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TTG Middle East & North Africa 単 JULY 2010 / 2011

QATAR:

SPORTING ASPIRATIONS

EVENT LISTINGS INTERVIEWS DIRECTORY

UAE:

ROLE MODEL DESTINATION EQUESTRIAN: A GLAMOROUS INDUSTRY

asia:

POWERHOUSE REGION SPORTS TOURISM:

TAPPING INTO THE $600 BILLION INDUSTRY


contents >P.12 SPORTS TOURISM

>P.18 TEAM QATAR

>P.26 LINEUP UAE

>P.42 ALL ACCESS ASIA

>P.54 SPECIAL: GOLF

>P.60 MOTOR SPORTS

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else can. Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair. It laughs in the face of all kinds of discrimination. Sport speaks to people in a language they can understand.”

3 Editor’s Note

54 Special: GOLF

4 Industry Sports Round-up

60 Finishing Line: MOTOR SPORTS

12 Cover Story: SPORTS TOURISM

64 Spotlight: EQUESTRIAN

17 Focus

69 Hotel Directory: MENA

Nelson Mandela

42 All Access ASIA

18 Team QATAR 26 Line Up UAE 41 Comment

78 Hotel Directory: ASIA 80 Hotel Directory: EUROPE


EDITOR’S NOTE

Chief Editor Alexandra North ANorth@ttgmena.com Supplement Editor Claudio Saghbini CSaghbini@ttgmena.com Contributors Emily Millett Andreas Stylianou Andrea Gutova Head Designer Ioanna Pattichi Designers Elena Stylianou Edward Beales

Welcome to your first Industry Supplement

Executive Director Katherine Savvides Sales and Marketing Manager Tony Fields TFields@ttgmena.com Business Development Manager John Webb Area Sales Manager - Dubai Eleni Soliman

“Be prepared”, “stand out from the crowd”, “do your homework”, “think out-of-the-box” – phrases we thought we’d left behind in the classroom all those years ago are back once again to occupy us. If the events of the past two years have taught us anything at all, it’s that these lessons of life have never been more applicable, and nowhere more so than in the travel trade, where we are seeing a big shift in focus towards the more ‘niche’ sectors of the industry in a bid by companies to tap into what’s really going on. Well here at TTG MENA we like to put our ideas into action – and so to launch a new reference-style publication that addresses the key niche sectors of the travel industry was one of the main targets we set at a recent meeting. And so it is – sitting open in your hands and waiting to be read is the first edition of the TTG MENA Industry Supplements, dedicated to the niche but limitless area of sports tourism. Some of you might be pondering over the what’s, why’s and ‘what’s in it for me’s’ of our new initiative, and why sports tourism? Well according to the UNWTO, sports tourism is the single fastest-growing sector in the travel and tourism industry today and therefore presents a lucrative area for our readers to capitalise on. Whereas 10 years ago people were quite happy to have a vacation lying on a beach, society is increasingly seeking active pursuits as part of their holiday. Be it golfing in Thailand, paragliding in the Alps, or testing one’s skills on a race track in the UAE, modern society means that people are

becoming more adventurous, or what economists like to define as ‘sportified’, and this has proven to be a great motivator for travel and tourism. Many of you may also be asking how we’ve defined the loose term of ‘sports tourism’. Well, we’ve taken all areas into consideration - from some of the top suppliers and venues of sports tourism to the value of sponsoring major events, we’ve presented, over the following pages, a reference tool which will allow you to identify the latest sports initiatives, events, venues and trends in the MENA region and indeed worldwide. And so with the proverbial ball of our new Industry Supplements now rolling, we hope you enjoy and make use of your first edition, and thank you for your support in compiling the data, opinions and information. Above all, we look forward to offering you the next in line – the Shopping Tourism Industry Supplement – due out in October. Until then, happy reading and stay healthy!

Supplement Editor Claudio Saghbini

Sales Executives Adrian Exley Maria Demetriadou Elaine Hockley Kyri Kyriacou Operations Manager Chris Christou Marketing and Communications Lydia Anastasiou Accounts Stalo Antoniades Headquarters 33 - 37 Michael Parides Street, Pallouriotissa, 1041 Nicosia, Cyprus Tel: +357-22-843800 Fax: +357-22-349966 Email: INFO@ttgmena.com Website: www.ttgmena.com Dubai Office Building 9, Office G08, Dubai Media City, P.O. Box 502147, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971-444-95488 Fax: +971-444-95489 Email: DXB@ttgmena.com TTG Worldwide Titles* TTG Asia TTG China TTG Czech Republic TTG Hungary TTG Italia TTG Poland TTG Russia TTG UK & Ireland * For information on these publications, please contact us at: INFO@ttgmena.com

Printed in Cyprus by Cassoulides Masterprinters, PO Box 21980, 1515 Nicosia, Cyprus Tel: +357-22-843600 Fax: +357-22-348835


INDUSTRY SPORTS

WATER SPORTS STAYING FIT IN BAHRAIN Set along Bahrain’s coastline, Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa – due to open in the last quarter of this year – is ideally suited to cater to tourists and residents looking to enjoy the country’s water sports opportunities. Area general manager, Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa, Guy Poujoulat told TTG: “The hotel’s beach club overlooks the sea and features elegant and spacious changing areas, luxury sea and pool-

side lounging and waterfront activities such as kayaks and catamarans; all in an elegant atmosphere. “These are complemented by the most up-to-date equipped gym SoFit, a free-form temperature controlled swimming pool, a children’s pool with play area, two tennis courts and two squash courts.” Prestigiously positioned on Zallaq beach in the Royalty neighbourhood on the west coast of Bahrain, the hotel is surrounded by a number of landmarks such as Al Areen Wild Life Park and City, Bahrain International Circuit, and The Lost Paradise of Dilmun Waterpark.

A legacy for Oman Representing the biggest international sporting event ever to be held in Oman, the 2nd Asian Beach Games, scheduled to take place between December 8 to 16, is expected to leave a legacy for the country, strengthening its reputation as a sport and ecotourism destination and creating new economic opportunities. Held within Muscat as well as at Al 4

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World-class destination

Gihan Tawfik further confirmed plans for an 18-hole golf course in the second phase of Port Ghalib’s development. “Sports tourists here almost always Boasting four hotels in Port Ghalib, the world-class integrated seek water sports, and Port Ghalib is considered one of the best destiresort community located on Egypt’s Red Sea coast, InterConti- nations in the world for diving and nental Hotels Group (IHG) makes snorkelling,” she declared. a rather unique spot for adventure “They look for long stay vacations to be able to visit the numerous and sport seekers of all types. and unique diving sites, which Port The group’s four Port Ghalib Ghalib is very rich in. properties – InterContinental The Palace, Crowne Plaza Sahara “In addition, Marsa Alam offers Sands, Crowne Plaza Sahara Oasis, other sport relative activities such as desert safaris, Bedouin camping and The Marina Lodge Hotel, provide ample facilities for groups and other attractive venues.” Comprising a total of nine themed and individuals to choose from, villages, its own marina and IHG’s including a football field, horse own hospitality quarter, the vast academy, bowling centre, PADI Port Ghalib is situated just a two diving centre, tennis courts, jogging trail, as well as various beach km drive from Marsa Alam International Airport. and water sport activities. Among its abundance of facilities, Facilities also include several swimming pools, a Six Senses spa, the resort also provides mini golf, billiards, table tennis, a lazy river, as well as a 24/7 fitness centre. parasailing, fishing and private Director of marketing and comspeed boat trips. munications, IHG Port Ghalib,

Musana’a Sports City – a site developed for the Games located 125km north of the capital, the multi-sport event is expected to draw some 2,000 athletes from 45 countries battling it out in 14 modern and traditional sports disciplines. These will include beach handball, beach kabaddi, beach sepaktakraw, beach soccer, beach volleyball, beach water polo, beach wood ball, bodybuilding, jet ski, marathon swimming, sailing, tent pegging, triathlon and water-ski.

In preparation for the games, Omran is developing temporary and permanent infrastructure to host an estimated 50,000 spectators for the duration of the Games. Upon completion, the one-million m2 Al Musana’a Sports City will feature several Olympic-quality sporting facilities, a four-star hotel, serviced apartments, an events plaza, Athletes’ Village, a range of retail and restaurant facilities, media centre, as well as a large 400-berth marina.


Promoting Egypt’s Red Sea The Savoy International has been confirmed as the number one choice in Sharm El Sheikh, and the top promoter of sports tourism among Egypt’s Red Sea resorts, this according to area director of marketing, Savoy Sharm El Sheikh, Mamdouh El-Sheshtawy. “Sharm El Sheikh is a paradise for outdoors enthusiasts, with some of the world’s most celebrated diving areas in the Red Sea,” he told TTG. “Increasingly, enthusiasts want to be staying in an eco-friendly place where the air is clean and the weather is beautiful year round. Savoy Sharm El Sheikh is the top hotel in Sharm El Sheikh because of the high quality and variety of experiences offered,” added Mamdouh, referring to the hotel’s

“Recently, sports tourism has become important [in Saudi Arabia], particularly for those who are staying during weekends; for expat residents; and for more Saudis themselves.”

Splashing around in Yanbu No introductions are needed for the abundance of water-based sports activities currently available on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coastline for divers and snorkellers, swimmers, wind surfers, boaters, fishermen, among others. Tapping into this sector with expertise and drive is Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Yanbu, which promotes and sponsors a wide range of beach- and water-oriented activities including fishing, beach volleyball, pool chess and treasure hunts, as well as horseback riding activities. “In particular, Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Yanbu is affiliated with major diving

academies in the area, promoting diving and snorkelling, as well as sponsoring trips to explore the scenic shores of Yanbu,” explained general manager, Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Yanbu, Khaled Habbad. Located on its own private island on the Red Sea coast, the 201-room, -suite, -villa, and -apartment resort is located close to a horse-back riding centre and a cricket stadium, and features extensive onsite facilities including a fully-equipped gym and fitness centre. “Historically, Saudi Arabia was perceived as a destination for business and religious purposes. Recently, sports tourism has become important not only for leisure travellers but also for business travellers, particularly for those who are staying during weekends; for expat residents; and for more and more Saudis themselves,” Habbad told TTG.

location in a protected national park with some of the world’s finest diving and snorkelling, and where a five-star diving centre offers courses and day trips. The hotel also offers a 10-pin bowling alley, tennis courts, a short golf course, as well as a professional course nearby. El-Sheshtawy added that The Royal Savoy, the exclusive wing of The Savoy International offering supreme luxury and a new range of honeymoon suites, was voted number one in Sharm El Sheikh and number six in the world 2010 by visitors to TripAdvisor. “Consistently, the Savoy’s properties in Sharm El Sheikh, including luxury villas and the incredibly successful SOHO Square entertainment, dining and shopping centre, are voted number one in Egypt by the World Travel Awards, Rotary International, Thomas Cook, and guests themselves whose enthusiasm is reflected in the high bookings and repeat visits.”

Selection of MENA hotels with onsite diving facilities > Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, UAE > IHG Port Ghalib, Egypt > Renaissance Sharm el Sheikh Golden View Beach Resort, Egypt > Steigenberger Al Dau Beach Hotel, Egypt > Hotel JAL Fujairah Resort & Spa, UAE > Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, Dubai, UAE > Mövenpick Resort Tala Bay Aqaba, Jordan > Kempinski Hotel Ajman, UAE > Mövenpick Beirut Hotel & Resort, Lebanon > Royal Beach Hotel & Resort, Fujairah, UAE > Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, UAE

SPORTS TOURISM

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INDUSTRY SPORTS

HEALTH & FITNESS

TOWERING sportS destination Alexandria’s sports proposition is beckoning to be discovered, believes general manager, Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano, Todd Cilano, particularly following a series of initiatives by the government to enhance tourism facilities in the Egyptian city. “These include the new stadium in Borg El Arab which was built to add more capacity to the old one, and

the ongoing upgrade of Borg El Arab Airport,” he told TTG. “There has also been an increasing number of direct flights between Alexandria and Europe/ the Middle East.” Wreck diving remains a major crowdpuller in Alexandria, according to Cilano, who described the activity as a fun and unique tourist experience, and one yet to be fully explored. Montaza Bay, just 15 minutes away, is also an ideal spot for water sports during the summer time, and the location as the previous King Farouk Palace is an attractive marketing tool. The 118-room Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano is a preferred spot in town, particularly during one of the city’s various sporting events, as Cilano explained: “For example, Alexandria hosted the FIFA U21 World Cup ceremonies in the new Borg el Arab Stadium which was attended by the president and other VIP guests. “The hotel hosted a number of VIPs who came especially for this event to see their national team playing.”

Sporting haven in Lebanon Regarded as Beirut’s only city centre hotel with fully-fledged resort facilities, Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Beirut believes is the first-rate choice for sport enthusiasts, and for good reason. “Our property is big for sports through the extensive facilities that we offer both indoor and outdoor, such as scuba diving, boat rental and fishing, kayak, pedalo, water ski, as well as squash, tennis and basket courts,” explained director of sales and marketing, Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Beirut, Maha Bourachi. “All this without forgetting to mention our 6

TTG MENA

An experienced host Against the backdrop of Bahrain’s several annual international and GCC sports tournaments, Al Safir Hotel & Tower continues to be considered one of the preferred hotels in the Kingdom for accommodating sports groups. Director of sales, Al Safir Hotel & Tower, Rogier van Zeventer described the hotel’s unique selling points: “We have a large inventory [192 deluxe rooms and 71 apartments] for large groups, and we can ensure safely produced food for athletes as we are the only hotel in the Kingdom which is certified for ISO 22000:2005 food safety. “We have always considered the notion that to attract more sports groups, we must offer better competitive rates without compromising on our high standard of product delivery,” he told TTG. “Al Safir Hotel & Tower is the best four-star hotel in Juffair – we guarantee the best service with an economical budget rate in a healthy and safe environment.” Zeventer further highlighted the hotel’s close proximity to Bahrain International Airport, as well as to sports venues including Juffair Sports Hall Dome [2km] and Royal Golf Club [15km].

marina, four swimming pools – both indoor and outdoor, fully-equipped health club, gym, and spa,” Bourachi told TTG. Moreover, with a golf course some 10km away, and situated just an hour’s drive from Faraya ski resorts and beaches along the Mediterranean coast, the 292-room property offers a convenient location for escapades across Lebanon. Where the hotel excels in the sports and leisure domain, business facilities have not been overlooked – 11 multi-purpose conference rooms and outdoor venues are available for the training and meeting needs of sports groups, while the ballrooms are suitable for product launches and corporate entertainment.


INDUSTRY SPORTS

ADVENTURE SPORTS Mountain of sports in Lebanon Located at an altitude of 2,000m with direct access to the fun-packed mountains of Lebanon, InterContinental Mzaar Lebanon presents a unique proposition for adventure and outdoor enthusiasts. “Outdoor sports activities are one of the most sought-after reasons for staying at

Climbing interest Climbat Amman Indoor Climbing Centre has officially opened in Jordan in what is regarded as the best and only purpose-built climbing centre in the Middle East. Partnering with Climbat Barcelona and Top30 Climbing Walls, the centre provides

InterContinental Mzaar,” confirmed general manager, InterContinental Mzaar Lebanon, Walid Kanaan. “In order to cater for large groups, the resort works in partnership with a company that specialises in outdoor activities and adventure escapades in the mountains.” Kanaan further elaborated over the type of sporting activities that the hotel can offer. “At InterContinental Mzaar we focus mainly on ‘soft sports tourism’. This is represented by tourists travelling for recreational sporting or signing up for leisure interests like alpine skiing, mountain biking/hiking, climbing, rappel, paragliding, ATV and snowmobiling,” he told TTG. Moreover, with a fitness centre, swimming pool and spa, guests can spend time exercising or relaxing at the hotel when not exploring the outdoors, and with 135 keys, the property can accommodate even the largest groups of sport travellers. an all-weather facility and courses for every level of climber from beginners to professionals, thanks to its world-class climbing walls built using advanced materials and manufacturing techniques. The latest computer-aided design and tools have been utilised from the start of the project to ensure the centre is one of the most outstanding in the world and remains the leading centre in the Middle East.

All under one roof Open since 2005, Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club (SGSC) is looking to lure many more tourists to the club following great success with the local UAE and expatriate market. “We have worked out some hotel tie-ups and have also introduced a free shuttle bus service twice daily from five major hotels in Sharjah,” explained sales and marketing manager, SGSC, Ziad Al Sharabi. “The study is still underway and we hope we can tie up with international tour operators in order to attract more tourists to Sharjah and to the club.”

Located on the Emirates Road some 15 minutes from Dubai, SGSC is house to a ninehole golf course, golf academy, indoor shooting range – proclaimed to be one of the best in the UAE, indoor and outdoor target archery range, health club and Boutique Spa, infinity swimming pool, floodlit multipurpose courts for tennis and basketball, as well as a worldclass Paintball Park. Looking forward, the club is expecting the completion of the new paintball building with indoor archery to be finished by October this year, with the future pipeline also holding a boutique hotel and residential plot.

Rock climbing in Hurghada Steigenberger Al Dau Resort, located in Hurghada on the Red Sea coast of Egypt, is set to introduce a rock climbing wall at its grounds – a new concept in the country and indeed the region, 8

TTG MENA

according to director of e-commerce and marketing communications, Steigenberger Al Dau Resort, Stefanie Glasser. “Not only do we cater a nine-hole academy golf course, an aqua driving range, a dive club, two tennis courts, and a 24-hour gym, we are also planning the addition of a rock climbing wall in 2010 – something which is very new in this region,” confirmed Glasser.


An active German holiday

ing, cycling and holidays by the water. Golf, windsurfing, horse riding, climbing, canoeing, Nordic walking and winter sports are also promoted to show the diverse range of active holidays available in Germany and to reach out to new With some 200,000km of walking trails, target groups. 200 long-distance cycle routes, and countless cycle paths linking the counConnections to Germany: tryside, towns and regions, Germany’s eminence as an adventure destination is Flight connections between Germany unparalleled in Europe, believes director and the Middle East remain strong, with of marketing and sales – Gulf, German Roeding summarising the abundance of National Tourist Board in Dubai, Antje direct flights available: “Lufthansa flies Roeding. to Frankfurt from the Gulf cities of Abu Highlighting the value of sports to Ger- Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammany’s tourism industry, Roeding told mam, Kuwait, Doha and Bahrain. There TTG: “According to the World Travel are also flights to Munich, for example, Monitor/IPK International, around one from Dubai and three times a week from third of all holidays spent by Europeans Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. in Germany in 2008 involved active “Airlines based in the Gulf, such as Emirleisure pursuits,” said Roeding. “The ates, also fly to Düsseldorf and Hamburg most popular, at just below 45 per cent, and Qatar Airways has a direct flight to was walking, followed by swimming and Berlin. Etihad, Saudi Airlines and Gulf Air cycling. also have daily connections to Germany. To boost these important segments, Starting from the 2010/11 winter flight the German National Tourist Board has schedule, Berlin Air is planning to fly established active holidays as an annual three times a week from Berlin to theme, putting higher emphasis on walk- Dubai,” concluded Roeding.

The art of adventure

Action-packed weekend

Jeep tours, trekking, mountain climbing, camel riding, cycling – you name it and Jordan Artist Tours, a local travel agency based in Petra, is likely to provide it, owing to the company’s extensive experience in the field. General manager, Jordan Artist Tours, Abdelazeez Hasanat explained: “We have strong experience in sports tours as we are a team of local Bedouin people running the agency and know the features of our region in very much detail. “Due to this we organise a range of sport tours including horse and camel riding, hiking and trekking tours, mountain climbing, bicycle tours, diving tours (in Aqaba particularly), and Jeep tours. These form around 40 to 60 per cent of our total tours per year.”

Scheduled to take place from October 7 to 9 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Adrenaline Sports Live presented by RANI is promising an action-packed adventure weekend for locals and tourists alike. Having attracted some 26,200 trade and consumer visitors in 2009 and 19,175 in 2008, as well as coverage from no less than 40 media outlets including eight TV channels, the annual Adrenaline Sports Live presented by RANI includes water, land, urban and air activities, competitions, demonstrations and ‘Have a Go’ sports trials. Among this year’s offerings will be the 3rd Abu Dhabi Dragon Boat Festival, a range of adrenaline water sports, kitesurfing, skateboarding, beach volleyball, in-line skating, BMX, climbing, free fall tower, RC cars, air activities, adventure tourism and retail and clubs, including the hottest new sports equipment, urban clothing, lifestyle accessories and adventure sports clubs. Confirmed brands for this year include Milan Optical, Modern Sport, Cyprus Tourism Organisation, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Safar Travel & Tourism, Circle 8, Red Entertainment Distribution, Arabian Pacific & Travel and many more.

Jordan Artist Tours accredits its success to its strong relations with local and international travel trade professionals alike, who regularly organise their sport tours with the company. “We would like to keep these strong relations and are always working to establish new ones,” concluded Hasanat.

SPORTS TOURISM

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INDUSTRY SPORTS

BALL SPORTS Reopening in Dubailand Set to become one of the biggest and best value sports, leisure and social club in the UAE, Dubai Country Club is soon to re-open its doors in Dubailand, directly behind the Arabian Ranches. The resort-style club features a 1,700m2 pool, a health and fitness facility, 12 tennis courts, three squash courts, a football field, an indoor sports hall, and a modern skate park. The Club will also boast an adult-only sanctuary

featuring a 20m private pool with swim up bar, an 18-suite boutique hotel, and a day spa. A dedicated children’s centre with a fully supervised crèche and kids’ club is available while teenagers can enjoy a dedicated chill-out space which will include a café and an activity zone. CEO, Dubailand, Khalid Malik commented: “We are thrilled to welcome Dubai Country Club to Dubailand. This extraordinary new facility is the ideal complement to Dubailand’s attractions, and will be an exciting addition to the destination’s diverse entertainment options.”

A new home for Irish sports The Aviva Stadium at Lansdowne Road has recently been unveiled in Dublin as the new home for Ireland’s international rugby and soccer teams. The finished structure is a stateof-the-art 50,000 all-seated stadium which, while making a bold architectural statement, does not impact the Dublin skyline environmentally. Aviva Stadium Dublin is already attracting a wide range of corporate events.

Collectively the confirmed corporate events will bring over 10,000 delegates to this new venue. Confident that the venue is going to be a major international success, sales and marketing manager, Aviva Stadium, Cailin Keaney said: “Home to our international rugby and soccer teams, the Aviva will rapidly become known all over the world. It is a hugely advanced structure in terms of its design and a great deal of work has gone into making it a really sustainable venue. We look forward to welcoming many national and international events over the coming months.”

“We are proud to manage this luxurious hotel,” he said. “This contract is in line with the company’s growth strategy that is aimed at operating 15 hotels and resorts by 2013.” With its attractive tourism and historical sites, majestic mountains and sandy beaches, the city of Aden in Yemen is

“The city of Aden in Yemen is frequented by tourists of various nationalities”

In time for Yemen’s Gulf Cup Al Qasr Hotel & Resort has announced its arrival in Yemen, just in time for November’s 20th Gulf Cup Football Championship 2010. 10

TTG MENA

Located in the city of Aden and developed by Resta Hotels & Resorts, the hotel will feature 239 rooms and suites and will serve as the first project of its kind in Yemen – a highly prestigious and deluxe hotel with large green spaces and panoramic views, according to chairman, Resta Hotels & Resorts, Mohamed Abdul Jawad.

frequented by tourists of various nationalities from the UK, Italy, Germany and the Arab world. The opening of Al Qasr Hotel & Resort is expected to fend well for the upcoming 20th Gulf Cup Football Championship 2010, which is set to take place from November 22 – December 4 in the Yemeni cities of Aden and Abyan.


World’s third largest sporting event Next year is set to see the 10th International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup hosted by three South Asian countries; India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in February and March 2011. The tournament is the world’s third largest sporting event, with media reports estimating that over 200 million people from cricket-playing countries, as well as cricket-enthusiasts from noncricket-playing countries, watch these matches. Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (STDA) will be focusing on promoting the country and its attractions during the 2011 World Cup, with specific priority being given to the development of tourism-related

strong on squash

strong on bowling

> Al Ain Palace Hotel, UAE

> Kempinski Hotel Ajman, UAE

> Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa, Bahrain (opening end 2010)

> Swiss-Belhotel Plaza, Kuwait

> Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Beirut, Lebanon > Atlantica Aeneas Resort & Spa, Agia Napa, Cyprus > Coral Beach Hotel & Resort, Paphos, Cyprus

> IHG Port Ghalib, Egypt

strong on football

> Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria, Egypt

> Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi, UAE

> Shangri-La Dubai, UAE

> Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa Dubai, UAE

> Al Ain Rotana, UAE > Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, UAE > Al Raha Beach Hotel Abu Dhabi, UAE

> Steigenberger Al Dau Beach Hotel, Egypt

> Savoy Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

> Stella Di Mare, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt > The Palace, Ras Al Khaimah (opening TBC) > Mövenpick Hotel & Re sort Yanbu, Saudi Arabia > Mövenpick Resort Tala Bay Aqaba, Jordan

> IHG Port Ghalib, Egypt

> Hilton Abu Dhabi, UAE

> Coral Beach Hotel & Resort, Paphos, Cyprus

> Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, UAE

> Atlantica Aeneas Resort & Spa, Agia Napa, Cyprus

strong on volley

> Al Diar Siji Hotel, Fujairah, UAE

> Hilton Fujairah, UAE > Golden Tulip Seeb, Oman

infrastructure facilities in and around the Hambantota district. The Hambantota commercial port, investment zone, Weerawila Airport, Convention Centre, Administrative Centre, and highway development are just some of the sites under development. Given the large amount of investment rendered towards the region, STDA is also planning to capitalise on this and use it to attract investors and tourists. With Sri Lanka co-hosting the 2011 Cricket World Cup, the tourism industry will also be promoting new structural developments and upgrading existing accommodation facilities and related infrastructure in a bid to host ICC officials, players and spectators in Hambantota. ICC guidelines require venues to have basic requirements such as five-star accommodation facilities, sufficient accommodation for no less than 500 – 1,000 players, officials and spectators, and a maximum travel time of 15 minutes from hotel to venue.

strong on cricket > Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi, UAE

> Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, Abu Dhabi > Hilton Fujairah, UAE > Coral Beach Hotel & Resort, Paphos, Cyprus > Kempinski Ajman, UAE SPORTS TOURISM

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COVER STORY

Tapping into the $600 billion SPORTS TOURISM industry With ample evidence showing that sports are instrumental in bringing about an upswing in tourism to a country, never before has there been such a determined effort by public and private organisations alike to capture a piece of the sports tourism pie.


H

ighlighted as the single fastestgrowing sector in the $4,500 billion travel and tourism industry, sports tourism has never before been at the centre of so much discussion. At $600 billion, it represents some 13 per cent of the international tourism market, according to UNWTO figures, and with global tourism revenues estimated to rise to $10,000 billion by 2020, the niche sector has been identified as the most important driver of tourism growth. Global business director of the recently-held World Sport Destination Expo (WSDE), Sion Rapson agrees that now, more than ever, is the time to learn more about and tap into the lucrative sector. “Sports is an absolutely vital part of tourism and is in fact one of the only sectors in tourism which is increasing and growing exponentially, even through the downturn. It really is going to be the star performer in the next decade in travel and tourism.” Indeed, one need look no further than at the overwhelming response to WSDE itself, which was seen as the world’s first exhibition and conference dedicated to showcasing the sport tourism industry. Held in South Africa on the sidelines of the FIFA World Cup, the event attracted some 50,000 visitors, a host of world-class sports speakers and 400 exhibitors from 22 locations worldwide comprising a strong contingency from the MENA region including Bahrain,

Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar. Further proof of the sector’s growing importance was provided at last year’s World Travel Market (WTM) when the show launched its inaugural sports tourism conference programme. Moreover, this year’s WTM will see the launch of its first Sports Pavilion located in the UK and Ireland exhibit. The structure will allow a range of sports venues in the region to promote themselves to the global travel trade. The Middle East, too, has not been lagging. Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai this year featured its first-ever dedicated session to sports tourism, with group exhibition director, Reed Travel Exhibitions, Mark Walsh commenting: “I believe that as Middle Eastern, and to some extent Asian, countries take more of a lion’s share of staging major sporting events, as well as developing their own grass-root sports programmes, we will see sports tourism take on a far greater importance at events such as ATM.” Other notable sport tourism events in 2010 included South Africa’s hosting of the first-ever UNWTO Summit on Tourism, Sport and Mega Events in February, as well as Dubai’s hosting of the SportAccord Convention in April – the first time the event has ever taken place in the Middle East. Looking forward, the next edition of SportAccord Convention will take place in April 2011 in London, while the UK capital will also be host to the Sports Event Manage-

“Sports tourism is going to be the star performer in the next decade in travel and tourism.” ment Conference from November 3 to 4, 2010; an event which was last year graced by the presence of authorities such as secretary general, Qatar Olympic Committee, H.E. Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.

So what’s in it for us? While the precise definition and scope of sports tourism is not fixed, most in the travel trade would agree that sports tourists encompass three main categories – those who travel as a group for professional or semi-professional purposes; those active/leisure tourists who are simply looking for a holiday experience or unique location to practice their sport of preference; and those travelling to sports medical centres and rehabilitation facilities. Whichever the case, sports tourists tend to have common characteristics – they are higher-spending and stay longer than other tourist categories, are of higher-calibre, and often stimulate other tourism sectors due to their more adventurous habits. And while in times of crisis they can be a more lucrative target for the travel trade due to their defined travel purpose, they can also be more difficult to please, stressed managing director, Sport Abroad – one of the leading UK sports tour operators – David Higgins. “Sports clients don’t want to be treated just as a number – they are

increasingly looking for value with more choices available and normally want to experience different opportunities in and out of the resort. We also find that rugby and cricket supporters and golfing groups in particular spend more money in resorts.” Higgins also laid down some words of advice for the hospitality industry: “I would say to focus less on mass travel with large groups and more on tailor-made packages to suit each individual request, limit all-inclusive packages, and for hotels to not over-price themselves and get greedy over the key sporting dates as clients will ‘vote with their feet’.” On the buyers’ side, Higgins added: “Travel companies should not put off by selling a sporting event if they do not understand the event or sport they are trying to sell. This is where working with a dedicated sports tour operator comes in, and they need to understand the agent’s needs and why giving commission is a driving force. For tour operators, I would say securing allocations and pre-payment on hotels and other inventory are key issues, so it is important for them to negotiate with DMCs and hoteliers on rates, allocations and the payment period. Also only offer sports packages that include official event tickets.”

How the MENA region is faring With more and more destinations across MENA playing host to local and international sporting events, most hotels and resorts appear to be reaping the benefits. “There is no denying that a strong SPORTS TOURISM

13


COVER STORY

correlation exists between a major sporting event taking place and an increase in occupancy levels at properties in proximity to the events and in neighbouring cities,” vice president commercial – MEA, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Tom Rowntree explained. “At IHG, we have been closely following the development of countries hosting major events and in line with that, have been working on putting together the best possible packages to meet the needs of our guests.” Adhering to this proactive approach is Sheraton Miramar Resort El Gouna in Egypt. Sharing the property’s strategy with TTG, director of sales and marketing, Sheraton Miramar Resort El Gouna, Amr Morsy said: “In order to capture the sports travellers, we study the habits of those travellers per each sport as it differs from one sport to another. “Fulfilling their interests and giving them exactly what they are looking for, from their own perspective and not from ours, is the main aim to capitalise on this business.” The general consensus among hotels in the MENA region is that sports groups tend to prefer easyto-book and all-inclusive packages with accommodation, dining op14

TTG MENA

tions and sport and leisure activities at a combined price. “I would say that, looking forward, more all-inclusive packages and themed packages are the answer,” said general manager, The Palace, Ras Al Khaimah Philippe Rubod. “Tour operators should create sport competitions and events in partnership with hotels, and promote them jointly, and should target sport associations and sport clubs in various markets and design, together with selected partner hotels, special sport packages available for their members only.” General manager, InterContinental Mzaar, Walid Kanaan also stressed the need to add a little culture to the product: “Sports activities should be unique; something he or she can’t experience in their country. That’s why they should include tours in areas reflecting the country’s cultural heritage.”

Challenges and opportunities for MENA With its multimillion dollar venues and highly developed tourism

infrastructure, the MENA region is certainly no stranger to sporting events. In barely 20 years, the region has developed a strong portfolio of major sporting events which include the 2006 Asian Games in Qatar, Formula 1 Grand Prix in both Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009, and a range of highprofile horse and golfing events, particularly in the UAE, almost all of which have proven popular with European clients. Explaining this trend, Higgins said: “The Middle East in general offers the combination of watching or playing sport in warm climates, the time difference is minimum, it isn’t a long flight compared to travelling to other ‘guaranteed’ warm climates when departing from the UK in the winter time, and it offers unique sporting experiences.” However, Higgins stressed that the Middle East does present challenges: “Yes, there are more opportunities to grow our business, especially with the new iconic sporting arenas that are now opening up, including Meydan and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Circuit.

as clients ask if they are getting value-for-money.” There have also been significant concerns in the general media about the hot weather conditions of the Middle East, particularly in the Gulf, something which has been seen as a big obstacle to the securing of more sports tourism. Rapson played down these myths: “It’s a tabloid interest,” he said. “We’re in the 21st century and technology and investment have come a long way to providing comfortable and air conditioned facilities. Having spent time with the Qatar 2022 bid, I have seen the detailed planning for the stadia and the heat will have no effect whatsoever.”

Learning from others

A number of new trends are expected to propel the MENA region’s sports tourism industry forward. Importantly, it is in a good position to study the effects of major sporting events worldwide and work to overcome any challenges seen elsewhere. Mega sporting events can generate significant revenue, generate thousands of new jobs, and change destinations “Travel companies entirely. One should not be put off by of the biggest examples selling a sporting event in if they do not understand ofthethis modern the event or sport they age was the Barcelona are trying to sell. This 1992 Summer is where working with Olympics, which successa dedicated sports tour fully used the operator comes in.” Games as a city marketing strategy. Apart from the immediate benefits One concern however is the cost to Barcelona, the city doubled its of F&B in resorts which also overnumber of tourists in the 10 years flows into the prices of hospitality following the 1992 Olympic Games, packages (clearly catering for the local market). This has seen a steep and gradually rose its ranking in the European Cities Monitor from 11th rise in the last few years and will in 1990 to sixth in 2002. affect repeat business to the area


Nations are billion annual busi- increasingly reliant on the visiting ness and the fastest growing area of the golfer and skier $4.5 trillion global touror the travelling ism industry. Driving football, rugby this growth has been the huge expansion in or cricket satellite TV coverage supporter over the last 10 years

Sport tourism is estimated to be a $600

New South Wales Sport tourists are

higher-spending and often stimulate other tourism categories. Indirectly the benefits to a destination can be

years of return visits

In some countries, sport in 1993 to host the 2000 Summer Olympics, can account for as much as Sydney enjoyed a 78 25 per cent per cent increase in of tourism MICE business over receipts (source: Upon being selected

The biggest spenders at the FIFA World Cup 2010 were from the UK, US, Australia, France and Brazil, accounting for 51 per cent of all spending

the next seven years

ed $2.7 billion in retail sales

Internet penetration – nearly 53 million unique users accessed FIFA.com in the first two weeks of June 2010 for the World Cup, compared to the 48 million over the entire four weeks of the 2006 World Cup (source: FIFA.com)

– Gulf, German National Tourist Office in Dubai, Antje Roeding told TTG: “If properly marketed, international sports events can help bring a destination to the attention of new target groups, generate higher numbers of overnight stays and make a lasting improvement to its image. They therefore offer an additional boost to tourism regions in the face of increasingly tough competition.” Indeed, a recent study by VisitBritain and Visit London revealed

that the potential tourism legacy of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games stands at some $3.3 billion. Further research has shown that with the hosting of Brazil’s FIFA World Cup 2014 and Olympic Games 2016, the country’s economy will jump to fifth largest in the world by 2016 from the current 10th. It is already beyond doubt that the Middle East has made its mark on the international sporting map. Particularly as a result of the

Germany’s 2006 FIFA World Cup earned not just $400 million in tourism revenue to the country, but generat-

Equally successful was the FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany, which purportedly generated $3.4 billion in tourism revenue for the country and created 50,000 new jobs. Furthermore, German restaurateurs reported a 1.4 per cent increase in sales revenue, and the country’s hoteliers benefited from a 3.4 per cent increase in hotel prices as well as significant growth in the number of overnight stays. Reflecting on these achievements, director of marketing and sales

Sydney generated $1.9 billion additional business following the 2000 Games, of which just $310 million was in

SportBusiness Group)

downturn, sports tourism has been identified as a viable segment of the tourism industry to capitalise on and invest in, both on a public and private level. By combining a solid understanding of the needs of the sports tourist with confident bids for major sporting events, including Qatar’s proposal for the 2020 Olympic Games, the relationship between sports tourism and the Middle East into the next decade seems very healthy indeed. SPORTS TOURISM

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COVER STORY

Key Upcoming SPORTING Events GLOBALLY: Hong Kong

Turkey FIBA World Championship (Basketball)

Aug 28 – Sep 12

UK Spain International Golf Travel Market

Egypt

Nov 15 – 18

Red Sea Open Amateur Golf Championship, Soma Bay

The Ryder Cup (Golf), Wales

China

Sep 28 – Oct 3

Sep

Sep 24 – 26

South Korea 13th World Championships in Athletics

2011

88th Qatar Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe (Horse Racing)

SOHO Square Squash Championship

Singapore F1 Grand Prix

Mar 25 – 27, 2011

2011 WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIP

France

June-July 2011

Aug 14 – 26

Hong Kong Sevens (Rugby)

Nov 12 – 27

Nov 3 – 4

Summer Youth Olympics

Dec 12

16th Asian Games, Guangzhou

Sports Event Management Conference

Singapore

2010 Hong Kong Cup (Horse Racing)

Oct 2 – 3

Aug 27 – Sep 4, 2011

Bahrain BAHRAIN F1 GRAND PRIX

(TBC)

JAPAN JAPANESE F1 GRAND PRIX

Oct 8 – 10 Japan Cup (Horse Racing)

Nov 28

USA

Abu Dhabi

WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES 2010, KENTUCKY HOBE PARK

Sep 25 – Oct 10, 2010

Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix

Qatar

Nov 12 – 14

GCC TAEKWONDO MEN CHAMPIONSHIP

FIFA Club World Cup 2010 (Football)

Argentina Chile Dakar 2011

Jan 1 – 15, 2011

Oct 11 – 14 AFC Asian Cup

Dec 8 – 18

Jan 7 – 29, 2011

Abu Dhabi Golf Championship

COMMERCIAL BANK QATAR MASTERS

Dubai

Jan 2011

Jan 2011

Sportex Middle East 2010

Al Ain Aerobatic Show

Oct 31 – Nov 2

Jan 26 – 39, 2011

RACE TO DUBAI DUBAI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

The YAS Links Amateur Golf Championship

Nov 25 – 28, 2010

Feb 13-17, 2011

Dubai Rugby Sevens

Volvo Ocean Race 2011/2012

Dec 2 – 4 24 hr dubai motor racing

Jan 13 – 15, 2011 Dubai World Cup (Horse Racing)

Mar 26, 2011

Oman Oman Motor Show 2010

Dec 1 – 4 Asian Beach Games, Muscat

Dec 8 – 16

(TBC)

YEMEN Asian Youth Basketball Championship

Aug-Sep Gulf Cup 2010

Nov 22 – Dec 4

India 2010 Commonwealth Games

Oct 3 – 14

India Bangladesh Sri Lanka Cricket World Cup

Feb - Mar, 2011


FOCUS ñ LOGISTICS

Global brand in the making Manager – Cargo Marketing, Turkish Cargo, Omer Faruk Kilic explains the reasons behind both Turkish Airlines and Tukrish Cargo’s growing focus on the lucrative MENA market, as well as on the sporting industry.

w

ith the beginning of the 21st century, Turkish Cargo, the cargo division of Turkish Airlines, Turkey’s national carrier and one of the fastest growing carriers in the world, entered on a path to become one of the biggest cargo carriers in the region, accompanied by a need to revolutionise cargo services and meet the highest levels of customer satisfaction. Now, with 144 aircraft, Turkish Cargo serves one of the biggest networks in the region with more than 160 destinations worldwide from the Far East to the US, and from Europe to the Middle East and Africa, offering the highest possible access to important trade centres backed by reliable partners in surface logistics capabilities. Such a strategy to generate traffic between these markets drove Turkish Cargo’s growth in 2009, despite worldwide recession. Turkish Airlines is the fastest growing airline in Europe and this is also true for Turkish Cargo. For instance, the average growth rate in the Association of European Airlines group in 2009 was minus 18 per cent Freight Tonne Km (FTK), but Turkish Cargo managed to increase FTK by 32 per cent. The short transit times offered to customers and the service quality also helped to elevate Turkish Cargo’s place in the air cargo industry.

An important trading partner The MENA region is a major focus for Turkish Cargo’s growth strategy. According to preliminary traffic reports of the Airport Council International, one of the main contributors to the 2010 growth in global air cargo volume is the Middle East and at the same time it is an emerging market whose growth will continue rising in the following years. Geographically, commercially and historically, the MENA region has always been one of the main point of interests for Turkey, and its concerning countries constitute big trading partners. Based on January to May 2010 statistics, the MENA region is now considered in third place in Turkish Cargo general volume. Cargo services from North Africa have doubled in volume in 2010 compared to the previous year, and also the cargo carried from Middle East has risen 13 per cent. Turkish Airlines, and analogously Turkish Cargo, expanded its network capability in 2009 and currently operates in 26 cities in the region. Turkish Cargo has also a good network of scheduled freighter service to Casablanca, Algiers, Tripoli, Cairo, Dubai, Amman, Damascus and Beirut. This market gives so many opportunities in order to grow the global business worldwide.

“Sports has become more and more a point of focus for Turkish Airlines and Turkish Cargo in recent years, as such the airline has increased its worldwide promotion efforts.” Sporting focus Sports in particular is an important driver of business for Turkish Cargo, and the company-related activities go parallel to Turkish Airlines’ dominance in this area. Sports has become more and more a point of focus for Turkish Airlines and Turkish Cargo in recent years, as such the airline has increased its worldwide promotion efforts. On its way towards becoming a global brand, Turkish Airlines has achieved worldwide success with sponsorship deals with main sport clubs such as FC Barcelona Football Club, Manchester United Football Club, and Maroussi Basketball Club. Turkish Airlines also recently signed a sponsorship agreement for the 2010 Euroleague Final Four competition which took place between May 7 and 9. Europe’s top four basketball teams competed in the event, which was

watched by nearly 950 million people in 185 countries. As a part of its new motto ‘Globalise Your Business’, Turkish Cargo is more and more interested in getting such sporsorships separately. The results of the such efforts is to be seen in the following years. As a company, Turkish Cargo is aware that sponsorship deals with sports clubs is very important and such cooperation provides a big support for to the company, which is presently advancing towards becoming a global brand.

Turkish Cargo plans to extend its fleet of four Airbus 310-330 freighters with the new A-330 Freighter by September 2010, which will enable it to launch non-stop long-haul freighter services as well as to improve the existing network. A second A330200F is set to join by April 2011. SPORTS TOURISM

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TEAM Ăą QATAR

A way of life Qatar’s progressive spirit has captured the attention of the world and left its history, some might say, in the shadows. But it is this distinctive past that has enabled the country to power forward, and nowhere is it more apparent than in the realm of the sporting arena.

Concept design of Al Shamal Stadium, Qatar 2022 bid


H

istorically known as the sport of sheikhs, camel racing continues in the small town of Al Sheehaniya, where Qatar’s main racetrack is located, and visitors are presented with a rare opportunity to witness one of the more novel competitive events in the region, according to chairman, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), Ahmed Al Nuaimi. “Qatar has a well-deserved reputation in horse and camel racing. Known globally for the high quality of its stunning Arabian thoroughbreds, the Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club carries on this long and distinguished tradition with a commitment to the pure breeding of Arabian horses and the enjoyment and challenge of horse racing,” he told TTG. Ancient and traditional sports such as these have given rise to a whole new world of sporting potential; a potential which is being steadily realised through a number of key initiatives and developments taking place across the country. “Fast becoming one of the world’s leading places to enjoy sports, Qatar has invested $2.8 billion in infrastructure over the last several years to support athletic competition,” Al Nuaimi continued. “The introduction of international sports in tourism has brought opportunities for more foreigners to come and take part in them. That in turn has led to wide cultural exposure to other social entities, which is another driving force behind the intellectual development of the residents of Qatar.” The importance of sports tourism and its positive benefits are also being felt by the private sector, as director of marketing, Grand Hyatt Doha, Tareq Ghaleb Bagaeen explained to TTG: “Sports tourism is of the utmost importance to Qatar and thus to Grand Hyatt Doha. It drives a significant portion of the business utilising our services and facilities as well as giving the destination a world-class level of exposure.” Setting the stage

Determined to promote itself as the ideal stage to host world-class sporting events, Qatar is making some ambitious yet realistic steps. “After successfully hosting the 15th Asian Games in 2006, the country now looks forward to staging the 2011 Asian Cup football tournament and the 2011 Pan Arab Games. Qatar has revealed its intention to bid for the 2020 Summer Olympic games and is a bidding nation for the 2022 FIFA football World Cup championships,” Al Nuaimi confirmed to TTG, adding that the Qatar Olympic Committee’s vision is to become a leading nation in bringing the world together through sport. “Qatar will continue to bid to host international and world championships in various sports including football, motorsports and athletics. With the success of the Asian Games, and other sports events that have followed, we have proven our capability. Our facilities and services are top notch, and we continue to upgrade, renovate and build new facilities to respond to the future demands of sporting events and tourism,” he said. Over the next two years alone, Qatar is to play host to an array of events including the World Formula Sailing Championship, the Qatar Masters Golf, and the Pan Arab Games. “Sports events not only give an outstanding exposure to the world, as during the first ever Moto Grand Prix held during the night-time, but imparts as well strong Qatari values, such as willingness, pride, equity, open-mindedness and respect,” explained Al Nuaimi. A further event that will aim to bring together key players in this sector is Aspire4Sport, a conference and expo event which is scheduled to be


TEAM ñ QATAR

20

TTG MENA

Influencing lifestyles This passion for sports runs through the veins of each generation in Qatar, and is forming a foundation on which a nation of people can build a healthier life. Al Nuaimi explained to TTG: “Sport has always played an important role in the lives of Qatar’s

AUG 6-8

DOHA International Handball Championship FOR Men

OCT OCT 26-31 11-14

Arab wrestling championship

oct 26-31

2010

GCC Taekwondo Men Championship

DEC 27

sports, there are many world-class venues around the country. Qatar is also home to the ASPIRE Zone, a premier multi-purpose complex for athletics, entertainment, recreation and wellness, and the venue for the 15th Asian Games.” Some of the most widely used venues include the Grand Hamad Stadium, (capacity 13,000) which was used extensively during the 2006 Asian Games; the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium (capacity 15,000) which is the home stadium of the Qatar National Football team; Khalifa International Stadium (capacity 50,000); and the ASPIRE Academy for Sports Excellence (capacity 15,000), which hosted

KEY EVENTS IN QATAR

World Formula Sailing Championship

Sony Ericsson WTA

2011 JAN

New events, of course, translate into the need for new or upgraded infrastructure. And this line of de-

“Known globally for the high quality of its stunning Arabian thoroughbreds, the Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club carries on this long and distinguished tradition.”

Exxon Mobil Mens Tennis

JAN 7-29

Venues of distinction

velopment has helped Qatar attain a worldwide image as an innovator. “As Qatar hosts many regional and international sporting events and championships – from athletics and watersports to football and motor-

residents. Most of Qatar’s sporting venues are open to the public in an effort to encourage residents to adopt a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise. Sport has been identified as one of the pillars of the tourism strategy for Qatar, complementing MICE, leisure, culture and education. “Qatar loves sports,” he continued. “As such, the Qatar Olympic Committee is committed to providing opportunities for the community to participate in sports and sportsrelated activities for the health and well-being of the country’s future. Qatar uses sport as a reason to forge friendships and to enhance relations with nations worldwide. Qatar aims to be active around the world dedicated to improving relations between nations through sport. At QTA, we promote sports tourism, in line with the national vision to better our country as well as to help put Qatar on the international stage in this sector,” Al Nuaimi concluded.

AFC Asian Cup 2011

JAN

held from November 15 to 18, 2010. “The event is a networking event that brings together all elements of the sporting world for four days of business, debate and entertainment,” he continued. “The schedule includes forums discussing major issues in sports today, panels with some of sports’ greatest personalities, an exhibition with brands, club associations and merchandisers, and coaching clinics for delegates to enjoy.” In addition, the Qatar Olympic Committee – spearheaded by president, H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani – is organising an International Conference on Sport and the Environment at the end of April 2011. Such events as these bring with them a new demand for accommodation, and the hotel segment is pulling together with the organising committees to assist. General manager, Four Seasons Hotel Doha, Simon Casson told TTG: “There are an increasing number of sporting events being hosted in Qatar that attract the teams, entourages and spectators and we actively work with the Olympic Committee to help provide accommodation for these. “Qatar’s vision for world-class sporting events really ignited with the 2006 Asian Games and continues with its ambitious bid for the 2022 World Football Cup.”

the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships. Losail International Circuit, Khalifa International Tennis Complex, Doha Golf Club, the Equestrian Club and the harbour itself are also prime venues that offer state-of-the-art facilities and significant capacities, but still, new additions are being developed to cater to the surge in demand. At a much-anticipated unveiling at Sport Accord, Dubai, Qatar 2022 announced details of a number of its stadia, and the world-first, carbon-neutral technology it will use to cool stadiums, fan fests/ zones and training sites if Qatar is chosen to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup – paving the way for the first ever cooled outdoor global sporting event. Three new stadiums include Al Shamal, a 45,120-capacity stadium located in the north of Qatar; the 45,330-capacity Al Khor stadium in the northeast of the country; and Al Wakrah, a 45,000-capacity stadium in the south. Moreover, Qatar 22 revealed that two existing stadiums, namely Al Rayyan and Al Gharafa, will undergo expansions should the country win the right to stage the FIFA World Cup. Chairman, Qatar 2022, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani said: “The unveiling of our state-of-the-art football stadia and innovative cooling technology is the latest step in our quest to bring the FIFA World Cup to the Middle East for the very first time in 2022. A FIFA World Cup in Qatar will leave a powerful and lasting legacy, bringing together nations and cultures through our shared passion for football.”

COMMERCIAL BANK Qatar Masters Golf

DEC

Concept design of THE EXPANDED Al Gharafa Stadium, Qatar 2022 bid

Pan Arab Games 2011


A tailor-made experience

For all seasons

Director of Sales and marketing, Swiss-Belhotel Doha, Chris Tutty talks to TTG about the VARIOUS opportunities sports tourism presents separate floors for teams to operating hours and equipment availability for the health and fitness centre. [We are also] creating tailormade menus with the team officials to ensure all the correct dietary requirements are maintained during the visit, thus ensuring every opportunity for success. How important is sports tourism to your property?

Why should sport bookers choose Swiss-Belhotel?

Having recently celebrated one year of operations in Doha, Swiss-Belhotel Doha has identified sports tourism as a growing segment and is very much focused on ways to attract more sport-related opportunities and events, whether it is from a local, regional or international basis. Within the ‘sports tourist’ segment, we see several areas of opportunities, from the sporting teams themselves to the event organising officials and media, and to the visiting spectators. While we are a small boutique property compared to some of the larger properties, we believe that by focusing additional attention to the needs of each of these areas, we will continue to succeed in this market.

The facilities at Swiss-Belhotel Doha offer a reputable solution for the bookers, whether they are event organisers, travel agents or tour operators. Each type of tourist has a different expectation, for example, the media requires high-speed Internet accessibility all the time, hence our recent Internet service upgrade to cater for this need. The hotel’s central location and easy accessibility are two very important attributes for Swiss-Belhotel Doha. The participants and officials need to be able to navigate around the city with ease, and our location only eight minutes from the airport makes the arrival process fast and efficient. The hotel is also within easy access to Aspire Zone, Lusail Circuit, Doha Golf Club, football stadiums and racing and equestrian facilities. All and each of these groups have a set requirement and it is about channelling and focusing on these needs to make their stay as convenient and comfortable as possible so they can focus on the job that they are here to do.

How are you attracting this segment? Swiss-Belhotel Doha is attracting the sports tourism sector by targeting the needs of this specific traveller; from spacious room layouts and bedding configurations with connecting room options and

w

ith an advantageous position in the West Bay area, and home to an array of sports and spa facilities, Four Seasons Hotel Doha has become firmly established as one of the preferred sites for sports-related travellers. “Four Seasons is seen as the upscale, luxury leader and so travellers in this category when coming to Qatar will always look to see if there is a Four Seasons in the country and will be pleased to book with us,” general manager, Four Seasons Hotel Doha, Simon Casson explained to TTG.

“They enjoy our beachfront location as well as the wide range of sporting, fitness and spa facilities. Combine this with our great restaurants and intuitive service and there is no better place to be in Doha.” Committed to providing the ultimate in luxury for this niche segment, Four Seasons Hotel Doha’s long-term calendar is already filling fast with sporting dates to remember. “The most important and well-supported event currently on Qatar’s annual sporting calendar is the Commercialbank Qatar Golf Masters, and we have been the official hotel for this for the past two years and will continue this in 2011,” confirmed Casson. “We host all the players as well as high-end travelling supporters who enjoy the Four Seasons’ style and elegance while they travel to view events.” In addition, the property has also capitalised on the lucrative outside catering element associated with sporting events. “We also provide all the on-site catering to the prestigious men’s and ladies’ tennis tournaments which take place. In 2011, Qatar hosts the Asian Football Cup and, again, Four Seasons has been selected as the host hotel for this large-scale and wellsupported event,” he concluded.

Soundb iteS “Sports tourism equates to approximately 10 per cent of our market segmentation. The Royal family of Qatar has a vision to see Qatar as one of the world’s leading sport destinations. Ramada Plaza Doha strives to be the first choice for sporting groups attending events. We believe we attract these people by not only providing competitive rates but by offering the choice of 12 restaurants, five bars and Doha’s largest nightclub – Qube, extensive leisure facilities and the friendliest staff in town.” Director of sales, Ramada Plaza Hotel Doha, Ian Lillie

“We are a business/convention hotel on weekdays so can cater to the professional side of the sports industry in terms of conferences and events. Then the hotel can completely transform into a resort with our beach, three outdoor pools, indoor pool, spa and extensive leisure facilities to attract the more active crowd.” Director of marketing, Grand Hyatt Doha, Tareq Ghaleb Bagaeen SPORTS TOURISM

21


TEAM ñ QATAR

A New World Cup Communications director, Qatar 2022 BID Committee, Nasser Al Khater talks to TTG about the country’s ambitious, yet realistic, bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup What are the key points Qatar will be putting forward for the bid? Qatar 2022 will be a tailor-made, compact FIFA World Cup with stunning stadiums and seamless transportation. A World Cup in Qatar will enable fans to see more than one match in a day as no stadium will be more than an hour apart by public transportation. Fans will also be able to stay in the same accommodation throughout the tournament, saving them time and money. And by 2022, Qatar will have approximately 110,000 hotel rooms and serviced apartments, 90,000 of which have been guaranteed for FIFA’s use during the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Qatar 2022 will also be a carbon neutral World Cup, utilising sustainable technologies and groundbreaking cooling systems for stadiums, fan zones and training grounds. Fans, players and officials will be able to enjoy cool and comfortable open-air conditions, not exceeding 27 degrees Celsius. Climate and location will no longer stand in the way of nations that have previously been unable to host major tournaments at certain times of the year. The Qatari bid is underpinned by strong local support from the government and ties in with the official ‘National Vision for 2030.’ Transportation systems in Qatar will be revolutionised with a new Doha International Airport and the new Qatar Metro Network System linking all 12 stadiums. 24

TTG MENA

onstrated its capability to host a groundbreaking FIFA World Cup in 2022. A World Cup in Qatar will be a New World Cup, bringing people and different cultures together in the name of football.

Qatar’s Bid is also on behalf of the entire Middle East, where support has been strong. This was first demonstrated with the pledge of support issued by the Arab Soccer Federation in Riyadh in December 2009 and at the beginning of April in Beirut, when the region’s Youth and Sports Ministers offered their backing for Qatar’s ambitious plans to bring the World Cup to the region for the first time in the history of the event. In addition, the Arab Football Federation reiterated its unanimous backing for the Qatar 2022 Bid during the Congress held in Jeddah at the end of April this year and during the Gulf CoOperation Council (GCC) after the 115th GCC ministerial council session (Foreign Ministers) in Jeddah on May 23. Qatar has proven its ability to provide a secure and stable environment for worldwide events in the recent past, notably playing host to the immensely successful Asian Games in 2006. With an environment of economic and political stability combined with the unique plans submitted in the bid book, Qatar has dem-

What are the main winning elements the committee is looking for, and how does Qatar fulfill these? Over the next decade, the population of our region is set to double to around 700 million and of those, more than half will be under the age of 24. Our geographical location gives us a major advantage in reaching more than three billion people in prime time. A young, dynamic and commercially exciting setting for a World Cup tournament – in a country and a region where football is absolutely the number one sport. So we are fortunate in being at the heart of one of the world’s

most exciting economic growth stories, where change is presenting organisations across the world with unique opportunities to expand, reach new customers and tap into growing markets. These exciting opportunities are there for the global football family to embrace and benefit from. From new fans, new players, new sponsors, new broadcasters and real commercial success. What is the long term plan for sustainability once the event is over? Most of our 12 stadiums will be designed and constructed using modular components, meaning they can be easily dissembled and reduced in size at the end of the World Cup. This will leave a tangible and lasting legacy both for Qatar and other countries. So after 2022, we will reduce the capacities of most of our stadiums to around 25,000 seats. These will be an appropriate Concept design of Al Wakrah Stadium, Qatar 2022 bid


size to help the development of Qatar’s rapidly growing domestic football leagues and serve local communities as sports and education centres. But our legacy plans go beyond our own shores. If we are granted the honour of staging the 2022 FIFA World Cup, we would give approximately 170,000 stadium seats to developing nations to facilitate new footballing infrastructure and stadia. Today we are working with Reach Out To Asia, the international charity, to begin identifying potential sites. Looking forward we will also work with new partners – including FIFA – to ensure this project has

“If we are granted the honour of staging the 2022 FIFA World Cup, we would give approximately 170,000 stadium seats to developing nations to facilitate new footballing infrastructure and stadia.”

maximum reach, and makes a lasting difference to football and sports development across the globe. How is the committee getting the private sector involved with the bid? Qatar 2022 Bid Committee recognises the importance that bidding and hosting of a mega sporting event such as the World Cup can do to foster unification and collaboration among the public sector, private sector and the rest of the community. Such a platform breaks down barriers and improves government efficiency and the col-

laborative nature allows for new and innovative ideas to be borne. As a bidding nation, we have started leveraging the private sector’s knowhow in specific areas in relation to our bid in order to develop Qatar 2022’s unique and innovative proposition. As a host nation, we anticipate further involvement from the private sector to carry out the infrastructure plans we have envisioned. In addition, we will be exploring various Public Private Partnerships in order to ensure that we produce world-class infrastructure in line with Qatar National Vision 2030’s long-term outlook for Qatar.

advantages SHOWCASED Director of sales, Kempinski Residences & Suites, Doha, Rabih ElZyr showcases the property’s USPs suites, we can cater for individuals as well as groups. We are expanding our network and relationship ties with the sport authorities of Qatar, and we are showcasing them our advantage of having spacious suites that will be convenient and appealing to sport professionals and fans looking for more space and comfort. We have provided the organising committee of Fifa Asia Cup 2011 with a special rate for fans and participants.

Swinging into action Established as the only grass course currently operational in Qatar, Doha Golf Club is in an advantageous position to maintain a strong market share when a host of new golf offerings come on-line. Adding to its appeal is its flexibility, as the property offers a wide array of function and event space, according to director of sales, marketing and events, Doha Golf Club, Chantel Bayman. “Doha Golf Club offers unique venues for product launches, seminars, meetings and gala dinners and can accommodate groups up to 1,500 persons. Furthermore, Qatar is merely a hop-skip-and-jump to Dubai and Bahrain should sports clients wish to play other courses in the region,” she told TTG. High service standards and competitive packages also add to Doha Golf Club’s USPs. “Doha Golf Club works in close relation with local, regional and international tour operators in providing competitive packages for individuals and groups. We are service-orientated and will go beyond expectations to ensure that our clients’ requirements are fully met, whether it is putting them in contact with hotel representatives, providing information on visa requirements or providing more information on tours. We offer it all,” she confirmed.

How important is sports to the property and how are you attracting more travellers from this sector? Sports Tourism is gaining more importance over time in Qatar, and we are definitely targeting this niche segment in order to gain a fair share of this demand generator. With our large inventory of

Why choose Kempinski Residences & Suites, Doha? We are the only five-star all-suite property that is fully serviced and amenitised and is also operating as a hotel, strategically located in the central business district of West Bay, within walking distance to City Center Mall. SPORTS TOURISM

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LINEUP 単 UAE

Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai Sports City


Role model destination A concerted effort by the public and private sectors to embrace sports as a main part of their agenda is allowing the UAE to position itself as one of the most competitive sports tourism destinations on the planet.

E

ver since launching the Dubai Desert Classic back in 1989, an event which was seen as the torchbearer of professional golf in the Middle East, a host of successful major international events have in turn put the UAE on the map, attracting the attention of not just some of the biggest names in the world of sports, but of millions of spectators and athletes from a broad range of sport disciplines. With a portfolio of events including the annual Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Dubai World Cup horse race, Formula 1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, Dubai Rugby Sevens, Red Bull Air Race in Abu Dhabi, and the FINA World Swimming Championships, among many others, the UAE as a destination has almost single-handedly built up the

Middle East’s credentials as a major sporting events hub over the past 20 years. “The Middle East is probably the most forward thinking region in the world when it comes to sports tourism,” declared global business director, World Sport Destination Expo (WSDE), Sion Rapson, whose recent expo during the FIFA World Cup in South Africa was regarded as the world’s first dedicated for the sport tourism industry. “Take the UAE for example – what they have done over the last few years has been astonishing. Last November, their Grand Prix attracted 600 million viewers. What it’s done for the region is absolutely amazing.” “Sport is placed at the forefront of the leisure activities in the UAE,” agreed director of sales and marketing, Aloft Abu Dhabi, Rene Camilleri. “From traditional camel

races to modern motor racing extravaganzas, people take part with overwhelming enthusiasm in various forms of sporting activities in the country.” Firsts for the region With a lively sports event calendar and growing portfolio of world-class venues and accommodation, interest in the UAE as a potential host of major events appears to be coming in from all directions. Proof of this was recently provided by the organiser of SportAccord Convention, which recently staged the prestigious 1,500-strong event at Atlantis The Palm in Dubai, marking the first time the event has been held in the Middle East. Regarded by many as the world’s most important sports networking


LINEUP ñ UAE event, SportAccord Convention has been held in a different location each year, with Dubai following in the steps of Madrid, Lausanne, Berlin, Seoul, Beijing, Athens and Denver. The UAE’s unparalleled sports drive also led to Abu Dhabi recently being selected as a host port for the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race, a nine-month, 37,000 mile-long, around-the-world race, considered to be the ‘Everest of yachting’. The event marks another regional first, with Abu Dhabi beating off competition from over 80 cities in the bidding process to win its place as a host port. As part of the preparations, a new marina is currently being built at Emirates Palace Hotel and is expected to be the focal point of the race.

New home of cricket Another sport which has been identified as instrumental in bringing about an upswing in sports tourism in the UAE has been cricket. Owing to the country’s large expatriate population from the Indian subcontinent, the sport is one of the most popular in the UAE, and last year’s opening of the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, a 25,000-seat structure in Dubai Sports City – already considered one of the top purpose-built cricket stadiums in the world – is expected to significantly strengthen the country's growing reputation for cricket. Evidence of the sport’s prominence in the UAE came with the International Cricket Council’s

(ICC) decision, in August 2005, to leave its long-standing base in London to set up its new headquarters in Dubai. The council also revealed its choice of Dubai as the location of its first ever ICC Global Cricket Academy, one which is expected to develop the sport on a global level and provide a purpose-built training environment for amateurs and professionals. taking advantage With temperatures soaring through the roof during the summer

months, it comes as no surprise that most of the events in the UAE take place during the cooler months, as assistant marketing manager, Jebel Ali International Hotels, Rebecca Sageman explained: “In Dubai, sports tourism is predominantly focused around travel in the temperate winter months, and clients require top end facilities in-resort and easy access to other sports facilities nearby.” Indeed, the cooler ‘winter’ months in the UAE can be highly

“One annual mainstay is when we host European football clubs during their winter break training camps, as they find the weather in the UAE very conducive, especially when northern Europe is snowed under.”

Abu Dhabi – Manchester City’s Official Destination


Emirates Team New Zealand in action last May

attractive, particularly for groups from Europe. Kempinski Hotel Ajman is one such UAE hotel which benefits significantly from this trend: “One annual mainstay at the resort is when we host European football clubs during their winter break training camps, as they find the weather in the UAE very conducive, especially when northern Europe is snowed under,” explained marketing manager, Kempinski Hotel Ajman, Jana Ziegler. She warned however: “Those [sports] travellers tend to be more demanding than the regular leisure traveller, especially the more specialised and professional they may be, and certain standards must be catered to in order to retain those guests. It is definitely a very interesting travel segment, and one that can prove to be most rewarding.” Indeed, research has consistently demonstrated that the sports visitor has a high-yield profile and is highly likely to return as a leisure visitor. A noticeable trend has been that of hotels countrywide developing more and more inhouse sports facilities as they look

to profit from the high-spending sports groups. Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi for example has its own certified FIFA training football pitch – the first of its kind in a five-star hotel in the world – as well as its own cricket pitch, while Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa in Dubai is also a noteworthy provider of the game with two multi-purpose football pitches. Such is the interest from sports tourists and sporting event organisers in the UAE, hotels are seeing a growing need to form close partnerships with sports operators in order to be in sync with the events taking place. Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi is just one of many which has been staging its own sporting events and which works directly with the emirate’s many venues. “Abu Dhabi hasn’t always been a popular destination for sports tourism, but it seems to be growing very steadily,” general manager, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Moritz Klein told TTG. “We prefer to arrange tailor-made packages upon request as individual and group needs vary quite a bit, nevertheless we do work very closely with venues in Abu Dhabi to offer

packages to interested guests.” Director of sales and marketing, Park Hyatt Dubai, Waike Papke agreed: “Sports tourism has become an important segment for Dubai tourism in recent years, mainly flourishing during the winter season. At Park Hyatt Dubai we are mainly focusing

In pursuit of capturing a share of the country’s growing sports tourism industry, an increasing number of travel companies and hotels are exploring ways in which they can form closer partnerships and provide more favourable, all-inclusive and customised packages and events. And with public segment

“The Middle East is probably the most forward thinking region in the world when it comes to sports tourism. Take the UAE for example – what they have done over the last few years has been astonishing.”

on golf tourism, catering to both individuals as well as golf groups. Pro-groups travelling to Dubai from Europe have become a very popular segment.”

investment in the sector showing no signs of slowing down, all signs are pointing towards a greater sport tourist experience in the UAE for athletes and spectators. SPORTS TOURISM

29


LINEUP ñ UAE

Getting the balance right It requires a balancing of the local community with 30

TTG MENA

UAE – City Seasons Al Ain, City Seasons Abu Dhabi, City Seasons Dubai and City Seasons Suites Dubai. Future openings include City Seasons Muscat (due late 2010), with more openings set for Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Oct 8 - 10 oct 31 NOV 2 nov 13 - 28 nov 25 - 28 DEC 2-4 DEC 9 - 11 DEC 15 - 19

Sportex Middle East 2010

Venue: DWTC www.sportexmiddleeast.com Louis Vuitton Sailing Trophy

Venue: Dubai International Marine Club www.louisvuittontrophy.com Race to Dubai

Venue: Jumeirah Golf Estates www.dubaiworldchampionship.com Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens

Venue: The Sevens Stadium www.dubairugby7s.com Dubai World Powerboat GP

Venue: Dubai International Marine Club www.class-1.com FINA World Swimming Championships

Venue: Dubai Sports Complex www.dubaiswimming2010.ae

2011 JAN 13 - 15

Absolutely. Dubai is already a major market player and the hosting of such mega events is well within the city’s capabilities. It has the infrastructure, the constantly improving road network, the convenience of the metro and the vast supply of hotel Is it all good news? rooms. But perhaps the most important thing that Nevertheless, mega events often come with a hefty the UAE has is strong leadership; a leadership that price tag, either in terms of the hardware it needs has the vision and foresight to not only be willing to to invest in or the software of the human capital. host such events, but to also be able to successfully With major sporting events there has to be a lead a community in the build up and running of considerable investment in the creation of purpose- the event. built stadia and improvement in infrastructure such The UAE already has a proven capability for hosting as airports, public transport, roads and telecommajor events yet has the ability to do so much munications. more. While events such as the F1, the Dubai DesThere is also investment in the accommodation ert Classic and the Dubai World Cup are already sector with hotels adding inventory or chains not permanent fixtures on the sporting calendar, the previously present in the country building new UAE as a whole could join hands to add another properties. While this may meet immediate demand world classic: for example a Tour de UAE as part of during the event, there is the real danger that afthe world’s annual cycling race events, or perhaps terwards there is too much surplus capacity putting the Asian Games which were already hosted by pressure on room rates and occupancies. neighbours Doha. Major events that completely engulf a city are not without their stresses and never more so than for The future of mega events local residents. A huge influx of visitors means that There is no doubt that mega events turn the host the availability of taxis is in short supply, that favou- nation into a global focus of attention, and for the rite restaurants are no longer available, and that the tourism industry they leave a lasting legacy long traffic jams become more frequent. But on the posi- after the event has ended. Perhaps now with the tive side, while this can be frustrating for residents, UAE’s current accommodation supply weighted they can adapt to this disruption in their daily lives towards the supply side, now may be the best time by seeking new places to eat out, by relying more for the destination to bid for more mega events? on public transport to avoid the traffic jams, and by City Seasons Group of Hotels operates four hotels in the getting involved with the event to be a part of it.

JAN 21

Can the UAE compete successfully on the world scene?

FEB

the positive gains of the event by the government. And as well as marketing to the local community, the government must regulate pricing to preserve the reputation of the destination. While market forces dictate a moderate rise in hotel rates, unrealistic price hikes are not acceptable and can damage the host nation’s reputation. Events should enhance and create a positive impression not a negative one.

Outdoor Adventure Dubai Venue: DWTC

www.outdooradventuredubai.com

FEB MAR

All across the world cities compete for the right to host mega events, and for the hospitality industry this is an opportunity to showcase their products and to make money. An event like the 2010 FIFA World Cup provided excellent visibility for South Africa with its locations once unfamiliar to many suddenly becoming household names, and even if people aren’t travelling to attend they can still get a glimpse of the country via the considerable media coverage. But it doesn’t end there, visitors continue to flock to the country even after the event. Take Beijing’s hosting of the Summer Olympic Games in 2008. Directly afterwards the city saw a 20 per cent rise in tourists and, according to Beijing Tourism, expects to increase its tourism income to account for over 10 per cent of its GDP in the coming years.

2010

MAR 5 - 12

By Managing director, City Seasons Group of Hotels, Thomas Tapken

KEY EVENTS IN DUBAI

MAR 26

What do mega events mean for the hospitality industry?

24 hrs Dubai Motor Racing

Venue: Autodrome Grand Prix Circuit www.24hdubai.com Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Venue: Dubai Media City Area www.dubaimarathon.org The Dubai Desert Classic

Venue: Emirates Golf Club www.dubaidesertclassic.com Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships

Venue: The Aviation Club Tennis Centre www.barclaysdubaitennischampionships.com Threadneedle Dubai Polo Gold Cup

Venue: Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club www.dubaipologoldcup.com Dubai World Cup (Horse Racing)

Venue: Meydan Racecourse www.dubaiworldcup.com


A PREMIER CHOICE “Premier Inn hotels in Dubai work closely with Dubai Sports City, the International Cricket Council, and organisers of many events such as the Dubai Rugby and Football 7s and World Short Course Swimming Championships to accommodate participants and spectators alike. Premier Inn Dubai Silicon Oasis is the closest hotel by some margin to The Sevens Stadium in Dubai and Dubai’s new swimming

complex, and very convenient too for Dubai Sports City and Meydan Racecourse. Premier Inn Dubai Investments Park is almost equally close to both venues, even closer to Dubai Sports City and adjacent to Jumeirah Golf Estates, home of the Dubai Golf World Cup. Earlier this year, Premier Inn Dubai Investments Park hosted all 10 qualifying teams for the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup.”

Managing director, Premier Inn Hotels, Darroch Crawford

A palace of sports Due to open in the near future, Hamra Hotels & Resorts’ self-proclaimed seven-star The Palace, Ras Al Khaimah is being tipped as the top resort in the country for sports travellers.“Sport tourism will play a major role at the resort with its unmatched array of on and off site available sporting activities,” stated general manager, The Palace, Ras Al Khaimah & Al Hamra Residences, Philipe Rubod. On-site sporting facilities at the vast 348-suite resort are set to include Al Hamra Golf Club, an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Peter Harradine, water sports, a one-km private beach, four tennis courts, a spa and a 200m2 fitness centre featuring personal fitness training. Meanwhile, guests can also enjoy closeby off-site sporting activities including powered parachuting and micro-light airplane flights – available from Jazirah Aviation Club; trekking in the Hajjar mountains; 4X4 Desert safaris and Sand Dune Skiing; swimming competitions and water soccer competitions available at Iceland Water Park which also offers an Olympic-sized swimming pool as well as a water soccer field; and shooting at RAK Shooting Club.

World leading facilities Housing its own certified FIFA training football pitch, cricket pitch, tennis courts, Anantara Spa, modern fitness centre, and the longest private beach in the UAE, Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi is coming to light as one of the top sport destination hotels in the world. General manager, Emirates Palace, Hans Olbertz remarked: “Sports tourism is one of our most important business segments based on the many sporting facilities such as our world-known FIFA training football pitch, the first of its kind in a five-star hotel in the world, where currently we have a contract with Manchester City to be its official training ground in the UAE; as well as our cricket pitch

famous for hosting the annual Lashings Cricket Festival.” The FIFA pitch is currently being promoted to the world through international trade fairs and exclusive packages, according to Olbertz, who revealed a similar strategy for golf, which it caters strongly for thanks to attractive packages it has created in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Golf Club and the new Saadiyat Beach Golf Course. And in a well-received vote of confidence passed on by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Emirates Palace’s 1.3km-beach was recently chosen to accommodate the $250,000 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon in March, a location which has also already been chosen for next year’s event. SPORTS TOURISM

31


LINEUP ñ UAE Managing director, Aldar, Paul Bell talks to TTG about the company’s contributions to the development of sports tourism in Abu Dhabi

How is Aldar contributing to Abu Dhabi’s sports tourism offering? On Yas Island we have the region’s first true links golf course – Yas Links – which provides an unparalleled experience for the region’s golfers along with a 143-berth marina which has already been voted in the top 10 marinas globally. In addition, Yas Island accommodates a motorsport facility including a racetrack which hosts the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix, a drag strip which recently hosted a major event, a karting track and a driving school. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi – the world’s largest indoor theme park with the world’s fastest rollercoaster – opens later this year [October 28] and is based on the cutting-edge design of Ferrari. A number of other sports-related attractions are under development on Yas Island and Aldar’s other developments in Abu Dhabi.

32

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What markets are these expected to open to the emirate? Aldar’s developments are planned and delivered in line with the Abu Dhabi plan 2030 and in collaboration with the Urban Planning Council and Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority to ensure that world-class facilities are delivered to support the tourism ambitions of the emirate including sports tourism. What kind of accommodation is available close by? Yas Island has exceptional accommodation offers within metres of all of its facilities. 2,000+ new bedrooms and associated facilities are already provided next to the Yas Marina Circuit and cover all potential requirements and pockets – the hotels are managed by leading global and regional brands (Crowne Plaza/ Staybridge, Radisson/Park Inn, Rotana/Centro). The Yas Hotel sits astride the track and Yas Marina for unrivalled track viewing and excitement, and has won a host of awards since its opening for the 2009 F1 event including ‘Best New Hotel in MENA 2010’ from the World Traveller Awards and the ‘Best New Hotel’ award at Arabian Hotel Investment Conference. All of the hotels are metres from both Yas Links and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.

Hotel Check

Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman Greeted by pleasant staff and guided through an efficient check-in, I was immediately put at ease and felt assured of a comfortable stay at Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman. Upon entering my suite, I felt a sense of being home; a factor which is especially necessary for guests staying any length of time. The spacious and bright accommodation offered a fullyequipped kitchenette, a good-sized bathroom, large inviting sofas, cable TV and free Internet connectivity. More importantly, there was plenty of hanging space in the wardrobe – again, ideal for long-stayers who need to feel that touch of home. Taking into account the property’s positioning in the UAE, its proximity to sporting facilities and varied accommodation, I was not surprised that, after speaking with staff, the hotel hosts a number of major cricket and cycling teams and their entourages. A dry hotel, with an excellent selection of low-cost and high-quality F&B options, Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman is ideal for sporting teams, large groups, long-stayers and business travellers alike. Sales and marketing manager, TTG MENA, Tony Fields

Sporting in Ajman Kempinski Hotel Ajman, located just 25km from Dubai International Airport, has revealed it is becoming more focused on the many segments of sports tourism. Whether it is a group for professional purposes or individual travellers looking for a location to practise their preferred sport, Kempinski Hotel Ajman’s extensive facilities and dedicated sports team allow the property to meet the demands of even the most demanding of sports travellers. “Along with our onsite offerings, there is also a wealth of clubs and venues that are in very close proximity to the hotel, such as Ajman Sports Club, with which we maintain very close partnerships,

providing our guests access to the facilities, as well as preferred rates and transportation,” explained hotel manager, Kempinski Hotel Ajman, Christian Wiendieck. The hotel’s annual mainstay is when it hosts European football clubs during their winter break training camps, as these clients find the weather in the UAE highly conducive, particularly when northern Europe is snowed under, according to Wiendieck. Recently, the hotel even hosted an ice hockey team. In a bid to attract more sports travellers over the next few months, the property has revealed that it is planning a range of tournaments such as Ramadan Golf Tournament at the nearby Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club, as well as tennis and bowling tournaments.


LINEUP ñ UAE

LEADING BY EXAMPLE Deputy director general, tourism operations, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), Ahmed Hussein explains how Abu Dhabi has catapulted itself onto the international sports stage How important is sports for Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry? Investment in sport has been a foundation strategy to help the emirate meet its targets of attracting 2.3 million hotel guests a year by 2012, and 7.9 million staying in 80,000 hotel rooms by 2030. ADTA’s strategy is to utilise highvisibility sporting events and it has proved effective in highlighting the emirate’s pedigree as a world-class destination and major events hub. For example, last November’s Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix (F1 GP) was televised in more than 180 countries, reaching 600 million viewers. The Abu Dhabi Golf Championship 2010 – which celebrated its fifth anniversary this year – had a combined viewership of more than 400 million. These events bring significant gains for us both in terms of building awareness and exposing visitors to all that Abu Dhabi has to offer.

34

What is your programme for placing Abu Dhabi on the global sports tourism map?

“Our courses have already garnered strong interest internationally and continue to attract high-end tourists, which are of great interest to the emirate.”

‘Team Abu Dhabi’ is the brand selected by ADTA to represent its global motorsport and general sporting activities. We have teams competing in the World Rally Championship (WRC), Middle East Rally Championship, Porsche Mobile 1 Super Cup, F1 UIM Powerboat World Championship, Red Bull Air Race and in triathlons across the globe. Reaching a global audience of over 800 million people each year, these sponsorship properties en-

able ADTA to communicate with a truly mass, global audience. Rallying, and motorsport in general, was identified as an appropriate sport for ADTA to exploit. With a deep connection to the sport and a history of successful drivers, rallying also represented a means of assisting ADTA in achieving its additional objectives of developing local youth and creating local heroes.Through sport, we are also building awareness of Abu

TTG MENA

Dhabi’s stunning coastline and rich maritime heritage. Last March, an agreement was signed that will see Abu Dhabi become a host port for the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race. This agreement also takes Abu Dhabi into yachting history as the first Middle East port to host the event since its 1973 inception. In-depth research based on outcomes achieved at other host ports has led us to anticipate that the 2012 hosting of the fourth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race will bring around 225,000 spectators to our planned race village and around it. We foresee the destination welcoming 250 international media who will help us achieve a print cumulative readership in excess of 234 million, newsfeeds with downloads in over 24 countries, and online coverage in some 50 countries. Also last month, Abu Dhabi signed on to become the Official Destination Partner of English Premier League side Manchester City Football Club. Through this, Abu Dhabi’s name will touch a TV viewership of over two billion.

Under the deal, which runs until the end of the 2013 season, Abu Dhabi’s brand will appear on boards around the City of Manchester Stadium at every home league and domestic cup game. What venues have so far driven tourism, and is more infrastructure needed? Abu Dhabi Golf Club is home to the annual European Tourbacked Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and is managed by Troon Golf, one of the sport’s most foremost luxury brands. We have also recently opened two new world-class golfing properties in the Gary Playerdesigned Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and Yas Links, as well as the newly-upgraded Palm Sports Resort Golf Course in Al Ain. These courses continue to attract high-end tourists, which are of great interest to the emirate. The emirate’s staging of the FIFA Club World Cup Abu Dhabi 2009 was also a major highlight last year and showcased our facilities

Abu Dhabi Golf Championship 2009


DEC 4

nov 27–29

nov 24–26

nov 12–14

Oct 7–9

2010:

DEC 7-11

The private sector, particularly those who appreciate the benefits of sponsorship and brand exposure opportunities, is extremely important, and we need partnerships with various private and public sector organisations to make these events happen. The Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge, staged every December, is a case in point. It brings together a whole host of supporters – private and public sector oriented – and we quite simply could not pull this event off without them. I would say make sure everything your undertake aligns with your brand, as well as your business goals, and that you can accrue sustainability through legacy benefits both tangible and intangible.

ABU DHABI EVENTS CALENDAR

DEC 10-15

What would be your advice to other destinations looking to stage major sports events?

DEC

to an international audience. Zayed Sports City Stadium, which holds a capacity of 50,000, and Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, which holds more than 40,000, were key facilities for FIFA Club World Cup Abu Dhabi 2009. Of course, Yas Marina Circuit, home of the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi GP, also plays host to some of the world’s top motor racing series year round including the GP2 Asia Series and the legendary V8 Supercars. Top fuel dragsters recently made their Middle East debut at the International Drag Racing Festival and the world’s top sports car series, the FIA GT Championship, has also taken place. Opportunities at Yas Marina Circuit extend well beyond the GP, with the Circuit being a state-ofthe-art mixed use venue that can be adapted to meet any event, exhibition or conference.

Adrenaline Sports Live & Barbican Turbo Car Show Venue: ADNEC

www.adrenalinesportslive.com / www.barbicanturbo.com Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix

Venue: Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island www.yasmarinacircuit.com Class 1 Powerboat World Championship

Host: Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club www.class-1.com Abu Dhabi Junior Golf Championship

Venue: Abu Dhabi Golf Club www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/sport/juniorgolf Abu Dhabi UIM F1 Powerboat Championship

Host: Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club www.f1h2o.com/calendar/ 13th Abu Dhabi International Motor Show Venue: ADNEC

www.admotorshow.com 4th Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge

Venue: Across Abu Dhabi www.abudhabi-adventure.com Yas Drag Racing Festival

Venue: Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island www.yasmarinacircuit.com/en/drag-race.html

2011: JAN

Venue: Al Ain www.alainaerobaticshow.com

Abu Dhabi International Triathlon

Venue: Across Abu Dhabi www.abudhabitriathlon.com 20th Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

Venue: Across Abu Dhabi www.abudhabidesertchallenge.com

TBC

7th Abu Dhabi Red Bull Air Race

Venue: Abu Dhabi Corniche www.redbullairrace.com

MAR APR

MAR

Venue: Yas Links Golf Club, Yas Island www.theyashotel.com/area-attractions/yas-links-golf-course

Venue: Mirfa Beach, Al Gharbia www.algharbiafestivals.com

TBC

well as a large spa for massages and other treatments,” he told TTG. And with its numerous tennis and squash courts, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi even stages its own sporting events; this year the hotel hosted the Abu Dhabi Squash Tournament, and it also arranges an annual Beach Rotana Open Tennis Championships Tournament which is very well received by its frequent guests and members. Furthermore, the resort also works very closely with golf clubs in Abu Dhabi, such as Saadiyat Beach Golf Club – located just eight km away, to offer various packages to interested guests.

YAS Links Amateur Golf Championship

Venue: Yas Marina Circuit www.yasmarinacircuit.com

DEC

T

ailor-made packages, special requests, the arrangement of dietary foods, separate dining venues, world-class facilities – just a few examples of how Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi is working hand-in-hand to drive the success of the emirate’s sports tourism sector.General manager, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Moritz Klein explained what allows the property to cater so well to sports travellers. “We have excellent gym facilities, water sports, a diving centre with PADI courses, temperature-controlled pools, private beach, personal trainers, as

Al Ain Aerobatic Show

Rally Abu Dhabi

JAN 2012

CATERING FOR ALL NEEDS

MAR 12

FEB 13-17

JAN

Abu Dhabi Golf Championship

Venue: Abu Dhabi Golf Club www.abudhabigolfchampionship.com

Volvo Ocean Race

Al Gharbia Water Sports Festival

FIA GT1 World Championship

SPORTS TOURISM

35


LINEUP ñ UAE

HAVE YOUR SAY

Why select your hotel over others?

STEVEN GREENWOOD

Raza Abbas

Kamal Zayati

Waike Papke

Hotel manager, InterContinental DFC and Crowne Plaza DFC

Business development manager, Hilton Fujairah Resort

General manager, Al Raha Beach Hotel, Abu Dhabi

Director of sales and marketing, Park Hyatt Dubai

“Both InterContinental Dubai Festival City and Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City are ideal locations for a golfing holiday, with an 18-hole championship golf course located just minutes away and with package deals available that include unlimited golf and discounts during a guest’s stay. Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City is also the main sponsor for the two largest annual sporting events in Dubai – the Dubai Rugby 7s and Dubai Football 7s – so the option is available for guests to stay under the same roof as the star players and enjoy the atmosphere.”

Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City is also the main sponsor for the two largest annual sporting events in Dubai 36

TTG MENA

“Hilton Fujairah Resort is the only five-star international brand property within the city centre of Fujairah and still on the shores of the Indian Ocean with a private beach. Given the value of this location, the resort has attracted a number of sports events and activities in the past such as the Parachuting Championship in late 2008 in collaboration with Fujairah Marina Club, and on various occasions the Swimming Championship, Fishing Competition and Cycling Championship recently, which all signify the strong inclination of Hilton Fujairah with the community.”

“We are in close proximity to Abu Dhabi Airport with easy access to the city centre, and just a short drive away from the Yas Marina F1 Circuit, Yas Links Golf Course, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, and Saadiyat Beach & Golf Club, making Al Raha Beach Hotel the preferred choice for anything from golf groups to motoring and football teams. We also boast 900m of beach, a marina, two spas, gym, indoor and outdoor pools, two squash courts, seven restaurants and outlets which include a bar and a night club, and several meeting venues which can accommodate up to 800 guests.”

We are the preferred choice in Abu Dhabi for anything from golf groups to motoring and football teams.

“Sports has become an important segment for Dubai tourism in recent years, mainly flourishing during the winter season. At Park Hyatt Dubai we are mainly focusing on golf tourism, catering with extensive experience to both individuals as well as golf groups. Pro-groups travelling from Europe in particular have become a very popular segment, and our location adjacent to Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club makes us a perfect and comfortable destination for golf tourists.”


TDIC – a name synonymous with driving Abu Dhabi’s cultural and luxury LINE. But what does it offer the sports tourist? CEO, TDIC, Lee Tabler explains interest, having already won four accolades this year, including 'Best Sporting Club' award at the Best in Abu Dhabi Awards 2010. Outdoor adventures:

Jan Moenkedieck

Marc Dardenne

General manager, Hilton Abu Dhabi

CEO, Emaar Hotels & Resorts

“Hilton Abu Dhabi hosts a variety of sports teams on a regular basis as we have special rates available for the sports industry, and we are centrally located on the Corniche close to other sports venues. Onsite, Hilton Abu Dhabi has an excellent health club with a 350m private beach and extensive range of sport facilities, both indoors and outdoors, including tennis and squash courts, fishing, windsurfing, and personal trainers. Not to forget a spa with an extensive range of treatments for both the male and female traveller.”

“Being part of Emaar, guests can leverage from our leisure division which includes two golf courses, a polo and equestrian club, and a yacht club with associated marinas. Certainly worth mentioning is The Address Montgomerie Dubai, a golf retreat, which encompasses an 18-hole, par-72 championship course featuring unique characteristics such as a mammoth 656-yard 18th hole. Additionally, Emaar also leverages on the Arabian Ranches Golf Club, Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Dubai Marina Yacht Club and Hayya! Health Clubs. Together, we offer a full gamut of sports-related activities for guests and sport enthusiasts.”

Guests can leverage from our leisure division which includes two golf courses.

TDIC continues to assist in the development of Abu Dhabi as an international destination of choice while driving the region as an innovative provider of tourism attractions. We have already made a notable impact on two markets of sports tourism in Abu Dhabi: golfing tourists and outdoor adventure tourists. Golf experiences:

TDIC is responsible for two of the championship golf courses open for play in Abu Dhabi at the moment: Abu Dhabi Golf Club, home to the European PGA Tour sanctioned Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, and the recently opened Saadiyat Beach Golf Club – the first beach front course in the region. Designed by Gary Player, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is the flagship sports facility on Saadiyat Island and opened in January 2010 to coincide with the Saadiyat Beach Classic charity golf tournament, which attracted well-known golfing and local celebrities. The new 18,000m2 clubhouse, designed by Frank Gehry, has recently been unveiled and will be operational in 2012. Abu Dhabi Golf Club is also attracting major international

TDIC’s developments are also helping to attract adventure tourists to Abu Dhabi, particularly in the western region. On Desert Islands, visitors can take part in a number of sporting activities, including mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, archery and falconry. Meanwhile, visitors are attracted to Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, which opened in October 2009, by the outdoor pursuits and adventure activities on offer, whether it be traditional desert activities such as falconry, camel riding, archery, desert trekking, stargazing navigation and desert walking in the spectacular Empty Quarter Desert; or outdoor leisure pursuits, such as hot air balloon, cycling and swimming. Qasr Al Sarab has won several international awards this year. TDIC’s planned sportsrelated developments Desert Islands Equestrian Centre on Sir Bani Yas Island

– will feature local Arabian horses available for riding around the island – due end-2010 Abu Dhabi Golf Clubhouse refurbishment – due end-2010 Desert Islands Diving & Watersports Centre, located

close to the existing Desert Islands Resort and Spa – due 2011

Saadiyat Beach Club, located in the Saadiyat Beach District – due 2011 Saadiyat Beach Golf Clubhouse, will include a boutique

hotel with 26 deluxe rooms, spa and pro-shop – due 2012 SPORTS TOURISM

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LINEUP ñ UAE

SPONSORING THE WORLD Sponsoring sports teams and events haS become a lucrative method of creating not just brand awareness, but – in the case of tourism – destination awareness as well. Who better to chat with therefore than ROGER DUTHIE, MANAGER GROUP SPONSORSHIPS, EMIRATES GROUP, whose company has over 20 years experience in the field How important is it for airlines to be associated with sporting events and teams? Sports sponsorship continues to be a popular vehicle for brands to promote themselves on both a global and national scale. It is almost impossible nowadays to find a major brand name that does not have some relationship with a sports event or team. Of course sponsorship activation methods evolved together with the marketing discipline. There is now more integration with customer relations management, and also the use of new media channels to reach out to audiences. Our objective has not changed since 1985 and, like the teams that we sponsor, we continue to strive to remain a leading player in our field. Emirates’ branding has been extremely successful, especially in what we have achieved through sponsorship. Our Official Partner status of the FIFA World Cup is a good example. FIFA World Cup 2006 enjoyed a TV audience of multi-billion viewers in 213 countries, generating a media value of $155 million. Our sponsorship of the website also resulted in three billion page views. Following on from this, which recent events has Emirates sponsored, and how about the next 12 months? With its long-standing commitment to sport sponsorships, 38

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Emirates has been involved with a wide range of sporting events and teams around the world for over 20 years. Through the association with these prestigious sporting events, the airline also helps to promote Dubai as an international destination for sport, business and tourism.

tournament was shown in over 200 countries via 29 broadcasters. Other rugby tournaments that the airline sponsors include four IRB Sevens World Series events in Dubai, South Africa, London and Edinburgh. Emirates also sponsors the IRB referees and match officials, and Emirates Western Force in Australia.

Among the current top sponsorships there are: Football As an Official Partner of the FIFA World Cup, Emirates is working closely from 2008 to 2014 with FIFA, the world governing body of football. At the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Emirates became the first airline to be an Official Partner of the world's premier football tournament. Emirates signed with Arsenal FC the biggest club sponsorship in English football history. In addition to the Fly Emirates logo on the players’ shirts, Emirates also has naming rights of Arsenal’s home, the Emirates Stadium. Elsewhere, the airline sponsors Paris Saint Germain Football Club, Hamburger SV, AC Milan and Olympiacos FC. Emirates is the title sponsor of the Emirates Cup, an annual pre-season football tournament at Emirates Stadium that features four of Europe’s top teams. Emirates is also the Official Airline and Partner of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and as an Official Partner, Emirates has rights to all AFC tournaments

including a number of Club, Women’s and Youth team events. Through this partnership, Emirates will gain considerable media exposure with over 120 games each year being televised on a live or delayed basis around the world.

Golf As a leading supporter of golf tournaments across the globe, Emirates is the Official Airline at 15 events in 2010, including the Ryder Cup, while in 2012 it is the Official Partner of the European Team. Nine of the 14 other tournaments sponsored by Emirates are on the 2010 European Tour International Schedule, including the Dubai Desert Classic, the Avantha Masters (India), Malaysian Open, Austrian Golf Open, BMW International Open (Germany), WGC – HSBC Champions (China), French Open, Korea Open, Barclays Singapore Open, UBS Hong Kong Open, Australian PGA Championship, Australian Open Championship, and the Thailand Open.

Rugby Emirates has a strong affiliation with rugby, demonstrated by becoming the first Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2011. Emirates was the Principal Partner of the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009, which took place in Dubai at Emirates’ newly built sporting venue, ‘The Sevens.’ The

Horse Racing Emirates is title sponsor of the $6 million Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest race, and Official Airline of the Dubai International Racing Carnival. Further afield, Emirates sponsors the Emirates Melbourne Cup, Australian Jockey Club’s Carnival and Melbourne Cup Carnival In America, Emir-

“It is almost impossible nowadays to find a major brand name that does not have some relationship with a sports event or team.”


ates is a partner of the Breeders’ Cup World Championship. The airline’s sponsorship deals also cover meetings at Newmarket and York in the UK, the Emirates Singapore Derby, and Godolphin, horse racing’s most successful international stable. Cricket During the first week of June, Emirates stepped up to the crease to name its first dedicated cricket stadium. Durham County Cricket Club's home in the UK has been named Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground. This is the third international sports stadium to be named by the airline around the world. The six-year sponsorship agreement with the club, which includes branding on the team’s Twenty20 shirts, is an important addition to Emirates’ impressive cricket portfolio, which includes an official partnership with the International Cricket Council (ICC),

as well as the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires. The airline is also the title sponsor of Kings XI Punjab, which play in the hugely popular Indian Premier League. Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground is the second sports stadium in the UK to be named by Emirates after Emirates Stadium, the home of Arsenal FC. The airline's third stadium asset, 7he Sevens, is a multi-sports facility in Dubai. How does Emirates cater specifically for sports passengers? Emirates Airline extends its support of golf to passengers by allowing them to check in a set of golf clubs free of charge, in additon to the normal checked baggage allowance, in any class of service on all Emirates flights. The experience of Emirates’ hospitality, which has become synonymous with this award-winning airline, continues as soon as

ICC Champions Trophy match sponsored by Emirates Airline

one finds the allocated seat on an Emirates aircraft. Emirates cabin crew show passengers how to use the ICE (information-communications-entertainment) system. In its constant commitment to keep its sports-related passengers informed and entertained, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, onboard its aircrafts, Emirates offered fans live goal-by-goal updates and text commentary, as well as exclusive recordings of all the games from the 64-match

tournament within a few hours of them taking place. Moreover, football fans across the world kept up to date with every 2010 FIFA World Cup match, courtesy of live broadcasts on a number of screens installed by Emirates across airports worldwide. This was another important way that Emirates Airline utilised its sponsorship to benefit its passengers and sport fans around the world.

EASY SELL FOR CLIENTS ALL GEARED UP IN FUJAIRAH

With extensive sports facilities that include a nine-hole championship golf course, horse riding stables, clay shooting club and two football pitches, it came as no surprise when Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa won the World Travel Award as the Middle East’s Leading Sports & Leisure Beach Resort. “Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, which comprises Jebel Ali Hotel and Palm Tree Court & Spa, is well established in the sports tourism market and regularly hosts group supporters trips, golf holidays, and

sports teams in Dubai,” director of sales and marketing, Jebel Ali International Hotels, Mariaan Valero told TTG. Facilities include four tennis courts, a gym, water sports, and three swimming pools, while closeby, guests can enjoy the infamous Jebel Ali Shooting Club and Centre of Excellence. The property recently launched a package through which it offers free lodging and golf for professionals who accompany golfers on holiday. It also grants special group rates at Oasis Beach Tower, the group’s Dubai Marina property.

Al Diar Siji Hotel and Siji Hotel Apartments in Fujairah pride themselves on their extensive experience in hosting sporting teams and travellers of all types. “We have many local domestic teams staying with us during soccer season, and we also hold bowling tournaments periodically at our Bowling Centre with about 15 local teams participating,” general manager, Al Diar Siji Hotel and Siji Hotel Apartments, Fouad Melhem told TTG. “Other than that, we cater to guests who participate in tennis and billiard tournaments, bodybuilding and weight-lifting championships, fishing, power boat racing, parachuting, snorkelling, diving,

and mountain hiking. And as the official hotels of the recent World 8-Ball Pool Championships held in Fujairah, we have also hosted the best billiard players in the world.” A partnership with Fujairah Marine Club allows both properties access to yearly activities such as boat-racing, formula and fishing competitions. “Besides that we have the Maktoum Championships coming up which includes football, men’s and women’s volleyball, tennis, men’s and women’s basketball, chess, tug of war, cricket, motocross, sand drag racing, car show, table tennis, taekwondo, boxing exhibition, squash, swimming and arm wrestling,” continued Melhem. SPORTS TOURISM

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LINEUP ñ UAE

City within a city

Existing features at DSC: ñ 25,000-seat Dubai International Cricket Stadium (April 2009) ñ 18-hole championship golf course, The Els Club (April 2008) ñ Butch Harmon School of Golf (January 2009) ñ the world’s first purpose-built Manchester United Soccer Schools ñ Socatots – world’s first soccer-specific pre-school programme for young children

Tailor-made solutions

Since its opening in 2006, the three-star Arabian Park Hotel in Dubai prides itself on its ability to host sports teams, having already hosted groups including Harlem Globetrotters, regional beach soccer teams, GGC volleyball teams, ITF senior tennis players, Rugby 7’s teams and officials, and the Arabian Gulf Rugby team. “This is particularly due to the large number of twin rooms that we have available [100],” explained general manager, Arabian Park Hotel, Mark Lee. “Arabian Park Hotel is ideally located to many of the sporting venues in Dubai, and we can offer tailormade solutions to sports clubs depending on the team, the event and other requirements.” 40

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D

ubai Sports City (DSC), the $4 billion, 50 million ft2 cornerstone project of Dubailand, is planning a host of new venues as it bids to attract more highprofile events and travellers to the emirate. At the centre of these plans is a 60,000-seat outdoor stadium for rugby, soccer, and track & field events, a 15,000-seat indoor arena for tennis, hard court games, ice hockey, concerts and more, as well as a field hockey stadium, which is already complete. Furthermore, the highly-anticipated Academies Campus is planned to include the DSC Football Academy, the International Cricket Council Global Cricket Academy and the WorldHockey Academy, as well as additional academies for tennis, rugby, swimming and athletics.

Four new CHOICES in Dubai As Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts prepares TO OPEN four new properties in Dubai, director of business development, Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel, Mövenpick Hotel Deira, Oceana Hotel & Spa, The Royal Amwaj Resort & Spa, Guy Epsom reveals their expected impact on the sports sector

Royal Amwaj Resort & Spa on Palm Jumeirah – set for a quarter four 2010 opening. “The resort has wonderful potential as a sports retreat for pro sportsmen and women, and for sport team building.”

The 396-room Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel, located in New Dubai, scheduled to open its doors to the public on September 10. “We believe it will be the perfect destination for young sporting teams.”

The 216-room Mövenpick Deira Hotel has set its sights on MICE and lunch/ dinnertime diners. “It is therefore likely to prove a success to the business drivers of sports tourism, especially those in Dubai for short meetings.”

Quarter one of 2011 will see the opening of the 324-room Oceana Hotel & Spa on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah. “A property which is likely to straddle all of the prementioned when sports selections are being made.”

We are actively discussing partnerships with organisers on the larger events. Indeed, we have formed a specific partnership with Leisure Corps in order to drive sports travellers to these new properties. It should be noted that with in excess of 1,000 rooms, we will be well-placed to accommodate the large teams and participants of the UAE's extensive sporting calendar. It is our strategic intention for our hotels to play a community role, and so we are looking carefully at how we can support events and build relationships within the sports fraternity here.


COMMENT

CYPRUS: AN Ideal sports destination Tourism Officer – Strategy Department, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), Monica Liatiri explains why Cyprus has excelled in the sports tourism arena Sports tourism is an important market segment for Cyprus as it enables us to invest in a vast dynamic market and at the same time add value to our tourist product through its development, differentiation and upgrading. Cyprus has many prospects for attracting sports tourism, both with regards to hosting international sports events and professional teams for training, as well as for attracting individuals and teams for recreational sporting activities.

“Many international sports bodies have recognised Cyprus as the ideal training destination. In 2009, more than 95 football teams and a number of various other teams chose to come to Cyprus for training.” WhAT DRIVES CYPRUS' POPULARITY? The main reasons for this are the excellent climatic conditions prevailing on the island all year round, the modern sports infrastructure

and facilities, the high level of services, an efficient telecommunications system, and the high quality of tourist units. Many international sports bodies have already recognised Cyprus as the ideal training destination. National Olympic Committees from a number of countries chose Cyprus as their pre-games training destination ahead of the Athens Olympics, thus creating an awareness of the destination within the sports community. Cyprus boasts 16 national stadiums (all located close to one another), grass football fields, athletics facilities, top-class swimming pool facilities, and training resources of the highest standard. According to a recent survey that was carried out for CTO as regards the four most important sports in Cyprus (football, swimming and aquatics, cycling and athletics), it is estimated that this market contributed approximately $19 million to the country’s economy in 2009. CTO has established a number of incentive schemes in order to further promote and develop sports tourism in Cyprus. There is notably a scheme for the provision of hospitality to foreign sports teams that come to Cyprus for their training during winter. In 2009, more than 95 football teams and a number of various other teams chose to come to Cyprus for training.

Two special stages a day will be transmitted live on Eurosport at prime time, along with highlights in the evening, and a 52-minute event round-up, wrap-up synopsis after the event, coverage of the rally will provide considerable exposure for Cyprus on the international stage, with obvious benefits in terms of promoting the island as a tourist destination. On average, every IRC event receives around four hours of international coverage through Eurosport alone. Some other important events are the “Cyprus Women’s Cup”, a football tournament acknowledged by FIFA between eight national women teams, among which are England, Four-day Challenge Running in Akamas Region, Cyprus

Important events A variety of international sports events take place in Cyprus every year. The most popular is the FxPro Cyprus Rally which is considered to be the most exciting round of the FIA World Rally Championship. In 2010, the Fxpro Cyprus Rally will offer added excitement to motor sport fans as it joins the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) calendar for the first time. A landmark move for this event, the Cyprus Rally will bring the 12-round 2010 IRC calendar to a close, while also forming part of the FIA’s prestigious regional championship – the Middle East Rally Championship. With the financial support of the CTO, this year’s Cyprus event will break new ground with the hosting of the exciting Golden Stage Rally – a single-day event to take place straight after the Fxpro Cyprus Rally, which will see entrants go head-to-head on a unique special stage for a major financial prize.

Italy, and South Africa; the UCI Cyprus Sunshine Cup, a well known international cycling event; the FIVB International Beach Volleyball tournament; a number of successful marathons; and golf tournaments notably this year the PGA Euro Pro Tour 2010.

Connections with the Middle East A gateway between Europe and the Middle East, Cyprus enjoys easy flight connectivity with all major European countries and beyond. There is also an extensive network to and from the MENA region serving Syria (Syrian Airlines and Cyprus Airways(CY)), Lebanon (MEA, CY), Jordan (Royal Jordanian, CY), Egypt (Egypt Air, CY), Saudi Arabia (CY), Bahrain (Gulf Air), and the UAE (Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways). SPORTS TOURISM

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ALL ACCESS ñ ASIA

Powerhouse Asia Described by many as one of the world’s fastest growing tourism regions, Asia and its far-reaching nations are looking to the lucrative sports industry as a key catalyst for economic and tourism growth.

C

onfident – welcoming – flamboyant – meticulous attention to detail; just a few of the characteristics that have defined and propelled Asia’s tourism and hospitality industry over the years, and nowhere more has this been evident than in the region’s growing portfolio of major sporting events, particularly in the past decade. For who could forget the exhilaration of watching the first-ever FIFA World Cup in Asia and indeed the first to be co-hosted by two countries in 2002, or the opening ceremony and 132 Olympic records broken at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, or indeed the spectacle of Formula 1’s firstever night race in Singapore in 2008? Amidst these events, as well as the countless smaller ones held across Asia, governments across the continent are realising the extent to which sporting events and new venues can have positive, long-lasting infrastructural, socio-economic and tourism impact on their economies. The Beijing Olympics, for example, reportedly saw some $50 billion invested in areas such as infrastructure and the environment, and, by the time its seven-year preparations had ended in 2008, had created 1.8 million new jobs. Likewise, last year’s Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix alone was able to lure over 30,000 international visitors to Singapore’s hotels, and generate some $67 million in incremental tourism receipts. Pioneering Phuket Competition to attract high-profile events and international-standard facilities is therefore noticeably strife amongst Asian countries, and nowhere is this less true than in Thailand, which is taking significant strides in this area. The Southeast Asian country recently welcomed the latest member to its burgeoning sports and leisure industry – the highly-awaited Phuket International Academy Sports & Leisure Club (Phuket International Academy). Located in the northeastern side of Phuket Island some 15 minutes from


Singapore F1 Grand Prix Night Race at Marina Bay Street Circuit

Phuket International Airport, Phuket International Academy is an integrated facility comprising an International School, multi-faceted Sports and Leisure Club for elite athletes and amateur enthusiasts, as well as a Mind Centre sanctuary for medical and wellness seekers. Among its facilities is a full-size artificial rugby, football and cricket pitch, 50m Olympic-sized pool, 25m swimming pool, 500m athletics track with field sports, air-conditioned cardio studio, six tennis courts, seven-a-side FIFA-approved soccer pitch, floodlit ball courts, as well as a Spa and Mind Centre offering meditation retreats. The facility also offers two independent boutique hotels – the 38-room Mind Centre Hotel and the 77-room Sports & Leisure Club Hotel, health-focused F&B outlets, programmes for both adults and children alike, local tours, a clinic, and retail outlets. In a display of confidence, the Academy chose the recent World Sports Destination Expo in South Africa to launch itself to the world as a premier sports and corporate event facility. “Phuket International Academy is being

“A major hindrance in the past for Phuket has been its lack of international standard facilities and level of coaching. But this is changing. It is Phuket International Academy’s intention to provide these.”


ALL ACCESS ñ ASIA Horse Racing at Hong Kong Jockey Club

positioned as Asia’s most exciting destination not only for sports, but also for corporate events such as conferences, incentives, retreats and teambuilding,” explained

their chosen sport, art or wellness activity, as well as for team sports groups and the meetings and teambuilding industry, where our facilities allow them to train in

“Leonia Holistic Destination serves a perfect ace for sports enthusiasts who are planning to get away to a serene location, which is not far away from the daily action.”

assistant PR and marketing manager, Phuket International Academy, Nongrat Nilchan. “A major hindrance in the past for Phuket to attract events and competitions has been its lack of international standard facilities and level of coaching in Thailand. But this is changing. Phuket International Academy offers an ‘all in one’ facility, catering for individuals who seek to come and train in 44

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world-class sports venues.” Nilchan added that further facilities are set to be developed over the next few years in various phases. “For Phuket, the international tourist is key to economic survival and the more we have to offer them in terms of top-rated facilities, the more Phuket can flourish,” she told TTG. “It is Phuket International Academy’s intention to provide these.”

India’s gateway to sports Further west, another Asian sanctuary with aspirations to enhance its country’s sports tourism is Leonia Holistic Destination in Hyderabad, India. Described as an integrated sporting, rehab and wellness venue capable of catering to a variety of sporting needs, Leonia Holistic Destination’s indoor and outdoor offerings comprise an indoor sports arena, both a soccer and cricket ground, an extensive range of ball courts, as well as India’s first surfing ridge that is already attracting water sports enthusiasts to the region. It also boasts one of the rarest-ofits-kind holistic wellness centres – Leo Juventa Centre for Integrated Medicine, equipped with a state-of-the-art gym, an aqua gym, and a supervised rehab centre for co-ordination training, performance diagnostics, sports injury rehabilitation and more. A five-star, 357-key hotel also graces Leonia Holistic Destination, with plans for a further 999 rooms set to be added in the future,

while a range of food, leisure and entertainment facilities are also on offer. As an added bonus, a number of golf courses, sport complexes, and a shooting range are also in proximity to the venue. “Leonia Holistic Destination serves a perfect ace for sports enthusiasts who are planning to get away to a serene location, which is not Major milestones in Asia sporting event history: 1964 Olympics Tokyo, Japan (first ever in Asia) 1976 Formula 1 in Japan (first ever in Asia) 1988 Olympics Seoul, South Korea 1998 Commonwealth Games, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2002 World Cup Korea & Japan (first ever WC in Asia) 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing 2008 Grand Prix’s first ever Night Race, Singapore


far away from the daily action, but which can offer all sporting opportunities under one campus,” commented director of business development, Leonia Holistic Destination, Raghu Gokaraju. “We can exclusively accommodate sports training camps and teams giving enough scope to host events like annual sporting events, institutional internal competitions, divisional leagues, tournaments and more under one roof. In other words, Leonia Holistic Destination is effectively a gateway to sports tourism in India.” Plenty to look forward to With Asia continuing to prove itself as an attractive sports hub,

a number of major events are expected to drive this forward. Among these, and first up, is the first-ever Summer Youth Olympics Games in August, taking place a full month before the late-night Formula 1 race at Marina Bay Circuit, with the Singaporeans still rejoicing at the fact that this small but vivacious Asian country was able to hold off competition from 10 other locations including Athens, Moscow and Turin. India is also set to fall under the sporting spotlight when Delhi hosts the 19th Commonwealth Games in October, in what will mark the largest multi-sport event ever held in the city, and biggest since India hosted the Asian Games in 1982. With the Indian Ministry of Tourism estimating that more than 4.5

million domestic and two million international tourists will visit Delhi for the Games, one legacy for Delhi has been realised as the city has also been named, for the first time, as host city for the South Asian Games in 2012. And as if that wasn’t enough, a Formula 1 racing circuit is currently being developed near Delhi with an aim to host the first-ever Formula One Indian Grand Prix in 2011, an event which would cement India’s image as a worldclass sporting hub. Moving into next year, the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup will be held by the three South Asian Test cricket playing countries of India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Considered by many as the world’s third largest sporting event, the

February to April event will be expected to attract the attention of over 200 million people from both cricket-playing and spectator-only countries alike. 2011 will also be host to the World Athletic Championships in Korea – only the third time the event has been held in Asia since 1983, while Sheraton Hotel in Singapore will stage the Asian Sports Hub & Tourism Conference, an event which will mark the region’s first and only event dedicated to the region’s sports tourism industry. Set for January 2011, the conference will aim to identify the latest trends and opportunities in the sports and tourism sector, and evaluate the growing impact of sports tourism to the many host countries of this mighty region.

Key Upcoming ASIA Events 2010 - 2011 CHINA

Japan

Nov 12 – 27 16th Asian Games, Guangzhou

Oct 8 – 10 Japanese F1 Grand Prix Nov 28 Japan Cup (Horse Racing)

INDIA

KOREA

Oct 3 – 14 2010 Commonwealth Games TBC 2011 India F1 Grand Prix

Oct 22 – 24 Korean F1 Grand Prix Aug 27 – Sep 4, 2011 2011 World Athletics Championship

India Bangladesh Sri Lanka

HONG KONG

Feb – Mar, 2011 Cricket World Cup

THAILAND Nov 28 Laguna Phuket Triathlon

INDONESIA

MALAYSIA

SINGAPORE

Dec 2011 26th Southeast Asian Games

Oct 8 – 10 Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix Nov 5 – 7 Putrajaya Water Ski World Cup Apr 2011 Malaysian F1 Grand Prix

Aug 14 – 26 Summer Youth Olympics Sep 24 – 26 Singapore F1 Grand Prix

Nov 18 – 21 UBS Hong Kong Open Championship (Golf) Nov 26 – 28 Hong Kong International Kung Fu Festival Dec 12 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races Jan 9 – 23, 2011 Hong Kong Sailing Trophy Mar 25 – 27, 2011 Hong Kong Sevens (Rugby) Apr 2011 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup (Horse Racing)


ALL ACCESS ñ ASIA

THAILAND

Hitting it flush SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, SALES AND MARKETING, Centara Hotels & Resorts, CHRIS BAILEY talks to TTG about satisfying golf connoisseurs’ requirements

Preferred rates and services include transfer to and from the hotel, cleaning of golf equipment and shoes, as well as professional advice.

How important is the golf market to Centara’s Thailand portfolio of properties? We believe that what is important for Thailand as a destination must be taken on-board by our hotels and resorts. In addition to sport and recreational facilities found in most of our properties such as fitness centres, spas, relaxation facilities, tennis courts, swimming pools and PADI dive centres, we also focus on golf tourism. Thailand presents a selection of golf courses which are amongst the greatest in Southeast Asia. As a matter of fact, some of Thailand’s best golf courses are located in the vicinity of our properties. Thus, golf connoisseurs can find five prime golf courses – including Royal Hua Hin Golf Course, Imperial Lakeview Golf Club, and Banyan Golf Club Hua Hin – less than 10km away from one of our properties in Hua Hin, Sofitel Centara Grand Resort & Villas Hua Hin. Available all-year-round at Sofitel Centara Grand Resort & Villas Hua Hin, the Golf Desk offers preferred rates and personalised services to guests who are entitled to Sofitel Club privileges.

Why should golfers choose a Centara property? First of all, most of our hotels and resorts are located in prime destinations with easy access to numerous golf facilities. Our golf packages are competitive and are available almost all-year-round. Offering a large proportion of twin and double/double bedded guestrooms, our hotels and resorts are perfectly suited for both individuals and groups. What is needed to lure the golf tourist? Luring golf tourists essentially relies on the flexibility in service delivery. Expectations are significantly high with regards to the conditions of the golf experience. Hence, hoteliers must guarantee each and every detail is perfectly planned as requested, ranging from the transportation from and to the golf courses to the respect of the golf identity. In the golf sphere, tourists present various characteristics and few profiles can be vaguely drawn. Strategies to attract golf tourists should differ according to the targeted golf segments. For instance, tourists who chose their golf destination upon the quality and reputation of the nearest golf courses might look for flexible golfing conditions and precise schedule, easy access to the golf courses, the possibility to tee off on different golf courses within one day, and flexibility of staff. Even though these tourists are value-sensitive they tend to be bigger spenders.

“Some of Thailand’s best golf courses are located in the vicinity of our properties.”

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High profile business

F

or four consecutive years, Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, A Luxury Hotel, Bangkok, has been a leading sponsor of The Royal Trophy Golf Championship, one of Asia’s biggest sporting events. Held at Amata Spring Country Club in Bangkok, the unique tournament is dubbed the Great Battle of Two Worlds and features all-star teams from Europe and Asia, according to PR and marketing executive, Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Arlisara Kitirattanajirayos. “As the official hotel sponsor for the tournament, our renowned hotel hosts the world’s top golfing names and organises events that include an inspiring launch party with exquisite food, drinks and music. We also welcome legendary golfers, dignitaries, and members of local and international media to an informative news conference, a fabulous Royal Trophy Gala Banquet, and the Royal Trophy Captains’ Draw Cocktail event,” she told TTG. Moreover, sports clients can avail of the property’s fitness club and personalised exercise programmes with the supervision of professional trainers. The latest weight training and cardiovascular equipment are available, in addition to relaxation amenities such as steam rooms, saunas and Jacuzzis.

Leading by example With a personal vested interest in the sporting arena, general manager, Woodlands Hotel & Resort and Woodlands Suites Services Residences, Stephane Bringer is achieving a successful market share of this growing niche segment in Thailand. “Sports tourism represents 15 to 20 per cent of our guests, mainly golfers,” Bringer told TTG. “Also some weekend triathlon training is organised from time to time with long bike outings of 150km, swimming in Pattaya and running along the beach.” A contributing factor to the resort’s sporting popularity is that Bringer is involved personally in the wide array of activities available. “[As general manager, I] organise and take part in all of the resort’s sports activities, especially the triathlon.” In an effort to boost interest from the sports sector even further, promotional packages are in place and include spa treatments and two to three days of road cycling training. Bringer concluded: “Sharing past experiences with others is an important factor to join in sports activities. And all inclusive packages are usually preferred.”


A

lready established as a host for the annual marathon in June and triathlon in December, Laguna Phuket has also been focusing its efforts on the golfing segment, according to assistant vice president, destination marketing, Laguna Phuket, Debbie Dionysius. “The annual Laguna Phuket Triathlon attracts about 1,000 participants, and this year, a second more prestigious triathlon event, the Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship, will be staged at Laguna on December 5, one week after the Laguna Triathlon. We will establish a full week of race activities. Combined, these two events will generate more than $2 million in airfare, hotel and tourism revenues. “The resort is also involved in golfing events and in March 2009 we hosted a major pro golfing event, the Thailand Open Golf Tournament, and from May 31 to June 5 hosted the Mercedes Benz Masters Golf Tournament, an ASEAN pro golfing event,” she told TTG. Laguna Phuket, an integrated destination resort comprising seven deluxe hotel and villa properties offering some 1,200 rooms, boasts a total of five spas, an 18-hole golf course, a boutique shopping centre and a network of complimentary shuttle buses and boats to transport guests around the 1,000-acre beachside complex.

Established host

“Combined, these two events [Triathlons] will generate more than $2 million in airfare, hotel and tourism revenues.”

SPORTS TOURISM

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ALL ACCESS ñ ASIA

THAILAND

HAVE YOUR SAY

48

Why choose your hotel?

Sri Panwa PHUKET

Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok

Radisson Hotel Bangkok

Centara Grand Beach Resort, Samui

“Our location – we have all-year-round opportunities for boating. Eight of the most beautiful islands in Phuket are within easy reach and all are just 15 to 40 minutes away by boat. World-class cruising, beachhopping, snorkelling and scuba diving are literally steps away from all the villas.”

“Our hotel has various facilities and services to suit many inquiries. We have the most spacious areas which can accommodate private and public spaces for clients who want to have some privacy and easy access, like a helipad.”

“We have been proudly serving sports tourists for a while now. We are very well-known for this target group and have hosted many football teams as well as FIFA coaches thanks to our special packages and discounts on rooms, banquet and F&B.”

“Because of our reputation and superb location along Chaweng, Koh Samui’s finest beach. Our award-winning deluxe resort offers exceptional facilities which combine the spirit and culture of the island, and which makes it the first choice destination for lovers of water sports in particular.”

Managing director, Sri Panwa Phuket VORASIT ISSARA

Director of convention sales, Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok Wiyada Sornprapha

Resident manager, Radisson Hotel Bangkok LUESAK PAND - UTHAI

General manager, Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui Martin Heiniger

FRASER RESORT PATTAYA

PHACHARA SUITES Bangkok

SHERATON PATTAYA RESORT

MERCURE SAMUI BURI RESORT, KOH SAMUI

“Pattaya is seeing more and more sport activities every year such as golf, kite surfing and sailing. We see the opportunity to drive our business and we are in contact with inbound companies who are representatives for the MENA market in order to do so.”

“We are a gold standard service and we care for our residents and do the best to accommodate them. We are also located very close to entertainment, attractions and night life activities, so these types of travellers can really enjoy their stay with us.”

“Most sports tourists need a place where they can fully relax and enjoy their favourite sports at the same time. Sheraton Pattaya Resort is the resort in Pattaya that perfectly matches their needs. The location is not far from sports venues and the resort itself is very relaxing.”

“Located on Koh Samui’s stunning Maenam Beach, we offer a huge array of water activities as well as a sports ground of ball courts, golf driving nets, and even a Futsul pitch. We are also lucky to be nearest to the world-class Santiburi Golf Course.”

Assistant director of sales, Fraser Resort Pattaya, Pimporn Subintramas

Sales, Phachara Suites Bangkok Suklita M.

Assistant marcomms manager, Sheraton Pattaya Resort, Duanmanee Yantawattana

General manager, Mercure Samui Buri Resort CLINTON LOVELL

TTG MENA


Thoughtful promotions

Committed to excellence Boasting extensive facilities suitable for any sports traveller, and being situated in a location which hosts both local and international sporting events are key advantages to gaining business from the sporting segment, according to assistant marketing communications manager, Royal Cliff Beach Resort, Somruthai Chomrat. “Sports tourism is important for Pattaya and Royal Cliff Beach Resort as it brings in participants

“We have several international sportsmen who come to us during their winter times for training here in Pattaya.” and their support services from across the globe to compete in locally-hosted events, which then utilise the supporting services of venues such as Royal Cliff Beach Resort and Pattaya Exhibition and Convention Hall. “Pattaya is also a regular host to sporting events including motor racing at Bira Circuit, wind surfing, jet skiing, Muay Thai and

many other events,” Chomrat told TTG. While events such as these bring the international spotlight down on the destination, the properties themselves work hard to ensure they offer the necessary facilities. “The Royal Cliff Beach Resort, with its extensive facilities, caters in many ways to international sportsmen,” Chomrat explained. “We have several international sportsmen including tennis stars, Formula One racing drivers and golfers, to name a few, who come to us during their winter times for training here in Pattaya. “The Royal Cliff Sport & Fitness Centre, with its seven tennis courts, two squash courts, gymnasium and four-hole pitch-andput green – all within the grounds of the multi award-winning Royal Cliff Beach Resort – make it an ideal facility.” The resort’s active role in sports is also evident through its co-sponsorship of the annual PC Classic – Varuna Classic – sailing event. “We have also hosted many ATF veteran tennis championships, and the Ladies Professional Golf Championship in 2007,” Chomrat told TTG. Such developments are spread across the resort as plans are rolled out to add a new zeroedge pool, upgrade the rooms on the Royal Cliff Terrace, and introduce a new restaurant, The Breeze, situated along its own private beach.

With Phuket playing host to a number of international sporting events, Aquamarine Resort & Villa is positioning itself as an ideal training ground, according to PR consultant, Aquamarine Resort & Villa, Rung-aroon Wichitwatee. “Our hotel’s layout is a perfect training venue for sports travellers, where they can jog on our hillside jogging tracks enjoying the Andaman sea view, natural waterfall and lush gardens of the hotel,” she told TTG. “Aquamarine Resort & Villa is located a five-minute walk from the beautiful Kamala Beach, where sport travellers can enjoy jogging and many other water sports both for leisure or training.” Meanwhile onsite, sport enthusiasts can enjoy the benefits of a fitness centre and three outdoor pools. “We have always considered sports as an important segment and we regularly host many events,” added Wichitwatee. Indeed, upcoming events such as the Laguna Phuket International Triathlon (December) and the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta (December) are proof that sports tourism in Phuket is becoming a significant revenue driver. The property is therefore rolling out a number of timely promotions. “We are offering free shuttle services to the events, and our various spa packages include sport massages, and we have golf packages to various golf courses in Phuket,” Wichitwatee confirmed.

Taking an active role

S

port tourism is indeed one segment that Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket (DTLP) targets actively, and the team is showing its commitment to sports clients in a unique way in order to ensure the property and its staff understand and cater to this market fully. The philosophy of general manager, DTLP, Peter Komposch, is that practicing sport brings health to both the body and mind, and as such, he has replaced traditional morning team briefs with football games, cycling, or volleyball matches on the beach. A dedication to sports is evident in the property’s ability to

provide a wide and educated offering, as marketing communications and PR manager, DTLP, Sriparin Nuthae explained: “DTLP offers one of the largest choices of sports activities for children and adults in the area. By hiring a certified instructor, the hotel provides true knowledge and the right techniques to every guest for every chosen sport.” The selection of sporting offers can be divided into three categories, according to Nuthae, and include watersports, fitness and form, and other miscellaneous activities such as table tennis, badminton, Thai boxing and jeu de boules. SPORTS TOURISM

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HONG KONG

Proven track record With facilities including a 400m jogging track, golf driving range, 50m outdoor pool, four squash and tennis courts, a spa, as well as the popular Wan Chai Sports Ground located closeby, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong continues to build on its reputation as one of the city’s most reputable hosts of sporting events. Director of sales, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, Edith Lee noted that the hotel has a proven record in accommodating sports groups and celebrities, including those of the Rugby 7s and Bledisloe Rugby Cup. “Sports clients are one of those VIP groups which require a professional and experienced hospitality provider,” Lee told TTG. “We look after big teams whose needs may include events such as a gala dinner. As with most groups, they look for all-round and organised services, the highest standard of F&B arrangement, as well as a convenient location.”

Flights to Hong Kong from THE Middle East (AS AT JULY 2010)

QATAR AIRWAYS:

DAILY from Doha

EMIRATES AIRLINE:

14 times a week from DUBAI

Cathay Pacific:

Cathay Pacific:

14 times a week from DUBAI

7 times a week from Bahrain (three non-stop and four via Riyadh)

Cathay Pacific:

7 times a week from Riyadh (four non-stop and three via Bahrain)

Cathay Pacific:

7 times a week from Jeddah (via Dubai)

50

TTG MENA


Hong Kong 2010 Bledisloe Rugby Cup Venue: Hong Kong Stadium

www.bledisloecuphk.com

nov 18 - 21

Oct 30

2010:

UBS Hong Kong Golf Open Championship

Hong Kong International Kung Fu Festival

dec 12

How can hotels tap into the sports industry?

SELECTED events in Hong Kong

nov 26 - 28

THE HONG KONG SAY

Venue: Hong Kong Golf Club www.hkga.com Various Venues www.kungfufestival.com Cathay Pacific International Races

Venue: Sha Tin Racecourse www.cxhkir.com/english

General manager, The Charterhouse Causeway Bay Hotel

Director of sales and marketing, Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees

“Hotel management has to understand athletes’ sports natures, itineraries, food requirements, and be ready to extend flexibility to accommodate last minute changes of activities. Space must always be available in the hotel for briefing sessions, chefs need to provide menus which are rich in nutrition and offer balance, housekeepers need to co-ordinate the washing of athletes’ sportswear – there are many more. Prepare to be accommodating.”

“Hotels should do more research on the details of upcoming sport events which would enable them to better prepare tailor-made accommodation packages for the players and excel from their competitors. For example when they know the details of the event and groups expected they can better arrange transportation and can have better arrangement of the food items.”

“Last year, more than 200 athletes stayed here during the East Asian Games. Arrangements from medical and shuttle services, to special meals and parties were all well taken care of.”

“As a newly-opened hotel, when any organisation organises a sporting event in Hong Kong, Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees works with them to accommodate their players in our hotel.”

FEB

Alec Chan

Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon Hong Kong Rugby Sevens

APR

Bernard Rodrigues

2011 Louis Vuitton Sailing Trophy Hong Kong

www.louisvuittontrophy.com

MAR 25 - 27

JAN 9 - 24

2011:

www.hkmarathon.com Venue: Hong Kong Stadium www.hksevens.com Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup

Venue: Sha Tin Racecourse www.hkjc.com

SPORTS TOURISM

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SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE: sports hub in the making developments intended to strengthen Singapore’s capabilities to host even more world-class sports events. These include:

Area director, MEA, Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Jason Ong explains to TTG how Singapore is embracing sports to build on its overall destination appeal

What is Singapore’s vision for establishing itself on the international sports tourism map?

ñ Marina Barrage - opened in 2008 and provides an opportunity for ‘water sports in the city’. ñ Changi Motor Sports Hub - due end 2011. The $200 million facility, which can seat 20,000 spectators, will be Asia’s first motor sports and entertainment centre, and will include a 4km track and 1.2km karting track. ñ Singapore Sports Hub - set for 2014 opening. Features will include a 55,000-seater stadium, a 6,000-capacity indoor Aquatic Centre that meets world tournament standards, a 3,000-capacity multi-purpose arena, and 41,000m2 of commercial space, amongst other facilities.

TTG MENA

Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix When: September 24 – 26, 2010 Where: Marina Bay Street Circuit How to get there: 60 weekly-flights from the Middle East Where to stay: Around Orchard Road, where most big hotel chains are based Expected demand: 100,000 spectators and $72 million in tourism revenue (up 10 %)

What was the response to last year’s F1 Singapore?

Singapore aims to be a ‘boutique sports hub’ offering a variety of Despite an economically challenging year, the quality sports events and delivering 2009 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix race engaging and authentic experiences for sports still attracted over 90,000 spectators, of whom event participants and spectators. more than 30,000 were foreign visitors. The race In addition to generating visitors and tourism also generated $67 million in incremental tourism receipts, the hosting of globally recognised receipts. This year, the 2010 Formula sporting events such as the Formula 1 race is expected to generate 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix incremental tourism receipts “Singapore Tourism race, the inaugural 2010 of about $72 million, with Youth Olympic Games, overseas visitors making Board will continue to and the Volvo Ocean up about 40 per cent identify and introduce Race 2008-2009 Singaof the total number of pore Stopover also add spectators. compelling sports events to Singapore’s profile with strong tourism as a destination offering What demand is a broad spectrum of expected for the appeal and value, to lifestyle experiences. Summer Youth build on our overall Olympics in August? What can we expect in destination appeal.” the future? The inaugural Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games [August 14 – Aside from the aforementioned events, top 26] will further enhance Singapore’s reputation notch sports business events such as Sportel Asia as a sports destination. 2010 and Soccerrex Asia Forum 2010 – which This 13-day event is expected to draw an bring together prominent industry members – will estimated 5,000 athletes and officials from 205 further cement Singapore’s reputation as a global National Olympic Committees, 20,000 local and meetings destination. international volunteers, some 1,200 media repreAlso in the pipeline are a slew of infrastructural sentatives, and 370,000 spectators. 52

FACT FILE

Summer Youth Olympic Games When: August 14 – 26, 2010 Where: 26 sport disciplines spread over 15 venues across Singapore Official Partners: Fairmont Singapore, Singapore Airlines, Technogym, Suntec Singapore Convention Centre Expected attendance: 5,000 athletes and officials, 1,200 media, over 370,000 spectators How to get there: Over 60 flights a week from the Middle East

TM©


GOLF

No easy customer W

ith over 60 million golfers and an estimated 31,000 courses at their disposal, golf remains at the very forefront of the tourism industry and of any travel company serious about building their sports tourism business. But what has our experience taught us about the ‘golf tourist’, and how to best meet their particular requirements? Having recognised the many positive knock-on effects that come with golf development and investment, tourism boards the world over are increasingly banking on golf as a strategy to not only boost tourism numbers, but to completely enhance the image of their respective destinations. General manager, International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), Carlton Carugati, whose association’s 1,400-strong membership includes 80 in the MENA region, led by Tunisia, the UAE, Morocco and Egypt, explained that golf’s reputation as a wealthy, sophisticated sport has almost always resulted in lucrative rewards on an investing destination. These include the luring of higher-end tourism, five-star hotels and resorts, and

the boosting of occupancy levels during low season thanks to golf’s popularity as a year-round activity. “Tourist boards have always looked for that high-profile image – indeed many destinations have been trying for a long time to change their image and use golf as a means to do that,” Carugati said, citing Kenya as a good example of one such destination. “In fact, they [Kenya] actually went on to win the Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year Award for 2009 at last year’s International Golf Travel Market.” Who is the golf tourist? So what is it about golf tourists that distinguish them from the regular holidaymaker? Historically, golfers have either travelled specifically to play golf or have taken it up as a secondary activity to a beach holiday or on business travel. Whichever the case, the average golf tourist will stay an average of seven nights on a golfing holiday and will squander more on F&B, according to Carugati. They also tend to spend much more than a normal holidaymaker due

to their higher tendency to ‘stay outside of the resort system’ and venture more into the location’s bars, cafés, clubs and restaurants. Speaking to TTG, Carugati revealed: “In most cases, golf holidaymakers spend around 33 per cent more than normal tourists, and in some cases they can actually spend up to 150 per cent more as we have seen with US golfers in Mexico.” Carugati also confirmed the trend that the traditional golf weekend has expanded to include lifestyle breaks that encompass food, leisure and entertainment, particularly if travelling with a spouse. “Golfers tend to spend a lot after golf on food, local golf clothing, and of course drinks and night clubbing – what we call the après-golf activities; things you can do after playing golf. Countries with the biggest après demands tend to be the British, Irish, South Africans, New Zealanders, and the Danish, but in reality every country is different. That’s why European countries like Spain and Portugal do so well, because après-golf is so prominent there.” Deputy director general tourism operations, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Ahmed Hussein


shared a similar sentiment based on the emirate’s own recent rise to golf fame. “These [Abu Dhabi’s golf courses] continue to attract high-end tourists which are of great interest to the emirate. For example, on average, golf visitors spend more than double than any other type of holiday maker, 75 per cent of which [the revenue] goes to the hotel, transportation and F&B sectors. By building a strong golf proposition, we can tap into this buoyant market,” he told TTG.

“Golf is a niche market and you need to have somebody who understands the game and the requirements of a golfer.” Carugati stressed that the MENA region still has some way if it will match the après-golf offerings of its European counterparts, nevertheless he cited Dubai as a great example of a destination which has provided many more reasons for golfers to visit. “Price as well is always a major factor, and that’s why places like Thailand and Turkey have been doing so well for golf tourism. Despite their popularity they are still priced very well and this is key to remaining competitive. The economy has made people still look closely at price as one of the dominant factors.” What to look out for Senior general manager, SNTTA Emir Tours, David Milican – whose company recently launched Emir Golf specifically to handle the niche market of golf – takes this notion a step further, explaining that in order for the region to continue to attract more golfers, hotels and golf courses must be creative in offering added value.

“Golf is a niche market and you need to have somebody who understands the game and the requirements of a golfer. Golf courses need to identify times when they may have very few golfers playing and offer special rates to help fill these tee times. Milican added that hotels can benefit from this high spend niche market provided they are proactive and advise of offers well in advance. “In fact, the hotels that we get the very best co-operation from are those whose directors of sales or general managers play golf, because they understand the client,” he told TTG. Providing flexible specialised golf services, such as shuttles to courses and ground-floor storage facilities for clubs and equipment are also valuable selling points for hotels, highlighted Carugati, citing concierges’ sufficient knowledge of the local golf courses, a good hotel bar with atmosphere, night golf, and a strong choice of restaurants as further examples. Carugati added that while an increasing number of golfers are attracted to hotels located on golf courses, many do not mind having to travel and this often depends on the age group and gender, as well as the country. “While the English prefer to be involved in the night life and to go in bigger groups, Scandinavians and Germans actually tend to be much more content to stay at the resort.” Offering some words of advice, he concluded: “Both the Middle East and North Africa regions show great potential and have vastly improved the golfing product. In general I would say to really get to know the product, meet all the golf courses, and design tailored packages based on this. One thing to keep in mind is that golfers are actually quite easy to track down as they normally congregate at golf clubs, so they are easy to market and promote holidays to.” Milican shared his own buoyancy for the region: “With a positive and proactive approach being made by golf courses and a number of hotels, we see the number of international rounds of golf increasing substantially in the future.”

Golf show of the year All issues pertaining to golf tourism are expected to be covered at the upcoming International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), the annual golf trade show for the golf tourism industry. Operated by Reed Travel Exhibitions and with IAGTO as the official partner, IGTM is expected to welcome over 1,500 professionals, providing a solid opportunity to expand into new destinations and services. “In terms of tourism trade shows for golf, IGTM is the largest and best in the world, and cannot afford to be missed,” stressed Carugati. Who: Over 600 golf tourism suppliers join 350 pre-qualified

buyers for pre-scheduled appointments, networking opportunities and industry updates. When: November 15 to 18, 2010 Where: Feria de Valencia, Valencia, Spain How: Exclusive benefits for members of IAGTO Closest airports: Valencia Manises Airport or Alicante Airport Entertainment: A choice of over 20 golf courses around Valencia, Alicante and Castelln

GOLF IN NUMBERS $20 billion

value of the golf tourism industry per year in revenue

of regular golfers worldwide, 60 million number of which 50 per cent are in the US

100 million

7

the figure this is expected to rise to in the near future

much golfers spend more than regular holidaymakers 33% how the average number of days a golf tourist will enjoy his/her holiday

52%

37%

would visit a 75% ofnewgolfers golfing destination

of golfers in mainland Europe are women (compared to 17 per cent in the UK)

10%

42%

of travelling golfers will take two or more golfing holidays a year

of the Irish population are registered golfers (40 per cent go on golf holidays)

of French golfers use their holidays to play golf outside France (Morocco in the first place, followed by Spain). Favourite months are June, April and May

2 3,000,000

Germany’s position in Europe as a golfing destination

golfers in the UK, of which some 650,000 take a golf-specific holiday. Favourite destinations – Spain (mainly Andalucia), Portugal, the US, Ireland, and France SPORTS TOURISM

55


GOLF

Faldo’s Cyprus masterpiece

“When we designed the course we decided to put the emphasis on thoughtful rather than big-hitting golf.” Proclaimed as one of the most important new European golf courses of recent years, Eléa Golf Club is set to officially open this autumn [October 1] in Cyprus. Situated in Paphos just eight km from the international airport, and designed by six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo, Eléa Golf Club will

be the centrepiece of Eléa Estate, a development that will boast luxurious villas and apartments, a boutique hotel and extensive spa facilities. Commenting on his vision for Eléa Golf Club, Faldo remarked: “This golf course certainly has the potential to play a pivotal role

in establishing this part of the world as a leading European golf destination. “When we designed the course we decided to put the emphasis on thoughtful rather than bighitting golf, and there are plenty of strategic riddles for the golfer to explore over all 18 holes.”

New community outside Cairo Troon Golf, one of the world’s largest luxury-brand golf management, development and marketing companies, has announced the opening of Allegria Golf Course, developed by Egypt real estate developers SODIC. Located in the acclaimed Allegria development, just outside of Cairo, the new championship course has been designed by world renowned golfer, Greg Norman. “The opening of Allegria Golf Club comes with much anticipation,” commented area managing director, Troon Golf Middle East, Mark Chapleski. “SODIC are developing a golf community that will appeal to both the domestic

56

TTG MENA

and international markets. The importance placed on quality of condition and service will see Allegria establish the benchmark for world class golf developments in Egypt and highlight the opportunities that exist for growth in this region.” Representing an alternative to more established golf resorts across the globe, the surrounding development to Allegria Golf Club has already caught the attention of investors and prospective holiday makers. The unique sights at the facility provide a setting to the development's all encompassing amenities which include villas, townhouses, a temporary clubhouse, golf academy and driving range.

One of the significant features of Eléa Golf Club is the 2,260m2 Clubhouse that boasts views over the course and Mediterranean Sea, a lounge area, library, and a culinary and event experience. The course is also supported by the Eléa Golf Academy which features a full-length driving range, a practice area and a putting green. Director of golf operations, Eléa Golf Club, Ross Robertson added: “For too long the international golf business has been focused on turning over numbers. At Eléa we intend to change that. We want everyone to experience a real club where everyone can feel at home. “With a brilliant golf course that blends seamlessly into the beauty of the landscape, our guests will be in awe of what is a truly remarkable place.”

Special offers for Sri Lanka Oman Air, the national carrier of Oman, will officially be hosting the Oman Air Golf Open 2010 in Digana, Kandy, Sri Lanka for the second consecutive year. The event will be taking place from September 11 to 12 at Victoria Golf & Country Resort, which offers a unique golfing challenge to players of all abilities and is considered among the most attractive courses in the world. Set within the grounds of a former mixed farm, the 6,945 yard par-73 Championship layout has taken full advantage of the existing undulating terrain, with coconut and hardwood trees incorporated into the overall design. As part of its hosting of the event, Oman Air has announced a series of special offers with a complete package to Sri Lanka including five days/four nights, with prices valid from September 10 to 14.


Remaining open during the summer Emirates Golf Club (EGC), host of the Dubai Desert Classic, has postponed the proposed upgrade of Majlis Golf Course until the summer of 2011. The famous golf course at EGC will now remain open during the forthcoming months, and with renovation work already underway, the major enhancement to the iconic Bedouin Tent clubhouse and introduction of the Club’s boutique events venue, the Royal Majlis, will continue as planned. General manager, EGC and Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Chris May commented: “With the recent launch of Night Golf on the Faldo Course and continuing renovations on the clubhouse, it remains an exciting time for Dubai Golf and EGC. On a very positive note, Majlis Course will now remain open for play by our members and visiting guests all summer.”

Egypt joins European Challenge

Egypt finds itself as a venue for the European Challenge Tour (ECT) for the first time this October when the 2010 Egyptian Open – one of the world’s oldest Open golf events – is staged at Cairo’s Mirage City Golf Course. With $250,000 in prize-money at stake, the Egyptian Open, set for October 20 to 23, is expected to attract a powerful field. “Following the success of the event in 2009 and the support we received from ECT, we are proud that the Egyptian Open has achieved full ECT status,” said chairman, Egyptian Golf Federation (EGF), Ayman Hussein.

Golfing in Ireland

“As well as around 80 players from the ECT, around a third of the field will be made up of local and regional invites and qualifiers. This is important to EGF as the event has a tradition for being a showcase of the best in Egyptian golf as well as the region.” EGF has allocated the top five spots in the Egyptian Amateur Open [September 30 to October 2] at Katameya Heights Golf and “For golf in particular we are beginning to see a big increase in travel [to Ireland] from the Middle East.” Tennis Resort to qualify to for the 2010 Egyptian Open, and is therefore encouraging all amateurs in the region, whether Arab nationals or expats, to enter the Amateur Open. “We believe this [Open] will add significant kudos and credibility to the Egyptian golf calendar,” said Hussein.

Market manager GCC, Tourism Ireland, Aiveen Ryan believes Ireland should be at the top of any agenda when it comes to designing golf leisure and MICE packages from the Middle East.“Ireland is world renowned for its excellent golf product and is a favourite destination for golfers. In fact, for golf in particular we are beginning to see a big increase in travel from the Middle East.” Ryan went on to explain this trend: “Combined with the renowned hospitality of the island, an inspiring culture and history, excellent food, spectacular scenery, luxurious spas and good value for money, now is the time for agents to be selling these products,” she told TTG. Convenient connections between MENA and Ireland are also a big factor behind this growth: “Etihad Airways flies direct to Dublin from Abu Dhabi ten times a week. Ireland is also very accessible via London with carriers such as Emirates, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and also through Paris with Air France, Amsterdam with KLM, or Frankfurt with Lufthansa. Turkish Airlines also has excellent connections to Dublin via Istanbul.”

SPORTS TOURISM

57


GOLF

Morocco’s newest GOLF DESTINATION

Property Logic, developer of the comprehensive Le Jardin de Fleur project in Morocco, has revealed its collaboration with Troon Golf to promote El Palmeral – Morocco’s newest championship golf course. Located in the tourist development of Mediterrania Saïdia on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco, the course has already been praised as one of the best

in Morocco and will have easy access to Le Jardin de Fleur’s planned 11 resorts, two more 18-hole courses, and a marina. Shedding some light on the development, commercial and hotel operations, Property Logic, David Woodward told TTG: “The first three Le Jardin de Fleur resorts are set to open from 2011 onwards and they will have a strong golf influence. The Best

Western Premier resort will be our first opening and is set amidst El Palmeral. “Active holidays are becoming more in demand these days with individuals and families seeking areas of the world that can offer a full range of experiences. "Mediterrania Saïdia definitely achieves this, not only with golf, but also sailing and water sports,” added Woodward.

With its flagship project Le Jardin de Fleur, Property Logic has become the prominent leader in the tourist development of Mediterrania Saïdia, a government-supported initiative to boost tourism. The company also recently acquired the exclusive Brazilian island of Ilha de Cajaiba, which will include a signature 18-hole golf course and have extra emphasis on sports and wellbeing.

Full golf programme at Taba

Marriott Red Sea Resort & Taba Heights Golf Resort in Egypt continue to support each other with a full programme of events throughout the year. “We no sooner complete one event than the planning of the next is in full swing, as well as the following year’s competition,” commented general manager, 58

TTG MENA

Taba Heights Golf Resort, James Shippey. Apart from weekly competitions that Marriott Red Sea Resort sponsors, there is the Race to Taba Heights just completing its second year, a series of seven events, each an 18-hole Stableford event playing off full handicap allowance. A competition geared

to regional players, Taba Heights is played from October to May. The Pro-Am competition will enter its fourth year this November, with Marriott Red Sea Resort hosting various functions. The event will start on November 11 to 13 and include a 54-hole Pro-Am tournament. Elsewhere, the Matchplay Championship is one of Europe’s biggest amateur competitions. In total, 16 teams from across the UK and Ireland qualify for a week-long, expenses-paid trip to play and compete for the final at Taba Heights. The first Matchplay Championship took place in 2003 and has grown in popularity ever since. 2010 will be the third time the event has been held in Egypt, with Sky-Sports TV coverage.

“We no sooner complete one event than the planning of the next is in full swing, as well as the following year’s competition.” “Positioning ourselves alongside golf has opened up new markets for us,” commented general manager, Taba Heights Marriott Red Sea Resort, Jan Heesbeen. “We offer high standard of accommodation and the golf resort offers a challenging and stunning course.”


member of IAGTO which gives us access to specialised golf agents around the world. Providing these agents with the packages to help sell the destination has proved very successful, resulting in a healthy increase in golf rounds being played in the UAE.

Senior general manager, SNTTA Emir Tours, David Milican What has been your contribution to golf in the UAE? Understanding the need for a specialised golf product in the UAE, SNTTA Emir Tours launched Emir Golf in 2009 specifically to handle the niche market of golfers wishing to visit this region and play the superb courses available. Since the launch, we have been recognised and accepted as a

What are you doing to sell more business over the coming months? We are now progressing from selling golf-only packages to providing combination packages to various sporting events such as the Formula 1, Dubai World Cup and Dubai Rugby 7s. In addition, we offer packages linked to the major golf tournaments each year such as the Race to Dubai and the Abu Dhabi Championships. We also understand that not everybody plays golf, so we have created special packages to suit the non-golfer such as golf and spa packages.

What new golf trends have What would be your advice to you noticed? the travel trade? We are seeing an increase in the Golf is a niche market and you number of groups travelling with a need to have somebody who PGA Golf Professional. The groups understands the game and the generally stay for seven nights and requirements of a golfer, and you conduct coaching sessions prior must be creative in offering added to playing golf. This type of golf value. Golf courses need to idenbusiness has traditionally gone to tify times when they may have few Spain, Portugal or Turkey where golfers playing and offer special price is the key factor. However, rates to help fill these tee times. with hotels in the region The average golf tourist more flexible, it has will stay seven nights “The hotels that we opened up this and will spend on get the best co-opermarket. Another F&B. The hotel ation from are those area of growth in can benefit from whose director of sales the golf market this high-spend or general manager has been the niche market plays golf, because they provided they Pro/Am tournaunderstand the client.” are proactive and ments. Teams of three Amateurs play advise of offers well with one PGA Professional in advance. over four or five rounds of golf. With this positive approach being We have just handled a very made by golf courses and hotels, successful Pro/Am from Australia we see the number of internawhere 15 teams played in Dubai tional rounds of golf increasing and Abu Dhabi. substantially in the future.

Selected GOLF events WORLDWIDE Portugal

Spain

Scotland

Wales

Czech Republic

Oct 14 – 17 Portugal Masters, Oceânico Victoria Golf Course, Vilamoura

Oct 28 – 31 Andalucia Masters, Club de Golf Valderrama, Sotogrande November 15 – 18 International Golf Travel Market, Valencia

Aug 26 – 29 Johnnie Walker Championship, The Gleneagles Hotel

Sep 28 – Oct 3 The Ryder Cup, The Celtic Manor Resort

Aug 19 – 22 Czech Open 2010, Prosper Golf Resort, Čeladná

QATAR Jan 2011 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

Abu Dhabi Nov 27 – 29 Abu Dhabi Junior Championship, Abu Dhabi Golf Club Jan 2011 Abu Dhabi Championship, Abu Dhabi Golf Club Feb 13 – 17, 2011 YAS Amateur Golf Championship, Yas Links Golf Club, Abu Dhabi

DUBAI Nov 25 – 28 Race to Dubai – Dubai World Championship, Jumeirah Golf Estates Feb 2011 The Dubai Desert Classic, Emirates Golf Club

Egypt Oct 20 – 23 Egyptian Open 2010, JW Marriott, Mirage City Golf Club

Singapore

HONG KONG

Nov 11 – 14 Barclays Singapore Open, Sentosa

Nov 18 – 21 UBS Hong Kong Open Championship


MOTORSPORTS

Talking the torque P

rogressive, innovative and intent on diversifying into all arenas of travel and tourism, the Middle East is fast becoming a major market for motorsport, with several new international standard circuits hosting top-level championships including Formula 1, MotoGP, World Touring Cars and the World Rally. Moreover, this full-throttle shift towards motorsport has inspired growth and maturity of both domestic and regional championships alike. With this in mind, the Motor Sport Business Forum 2011, to be held in Abu Dhabi, is positioning itself as an ideal platform for corporations and individuals who have a burgeoning interest in this sector to generate a wealth of opportunities. Growing in stature, the event attracts global attention with hundreds of senior industry executives flying in to collaboratively address major international issues facing the motorsport industry today. Three key incentives for a destination to host a motorsport event include being able to inspire young local heroes, gain global recognition, and achieve revenue gains. Applying the right downforce Perhaps the most conspicuous of all motorsports, coated in glamour and leading the way when it comes to costing – both in terms of income and expenditure – is Formula 1. Home-based spectators may not be able to contribute immediately to the country’s economy, but thanks to the images from the heli-cameras and informed commentaries, viewers are able to experience some of the landmarks and heritage of new destinations and become potential tourists of the future. The Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix boosted Malaysia’s image and placed it at the forefront of the minds of impending tourists, according to Minister of Tourism, Malaysia, Datuk Seri Dr. Ng Yen Yen. “It placed Malaysia among the top tourist destinations globally and put us as a front runner for the pole position.” Upon the creation of the Malaysian Formula 1 racing team, the Minister said: “Any development of any sport will definitely be a plus point, and as far as tourism is concerned, Nürburgring, Germany


it will attract tourists and Malaysians to personally come and see the event.” Spectators at the track-side, and not forgetting the entourage of experts travelling with the drivers, play a crucial role in driving a country’s economy upwards. Aside from tickets to the event itself, they need somewhere to stay, somewhere to eat, and something to do. And, with a little forethought and innovation, this is where the destination’s travel and tourism industry can truly capitalise on motorsport tourism. The world of Formula 1 racing exudes an image of luxury; an image which the hotel sector works hard to uphold through extensive enhancements and glitzy new openings. The Fullerton in Singapore, The Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi and The Fairmont Hotel in Monaco are all strong examples of properties that have become household names, largely because of the role they play in the sport. Boasting prime locations, extensive leisure, business and F&B facilities and excellence of service, they are able to compete for a large share of the lucrative Formula 1 pie.

in motorsport to ensure equal opportunities at all levels.” But how will this directly affect the tourism industry? The demands of female and family travellers are different to their male counterparts, and destinations need to step up

Shifting gear

Flying finish

While the markets have traditionally been fed by young- to middle-aged men, there are signs indicating a change that will see women and families more fairly represented, especially with the onset of female competitive motorsports. In fact, to push for more female participation, the FIA has established a new group, namely the Women & Motor Sport Commission, headed by World Rally winner Michele Mouton. “The FIA’s membership around the world comprises men and women,” said president, FIA, Jean Todt. “Each has an identical part to play in sport. Like many international federations, we will support, promote and help advance the participation of women

Formula 1 however is not the only motorsport under this umbrella,

to positively impact a country’s economy. Deputy director general, tourism operations, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), Ahmed Hussein explained to TTG that rallying, and motorsport in general, was identified as an appropriate Porsche Racing at Bahrain International Circuit

as the WRC’s official destination partner and, in the long term, the staging of a WRC round in Abu Dhabi.” Hussein further noted that rallying, and motorsport in general, meets both the emirate’s aims of bolstering its awareness globally and inspiring future generations of aspiring sport stars locally. “Via partnerships, such as that with the BP-Ford World Rally Team, we open up our brand to a global audience numbering in the millions, which, importantly, fits our target visitor demographic. It also provides us with a high-profile and dynamic destination marketing platform to capitalise on.” Signature moves

their game to reach out to these requirements, which vary from wellness facilities to recreational activities, and from shopping to destination tours. Therefore, properties and tour operators which may have previously missed out on motorsport tourism now have the opportunity to enjoy a share of the market.

sport for ADTA to exploit to build international awareness of the destination. “With a deep connection to the sport and a history of successful drivers, rallying represented a means of assisting ADTA in achieving its additional objectives of developing local youth and creating local heroes. “Consequently a multi-faceted strategy was developed from grass roots to the top level of the sport. We began the programme in 2007 under the umbrella of the Team Abu Dhabi brand. It involves pro-

“Any development of any sport will definitely be a plus point, and as far as tourism is concerned, it will attract tourists and Malaysians to personally come and see the event.” as it is a chasm that is both wide and varied. Touring car races, powerboating, stock cars, drag racing, superbikes, karting and rallying all play a vital role in this niche sector, and all have the potential

moting junior driver development, Team Abu Dhabi participation in the Middle East Rally Championship, development of a rally events programme, our partnership with the BP-Ford WRC team, a role

And if the real thing isn’t enough, developers are storming ahead with innovative projects conceptualised in the motorsport arena. One of the most talked about developments is Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the world’s first Ferrari theme park and largest attraction of its kind, which is set to open its doors to the public on October 28, 2010, three weeks ahead of the second Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will aim to pay tribute to the passion, excellence, performance and technical innovation that Ferrari has established over the years and represents today. Its iconic sleek red roof is directly inspired by the classic double curve side profile of the Ferrari GT body, spanning 200,000m2 and carrying the largest Ferrari logo ever created. CCO, Aldar – one of Abu Dhabi’s leading property development, management and investment companies – Mohammed Al Mubarak commented: “Signature projects like this are another element of our commitment and contribution to Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, by delivering attractions that further enhance the emirate’s credentials as an inspiring place to live and visit.” SPORTS TOURISM

61


MOTORSPORTS

From town to racetrack

Boasting what is arguably the most prestigious race on the Formula 1 calendar, Monaco needs no introduction for its motorsports reputation, as communications manager, Monaco Government Tourist Office, Corinne Kiabski noted: “Every year, for four days in May, the eyes of the world turn to the Principality to witness its transformation from a town to a racetrack. In fact, the Grand Prix is the number one promotion and marketing tool to boost tourism to Monaco, providing the city with extraordinary coverage in five continents throughout the year.”

According to Kiabski, the annual event generates an estimated economic impact of some $90 million, attracts 200,000 spectators in the stands, and is watched by around 900 million TV viewers worldwide in 60 countries. Kiabski also highlighted the city’s other major motoring event – the Rally Monte-Carlo, taking place from January 22 to 25, 2011, on the roads of the Alps. “Nowadays, the performances of rally cars are astonishing and the perfect racing conditions have turned this event into a mythical competition, part of the world championship.”

Making school fun again

62

TTG MENA

Calling all car lovers Omanexpo is organising its biggest-ever edition of Oman International Motor Show 2010, with a record number of national pavilions worldwide taking part, including China, India, Italy, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and the UAE. To be held on December 1 to 4 at Oman International Exhibition Centre, the show is expected to attract the interest of all motoring enthusiasts in the region with its range of new features and a variety of vehicle brands and types ranging from SUVs, four-wheel drives and saloon cars to luxury vehicles, sports cars and concept cars. The four-day event, now in its 15th edition, will also feature an extensive selection of auto parts and accessories as well as all types of essential services for car owners. General manager, Omanexpo, Nasser Diab commented: "Motor Show 2010 will be the ultimate destination for all car lovers as it will present the latest vehicle models in the market, the widest range of auto parts and accessories, and the most thrilling activities related to motoring.”

Visitors to the UAE can learn to drive at racing speeds and even be driven in a two-seater Formula 1 racing car at Yas Racing School, which recently opened at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. The School allows people who have never driven a racing car to receive expert tuition from instructors in Aston Martin GT4 racers and open-top Yas SuperSport SST track cars. They can also drive a Formula Yas 3000 single-seater, fitted with a three-litre V6 engine developed by Formula 1 engine-builder Cosworth. Other programmes offered by Yas Racing School include a one-day racing license assessment course, after which successful drivers will have their racing license issued by the country’s Automobile Touring Club. CEO, Yas Marina Circuit, Richard Cregan commented: “We are committed to making Yas Marina Circuit accessible to the whole UAE community, not only on major race weekends but throughout the year. The Racing School means that the circuit is open seven days a week from 08:00 until midnight. It is regarded by many as the best racing facility in the world, and now anyone can drive it.”


Home of the motor car With a 26km permanent racetrack – the longest of its kind in the world – Nürburgring in Germany remains one of the most famous destinations for motorsports enthusiasts worldwide, and according to director of marketing and sales – Gulf, German National Tourist Office Dubai (GNTO), Antje Roeding, the product has just got better. “To improve the experience for tourists, a large leisure complex has been built right next door with a rollercoaster, shopping centre, bars, hotel and holiday village,” revealed Roeding. Motorsports remain a popular form of entertainment in Germany, the home of the car, she explained, revealing to TTG GNTO’s recent decision to feature ‘Germany, home of the motor car’ as a key theme for 2011 to coincide with the 125th anniversary of the motor car. “In addition to the motor racing events and the many interactive car-themed museums, this initiative focuses on the various opportunities that Germany holds for drivers.”

Notable upcoming Motorsport Events: Italy

Bahrain

Qatar

Iran

Japan

Sep 10 – 12 Italian F1 Grand Prix

2011 (TBC) Bahrain F1 Grand Prix

Jan 26 – 29, 2011 Qatar Motor Show

Aug 4 – 8 Iran Motor Show 2010

Oct 8 – 10 Japanese Grand Prix

Singapore

Monaco

Sep 24 – 26 Singapore F1 Grand Prix

Jan 22 – 25, 2011 Rally Monte - Carlo Jan 2011 Motorsports Business Forum Europe May 26 – 29, 2011 Monaco F1 Grand Prix

Abu Dhabi

Argentina Chile

Saudi Arabia

January 1 – 15, 2011 Dakar 2011

Dec 5 – 9 Riyadh Motor Show 2010

Oct 7 – 9 Barbican Turbo Custom Car Show Nov 12 – 14 Etihad Formula 1 Grand Prix Dec 7 – 11 Abu Dhabi International Motor Show Dec 2011 Rally Abu Dhabi 2011 (TBC) Motor Sport Business Forum Middle East

Oman

DUBAI

Dec 1 – 4 Oman Motor Show 2010

Jan 13 - 15, 2011 24 hr Dubai Motor Racing


EQUESTRIAN

The sport of Kings The Arabian horse has long been a subject of legend and mystery, essential to the survival of the Bedouins. And now, amidst an aggressively changing landscape and multi-cultural, forward-thinking society, that same animal is playing a pivotal role in the future of the Middle East.

W

ith the creation of Dubai as we know it came the establishment of an event that would bring fame of an unprecedented global scale. And with this attention came a significant impact on the destination and its economy. The Dubai World Cup has been a major focus for horse racing enthusiasts around the world ever since it was inaugurated in 1996 by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Held at Nad Al-Sheba Racecourse, the auspicious debut event featured 11 thoroughbreds and was won by the legendary US horse “Cigar.” Since then, champion thoroughbreds have been flown in from countries such as the US, Australia, the UK and Japan, to compete for the $10 million purse. For 14 years, the Dubai World Cup was held at Nad Al-Sheba Racecourse, but this year the event moves to the newly-completed $2 billion Meydan Racecourse. Attendees to this year’s Cup can enjoy trackside views from the racecourse’s 60,000 capacity grandstand. The luxurious grandstand features an IMAX theatre, six haute cuisine restaurants, and is home to the Dubai Racing Club, while the

state-of-the-art track features synthetic allweather Tapeta turf. Furthermore, the Dubai International Racing Carnival was staged at Meydan Racecourse earlier this year, receiving accolades from trainers and jockeys alike. To commemorate the Dubai World Cup’s move to Meydan Racecourse, an additional supporting race was added to the programme, bringing the total purse to more than $25 million. Eight races will be staged over the course of the event, including the $5 million Dubai Duty Free and the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic – two of the richest turf races in the world. With such initiatives in place, it is unsurprising that expectations for an upswing in demand are high. And to accommodate this surge, the uniquely positioned Meydan Hotel is set on capturing a significant share of the market.

Vice president, Meydan Hotels & Hospitality Division, Abdin Nasralla told TTG: “While the focus of The Meydan Hotel is quality hospitality and service for leisure and business guests, its unique location as the world’s only five-star trackside hotel naturally positions it to serve sports travellers, sports teams and sports fans perfectly. “The Meydan Hotel becomes an international sports, leisure and entertainment focal point throughout the Dubai Horse Racing season, culminating with one of the world’s leading sporting events – the Dubai World Cup. In this respect, the connection between the hotel and sports tourism is very clear.” While committed to the world of racing, the property is dedicated to its guests and strives to provide unique experiences. “What is extremely unique about The Meydan Hotel is the way that it brings a theme of equine sports


to focus on the social occasion, hospitality, fine cuisine, enjoyment and unique experiences for all. “As such, many various packages and events are created and held throughout the year. And as the literal translation of ‘meydan’ from Arabic to English suggests, The Meydan Hotel is a ‘meeting place’; one that not only focuses on what is noble and social about sports, but serves it on a platter of quality service, stunning architecture and design,” he continued. Following an agreement which saw Jumeirah Group assume the management of the 285-room and -suite property, the hotel has seen the official opening of the Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse. It has also opened several F&B establishments including Farriers, an all-day dining restaurant, Prime, its exclusive steakhouse overlooking the racecourse, as well as a new luxury Japanese dining experience, Shiba, along with a new fitness centre and spa.

“[The hotel’s] unique location as the world’s only five-star trackside hotel naturally positions it to serve sports travellers, sports teams and sports fans perfectly.” Executive chairman, Jumeirah Group, Gerald Lawless commented: “The Meydan has many fantastic features – proximity to the heart of Dubai, quality of service and rooms, and of course its iconic location at the Meydan Racecourse. It is prestigious for us to be associated with Meydan

and what is widely considered Dubai’s latest landmark. We look forward to building upon the excellent reputation that is fast becoming synonymous with the Meydan brand.”

With interest in the destination rising from the region, accessibility is now opening up with Etihad Airways flying direct from Abu Dhabi to Dublin ten times per week. In addition, travellers can access

MENA region, where their horses compete in a number of major UK racing events.” And so it seems that through this global commitment to the continual development of the

Ireland from London with carriers such as Emirates Airline, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Aviation connections between the region and the UK are already strong, and the airlines are now linking in to the potential lucrative arena of sports tourism through sponsorship deals. Manager, UAE, VisitBritain, Carol Maddison told TTG: “There are a number of airlines, both local and international, that fly to the UK from the MENA region. “Emirates Airline flies to a number of UK destinations and is also a sponsor to some racing events including the Champion Stakes in Newmarket and the Yorkshire Cup in York. Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, and Gulf Air are also other regionallybased airlines that have daily routes to the UK. International carriers such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and BMI also fly from several MENA cities to the UK." Maddison further revealed the MENA region’s strong passion for horse racing with the UK. “Many of the UK events have ties to the region, be it through sponsorship or visits by regional VIPs and royal figures to the top races across Britain. In addition, many breeders and racehorse owners come from the

horse sports segment from the entire gamut of the travel industry, perhaps the legend of the Arabian horse – where it all began – will continue to captivate, inspire, and bring about new legends and fresh rewards.

Horse racing at Rossbeigh Strand, Ireland

Island charms Inter-regional travel for horse sports is well established, but the Middle East traveller is also now beginning to broaden his horizon, reaching out to new destinations that cater to this segment. One such destination which is reaping the benefits of this shift and also boasts a long-standing tradition of horse racing is Ireland, as marketing manager, GCC, Tourism Ireland, Aiveen Ryan told TTG: “For horseracing in particular we are beginning to see an increase in travel from the Middle East. “Ireland should definitely be considered by agents in the MENA region when it comes to designing horse racing/equestrian packages. The product in Ireland in this category is amazing and hard to beat. And combined with the renowned hospitality of the island, an inspiring culture and history, excellent food, spectacular scenery, luxurious spas and good value-formoney, now is the time for agents to be selling these products. “In terms of MICE business, the equestrian product can add a unique and interesting option to packages for incentive and meeting groups choosing Ireland,” she added.

SELECTED equestrian centres and facilities in MENA

IHG Port Ghalib, Egypt (onsite) Hotel Le Sultan, Hammamet, Tunisia (onsite) Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, Dubai, UAE (onsite) Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Yanbu, Saudi Arabia Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, UAE Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club, UAE The Palm Sports Resort, Al Ain, UAE Lusail Equestrian Centre, Qatar (Opening date TBC) Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu Dhabi, UAE (Opening date TBC) Desert Islands Equestrian Centre, Abu Dhabi, UAE (end 2010) SPORTS TOURISM

65


EQUESTRIAN

World-class venue for polo

NEED TO KNOW

Ambassador of Argentina in the UAE, H.E. Ruben Eduardo Caro recently stated that Dubai is well on its way to becoming a world-class venue for polo. Announcing details of the recent La Martina Argentina Polo Cup 2010, which was organised in association with the Argentinean Embassy and Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Caro said: “Polo is an elegant and martial sport where loyalty, strength and intelligence are given equal weight. Dubai is qualified to host world-class polo games as it enjoys a great sense of hospitality to welcome all the international teams in a sporting ambience, reflecting the great spirit of the UAE.” Sales and marketing manager, Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Ershad Ahmed further noted that the game of polo is attracting growing interest in the country. “We anticipate this tournament to get a wider response and anticipate a great number of spectators to watch the games.”

HORSE RIDING IN TUNISIA

Visitors to Sir Bani Yas in Abu Dhabi will soon have access to a new Equestrian Centre that will feature local Arabian horses available for riding around the island. Desert Islands Equestrian Centre, a product of Abu Dhabi’s TDIC, is expected to be completed by the end of 2010 and will offer riding lessons and the unique experience of encountering the majestic Arabian Horses up-close.

Equestrian retreat in Al Ain Over the past 18 months, considerable investment has been made to Al Ain’s The Palm Sports Resort’s infrastructure, with particular focus on the equestrian centre aimed at attracting high-profile events. “It is our ambition to raise the profile of Al Ain and The Palm Sports Resort onto the world-stage as an equestrian destination of choice,” explained general manager, The Palm Sports Resort, H.E. Mohammed Rashid Al Nasseri. The recently completed The Palm Sports Resort Equestrian Centre will include a 3km racetrack – the longest in the UAE – a purposebuilt show jumping grandstand, an indoor arena for dressage events and equestrian instruction, as well as an additional 100 air-conditioned livery and stables facilities. “Our plan is for the Centre to host four or five Arab thoroughbred races annually, as well as national and international show jumping competitions,” added Al Nasseri. The flagship Palm Sports Resort already boasts shooting centres, an 18-hole grass golf course, a rugby club, as well as a clubhouse with a restaurant. There are plans to extend this with a five-star resort due for completion at the end of 2011. 66

TTG MENA

Active sporting holidays is a growing segment in Tunisia, with specialised properties such as Hotel le Sultan in Hammamet proactively helping to drive this trend.“Hotel Le Sultan is fully implied on developing this new type of vacation in partnership with specialised operator for sport holidays,” owner, Hotel Le Sultan, Mehdi Allan told TTG. “We provide horse riding training for beginners and experts at our horse riding school, Le Sultan Ranch, as well as jumping, dressage, fantasia (traditional equestrian performance), and also ballads in the beach and forest. “We also propose horse riding trails during four days. All riding material is

provided with no extra charge, and the health and quality of our horses is our top priority.”The four-star, 269-room Hotel Le Sultan, located 65km from Tunis international Airport, also offers a PADI scuba diving centre, swimming pool, and three concrete tennis courts, with plans for an additional clay surface court. Golf packages, including preferred rates and free shuttle services, are also provided in association with the golf courses of Yasmine and Citrus, located just three km away.“Besides these packages, we have also thought about relaxation and wellness. Our Five Senses Spa by Thémaé is available at Le Sultan for all guests.”


CHINA'S $4 BILLION horse city

Dubai’s Meydan City Corporation recently announced its joint venture in the creation of Tianjin Horse City, a 3.3 million m2 development in Ninghe County, China which is expected to develop a horse industry, promote commercial horse sports, and protect the interests of horses worldwide. Set to launch in 2010, the $4 billion Tianjin Horse City will, upon completion, provide tourism services, train 8,000 equestrian professionals, breed 1,000 high quality studhorses, produce horse feeds, conduct horse auctions, hold international horse

races, promote equine knowledge to youths, and protect the wellbeing of equines. In addition, Tianjin Horse City will also include five-star to seven-star luxury hotels, a clubhouse, commercial offices, and residential facilities. It is estimated that the project

will pay hundreds of millions of profits to China within five years, provide employment for 10,000, and develop a horse industry economy that will establish production franchise of standard scales across China. Two five-year plans have been prepared leading until December

2020. By the end of 2011, the college, studhorse base and feedstuff plant are due to be put into trial operations, and by the end of 2012, the horse trading centre, hotel, clubhouse, shopping centre, and entertainment centre are scheduled for launch.

Selected equestrian events WORLDWIDE USA

Ireland

UK

France

Japan

Sep 25 – Oct 10 World Equestrian Games 2010, Kentucky Horse Park

Aug 4 – 8 Dublin Horse Show

April 9, 2011 Grand National 2011

Oct 2 – 3 88th Qatar Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe

Nov 28 Japan Cup, Tokyo

DUBAI

Qatar

Abu Dhabi

Oct 6 – Apr 2, 2011 Horse Games/Horse Sports Exhibition

Sep 22 – 25 International Hunting & Equestrian Exhibition, ADNEC

Jan – Mar, 2011 Dubai International Racing Carnival Mar 26, 2011 Dubai World Cup, Dubai 2011 La Martina Argentina Polo Cup 2011, Dubai Mar 5 – 12, 2011 Threadneedle Dubai World Cup

HONG KONG Dec 12 Cathay Pacific International Races, Sha Tin Racecourse April 2011 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup, Sha Tin Racecourse


Al Safir Hotel & Tower

Comm ents

irport (km) Proxim ity to A

Proxim ity to Golf C ourse (km)



www.alsafirhotel.com

NO YES NO YES

2

Juffair Sports Dome

15

Royal Golf Club

7 Bahrain Intl Airport

263 NO YES YES NO

Swimm ing Po ol Proxim ity to Sports Venue (km)

Numb er of k eys Handic apped facilitie s Group check in Trainin g facil ities Water sports Tennis courts Fitnes s cent re/Gym Spa

DIRECTORY LISTING MENA

“Al Safir Hotel & Tower is the best four-star hotel in Juffair – we have a large inventory for large groups and we are the only hotel in the Kingdom which is certified for ISO 22000:2005 food safety.” Rogier van Zeventer, Director of sales

Al Bander Hotel & Resort

www.albander.com

NO YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

2

Juffair Sports Dome

ON SITE

20 Bahrain Intl Airport

80



“Located in Sitra, our property features a number of sporting facilities such as a bowling centre, billiards and snooker, beach volleyball, squash court, a lagoon, beach, marina, and a supervised Junior Club.” K.B. Sasi, Sales co-ordinator

Elite Grande NO YES

www.elitegroup4u.com

NO NO NO YES NO YES

5

Rugby Club

25

Riffa Golf Course

6 Bahrain Intl Airport

130



“We have an excellent gym as well as a number of recreational facilities. In addition, our calorie-specific menus and having Bahrain City Centre opposite us cumulatively make Elite Grande a sportsmen-friendly hotel.” Lalima Mathur, General manager

www.elitegroup4u.com

NO YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

3

Muharraq Club

40

Riffa Golf Course

6 Bahrain Intl Airport

149



Muharraq Club

“At Elite Resort & Spa we attract not just tourists interested in sporting and recreation, but also in relaxation and tranquility. We have the advantage of being a resort within the city located close to all important venues.” Madhu Nair, General manager

Gulf Hotel NO YES

www.gulfhotelbahrain.com

NO NO YES YES NO YES

30

Bahrain Intl Circuit

30

Royal Golf Club

10 Bahrain Intl Airport

453



InterContinental Regency Bahrain NO NO

YES YES YES

2

Marina Club

“While regarded as a business hotel, we are also designed for recreation - we have a pool, whirlpool spa, and a health club boasting two gyms, squash and tennis courts.” Dee Mcguinness, Director of business development and strategy www.ichotelsgroup.com

30

Royal Golf Club

10 Bahrain Intl Airport

321 YES YES NO



“InterContinental Regency Bahrain in Manama is currently undergoing a major renovation and we expect to re-open in early 2011. Once re-opened the hotel will cater to a number of sports lovers.” Kristal Vivero, Marketing co-ordinator



10

7.5

“While Sheraton Bahrain Hotel does not have facilities specifically related to sports travellers, we do cater well to Bahrain’s many sports venues and events with our leading accommodation product and attractive location.” Estella Dias, Sales coordinator

Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa 262 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

16

Royal Golf Club

Bahrain Intl Airport

256 YES YES NO NO YES YES NO YES

www.sheraton.com Bahrain National Stadium

5

MIN

 Bahrain Intl Circuit

www.sofitel.com -

30 MIN

Bahrain Airport

Sheraton Bahrain Hotel

treatments & massage available

B A H R A I N

Elite Resort & Spa

“The hotel is surrounded by a number of magnificent landmarks.” Guy Poujoulat, Area general manager

SPORTS TOURISM

69


Comm ents

irport (km)

www.ritzcarlton.com

ON SITE

20

11

“We have seen growing demand for team building and recreation activities. We have created special packages to cater to these and have successfully organised team building incentives and sports competitions.”

Claudia Hardt, Director of PR and communications

Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano 20 MIN



Sporting Club

20 MIN

Sporting Club

www.fourseasons.com/alexandria 30 MIN

outdoor & indoor

El Nozha (Alexandria)

YES YES YES YES NO YES YES YES techno-gym machine Kinesis room, Squash court 14 MIN AWAY FROM Montaza water sport cl

118

Proxim ity to A



indoor & outdoor

The Sports Club & Spa

mixed & ladies fitness centre

268 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

Proxim ity to Golf C ourse (km)

Swimm ing Po ol Proxim ity to Sports Venue (km)

The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa

Bahrain Intl Airport

B A H R A I N

Numb er of k eys Handic apped facilitie s Group check in Trainin g facil ities Water sports Tennis courts Fitnes s cent re/Gym Spa

DIRECTORY LISTING MENA

“We are a preferred spot in town particularly during one of the city’s many sporting events. For example, we hosted a number of VIPs who came especially for the FIFA U21 World Cup to see their national team playing.”

Todd Cilano, General manager

IHG Port Ghalib Resort

www.ichotelsgroup.com 165

2 Marsa Alam Intl Airport

1

“Six Senses”

four hotels

1,151 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

“Port Ghalib is considered one of the world’s best destinations for diving. Other facilities at our four hotels include a football field, marina, horse academy, bowling, tennis, and jogging trails. We are also planning a golf course.”

Gihan Tawfik, Director of marcomms Renaissance Sharm El Sheikh Golden View Beach Resort 8

20

Diving, SnorkEling

384 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

ON SITE



www.renaissancesharmelsheikh.com

“Our property has the best diving spot in Sharm El Sheikh. We have several packages promoting sports, and we also have our own tennis court, diving centre, billiards, four swimming pools, and a fitness centre.”

E G Y P T

Rania Helal, Assistant marcomms manager Savoy Sharm El Sheikh



www.savoy-sharm.com 0.5

1

5

heated & outdoors

450 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

“Savoy is the top promoter of sports among Egypt’s Red Sea resorts. It is located in a national park with some of the world’s finest diving. There is also bowling, tennis, a short golf course, as well as a pro course nearby.” Mamdouh El-Sheshtawy, Area dir. of marketing

?

YES YES YES YES YES

1

El Gouna

Near by

339 YES YES



www.sheraton.com/elgouna 1

El Gouna

1

Sheraton Miramar

25 Hurghada Airport

Sheraton Miramar Resort El Gouna

“El Gouna offers countless sporting opportunities such as windsurfing, kite surfing, tennis, diving, football, and an 18-hole golf course in El Gouna. Special packages are tailored to cover and satisfy all sporting interests.” Amr Morsy, Director of sales and marketing



10

gym, tennis, volley

298 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

TTG MENA

6

“Not only do we cater a golf course, dive club and tennis courts, our pool area is also one of the largest in the region. We are also planning the addition of a rock climbing wall in 2010 – something new in this region.”

Lars Geweyer, General manager

Stella Di Mare Beach Hotel & Spa, Sharm El Sheikh

70

ON SITE

5000 m3 outdoor

diving & watersports 2 courts, outdoor, red sand, one floodlit

golf course

388 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

www.steigenbergeraldauresort.com

-



13

Jollie Ville Golf Cl.

www.stelladimare.com 25 Sharm El sheikh Airport

Steigenberger Al Dau Resort

“Stella is oriented on graceful and relaxing holidays with a range of sports on offer.” Ashraf Magdy Shenouda, Front office manager


-

Comm ents

irport (km) Proxim ity to A 25 Aqaba Airport

-

www.moevenpick-hotels.com

“We have a range of sports facilities such as beach games, badminton and beach volleyball, and we also have a diving centre in addition to a number of other beach and water sport activities.” Ibrahim Khawaldeh, Recreation manager



YES NO YES

www.ramada.com -

7

-

MIN

Queen Alia Intl Airport

160 YES YES YES YES NO

“Water sports are a plus to our business; we co-ordinate with several water sports centres in the city. Travel agents and tour operators also include water sports in their programmes when they sell our property.” Mahdi Salah, General manager

Swiss-Belhotel Plaza Kuwait

NO YES NO YES

www.swiss-belhotel.com 10

YES YES YES NO

“In line with the wishes of the members, some of the games that have been incorporated are billiards and snooker. In addition to these, we are also interested in developing as a leading destination for bowling.” Jihad Hamed, General manager

InterContinental Mzaar Mountain Resort & Spa 161

5

indoor

5

NO YES YES YES

0

direct access to outdoor mountain sports



-

www.intercontinental.com 65 Beirut Intl Airport

165 YES YES YES NO



events, seminars, presentations

K U W A I T



306 YES YES YES YES NO YES YES YES

Ramada Hotel & Suites Amman

“Outdoor sports are one of the most soughtafter reasons for staying here, and so we work in partnership with a company that specialises in outdoor activities and adventure escapades in the mountains.” Walid Kanaan, General manager

Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Beirut



292 NO YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

ON SITE

www.movenpick-beirut.com 10

10 Beirut Intl Airport

L E B A N O N

Proxim ity to Golf C ourse (km)

Swimm ing Po ol Proxim ity to Sports Venue (km)

Numb er of k eys Handic apped facilitie s Group check in Trainin g facil ities Water sports Tennis courts Fitnes s cent re/Gym Spa J O R D A N

Mövenpick Resort Tala Bay Aqaba

“Our property is a big supporter of sports through the facilities that we offer, such as a health club along with a number of outdoor and water sports activities including diving, tennis, squash and basketball courts.”

Maha Bourachi, Director of sales and marketing

YES YES YES NO

www.terrebrunehotel.com

NO YES YES YES

3

coming in two months

Ouyoun El Siman and Wardeh ski slopes

-

50

“Sport tourists are essential for us especially snow sports in the winter season and cycling and horseracing in the summer, as well as hiking in the mountains all seasons. We can also arrange paragliding.” Michael Ayoub, General manager

178

YES YES YES YES NO



YES YES YES

3

www.lamphitritepalace.net Ouyoun El Siman and Wardeh ski slopes

10

Bouznika Golf Bay Cl.

15

Benslimane Royal Golf Cl

15

Mohammedia Royal Golf Cl.

MIN

MIN

40 Rabat Airport

L’Amphitrite Palace Resort & SPA

MIN

O M A N

Rajpruek Club

“Sports currently constitutes five per cent of our turnover and we aim to increase this market share. We will be proposing packages which combine sun vacation with golf option, and initiation to fishing or to yoga.”

Hind Salhi, Marcomms coordinator Swiss-Belhotel Resort Masirah Island



21

10

YES YES YES YES YES YES NO YES

Masirah Sports Cl.

oman-masirah.swiss-belhotel.com -

450 Muscat airport

M O R O C C O

45



Beirut Intl Airport

Terrebrune Hotel, Faqra

“Masirah Island is a magnificent destination for surfing, fishing, windsurfing and diving.” Joe Coelho, General manager

SPORTS TOURISM

71


O M A N

Golden Tulip Seeb

Comm ents

irport (km)

www.goldentulipseeb.com

NO YES YES NO YES YES NO YES

10

0.5

2 Muscat airport

“Sport tourism is important to us and we do a lot with local sport associations. In Oman, we are the only hotel to provide a green football pitch, and one of our attractions is our location close to Sultan Qaboos Stadium.” Rachel Ocampo, Sales and marketing secretary

Four Seasons Hotel Doha



www.fourseasons.com/doha Multiple venues, all within 10-25 minutes depending on traffic

+ a private beach

YES YES YES NO YES YES YES YES 2 courts

232

Proxim ity to A

Proxim ity to Golf C ourse (km)



Khasab Meeting R., Al Mirani Meeting R.

171

Swimm ing Po ol Proxim ity to Sports Venue (km)

Numb er of k eys Handic apped facilitie s Group check in Trainin g facil ities Water sports Tennis courts Fitnes s cent re/Gym Spa

DIRECTORY LISTING MENA

5

Doha Golf Cl.

12

“There is an increasing number of events in Qatar and we actively help to provide accommodations. Our location in West Bay is advantageous and we have significant beach, spa, sports and fitness facilities on site.” Sven Wiedenhaupt, Hotel manager



POOLS, Extensive outdoor spaces

Grand Regency Hotel, Doha Q A T A R

251

10

NO YES YES NO

NO

4

Doha Golf Cl.

20 Doha Intl Airport

YES YES YES Indoor lap pool & 3 outdoor pools

340 YES YES YES YES NO

www.doha.grand.hyatt.com ñQatar Sports Cl. ñKhalifa Tennis Complex

YES YES YES

“Sports tourism is of utmost importance to us. We are a business hotel on weekdays so can cater to the professional side of sports, then the hotel can completely transform to a resort with our extensive leisure facilities.” Tareq Ghaleb Bagaeen, Director of marketing



www.grand-regency.com 3

Aspire

1

Al Sadd Sports

7

Khalifa stadium

30

Gulf Club

12 Doha Intl Airport

Grand Hyatt Doha

“Sports covers no less than 20 per cent of our business. A lot of teams stay here due to our services which include organic menus, a spa, gym, swimming pool, hypoxi fitness studio and easy access to most sports centres.” Maha Haydamous, PR and marketing manager

370 YES YES NO



NO NO YES YES YES

5

ñQatar Sports Cl. ñKhalifaH Tennis Stadium

www.kempinski.com 7

Doha Golf course

12 Doha Intl Airport

Kempinski Residences & Suites, Doha

“We are expanding our ties with Qatar’s sport authorities and are showcasing our appealing and spacious suites. We have provided the organisers of FIFA Asia Cup 2011 with a special rate for fans and participants.” Rabih El Zyr, Director of sales

Ramada Plaza Doha



584 YES YES NO NO YES YES NO YES

www.ramadaplazadoha.com 5

ñKhalifa Stadium ñAspire Zone

12

5

“We strive to be the first choice for sporting groups. We attract these people by not only providing competitive rates, but by offering 12 restaurants, five bars, Doha’s largest nightclub – Qube, and extensive leisure facilities.” Mairi MacLeod, Marketing and PR manager

Swiss-Belhotel Doha

NO YES NO NO YES NO YES

doha.swiss-belhotel.com 35 MIN

Aspire Zone

25 MIN

S A U D I A R A B I A

Doha Golf Club

5

MIN

Doha Intl Airport

Health Club & Fitness Centre

204 NO



“We attract sports tourists by targeting their specific needs; from spacious rooms and bedding configurations with connecting room options and separate floors for teams, to operating availability for the health centre.” Christopher Tutty, Director of sales and marketing



323 YES YES YES NO NO

72

TTG MENA

YES NO YES

www.crowneplaza.com 30 M

Horse Equestrian cl.

25

Scuba Diving clubs

-

31 King Abdulaziz

Crowne Plaza Jeddah

“We enjoy a premium location on Jeddah Corniche, close to the main sports attractions.” Rafique Izhiman, General manager


Comm ents

irport (km) Proxim ity to A

Swimm ing Po ol Proxim ity to Sports Venue (km) 3

www.moevenpick-hotels.com -

25 Yanbu Airport

female spa coming in 6 months

201 YES YES YES YES NO YES NO YES

Proxim ity to Golf C ourse (km)

Numb er of k eys Handic apped facilitie s Group check in Trainin g facil ities Water sports Tennis courts Fitnes s cent re/Gym Spa



“We are affiliated with major diving academies in Yanbu in promoting diving. We promote a range of activities such as beach volley, pool chess and treasure hunts, and also sponsor horseback riding activities.” Mohammed Fadi Sidani, director of comms



www.lesultan.com 3

Power plate only

269 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

ñHammamet Tennis cl. ñHammamet Multi sports centre

3

ñYasmine Golf Cl. ñCitrus Golf Cl.

40

Enfidha Intl Airport

Hotel Le Sultan, Hammamet

Horse riding, scuba diving & tennis

S A U D I A R A B I A T U N I S I A

Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Yanbu

“We are now a specialised property in developing our sports business with specialised operators. Beside horse riding, scuba diving and tennis, we also have a Five Senses Spa by Thémaé.” Mehdi Allani, Owner

NO YES YES YES

6 5

Al Wahda

Al Ain Rotana

14

www.rotana.com 20

Palm Sports Resorts

40 Al Ain Intl Airport

+ Squash court

Fully equipped gym, cardiovascular & weight training facilities

2

Al Ain Sports Cl.

www.alrahabeach.com 20

Yas Island Circuit

indoor & outdoor

2 gymnasiums

YES YES YES YES NO YES YES YES

10

Abu Dhabi Golf Cl.

20

Yas Links

20

“With the government leading the way in bringing some of the biggest sporting events to the city, this segment is only going to get bigger and better, and in light of that, our focus is on the same.”

Kamel Zayati, General manager

-



408 YES YES YES NO

www.aloftabudhabi.com

NO YES NO YES

1.5

Zayed Sports City

9

Abu Dhabi Golf & Equestrian Cl.

9

Abu Dhabi Golf Cl.

20

Al Ghazal Golf Cl.

21.5 Abu Dhabi Intl Airport

Aloft Abu Dhabi

“What makes us so attractive for sports travellers is our flexibility and attractive pricing for groups, and our extensive number of large twin rooms and facilities. In addition we are located near to Zayed Sports City.” Rene Camilleri, Director of sales and marketing

Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi



www.rotana.com 12

Sheikh Zayed Stadium

8

Saadiyat Golf Cl.

35 Abu Dhabi Intl Airport

565 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

“We cater well to sports tourism - we follow all dietary requirements, we arrange separate venues for breakfast, we have an excellent gym, squash courts, PADI diving centre, tennis courts, beach, as well as a large spa.” Moritz Klein, General manager

88



YES YES YES YES YES YES NO YES

www.cassellsghantoothotel.com -

60 Abu Dhabi Airport

Cassells Ghantoot Hotel & Resort

Gym, Triathlon

U A E

“Most companies and sports clubs are drawn to Al Ain because of the favourable terrain and weather which make it ideal for training, team-building and tournaments. We are located close to Al Ain’s major sports facilities.” Mary Ngugi, Marcomms executive



2 Squash courts

D H A B I

Sheikh Zayed sports city

Hamilton von Hollstein , Operations manager

Al Raha Beach Hotel

A B U

35

“Sports travellers have stayed with us many times before. Al Ain Palace Hotel offers guests the convenience of being in the heart of the city, just 20 minutes drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport.”



198 YES YES YES YES YES YES NO YES

134

22

Abu Dhabi Intl Airport

NO NO

Abu Dhabi Golf Course

Abu Dhabi Intl Airport

YES YES

www.alainpalacehotel.com Al Jazeera

events, seminars, presentations

110



indoor

Al Ain Palace Hotel

“From hiking and jogging to cycling and water sports – we cater for many sports.” Cesar Mora, Director of sales and marketing

SPORTS TOURISM

73


180

NO YES YES NO

www.cityseasonsgroup.com

NO YES NO

Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi

Comm ents

irport (km) Proxim ity to A



NO

25

Zayed Sports City

10

Abu Dhabi Golf & Equestrian Cl.

35 Abu Dhabi Intl Airport

City Seasons Al Hamra

Proxim ity to Golf C ourse (km)

Numb er of k eys Handic apped facilitie s Group check in Trainin g facil ities Water sports Tennis courts Fitnes s cent re/Gym Spa

Swimm ing Po ol Proxim ity to Sports Venue (km)

DIRECTORY LISTING MENA



Thomas Tapken, Managing director, City Seasons Group of Hotels www.emiratespalace.com

Within premises

25

30

+ a private beach

394 YES YES YES NO YES YES YES YES 2 courts

“All City Seasons properties provide convenient city centre locations, perfect for leisure and sports travellers. We also offer a strong selection of restaurants.”

“We offer a wide range of sports facilities that are not available in any other hotel in the world, such as a FIFA-certified football pitch, cricket pitch, tennis courts, and the longest private beach in the UAE at 1.3km.” Hazem Harfoush, Assist. dir. of sales and marketing



YES YES YES

One to One Hotel - The Village 127 YES YES YES NO

NO

40

10

Abu Dhabi Golf Course

Abu Dhabi Intl Airport

40

YES NO YES

www.onetoonehotels.com 5 22

A B U

“Hilton Abu Dhabi hosts a variety of teams as we have special rates available for this market which are flexible to their requirements. The hotel has an excellent range of sports facilities, both indoors and outdoors.” Jan Moenkedieck, General manager

 Al Jazeera Stadium Yas Marina Circuit

15

Abu Dhabi Golf Cl.

15

Abu Dhabi Golf & Equestrian Cl.

25 Abu Dhabi Intl Airport

D H A B I

2 tennis courts & 2 squash courts

327 YES YES YES YES YES

www.hilton.com Yas Marina F1 Circuit

3 temperatures controlled open air swimming pools

Hilton Abu Dhabi

“One to One Hotel – the Village has a wide range of exercise and leisure facilities to suit all. From a high-pressure business executive to the relaxed weekend traveller, one place fits all at The Village Club.”

-

Grace Nasser, Director of sales and marketing

U A E

Sands Hotel Abu Dhabi NO NO

www.sands-hotel.net

NO YES YES YES

4

Al Wahda Sports Cl.

15

Abu Dhabi Golf Cl.

35 Abu Dhabi Intl Airport

257 YES YES



Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri 214 YES YES NO NO



NO YES YES YES 4.2

“We are regularly hosting most of the national football teams which come for the championships. We offer special group rates for both rooms and meals packages.”

Ashraf El Sayegh, Director of sales and marketing www.shangri-la.com

10

15

“With our proximity to the airport, Zayed Sports City, and Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Shangri-La Hotel and Traders Hotel in Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi are both ideal for sports travellers and teams of all types.” Adrian Rudin, General manager



Resort

Health Club

Health Club

Health Club

Resort

Health Club

272 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

ON SITE

www.sheraton.com/abudhabi 30

Abu Dhabi Golf Cl.

40

one of the biggest sports venues providing all kind of sports facilities

Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort

Martina Venus, Director of PR

Vision Hotel Apartments

74

TTG MENA

YES YES

NO NO NO

www.visionhotel.net YES YES YES

12

Zayed Sports City Stadium

ñYas Island 15-20 ñSaadiyat Island

38 Abu Dhabi Airport

125

“We not only provide the latest range of gym facilities, but also classes from yoga and aqua aerobics to water sports. These also cater for the social component of getting to know other hotel guests or Abu Dhabi residents.”

“One of our many USPs is that we are the closest city hotel to the Formula 1 track.” Rowena Panaligan, Executive secretary


www.kempinski.com/ajman 5

Ajman Sports Club

10

20 Sharjah Airport

Beach, Gym

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club

“One annual mainstay is when we host European football clubs during their winter training camps. We can provide for tennis, diving, deep sea fishing, golf and water sports, and we plan several kinds of tournaments.” Jana Ziegler, Marketing manager

Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman 336

NO YES

NO NO



NO YES YES YES

www.ramadaajman.com 7

Sharjah Cricket stadium

8

Sharjah Cycling

7.5

-

10 Sharjah Airport

U A E

Comm ents

irport (km) Proxim ity to A

Proxim ity to Golf C ourse (km)

Swimm ing Po ol Proxim ity to Sports Venue (km)

Numb er of k eys Handic apped facilitie s Group check in Trainin g facil ities Water sports Tennis courts Fitnes s cent re/Gym Spa 181



-

A J M A N

KempiNSki Hotel Ajman

Sharjah Soccer stadium

“We believe in offering the best deals to sportsmen which is why we are fast becoming a favourite destination of visiting teams. Whatever the sport, we can create special packages and programmes for athletes.” Shehab Lotfi, General manager

YES NO YES YES YES YES Located at WAFI

NO

www.arabianparkhoteldubai.com

Located at WAFI

NO

nearby sports clubs/stadiums

318



0.5

Dubai Sports Council

2

Creek and Golf Club

0.5

Al Wasl sports club

5

Al Badia

2

Al Nasser Sports club



NO YES NO YES

-

www.crowneplaza.com Al Badia Golf Cl.

0.5

DUBAI Intl Airport

2

“We provide discounts on green fees at the neighbouring 18-hole golf course, and the hotel is also the main sponsor for the two largest annual sporting events in Dubai, the Dubai Rugby 7s and Dubai Football 7s.” Steven Greenwood, Hotel manager



www.fairmont.com 10

Al Nasr Sports Cl.

10

Al Wasl Sports Cl.

Dubai Creek Club

10

15 DUBAI Intl Airport

Fitness Centre

394 YES YES YES NO NO YES YES YES

-

“Sport is an important market segment to Fairmont Dubai. We have already hosted a number of sports teams and are well equipped to cater to accommodation, F&B, laundry and transportation needs in Dubai.” Beth McIntyre, Sales administrator

Flora Creek & Flora Park Deluxe Hotels & Apartments 298 YES YES YES NO NO

YES YES YES 300 M

Dubai creek & yacht Cl.

-

www.florahospitality.com 1

“Whether it is golf, yachting or swimming, we are ideally located. It could be just bowling at Deira City Centre or watching the Rugby 7’s play. All sporting venues are within easy proximity and this has been key for us.” Peter Fenwick, General manager

YES YES YES NO NO

YES NO YES

3 Function Rooms, ballroom

117



YES YES YES NO

5

Al Nassr Sport Cl.

5

Al Wasl Sport Cl.

www.fourpoints.com 10

Dubai Golf Cl.

10

“Sport tourism is important for Four Points by Sheraton Bur Dubai. We provide a great variety of facilities for sports groups, such as swimming pool, gym, massage room, meeting rooms, transportation and more.” Mohamed Halila, Director of sales and marketing

Gold Swiss-Belhotel Dubai 184

30

Dubai Sport City

DUBAI Intl Airport

Four Points by Sheraton Bur Dubai



NO YES YES YES

www.swiss-belhotel.com 4

Al Wasl FootBall Stadium

4

Dubai Creek Golf & Yatch Cl.

8 DUBAI Airport

D U B A I

24 hour gym w/ state of the ART Technogym equipment

316 YES YES YES NO

U A E

“All seven floors at Arabian Park Hotel have unique lounges which are ideal for sports teams. Our chef and his team are experienced in preparing special meals for sports clients and in accordance with their diets.”

Mark Lee, General manager

Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City

Fairmont Dubai

35 DUBAI Intl Airport

Arabian Park Hotel

“Customised packages inclusive of venue transfer options are one of our many USPs.”

Deepak Dahiya, Director of sales and marketing SPORTS TOURISM

75


2

2 Temp. controlled outdoor pools

2 Floodlit outdoor Courts

Holiday Inn Al Barsha

Hatta Football Stadium

100

Dubai Golf Cl.

100



YES YES YES

“At our resort ambiance, guests can enjoy focused training without any city distractions such as pubs, discos, and all for the right price, in addition to a great F&B venue.” Sergio Magnaldi, General manager

www.holidayinn.com/dubaialbarsha 30

-

45

MIN

MIN

on the pipe line

310 YES YES YES NO NO

Comm ents

irport (km) Proxim ity to A

www.hattaforthotel.com

YES YES YES NO YES YES YES YES High Ropes, Climbing Wall, Team Building

51



DUBAI Intl Airport

Hatta Fort Hotel

Proxim ity to Golf C ourse (km)

Numb er of k eys Handic apped facilitie s Group check in Trainin g facil ities Water sports Tennis courts Fitnes s cent re/Gym Spa

Swimm ing Po ol Proxim ity to Sports Venue (km)

DIRECTORY LISTING MENA

“Sports tourism is one of our major aspects as we provide top-notch facilities such as a spa, roof-top swimming pool, fitness centre with trainer, and we also provide shuttles to the beach and Mall of the Emirates.” Kezia de Rocha, Assistant to resident director

NO YES YES YES

www.dubaifestivalcity.com 500 M

-

24-hour gym w/Technogym equipment

2

“InterContinental Dubai Festival City is ideal for a golfing holiday with its own 18-hole golf course located minutes away. A complimentary transfer is available, and all guests are entitled to discounted green fees.” Steven Greenwood, Hotel manager

Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa

D U B A I

Al Badia Golf Cl. by InterContinental DFC



5

MIN

9-hole par 36

ON SITE championship

standard golf course with floodlit driving range, putting and pitching greens

-

260 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

www.jebelali-international.com Jebel Ali Shooting Cl. & Centre of Excellence

40 MIN

DUBAI Intl Airport

398 YES YES YES NO



DUBAI Intl Airport

InterContinental Dubai Festival City

“We are well established in sports tourism and recently received the World Travel Award as Middle East’s Leading Sports & Leisure Beach Resort. We offer golf, horse riding, clay shooting and multi-purpose football pitches.”

 Attached to Indoor Skiing - Ski Dubai

393 YES YES NO YES YES YES YES YES

www.kempinski-dubai.com 15

The ELS Cl. Dubai

25 DUBAI Intl Airport

U A E

Mariaan Valero, Director of sales and marketing Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates

“Sports tourism is hugely important for us due to the fact that we are attached to Ski Dubai, which offers several activities for skiers and the fans as it is a unique product not available everywhere in the region.” Haitham Assem, Senior marketing executive

Meydan Hotel



285 YES YES YES NO

NO

www.meydan.ae YES YES YES

1

Meydan Race Course

10-20

15

“Our unique location as the world’s only fivestar trackside hotel naturally positions Meydan Hotel to serve sports travellers, sports teams and sports fans perfectly.” Abdin Nasralla, Vice president, Meydan Hotels & Hospitality Division



NO YES YES YES

Rihab Rotana Dubai

Al Nasr Sports

10

-

MIN

YES YES YES NO NO

YES NO YES

76

TTG MENA

“Raffles Dubai is the perfect venue for sports tourists. We are located in the heart of Dubai and have amenities including a spa, gym, one ha of botanical garden, and six restaurants, and we offer a gracious service.” Sarah Omolewu, PR manager



www.rotana.com 8

Al Wasl Sporting Cl.

3

Creek Golf Cl.

2 DUBAI Airport

134

2

DUBAI Intl Airport

Gym, swimming pool, sauna Jacuzzi, p. trainer

240 YES YES YES NO

www.raffles.com Raffles Amrita Spa exclusive Kerstin Florine Intl skin care line

Raffles Dubai

“Our excellent location means that we are a very attractive proposition for sport tourism.” Betty Riachy, Assistant director of marcomms


Comm ents

irport (km) Proxim ity to A



www.shangri-la.com

NO NO YES YES YES YES

-

15

-

MIN

DUBAI Intl Airport

302 YES YES

Proxim ity to Golf C ourse (km)

Swimm ing Po ol Proxim ity to Sports Venue (km)

Numb er of k eys Handic apped facilitie s Group check in Trainin g facil ities Water sports Tennis courts Fitnes s cent re/Gym Spa Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai

“We have all what sportsmen need to keep in shape, such as a spa, squash, tennis and more. We also have all-inclusive packages for teams including transfers from training camps and from major venues in Dubai and beyond.”



NO YES YES YES

3

0.5

Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Cl.

Golf course

“We are mainly focusing on golf tourism, catering to both individuals and golf groups. Park Hyatt Dubai’s location adjacent to the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club makes the hotel a perfect destination for golf tourists.” Waike Papke, Director of sales and marketing

Premier Inn Dubai Investments Park NO

NO NO YES

Available nearby

308 YES YES YES NO



www.premierinn.com

6

Dubai Sports City

16

Dubai Swimming Stadium

20

7he Sevens

2

Jumeirah Golf Estates

1 DUBAI Intl Airport

U A E

5 DUBAI Intl Airport

225 YES YES YES NO

www.dubai.park.hyatt.com Aviation Cl. (tennis courts)

-

D U B A I

Neil Rumbaoa, Director of communications Park Hyatt Dubai

“With over 800 rooms in Dubai, Premier Inn hotels offer outstanding value for money. Earlier this year, Premier Inn Dubai Investments Park hosted all 10 teams playing in qualifying for the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup.” Darroch Crawford, Managing director

The Address Montgomerie Dubai  YES YES YES NO YES YES YES YES

www.aldiarsijihotel.com

YES YES YES NO YES YES YES YES

Fujairah Marine Club

Ras Al Khaimah Golf Course

0.5

“We have local teams staying with us during soccer season, and we also hold bowling tournaments periodically. We can also cater for tennis, billiards, weight-lifting, fishing, power boat, parachuting, diving and hiking.”

?

Kalba sports cl.

?

Al Ahli football cl.

40

Dibba Al Hisn sports cl.

MIN

1.5

1.5

HOUR

HOUR

“Hilton Fujairah is the only five-star international brand property within the city centre and still with a private beach. Given this, Hilton has attracted a number of events, championships and competitions.” Raza Abbas, Business development manager

 Dibba Sports Cl.

80

RAK Golf Cl.

180

www.thepalacerasalkhaimah.com 5 15

ñICELAND Waterpark ON Al Hamra SITE Golf Cl. ñAl Jazira Aviation Cl. ñTower links Golf Cl. ñRAK Shooting Cl.

20 RAK Intl Airport

348 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

“We are considered as the retreat for sports teams for their big gatherings and events. Thanks to the breathtaking location of the resort, we are an ideal place for water sports, hiking, golf, snorkelling, diving, and more.” Bahia Kerrouche, Cluster PR manager



-

The Palace Ras Al Khaimah

3

www.jalfujairahresort.ae

7 outdoor swimming pools for adults & children

NO YES YES YES

motorized & non-motorized

YES YES YES YES team building potential

1

110

www.hilton.co.uk/Fujairah temperature controlled

Hilton Fitness by Precor

football, basketball, volleyball, beach volleyball, table tennis, pitch & putt green

U A E

Al Ahli Stadium

Fouad Melhem, General manager

Hotel JAL Fujairah Resort & Spa

R A K

1



104 YES YES YES YES YES YES NO YES

U A E

“The Address Montgomerie is a golf retreat encompassing an 18-hole championship course featuring unique characteristics such as a handshaped bunker, a 656-yard 18th hole, as well as 81 bunkers and 14 lakes.” Marc Dardenne, CEO, Emaar Hotels & Resorts

Hilton Fujairah Resort

252

25



Body building, weight-lifting, tennis, basketball, bowling

F U J A I R A H

89

Sports City

DUBAI Intl Airport

Al Diar Siji Hotel

15

Championship golf course

Golf Academy offering lessons for golfing enthusiasts

21

www.theaddress.com Adjoining 7,396-yard championship golf course

“We will be the number one resort in the UAE for our choice of sporting facilities.” Philippe Rubod, General manager

SPORTS TOURISM

77


150 M

Wanchai sports centre

0.5

-

3

45

The Jockey Club Kau Sai Chau Public Tennis Course

Beijing Capital Intl Airport

39

Comm ents

“Among the facilities at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, we have a 400m jogging track, two squash courts, a golf driving range and a 50m outdoor heated pool.”

48

“We are ideally located centrally just a 10 minute leisure walk to Victoria Park where guests can easily find sports facilities like tennis and football courts and jogging tracks.” Wings Mok, Marcomms manager

www.shangri-la.com/island Hong Kong Stadium in Happy Valley

10 MIN

treatments & massages

24-hour gym

Nedumbasseri



NO YES NO YES

Anna Liu, Director of sales and marketing

www.harbourgrand.com Hong Kong Stadium

27m outdoor heated pool

H O N G

MIN

“The 2008 Bejing Olympic Park is just next to us, and our guests can also overlook the ‘Bird’s Nest’ National Stadium and ‘Water Cube’ Aquatic Centre.”

Edith Lee, Director of sales

30 MIN

“All travellers are all of equal importance to us. The Hong Kong Stadium in Happy Valley is a 10-minute car ride, and the public golf course, Kau Sai Chau, can easily be accessed.”

Ilona Yim, Director of communications

294 YES YES YES NO NO YES NO

NO

7 hotels w/ 1,224 rooms, suites & villas

public pool within five min

The Charterhouse Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Hong Kong Football cl

15

Hong Kong Stadium

MIN

MIN

45 MIN

www.charterhouse.com Laguna Phuket Golf Club

39



358 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES 18.3 Tennis, Badminton, Basketball, Volleyball, Cricket, Squash



5

Leonia Holistic Destination, Hyderabad I N D I A

30



Island Shangri-La Hong Kong

Anna Stackler, General manager

www.hongkong.grand.hyatt.com

NO NO NO YES YES YES

565 YES YES YES NO

Water Cube Aquatic Centre

50m outdoor heated pool

residential spa

K O N G

Harbour Grand Hong Kong

“An array of leisure facilities and services are available. In addition we have successfully held the Oriental Golf 2009 Meeting to which many guests came from the PGA.”

www.panguhotel.com Bird’s Nest National Stadium



553 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

828 YES YES

20.5



NO NO YES NO YES 200 M

Grand Hyatt Hong Kong

17.4

Hong Kong Intl Airport

234 YES YES NO

6.7

Beijing CBD International Golf Club

Beijing Capital Airport

Pangu 7 Star Hotel Beijing

www.crowneplaza.com/beijingchn

The National Indoor Stadium / The Bird Nest

Phuket Intl Airport

C H I N A

519 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

irport (km)



Proxim ity to A

Swimm ing Po ol Proxim ity to Sports Venue (km)

Crowne Plaza Sun Palace, Beijing

Proxim ity to Golf C ourse (km)

Numb er of k eys Handic apped facilitie s Group check in Trainin g facil ities Water sports Tennis courts Fitnes s cent re/Gym Spa

DIRECTORY LISTING ASIA

19.5

Cycling Velodrome, Osmania University Campus Gymkhana Cricket Grounds

“Last year, more than 200 athletes were hosted here during the East Asian Games. All arrangements from medical services to meals with special diets were all well taken care of.” Bernard Rodrigues, General manager

www.leonia.in Golf 20.6 Bison Course

38

“Leonia is an integrated facility for sports tourists which can host different kinds of both indoor and outdoor sports with accommodation attached. It is effectively a gateway to sports tourism in India.” Raghu Gokaraju, Director of business development

Ramada Resort Cochin

78

TTG MENA

boat cruise

YES YES YES YES NO YES YES YES banquet halls

42



www.ramadacochin.com 10

ñRegional Sports Centre ñKaloor Intl Stadium

38

Nedumbasseri

38

“We have various packages here to suit all sports budgets. The facilities here are vast.” Nirmala L, Head of sales and marketing


1

Swimming pool

28

World Cup Stadium

ballroom & function rooms

Comm ents

irport (km) Proxim ity to A 27

“Kolkata is famous for its golf and cricket events, and so Oberoi Grand is a preferred hotel as it is in the heart of the city and close to Eden Gardens and all sports centres.”

Amardeep Singh, Assistant manager – front office www.wseoul.com

“W Seoul’s beautiful facilities and services allow your clients to have a wonderful experience, and the compliments will affect your agency or your performance.” Eileen Park, PR assistant manager

www.mandarinoriental.com/kualalumpur

Bukit Jalil National Stadium

5

Royal Selangor GC

75 Kuala Lumpur Intl Airport

Gym, Tennis C. & Squash C.

30

“ATP Malaysia would be a good example of what we are capable of. For high profile events, our hotel is usually chosen due to our excellent location, service and experience.” Veronica Choo, Director of communications

www.parkroyalhotels.com 10

Penang Swimming Club

30

Penang Turf Club

MIN

MIN

45 MIN

Bukit Jambul GC

45 MIN

“Sports plays an important role in Penang Island and we at are keen to support it. Events coming up include Penang Bridge Run and the annual Penang Dragon Boat Festival.” Ernest Loi, Director of sales and marketing



www.lagunaphuket.com Phuket Intl Academy Sports, Arts & Wellness Centre

Mercure Samui Buri Resort, Koh Samui Island NO YES YES YES NO YES YES YES

2

Laguna Phuket Golf Club

20 Phuket Intl Airport

12

7 hotels w/ 1,224 rooms, suites & villas

1224 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES



-

“Laguna is the only resort development on Phuket that has an on-site 18-hole golf course. The resort is also involved in many major golfing events.” Debbie Dionysius, Assistant vice president, destination marketing

www.mercure.com

3

10

“Mercure Samui is one of the only properties with tennis courts, which can be a big decision maker. Located on the stunning Maenam Beach, we offer a huge array of water activities as well as ball courts and pitches.” Clinton Lovell, General manager

Radisson Hotel Bangkok



448 YES YES YES NO NO YES NO YES

Sri Panwa, Phuket 58

www.radisson.com/bangkokth 5

Bangkok Athletic Stadium

5

GC at Bangkok Athletic Stadium

20 Suvarnabhumi Intl Airport

T H A I L A N D

1

W Seoul Walkerhill (Jack Niclaus)



YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

“We are very well-known for the sports tourism target group and have hosted many football teams thanks to our special packages and discounts on rooms, banquets and F&B.” Luesak Pand-Uthai, Resident manager

www.sripanwa.com -

Laguna Phuket Intl Marathon

20

ñPhuket Country Cl. ñMission Hills ñRed Mountain ñBlue Canyon

45 Phuket Airport

K O R E A malaysia

10

Olympic Stadium



309 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

86

?



643 YES YES YES NO YES YES YES YES

Laguna Phuket

23

Royal Challenge Golf Course



252 YES YES YES NO YES YES YES YES

Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur

?

Tollygunge Golf Course

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport

www.oberoihotels.com Eden Gardens

Gimpo Intl Airport

YES YES YES

W Seoul-Walkerhill, South Korea

Parkroyal Penang

Proxim ity to Golf C ourse (km)



Gym instructor

209 YES YES YES NO NO

Swimm ing Po ol Proxim ity to Sports Venue (km)

Numb er of k eys Handic apped facilitie s Group check in Trainin g facil ities Water sports Tennis courts Fitnes s cent re/Gym Spa I N D I A

The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata

“World-class cruising, beach-hopping and scuba diving are literally just steps away.”

Vorasit Issara, Managing director

SPORTS TOURISM

79


Kempinski Hotel Adriatic, Croatia

Football field

Comm ents

irport (km)

www.kempinski-adriatic.com 15 Portoroz Airport

0.5

indoor & outdoor

3000 sqm Carolea SPA

Proxim ity to A



YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES 300 golf course ski-jet, scuba diving aqua aerobics

186

Proxim ity to Golf C ourse (km)

Numb er of k eys Handic apped facilitie s Group check in Trainin g facil ities Water sports Tennis courts Fitnes s cent re/Gym Spa

Swimm ing Po ol Proxim ity to Sports Venue (km)

DIRECTORY LISTING EUROPE

“Sports is important for us as well as for the community. Umag, the closest city, hosts the ATP tennis tournament every summer and is known as the city of tennis. We also have many facilities for sports and recreation.” Pierre Stacher, General manager

Praia d’el Rey Marriott Golf & Beach Resort, Portugal

ON Praia d’el Rey SITE Golf Course

18 holes

75 Lisbon Airport

-

Football, Golf Academy, Golf Course, Surf Academy, Tennis Academy

312 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

Several sports venues around the area



www.praia-del-rey.com

“With an onsite championship golf course, golf and tennis academies, world-class spa, and a range of outdoor activities, this is the best holiday destination under the sun for sports enthusiasts.” Oriol Juvé, Senior sales manager

La Manga Club Resort, Murcia, Spain



5

-

20

MIN

MIN

28 court tennis centre

MJV Airport

372 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

www.lamangaclub.com

“Sports tourism is extremely important to us and we have dedicated teams of staff that cater for the various elements of what we offer, such as golf, tennis, football, rugby and cricket to name a few.” James Bryan, Intern. product develop. manager

InterContinental La Torre Golf Resort Murcia, Spain

San Javier (Murcia) Airport

15

Mardan Palace, Antalya, Turkey

training soccer pitch Bad Ragaz

? 20

Stadium Vaduz

45

Stadium St. Gallen

MIN

MIN

Kempinski Hotel The Dome, Belek, Turkey YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

Luke Murphy, UK and Ireland sales manager

www.resortragaz.ch 45

ON SITE

MIN



FiFA standard ON SITE football pitch 68m x 105m

indoor & outdoor

7

Mardan Sport Complex

“We are very experienced with sports teams, especially soccer pre-season stages as we have hosted the needs of teams such as Liverpool, Werder Bremen, Bolton, and national teams of Spain, Greece and Portugal.” Thomas Bechtold, Director of sales

www.kempinski-belek.com ON SITE

35



560 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

“The hotel is mainly occupied by golfers, sports travellers and families. Aside from our onsite facilities, we have agreements with local sports facilities, and offer transfers to and from other resorts and to the beach.”



Altenrhein & Friedrichshafen Airport

one of the largest in Europe 4 indoor & 2 outdoor

5 naturals sand courses

290 YES YES YES NO YES YES YES YES OWN golf courses, soccer pitch in same village

-

www.intercontinental.com

Antalya Intl Airport

Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Switzerland

182

ON SITE

indoor & outdoor

close to Hotel

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES Golf, Tennis & Padel

E U R O P E

133



“As a resort hotel with a privilege of having two 18-hole golf courses, one FIFA football pitch and three tennis courts with a unique spa area, sport tourism is very important to us.” Aykut Fidan, Sales manager

www.mardanpalace.com ON SITE

15

“Sports is really important for us - that is why we have Mardan Sport Complex with its multipurpose stadium, two UEFA football fields with 8,000 and 1,500 capacity, seven training fields, as well as a gym, spa and more.” Serap Garipoglu, Marketing manager

Rixos Lares, Anyalya, Turkey

 ON SITE

50

Rixos Premium Hotel Belek

8 Antalya Airport

534 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

www.rixos.com

80

TTG MENA

“All Rixos hotels have a huge variety of sports like archery, diving and mountain climbing.” Bilgehan Bakircioglu, sport sales, Rixos Sungate


TTG Sports Tourism 2010-2011  

TTG MENA Sports Tourism Industry Supplement 2010-2011

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