Archive | Middle East

Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital takes Golden Tourism Award

Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, the world’s largest facility of its kind and one of the main tourist attractions in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, has won the prestigious ‘Golden Tourism Award’ by the Madrid-headquartered Trade Leaders Club, a business organization representing 7000 producers and service providers across 120 countries according to a report in website (

Emirates news agency (WAM) reported that the award is in recognition of Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital’s outstanding leisure and MICE tourism programme, which includes guided tours of the facility and the chance for visitors to try their hand at the noble art under expert guidance.

The award is to be presented to Dr. Margit Gabriele Muller, the hospital’s Director at a special ceremony to be held in Madrid later this month which will coincide with Abu Dhabi’s first participation in Spain’s FITUR travel fair. The ceremony is to be attended by representatives of the Spanish tourism industry, the countries diplomatic corps and media.

“We look upon this award as recognition of Abu Dhabi as an international destination of distinction and the role of tourism in fulfilling the Government’s 2030 Plan for the emirate,” said Dr. Muller. Continue Reading

Posted in Medical Tourism, Middle East, Travel and Tourism News1 Comment

Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa in United Arab Emirates to Open 1 October 2009

The construction of the Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Emirates’ first luxury conservation-based resort outside Dubai, in the heart of Australia’s Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, is reaching completion.

“We are well on schedule for our October 1st soft opening,” said Joost Heymeijer, General Manager, Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa. “We have reached that very satisfying point in the development when the hard construction work is behind us and the focus shifts onto detail, quality finishing and preparation for operations.”

With the resort’s electrical and water systems completed, the emphasis is now on each suite’s fit-out and interior design. Half of the one-bedroom suites are already fully furnished, and the remainder will be completed by the end of August.

Work is well under way on the Main Homestead, which will be the social centre of the resort. The main pool area and gymnasium, as well as the resort’s luxury Timeless Spa, will be completed by the end of this month. Continue Reading

Posted in Hotel News, United Arab Emirates0 Comments

Etihad Airways Confirms Huge Aircraft Engine Order

Etihad Airways has selected GE Aviation, Rolls-Royce, Engine Alliance and International Aero Engines (IAE) to power the new Airbus and Boeing aircraft that it ordered at last year’s Farnborough International Airshow.

The Farnborough deal included 100 firm orders and options and purchase rights for a further 105 aircraft, which will be delivered between 2011 and 2020.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline confirmed firm orders at this week’s Paris Air Show for:

– 78 GEnx engines, to power its 35 new Boeing 787 aircraft

– 45 Engine Alliance GP7200 engines, to power its 10 new Airbus A380 aircraft

– 44 IAE V2500 engines, to power its 20 new narrow-body Airbus A320 aircraft

Rolls-Royce and GE Aviation will supply engines for the airline’s new Airbus A350 fleet and future Boeing 777 aircraft deliveries, respectively, as previously announced at Farnborough: Continue Reading

Posted in Airline News, Aviation News, Middle East0 Comments

Marriott signs Two New Properties in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Marriott has signed a long-term management agreement with Fawaz Abdul Aziz Al Hokair and Associates Hotels Company for a 250-room luxury JW Marriott hotel and a 50-unit deluxe Marriott Executive Apartments in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Both properties are scheduled to open in 2013.

They will share the same footprint and will be located approximately 20 kilometers north of Riyadh’s central business district as part of a large suburban master plan that will also include a business park consisting of a huge cluster of office buildings, a shopping mall planned to accommodate 450,000 visitors a week, five residential compounds comprised of 1,300 units; a nine-hole golf course and a water park. Continue Reading

Posted in Hotel News, Middle East, Tourism News0 Comments

Placido Domingo and Diana Krall joins Jordan festival

International opera stars Placido Domingo and Julia Migenes, and jazz singer Diana Krall will be the highlights of a star-studded summer in Jordan.

The Jordan Tourism Board has announced the details of a spectacular line-up of international, Arab, and Jordanian stars who will take part in the Jordan Festival to take place between July 8th and August 9th in Amman, Jerash, the Dead Sea and Petra.

This will be the first time for the world-renowned Spanish tenor Placido Domingo and the American soprano opera singer Julia Migenes to perform in Jordan. It will also be the first time for Canadian Jazz vocalist and pianist Diana Krall. Domingo will perform against the backdrop of one of the most impressive and best preserved Greco-Roman theaters in the world in the city of Jerash, 40 kilometers north of the capital Amman. Krall will perform at the Amman Citadel, an equally impressive Greco-Roman site. Continue Reading

Posted in Middle East, World Festivals0 Comments

Dubai : World’s Tallest Building to be completed in September 2009

Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building being developed by Emaar Properties, will be taller than previously envisaged, with height enhancement work already in progress. Construction of the two communication floors is ongoing and structural steel work has started. The final height of the Burj Dubai will be revealed only on its completion in September 2009.

Alongside height enhancement, Burj Dubai is also upgrading its interior finishes. International designers from California revisited the designs to make the residences more attractive and functionally superior. The redesign process, undertaken over the past three months, has been completed, with the emphasis on top-notch quality standards.

Mr Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties, said, “We get one chance in a lifetime to deliver a world-class project such as the Burj Dubai. Our main objective is to ensure that the very best in engineering, architecture, interiors, finishes and infrastructure support are employed in the making of this iconic building, which is the pride of Dubai. In the process, we will ensure speedy execution without any compromise in quality. We believe that a completion date of September 2009 is possible and reasonable for a project of this global magnitude and significance.” Continue Reading

Posted in Dubai, Middle East0 Comments

Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority expects 10% increase in number of Chinese tourists this year

Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority announced its participation in the third annual Beijing International Tourism Expo.

The participation was as part of keeping with its ongoing agenda to promote the Emirate of Sharjah in the international tourism market.

The event, to be held in Beijing Exhibition Center from 19th to 22nd June 2007, will attract over 800 exhibitors representing 80 countries, in an area of 30 thousand square feet.

In addition to representatives of the Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority, the Sharjah delegation will include representatives from Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts, Coral Beach Resort, Al Khalidiah tourism, Golden Tulip Sharjah, Tulip Inn Sharjah, Millennium Hotel, Sharjah Holiday Inn. Continue Reading

Posted in Middle East, Travel Business News0 Comments

Euromonitor International Report 2008 says travel and tourism in Oman slowly but surely

Usama Bin Karim Al Haremi, Head of Corporate Communication And Media of Oman Air notified that Euromonitor International, the world’s leading independent provider of business intelligence on industries, countries, and consumers with offices in London, Chicago, Singapore, Shanghai, and Vilnius, with a team of over 600 in-country analysts worldwide, has issued in March 2008 its comprehensive report on Travel And Tourism in Oman (97 Tables), which offers a guide to the market at a national level.

The report looked at travel accommodation, transportation, car rental, tourist attractions, and retail travel. It identifies the leading companies and offers strategic analysis of key factors influencing the market, including background information on disposable income, annual leave, and holiday taking habits. Continue Reading

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Building the biggest Sandcastles in Dubai

Dubai property portal,, has vastly increased the selection of residential and commercial property available on their website.

The total number of properties for sale in Dubai, including residential apartments, villas and townhouses, is now over 1900, with a further 200+ properties currently listed for sale or rent across the other Emirate states.

Sandcastles aims to be the largest single portal offering property and land in Dubai. Over the last 6 months it has increased the number of properties listed from 150 to over 2000. This in turn has seen visitors to the Sandcastles website looking to buy property in Dubai go up from 800 unique visitors per month in September 2007 to over 5000 unique visitors in March 2008. Property investors are obviously keeping a close eye on the latest new developments in Dubai, as 58% of visitors to the Sandcastles website in March 2008 were repeat visitors. Continue Reading

Posted in Dubai, Middle East, Real Estate0 Comments

Saudi Arabia: Thousands Fear for Jobs as Airlines Shift to E-Ticketing

airline e-ticketsThousands of workers in travel and tourism agencies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia fear that they would lose their jobs now that the issuance of paper air tickets is no longer an option with airlines worldwide fully shifting to the electronic ticketing system from today. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) will penalize travel agencies that issue paper tickets from June.

According to IATA sources, some 240 carriers belonging to the world organization are fully geared to switch to all-electronic ticketing, much of it through Internet booking.

“In the Kingdom there are 3,000 travel agencies, which employ 20,000 people. About 60 percent of them would lose their jobs when the paper ticketing stops,” Ibrahim Al-Rashid, chairman of the Travel and Tourism Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Arab News yesterday.

He added that leading travel agencies and Saudi Arabian Airlines implemented the change-over months ago. Continue Reading

Posted in Airline News, Middle East, Travel Business News0 Comments

Oman sees tourism future in golf as well as sunshine

oman middle east golf destinationsIt may have year-round sunshine, sandy beaches, cliff-top forts and desert dunes, but Oman is hoping golf will help it lure more tourists as it tries to wean its economy off oil exports.

Today, the Gulf Arab country has one 9-hole course which is frequented by Western expatriates, businessmen and tourists.

That sand course has seen better days, but foreign investors are developing beach resorts incorporating luxury hotels, villas and condominiums nestled amid 18- and 36-hole golf courses.

At least 10 golf resorts are at various stages of planning or construction around Oman.

They include the $400 million Muscat Golf Course, as well as courses planned as part of the $7 billion Blue City, Dubai Holding’s $2 billion Salam Yiti resort and the Murya project in the southern port city of Salalah. Continue Reading

Posted in Golf Destinations, Middle East0 Comments

Anantara Spa Emirates Palace receives “Best Spa” at MENA Travel Awards

Anantara Spa Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi was recently recognized as one of the leading spas in the Middle East and North Africa at the 2008 fifth annual MENA Travel Awards.

Anantara Spa Emirates Palace was awarded GOLD in the Best Spa category for its excellence, at the award ceremony held on Thursday, March 8, 2008. Following an extensive public electronic voting system, the finalists were adjudicated and the top three in each category were revealed amongst industry professionals at the grand gala dinner.

Collecting the award, Michel van Der Hoeven, VP of Development for Minor International – Spas, said, “I am delighted to be presented with this award which is testament to the high levels of service we offer our clients. Anantara Spas are dedicated to offering the ultimate in relaxation and rejuvenation and hosts a spa menu that is created with the customer in mind. This coupled with unrivalled service and care positions us as a leading spa in the region.” Continue Reading

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