting new touristic areas, decreasing hotel tax,
                                                                             supporting charter flights incentives, organizing educational and fam
T   he management of the Cairo Marriott Hotel held an elegant party,
    celebrating the 25th anniversary of “Marriott Rewards” program.
                                                         The party was
                                                                             trips. Their big goal is to increase the number of touristic attendance
                                                                             from the present 13 million to 14 million in two years.
                                                         attended by
                                                         the program
                                                         members, VIPs
                                                         and long staying                      Iraq
                                                         guests at the
                                                         hotel in addition     First Touring Group Visited Iraq since 2003
                                                         to popular
                                                         media figures.
                                                         Ulrich Huth,        T   he Iraqi Tourism and Antiquities Ministry announced that Iraq has
                                                                                 received the first group of Western tourists since the fall of the
                                                                             former regime in 2003. A group of five Britons, two Americans and
                                                         The General
                                                         Manager of          one Canadian had arrived to Iraq on the 8th of March in a trip to visit
                                                         the hotel,          the monuments and historical sites including the hanging gardens
                                                         highlighted in      of Babylon. The tour in Iraq included visiting Erbil Castle which is a
his opening speech the benefits that the program members enjoy and            remnant of the Ottoman Empire, and the ancient Assyrian city of
the changes that will be introduced into the program in 2009. It’s           Nineveh, in addition to the shrines of imams in Samarra, Karbala and
worth mentioning that “Marriott Rewards” is the most preferred hotel         Najaf.
loyalty program in the industry, encompassing 30 million
members. The program offers 250 points rewards options
in addition to 30 airline programs for members who choose
to earn frequent flyer miles; fulfilling travelers’ dreams and
making their experiences with Marriott the best that they
can possibly be!

  Peltours Starts 2009 with Advantage

P    eltours have announced a new contract for 2009 with
     Advantage Travel Centres, strengthening their position
as the UK’s no. 1 specialist operator to Egypt. Darren
Panto, Sales & Marketing Director for Peltours comments,
“We are pleased to be working with Advantage in 2009
and the increased opportunities it will offer in terms of
distribution. As an independent tour operator and member
of the BRIGHT consortium, Peltours are committed to
working with independent travel agents.” He continues,
“Working with advantage means we now have commercial              Iraq

14 May 2009                                                                                                            A&T Travel Magazine
                                                                                                                   News From Countries
    Iraq Health Investment Summit Concludes
    Successfully in İstanbul

I raq Health Investment Summit took place in Istanbul on 19-20
  February. The summit outlined the Iraqi Ministry of Health’s (MOH)
recently unveiled four-year plan for development, a comprehensive
programme of engagement designed to utilise the expertise of the
commercial through increased engagement in key areas such as
public health, pharmaceutical and medical supplies, planning and
procurement strategies, new construction projects and training and
human resources development. The summit, organised on behalf of
the Iraqi Ministry of Health (MOH) under HE Dr Salih Al-Hasnawi,
Iraqi Minister of Health welcomed representation from a high level
official Iraq Ministry of Health delegation, led by Minister Hasnawi
and featuring deputies, director generals, technical experts and
members of parliament, as well as senior corporate executives from
the global health community, the World Health Organization and the
USAID Tatweer programme. One of the key initiatives unveiled was
a new Cooperative Internships Programme, an ambitious project
aimed squarely at embedding MOH employees into existing corporate
structures, enabling the sustainable transfer of knowledge and skills
across the healthcare spectrum and subsequent dissemination of
warning processes and skills development into the MOH, aiding
system reform and contributing to ongoing capacity development.

    Jordan Prepares for landmark Year

T   he Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) said it was looking forward to
    a landmark year which will witness a series of anniversaries,
celebrations and events including a papal pilgrimage. The Kingdom
is putting the final touches on the centennial celebrations of the
                                                                               of the Private Hospitals Association and director of the Specialty
capital, which is one of the world’s oldest inhabited cities, and it is also
                                                                               Hospital. “The medical tourism sector annually generates over $1
celebrating a decade of His Majesty King Abdullah’s rule, according to
                                                                               billion in revenues, as the number of foreign patients seeking treatment
a JTB statement. Jordan is also getting ready to host many important
                                                                               in the Kingdom stands at over 200,000 per year,” Hammouri said in a
events, including a Papal visit, and the annual meetings of the World
                                                                               statement sent to The Jordan Times. “We are seeking to maintain and
Economic Forum (WEF).                                                          improve this bright image even more through reaching new markets in
                                                                               Europe, Asia and the US,” he added. As part of these efforts, the US-
    Jordan King to Meet Pope                                                   based Medical Treatment Association (MTA), which owns and issues a

H    is Majesty King Abdullah will meet with Pope Benedict XVI who
     will visit Jordan on May 8, according to a Royal Court statement.
His Majesty will discuss with His Holiness bilateral relations and issues
                                                                               magazine specialised in medical tourism, will issue a special edition on
                                                                               the Kingdom’s potential as a destination for patients from all over the
                                                                               world. More than 750,000 US citizens travelled abroad for treatment
related to Christian-Islamic dialogue and coexistence, the statement           in 2008, according to the MTA, which expects this figure to exceed six
said. He will be the second pope, after Pope John Paul II, to visit the        million by 2010.
holy site since it was discovered in 1996. The site where John the
Baptist baptised Jesus Christ is a leading attraction for thousands of           Jordan Tourism Board Launches two
tourists from around the world, drawing 280,000 visitors and pilgrims            Chinese Websites
(mostly European) in 2008, a rise of 86 per cent compared to 2007,
the statement said.
                                                                               T   he Jordan Tourism Board is targeting tourists from China and
                                                                                   Hong Kong with 2 websites in Mandarin and Traditional Chinese.
    First Medical Tourism Congress Held in                                     The Chinese languages are the newest edition to 8 other international
                                                                               languages available on its website: Arabic,
    Jordan                                                                     English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Japanese.

J  ordan’s first International Medical Tourism Congress was held                JTB Media and Communications Manager Tohama Nabulsi expressed
   between January 30th and February 2nd 2009. Medical tourism                 delight at the launch of the two Chinese languages and said they
in Jordan is gaining momentum due to its contribution to the                   would provide JTB with a valuable platform to reach a large and
national economy and within this perspective Jordan hosted the first            important segment of world travelers. She said “they would also help
International Medical Tourism Congress. “Jordan has achieved an                us communicate the elements of unique Jordan experience to the
advanced status in the field of medical tourism due to the sector’s             Chinese public.” The website provides valuable information on Jordan
medical, human and technical potentials which earned the country               and its diverse and wealthy range of destinations. It gives the visitor a
an outstanding reputation in the region and the world,” said Abdullah          look at the Kingdom, its history and sites, important facts and figures,
Bashir, Director of the Jordan Hospital and the Medical Tourism                and an interactive map. It also provides a link to a key event planner
Congress Chairman. Medical tourism experts at the World Bank have              ( which gives visitors an advanced look at an array
ranked Jordan number one in the Arab region and the fifth in the world          of events which are planned to take place during their visit to Jordan,
as a medical tourism hub, according to Fawzi Hammouri, president               which can be sorted by date, type, and location.

A&T Travel Magazine                                                                                                           May 2009 15
News From Countries
  Deloitte in the Middle East.                                            government officials from Kuwait’s different districts, along with other
                                                                          dignitaries and senior representatives from Kuwait’s media. The

T    he new and highly anticipated Kempinski Hotel Aqaba, Red Sea         Sheikh Saad terminal is the first of its kind in Kuwait and one of the
     Jordan will open its doors to the public in June 2009. Boasting 201 country’s landmark projects that was completed in May 2008. It is
luxury rooms and suites all with sea views, a variety of international    fully equipped to handle all types of private and commercial aircraft
cuisine, world class MICE facilities and a stunning spa with a number     and is designed to provide the highest possible level of service to
of innovative signature treatments on the menu, this hotel opening        passengers using the facility. Royal Aviation Chairman Mr. Mubarak
will mark the 2nd Kempinski property on the golden shores and azure       Al Mascati commented on auspiciousness of the occasion, “We are
waters of the Red Sea. The Kempinski group has been specialist            privileged to welcome H.H. the Crown Prince to this terminal which
hoteliers for over 100 years and this hotel is yet another example        was named in honour of H.H. the late Sheikh Saad – May God
of their expertise in luxury. Aqaba offers year round sunshine and        Rest His Soul – and is a fitting tribute to a man who was known for
some of the best diving and coral reefs in the world. The contrast in     his kindness and generosity and his tireless efforts to help Kuwait
scenery makes this city one of the most beautiful in Jordan with its      develop and prosper.” This terminal represents a great achievement
mountainous backdrop and white sandy beaches fringed with palm            for the development of Kuwait International Airport and symbolises
trees. Located on the sandy shores of the Red Sea, it is an ideal         the progress and maturity of Kuwait and as such I’m sure that ‘Father
location for those who simply want to switch off and relax. There is      Amir’ would have been proud of this prestigious facility.” The terminal is
however, plenty to do for the more energetic; the hotel is only a stones managed by Royal Aviation Company, a subsidiary of Kuwait National
throw away from a variety of shops, restaurants and leisure facilities,   Airways which also owns Wataniya Airways, and is deemed one of
not to mention the hotels own entertainment, including; trips on private the best private aviation facilities in the world. It was renamed earlier
yachts, windsurfing, kayaking, diving, snorkeling and swimming, a          this year as a tribute to the late Amir, H.H. Sheikh Saad Al Abdullah
private beach, the Kids Club and most important of all guests can         Al Sabah, in honour of his dedication and unrelenting service to the
enjoy an array of organized tours to popular tourist attractions, such as State of Kuwait and its citizens. Wataniya Airways, Kuwait’s new
Petra, Wadi Rum and the Bedouin Camps. All 201 rooms and suites           premium service airline also commenced its scheduled flights to and
within the hotel will enjoy a sea view, which has been made possible      from the Sheik Saad Terminal on the 24th of January. This is the
due to clever design work and the buildings curved contemporary           first time that a commercial airline has used the special facilities of
design, shaped in the form of a tear-drop. The distinctive prevailing     this terminal as its exclusive arrival and departure hub. Spacious and
structure and spectacular interior design will be complimented            modern in design, the terminal is designed to deliver peace of mind
throughout with state of the art technology. Boasting 6 sumptuous         and tranquillity to travellers’ often busy and hectic journeys. “We are
restaurants and bars, guests will be spoilt for choice, offering a wide   dedicated to extending to our guests an extraordinary travel experience
variety of international and regional dining options, including a Club    that represents the ‘Wataniya Airways Difference’ – the ease and
Lounge and a large alfresco terrace area with panoramic views of the      convenience of the Sheikh Saad Terminal is one of the important
Red Sea. Guests will be able to enjoy fine dining, cocktails, the finest    components that will help to distinguish their journey with us and
coffee and teas from around the world all served in a selection of        define a new era of pleasurable air travel to and from Kuwait for both
specialty restaurants                                                     our First Class and Premium Economy guests,” said Abdulsalam Al
                                                                          Bahar, Wataniya Airways Chairman. “We are delighted to have been
    Amman Hosted International Tourism                                    granted the privilege of using this special terminal as our hub from
                                                                          which we connect directly to Dubai, Beirut, Cairo and Bahrain; and we
   Conference                                                             are also deeply honoured to have H.H. the Crown Prince share in our

T    he Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) hosted an international
     tourism conference as part of its 100th anniversary celebrations.
The conference, titled, “Traditions and Change; Tourism, Heritage
                                                                          celebration to officially inaugurate the facility.” Located in the Subhan
                                                                          area of Kuwait International Airport, Sheikh Saad Terminal brings
                                                                          local airport accessibility to an international destination. The terminal
and Culture in the Middle East and North Africa Region,”was one of a boasts comprehensive services and facilities such as valet, concierge
variety of activities and festivals being held this year to celebrate the and extended hospitality services, ample shaded parking, dedicated
centennial anniversary of the first Amman municipal council, which         immigration and security plus relaxing lounges with wireless internet for
was established in 1909. Over 200 delegates from 40 countries             all passengers. The terminal building, which cost an estimated KD 16
participated to the event, which took place at Al Hussein Cultural        million to build, is designed to provide premium services to travellers in
Centre April 4-7                                                          an area covering 130 thousand square meters.

  Kuwait’s Crown Prince
  Inaugurates Sheikh Saad

H     is Highness the Crown Prince of
      Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad
Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, patronised a ceremony
organised by Wataniya Airways and
Royal Aviation to officially inaugurate
the prestigious Sheikh Saad General
Aviation Terminal, the private terminal
facility of Kuwait International Airport. The
ceremony was also attended by Jassem
Al-Khorafi, Speaker of the National
Assembly, H.H. the Prime Minister Sheikh          Kuwait
Nasser Al-Mohammad, and other senior

16 May 2009                                                                                                         A&T Travel Magazine
                                                                                                                News From Countries
                                                                           regional and international organizations. More than 500 participants
                                                                           from the public and private sectors in the Mediterranean countries,
                                                                           other European countries, the Gulf and the rest of the Arab world
                  Lebanon                                                  attended the forum. The forum aims were at strengthening economic
                                                                           relations between the European Union and the Mediterranean,
                                                                           highlighting the importance of the Mediterranean countries as a link
  Lebanon Seeks to Attract 3 Million Tourists                              of economic interaction between Europe and the Gulf, and promoting
  in 2009                                                                  new business, investment and trading opportunities in various fields.
                                                                           Panel discussions involved Arab and European policy makers, business
T   he Lebanese Minister of Tourism, said that the Lebanese
    government plans to attract three million visitors in 2009; more
than twice the number of tourists who visited the country last year.
                                                                           leaders, financiers and experts.

Ministry figures show that 96,902 foreigners visited Lebanon in
                                                                             Middle East Hotel Performance Wanes at
February. It is a record compared to the past six years, when less           end of 2008
than 70,000 visitors came in February that considered a low season
for tourists. Visitors from Saudi Arabia spent the most in Lebanon
in the first two months of 2009, accounting for 19% of total tourist
                                                                           D      eloitte, the business advisory firm, confirms a five-year run of
                                                                                  double-digit revenue per available room (revPAR) growth for
                                                                           hotels in the Middle East. This growth was buoyed by strong hotel
spending, followed by tourists from the UAE (13%), Kuwait (12%),
                                                                           performance at the beginning of 2008. Growth started to decelerate
Egypt (8%) and Syria (6%). Beirut attracted 81% of total spending
                                                                           in September and dipped into the red during the month of December -
over the covered period, followed by the Metn area with 14% and
                                                                           down 3.2%. Commenting, Robert O’Hanlon, Tourism, Hospitality and
the Keserwan region with 3%. Fashion and clothing accounted for
                                                                           Leisure Partner at Deloitte Middle East said: “The global economic
65% of total spending, followed by watches with 13%, perfumes and
                                                                           downturn has had an impact on inbound hotel activity in the Middle
cosmetics with 5%, home and garden with 5%, and department stores
                                                                           East, but it is still too early to determine the full extent of the impact.
with 4%.
                                                                           The timing of Eid, when many expatriates took the opportunity to
                                                                           return to their home countries, combined with the backdrop of a global
  Winter Tourism in Lebanon                                                downturn makes it difficult to extrapolate the trend from these figures

A     s one of the rarest countries on the Mediterranean to offer some
      of the best and most breathtaking ski resorts available, Lebanon
has become a unique trademark for visitors seeking the ultimate
                                                                           alone. “The Middle East has invested heavily in the tourism sector in
                                                                           recent years and is probably better placed to remain sound during
                                                                           a challenging time than other parts of the world and, with its great
winter experience. With the snowy mountain range situated above a          product offering, may emerge faster than other regions when there
beautiful narrow coastal strip, the country remains unique in offering     is an improvement in the world economy.” When looking at full year
its visitors the ability to ski on snow in the morning while still being   data, the region achieved the highest occupancy and average room
able to dip into the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean in the      rates in the world. Middle East revPAR rose 18.3% to US$148, a
afternoon. Having six wonderfully equipped ski resorts catering to         notable US$44 ahead of the next best performing region, Europe.
skiers and snowboarders of all levels to choose from, tourists can         Much of this growth was driven by average room rates, up 17.0% to
enjoy the splendor of snow available while still being only an hour away   US$215. Meanwhile occupancy increased by 1.2 to 68.8% while all
from some of the country’s most beautiful touristic sites. Regardless of   other regions apart from South America (up 1.7%) experienced drops
location, whether the Cedars, Faraya-Mzaar, Zaarour, Faqra, Laqlouq,       in occupancy. Beirut achieved the strongest growth in 2008 reporting
or Qanat bakiche, all resorts are highly equipped for the common goal      a staggering 101.1% leap in revPAR to US$95. The city saw strong
of offering both security and comfort to the public.                       growth last year as it bounced back after suffering from political
                                                                           tensions with Israel in 2006 and 2007. In the United Arab Emirates
   AWTTE 2009: 3-day Event                                                 (UAE), Dubai and Abu Dhabi continue to share the league table for
                                                                           the highest occupancy, average room rates and revPAR in the region.
T   he Arab World Travel and Tourism Exchange (AWTTE 2009) will
    be held on October 8-10 at BIEL Center in Beirut, Lebanon.
AWTTE is a regional travel tradeshow that will be held for 3 days
                                                                           Even though revPAR in Dubai only grew 0.8% in 2008, the emirate
                                                                           still holds the title for the highest average room rates and revPAR at
targeted to both trade and public. It is considered as the gateway to      US$300 and US$237 respectively. On the flip side, revPAR growth
the Levant area especially Lebanon market. AWTTE is organized by           in Abu Dhabi is soaring and saw a 46.0% rise in 2008 to US$230.
the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism and Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group           Occupancy increased 8.9% to 81.5% - one of the highest in the
in cooperation with Middle East Airlines. It provides a unique platform    Middle East.
to meet and network with key figures of the travel
industry in the Middle East through a conference
and exhibition held concurrently. In spite of the past
challenges that Lebanon faced and after 2 years
of obligatory absence, AWTTE 2008 registered
over 6,300 visitors from 39 countries. Trade visitors
recorded 40% of the total number of visitors with
20% coming from international destinations. The
event attracted 13 national pavilions with 5 national
boards participating for the first time as well as 110
exhibitors with 54% international companies.

  MedInvest Held in Beirut

M     ed Invest 2009 held on the 20th and 21st
      of February 2009 at the Intercontinental
Phoenicia Hotel, Beirut. The forum is organized
Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group, with the support of
the EU program Invest in Med and a number of

A&T Travel Magazine                                                                                                        May 2009 17
News From Countries

                   Libya                                                                         Oman
  JW Marriott to Open in Tripoli
                                                                                  Omran Plays Host to Asian Beach Games
M      arriott International will open a 370-room luxurious JW Marriott
       hotel in Tripoli, Libya in addition to new properties in Peru and
Puerto Rico. When opened in 2011, JW Marriott hotel Tripoli will be
Marriott International’s first hotel in the country and will be run under
a long-term management agreement with Daewoo Tripoli Investment                 O    mran; the Government of Oman’s tourism development and
                                                                                     investment arm and the residents of Musannah come together
                                                                                at the first informal Asian Beach Games community day at the
and Development Co., a joint venture between Daewoo Engineering
and Construction and Oyia Co. The new hotel additions mark the 25th             Wudam Al Sahil Youth Stadium. Omran organised the day, which
anniversary of JW Marriott brand and bolster the brand pipeline to 25           included activities and games for all the family, so that the community
properties opening now through 2013, bringing the luxury hotel portfolio        could meet senior officials on the neighbouring Asian Beach Games
to 68 locations in 26 countries.The 370-room JW Marriott Hotel Tripoli          project, and ask questions about how the development will affect their
will be managed by Marriott under a long-term contract. The 36-storey,          community. The Asian Beach Games were established by the Olympic
innovatively-designed hotel will be located in Tripoli’s new central            Council of Asia, and are held every two years. The 2010 Muscat
business district and is expected to become a prominent landmark in             Asian Beach Games will be the second event, following the inaugural
the northern section of the city, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.            Games in Bali last year. The overarching aim is to strengthen relations
Accommodations at the JW Marriott Hotel Tripoli will be luxuriously             and understanding between participating Asian nations in a friendly
appointed and will feature Marriott’s highly acclaimed plush bed and            competitive environment.
bath linens and amenities. Rooms will have flat screen TVs, high speed
internet access, in room safe and coffee/tea maker. The hotel will                Tourism Minister Launches New Crowne
have an 80-room executive level and lounge which will offer guests a
comfortable and elegant oasis. For dining and entertainment, the hotel
                                                                                  Plaza Sohar
will have an open space lobby with special zones in which guests can
linger over coffee, gather with colleagues for impromptu meetings,
or simply relax. Three restaurants and a pool bar will give guests a
                                                                                H    er Excellency Dr. Rajha bint Abdul Amir Ali, Minister of Tourism,
                                                                                     officially launched the new five-star Crowne Plaza Sohar Hotel
                                                                               at a gala ceremony. The event was also attended by His Excellency
wide choice of dining options. The all-day casual restaurant will offer        Hilal bin Bader bin Ali Al Busaidi, Wali of Sohar, His Excellency
an adjoining terrace for outdoor seasonal dining and the hotel’s two           Ali bin Ahmad Al Shamsi, Wali of Liwa, Mr John Bamsey, Chief
specialty restaurants will have private dining areas. Recreational facilities  Operating Officer Middle East & Africa, InterContinental Hotels Group
will include a world-class spa, an indoor and an outdoor swimming pool         and dignitaries from the Government, Diplomatic and Corporate
and a fitness center with sauna, Jacuzzi and juice bar. Other amenities         sector. The ceremony marked the beginning of a new standard of
will be comprised of a comprehensive business center, 24-hour room             hotel accommodation and facilities to cater to Sohar’s ever-growing
service, retail shops in the lobby, and laundry/valet services. For            business and leisure market and local community. “Oman’s tourism
meetings and social events, the hotel will have 12,300 square feet of
                                                                               has consistently grown, hosting up to 1 million tourists annually. Having
space including an 8,109-square foot ballroom that will be divisible
                                                                               built its reputation as a holiday destination, the focus has now turned
into four sections, and a number of conference rooms in varying
                                                                               to developing its MICE sector that now accounts for 60% of travel
                                                                               into the Sultanate,” said John Bamsey, Chief Operating Officer, IHG
   Vision3 to Develop $1.8bn Morocco Health MEA, “The opening of Crowne Plaza Sohar, with its extensive meeting
                                                                               amenities, will further facilitate this market segment’s growth.” Mrs
   Resort                                                                      Hannah Macki, Deputy Managing Director of Samco Hotels and

     Libya                                                   V       ision3, a Resorts, said the new Crowne Plaza Sohar offered business travellers
                                                                               and locals alike a luxury oasis that is unparalleled in the Al Batinah
                                                                               region. “Sohar is increasingly becoming a true business destination
                                                                formed         as a result of the tremendous developments in the Port of Sohar,
                                                                between        Industrial Estate and the Special Economic Zone. In addition to serving
                                                                Gulf Finance   the Sohar business community the Crowne Plaza is conveniently
                                                                House,         located half-way between Muscat and Dubai. The hotel is a five-
                                                                Ithmaar        star attraction on its own and has already begun welcoming guests
                                                                Bank and
                                                                               from all over the world who want to explore the Al Batinah region’s
                                                                Abu Dhabi
                                                                               undiscovered delights” she said. The official opening ceremony
                                                                               was followed by a tour of the hotels facilities and a VIP lunch in the
                                                                House, has
                                                                signed a deal Ballroom, amid displays by some of Crowne Plaza Sohar’s leading
                                                                with Moroccan industrial partners and business houses, including Sohar Aluminium,
                                                                government     the Sohar Industrial Port and many others. “The event was a huge
                                                                to develop a   success and we look forward to welcoming our distinguished guests
$1.8 billion mixed-use health resort over a massive 270 hectare area in back to the Crowne Plaza Sohar to enjoy our accommodation,
Essaouira.“The project will not only help develop the health and wellness variety of dining experiences and recreation facilities” Mrs Macki
sector in the Kingdom of Morocco, but also help promote health tourism, said. Situated on the Sohar-Buraimi Highway, just 2km from Falaj
commercial and residential development sectors in Morocco,” said               Al Qabail, the majestic fa ade of the Crowne Plaza Sohar fronts a
Mohammed Boussaid, Moroccan Minister of Tourism.“This strategic                truly five-star experience that includes gourmet restaurants, a gym, a
initiative will also contribute to further stimulating the national economy    bowling alley, a swimming pool and luxury spa centre, as well as deluxe
through the direct employment of Moroccans,” said Boussaid. “We                accommodation. It is the first internationally-branded deluxe hotel in
look forward to working closely with Vision3 towards realizing the full        the Batinah region. The Crowne Plaza Sohar is the 6th property in
benefit of this project,” he said. Alsayed said the project, in the South       Oman managed by InterContinental Hotels Group and is owned by
of Essaouira, will prove a landmark development and will include health        Samco Hotels and Resorts, a subsidiary of Samco Trading LLC.
and wellness as an anchor theme with surrounding tourism and other
real estate developments. Source: TradeArabia

18 May 2009                                                                                                             A&T Travel Magazine
                                                                                                             News From Countries
    MENA Hotels Strong                                                      Anantara Announces New Property in

O     man is by far the most improved destination throughout the
      Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region in 2008, recording
                                                                            Sultanate of Oman
a remarkable 34% Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) increase.
According to end of year results released by MKG Hospitality’s market
                                                                          A    nantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, a leading developer and operator
                                                                               of luxury resorts and spas announced that it has signed a new
                                                                          management contract for their first Anantara Resort in the Sultanate
monitoring database, Hotel Compset, Oman’s excellent performance          of Oman. Anantara will partner with Blue City Company 1 (BCC1) to
was fuelled by a major growth of almost 40% in Average Daily Rate         develop the 100 room luxury resort and spa which will be located on a
(ADR). Jordan was not so far behind, with a 26% growth in RevPAR,         natural peninsula some 60 minutes from the historical city of Muscat
driven by a 17% increase in ADR and an 8.4% rise in Occupancy Rate        The luxury destination of Al Madina A’Zarqa will offer residents and
(OR). Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, Algeria and Tunisia also all recorded good   visitors alike outstanding facilities, exceptional service and a broad
results. Overall however, Qatar recorded the highest RevPAR at $223,      range of rooms delivered in an environment of unmatched elegance
followed by the UAE at $211 and then Oman and Bahrain, almost             and refined luxury. Guests staying at the resort can also indulge in a
equal at $164. Forecasts suggest that the situation will deteriorate      rejuvenating and relaxing spa experience at the award-winning Anantara
over the next 6-9 months. Most countries in the region have already       Spa.
started to see a decrease in OR, signalling that demand has dropped.
Hoteliers are now expected to further reduce their prices in order to
encourage more guests.

    IHG Opens 3rd Crowne Plaza in Oman                                                      Qatar
I nterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) along with SAMCO Hotels
  and Resorts officially opened Crowne Plaza Sohar. The opening
                                                                            Relax at Bliss Spa at W Doha
marks IHG’s third Crowne Plaza property in Oman, as they continue to
expand in the Sultanate. Crowne Plaza Sohar consists of 126 rooms,        T   o unwind, W Doha offers the signature Bliss Spa, New York’s
                                                                              hottest spa, which can now be enjoyed in the Middle East for the
                                                                          first time. For those who wish to take the W lifestyle back home,
all with a private balcony, of which 44 deluxe bedrooms are designed
for long stay guests with a walk-in wardrobe. The hotel also includes 6   the property also features the Middle East’s first outpost of W Hotels
executive suites, which home a living and dining room, kitchenette and    The Store, the brand’s stylish twist on the hotel gift shop, providing a
a large private terrace.                                                  hip selection of accessories and fashion items. These offerings are
                                                                          complemented by nearly 1,000 square metres of ultra-modern meeting
    Rezidor Announces the Hotel Missoni Jebel                             and event space, making W Doha an ideal hotel for special events,
                                                                          meetings and celebrations. W Doha is conveniently located in the West
    Sifah, Oman                                                           Bay of Doha on the Qatar peninsula, providing easy access to Doha’s

T    he Hotel Missoni Jebel Sifah featuring 250 rooms and 50
     apartments and villas is scheduled to open in Q1 2012. It is the
third Hotel Missoni in Rezidor’s portfolio - the first two properties in
                                                                          world-class shopping destinations, pristine beaches and water sports
                                                                          facilities, first-class greens of Doha Golf Club, and scenic Corniche
                                                                          waterfront district.
Kuwait and Edinburgh
will welcome the                                                                                                                    Qatar
first guests in 2009.
Hotel Missoni is the
newest member of
the Rezidor family - a
new genre of life and
style hotels developed
in partnership with the
iconic Italian fashion
house of the same
name. ‘It’s stylish,
intimate, contemporary
and eclectic design
combined with the
best of bars and

                                                                            Exhibitions Calendar
restaurants will make this a truly unique hotel experience’, says
Kurt Ritter, President & CEO of Rezidor. The new property will be
located in Jebel Sifah, a luxurious resort destination 30 km from the
capital Muscat. Jebel Sifah is the result of a partnership between the
                                                                            Arab Countries & Turkey
Omani government and the resort developer Orascom Hotels and
Development of Egypt. Nestled between the warm waters of the Gulf
and Oman’s breathtaking mountains, the area will feature 3 other
                                                                            May                                  October
luxury resorts, including a Four Seasons and Banyan Tree. Future            02-04 AHIC-Dubai                     08-10 AWTTE-Beirut
guests will have a wealth of leisure distractions, including a 5 km         05-09 ATM-Dubai                      21-26 Boat Show-Istanbul
beach, marinas, an 18-hole golf course, spas, and boutique shopping.
For the culturally inclined, the museums, palaces and souks of Muscat
                                                                            14-16 MIT-Tunis
                                                                            14-16 BITE-Bahrain
are within easy reach. In addition to stunning design, 250 rooms and                                             03-06 –ATB- Damascus
                                                                            26-30 KIF-Kuwait
50 apartments and villas the Hotel Missoni Jebel Sifah will offer 2
restaurants (including Missoni’s signature ‘cucina’), a 1,000 m2 spa,
2 tennis courts, a private beach featuring an array of water sports,        August                                       MTF-Cairo
multiple swimming pools, meeting rooms and a 400 m2 ballroom.               03-06 JITS-Amman                      10-13 Travel Turkey-Izmir

A&T Travel Magazine                                                                                                     May 2009 19
News From Countries
    Grand Hyatt Doha Opens in Vibrant Qatari                                 explained that the tourism events calendar is an important marketing
                                                                             tool, as well as planning event tool between different bodies. “It
    Capital                                                                  functions as a vital link between the event organizers, in addition to

H     yatt Hotels & Resorts opened Grand Hyatt Doha, a hotel and             providing information for tourists wishing to visit these events.”
      residential complex, which is the latest addition to Qatar’s luxury
hospitality offerings and the first Hyatt hotel to be built in the country.     Two Garden Inn Hotels to Open in Riyadh

Situated in Doha’s new West Bay Lagoon district, Grand Hyatt Doha                  ilton Hotels Corporation announced the signing of two
is located on 38 acres (155,000 sq m) of idyllic beachfront and offers             management agreements with the Al Hokair Group to launch the
249 well-appointed guest rooms along with 91 private residences. The         first two Hilton Garden Inn properties in the Middle East in Riyadh,
hotel is located just minutes from the city’s financial and commercial        Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The first, the 180-room Hilton Garden
centers, and places of cultural and historical interest, including the       Inn Riyadh Olaya, is scheduled to open mid-2009, followed by the
newly launched Museum of Islamic Art. Business and leisure travelers         196-room Hilton Garden Inn Riyadh Al Muroj scheduled to open in
to the area will find it convenient to the Doha International Airport, only   Q1 2010. The 180-room Hilton Garden Inn Riyadh Olaya is located
12.5 miles (20km) from the property. The hotel, with its magnificent          in downtown Riyadh, at the heart of the capital’s business and retail
old-world exterior design and modern furnishings, will provide the           district. The hotel, situated near the cross-section of the capital’s
highest quality accommodation to the growing numbers of domestic             four main streets - Makkah Road, King Abdullah Road, King Abdul
and inbound visitors discovering Doha as an ideal destination for            Aziz Road and the Takhasussi Road, is easily accessible from all the
business, meetings, culture and sport. Grand Hyatt Doha boasts 249           major business and trade centres. The 196-room Hilton Garden Inn
spacious and stylish guestrooms beautifully designed using rich woods        Riyadh Al Muroj on the North Ring Road will be in close proximity to
to complement fine textiles. The 39 premium suites range in size from         the wealthiest business corridor in Riyadh, the King Fahadh Road, and
nearly 861 sq ft (80 sq m) to 2,200 sq ft (205 sq m), and open onto          the capital’s booming financial centre, King Abdullah Financial District.
large balconies with panoramic views of the beach and landscaped             Hilton Garden Inn hotels are designed to be highly functional and
gardens. All rooms provide spacious marble baths that open up to             comfortable, making travel easy and pleasurable. Amenities include the
the guestrooms and some suites feature large balconies furnished             pressure-reducing Garden Sleep System bed that can be adjusted
with dining tables, day beds and lounging chairs. In addition to its         to the guests’ preferred firmness: a spacious, uncluttered desk in
249 guestrooms, the hotel offers 91 private residences with a choice         each guest room; complimentary wired and WiFi internet access,
of two, three or four bedrooms. The residences provide a sanctuary           complimentary work-out facility (subject to availability), as well as a
of comfort and convenience for those who prefer home essentials              selection of dining choices including a restaurant, room service, coffee
while enjoying the hotel’s full services, facilities and amenities. Each     and juice bar and the Pavilion Pantry , a convenient mini-market which
residence is appointed with multiple flat-screen televisions, iPod            sells snacks, microwaveable and fresh meals, and an assortment
docking stations, dual line and wireless telephones, Internet access         of beverages. Each hotel will also provide three meeting rooms, a
and safety deposit boxes. In total, the hotel features more than 23,000      prayer room, and 24-hour complimentary use of business centre.
sq ft (2,200 sq m) of function space laid out over two floors. The            Furthermore, the Olaya property will also feature a fitness centre
large conference center features a magnificent 16,000 sq ft (1,500            and car park, whilst the Al Muroj hotel will offer two multi-purpose
sq m) ballroom, divisible into three; eight meeting rooms; and three         banqueting halls.
boardrooms. For the convenience of guests, chilled indoor car parking
is available with 564 spaces providing direct access to the ballroom           Premier Inn Hotels to Operate New Hotels
and meeting rooms.
                                                                             P    remier Inn Hotels has secured sites for new hotels in Fujairah,
                                                                                  Umm Al Qawain and Ras Al Khaimah, and work is expected to
                                                                             start on the projects towards the end of the year. Darroch Crawford,

                  Saudi Arabia                                               managing director, Premier Inn Hotels in the Middle East, announced
                                                                             that the company has bought plots in Umm Al Qawain and RAK and
                                                                             arranged to lease a plot in Fujairah. The hotel in Fujairah which will be
    Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Records 1,344                                    near the Port and Business Park, will have 200 rooms, a restaurant,
                                                                             a bar, a Costa Coffee store and a swimming pool. Ras Al Khaimah
    Tourism Events in 2008                                                   Premier Inn will have the same facilities as Fujairah, but with 232

I  n 2008, SCTA’s electronic tourism calendar listed 1,344 tourism           rooms. The hotel is very centrally located on the same road as the
   events in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The posted events varied           Hilton, near the Creek and between the two main shopping malls.
between national and international events such as conferences,               Umm Al Qawain Premier Inn will be on the main road through Umm
symposia, tourism festivals, exhibitions, ceremonies, cultural activities,   Al Qawain serving Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah. No swimming pool is
sports, etc. While MICE and tourism festivals topped the list, the           planned for the UAQ property
largest number of events was recorded in the Saudi Capital, Riyadh.
On one hand, the calendar’s main objective is assisting tourists in            Launch of Boat Show in The Kingdom of
finding needed information whether it is tourism events, exhibitions,           Saudi Arabia
or conferences held in the Kingdom or, on the other hand, assisting
the organizers of these events and service providers, such as hotels,
to plan ahead according to the expected demand, which is based on
                                                                             O    rganisers of the Dubai International Boat Show have announced
                                                                                  its intention to launch the Saudi International Boat Show at the
                                                                             Al Furusya Marine & Yacht Club in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
accurate information. The calendar is an accessible method to obtain
                                                                             on the 28 - 31 October 2009. “Jeddah is the top destination of leisure
information throughout the Kingdom from one trust-worthy source.
                                                                             marine lifestyle in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It presents tremendous
It is updated continuously, almost on a daily basis, with a search
                                                                             opportunities for growth in the boating and marine tourism industry.
engine that searches based on events, regions, dates, themes, etc.
                                                                             With our proven experience and trusted reputation in organising one
The browser can also review daily or monthly activities. Mr. Hamad
                                                                             of the most dynamic boat shows in the world, we continue to work
Al Sheikh, general director SCTA’s programs and tourism products
                                                                             hard to explore the full potential and opportunity for a robust launch of
department, explained that the e-calendar has recorded a rise in
                                                                             the Saudi International Boat Show in the coming months,” said Helal
the number of events in 2008, which resulted from the collaboration
                                                                             Saeed Almarri, CEO, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
of several bodies to register and feed the calendar with information
either directly, through e-mail, or several other means. Mr. Al-Sheikh

20 May 2009                                                                                                            A&T Travel Magazine
                                                                                                              News From Countries
                                                                             Syria Became The Guest Country of EMITT
  Sudan Announced New Tourism Policy
                                                                           W      ith a declaration from Ministry of Tourism of Syria, it was
                                                                                  announced that, with the participation of Dr. Saadallah Agha
                                                                           al-Qalaa, Minister of Tourism of Syria in EMITT (International Eastern

T   he Government of Southern Sudan has drawn a new policy                 Mediterranean Tourism Fair) held in Istanbul, the close relations
    aimed at providing a foundation for the restoration of the tourism     starting from here resulted in Syria’s decision to participate as a
industry in the region in the coming years. The new strategy will also     guest country. During the EMITT Fair, Syria attending as a “Guest
be followed by new legislation and regulations for the sector. Six of      Country” performed various activities involving consumers/vacationers
the former national parks have since the signing in early 2005 of the      and professionals-oriented. It was revealed that, apart from all the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Sudan Liberation                 participant countries, Syria presented at all points especially to travel
                                                                           agencies and tourists. It was also announced that during the fair, Syria
Movement/Army and the Khartoum regime, been restored and
                                                                           will inform the investors by showcasing opportunities in that country for
the inventories of game on site taken so far are better than many
                                                                           tourism investors.
expected. After three years of relative peace, interest in southern
Sudan for wildlife has been growing in recent years with some selected
private outfits operating in the region. There are several protected
                                                                             Turkey and Syria Signed Executive Program
areas now including Boma National Park. It is one of the world’s most        Agreement at EMITT
dramatic movements of animals that witnessed the largest wildlife
migration of the world. Besides its wildlife-based attractions in the
region, it is also a home to many rivers, including the Nile, where
white water rafting and other river based adventure activities can take
place. The Southern Sudan also contains the “Sudd,” arguably the
world’s most extensive wetland along the river Nile, all of which is a
birdwatchers paradise and the cultural variety across the Southern
tribes is legendary in any case. Tourism is one of the top five sectors
being looked at hence the development of its full potential in southern
Sudan would attract thousands of tourists into the region. It would
generate more jobs for citizens as well as become the second leading
industry after petroleum. Source: AfricaNews

  Tourism in Syria to account for 13 percent
  of GDP
                                                                           T   he 13th edition East Mediterranean International Tourism and
                                                                               Travel (EMITT) fair held in Istanbul 12-15 February 2009. Turkish

T    he World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) expected tourism to
     account for 11.2 percent of Syria’s GDP in 2009 and to rise to
13 percent of GDP in 2019. It forecast the broad tourism and travel
                                                                           Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay, and Syria Tourism
                                                                           Minister Dr. Saadallah Aghaa Al Kala has officially opened the fair.
                                                                           Several international companies from 50 countries, 100 city and
economy to generate demand of $4.7 billion in 2009, growing to $7.7        regional Turkish tourism authorities and about 3000 tourism companies
billion in 2019. It projected the sector’s real growth rate at 4 percent   attended this year’s fair. On the opening day of EMITT, Turkish Culture
in 2009 and to average 4.9 percent during the 2010-19 period. The          and Tourism Minister and Syrian Tourism Minister signed “2009-
WTTC said that personal travel and tourism would generate $1.4             2011 7th Executive Program Agreement”. With the agreement, both
billion this year, growing by 4.8 percent annually to reach $2.3 billion   countries are aiming to enhance tourism. At the opening speech of the
in 2019, while business travel should generate some $290 million in        conference and signing ceremony, Mr. Gunay said that Turkey, Syria,
2009 and grow by a yearly average of 2.9 percent to $396 million           and some North African countries recorded over the average tourism
in 2019. It estimated capital investment in the travel and tourism         growth of world tourism. “We have to continue this growth percentage
economy at $640 million in 2009 and at $878.4 million within 10            over the world average” said Mr. Gunay. Mr. Gunay also stated that
years.                                                                     tourist traffic between Turkey and Syria is increasing. “I wish the
                                                                           increasing number of tourist flow between two continues continue
  Damascus Hosts 1st Arab Tourism                                          to grow,” added Mr. Gunay. Mr. Murat Dedeman head of Dedeman
                                                                           Holding and Chairman of Turkish Tourism Investors Association said
  Investment Market Forum and Conference                                   that Dedeman Hotels & Resorts manages three hotels in Syria. Mr.

A    nnual Tourism Investment Market Forum Organizing Committee            Dedeman said, “I hope more investments take place between the two
     discussed under the chairmanship of Minister of Tourism, Saadalla     countries”.
Agha al-Qalaa, the necessary preparations for making the 1st Arab
Tourism Investment Market Forum and conference which Damascus                UAE Interiors Supplier Inks Syrian Hotel
hosts between 28th and 30th of April this year simultaneously with the       Contract
holding of the 5th Arab Tourism Investment Market Forum a success.
During the conference, the Syrian experience in launching the
tourism investment in Syria will be presented through holding tourism      G    reenline Interiors, a UAE-based interiors supplier, has received
                                                                                a Dhs700m contract for the interior design and fit-out of
                                                                           three luxury hotels that form part of a tourist resort currently under
investment markets forums and discussing the opportunities of Arab
tourism investment to overcome the world economic crisis in addition       development in the city of Tartus, Syria. The resort will be built on 1.5
                                                                           kilometers of reclaimed land and will include three luxury hotels and
to the organization of an exhibition of the most important Arab tourism
                                                                           furnished apartments located around a marina walk and an old cultural
projects in general and those in Syria in particular.
                                                                           and heritage market.

A&T Travel Magazine                                                                                                      May 2009 21
News From Countries
    Train Service Launched Between Syria and                                 country’s various cosmetic clinics, Tunisia is increasingly becoming a
                                                                             hub for medical tourism. According to the latest figures released by
    Turkey                                                                   the Tunisian Central Bank, health tourism revenues have reached 60

T    he passenger train service between Turkey southern province of          million dinars in 2007. Most of the revenues are generated by medical
     Mersin and Syria’s Aleppo launched on Thursday, March 12. The           acts in the sectors of cosmetic surgery, orthopaedic interventions, eye
Aleppo-Mersin train departs from Aleppo at 9 p.m. every Monday and           surgery, heart surgery and dentistry. Tunisia is also the world’s second
Thursday, and it departs from Mersin at 11 p.m. every Friday. It takes       destination for thalasso therapy. In 2007 151,000 visitors, mostly from
a little over nine hours to travel between the Turkish and Syrian cities.    France and Switzerland, stayed in one of the country’s 41 thalasso
Consisting of five passenger cars and one dining car, the train can           therapy units authorized by the Public Health Ministry in 2007.
carry 260 passengers. The two countries are also planning to start           Source:
train services between Aleppo and Gaziantep.

                                                                               U..S. President Visited Ankara and
    Tunisia’s Tourism Income up 6% in 2008                                     İstanbul
I ncome of Tunisia’s key tourism rose by 6 percent during Jan. 1
  to Dec. 20 in 2008 over the same period of the previous year,
reaching 2.9 billion dinars (2.15 billion U.S. dollars), local daily Le
                                                                             U     .S. President Barack Obama visited Turkey between 5 and 7
                                                                                   April. At his two-day visit to Turkish capital Ankara and Istanbul,
                                                                             Obama met Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep
Temps reported. The increase came from holidaymakers coming                  Tayyip Erdogan. On Monday, April 6, U.S. President Barack Obama
from Maghreb countries, including Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, and            visited the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of
Morocco, the report said. Libyan and Algerian tourists drove the             Republic of Turkey, and wrote in the special book of the mausoleum
total number of foreign visitors to 6.8 million during the period of         that Ataturk’s legacy inspires the whole world and that he will support
Jan. 1 to Dec. 20 in 2008, up 4 percent over the same period of the          Ataturk’s modern and democratic vision. U.S. President also made a
previous year. Tourists from neighboring Libya and Algeria numbered          historic speech at the Turkish parliament in Ankara. In his 45-minutes-
1.6 million and 1.4 million respectively. Tunisia, which tops African        long speech Mr. Obama said, “Turkey is a critical ally. Turkey is an
tourist destinations, fears the recession of its main market Europe          important part of Europe. Turkey and the United States must stand
would affect the tourism business, the country’s main foreign currency       together – and work together – to overcome the challenges of
source. According to the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism           our time,”. Mr. Obama later travelled to Istanbul and had separate
Competitiveness report 2007, Tunisia ranked among the leading                meetings with the U.S. mission at the U.S. Consulate General and
countries in terms of strategic and political priorities devoted to travel   representatives of different religions; Grand Mufti of Istanbul Mustafa
and tourism sectors. Tourism has provided some 380,000 direct and            Cagrici, Syrian Orthodox Archbishop Yusuf Cetin, Chief Rabbi of
indirect jobs for the northern African country, according to government      Istanbul Isak Haleva, and Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II Archbishop
figures. Source: Xinhua                                                       Aram Stesyan. U.S. President Barack Obama accompanied by Turkish
                                                                             Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister
    Tunisia SPA and Thalasso Therapy Fair                                    Ertugrul Gunay visited the Hagia Sophia Museum and the Blue

F    rench Embassy in Tunisia organized the SPA and Thalasso                 Mosque in Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet district. Obama also met
     Therapy Fair took place in Tunis from March 25 to 27, 2009.             with university students for a town hall-style session after visiting the
Tunis hosted the second edition of the event which titled “Tunisian-         Hagia Sofia Museum and the Sultanahmet Mosque. U.S. President
French spa and thalasso therapy meetings” after the first meeting in          Barack Obama left Turkey on Tuesday afternoon.U.S. President
2007. The second edition of the fair presented the French experience         Barack Obama stayed at Sheraton Ankara Hotel iand Conrad Hotel
in the sector through business meetings with French companies                Istanbul
specialized in engineering, cosmetics, equipment, food and water
treatment. With its 47 state of the art thalasso therapy                        Turkey Focuses on Meetings Industry
units and its 90 mineral spas, Tunisia is the second
spa and thalasso therapy destination in the world
after France. The sector has attracted some 160,000
visitors in 2008.

    Tunisia to Build a Health Tourism

A    health tourism complex will soon be built in
     the El Khabayat region near Gabes, a coastal
town located some 400 kilometres south of the
capital. Covering an area of 140 hectares, the
complex will comprise several health cure centres
using essentially thermal waters for which the area is
known. Investment costs will reach some 400,000
dinars and the complex will include hotels, leisure
facilities, including a golf course as well as a congress
centre The launch of the works is expected to take
place during the second part of 2009 The project is
also expected to generate hundreds of employments
and give a boost to the region’s economy. With some
102,000 patients having undergone treatment in the

22 May 2009                                                                                                           A&T Travel Magazine
                                                                                                                   News From Countries
                                                                              Hotel, Istanbul
                                                                            Radisson SAS Conference & Airport Hotel, Istanbul; which is con-
                                                                            veniently located near Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport and close to the city’s
                                                                            main exhibition centers. The hotel is only 25 minutes drive from the city
                                                                            center and can easily be reached via city express way and the TEM
                                                                            highway. The hotel has 326 well-appointed rooms, including Superior
                                                                            Class rooms, Business Class rooms, Duplex Business rooms, Suites and
                                                                            three rooms for the disabled. Equipped to the very highest standards, all
                                                                            rooms have air-conditioning, mini bar, free wireless internet, direct dial
                                                                            telephone, electronic personal safe, hair dryer and satellite TV. Marble
                                                                            walls in the bathrooms create a relaxing atmosphere. The latest secu-
                                                                            rity features have been installed in each room. There is 24-hour room
                                                                            service, express laundry, dry cleaning facilities and underground parking
                                                                            garage for guests’ cars. Business Class rooms include extras such as;
                                                                            free movie channels, free newspaper, Nespresso machine, trouser press
                                                                            and Super Buffet breakfast. Free Broadband including wireless Internet
                                                                            access is available throughout the hotel to all registered hotel guests.
                                                                            Decorated in warm, bright colours, Olivos Restaurant offers Mediterra-
                                                                            nean cuisine in smart but casual and comfortable surroundings. Open all
                                                                            day, Olivos serves the renowned Radisson SAS Super Breakfast buffet
                                                                            from early morning and sumptuous lunches and dinners. Enjoy traditional
                                                                            flavors in a fine atmosphere where tasty dishes are prepared with flair
                                                                            and imagination and you are waited on with service second to none.

I stanbul Chamber of Commerce-ICOC is one of the semi public
  institutions which highly contribute in the development of meeting
industry in Istanbul. As initiated by Dr. Murat Yalcintas, Chairman of
                                                                            Newly renovated Lobby and The Mandarin Bar offers snacks and great
                                                                            drinks while meeting your friends. You can fight the stress and fatigue
                                                                            of the busy day in the fitness center of the hotel. The sauna, the fitness
Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ICOC) and President of Istanbul               center and the solarium are the perfect places to start your busy day or
Convention & Visitors Bureau-ICVB, the necessity of regulation for          to rest after a long day. For the most energetic and active people, there
sustainable financial resources and legal structuring of destination         is a gym equipped with the best and modern sports facilities
marketing organizations throughout Turkey starting from Istanbul is
now the most important issue of Turkey’s meeting industry which led
to the studies on draft law for CVBs carried out by the Ministry
of Culture and Tourism. To discuss related developments,
ICOC organized a panel titled “Developing Lodging and
Congress Tourism in Turkey” with the participation of tourism
industry’s prominent names as speakers on 06 January 2009.
Mr. Cumhur Guven Tasbasi; Director General of Promotion
at Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister summarized the
importance of congress tourism for Turkey and briefed on the
studies for regulation of CVBs foreseen to be established in
major cities of Turkey.

    WOW Hotels to Host 1st Bossaball World

W      OW Bodrum Resort and WOW Antalya Hotels are                                          Discover
                                                                         Istanbul in Style!
       hosting The First World Cup of Bossaball with the
participation of 6 teams in Turkey. Teams from Brazil, Belgium,
the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will attend and an
American TV Channel will broadcast the World Cup Live. Turkey
which will be informed first time with this sport will attend the         Fly in and meet...
cup by forming a team. The First Bossaball World Cup will take           326 rooms and suites, Olivios Restaurant for creative Mediterranean
place at WOW Bodrum Resort 4-5 May 2009 and at WOW                       cuisine, Atrium Lounge & Lobby and The Mandarin Bar to chill out
Antalya Hotels on 7-9 May 2009. Bossaball is a ball game                 with friends, Health Club with Fitness Center, Indoor pool, Turkish Bath,
between 2 teams. It’s a mix of volleyball, football, gymnastics          Sauna, Solarium, free airport shuttle each hour, Free high-speed Internet,
and capoeira. The court is a combination of inflatables and               100% guest satisfaction...
trampolines, divided by a net. It takes less than 45 minutes to          Everything to ensure you have an unforgettable stay in Turkey!
set it all up and get ready to play.. The game can be set up on
diverse locations: hotels, amusement parks, sports clubs, beach          Radisson SAS Conference & Airport Hotel
clubs, music festivals, fairs, summer camps, camping grounds,            E-5 Karayolu Uzeri, 34295 Sefakoy Istanbul, Turkey
sales promotions, entertainment industry events, ski resorts,  
shopping centers, water parks, schools, discotheques... As a
spectacular attraction, bossaball draws the crowds wherever it
goes.                                                                    +90 212 425 73 73
    Radisson SAS Conference & Airport                          

A&T Travel Magazine                                                                                                           May 2009 23
News From Countries
                                                                             stressed Alabbar. Airline passenger arrivals into Dubai have grown an
                                                                             average five per cent in the past two months. The number of passen-
                  U.A.E.                                                     ger arrivals, not including transit passengers, was an average of over
                                                                             1.5 million per month in the last two months of 2008. While stress-
                                                                             ing that Dubai is a fully integrated participant in the global economy
    Million Tourists to Visit Saadiyat Island                                and is therefore not immune to the current worldwide financial slow-

T    ourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), a master
     developer of major cultural, residential and tourism destinations
in Abu Dhabi, is fast on track with its Saadiyat Island’s major
                                                                             down, he said: “Here in Dubai, we represent the trade, investment
                                                                             and knowledge hub for the Gulf, which has a population of 40 million
                                                                             and an economy that has grown three-fold in only five years to US$1
infrastructure projects. TDIC has achieved significant progress on all        trillion. We are also in the heart of the wider Middle East, North Africa
of its current developments on the 27-square kilometre island situated       and South Asia (MENASA) region that is home to one quarter of the
offshore the UAE capital which is being transformed into a signature         world’s population.
leisure, residential and cultural destination. The 1.4-kilometre 10-lane
Saadiyat Bridge, currently one of Abu Dhabi’s largest infrastructure           Dubai to Host Middle East Tourism
projects, is well on track with 80 percent of works completed. This
emerging landmark will officially open in September of this year to
                                                                               Marketing Summit
provide public access from Abu Dhabi city onto Saadiyat Island. By           Dubai has been selected as the host destination for the inaugural Mid-
mid-April 2009, only one lane will be connected for the first time from       dle East Tourism Marketing Summit, which will take place in December
Abu Dhabi to Saadiyat and only onsite construction vehicles will be          2009. Under the Patronage of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and
able to access the new bridge. The Saadiyat Link, a 6.5-kilometre            Commerce Marketing, and supported by the Dubai Chamber of Com-
10-lane highway stretching across the island, is already two-thirds          merce & Industry, the event has been hailed as an “essential platform
completed. When the Link is fully constructed in September 2009,             for tourism marketing professionals in the region to support their busi-
it will connect the western part of the island to Saadiyat Bridge and        ness growth strategies and ensure return on investment on marketing
the north-eastern part will be linked to the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway         allocations” by organisers and supporting partners. “The Summit is
making it an easy 15-minute drive to Abu Dhabi Airport. Work is              an opportunity for tourism industry professionals to meet with industry
also progressing on the Arabian Gulf’s only seaside Saadiyat Beach           specialists and gather new, essential business information,” said Jerad
Golf Course. On schedule to open in September 2009, the 72-par               Bachar, Director of the Dubai Convention Bureau on behalf of Dubai’s
course is designed by golfing legend Gary Player. The shaping of the          Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
18 holes is complete and grassing of the final holes is now underway
Construction of the Academy clubhouse has also commenced. Also,                New Body to Promote Tourism in UAE
the main piling work has been completed on Starwood’s first luxury St.        Promoting and improving tourism at the national level will be the task
Regis Hotel & Residences in the UAE. This is one of a number of high-        of the newly announced federal tourism body in the capital. Estab-
end resorts planned for nine kilometres of shoreline on Saadiyat Island.     lished by the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al
Much anticipated highlight in the island’s development will be the           Nahyan, the new body will be operational the UAE Ministry of Culture.
museum groundbreakings in Saadiyat Island’s iconic Cultural District,        “A federal decree has been issued. Our next step is to chalk out the
which combines the world’s largest single concentration of premier           details of how this department would work,” said Bilal Bodour, Under-
cultural institutions. Preparation for the building platforms on which the   secretary at the Ministry of Culture. “Since this is going to be a national
museums will sit is almost complete after which foundation work will         tourism authority, we will probably have representatives from each of
begin. A rock bund, placed around the perimeter of where the Louvre          the seven emirates’ tourism entities working with us,” he added. The
Abu Dhabi will be erected, is two-thirds complete and is scheduled to        Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority alone has plans to attract 2.7 million visi-
be fully constructed by May 2009 when a groundbreaking ceremony              tors in the emirate by the end of 2012, with an emphasis on business,
will mark the event. Groundbreakings of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi             luxurious, cultural and eco tourism. Source: Khaleej Times
Museum and the Sheikh Zayed National Museum are scheduled for
the third quarter of this year. Saadiyat’s Construction Village, which         UAE Hotels Top Performers in Region
can accommodate up to 20,000 workers, will be completed by the end
of July 2009, with an early release of 5000 beds by May.                     Hotels in Abu Dhabi and Dubai have both secured places in Deloitte’s
                                                                             global hotel performance for revenue per available room (revPAR) for
    Dubai Experiencing Sustained Business                                    2008. Dubai earned a place in all three top 20 tables for occupancy,
                                                                             average room rate and revenue per available room (revPAR). Dubai’s
    and Tourism Growth                                                       average room rate was $300 and revPAR was $237. This made it the
Despite challenging financial conditions globally, Dubai continues to         second highest revPAR and the third best average room rates in the
witness sustained net growth in the establishment of new businesses          world, an annual Deloitte report said. Abu Dhabi also saw an increase
and increased airline passenger arrivals, according to the Chairman          in revPAR, up 46 percent to $231 per night, earning the capital city
of the Advisory Council of the Government of Dubai, a high-level             the fourth place in revPAR, just $6 behind Dubai. Occupancy rates of
economic advisory body established at the direction of His Highness          81.5 percent also earned the city third place in the world. Doha and
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime              Muscat were also in the top ten cities for revPAR. Abu Dhabi to Have
Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Addressing over 250 private          35,000 Hotel Rooms by 2012 TRI Hospitality Consulting has opened
business leaders in Dubai, the Advisory Council Chairman, His Excel-         a new office in Abu Dhabi. The company, consolidating about three
lency Mohamed Alabbar, provided data on a range of key indicators            decades of experience in the Middle East, said that hotels that are
of the economic health of the emirate, including its real estate sector,     under construction or confirmed with a signed hotel operators in Abu
which is forecast to experience supply-demand equilibrium in 2009.           Dhabi could result in a total of 35,000 rooms in the capital by 2012.
In November and December of 2008, the Government of Dubai is-                However, the accelerated growth in hotel rooms, especially in the
sued 1,285 new business licenses per month, up significantly from             upmarket sector could be significantly affected by potential delays of
1,045 per month for the same period in 2007. During November and             some of these projects, said the TRI research.
December of 2008, the Government of Dubai cancelled 148 licenses
per month, in comparison to 131 licenses cancelled per month during
the same period in 2007. This shows that the number of new busi-
nesses set up in Dubai has grown, despite the global financial crisis,

24 May 2009                                                                                                            A&T Travel Magazine
                                                                                                                             News From Countries
  Over 1.5 million Tourists Visited Sharjah in                                       some headway as ADTA recently received 2,600 applications from Emiratis
                                                                                     at a recent careers forum.” As part of its business tourism drive, the ADTA
  2008                                                                               is dedicating the week March 28-April 3 this year to the promotion of this
                                                                                     lucrative industry segment. The week coincides with the staging, at ADNEC, of
T   he Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA)
    announced detailed statistics for the performance of Sharjah’s tourism
sector performance for the year ending December 31, 2008. During this
                                                                                     the Gulf Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (GIBTM), the Arabian
                                                                                     Gulf’s leading international trade show for the MICE industry.
period, the tourism sector continued the substantial growth that it saw in
2007, with the overall number of guests climbing from the 1.45 million seen
                                                                                       Abu Dhabi to be Promoted as an
in 2007, to 1.53 million in 2008, achieving growth of over five percent. This           International Sports Tourism Destination
increase in tourism pushed the overall occupancy in Sharjah’s hotels to 86
percent in 2008, up from 85 percent in 2007. Occupancy in hotel apartments
rose to 86 percent in 2008 up from 85 percent in 2007. The total occupancy
                                                                                     N     exus Global Events Ltd. announced they are expanding their events
                                                                                           portfolio in Abu Dhabi, with the launch of Sports Arabia. Sports Arabia
                                                                                     will quickly establish itself as the Middle East & North Africa (Mena) regions
of hotels and hotel apartments in the emirate of Sharjah was 80 percent in           premier B2B platform for sports manufacturers, suppliers, designers,
2008, maintaining the same rate of 2007 and showing sustained growth in              architects, wellness, health & fitness clubs, consultants, nutritional experts,
2008 despite the impact of the global economic crisis on the tourism sectors         anti ageing professionals and academic institutes in order for them to come
in the fourth quarter of 2008. The number of hotels and hotel apartments in          together, network and conduct sports business in a professional environment.
the emirate has increased by 7 percent to 103 hotel premises during 2008,            Taking place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec) and
37 hotels and 66 hotel apartments, as compared to 96 hotel premises, 33              strategically located in the capital of the UAE, home to one of the richest
hotels and 63 hotel apartments. Accordingly, the number of hotel rooms               countries in the world, Sports Arabia will set a new standard for sporting
increased to 3,896 in 2008 from 3,721 in 2007, while the number of hotel             exhibitions in the Arab World when it opens its doors on October 13-15 2009.
apartment rooms rose to 3,751 in 2008, compared to 3,238 in 2007. The                ‘This brings a real buzz and excitement to Nexus’s portfolio of events in the
total number of hotel and hotel apartment rooms rose to 7,647 rooms, a               Mena region,’ said Managing Director Neil Manwaring. ‘It’s our intention to
10 percent increase over the 6,959 rooms that were available in 2007. The            develop Sports Arabia into the premier sporting exhibition in the entire Mena
number of guests surged to 1,535,234 in 2008, a five percent growth as                region.’
compared to the1,456,058 guests reported last year. The number of hotel
and hotel apartment guests climbed to 824,135 and 711,099, respectively,
against 722,948 and 733,110 recorded in 2007. Figures also show that the
                                                                                       Europe and The Middle East Lead Global
total number of occupied room nights rose to 1,504,859 in 2008, up from                Hotel Performance
1,498,197 in 2007. This figure includes 882,599 guests in hotels, up from
847,556, and 622,260 guests in hotel apartments compared to 650,641 in
2007.According to statistics from SCTDA, European tourists accounted for 35
                                                                                     M    ajor cities in Europe and the Middle East lead global hotel performance,
                                                                                          taking seven spots each in the world’s top 20 revenue per available room
                                                                                     (revPAR) rankings. It is revealed in a report produced annually by Deloitte
per cent of the total tourist arrivals to the emirate in 2008, while GCC tourists
                                                                                     Touche Tohmatsu. The global tourism industry saw a significant slowdown in
accounted for 27 per cent and 12 per cent came from other Arab countries.
                                                                                     most world regions in 2008, particularly in the final quarter, as the economic
Asian tourists made up 23 per cent of the total, while tourists from the US,
                                                                                     meltdown trickled through and impacted leisure and business travellers.
Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Pacific region made up the
                                                                                     Despite this slowdown, many cities across the world achieved strong hotel
remaining 3 per cent.
                                                                                     performance. Six cities secured places on all three top 20 ranking tables
                                                                                     (occupancy, average room rate and revPAR) including New York, Abu Dhabi,
  Abu Dhabi’s MICE Potential Expanding                                               London, Dubai, Paris and Tel Aviv. Deloitte said that the two emirates ranked
                                                                                     second and fourth respectively, on the top 20 cities with the highest revenue
O     ne of the world’s leading experts in tourism’s highly lucrative Meetings,
      Incentive, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) sector says Abu Dhabi is
poised to rise up the industry’s rankings with Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions
                                                                                     per available room (revPAR), with Doha (8th), Muscat (10th), Riyadh (11th)
                                                                                     and Manama (17th). Moscow was number one.
Company’s purchase of ExCel London expanding the emirate’s global business
tourism outreach. The bullish prognosis came from Tom Hulton, Director of              Rotana Soft Opens First Property in Ras Al
International Relations of the International Meetings Exhibition (IMEX) who was
in the UAE capital to address the first IMEX/MPI Future Leaders Forum to be
held in the Middle East. The forum – a key training initiative to develop aspiring
MICE professionals which has run throughout Scandinavia, Europe and the Far          T    he Cove Rotana Resort is located at the entrance of the Ras Al Khaimah
                                                                                          emirate on an idyllic water inlet at Arqoob beach overlooking the Indian
                                                                                     Ocean. Commenting on this announcement, Omer Z. Kaddouri Senior Vice
East– was attended by 60 Emiratis keen to explore sector career opportunities
with Hulton say the potential for local employment in the specialised segment        President Rotana UAE expressed confidence and excitement about the
is “very strong.” “We are here to encourage Emiratis to dig deeper into the          new opening saying that “There is no better way to start the New Year than
opportunities available in the tourism industry. The perception of the industry      with the opening of The Cove Rotana Resort, bringing the renowned Rotana
does appear to be gradually changing among the national workforce. The               hospitality to Ras Al Khaimah. This is a milestone project for Rotana and we
staging of this forum in Abu Dhabi recognises the MICE potential of this             are very proud to be managing this resort, which is our first in Ras Al Khaimah.
emirate and of neighbouring destinations,” said Hulton, the former Chief             The Cove Rotana Resort, Ras Al Khaimah offers the pleasures of graceful
Executive of the International Congress and Convention Association. Hulton           living and boasts more than 600 meters of beach, stunning waters and a
said Abu Dhabi now had a world-class MICE infrastructure in place with               multitude of activities. Indulgent amenities such as a well appointed leisure
the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) and its purchase and                and fitness centre and an excellent choice of restaurants, bar and lounge, all
expansion of ExCel in London left the emirate “well placed to capitalise on          come together to create a new and irresistible oasis of enchantment in the
its improved global outreach” within the US $300 billion business tourism            emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Rooms, Suites and Villas at the Cove Rotana
sector. “The next step is to develop future leaders for the industry,” said          Resort combines intimacy, comfort, exclusivity with the personalized service
Hulton. “This is a matter of training and of imparting a better understanding        and attention to detail that are the hallmarks of Rotana. Guests at this resort
of what the sector is about and ensuring it is rightfully perceived as one of the    are reminded of the Arabian splendours with the design touches that give
most important generators of tourism revenue.” To date, Emiratis account for         every room a distinct sense of place. The resort offers the discerning traveller
around one percent of the 47,700 jobs Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry directly          202 hotel rooms and 76 one, two and three bedroom villas ideally designed
supports, according to economic modelling undertaken by the Abu Dhabi                to accommodate families or a group of friends. With a Nubian touch in their
Tourism Authority (ADTA) and based on 2007 data. The authority is looking            design most of the guest rooms offer breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean
to improve the ratio to 5% by 2012. “The analysis showed tourism accounting          private balconies or terraces; while the two and three bedroom villas are
for 4.3% of employment within Abu Dhabi emirate and 1.2% of its GDP,”                also equipped with a private plunge pool. All rooms include attractive and
explained Nasser Al Reyami, Director, Tourism Standards, ADTA. “The total            contemporary accessories with modern day amenities such as multi channel
tourism impact, however, which includes the direct, indirect and induced impact      TV, tea coffee making facilities, IDD telephone, mini bar and personal in-room
of tourism sees the industry accounting for 108,000 jobs and 3.6% of GDP.            safe. The Cove Rotana Resort -Ras Al Khaimah is all about fun, leisure and
“ADTA is focussing heavily on the MICE segment because of its high return-           relaxation with its recreational facilities such Bodylines Leisure & Fitness Club,
on-investment ratio and the destination has been given greater sector focus          including a fully equipped gymnasium with advanced resistance training and
with its appointment as host of the World Ophthalmology Congress in 2012,            cardio equipment, Jacuzzi, steam, sauna rooms and 7 massage rooms. Water
which will bring around 12,000 delegates to the emirate. “Emiratisation within       sports activities of every kind, Flippers Kid’s Club, two swimming pools of
the tourism sector is a priority for the ADTA and the MICE segment is one            700sqm each and 600 meters of sandy beach.
which could have major appeal to young, aspiring nationals. We are currently
pursuing a campaign of educating UAE nationals on the wide variety of career
opportunities open to them within the industry and believe we are making

A&T Travel Magazine                                                                                                                      May 2009 25
News From Countries
  Citymax Hotels open 3 new Hotels in UAE.                                Lufthansa passengers can avail of one additional flight being part of
                                                                          the Yemen schedule, departing on Saturdays from Sana’a to Frankfurt.
C    itymax Hotels open 3 new hotels in UAE untill end of 2009.
     The three-star mid market segment priced Citymax Bur Dubai
                                                                          The state-of-the-art aircraft operated is the Airbus A330-300 as well
                                                                          as the A340-300 with a three class onboard product. “We are proud
Hotel offers 693 rooms designed in contemporary style, including          to be able to offer our customers four flights a week. The departure
574 double rooms, 9 twin rooms, 4 disabled rooms, 14 interconnect-        on Saturdays complements our thrice weekly service, thus providing
ing double rooms and 10 interconnecting twin rooms. All rooms are         more flexibility and travel options to our customers”, Lufthansa General
equipped with wireless internet facility, LCD TV with data connections,   Manager Yemen, Patrick Borg Hedley said. The Lufthansa flights
ergonomic work stations and other amenities expected of a first class      from Sana’a to Frankfurt operate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday,
hotel. Citymax Hotel Bur Dubai will be open in October Sharjah’s only     taking off in Sana’a at 23.15 hrs (Monday), at 22.50 hrs (Wednesday)
affordable city hotel offers 260 rooms, including 208 double rooms,       and at 22.40 hrs (Friday), arriving in Frankfurt the next morning at
26 twin rooms, 2 disabled rooms, 13 interconnecting double and 11         08.10 hrs, 07.45 hrs and 07.35 hrs. The flight timings are: LH 653
interconnecting twin. All rooms include wireless internet facility, LCD   departs Sana’a at 22.40 hrs and arrives in Frankfurt at 07.35 hrs
TV with data connections, ergonomic work station, power shower and        in the morning. The return flight of this new service leaves Frankfurt
other amenities expected of a four star hotel. Citymax Sharjah will be    at 10.25 hrs and arrives in Sana’a at 20.55 hrs (Saturday) on flight
open in November Citymax Hotel Al Barsha offer 378 rooms including        number LH 652.
294 double rooms, 56 twin rooms, 2 disabled rooms, 14 interconnect-
ing double and 12 interconnecting twin. All rooms are equipped with
wireless internet facility, LCD TV with data connections, power shower
and other amenities of a four star hotel. Citymax Hotel Al Barsha will       Appointments
be open in December.
                                                                           ● Erdogan Turan has been appointed to
                                                                              Mövenpick Resort Bodrum as General Manager.
                                                                           ● Leyla Taşkin has been appointed to Gardens of
                                                                              Babylon Boutique Hotel and Residences - Bodrum as       Erdogan Turan

                                                                              General Manager.
                                                                           ● Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United
                                                                              Arab Emirates, has appointed Amer Khan as the
                                                                              airline’s country manager for Pakistan.
                                                                           ● Birol Kaymas has been appointed to Dedeman                Amer Khan
                                                                              Hotels & Resorts as Syria Country Manager
                                                                           ● Salih Çene has been named Aska Hotels Executive
                                                                           ● Özer Diler is the new General Manager of Yasmin
                                                                              Bodrum Resort.
                                                                                                                                        Özer Diler
                                                                           ● Özlem Gökşin has been appointed Radisson BLU
  ATM – Dubai to Increase Hosted Buyers                                       Resort & Spa Hotel Çeşme as Sales & Marketing
  Programme                                                                   Director.
                                                                           ● Alper Can Bulçum,is the new General Manager of

R    eed Travel Exhibitions, the organiser of Arabian Travel Market -
     the Middle East’s premier travel and tourism event - has confirmed
its Hosted Buyers programme will increase to 150 top international,
                                                                              Rotana Burjuman Suites in Dubai - UAE
                                                                           ● Duygu Sönmez Kiliç has been appointed Ass. General
                                                                                                                                     Alper Can Bulcum

first time participants for 2009 - up from 120 last year. The Hosted           Manager responsible of Sales and Marketing at Elite
Buyers programme, which identifies high-quality buyers in terms of             World Hotel in Talimhane, Istanbul.
purchasing and decision-making power, allows Reed Travel Exhibitions       ● Mark Lankveld has been named new General Manager
to bring in senior industry players from across the globe to meet with        of Radisson SAS Conferences & Airport Hotel in
potential partners. As part of the initiative, Arabian Travel Market -        Istanbul.                                               Mark Lantveld
which takes place from 5-8th May, 2009 at the Dubai International
                                                                           ● Raffles Hotels & Resorts has appointed John Pelling as
Convention ‘&’ Exhibition Centre in the United Arab Emirates - will
continue to stage its opening day Hosted Buyers’ appointment                  General Manager of Raffles Dubai.
session, where buyers and exhibitors can pre-arrange business              ● Kamil Berk has been appointed to Hilton Dalaman as
meetings in advance to maximize time and productivity.                        General Manager.
                                                                           ● Mehmet Mülayim is the new General Manager of              Kamil Berk

                                                                              Ramada Plaza Hotel & Convention Center – Antalya.

                 Yemen                                                     ● Bike Tökü has been appointed to W Hotels Istanbul as
                                                                              Director of Sales & Marketing.
                                                                           ● Can Göktaş has been appointed to Çirağan Palace
  Lufthansa Boosts Flight Schedule for Yemen                                  Kempinski as Director of Sales & Marketing.

                                                                                                                                        Bike Tökü
    irline connects Sana’a to Frankfurt four times a week; increased
                                                                           ● Ulrich Huth the General Manager of the Cairo Marriott
    capacity provides more flexibility and travel choices for customers
                                                                              Hotel, recently announced the appointment of Ashish
Lufthansa German Airlines announced that it has increased its flights
from Sana’a to Frankfurt to a four times a week service connecting            Khullar as the Director of Revenue.
Yemen to Germany and onwards to a total of 107 destinations in             ● Hakan Balcan named General Manager of Kaya
Europe and 23 cities in the US, a route network matched by none               Ramada Hotel.
                                                                                                                                      Hakan Balcan
other airline in the market. With the beginning of the summer schedule,

26 May 2009                                                                                                             A&T Travel Magazine

  EMITT Held in Istanbul
                           T    he 13th edition East Mediterranean
                                International Tourism and Travel (EMITT)
                           fair held at Istanbul’s TUYAP Beylikduzu
                           Fair and Congress Centre between 12-15
                           February.The fair, being the most important
                           travel exhibition in the region, was opened
                           officially by Turkish Culture and Tourism
Minister Ertugrul Günay, and Syria Tourism Minister Dr. Saadallah
Aghaa Al Kala.During the exhibition days, it was announced
that ITE Group purchased the 75% of EMITT Fair. The addition of
EMITT to ITE’s portfolio is consistent with its strategy of building
market leading positions in core markets and sectors.Despite
the global economic crisis EMITT has recorded a 20% growth in
participation compare to last year. Several international companies
from 50 countries, 100 city and regional Turkish tourism authorities
and about 3000 tourism companies attended EMITT 2009. On the
opening day of EMITT, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister and
Syrian Tourism Minister signed “2009-2011 7th Executive Program
Agreement”. With the agreement, both countries are aiming to
enhance tourism. On Sunday, last day of exhibition; EMITT presented
Best of EMITT 2009. Over 38 stands awarded by their performances
and stand activities during the fair.

 Suat Tore together with Mr. Gunay Turkish Culture and Tourism      Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister and Syrian Tourism Minister signed “2009-2011 7th Executive Program
    Minister Mr. Ertugrul Gunay visited our new publication                                                        Agreement”.
              ‘Arab Turkish Travel Magazine’ stand.

                                                                                          Antioch Civilization Choir formed by Christian, Alevi, Sunni, and Jewish artists from
               Many musical dance shows performed at Syria stand.
                                                                                                   different faiths and orders, performed divine and religious tunes.

A&T Travel Magazine                                                                                                                             May 2009 27

Wataniya Airways Flights to                                                    and supporting the airline in its bid to establish itself in Bahrain,” said
                                                                               Mr. Mubarak Kanoo, Chairman of the Travel Board. The airline’s new
Bahrain                                                                        Airbus 320 aircraft will be configured with the lowest seat density of any
                                                                               A320 used on scheduled routes in the world. Each aircraft will feature
                                                                               122 seats, compared with the 145 that a number of leading European
                                                                               airlines use in their A320s, ensuring excellent leg room and comfort
                                                                               throughout its First Class and Premium Economy cabins. Wataniya
                                                                               Airways is a truly unique airline for both Kuwait and the region. Services
                                                                               include unrivalled guest care on the ground and in the air thanks to
                                                                               expertly trained staff; leading First Class and Premium Economy
                                                                               services; custom-outfitted aircraft cabins; convenient flight schedules;
                                                                               and Sheikh Saad Terminal, the exclusive arrival and departure hub
                                                                               offering unprecedented benefits to Wataniya Airways guests travelling to
W      ataniya Airways, Kuwait’s first premium, full-service airline,
       announced the start of daily scheduled flights to Bahrain
                                                                               and from Kuwait.
International Airport. This is the third new route that the airline has
launched, demonstrating its commitment to provide a high value service
                                                                               Βahrain International Airport
to popular destinations across the Middle East. The new airline,
headquartered in Kuwait and already flying to Dubai, has launched                                                   I n view of planned expansion at
                                                                                                                     Bahrain International Airport, Civil
                                                                                                                   Aviation Affairs, Kingdom of Bahrain,
daily flights to Beirut and Cairo, representing a great achievement in
an industry marked by competition for space at these popular airports.         announced the introduction of SITA’s Professional Mobile Radio service
Wataniya Airways has now added Bahrain to a growing list of important          into the airport through a five-year $3.2 million agreement. The fully
short-haul destinations that have been identified as being of particular        managed turnkey solution which provides voice and data communication
interest to travellers to and from Kuwait. “I am delighted that we are         through a dedicated wireless network is now in operation for 640 users
now flying to Bahrain. This is such an important route for Kuwait both          working for all airlines and ground handlers on the airport campus. The
from a business and social perspective that we have scheduled two              number of users is expected to grow to over 800 as the airport expands.
flights per day to this location already,” said Wataniya Airways Chairman,      Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) is an open digital standard defined
Abdulsalam Al Bahar. “Kuwait and Bahrain have historically held close          by the European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI). Hani
relations and adding this new route to our network will offer guests from      El Assaad, SITA Regional Vice President, Middle East and Turkey said:
both countries an accessible and genuinely premium service choice of           “SITA Professional Mobile Radio is the best private mobile voice solution
travel.” “We received our second Airbus A320 aircraft, allowing us to          for airports currently on the market. It includes Java-enabled handsets,
add more routes, during the Kuwait National Day holidays. This happy           which support air transport-specific applications like flight dialling, RFID-
coincidence underscores the pride we have in our new national airline          based security systems, control and supervision of airfield lighting and
which is the first of its kind to be launched in the Middle East. Targeting     many other features which SITA’s exclusive focus on air transport makes
discerning travellers who value a higher level of service and comfort          us uniquely qualified to support.”
we have developed a unique product offer, competitively priced to
meet their needs” Al Bahar added. The first Wataniya Aircraft landed            Gulf Air to Lease 4 Boeing 777
in Bahrain International Airport early morning on the 5th of March.
Under the patronage of H.H. Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Ali Bin
Khalifa Al Khalifa, the aircraft was officially welcomed by Mr. Ahmed
                                                                                                                G     ulf Air, the national carrier of the
                                                                                                                      Kingdom of Bahrain, signed an
                                                                                                                 agreement to lease four new Boeing
Nemat Ali, Asst. Undersecretary of Aviation Services and other senior                                            777 ER aircraft as part of the airline’s
representatives of the local Civil Aviation Authority as well as the Kuwaiti                                     re-fleeting and product-enhancement
ambassador to Bahrain, H.E. Sheikh Azam Mubarak Al Sabah. Bahraini                                               strategy. Three of the new aircraft will
media attended a ceremony at the airport to commemorate this special           join the airline during March 09 while the fourth one will join in May.
occasion. Wataniya Airways flies from                                                                                       The aircraft, leased from Jet
Sheikh Saad terminal located in Kuwait’s                                                                                   Airways, will be used on a
Sabhan district, a prestigious private                                                                                     number of routes including
terminal that provides a fitting setting for                                                                                London, Kuala Lumpur,
Wataniya Airways’ special guest services. It                                                                               Bangkok and intra Gulf
is the first time that any commercial airline                                                                               Routes, gradually replacing
has operated from a location other than the                                                                                the Airbus 340s. The wide
Kuwait International Airport terminal “This                                                                                body Boeing 777-300ER is
has been a huge undertaking on the part of                                                                                 the largest long-range twin-
our team to launch three new routes in one                                                                                 engine commercial airplane in
week and I am immensely proud of what                                                                                      the world. It extends the 777
we have accomplished in record time,” said                                                                                 family’s span of capabilities,
George Cooper, CEO of Wataniya Airways.                                                                                    bringing twin-engine efficiency
“The delivery of this second aircraft allowed                                                                              and reliability to the long-range
us to strengthen our short haul network                                                                                    market. The aircraft come with
and provide our guests with more choice,                                                                                   a luxurious interior and a host
convenient schedules and a significantly                                                                                    of amenities providing the most
enhanced travel experience, and we will           Boeing 777
                                                                                                                           comfortable travel experience
build on this as our fleet continues to                                                                                     to both premium and economy
expand.” In Bahrain, Wataniya Airways has appointed Kanoo Travel, as           class passengers in a three-class configuration, i.e., First, Business and
its General Sales Agent (GSA) - a subsidiary of The Kanoo Group which          Economy with a capacity of 312 seats. First class passengers on these
is one of the largest independent, family owned, group of companies in         aircraft can enjoy the luxury of a private suite with bespoke furnishing
the Gulf region. Kanoo Travel became the first IATA agency in the Gulf          and a fully flat bed complete with a personal wardrobe. The herring-
in 1947 and has grown into the largest Travel Company in the Middle            bone design business class offer a lie-flat bed with 180 degree recline,
East. Kanoo Travel has a large team of travel specialists, operating           a privacy wall for personal space and world-class linens. Economy class
a network of over 170 offices in the region, and a global network of            passengers will not be disappointed as the seats come with more leg
world class travel partners. “I am delighted that we have signed the           space to stretch out, a 130-degree recline and a hammock headrest to
GSA agreement with Wataniya Airways and look forward to helping                support head and neck.

28 May 2009                                                                                                               A&T Travel Magazine

Al Jazira Group Joins Air Miles
Loyalty Programme
                A      ir Miles, the Middle East’s leading multi-participant
                       loyalty programme, has signed a contract with the
                  Al Jazira Group to further expand its suite of high-
                  profile partners across UAE, Bahrain and Qatar. Al
                  Jazira, which has for over 40 years been renowned for
                  its supermarket chain, also specialises in fashion, gift
stores and fast food outlets. Today it is a multimillion-dollar corporate
entity, and has led the way in the Middle East with the introduction
of innovative in store technology such as scanning, computerized
stock control and sales based ordering. In recent years Al Jazira has
more than doubled the choice of products offered. Al Jazira’s many
trading brands include such notable fashion names as Truworths,                says Captain Tawfik Assy, chairman and chief executive officer of
Fidel, Sergent Major and Indigo Nation; its restaurants include Chai           EGYPTAIR Holding Company. “These additional options give our
Cafe, Mex Chic Inn and Zyng Asian Grill, and it has recently opened            customers more ways to reach regions across the United States. With
the Sanrio gift store in Bahrain. Customers shopping at these branded          the inauguration of Terminal 3 at Cairo Airport early next year, Star
outlets will earn one Air Mile for every dirham or riyal spent when            Alliance carriers will execute the move under one roof concept in one
they swipe their Air Miles card. For Al Jazira Supermarket customers,          of the most modern airports in the region.”
payment must be made in conjunction with their HSBC Credit Card to
gain the benefits.                                                              Benghazi on RJ Route Network
Welcoming Al Jazira to the ever growing portfolio of top name
companies who are already loyalty programme partners, Air Miles’               as of June 1
CEO Dave Battiston said he was very pleased to have them on board.                   n June 1, Royal Jordanian will start operating a direct, regular,
“Al Jazira is renowned for its reputation of offering its customers the              twice-weekly service between Amman and the Libyan city of
best that money can buy. With this Air Miles partnership, Al Jazira is         Benghazi. It thus puts the destination back on its route network after
able to offer yet more rewards to its customers and further enhance            around 30 years of suspended service. Benghazi was among the first
their overall shopping experience.”Al Jazira’s Managing Director,              Arab cities RJ began serving after its establishment in the 1960s.
Mohammed Sadiq Khalil Dawani said,                                                                                                      Operating flights
“Al Jazira is in constant search of                                                                                                     to Benghazi
new ways and means to heighten our                                                                                                      comes in light of
customer’s shopping experience. Now                                                                                                     the growing traffic
we will be able to offer further valuable                                                                                               of Jordanian and
benefits every time our customers shop                                                                                                   Libyan citizens
with us or eat in our restaurants.” Air                                                                                                 between the two
Miles is free to join and allows members                                                                                                countries. There
to earn and redeem points in a growing                                                                                                  is remarkable
number of partners throughout the Gulf.                                                                                                 and active traffic
Now in its eighth year of operation, Air                                                                                                of businessmen
Miles has over 1.7 million members                                                                                                      and students, and
across the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar who                                                                                                   many Libyans
collect Air Miles from a huge range of                                                                                                  come to Amman
quality retailers. Over 80% of Air Miles                                                                                                to get medical
members have redeemed Air Miles or                                                                                                      treatment.
have enough to do so, making Air Miles                                                                                                  Royal Jordanian
the largest and most attractive loyalty                                                                         Royal Jordanian         responded to
programme in the region                                                                                                                 this active travel
                                                                                                                                        between Jordan
United Airlines, EGYPTAIR                                                      and Libya by also increasing the frequency of flights between Amman

Announce Codeshare Agreement                                                   and Tripoli from three to four weekly, starting April 1. Benghazi will be
                                                                               the second new destination RJ adds to its network this year; Brussels

U     nited Airlines and EGYPTAIR have signed an agreement to                  is the first one, and the airline will also resume its flights there as
      offer codeshare flights, which would expand the international             of April 1. Along with these two destinations, RJ directly operates
destinations and enhance the frequent flyer benefits offered to                  to 58 destinations spread on four continents, and more than 700
customers of both carriers. Beginning in summer 2009, United will              destinations with one stop served by oneworld’s airline members, of
place its code on EGYPTAIR flights linking New York Kennedy and                 which RJ is part. Benghazi will be an addition to the oneworld network,
London Heathrow with Cairo. “Our relationship with EGYPTAIR – and              as RJ is the only airline member that serves this destination. The
the added convenience of nonstop service from the United States                flight takes off from Amman on Mondays and Fridays at 12 noon and
and United Kingdom to Egypt – will offer customers more choice to              arrives in Benghazi at 2:05 pm local time. It takes off from Benghazi
this vibrant part of the world,” said Glenn F. Tilton, United’s chairman,      at 3:05 pm and arrives in Amman at 6:45 pm local time. Benghazi lies
president and chief executive officer. “We are pleased to deepen                in northeastern Libya, on a gulf of the Mediterranean Sea. It has 1.5
our relationship with this key Star Alliance partner for the benefit of         million inhabitants and is the second largest city in Libya after Tripoli,
United and EGYPTAIR customers.” EGYPTAIR will place its code on                the Libyan capital, which lies 1,000 km west from Benghazi. Important
United flights linking New York Kennedy with Los Angeles and San                industries include oil refining, cement manufacturing, tanning, sponge
Francisco, and on flights linking London Heathrow with Chicago, Los             and tuna fishing, and food processing such as dates and olives.
Angeles, San Francisco and Washington Dulles. “We are excited                  Benghazi airport lies 32 km to the east of the city, and connects the
to link United’s expansive network with our trans-Atlantic service,”           city with some foreign cities, as well as with major cities in Libya.

A&T Travel Magazine                                                                                                           May 2009 29

Royal Jordanian is the first                                                    by the airlines that run flights between Iraqi airports and the various
                                                                               world airports. Captain Kifah Hassan, the director of Iraqi Airways,
Middle Eastern Airline Serving                                                 said that his company decided to reduce the percentage of operation
Inflight Internet                                                               commissions charged by the airlines that run flights between the
                                                                               Iraqi airports and various world airports. Kifah added that the rates

R    oyal Jordanian and OnAir signed an agreement whereby RJ, a
     oneworld member, will provide passengers with OnAir’s inflight
Internet and mobile phone services, including email, SMS and
                                                                               of reduction amounted to 5% of the ticket’s price for the national
                                                                               companies which have Iraqi investor certificate, in addition to the
                                                                               7% of the ticket’s price for national companies that do not have Iraqi
voice calls, the first airline in the Middle East to offer such facility.       investor certificate, and finally, 10% of the ticket’s price for all foreign
President/CEO Samer Majali who signed the agreement with OnAir                 companies. The reduction decision comes as the initiative of the Iraqi
CEO Benois Debains said that the OnAir service will enable Royal               Ministry of Transport to promote the air transportation sector, the
Jordanian passengers to use their mobile phones and BlackBerry-type            national transport in particular and international transport in general.
devices to send and receive text messages and emails, and to make
and receive mobile phone calls in flight, as well as to use their laptops       Jazeera Airways Announces
to access Internet. He indicated that the European Aviation Safety
Agency (EASA) granted airworthiness certification to OnAir, testifying
                                                                               New Destinations
that neither Mobile OnAir system nor multiple mobiles cause harmful
interference to any of the aircraft’s avionics systems. Passengers will        K    uwait and Dubai based low fares airline Jazeera Airways
                                                                                    Chairman Marwan Boodai at a conference explained “the strength
                                                                               of the Jazeera Airways network which currently includes 55 routes to
be able to use their own mobile phones during flights, above 3,000
meters, whereas during take offs and landings, the service will not be         22 destinations; our commitment to tight cost control; and the success
operative.                                                                     of our new Dubai hub as a complement to operations in Kuwait,
                                                                               has meant that we have established a strong platform for growth in
Iraq and UAE Signed MOU to                                                     coming years.” The airline increased its capital over the past year to

Regulate Air Traffic
T   he General Establishment of Civil
    Aviation, one of the Ministry of
Transport’s establishments and the General
Authority for Civil Aviation in the United
Arab Emirates signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) to regulate air traffic
between the two countries. Under this
memorandum it was agreed to conduct regular 15 weekly flights for
passengers and 4 freight flights regularly to Abu Dhabi-Iraq. Also it
was agreed to conduct 21 weekly flights for passengers and 4 cargo
flights DUBAI - Iraq. Regarding Sharjah - Iraq sector, it was agreed to
conduct 8 regular flights for passenger services and 4 cargo flights, as
well as 3 weekly flights from Ras Al Khaimah for passenger services
starting from the date of signing the Memorandum of Understanding.

Iraqi Airways Started Flights to
Europe After 19 Years                                                          KD 20 million, (USD $73 M), and following its January 14th listing

O     n March 27, the Iraqi Airways launched the first flight to a               on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, witnessed oversubscription of shares
      European country since 19 years. The Iraqi Airways aircraft took         by six times; growing to five times their par value. “We also received
off from Baghdad airport and landed in Athens before flying to resume           four brand new aircraft during the last year from our firm order of 40
the direction to Stockholm. According to the announcement made from            Airbus A320s bringing our total fleet size to eight, and we launched
the Ministry of Transport, the national carrier is planning to start flights    five exciting destinations, Istanbul, Doha, Khartoum, Sana’a and Deir
to Germany, India, Qatar and Bahrain in the near future.                       Ez Zoor increasing our network to 25 destinations; while delivering
                                                                               exceptional value and service to our passengers and shareholders
New Baghdad Airport to                                                         alike,” added Mr. Boodai. The airline has planned a series of key
Provide Million Jobs                                                           initiatives for 2009, which will enable it to build on its excellent results
                                                                               of 2008. These initiatives focus on the launch of five new destinations,

A    plan to develop Baghdad International Airport (BIAP) will
     provide over one million job opportunities, the Iraqi Ministry of
Transport said. Iraqi Deputy Premier Rafie al-Issawi, Iraq’s Minister of
                                                                               and the accelerated delivery of two new aircraft which will support
                                                                               the start-up of further new routes in the year ahead. Mr Boodai in
                                                                               particular stressed that Jazeera will make a substantial investment
Transportation Amir Abdeljabbar Ismail and the U.S. team responsible           in the airline’s commercial infrastructure to make it easier to book
for developing the BIAP and surrounding areas organized a meeting              on Jazeera and will offer a revised pricing structure that reflects the
to discuss the plan. A total of 16 cities will be built within the airport’s   abolition of fuel surcharges and the airline’s commitment to offering
perimeter and in surrounding areas, the release indicated, adding that         fares at 25% less than legacy competitors. Upgraded reservation
more than $50 billion will be invested in the project.                         systems, an improved check-in process and expanded sales teams
                                                                               across the airline’s network will offer passengers an even better
Iraqi Transport Ministry                                                       experience. Improvements will also be made to the in-air, on-board
Reduces Operation                                                              service. Steven Greenway, formerly CCO of SkyEurope Airlines and
                                                                               senior manager at Virgin Blue in Australia and Virgin Atlantic in the UK
Commission of Airlines                                                         was additionally introduced as the airline’s Chief Commercial Officer;
                                                                               while John Turnipseed was introduced as the new VP of HR. John
T  he Iraqi Transport Ministry announced that, it is decided to
   reduce the percentage of the operation commissions charged
                                                                               formerly held the role of VP HR at Eos Airlines and Southwest Airlines
                                                                               both in the USA.

30 May 2009                                                                                                               A&T Travel Magazine

BA to Resume Services to                                                     Qatar Airways Economy Class
Saudi Arabia                                                                 Best in The World
British Airways is to resume flights to Saudi Arabia, with five services
a week from its London Heathrow hub to both Jeddah and Riyadh
from 31 May. It will serve Riyadh with Boeing 777s, and Jeddah
                                                                             Q      atar Airways has once again come up trumps at the annual
                                                                                    Skytrax passenger survey awards scooping several accolades,
                                                                             including Best Economy Class in the world. The Doha-based carrier
with 767s. BA suspended operations to Saudi Arabia in March 2005             also earned the title Best Airline in the Middle East for the fourth year
because of the poor commercial performance of its flights.                    running, while its cabin crew have yet again demonstrated delivering
                                                                             the highest levels of service by being named Best in the region for
                                                                             an unprecedented seventh year in a row. In addition, Qatar Airways’
                                                                             global ranking has risen commendably, up three places to fourth best
                                                                             in the world – the highest placing of any Middle East carrier. Ranked
                                                                             as the only Middle East carrier in the elite club of Five Star airlines
                                                                             as adjudged by Skytrax, Qatar Airways won praise for its continued
                                                                             commitment to offering the travelling public unrivalled levels of inflight
                                                                             service. Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker picked
                                                                             up the accolades during the 10th anniversary Skytrax World Airline
                                                                             Awards celebrations at a ceremony held in Hamburg, attended by
                                                                             more than 500 people. “It is a great honour, on behalf of Qatar
                                                                             Airways, to be recognised yet again for our high levels of service and
                                                                             hospitality which we remain committed to,” said Al Baker. “Most
                                                                             airlines invest heavily in developing their premium cabins and, while we
                                                                             continue to do this, Qatar Airways strives to innovate in Economy Class
                                                                             ensuring our
                                                                             high standards
ADAC Welcomes Nasair Daily                                                   are maintained
                                                                             and passenger
Flights From Saudi Arabia                                                    expectations
                                                                             are exceeded
A    bu Dhabi International Airport will welcome daily flights by Saudi
     Arabia’s carrier nasair from Jeddah, starting in April. nasair, which
currently operates three flights between Jeddah and Abu Dhabi,
                                                                             Qatar Airways
has increased the frequency in response to growing demand from               recently
passengers wanting to travel between the two cities for business,            revamped
leisure and religious traffic, especially during Hajj (pilgrimage and         its Economy
Umra). The daily frequency will be introduced from April 2009.               Class inflight-service, which sees all onboard meals served in a
                                                                             more upmarket, appetising and stylish way, aimed at enhancing
US Airways-Qatar Airways                                                     passengers’ overall flying experience. New-look colourful meal tray

Codeshare Agreement                                                          components offer Economy Class passengers a whole new take on
                                                                             food presentation, guiding them on a wonderful culinary journey. More

                                           B   eginning in May, US           than 16 million air travellers drawn from over 95 different nationalities
                                               Airways customers will        took part in the eight-month long survey. The awards are recognised
                                          be able to enjoy seamless          around the world for being the only true global independent passenger
                                          travel between the United          survey of airline standards. Qatar Airways currently operates a modern
                                          States and Qatar, thanks to        fleet of 68 Airbus and Boeing aircraft to 84 key business and leisure
                                          a new codeshare agreement          destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Far East
                                          between Qatar Airways and          and North America.
US Airways. The agreement is subject to both United States and
foreign government approval. A filing in support of the carriers’ new         Kayala Airlines Announces New
agreement was submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation
this week.
                                                                             Flight Schedule
With this new agreement, US Airways customers will have access to
Doha, Qatar, and beyond on Qatar Airways, connecting via London                                              S     audi-based private charter carrier
                                                                                                                   Kayala Airlines launches daily
                                                                                                               flights from Dubai International Airport
Gatwick; Madrid, Spain; Manchester, U.K.; Milan, Italy; Stockholm,
Sweden; Zurich, Switzerland; and Athens, Greece.                                                               Terminal 1 to private aviation terminals
Onward from Doha, US Airways customers can seamlessly connect on                                               at both Jeddah and Riyadh Airports
Qatar Airways to Dubai, U.A.E., and Kuwait City, Kuwait. Conversely,                                           from February 8. Kayala Airlines
Qatar Airways customers traveling to the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean                                           announces its new increased flight
and Latin America can do so conveniently via US Airways flights                                                 schedule from Dubai to Jeddah and
departing London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Madrid,                Riyadh. Kayala Airline will fly daily from Dubai International Airport
Manchester, Milan, Stockholm, Zurich, Paris, Munich, Germany, Rome           Terminal 1 to Private Aviation Terminals at both Jeddah and Riyadh
and Athens.                                                                  Airports. The airline increased its flights to 4 daily each way between
“We’re delighted to offer Qatar Airways customers access to our hub          Jeddah and Riyadh. The airline days the increased frequencies on the
cities of Charlotte, N.C., and Philadelphia with easy connections to         International and domestic routes is in response to growth in demand
114 destinations throughout the United States, Canada and Latin              for this very luxurious yet affordable class of travel. Kayala Airline is
America through US Airways’ extensive route network,” said Senior            part of Nas Aviation Group which also owns Nas air, Saudi Arabia’s
Vice President, Marketing and Planning Andrew Nocella.                       first low cost carrier that operates from Sharjah to Jeddah, Riyadh &
                                                                             Madinah and from Abu Dhabi to Jeddah

A&T Travel Magazine                                                                                                          May 2009 31

Tunisia’s Air Passenger                                                       Etihad Targets Seven Million
Numbers are set to Rise                                                       Passengers in 2009
                                                T    unisia’s air
                                                     passenger numbers
                                                 are set to rise with its
                                                                                                       E     tihad Airways, the national airline of the
                                                                                                             United Arab Emirates, aims to increase
                                                                                                        its passenger numbers in 2009 by 15 per
                                                 entrance into the open                                 cent to a total of seven million. The airline
                                                 skies agreement and a                                  will expand its global flight network to 55
new airport at Enfidha. After years of negotiations, Tunisia has entered                                 destinations during the year as well as grow
into the Open Skies agreement allowing American, European and                                           its fleet to more than 50 aircraft. Etihad flew
Arabic airlines to operate freely within its airspace. Scheduled flights       six million passengers in 2008 to 50 routes with a fleet of 42 aircraft.
to Tunisia are already offered by British Airways and the country’s           A total of 900 weekly Etihad flights will operate this summer, a 20
national carrier, Tunisair. However, this movement paves the way for          per cent rise on the 750 weekly flights which operated during the
new airlines and low-cost carriers to schedule flights from the UK             same season in 2008. Eleven new passenger aircraft are set to join
to Tunisia. In preparation for the increase in flights, a new airport at       Etihad’s fleet in 2009 which will enable Etihad to launch new services
Enfidha, situated between Hammamet and Sousse, is set to open in               to Melbourne, Istanbul, Athens, Larnaca and Chicago, as well as
late 2009. Enfidha will be the country’s ninth airport and whilst it is        increase frequencies on many existing routes across its network of
initially expected to transport seven million passengers, its long-term       international destinations. The additional aircraft will increase Etihad’s
capacity could reach up to 30 million. Tunisia has long been a popular        seat capacity by 18 per cent and cargo capacity by 12 per cent to
destination for British holidaymakers and as such a number of charter         3.5 million tonnes. Etihad launches daily non-stop flights from Abu
airlines including Britannia, Air 2000, JMC, Airtours, Monarch, First         Dhabi to Melbourne in Australia. The route will be flown by an Airbus
Choice, Nouvelair, Palmair and My Travel fly into the destination from         A340-600, configured to carry 292 passengers and 15 tonnes of
                                                                              cargo. The addition of Melbourne, which joins Sydney and Brisbane,
Tunisair Opening New Sales                                                    will mean that Etihad will offer for sale nearly 5,700 seats a week

Office for the Nordic countries                                                into Australia. The introduction of flights in June to Istanbul, Athens
                                                                              and Larnaca, as well as increases in frequency to Brussels, Geneva,

T   unisair, which had its own sales office for the Nordic countries           Milan and Moscow, means that Etihad will offer its customers a
    until 2007, is back in the market with Aviareps as its General            choice of 98 weekly flights into 14 European countries. Etihad will
Sales Agent. Aviareps’ Scandinavian subsidiary - with ten years of            also strengthen its North American network later this year with the
professional experience in the airline industry - will take over all future   launch of flights to Chicago’s O’Hare airport on 2 September, which
sales, marketing and ticketing activities with immediate effect. The          will become a daily non-stop operation from 1 October. Chicago joins
Stockholm-based office will represent Tunisair and serve customers             Etihad’s established North American routes to New York and Toronto
with a multilingual call centre for Sweden, Denmark, Norway and               and boosts capacity to the continent by 35 per cent. The airline’s
Finland.Tunisair, the national carrier of Tunisia, started its business       Middle Eastern network will be strengthened further from 29 March,
with scheduled flights back in 1948. Today the airline serves a total          with Abu Dhabi to Amman services increasing from 10 to 14 flights per
of 44 destinations in 28 countries. The carrier transported 3.6 million       week. Services to Beirut will also increase to two flights a day from the
passengers in 2007. The fleet consists of 19 Airbus and 11 Boeing              current 11 flights per week and Doha will receive a boost from three
                                                                              to four flights a day. Etihad’s flights from Abu Dhabi to Kuala Lumpur
B737 aircraft. Important Tunisair gateways in Europe are Brussels
                                                                              will increase from six flights a week to daily beginning on 29 March.
(Belgium), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Paris (France) and Frankfurt
                                                                              The opening of the new Terminal 3 at Abu Dhabi airport will continue
                                                                              to enhance the experience for Etihad Airways customers and allow the
Easy Jet to Launch Tunisian                                                   airline to expand and meet its future growth projections. In addition to
                                                                              improvements to Abu Dhabi airport, the emirate will also host its first
service in 2009                                                               Formula 1 ™ Grand Prix in 2009. In addition to its role as title sponsor
                                                                              for the 1 November race Etihad will fly many of the drivers, teams and
T   he UK- based low-cost airline, Easy Jet has submitted a request
    to Tunisia ‘s civil aviation authorities (OACA) to operate a service      equipment to the UAE’s capital city.
from some European cities such as Geneva, Paris and Frankfurt to
respectively Tunis, Monastir and Djerba. The new service is expected          Etihad to Fly Istanbul from June
to start in summer 2009. After Transavia, Ryanair and Thomsonfly,              Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will
Easy Jet is the fourth low-cost airline to operate a service to major         fly to Istanbul in Turkey from June. The commercial capital of Turkey
Tunisian cities. Easy Jet flies to 100 European airports, as well              will initially be served four times a week from June 2, expanding to five
as to Morocco, Turkey and Egypt. In 2008 it carried 43,7 million              flights a week from October, said an Etihad statement. The addition
passengers. The new flights of Easy Jet to Tunisia is likely to have           of Istanbul will bring to 13 the number of European cities served by
positive effects on Tunisia’s tourism especially during the busy summer       Etihad. The new destination will increase the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s
season.                                                                       global flight network to 54 cities and follows confirmation that Etihad
                                                                              will also begin flights to Melbourne and Athens during 2009. James
                                                                              Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “Istanbul represents our
                                                                              second confirmed new European destination to be launched in 2009
                                                                              and demonstrates the increasing importance of this market to our
                                                                              airline.” There are an estimated 6,000 Turkish expatriates currently
                                                                              living and working in the UAE, mainly in the construction, engineering,
                                                                              financial and tourism sectors. The volume of trade between the UAE
                                                                              and Turkey grew by 400 per cent from $700 million in 2002 to $3.7
                                                                              billion in 2007. The UAE currently has investments of more than $4
                                                                              billion in Turkey, while Turkey has committed $40 billion in investments
                                                                              to the UAE within the next four years.Etihad will operate a two-
                                                                              class Airbus A320 to Istanbul, configured to carry 140 passengers
                                                                              with 20 seats in business class and 120 in economy class. Source:

32 May 2009                                                                                                             A&T Travel Magazine

Etihad Received Record                                                        Emirates rings up 100,000th
Passenger growth in 2008                                                      passenger in-flight
T    he growth during 2008, Etihad’s fifth year of operations, saw
     passenger numbers total 6,021,931 and the average seat factor
rise from 68 per cent to 75 per cent. The airline has also taken
                                                                              K   eeping people connected, Emirates in-flight mobile telephone
                                                                                  service has clocked up its 100,000th user this week, confirming

delivery of nine new aircraft boosting its fleet to a total of 42. Etihad
launched six new routes in 2008 – Beijing, Minsk, Almaty, Kozhikode,
Chennai and Moscow – as well as signing a record order of USD
$43 billion at the Farnborough International Airshow for up to 205
Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Capping a hugely successful year, a
record 20,937 passengers flew with Etihad on Friday 19 December
making it the airline’s busiest day. James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief
executive, said: “Despite the impact of the global economic downturn,
Etihad performed extremely well in 2008 and we hit our target of flying
more than six million passengers during the year. “Etihad now has a
flight network of 50 global destinations, with an average seat factor of
75 per cent, which is an impressive achievement in just five years of
operations. It is also pleasing to note Etihad’s pivotal role in the growth   a dramatic increase in calls this
of Abu Dhabi as the emirate becomes a global capital for business and         year. A total of 31 Emirates
tourism.” All of Etihad’s passenger cabins experienced significant seat        passenger aircraft are now installed
factor growth during 2008. The airline achieved average seat factors in       with the AeroMobile service, the largest of any commercial airline.
its economy cabin of 77 per cent with flights to the Asia-Pacific region        The milestone was passed when a Singaporean passenger made a
rising to 84 per cent. Average seat factors in business class rose to 63      call from 36,000 feet during Emirates flight EK404 from Dubai to
per cent during 2008 with flights to European destinations averaging           Singapore.Thousands of passengers on 31 AeroMobile-equipped
seat factors of 73 per cent. The airline won 17 global awards for             Emirates aircraft depart daily from Dubai to destinations across
service and innovation during 2008. The highlights included winning           its global network. Over 350 Emirates short and long haul flights
the “airline of the year” at the Aviation Business, Arabian Business and      operate weekly with AeroMobile covering services to 49 countries.
British Travel Awards. Etihad announced new codeshare agreements              The AeroMobile in-flight system allows passengers the choice of
with Jet Airways, Yemen Airways, Saudi Arabia Airlines and Sri Lankan         safely using their own mobile phones to make and receive phone
Airlines in 2008 taking the total number of partners to nine airlines.        calls and text messages from Emirates aircraft, with charges in line
The Abu Dhabi-based airline also increased its number of employees            with international roaming rates. The fast-growing popularity of the
to more than 7,000 staff, with the majority living and working in Abu         service sees typically more than 30 per cent of passengers on each
Dhabi representing 121 different nationalities, including more than           flight taking advantage of the award-winning system. With the first
2,900 cabin crew and 755 pilots                                               50,000 users in the first nine months since the system’s launch, the
                                                                              second 50,000 have been clocked up in less than two months.Patrick
Jumeirah Announces                                                            Brannelly, Emirates’ Vice President, Passenger Communications and
Partnership with Singapore                                                    Visual Services, said: “The AeroMobile facility is growing in popularity
                                                                              day by day. The feedback has been excellent, and our passengers are
Airlines                                                                      clearly using the system to stay in touch, as we saw with big increases
                                                                              in the number of calls and SMS messages over special occasions such
J  umeirah, the Dubai-based luxury international hospitality
   management group and a member of Dubai Holding, has
announced that it is now officially a partner of Singapore Airlines
                                                                              as the New Year period. We even saw a surge at the time of the result
                                                                              of the US presidential election. “For many of our passengers, making
                                                                              a call on their own mobile phone during a flight has become as natural
and their Frequent Flyer Programme, KrisFlyer. Starting January
                                                                              as watching their in-flight TV screens, which offer a choice of up to
2009, all KrisFlyer members will earn miles when staying at any
                                                                              1200 channels of entertainment.Usage data from actual flights shows
Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts in Dubai, London and New York - all of
                                                                              that at peak times, in excess of 100 passengers are switching on their
which are destinations served by Singapore Airlines. This strategic
                                                                              mobile phones during a flight. Later this year, the AeroMobile system
announcement emphasises Jumeirah’s continued growth in airline
                                                                              on Emirates aircraft will be upgraded to offer GPRS services. This will
partnerships and its focus on rewarding members. It is also a tribute
                                                                              enable passengers to send and receive e-mails via devices such as
to Jumeirah’s commitment to the Asia-Pacific region. Jumeirah
                                                                              Blackberrys and laptops with GPRS data cards.
recently opened regional sales offices in Singapore, Shanghai and
Tokyo, and in the course of 2009 the Group is eagerly anticipating
the grand opening of Jumeirah HanTang Xintiandi in Shanghai,
                                                                              Istanbul – Sharjah from 52 euro
Jumeirah’s first hotel in the Asia Pacific region. The Singapore Airlines’      by Air Arabia
network currently covers 67 destinations in 35 countries. From Dubai,
customers will be able to enjoy the convenience of Singapore Airlines’
wide network of connections to destinations such as Singapore, New
                                                                              Air Arabia introduced a special promotion between Istanbul and
                                                                               Sharjah. Passengers can fly from Istanbul to Sharjah as low as
                                                                          Euro 52. The offer is valid until 31st May, 2009. Fares advertised are
York, London and Shanghai, which are cities where Jumeirah has,
                                                                          for a one-way journey exclusive of taxes & surcharges.
or will soon have a presence in. In addition to this latest partnership,
Jumeirah has extensive expansion plans to grow its portfolio of luxury                               Istanbul - Sharjah
hotels and resorts into key gateway or letterhead cities and aspirational Flight No. Departure/Arrival            Days            Dates
resort destinations worldwide. Currently, the Group has several luxury
five-star properties under development in the United Arab Emirates,           G9284         01:55 / 07:00        Mo, We 1st April-16th April
Jordan, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Maldives, Bali, Thailand,              G9284         01:55 / 07:00                  17th April-31st May
China, Argentina, Spain, England, Scotland and the US Virgin Islands.                                Sharjah - Istanbul
In 2009, the Group is eagerly anticipating the grand opening of
                                                                           Flight No. Departure/Arrival           Days            Dates
Jumeirah HanTang Xintiandi in Shanghai, Jumeirah’s first hotel in the
Asia Pacific region.                                                          G9283         21:45 / 01:10                   1st April-15th April
                                                                                G9283         21:45 / 01:10        We, Su     16th April-31st May

A&T Travel Magazine                                                                                                         May 2009 33

INAIR Carried over 80.000                                                    the decision was made to purchase 5 777-300ER aircraft from Boeing
                                                                             to be delivered one aircraft each month starting from October 2010 until
Passengers in 2008                                                           February 2011.

I nair Aviation Brokerage, which is an affiliation of INTRA Tourism group
  and operates in the fields of Aviation brokerage, commercialized over
                                                                             Turkish Airlines Best Airline
80.000 seats in 2008. Inair is offering service to all the destinations      in Southern Europe
around the world, particularly between Turkey and Italy, Spain, Portugal,
Greece, and Middle East countries. As indicated by the founder Mr.
Ertugrul Karaoglu and sales Manager Mrs. Yeliz Cimen, InAir is looking
                                                                             T urkish Airlines has been named best airline in Southern Europe
                                                                               in a survey conducted by well-known market research company
                                                                           Skytrax. Evaluation results of worldwide famous Skytrax market research
at arriving 100.000 sets in 2009. With the reputation of its successful
                                                                           company were announced on April 2, 2009. Skytrax Approved Airline
operations both in Domestic and International markets, Inair ,which
organizes spot or chain charter flights on the basis of seats or whole      Evaluation covers over 750 aspects of product and service quality
aircraft for the Tour operators have a voice in the sector and is in       measurement in reference to evaluating airline companies and airports.
a strong cooperation, with Atlas Jet, Best Air, Corendon, Free bird,       Turkish Airlines maintained its 4-star status in 2008 for a second year
Pegasus, Sun Express and Turkish Airlines in Turkey. Inair Aviation        in a row presented by Skytrax in 2007. Turkish Airlines achieved a grat
Brokerage is founded in 1998 under Intra Tourism Group furnishes           success this year in the grading of the “Skytrax World Aviation Awards
several aviation services for the Tourism Industry. Inair Aviation         2009” known as the Oscars of Aviation industry. Turkish Airlines won
Brokerage, which is in business of Chartering Aircraft, Private Jet, Air   the title of the “Best Airline Southern Europe” in its region as a result of
taxi, Air Ambulance, Helicopter, organizing Spot and Chain Charter         the evaluation. The Skytrax World Airline Awards are so highly regarded,
Flights, arranges spot or chain charter flights for Incentive, Fair and     recognized and quoted across the globe. Winners were determined
Exhibition groups, and Outgoing Operations.                                with more than 15.4 million completed survey interviews during the
                                                                           10 month survey period and over 95 different passenger nationalities
Turkish Airlines Announced                                                 taking part. Marking the10th anniversary of the Awards, The Skytrax
US$874mln Net Profit                                                       World Airline Awards Ceremony took place at the Aircraft Interiors Expo
                                                                           (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany on Wednesday, April 1, 2009. the “Best
                                                                                       Airline Southern Europe” award was handed over to the CEO
                                                                                       of Turkish Airline, Temel Kotil by the CEO of Skytrax, Edward
                                                                                       Plaisted. The sole 4-star airline of Europe in all categories
                                                                                       Turkish Airlines achieved another success by becoming the
                                                                                       sole 4-star airline of Europe, a title which is monitored by other
                                                                                       airline companies across the globe after an intensive work
                                                                                       aiming the high standard of quality and customer satisfaction.
                                                                                       As one of the world’s fastest growing carriers Turkish Airlines
                                                                                       attained the 4-star status for the categories of first, business,
                                                                                       economy in long haul flights and the categories of business,
                                                                                       economy categories. The 4-star status for the economy class
                                                                                       in particular placed Turkish Airlines ahead of other competitors.
                                                                                       There isn’t any other 4-star airline company in Europe. The
                                                                                       Skytrax evaluation results which placed Turkish Airlines ahead

T   urkish Airlines has announced its Consolidated Financial Results for               of the other competitors were also announced at the website
    the year 2008. According to its financials, THY was able to achieve The following countries in Southern Europe
26% increase on Net Profit of $874 mn. Revenues increased by 26%            have been included for rating: Portugal, Spain, Italy, Albania, Bosnia
to $4,719 mn; 78% of scheduled revenue was from international traffic and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece Montenegro, Republic of
and 22% was from domestic traffic. In the operating costs, fuel cost’s      Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Cyprus, Malta, Romania, Slovenia.
portion increased by 7 points from pervious year to 34%. The number        Turkish Airlines to Buy 5 New Boeing
of aircraft in its fleet increased by 25% in 2008 from 102 to 127 aircraft. Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) announced that five new Boe-
Parallel to revenue increase, traffic results also increased compared       ing 777-300s will be purchased.
with previous year. Accordingly, number of passenger carried increased     The five Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will be delivered once a month from
by 15% to 22.6 mn, cargo-mail increased by 8% to 203 thousands             October 2010 to February 2011.
tons. Available Seat Km (ASK) and Revenue Per Km (RPK) increased           THY already has three Boeing 777-300ER planes in its fleet. The
by 11% and 13% respectively, which increased the L/F by 1.2 points to aircraft were leased from the Indian Jet Airways last year for THY’s long-
73.9% The fuel price rose at the peak to around USD 140/barrel in the haul flights.
half of the year from USD 100/barrel beginning of the year but sank to
USD 40/barrel at the end of 2008. Although, USD/Ton fuel expense
increased by 44% in average, which has resulted $441 mn additional
cost, Operating Profit increased by 25% to $488 mn. Other income
and expense had been affected negatively by the loss in the assets
value, because of the global crises thus, Operational Income declined
by %19 to $452 mn. As a result, with 10.3% gross profit margin and
9.6% profit margin stands in good position compared to the industry
average. The appreciation of foreign exchange rates had a positive
effect on financial income and expenses which had an impact on the
Net Income as well. On the other hand, Turkish Airlines continues with
the tender procedure which has started at the beginning of 2008 with
the manufacturers Boeing and Airbus for the purchase of 25 firm, 10
optional total of 35 Wide Body Long-Haul aircraft with double aisle and
50 firm, 20 optional total of 70 Narrow Body Medium-Haul aircraft with
single aisle according to the fleet plan for 2009 – 2023. Furthermore,
purchasing decision of 4 A321-200 aircraft from Airbus has been
finalized and aircraft joined the fleet already. In addition, in March 2009

34 May 2009                                                                                                             A&T Travel Magazine

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