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Middle East and North Africa Edition

IRAQI ROTANA Rotana has opened its first property in Iraq – Erbil Rotana, named for its location in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region in the country’s north.

A soon to open gallery at Bahrain Financial Harbour is set to raise the country’s profile as a cultural destination. Its inaugural exhibition is being held in co-operation with New York’s Opera Gallery and will feature artists such as Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali.

5 THAI RECOVERY Thailand has experienced a dramatic recovery in tourism arrival numbers, following major political upheavals over past years.

8 In This Issue Market Update General News Air Travel News Accommodation News International News Agents’ Corner Travel Tips Travel Talk Who’s Moved Rendezvous Events JANUARY 15, 2011

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Cultural Desert 4

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TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY Editor Laura Warne

Accor Sells Lucien Barrière Stake After a false start in September 2010, when an initial public offering (IPO) was withdrawn, Accor has sold its stake in the Lucien Barrière hospitality group.

Deputy Editor Louis Dillon Savage Design & Layout Elina Pericleous Sales & Marketing Dimitris Thomaidis Directors Andreas Constantinides Mary Kammitsi Headquarters P.O. Box 25255 Nicosia 1308 Cyprus Tel: +35722820888 Fax: +35722318958 Website www.traveltradeweekly.travel Emails info@traveltradeweekly.travel editorial@traveltradeweekly.travel sales@traveltradeweekly.travel

MENA Exchange Rates Accurate as of 13/1/2011

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ccor previously held a 49 percent share of the company, which has long been planned for sale as part of a new asset management approach adopted by Accor. The company has been divesting itself of assets following a demerger from its partner company, formerly Accor Services, now Edenred. The demerger saw the hospitality wing, which has continued the Accor name, take on the majority of debt formerly shared by the two divisions. Accor has since been disposing of assets in order to service that debt and move towards an asset light strategy, according to statements released by the company. An IPO of Groupe Lucien Barrière stocks was planned in September 2010, but was cancelled due to a weaker than expected response. The stake has now been purchased by the Fimalac holding company and Groupe Lucien Barrière for a total of EUR268

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CURRENCY Dirham Pound Riyal Pound Dinar Dinar Pound Dinar Riyal Rial Dinar Dirham Riyal Rial Dinar Dinar

This agreement ... maximises Accor’s shareholders interests while also completing our strategic refocusing on our core business “I’m very pleased to announce this agreement, which maximises Accor’s shareholders’ interests while also completing our strategic refocusing on our core business,” he said. “For Groupe Lucien Barrière, the partnership with Fimalac represents an ideal solution regarding industrial and shareholding perspective and will enable the group to pursue its development in optimal conditions.”

The Spanish Fly to the Middle East in 2011

Currencies shown in red are fixed against the US Dollar COUNTRY UAE (AED) Egypt (EGP) Saudi Arabia (SAR) Lebanon (LBP) Bahrain (BHD) Jordan ( JOD) Syria (SYP) Kuwait (KWD) Qatar (QAR) Oman (OMR) Tunisia (TND) Morocco (MAD) Iran (IRR) Yemen (YER) Algeria (DZD) Libya (LYD)

million (USD352.3 million). Fimalac has taken a 35 percent stake, while Groupe Lucien Barrière has bought back 15 percent. Gilles Pélisson, chairman of the Accor board of directors, said the sale would benefit all stakeholders.

1USD= 3.67 5.80 3.75 1479 0.37 0.71 46.32 0.28 3.64 0.38 1.45 8.48 10,260 214.02 73.80 1.25

Spanish travellers are becoming increasingly important to Middle Eastern operators, according to Sam Eltebi, executive director of Dollar Thrifty Automotive for MENA and Asia Pacific. Eltebi reported growth in the numbers of travellers from Spain seeking car rentals, especially in the corporate sector. “We have noticed an increase in our business from Spain, particularly across the UAE and Qatar, mostly from corporate leasing,” he said. He said co-operation between tourism boards and increased connectivity were helping to improve traffic from the country. “Backed by aggressive interest and alliance between tourism boards in the Middle East and Spain, together with the increase of the number of direct flights, we expect a lot of tourist traffic from Spain this year,” he said.

We expect a lot of tourist traffic from Spain this year JANUARY 15, 2011


Jordan Hungers for Turkey’s Feeder Potential Jordan and other Levant countries are courting Turkey in an attempt to attract more travellers from the growing market.

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ohammad Samih, chairman of the Jordan Inbound Tour Operators Association (JITOA), said his group would use the upcoming East Mediterranean International Travel and Tourism Exhibition (EMITT) as a forum to promote the country in Turkey. EMITT will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, from February 10 to February 13 this year. “We are targeting Turkey [as] one of the destinations that have shown remarkable growth and we seek to strengthen ... cooperation with the Turkish market and

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support tourism exchange between the two countries,” Samih said.

We seek to strengthen ... co-operation with the Turkish market and support tourism exchange between the two countries “Our participation will allow new opportunities for Jordan to penetrate new markets and develop the capacity of JITOA members,” said. Work by the Jordanian tour industry

parallels efforts from regional governments. According to The Jordan Times, tourism ministers from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey met on Tuesday, January 11 to discuss intergovernmental cooperation on tourism promotion. Similarly, the Jordan News Agency reported in late 2010 that Jordan Society of Tourism and Travel Agents ( JSTA), another tour industry body, was also working to increase travel from Turkey to the Levant. Both JITOA and JSTA set a goal of attracting 300,000 Turkish tourists to Jordan in 2011. Turkey itself attracts 30 million tourists per year, including 80,000 from Jordan.

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Art Masters to Exhibit at Bahrain’s New Gallery The art scene in Bahrain is set to receive a boost with the upcoming opening of a gallery containing works from historical international masters.

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ahrain Financial Harbour’s (BFH) Fine Art Gallery will be inaugurated on January 27. It will open with an exhibition of artists including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Fernando Botero, and Diego Masi. The exhibition has been assembled from the collection of the Opera Gallery in New York, in the US. Omar Al Mardi, managing director of BFH, said the gallery would serve as an attraction to travellers interested in fine art. "Our new highlight will elevate Bahrain into the art scene on an international scale and this can best be portrayed with

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our first exhibition in collaboration with the internationally famous Opera Gallery," he said.

Our new highlight will elevate Bahrain into the art scene on an international scale He also noted the importance of fine art to the population of Bahrain. “The introduction of BFH's Fine Art Gallery will add a unique value to the cultural lifestyle of our community,” he said. “BFH is proud to support and be associated with art galleries like Opera Gallery that

will help raise the profile of cultures and arts in the kingdom as well as provide arts and education opportunities.”

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- Air Travel

Etihad Launches Ambitious Expansion Plan for 2011 Etihad Airways has pledged to operate daily flights to 74 percent of its route network of 66 global destinations by October of this year.

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requency boosts to five key European routes have already been announced, to take effect between June and August. The European capacity increases will include Paris, moving from 10 flights per week to a double daily service; Manchester, from daily to 10 flights per week; Geneva and Milan from five weekly flights to a daily service; and Brussels, from six flights per week to eight. Beijing, Bangalore and Chicago are also set to see capacity increases over 2011, according to James Hogan, CEO of Etihad. “As we take delivery of new aircraft in 2011, our focus is on offering at least a daily service on key business routes – and wherever possible, a double-daily service – to attract a greater share of the corporate market,” said Hogan.

increase in flight frequencies. The airline is also continuing to retro-fit its current fleet of narrow and wide body aircraft; Etihad is set to have 62 passenger and cargo aircraft in operation by the third quarter of 2011.

“2011 will be one of the most important years in Etihad’s history, as we add depth and scale to our operation, build on our impressive growth of the past seven years, and move towards our break-even target by year-end,” said Hogan.

2011 will be one of the most important years in Etihad’s history “At the same time, the new schedule will help us offer greatly improved connections across the network, making transiting via Abu Dhabi much more convenient for business and leisure travellers.” Hogan pointed out that the number of connections of four hours and under would increase by 50 percent. Five new aircraft will be delivered to Etihad during the summer of 2011, in order to support the JANUARY 15, 2011

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- Accommodation

Ritz Carlton DIFC Officially Open Ritz Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has officially opened to the public.

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he property is the only hotel linked directly to the DIFC building complex. Herve Humler, president of Ritz-Carlton, said the hotel would seek to attract conference business from the companies within DIFC. “Being able to expand our presence in Dubai and be part of a region of substantial growth is a tremendous opportunity,” he said. “Of course, we were quick to welcome the chance to provide an outstanding meeting venue for the international companies that already have a presence in this complex.” Lothar Quarz, general manager of The RitzCarlton DIFC, enthused about his new property. “This day marks the beginning of an exciting new journey,” he said. “I am truly proud of our ladies and gentlemen who have worked hard to put the final details into place. “It is their work ethic, commitment to providing the best service, and relentless

Ritz Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre

determination that will elevate our guests’ experiences and set us apart from our competition.” The hotel includes 341 rooms and 241 executive residences and boasts the tallest water feature in DIFC. This 10 storey waterfall cascades down the building into the main courtyard and has been identified as one of the signature features of the property by Ritz-Carlton.

Rotana Opens in Iraq Rotana has opened its first property in Iraq – Erbil Rotana, named for its location in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region in the country’s north. Kurdistan is a semi autonomous, ethnically distinct region of Iraq, which has remained relatively untouched by the conflict experienced by the country since the 2003 US invasion. Thomas Touma, general manager of Erbil Rotana, gave a rundown of the property. “Owned by Malia Group and managed by Rotana, Erbil Rotana is built on a premium 20,000m² plot of land strategically located next to the prestigious English Village and less than a ten minute drive from Erbil International Airport,” he said. “My team and I are extremely proud to introduce Rotana's five star hospitality to Erbil and have been working hard to ensure all areas involved in the opening of this property are perfectly operational in time for its launch." Erbil Rotana will operate as a five star hotel focused on the business market. The property includes 201 rooms and suites.

My team and I are extremely proud to introduce Rotana's five star hospitality to Erbil Erbil Rotana

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- Accommodation

Starwood Set to Maintain ME Market Leadership Starwood has signed five new hotels in the Middle East so far this month, cementing its established lead in portfolio size.

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he new properties include W, Westin and Element hotels to open in Oman in 2013; a Sheraton in Sharjah, UAE in the same year; and Jordan’s first St Regis, to open in Amman in 2014. Roeland Vos, president of Starwood Hotels and Resorts for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, said growth would be ongoing. “Starwood is established as the sector leader in the Middle East and we are dedicated to continued growth and expansion in the region,” he said.

importance of the developing world. “Reaching out to new frontiers is a key focus for us,” he said. “With more than 70 percent of the world's growth over the decade coming from fastgrowing markets such as the Middle East,

the region plays a central role in our global expansion and development strategy.” Starwood credits its market position to early entrance into the Middle East, where it opened the first Sheraton hotel outside the US in 1966 in Kuwait.

Starwood is established as the sector leader in the Middle East and we are dedicated to continued growth and expansion in the region “This market is integral to our overall growth strategy.” Starwood now boasts 50 operating hotels and a pipeline of 25 more, mostly in the upscale and luxury sectors. According to the company, the Middle East is set to become the first region outside North America to house all nine of its brands. Frits Van Paaschen, CEO of Starwood, said the emphasis on the Middle East was a response to the increasing JANUARY 15, 2011

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- International

Thailand Reports Full Recovery from Disruptive Unrest Thailand has experienced a dramatic recovery in tourism arrival numbers, following major political upheavals over past years.

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he country’s main gateway, Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport, received 1,196,502 travellers in December 2010, showing growth of 5.81 percent over December 2009 and 19.18 percent over the year 2008. According to Suraphon Svetasreni, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the results represent a full recovery from the setbacks caused by Thailand’s period of political unrest. “This excellent result in the final month of 2010 has allowed the Thai tourism industry to recover from the political unrest and achieve beyond its initial set targets,” he said. The country has experienced intermittent protests and riots since its former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, was deposed by a military coup in 2006. In November 2008, anti-government protesters occupied Bangkok’s two airports, causing mass disruption to travel in and out of the country. Tensions ran to violence again in early 2010, when rival political factions clashed with police and each other.

Svetasreni credited the recovery to Thailand’s native attractions and the efforts of its tourism industry.

The industry ... came together to pull off what must be one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the history of Thai tourism “Thanks to the hard work of all the government agencies, THAI Airways and all the airlines serving Thailand, the private sector, and all our supporters and partners

abroad, we have been able to make a remarkable recovery and end our 50th anniversary year on a positive note,” he said. “The traditional friendliness and hospitality of the Thai people, our excellent products and value for money, plus all the great marketing campaigns launched by the industry as a whole all came together to pull off what must be one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the history of Thai tourism.” Points of entry other than Suvarnabhumi Airport are yet to be tallied, but TAT has predicted a total of 15.7 million to 15.8 million international visitor arrivals in 2010, up from 14.14 million in 2009.

Floating Market

Space Adventures Secures Three Flights to ISS with Russian Programme Three people will have the chance to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2011, under a new agreement between commercial space flight agent Space Adventures and Russia’s Federal Space Agency (FSA). The new arrangement has been made possible by an increase in production of Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft. Eric Anderson, chairman of Space Adventures, said demand for the seats was already high. 8

“Since Guy Laliberte's [CEO of Cirque du Soleil] mission, there has been an increase of interest by private individuals, organisations and commercial entities seeking ways to access the space station,” he said. “We have been speaking with these parties about science, education and multi-media programmes and hope to make some major announcements in the coming year.” Space Adventures was the company that

arranged for the first space tourist, millionaire Dennis Tito, who visited the ISS in 2001. Since then the company has offered a range of space flight experiences, including seven further trips to the ISS. Space Adventures’ approach differs from other commercial space flight companies, such as Virgin Galactic, by working with existing government space agencies, instead of developing independent launch capabilities. JANUARY 15, 2011


Jumeirah Links with DOTW Global wholesale travel company Destinations of the World (DOTW) has announced a partnership with Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, directly connecting the booking systems of the two companies. The move will provide 150,000 DOTW travel trade clients with direct, immediate access to inventory and best available rates at all Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts. Jumeirah is currently increasing its worldwide portfolio, with eight new properties slated to open in 2011. Similarly, DOTW has expansion plans of its own, with distribution set to increase to more than 450,000 points of sale by the second quarter of 2011. According to Keith Fernandez, group managing director of DOTW, customer demand for Jumeirah has regularly outstripped supply. “This development will certainly enhance our availability for Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts on all categories of rooms, increase the sales and more importantly better meet the needs of our customers,” said Fernandez.

Agent’s Insight Name: Mamoun Al-Halabi Position: Owner and Manager Company: Ain Dara Travel and Tourism Location: Syria Who are you? Please tell us a little about your company. This company was built in 1991. I am the owner and we operate as an incoming travel agency for both individuals and groups travelling across Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Before the American occupation, we also sometimes ran tours in Iraq.

What is your favourite thing about working in the travel industry? It is interesting work and I am very optimistic. I have a boutique hotel in Damascus and I am about to buy another old house to become a second one, so things are going well at the moment.

When is the best time to visit Syria, Lebanon and Jordan? The high season is March to the end of May, then September to mid October, then in late December and early January, because you have Noel and the New Year holidays.

Where would you like to travel to for your next holiday? I was in Turkey last time and I think I would like to go to Egypt next time, for the swimming.

Why should people come to you for travel advice?

VisitBritain’s UAE Workshops VisitBritain, along with Tourism Ireland and VisitScotland, is set to hold workshops for travel trade professionals in Dubai and Abu Dhabi during February. The workshops are designed to showcase the latest tourism offerings from new and established companies in the UK and Ireland, capitalising on the region’s popularity with Middle Eastern travellers. Carol Maddison, UAE manager for VisitBritain, said there had been a significant year-on-year increase in GCC visitors to the UK and Ireland. “The travel and tourism packages that are being showcased certainly bring to light the indisputable value-for-money travel deals which the regional market will continue to enjoy,” said Maddison. Workshops will be held at Grand Hyatt Dubai on February 7 and The Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi on February 9. 10

Because I make bookings quickly and my prices are reasonable. I also have much experience, 20 years, so I know my countries – Jordan, Lebanon and Syria – very well.

It is interesting work and I am very optimistic Damascus, Syria

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Middle East to Benefit From UK Travel in 2011 The Middle East is set to dominate the mid haul market from the UK, according to a trend forecast from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA). All seven destinations picked as emerging mid haul hotspots fall within the wider MENA region. Syria, Morocco, Tunisia, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt and Abu Dhabi all made the list. Here are the main points that make these countries bankable when it comes to one of the world’s most important source markets. Abu Dhabi The buzz surrounding Abu Dhabi’s latest developments, such as Ferrari World (including the world’s fastest roller coaster) and must-see hotels like Yas Hotel, have established the emirate as one of the talking point destinations of 2011. Syria Syria reported a 46 percent year-on-year increase in visitor numbers in the first six months of 2010. According to ABTA, its cultural attractions have begun to look irresistible.

Egypt Despite the perennial allure of the pyramids, beach holidays are the ticket for Egypt this year as recession-hit Brits look for cost shaving holidays away from traditional summer retreats. All inclusive resorts on the Red Sea have been picked to boom. Turkey Turkey has emerged into the British consciousness as a beach destination and with the pound still weak, the country is seen as an economical destination by many.

Tunisia A slow groundswell of interest over past years has turned into a rush, with 31 percent more UK tourists visiting Tunisia in 2010 compared to 2009. The country is cheap, exotic and about to benefit from a range of new flights.

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Morocco Britain’s closest non-European destination is predicted to get a boost from British Airways, who will launch direct flights this year. Iraq With the withdrawal of combat troops, Iraq is now seen as open for business. Millions of dollars worth of investment is underway and tourism interest is growing. Picked as a “slow burn” hotspot.

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Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum CEO of Emirates Airline and Group “The tourism industry has played a key role in positioning Dubai and the UAE on the global map. This partnership [between Emirates and] Starwood Hotels and Resorts [for management of Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort] brings a wealth of global presence and experience to the hotels in this region; Starwood's extensive network and renowned brand management will add immense value to these properties.”

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum

The tourism industry has played a key role

Lakshmi Durai Executive Director, Royal Caribbean Cruises Middle East “For the first time we will call into India and we are very excited, because the market has great potential and we believe the interest from the GCC will be high. European sailings are very popular, over the last years we have had constant booking increases from both within the region and also from other parts of the world; which is why Royal Caribbean International deployed a record number of 11 ships sailing from 11 popular and historic European ports in summer 2011. If families and couples have been waiting for the right time to cruise in Europe, it has arrived.”

We believe the interest from the GCC will be high Lakshmi Durai

Hesham Abdullah Al Qassim CEO, Wasl Asset Management Group “Activities such as the Dubai Summer Festival, which increased hotel occupancy rates by 15 percent and generated over USD150 million in retail revenues during 2010, can help the economy recover as it stimulates the tourism and service sectors. It will certainly be positively reflected in the financial performance of a number of associated activities too.” Dubai

Activities such as the Dubai Summer Festival ... can help the economy recover as it stimulates the tourism and service sectors

Travel Talk is your space – this is a casual forum for travel industry professionals to discuss current issues and share stories. We want to hear from you, so send your comments, questions, frustrations and observations to editorial@traveltradeweekly.travel 12

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Abdulrazaq bin Juma Alraisi

Abdulrazaq bin Juma Alraisi

Rola Khatib

Oman Air has appointed Abdulrazaq bin Juma Alraisi as chief commercial officer. Alraisi has spent 10 years working with Oman Air in a variety of different positions, including senior manager of sales, country manager for Oman and general manager of worldwide sales. He has more than 20 years of experience with a number of aviation organisations. In his new role, Alraisi will oversee worldwide sales, holidays, inflight services, cargo and the airline’s loyalty programme.

Anzelle Johnson

Anzelle Johnson

Grand Millennium Al Wahda, in Abu Dhabi, has appointed Anzelle Johnson as spa manager. Johnson began her career as a cruise ship therapist and wellness consultant with Steiner Transocean. After working on a number of major cruise lines, Johnson moved to the UAE in 2009 to join Radisson Blu Hotel on Yas Island. In her new role at Grand Millennium Al Wahda, Johnson will oversee the entire health and fitness department of the hotel.

Rola Khatib Al Murooj Rotana Dubai has appointed Rola Khatib as assistant director of marketing and communications. Khatib has seven years of experience in visual communications and has worked for a number of advertising and production agencies in the region. She holds a degree in graphic design from Lebanese International University. In her new role, Khatib will assist the cluster director of marketing and communications in overseeing all marketing and communications projects for the property.

Iftikhar Hamdani

Jumana Jihad Amleh

Ramada Ajman has appointed Iftikhar Hamdani as executive assistant manager and acting general manager. Hamdani has previously worked with Pearl Continental Hotels in Pakistan, Coral International Hotels and Resorts and Verona Hospitality in the UAE. In his new role, Hamdani plans to focus on operations, as well as sales and marketing.

Etihad Airways has appointed Jumana Jihad Amleh as country manager for Jordan. Amleh has more than 10 years of aviation experience and will be responsible for managing all commercial operations in Amman. Prior to joining Etihad, Amleh held a number of senior sales positions at Emirates Airline, based in Jordan.

Iftikhar Hamdani 14

Jumana Jihad Amleh JANUARY 15, 2011


Q&A with Khalid Anib Al Areen Palace in Bahrain was originally launched as the first Banyan Tree property in the Middle East. However, in early 2010, the Banyan Tree group split with owning company Al Areen Holding Co in a bitter legal dispute. Nearly one year on, Travel Trade Weekly caught up with Khalid Anib, general manager of the newly named Al Areen Palace and Spa. Here, he discusses the resort’s inclusion in The Leading Hotels of the World group, as well as his plans to boost the property’s image with a range of MICE incentives and high profile entertainment events. Travel Trade Weekly: How has your property changed since the management split with Banyan Tree? Khalid Anib: I believe that the positive

Our new dynamic pricing strategy has started paying off. It did help us seal different deals. One of them is in January; a full house for six nights with Volvo.

changes have only just begun, with Al Areen Palace and Spa being included into The Leading Hotels of the World and we are honoured that our services and standards have been firmly recognised. We have laid out several plans for the resort and I feel confident that the local Bahrain market as well as our GCC supporters will continue to visit the property. We will keep on delivering, without compromise, the finest products and seamless service that we are expected to meet and we will continue to be a market leader in our most extensive spa facility in the Middle East.

I believe that the positive changes have only just begun

I feel confident that the local Bahrain market as well as our GCC supporters will continue to visit the property Travel Trade Weekly: Is  Al Areen Palace focusing more on leisure or business/MICE tourism? Where are your key source markets and who are your main clients? Khalid Anib: The resort’s main clients are mostly from GCC countries and we are focusing more on MICE tourism as we can offer excellent meeting and banqueting facilities, and a large choice of venues and entertainment. JANUARY 15, 2011

Khalid Anib

Travel Trade Weekly: What impact has the partnership with Leading Hotels of  the World had on the property? Khalid Anib: With the resort’s recent inclusion to The Leading Hotels of the World network, we started gaining global exposure, mainly among the international travel trade. The Leading Hotels of the World by itself is an internationally recognised luxury institution which enables us to reach a large number of connoisseur travellers.

Travel Trade Weekly: Are there any new developments, additions or changes to the property that you'd like to mention? Khalid Anib: [In late 2010], we successfully organised a concert for Nancy Ajram, which was attended by more than 1,000 guests from Bahrain and neighbouring countries. This was the first of the many planned events to be held at the property. The next mega event was the Sound of Beauty on 23 December [2010], targeting 1,500 guests. We are also the first and only resort in the island to offer water ball experience for

the kids with a dedicated team. Beginning in January 2011, we will be opening our signature restaurant, which will be one of the best contemporary Arabic restaurants with contemporary Moroccan design complete with live entertainment. The formerly known Saffron restaurant is reopened with a new name, L’île, which means ‘the island’, which offers diners modern fusion international cuisine. The resort has also converted our indoor pool into a unique venue to cater for parties and events with complete suspended DJ booth, Perspex dance floor, projection screens and an exclusive VIP area.

We are focusing more on MICE tourism as we can offer excellent meeting and banqueting facilities 15


Several Countries to Debut in the Near FITUR A number of countries will be exhibiting at the International Travel and Trade Fair (FITUR) for the first time this year. Lebanon, Republic of Congo, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Namibia, New Zealand and South Africa will all be debuting at the exhibition, which will be held from January 19 to 23 this year. Fitur is held annually in the Spanish capital of Madrid, at the Feria de Madrid venue.

It is one of the largest travel and trade fairs in the world, attracting stands from most of the world’s countries in addition to thousands of businesses. A total of 166 countries are set to be represented at the upcoming fair. In 2010, close to 11,000 individual businesses were present at the event as well as 124,644 professional visitors. FITUR organiser Ifema has estimated an

increase in participation of three to four percent in 2011, compared to 2009. According to Ifema, an emphasis on diversification was placed on the planning of this year’s show, which is set to include features aimed at alternative lifestyles, as well as new offerings for the MICE sector. 2011 represents the thirty-first anniversary of the event.

Events Blossom Japan Tokyo, Japan, January 18-21, 2011 (www.blossomjapan.com) A new invitation-only luxury travel exhibition focusing on the Japanese market.

Emitt Istanbul Istanbul, Turkey, February 10-13, 2011 (www.emittistanbul.com) Istanbul’s only international trade fair: focused on tourism in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Fitur International Tourism Trade Fair Madrid, Spain, January 19-23, 2011 (www.fitur.es) Fitur is a meeting point for tourism professionals to establish lines of action, strategies and business alliances.

Middle East Exclusive 2011 Dubai, UAE, February 20-22, 2011 (www.middleeastexclusive.com) Luxury brand and travel retail exhibition.

Hobex Tripoli, Libya, January 25-27, 2011 (www.wahaexpo.com/hobex) International hotel business exhibition.

Gulfood Exhibition 2011 Dubai, UAE, February 27–March 2, 2011 (www.gulfood.com) International exhibition for the food, drink and hospitality markets.

ITB India Travel Market - Mumbai Berlin, Germany, March 9-13, 2011 Mumbai, India, February 4-6, 2011 (www.messe-berlin.de) (www.indiatravelmart.com) One of the world’s major travel and tourism exhibitions for all Travel trade show for inbound, outbound and domestic tourism. aspects of the travel industry. Food and Hospitality Expo Manama, Bahrain, February 8-10, 2011 (www.foodexpbh.com) Hospitality technology, systems and equipment, along with exhibitors from international food companies.

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GIBTM Abu Dhabi, UAE, March 28-30, 2011 (www.gibtm.com) International event for the business travel and meetings industry in the Gulf and Middle East region.

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Travel Trade Weekly Issue 62