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Online Version:

December 2007, Volume 3, Issue 11

Gift Guide

Holiday gifts for him & for her Ski Dubai

Winter Wonderland


CHRISTMAS Around The World

Holiday Travel

Experts Select Top Destinations

TION rt C A R ATT ck Reso npi ritius e v รถ u M a Ma p S &

editor’s note


t would be days away and the whole world will celebrate the most-awaited time of the year - Christmas Day. The Christmas celebration in my country starts as early as September. As soon as the “ber” months arrive, residents begin setting up their Christmas trees, decorating their homes with lights and lanterns and playing that wonderful Christmas carol. The celebration culminates on Christmas Eve when families gather together, eat a scrumptious meal and exchange gifts and wishes, too. In the Western world, the holiday season starts after Thanksgiving Day (third Thursday of November which is also called Turkey Day). The day after Thanksgiving, many Americans will start buying their Christmas trees (the real pine trees) because the smell of the tree adds to the spirit of the season. People also start sending greeting cards and shopping is on everyone’s “to do” list to get the best gift for their loved ones. But how is Christmas celebrated in other places? We thought of featuring this subject to help you figure out how the Christmas season is celebrated around the world. We didn’t cover the whole of the world but we have featured places which you will find very interesting. We’ve also asked travel experts on the favorite destinations for middle-east travelers during Christmas season. One expert said these places are popular because they are easily accessible and so planning a holiday can be done even at the last minute; the visa process is not strict and can be obtained easily; and the destinations are multicultural and has something for everyone. Gift giving is an essential part of Christmas so we hope our gift guide will help you in selecting the best gift for your friends, colleagues and loved ones. With so much going on, it is a must that you have time to enjoy with your friends and family. Book your reservations now and check our Dining Promotions for huge dining offers from the leading hotels here and in the Middle East. With different nationalities visiting and residing in the UAE, we thought of presenting you a list of

how to wish your friends, neighbors, colleagues and loved ones, ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy New Year’ or both in their languages! Afrikaans Arabic Bahasa Malaysia Bengali Chinese Danish Farsi Finnish French German Greek Hindi Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Philippines Rumanian Spanish Thai Urdu Malayalam Welsh

Gesëende Kersfees Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah Selamat Hari Natal Shuvo Naba Barsha Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu (Mandarin) Shen Tan Glædelig Jul Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad Hyvaa joulua Joyeux Noel Froehliche Weihnachten Kala Christouyenna! Shub Naya Baras Selamat Hari Natal Nollaig Shona Dhuit or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat Buone Feste Natalizie Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto Sung Tan Chuk Ha Maligayang Pasko! Sarbatori vesele Feliz Navidad Sawadee Pee Mai Naya Saal Mubarak Ho Pudhu valsarashamsakal Nadolig Llawen

We had a hard time saying the above greetings but just the same, it’s the spirit that really matters. Enjoy the best time of the year. We wish all our readers happy holidays and a wonderful New Year! See you in January.

Flor B. Pamintuan Publisher KALIMAT GROUP INTERNATIONAL FZ-LLC Travel Arabia Head Office Office G4, Building No.1 Phase One, P.O.Box 502408 Dubai Media City, UAE Tel +971 4 391 0410/1/2/3 Fax +971 4 391 6619 E-mail General Manager Hekmat el Zein Editor Flor B. Pamintuan Staff Writers Anjana Das Habeeb Salloum Contributors Gordon Torbet Eugene Correia Angela T Chuck Wightman Ty Treadwell

your letters Goa On My Mind

Reader’s view of Travel Arabia.

Thank you for your wonderful story about Goa. I really enjoyed reading the article and it gave me more reason to visit the place. I have been planning to visit India since last year but have not made up my mind because I don’t know where to start. Thank you for the information and I know I have so much to see from this place. I can’t wait to visit the places that you have mentioned in the article and will see if I will experience the same. It was an informative issue and again thanks. Brigitte Thomas, Dubai

Photographers Mahesh Kumar Duvvuru Maher El Zein Samir Ahmed Designer Mohammed Usman Siraj Assistant Designer Mohd Noufal Althaf Hussain Sales & Marketing Manager Syed Muhammad Arif Distributor Jashanmal National Co. LLC Travel Arabia Lebanon Office Riad el solh 11072070 P.O.Box 11-1197 Beirut, Lebanon Tel +961 3 435 780 Fax +961 7 762 104 Travel Arabia disclaimer All text and layout remains the copyright of Kalimat Group International FZ LLC, unless stated otherwise. Travel Arabia is fully independent, and its views are not those of any company mentioned herein. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. © 2007 Kalimat Group International

The Essence of India

Dubai Air Show I would like to congratulate the organizer of this year’s Dubai Air Show. Not because I enjoyed the flying display but because of the well-organized exhibit. Registration is quick and the staff are very helpful. The security is excellent. I observed several security officials guarding their post with their watchful eye on exhibitors and visitors. I think this is one of the most attended shows in Dubai. Transportation is not a problem because free shuttle buses are provided to several drop off points like Sheikh Zayed Road, Burjuman Center, Mall of the Emirates, Trade Center, etc. Carts are also provided at the display area if you are moving from one aircraft or chalet to another. I enjoyed this event and I hope to be around again when

I didn’t realize that India has so much to offer until I read your November issue. The tourist attractions and the accommodations are amazing. There’s so much to discover in this country. I am fascinated with your coverage of the Leela properties. I didn’t know that such grandeur exist in this part of the world. I am thrilled after reading the article on Goa and the Editor’s Note about Kovalam. The way your editor described the scene in Goa and the beach in Kovalam are enough to awaken one’s curiosity. I only know India because of Taj Mahal. I didn’t know about the other places that exist. I wonder you’re your editor thinks of the other places that she visited. Thanks for a great issue! Monica Ramsey Sharjah

it goes to its new home. Congratulations. Isaac James, Dubai

Travel Arabia would like to receive your comments and suggestions. Write to





The Christmas Seass son Around The World

Top Holiday Destinations

Amazing Thailand

Winter Wonderland

The Kingdom of Thailand is one of the finest countries in the world in which to spend a vacation. Blessed with a tropical climate that is neither too hot, too dry, nor too wet in the monsoon season, it is possible to travel comfortably in Thailand at any time of the year.

Ski Dubai offers you the opportunity to enjoy real snow in Dubai, all year round in a world of winter sports and snow play. It offers the chance to learn to ski or snowboard in a perfectly safe and controlled environment.

While Christmas is predominantly celebrated by the Christian population, the tradition is practiced in other places where celebrations may not be as elaborate as the others. Check how other countries celebrate Christmas.

If you are planning to travel during the Christmas holidays, Eid Al Adha or the New Year, the choices for destinations for the Middle East travellers are plenty. Travel experts recommend a number of places to visit with your family, friends or loved ones.

About the Cover: The festive season is here. Happiness and love fill the air as the season of hope comes around us. Happy Holidays!



Mövenpick Resort & Spa Mauritius

The epitome of leadership

Located on the south west coast of Mauritius, in the heart of the preserved nature of Bel Ombre, the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Mauritius is an authentic paradise perfectly integrated into large sugar cane fields as well as lush vegetation.

Francisco Giles was recently awarded Hotelier Middle East’s General Manager of the Year for 2007. This is to add to the many awards and achievements the hotel has received over the past few years and Giles remains humble and works even harder to attain his goals.

66 Thiptara & Asado & Ewaan – The Palace, The Old Town This festive season will see The Palace’s three fine dining restaurants celebrate uniquely, by serving their traditional cuisines right through the New Year, with a festive flair to match the joyful season.

72 The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Dubai Water trickling over pebbles, ancient wood carvings and mystical artifacts - The RitzCarlton, Dubai brings the ambiance of nature’s exotic eastern gardens to The Spa and creates an environment where one may relax and unwind.

Events DECEMBER December 9 -16, 2007

Reflecting Dubai’s cosmopolitan and multicultural character, the Dubai International Film Festival showcases a wide selection of features, shorts and documentaries from around the world. DIFF is held under the Honorary Chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. DIFF is a not-for-profit cultural event, presented and organized by the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority. DIFF aims at establishing itself as a major international festival, while continuing to act as a platform for showcasing excellence in Arab Cinema and simultaneously contributing to the development and growth of the regional industry and talent. As one of the world’s fastest growing business and tourist destinations, Dubai provides an ideal meeting point for industry friends and colleagues from around the globe. DIFF creates an exciting atmosphere for exchanging ideas among a group of progressive film industry professionals. Moreover, the networking initiatives hosted by DIFF provide participants and guests a favourable setting for conducting business.

Mother Baby & Child Show December 16 -18, 2007 Dubai International Exhibition Centre

Leading European retailer New Look will be presenting its new maternity and children’s wear collection on the catwalk, as a part of its participation at the three day Mother, Baby and Child Show 2007. Organised by The Main Event (TME) the show takes place at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre on 16 -18 December 2007, where New Look’s latest Children’s wear range for kids up to ten years of age will be presented during a dedicated fashion show. To accentuate the cut and colours of their new children’s range, New Look has arranged a hair stylist outfits with coloured hairsprays, as well as a face-

to show mums how to accessorise painter to keep the toddlers occupied. In addition New Look is also sponsoring the breast feeding area at the show, and will have stylish maternity wear under the brand name ’Bloom’ on view. The event promises three days full of fun and games for all of the family. Event organiser TME has put together an all-new and exciting schedule which includes the popular TV characters Power Rangers, Barbie, Postman Pat and many more… There will also be competitions with thousands of Dirhams’ worth of fabulous prizes up for grabs from New Boy, Ski Dubai and Viva Entertainment amongst others. The star prize however remains two return tickets to Malaysia courtesy of Malaysia Airways. For more information, log on to

 I Travel Arabia I December

Dave Crane’s Hypnosis Christmas Show

Dubai International Film Festival

December 16 – 19, 2007 Cinestar Mall of the Emirates Following the success of last year’s Christmas Hypnosis Show, the charismatic Dave Crane returns with his entertaining and hilarious hypnosis show, scheduled to take place from16th to 19th December at Cinestar Mall of the Emirates. The Dave Crane’s Christmas promises to capture the audience yet again with more entertainment that will leave the crowd roaring with laughter. From talking fluent Martian to finding invisible pet dog, The Dave Crane’s Christmas Show will invite brave volunteers on to the stage to experience first hand hypnosis session. Under Dave’s spell of hypnosis and entertainment, the volunteers and Dave’s stage skills will keep the audiences teary with laughter. Having trained hypnosis in Las Vegas, Dave Crane is no stranger to the world of stage having hosted several successful and major events in Dubai, the Middle East and international performance including in the UK, USA, and Greece. Doors open 6.30pm; show starts 7pm. Price: AED 135 @ Cinestar box office MOE ; Show duration: 90minutes . http://


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Christmas season around the World

Have you ever wondered how Christmas is celebrated around the world? CHARLOTTE D’MELLO tells us how.

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passer-bys with Christmas carols and the world’s tallest artificial Christmas tree with 11, 520 artificial pine leaves, 15,000 dazzling white fairy lights, 200 rope lights, and about 500 blinking strobes was created. So if you want to experience and enjoy Singapore’s unique celebrations, make sure you are there this Christmas.

The month of December signals the start of the Christmas season. The spirit is felt all over the world where stores, buildings, offices and houses are decorated with Christmas ornaments, Christmas tunes playing everywhere and a lot of people singing, if not humming, the carols. While Christmas is predominantly celebrated by the Christian population, the tradition is being practiced in other places where celebrations may not be as elaborate as the others. Here’s a look at how other countries celebrate the season. Christmas in Singapore In Singapore, Christmas is a public holiday celebrated by almost everyone (Christian or non-Christian). Typically it is also the boom time for retailers as Christmas season is also the time most people get their year-end bonuses. Since Christians have a fairly strong following in Singapore, Christmas celebrations are a gala event. Christmas decorations can be found along Tanglin Road, Scotts Road, Marina Bay area and Orchard Road. A wide range of activities, including countdown parties, concerts, internationally acclaimed performances; art exhibitions, attractive shopping promotions and culinary treats take place during the season. Every year, there are special highlights during Christmas time - in 2005, six threedimensional animated songbirds were released from Christmas gift boxes situated at the Scotts Junction; sound shells were installed at several locations along Orchard Road to serenade

Christmas in Cyprus Cyprus offers a tantalising combination of majestic ancient sites, Byzantine heritage and natural beauty. Deriving its name and ancient importance from its rich reserves of copper, Cyprus’ wealth can be seen in the numerous temples, mosaics and well-preserved ancient cities. You can also visit the jagged Troödos Mountains, which have given rise to a monastic tradition that includes numerous UNESCO-listed churches and the capital Nicosia. It is “kourabiedes” time, and the sweet aroma of “melomakarona” cookies will soon be filling Cypriot kitchens worldwide. For the traveler to Cyprus, remember that many offices, business, restaurants, and other amenities may be closed or keeping unusual hours during the Christmas season. Turkeys have invaded Cypriot Christmas customs, and so travelers will find this dish prepared for Christmas feasting. For many Cypriots the holiday is preceded by a time of fasting. For

Cyprus, the season is full swing by December 6th, the feast of St. Nicholas, and will last through January 6th, the Feast of Epiphany. Christmas in Cyprus is traditionally a solemn, religious holiday. Throughout the festivities, there is no doubt that Cyprus honors Christ at Christmas. Beautiful carols called “kalanda” have been handed down from Byzantine times and add to the reverent quality of the celebration. While other cultures have Christmas elves, the Cypriot equivalent is not so benign. Christmas in Cairo Because of the time the Holy Family spent in Egypt with the infant Jesus, Christmas is a very special celebration in Egypt. In Egypt, Copts who are Egypt’s traditional Christians, have their own Pope who is the head of the Coptic churches of Egypt and the Sudan. Copts consider St. Mark to be their first Pope. He introduced Christianity to Egypt, and for hundreds of years, Alexandria was the home of the Pope. Today his cathedral is in Cairo, where services are usually held in the ancient Coptic language. Christmas in Egypt is not limited to the Copts. However, today many Muslims in Egypt even get into the Christmas spirit. Though they may not celebrate Christmas as directly, it is not unusual for Muslims to participate in some of the celebrations, just as

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Christians in Egypt sometimes celebrate Muslim holidays. This really is one of the more interesting aspects of Egyptian life, where there is often a surprising amount of interfaith coexistence. Today, the Christmas season remains a high season in Egypt, a difficult time to find a room at many of the finer hotels, and between the westerners and the Copts, one can enjoy a rather extended “Christmas season”. Christmas in Turkey Turkey is a Moslem country. Although there are Catholic and Jewish minorities, mostly Turks are Moslems. The Turkish minorities live in peace with Turkish Moslems and have their own places of worship. You will find churches and synagogues all over Istanbul. For the Moslems, December 24th is not a date that commemorates Jesus’ birth. They do have Jesus at their Koran (Moslems’ Holy book) but the mostly important figure in their religion is Mohammed the prophet. At the end of the year, Istanbul will be decorated with lights all over its main streets, but this is done to commemorate the New Year. Interesting things could be seen in Istanbul as Santa Claus gives sweets

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to children on the streets or shopping malls and Christmas trees have a place in some Turkish houses and shops. This is a sign that the west mentality has come to Turkey. Another interesting fact is that they give each other a gift at New Year’s Eve but not on the 24th of December. Christmas in Maldives You can have the most private and exclusive Christmas and New Year parties hosted on a private island in The Maldives, complete with a luxury yacht and unlimited spa pampering. The private island in Faafu Atoll, is a 35-minute seaplane journey from Malé, and is a picture postcard paradise of white sands and turquoise blue waters surrounded by a myriad of desert island atolls. The ‘Rania Experience’ includes private use of The Rania, a luxury 86ft yacht that comprises of indoor and outdoor lounges and dining areas, barbeque, Jacuzzi, air-conditioning and a full entertainment system including home-theatre. The island includes a small personal gym, a state of the art karaoke system, billiards, volleyball, satellite TV, a selection of films and a host of board games. Designed with barefoot luxury

in mind, the island encompasses a lavish air-conditioned three bedroom Rania Suite overlooking a plunge pool and three individual beach villas in traditional Maldivian open-air style with thatched roofs. Guests can enjoy unlimited pampering at the Rania Spa, offering Ayurvedic and Thai treatments. Massages can also be taken anywhere else, from the beach at sunset to the privacy of their villa or aboard the yacht at the time preferred by the guests. Dining is similarly flexible, with an extensive à la carte menu cooked and served at anytime and anywhere on the island. Back dropped by some of the world’s most spectacular sunsets, a variety of cultural shows can also be arranged on request and at an additional charge, from a lively traditional Bodu Beru (big drum) dance to a laid-back local Maldivian band. The ‘Rania Experience’ is unique and limited to one exclusive booking at any one time, making you “king of your own island” instead of just another guest at a resort. Christmas in Malaysia Situated just south of Thailand, north of Indonesia, and quite close to the equator, the country describes itself as officially “Islamic,” and this, at least in the minds of most Americans, means a stultifying uniformity, a monolithic apparatus of These are popular destinations of Middle cultural and all too often political repression. East travellers mainly because: 1) The The observance of the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25 is celebrated in Malaysia like everywhere places are easily accessible and so planning else in the world; it is a time for family and friends; hope and rejoicing; love and understanding; and giving a holiday to these destinations can be done and forgiving. even at the last minute 2) Visa process is not However, the image of a white Christmas - that of chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and Jack Frost stringent and visas can be obtained easily 3) nipping at the nose - doesn’t quite fit in too well with a country that is merely seven degrees shy of the These destinations are multicultural and has Equator. The average temperatures here range from a low of 22 °C to a high of 33 °C, so a sunny (or something for everyone. perhaps, rainy) Christmas is a given. By far, Christmas is viewed as a universal celebration that carries a secular rather than religious For bookings and reservations, please call meaning. One need only look at Santa Claus and his appeal to children of all religious and ethnic Sharaf Travel at Ph: +971 4 3976161, backgrounds, to realise how much it cuts across the board. Fax: +971 4 3975377 or log on to www. Perhaps due to this wide appeal (or some would say, commercialisation), retailers and hoteliers take an active approach by putting up non-religious motifs such as snow, stockings, Santa and his reindeers, candy canes and, of course, the Christmas tree. White, green, red and gold are the traditional colours of the season. Urban areas like the capital city of Kuala Lumpur and the greater Klang Valley come alive during the Yuletide, with bright colourful lights and decorations perking up homes and business premises, providing a festive atmosphere. Shopping malls and hotels especially have become increasingly sophisticated in their decorations, trying to outdo the competition in their bid to attract shoppers and guests. In many ways however, Christmas in Malaysia is a public holiday and is still very much a religious affair. To prepare themselves spiritually, the Christian community here, who make up about 7% of the population, observe Advent, the four-week period prior to Christmas, with prayers, Biblereading and for some, fasting.

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Places to go

during the holidays 18 I Travel Arabia I December

Whether you are planning to travel during the Christmas holidays, Eid Al Adha or the New Year, the choices for destinations for the Middle East travellers are plenty. Here’s a look at top destinations recommended by the travel experts.

Emirates Holidays African getaways; Island specials; Shopping jaunts; short city stays; comprehensive destination programmes - the widest range and best value for money itineraries are promised in this year’s edition of Eid programmes from Emirates Holidays. The 2007 Emirates Holidays’ Eid series is packed with new ideas for the best holidays ever. As with all holiday programmes offered in its signature “A World of Choice” brochure, Emirates Holidays’ Eid offers feature flexible, affordable and quality holidays to several stunning destinations. From the high-end to the economy traveller, Emirates Holidays has the range to fit all budgets Dina Al Herais, newly appointed Vice President, Commercial Operations at Emirates Holidays noted: “This year our Eid Holiday series has been refreshed with new products, new

destinations and even more choices for today’s traveller.” “We observe that local UAE families enjoy vacationing on the Indian Ocean islands as these are accessible within four to five hours of flying time, and resorts on the islands offer large villas with private beach access, special clubs for children, and halal meat menus. In the same way, young expatriates seek adventure and are more drawn to outdoor and wildlife activities in exotic destinations, while others prefer city-based experiences. Our 2007 Eid programme includes many itineraries to ensure the most enjoyable vacations for all kinds of travellers.” Seychelles, Mauritius and Maldives – three exotic Indian Ocean islands – are offered under a ‘Free nights’ campaign. Stay for six nights and pay for three at the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa and the Oberoi in Mauritius. Similarly, stay for seven nights in a water villa at the Hilton Maldives, and at the Labriz Seychelles and pay for five nights only. Five hours from Dubai lies Nairobi, the gateway to the wilderness of Africa. The ideal starting point for a safari, Nairobi offers thrilling game viewing experiences and stimulating African Art. A short stay of three nights in the Kenyan capital city is priced at Dhs 3,655 upwards. Soak in the haute couture, cuisine and culture of Paris with a five night stay at the Champs Elysee for Dhs 6,639 and get a complimentary night’s accommodation. Bangkok is another hot-favourite with UAE residents. The city is also favoured by children for its Dreamworld Theme Park, Siam Water Park, Safari World and Dusit Zoo. A three-night stay in this bustling city comes at Dhs 2,980 onwards. All prices include Economy Class return airfare on the award-winning Emirates Airline, accommodation, room taxes and service charges, as well as transfers between airport and hotel. Emirates Holidays Eid programmes are expected to sell fast. Potential holiday makers can book them through preferred travel agents; or via Emirates Holidays on 8005252 and www.

Tempo Holidays Tempo Holidays’ 2008 Latin

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Etihad Holidays

America programme has been expanded with new packages for Brazil’s Pantanal, Patagonia’s Valdes Peninsula and Peru’s Colca Canyon and Manu Wildlife Centre. The new destinations join the Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu, the Amazon, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego as Latin America “wow factor” experiences. But these are not all. Tempo Holidays offers 58 pages packed with some of the most amazing holiday

experiences, suitable for every member of the family. Whether it’s lazing on a beach or hiking in some of the most unique surroundings, this fresh looking brochure provides a wide array to choose from. As is the case in many other Tempo Holidays destinations, travelers to Latin America can see this destination through fixed tours or independently. Some of the exciting new packages include the eight-day “Deep Inside the Pantanal” (from US$2998) package which visits the different ecosystems of the Pantanal, Savanna Tablelands and Amazon rainforest, while the four-day “Manu Wildlife Centre” tour (from US$1800) features 48 km of forest trails.

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Other new products are the 18day “West Coast Adventure” (from US$4197) package which combines Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia and the 19-day “Latin Odyssey” (from US$4440) which combines Chile with Argentina and Brazil. These were developed as a result of demand for slower-paced, more in-depth itineraries linking just a few countries. At the other end of the scale we have the top-selling 21-day “Splendors of Latin America” (from US$4451) which links Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil, and is designed for travelers wishing to see all the highlights in the one trip. Accommodation and tours are also packaged for Mexico, Cuba and Uruguay. 3, 4 and 5 star options are offered for many tours and accommodation, especially for the “Taste of...” packages in the vibrant cosmopolitan cities of Buenos Aires, Santiago and Rio de Janeiro. With the new Emirates flights to Sao Paulo, traveling to Latin America has just been made so much easier and Tempo Holidays are one of the only companies in the region to support these flights with fantastic ground offers. For more information please log onto or contact Dean Hopkins at d.hopkins@tempoholidays. com or on 04 341 5730.

Etihad Holidays has just launched its latest mini-brochure, an 8-page “Festive Holidays” program that covers the travel period 29 November – 05 January. Written in Arabic and English, the brochure covers the UAE National Day holiday, including Eid Al Adha, Christmas and New Year. The Festive Holidays’ program offers short breaks to a range of holiday destinations including: Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur (with extensions to Penang and Langkawi), Amman, Cairo, Beirut, Singapore, Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, London, Paris, Munich, Milan, Geneva, Brussels, New York, Jo’burg and Sun City. The programme also offers convenient Fly-Drive options. The top 5 Etihad Holiday destinations for this Christmas are Bangkok, London, Paris, Kuala Lumpur and Geneva and the packages currently offered to these destinations include a three-night accommodation. The packages are Bangkok, Thailand (2245 AED); London, England (3245 AED); Paris, France (3415 AED); Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2665 AED) and Geneva, Switzerland (3215 AED) As well as attractive lead-in prices, the ‘Festive Holidays’ offers a wide choice of hotels, three night’s accommodation, return Coral Economy Class airfares plus a range of value-added hotel-specific offers including free breakfast and free airport-hotel-airport transfers. Holidays can be extended to a few days at the beach with our Thailand and Malaysia beach extensions. The Etihad Holidays ‘Festive Holidays’ program is valid for sale until the 15 December, and is valid for travel up to 5 January 2008. Bookings can be made by ringing 800 2324.

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Thailand The Kingdom of Thailand is one of the finest countries in the world in which to spend a vacation. Blessed with a tropical climate that is neither too hot, too dry, nor too wet in the monsoon season, it is possible to travel comfortably in Thailand at any time of the year. Travellers, upon arrival in this land, are safe from the turmoil of life. Even in Bangkok, the Thai uniqueness in its food, architecture, language, customs and religion enliven and pleases the senses. Away from Bangkok, at the pristine sandy beaches and emerald seas in the south, or in the northern mountains you drowse your days away in a long deep dream of peace. The past is a forgotten thing, the present is heaven, and the future you can leave to take care of itself. With a rich cultural heritage and diverse landscapes of great natural beauty, Thailand is truly a land of dazzling variety. From the glorious ruins of ancient cities to the excitement of dynamic modern Bangkok; from the lush forested hills of the North, to the white sandy beaches and tropical islands of the South, from sporting options to fun-filled entertainment, the Kingdom offers a kaleidoscope of sights and scenes that will keep you spellbound. Variety is, moreover, found not only in Thailand’ s wide choice of destinations, but also in the country’s uncanny ability to lovingly preserve the past while also joyously embracing the present. Thus Bangkok is both a city of wondrous temples and palaces that reflect the nation’s classical arts and architecture, and a thrilling metropolis bustling with today’s innovations. Similarly, other tourism centres around

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Gems & Jewelry It’s an exciting time to shop for gems and jewelry in Thailand. Thailand is ideally placed to offer both the latest in high-quality fashion jewelry along with the ever-popular classics. Recent advances in stone cutting techniques have created a global market for local designs Thailand’s talented jewelry

the country present contrasting attractions to delight all. Whatever your preference, be it exploring jungle trails, marvelling at the treasures of the past, enjoying soft adventure tours or simply lazing in the sun soaking up an enviable tan, you have every choice for the vacation of your dreams. And whatever your chosen style of holiday, you can be sure that some things do remain wonderfully constant. The pleasures of Thailand’s worldrenowned culinary art, its wealth of shopping delights, its superb choice of hotels and resorts, and of course, its year-round sunshine all promise the perfect stay. Ultimately, however, it is the people who define the Kingdom. Genuine hospitality is a time-honoured tradition among the Thais, and a warm welcome, together with smiling service, complete an unforgettable experience of Thailand’s enthralling variety. Shopping It’s no secret that Thailand is a shopper’s paradise. The enormous range of beautifully hand-crafted items on offer everywhere, whether at fancy metropolitan shopping emporia or small provincial stalls, reflect an array of traditional artisan skills dating back hundreds of years. Many of the stunning handmade objects were originally created for temples and palaces, or for more practical purposes in the home. Now days, reproductions of these traditional items have become the coveted keepsakes of visitors and collectors from around the world. Thailand is renowned worldwide for its hand-woven silks and cottons, woodcarvings, lacquer ware, ceramics, metal- ware, gems and jewelry.

Silk & Cotton Thai silks are famous worldwide, thanks in part to efforts by Jim Thompson, the Support Foundation of H.R.H. Queen Sirikit and the many small factories that actively support the continued existence of age-old weaving and dying techniques. In the home, beautiful multicolored traditional Thai textiles serve as wall hangings, table runners, hanging screens and cushion covers. In the fashion world, the complex patterns and colors are used as eye-catching accents on many types of

crafters are cutting gemstones into unusual shapes and From the glorious ruins of ancient cities setting single stones in gold, to the excitement of dynamic modern silver and even platinum. designers create entire Bangkok; from the lush forested hills of Some rings, including the shanks, the North, to the white sandy beaches from gemstones. Of course and tropical islands of the South, the traditional styles such from sporting options to fun-filled as ornate gemstone clusters are still available. Thanks to entertainment, the Kingdom offers a new processing techniques, kaleidoscope of sights and scenes that semiprecious stones such as amethyst, tourmaline and will keep you spellbound. pink quartz have moved from costume jewelry to become apparel. up market gems. With improvements It’s perfect for every home in silver quality, the metal once used decorating need, from upholstery mainly for ethnic and costume pieces material to wall and window is now considered a high-end material, treatments. In the hands of the world’s even suitable for setting with diamonds. trendy young designers, this most versatile of fabrics is being turned into chic fashion statements. Once considered poor relatives of regal silk, homespun cotton and hemp cloth are also making a big splash. These naturaldyed fabrics work well for clothing and home furnishings alike. And the everyday outfits of rural Thai farmers’ durable woven shoulder bags and simple cloth ensembles are now favored by international fashion mavens.

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Wonderland 24 I Travel Arabia I December

Ski Dubai offers you the opportunity to enjoy real snow in Dubai, all year round in a world of winter sports and snow play. It offers the chance to learn to ski or snowboard in a perfectly safe and controlled environment.

Have you ever dreamed of a white Christmas? When you can actually dash through the snow, wear your thermal jacket, have a snow ball fight, build your own Snow Man and slide down the slopes with your ski or your snow boards? You don’t need to travel far to experience all these as it happens all year round at Ski Dubai, the ultimate snow resort and the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East. The concept of Ski Dubai was brought to the UAE by Majid Al Futtaim of the Majid Al Futtaim Group after a visit to Japan with his daughter. He saw the indoor ski slope development and decided to integrate it into one of his mall concepts. Studies began in 2000 and in 2003 construction began for the snow park which opened in November 2, 2005 followed by the lower half of the slope on December 1 and the remaining section of the slope on December 16th of that same year. Since then Ski Dubai has been a tremendous success. It is one of the key attractions at the Mall of Emirates. The building is 25 stories high with over 6,000 tonnes of snow. The Snow Park measured 3000 square meters and the total area of snow inside Ski Dubai is over 22,500 square meters, which is equivalent to three football pitches. Ski Dubai quickly became a major destination for both residents and tourists alike who love to enjoy the experience and activities on offer. It is visited by thousands of guests every month and is especially popular with the local community and regional tourists as it is the only facility of its kind in the Middle East and offers many people their first opportunity to experience cold climates. “On average, Ski Dubai is seeing over 2,300 guests every day. We surpassed our initial target for last year which was 500,000 visitors and welcomed over 1 million in our first 15 months of operation. (2006 figure is 832,000 visitors) On Eid al Fitr 2007 (October 13), we had the highest number of visitors ever, welcoming in more than 7800,” prides Giselle Whiteaker, Marketing Manager. “Eid is always a busy period, but this figure has exceeded all expectations. This is our highest recorded number of visitors in one day since Ski Dubai

opened in 2005, and reflects the popularity of the resort with residents and tourists alike. We are now looking forward to surpassing this benchmark with our New Year’s Eve activities,” she adds. Ski Dubai offers an amazing mountain-themed snow setting to enjoy skiing, snow boarding and tobogganing or just playing in the snow. There are activities for both young and adult, from the beginner to the snow sport enthusiast. Ski Dubai features five different multidirectional ski runs (the longest run is 400 metres long) with a number of slope gradients, a dedicated learner’s area, snowboard Freestyle Park and quarter pipe, a Snow Park and a wonderland play area where children from the region can experience snow in the world’s largest indoor snow play area. In addition to the main slope, Ski Dubai’s Snow Park offers features and activities that include tobogganing hills, a twin track bobsled run and tubing tracks, to name a few. The Park re-creates an authentic mountain environment with rocky outcrops, and tree formations and has an observation tower, offering a view of the slope. Top of the line infrastructure includes a quad chairlift, tow lift, equipment and clothing rental, a state of the art ticketing system and qualified professional instructors. FACTS 1. What kind of machinery is necessary to create conditions suitable for snow in so large a facility? · There are three types of machinery used to make and keep the snow in perfect condition but it’s important to remember that it is the insulated structure of Ski Dubai that is key to making it possible and probably does 95% of the work. 2. What make Ski Dubai possible are three following systems namely: · A very efficient cooling plant with over 100Km of glycol pipes going from within the snow layer at a temperature of about -16c to the air conditioning units in the ceiling at temperatures of about -10c · State of the art insulation that ensures that Ski Dubai remains cold · Recycling of the “cold” with a melt pit. The old snow when melting cools down water that is used for the Air Conditioning of Mall of the

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Emirates. 3. How do you make snow? · The snow guns produce a super-fine mist of pure water to create a cloud inside Ski Dubai. The settings in the guns are then changed to sprinkle (seed) the cloud with colder microscopic ice particles. As they fall the ice particles start growing crystals as they come into contact with the cold environment. In fractions of a second, they become snow flakes, the same way it would happen in nature. Once the place is made cold and properly maintained that way, then all that needs to be done is for the snow guns to spray a mist of water and air and by the time it reaches the ground, nature has done the rest. 4. What is the temperature inside? Ski Dubai maintains a -2Deg Celsius during the day and -6Deg Celsius at night when snow are produced. 5. How many snow makers are there? There are 27 snow guns inside the facility.

For more information on Ski Dubai, call 04 409 4000 or visit www. For more information on Fitness O2, visit www.fitness02. com or call 050 – 9556129 for more info on boot camps.

At the mountainside cafes, visitors can sit comfortably with family and friends while watching the action on the slopes. Ski Dubai also features private party rooms for those looking for a unique and memorable venue for their special occasions. The maximum capacity of the facility is 1500 guests at one time including both the slope and snow park areas. Those who would like to learn how to ski can enroll at Ski Dubai’s Snow School that has a team of qualified ski and snowboard instructors from all around the globe including a number of Arabic speaking instructors. Ski Dubai is also using a renowned organisation called Snow Sport Academy from Austria to train and certify their instructors. “As you can see, Ski Dubai is a perfect venue for someone to learn to ski. The centre is designed to meet the needs of both the serious sports enthusiast and the novice and since we control all the conditions, there is perfect snow every day, every time you visit,” added Whiteaker. All equipment for both skiing and snowboarding is included in the admission price – boots, skis or snowboard and ski poles are all available. Ski Dubai also has its own winter sports retail outlet, Snow Pro, where a variety

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of snow goods are sold as well as a wide range of accessories and Ski Dubai souvenirs. The only pieces of equipment not included in the admission price are gloves and beanies for hygiene reasons. This season, Ski Dubai will attempt to hold the biggest boot camp Dubai has ever seen with the re-launch of its popular “Snow Fit Boot Camps”. Designed by the Royal Australian Navy, the Snow-Fit Boot Camps were first launched in July this year and found success among fitness enthusiasts in Dubai. Typical sessions begin early in the morning as professionally trained instructors from fitness solution company Fitness O2 take the participants through a series of strength, endurance, muscle-building and fatburning exercises in the snow. “The first Snow Fit Boot Camp was a huge success because it offered an alternative exercise experience to people stuck with choosing between stuffy gyms

or the humid outdoors. The participants had a great time and got fit to boot,” said Whiteaker, who completed the entire first series of the camp. “This is not just a workout, but a workout experience. You get to have fun, meet some really cool people, and get a powerful workout to jumpstart your day,” said Fitness O2’s Head Personal Trainer, Ziggy Darwish. The month-long course started in November 18th and classes are held at 6:30am and 7:30am, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings. “Our aim at Ski Dubai is to maintain our quality standards while introducing new and exciting events and products for our customers to enjoy. We have a host of activities involving Santa Claus during the Christmas period. We also continue to hold our regular freestyle nights, where snowboarders and skiers can show off their skills while in-house DJ’s play the latest music,” added Whiteaker.


For Her

Sautoir 6 rangs by Cristofle

Its that time of the year.... of lists and gifts. Make it easy on yourself. Avoid the rush. Here are a few suggestions.

Tag Heuer Duo Golf Watch

Diamond Studded Ring by Liali Jewellery Serene Hogan Xmas Bag

Tod’s Pump Shoes

Tod’s Trench Bag

Samsonite Vintage Black Collection

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Hogan Rock Boots

Bracelet Manchette by Cristofle

L’ Artisan Perfume from WAFI

Burning Rocks Pendant by Stephen Webster for DeBeers

Boutons Manchettes by Cristofle Tod’s winter boots

Burning Rocks Necklace by Stephen Webster for De Beers

Tod’s bags

Etui Briquet by Cristofle

Montblanc StarWalker Cool Blue


h ’s

d To David Morris Watches

Hogan Kerouac Jacket

For Him December I Travel Arabia I 29

For Kids Cadre Round

Crocs For Kids


D Cadre

Cuil ler D ia



Cuiller Diamants

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December I Travel Arabia I 31


Holiday Dining

Burjuman Rotana 32 I Travel Arabia I December

Celebrate the spirit of the festive season with the perfect culinary offerings from the leading hotels in the Middle East. Bring the true spirit of the holidays to your plate and make it an experience to remember. Since Christmas and New Year are just days away, book now to guarantee your table.

Al Bustan Rotana Hotel The new Choices restaurant offers a wonderful Christmas Eve celebration with live entertainment for only AED 150 per person exclusive of beverages. Celebrate at Blue Elephant and relish a colourful spread of delectable Thai dishes for only AED 150 per person exclusive of beverages. Celebrate Christmas Day at Choices and Blue Elephant as both restaurants bring together a Global Christmas Brunch that’s sure to stimulate your festive appetite for only AED 215 per person inclusive of selected beverages. Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Choices for only AED 475 per person inclusive of premium and regular spirits. Blue Elephant brings a seven-course set menu for only AED 375 per person inclusive of a glass of champagne. Gather your family and friends at Choices along side with Blue Elephant for the most memorable and happiest New Year’s Day celebration in town for only AED 175 per person inclusive of wine and beer and AED 315 per person inclusive of wine, beer and champagne. At Rodeo Grill, savour an exquisite five-course set menu prepared for your Christmas Eve celebration with a glass of Kir Royal for only AED 275 per person. Rodeo Grill provides the perfect setting for the New Year countdown. Enjoy a five-course set menu for only AED 395 per person inclusive of a glass of champagne. Be transported to Italy as you welcome 2008 at Come Prima. Your New Year’s Eve celebration will truly be memorable as you indulge in a six-course set menu for only AED 350 per person inclusive of a glass of champagne.

Al Murooj Rotana Hotel & Suites There is always “one for you” to welcome Christmas and New Year in the best style and atmosphere at Al Murooj Rotana Hotel & Suites. 24th of December (Christmas Eve) Waterside Seafood Restaurant & Terrace – Festive a la carte menu; Latino House Restaurant & Bar - Festive A la carte menu; Zaika - Festive a la Carte menu; Pergolas - Dinner buffet at AED 200* net per person inclusive of open selected beverages; Double Decker – Festive a la carte menu. 25th of December (Christmas Day) Waterside Seafood Restaurant & Terrace – a la carte menu; Latino House Restaurant & Bar - a la carte menu; Zaika - a la carte menu; Pergolas - Christmas day brunch at AED 350* net per person including unlimited selected beverages. Entertainment for children; Double Decker - Christmas barbeque brunch at AED 149* net per person including unlimited selected beverages between 12 noon and 4pm. 31st of December (New Year’s Eve) Waterside Seafood Restaurant & Terrace - 5 Course set menu at

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AED 590*; Latino House Restaurant & Bar - 5 Course set menu at AED 590* net per person inclusive of 1 welcome drink; Zaika - 5 Course set menu at AED 350* net per person inclusive of selected beverages and regular spirits; Pergolas - Dinner buffet at AED 450* net per person inclusive of selected beverages and regular spirits. Live Performance / Band; Double Decker - a la carte menu and Resident DJ. For reservations and more information, please call (04) 3211111 or e-mail to

Beach Rotana Hotels & Towers Abu Dhabi Santa is on the Way starting at Trader Vic’s where you can enjoy Cuban Tunes and Polynesian Food. Enjoy a generous five-course menu for Dhs 250*. Dine in Style at Rodeo Grill and get indulged by a variety of western specialties combined in a fascinating five-course menu for Dhs 275*. Treat your closest to a four course menu at Prego’s on Christmas Eve for Dhs 199* Treat your family with an elegant three- course menu on Christmas Day at Rodeo Grill for Dhs 199*. Christmas Day at Rosebuds is tradition you should not miss. Enjoy a delightful international buffet with a wide selection of Christmas delicacies from all over the world for Dhs 165*. The Al Thuraya Ballroom is the finest Ballroom in town and offers a lavish International Buffet, with Live Entertainment and a Special visitor from the North Pole for the Children all for Dhs 175 net. Salsa Rhythms and exotic food. That’s how you should welcome the Year 2008. Trader’s Vic offers a five-course menu for Dhs 360*. Be delighted with a fabulous & elegant dinner at Rodeo Grill. Enjoy five delicious courses for Dhs 350*. Celebrate New Years Eve the Mediterranean way, great music, great food, great atmosphere at Prego’s. Five-course menu for Dhs 295* Funky tunes and the combination of International, German & Japanese Cuisine makes your New Years Eve unforgettable. Rosebuds, Brauhaus and Benihana offer a New Years Eve Mega Buffet for Dhs 295*. The Tradition meets the New. New Years Eve the different way at Indigo with a five course set menu for Dhs 290*. Al Thuraya Ballroom offers an evening full of celebrations, glitter and glamour. Enjoy various international Artists and a lavish Buffet with delicious specialties lots of dancing and fun for Dhs 800 net. Join us for the first one… New Years Brunch at the Beach Rotana Hotel & Towers for Dhs 165* per person. For reservations and more information, please call +971 2 644 3000.

Burjuman Rotana Suites Enjoy your Christmas brunch at The Gallery restaurant on the 25th of December. Turkey and Christmas specialties inclusive of soft drinks are all for just AED 99* net. There is more for kids as well, a 50% discount for children between 6 and 10 and a complimentary brunch for children below 6. With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to get into the festive mood. So place your order for delicious turkeys starting AED 169* net and exclusive Christmas hampers starting AED 115* net with a fine selection of cheese, cookies and chocolates at The Gallery restaurant. To place your orders, please call 04-508 7833. Orders for Turkey will be accepted only till 20th of December.

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Crowne Plaza Dubai Start the season in advance, come and enjoy the seasonal seafood at the new refurbished reef seafood dinner at Al Dana & Reef. Enjoy a fantastic seafood offer for the entire family on Christmas Eve for 120 Dhs per person including soft drinks and a Traditional Christmas lunch buffet with a live turkey station for Dhs145 per person including soft drinks. Christmas will be celebrated with traditional Middle Eastern charm at Al Tannour. Enjoy the authentic band or be mesmerised by the beautiful belly dancer. Enjoy our traditional Lebanese set menus at Dhs220 per person and Dhs110 before 10pm. After the peaceful festivities it’s time to let loose and celebrate New Year’s Eve with Crowne Plaza Dubai in Nuit blanche style. Al Fresco will charm you with a 5 course Mediterranean set menu for Dhs290 per person. Celebrate New Years Eve with an oriental ambience at White Sakura. New Years Eve set menu costs Dhs320 per person excluding beverages. Reservations are essential. Enjoy our special New Years Eve seafood buffet at White Reef with table service, unlimited champagne and a mouth watering selection of seafood from our buffet for only Dhs390 per person including unlimited soft drinks, house pouring beverages and champagne. For more information regarding any of the festive activities, or for bookings please call Crowne Plaza Dubai on 800-Crowne (276963).

Dusit Thani Dubai The spread of festive fare at The Californian is exciting and enticing! At The Christmas Eve Buffet, festive favourites are available for Dhs 199 per adult with unlimited house beverages and Dhs 95 per child. Christmas Eve with an Italian touch at PAX! A sumptuous antipasti and dessert buffet menu with a choice of main course for Dhs 199 per adult and Dhs 100 per child. An Eastern twist to the Festive Season with a Royal Thai experience at Benjarong for Dhs 199 per adult and Dhs 100 per child. The lavish selection of traditional Christmas fare served buffet style will be available at The Californian on Christmas Day. Enjoy festive goodies for Dhs 179 per adult with unlimited selected house beverages and Dhs 89 per child. Choose from an Italian fiesta with a 5 course menu at PAX Restaurant for Dhs 399 per adult including a welcome glass of bubbly or Dhs 200 per child. A Royal Thai experience at Benjarong Restaurant for Dhs 399 per adult and Dhs 200 per child or an all you can eat with unlimited selected house beverage option at The Californian for Dhs 399 per adult. At the end of a party night, head to The Californian for a buffet of International, Asian and Arabic specialties for Dhs 99 per adult or Dhs 50 per child.

Four Points by Sheraton Bur Dubai On Christmas Eve, treat family and loved ones to a delicious 3-course set menu at the Promenade Restaurant. Priced at only Dhs120 net per person (inclusive of one welcome drink), the set dinner is ideal for a festive family get-together. Dinner starts from 7.30pm. On Christmas Day, we serve a luxurious international buffet accompanied by live music from 12.30pm to 3pm. Priced at Dhs120 net per person. On New Year’s Eve, take your time, relax and partake from our luxurious International buffet with your friends and loved ones. Priced at Dhs175 net per person, inclusive of one welcome drink. Bookings are essential. On 24th December, the Viceroy is geared up for much merry– making with a special 3-course Christmas Eve set menu for Dhs95 net per person, inclusive of one welcome drink. Continue with the festivities on Christmas Day with a mouth-watering 3-course set menu, available for lunch and dinner for Dhs95 net per person, inclusive of one welcome drink. Reservations are recommended. Party on New Year’s Eve at the State Ballroom. Priced at Dhs350 net per person, inclusive of free flow of regular house wines and spirits. For more information, please contact our Sales Department at 04 397 7444. The Antique Bazaar, our award-winning Indian restaurant, will serve a culinary set menu throughout the evening on 31 December 2007. Priced at Dhs350 net per person, inclusive of a house drink. Bookings are essential at 04 397 7444.

Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa Let us bring the true spirit of Christmas to your plate at Mozaique restaurant with traditional treats that suit every taste while our resident band fills the atmosphere with Christmas tunes. Price is AED 245 net per person and includes one glass of premium Champagne Moet & Chandon. Add a touch of romance to your Christmas celebration and treat yourself and your loved ones with a 5 course candle light dinner in our ocean front restaurant Waves. This exclusive dinner is complimented with a glass of premium champagne Moet & Chandon and our live performing duo. Price is AED 295 net per person. This year you can experience a sun drenched Christmas day and a relaxing Christmas brunch buffet overlooking the Indian Ocean. For AED 199 net per person enjoy the Christmas brunch buffet and a glass of premium champagne Moet & Chandon and for AED 299 net per person. Let’s countdown to midnight and dive into 2008 together! Our ocean front restaurant Waves offers you the last sweet memories in 2007 with a five course gala and a glass of premium champagne Moet & Chandon. Experience the most spectacular firework show just after the countdown and join the funkiest New Year’s party on the East Coast with the performance of our resident band and DJ. Welcome the first sunrise of the year at the beach. Price AED 899 net per person (the price is inclusive of 5% municipality fees and 10% service charge).

JW Marriott Dubai For those wanting a more varied Christmas Day, three restaurants at the JW Marriott Dubai collaborate to bring you the most memorable lunch in Dubai. Bamboo Lagoon, Market Place, and Hofbrauhaus and restaurants combine international cuisine from Asian to Arabian and Bavarian to international. Children can also enjoy their very own Children’s Christmas buffet as well as joining in the fun and games at the biggest

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kid’s area in Dubai. Feel the magical atmosphere with face painting, magicians and a special visit from Santa. Prices from Dhs185 per person inclusive of unlimited soft drinks, Dhs235 per person inclusive of free flow sparkling wine and unlimited house beverages and Dhs95 for children aged between 4 and 14 years from 12:00pm – 4.00pm Ring in the New Year in style while sitting back and listening to some soulful jazz at The Atrium Café. With a delicious buffet and free flowing sparkling wine, Atrium will certainly jazz up your New Year’s celebrations. For Dhs 288 for adults and Dhs 85 for children aged between 4 and 14 years, enjoy a soulful New Years at Atrium Café. Celebrate the New Year in Bamboo Lagoon, this restaurant of huts, bridges, waterways and waterfalls, serving a fusion of Far Eastern cuisine. Prices Dhs655 per person inclusive of unlimited house beverages or Dhs899 per person inclusive of free flowing sparkling wine and Dhs198 for children aged between 4 and 14 years. If a laid back, chic chill out lounge is what you’re looking for this New Years, then Champions is the place to be! With an a’ la carte menu available, Dhs 185 gets you unlimited house beverages, while Dhs100 is for those who do not wish to eat or drink. Come and party the night away as our DJ spins the beat until the countdown! For more information and reservations please call 04 6077977/ 04 60770099 or log on to

Grand Hyatt Dubai For a traditional Christmas in a multicultural setting, Grand Hyatt Dubai is the perfect location. Andiamo! is offering a four course Christmas Eve dinner (24th) and gift for AED 250, AED 150 per child and a four course Christmas Day lunch or dinner (25th) and gift for AED 220, AED 150 per child. Manhattan Grill is offering a five course Christmas Eve dinner (24th) and gift for AED 400, AED 200 per child and a five course Christmas Day lunch or dinner (25th) and gift for AED 400, AED 200 per child. Our Grand New Year’s Eve party is the perfect place for Dubai’s most beautiful people to celebrate in style. Craze

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includes a spectacular fireworks display, a dance floor and two open bars serving premium drinks all evening. Set in the sumptuous surroundings of Grand Hyatt Dubai’s lobby and atrium, prepare for a seriously stylish celebration for AED 600 and AED 300 per child. For an evening of classic music, sumptuous food and truly timeless style, experience a party in the stunning Al Ameera Ballroom fit for ‘Ol Blue Eyes himself. Including a sumptuous gala buffet and free access to the exclusive lobby party, this is not to be missed for AED 1800 and AED 600 per child. On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, Grand Hyatt Dubai’s restaurants boast menus featuring some exclusive delicacies. The chic and sophisticated Manhattan Grill will begin New Year in New York style – with effortless cool. With music from our resident pianist, a classic celebration is in order! Awtar, the Lebanese restaurant, will be serving lavish Arabic delicacies in opulent, tent-style surroundings, complete with entertainment from resident singer Alissa. Peppercrab, the Singaporean seafood restaurant, will be welcoming the New Year with a wide range of distinctive foods and flavours, including shark-fin soup, golden almond lobster and wok-fried Wagyu beef. The Market Café’s truly international menu is the perfect option for New Year, with an informal atmosphere and a huge selection of cuisines. For reservations, please call 04 317 2222.

Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa Al Dhiyafa, the all-day dining restaurant is offering a Christmas Eve buffet at Dhs 195 and a Christmas Buffet at Dhs 225. The 25th, a higher fine dining with fine views is offering a Christmas Eve set menu at Dhs 295 with wine pairing and a Christmas Champagne Brunch at Dhs 595. Munchi, the Thai and Sushi Bar is offering a Christmas Eve Set Menu at Dhs 175 and a Christmas Set Menu at Dhs 175. Al Basha, the Lebanese Restaurant with live entertainment is offering a Christmas Eve Set Menu at Dhs 175 and a Christmas Barbecue lunch at the terrace at Dhs 175. Luciano’s, the Italian Restaurant is offering a Christmas Eve Set Menu at Dhs 175 and a Christmas Set Menu at Dhs 175. Welcome the New Year with lavish themed Gala Dinners in the coolest of settings combined with entertainment at Dhs 1400 inclusive of house beverages and flute of champagne.

Jumeira Rotana Hotel We are going to get you into the mood of the festive season

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starting on Christmas Eve! Make your way to Five Dining and begin the celebration in fine style. Offers an international Gourmet Buffet for Dhs 159 net per person inclusive of regular house beverages. Family comes first on Christmas Day! Bring your children and grand children to feast over a sumptuous spread in true festive spirit. Offers an international Christmas Family Brunch Buffet for Dhs 159 net per person inclusive of regular house beverages. On New Year’s Eve, join the gala party at Five Dining and toast the evening with a glass of your favourite before helping yourself to the ever-popular seafood buffet. Offers an Ocean Delight Gala Buffet for Dhs 249 net per person inclusive of regular house beverages. The party never ends with our resident Dj’s live entertainment at Boston Bar and Restaurant. Enjoy a late evening with friends and make a New Year’s resolution to remember with a four-course set menu for Dhs 289 net per couple inclusive of welcome drink. This night, drink as much house beverages as you can for only Dhs 200 net per person Bavaria beckons for the last time this year… and for the first time into the next. With the exclusive theme buffet, get ready for a whole new experience at Brauhaus German Restaurant. Offers a Spaetzle and Pretzel Buffet for Dhs 229 net per person inclusive of regular house beverages. For reservations or information, call 00971 4 345 5888 or log on to

Moevenpick Hotel Bur Dubai The Mövenpick Hotel Bur Dubai is creating a traditional Christmas Day Brunch which will make guests of all ages feel the festive cheer. The fun kicks off at 12 noon and runs until 4 pm in the atrium style Fountain Restaurant and Lobby. Priced at AED 275 per person including Champagne or at 165 per person (food only) with 6-12 year olds half price and under sixes for free. For reservations call our festive coordinator on +9714 310 4347 or email hotel.burdubai.festive@moevenpick.

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com. See out 2007 and welcome the New Year in Style with a fully themed gala dinner and non-stop entertainment well into the wee hours at the Fountain Lobby. With the theme of ‘Fire and Water’ what better way to put out the embers of the old year and fire up the future in 2008. In addition to the Chef’s creations there will be a live band performing throughout the night and the DJ’s countdown to the midnight balloon drop that will kick off the celebration that is sure to keep the atmosphere hot well into the New Year. Tickets cost AED 799 per person with unlimited drinks. For those wishing to spend more of a cosy New Year’s Eve but still want the party then New Year’s Eve at the La Veranda Restaurant is ideal. A Special Amuse Bouche is awaiting diners. After the dinner join the revellers in the Lobby for the midnight balloon drop and dance the night away to your heart’s content with music from the live band and the DJ. From 20H00 onwards costing AED 799 per person including unlimited standard drinks. For reservations please call our festive coordinator on +971 4 310 4347. Somerset’s will be rocking the night away to invite in the New Year. The pub is open from 12 noon through until 3 am. For more information please call +971 4 336 6000.

Moevenpick Towers & Suites Doha The festivities commence on the 24th December with a breath-taking 5-course set menu dinner served in Animato. Enjoy Animato`s Christmas set dinner for only QR 245 per person including ½ bottle of sparkling Dates Drink and soft beverages. Wok Mee Noodle house celebrates Christmas in style and invites you to enjoy its 4-course set menu dinner designed for all Asian food lovers for only QR 185 per person. The 25th December is the feast your family and friends most look forward to. Gather together in Animato restaurant and enjoy a fabulous English Brunch starting from 12 noon

until 4 pm with a wide selection of dishes prepared especially by our team for this special occasion. Enjoy Christmas brunch for only QR 165 per person. New Year’s Eve is here again and this time we all look ahead to 2008. Enjoy the occasion at the Mövenpick Tower & Suites with our 5-course seating dinner in Animato restaurant for only QR 225 per person including ½ bottle of sparkling Dates Drink and soft beverages. For Bookings or more information please call +974 4966600.

Moevenpick Hotel Bahrain You can savour the seafood buffet with traditional dishes on Christmas Eve on December 24 or relish our Christmas brunch on December 25 with customary Christmas delicacies, international dishes and free flow of sparkling wine. A brilliant choir performed by our associates will ensure the true spirit of Christmas with a touch of warmth. Special Christmas hampers– Yule Log Cakes, traditional Plum Puddings and mouth melting chocolates are the ideal gift for your loved ones. And while Christmas just winds up, it’s time to bring in the New Year’s. Swing, tap and dance your way into the New Year with the most talked parties in town. This year, our Grand New Year Bash and the Flamingo Party on December 31 will have an exotic culinary spread, free flow of beverages and excellent music. With free movement amongst all our outlets, this is will be one unforgettable New Year’s party! And just as you wake up to the New Year’s, our special refreshing New Year brunch awaits you on January 1, 2008. Cuisines from all over the world, live cooking, free flow of sparkling wine and use of the pool – is all for you! Make the most of your festive break this season and join us in the celebrations. For more information, please call: +973-17 460000.

Moevenpick Resort & Residence Aqaba The night before Christmas sees our chef’s favourite creations on offer in a buffet setting at the Palm Court Restaurant and Terrace and in a delicious set dinner menu at our Al Sufra Mediterranean Fine Dining Restaurant. Our buffet dinner on 24th December at the Palm Court Restaurant is priced at JD 18++ per person, while the set dinner menu at Al Sufra Restaurant is priced at JD 22++ per person inclusive of one glass of local wine. The Palm Court Restaurant and Terrace is the venue for the Christmas Day buffet featuring a wide choice of tasteful and eye-catching Christmas dishes in a buffet style setting. For those who prefer a set dinner menu on 25th December, Al Sufra Restaurant is the first choice of experience a Christmas dinner menu with all the traditional trimmings. Lunch buffet at the Palm Court Restaurant is priced at JD 15++ per person with the set dinner menu at Al Sufra Restaurant priced at JD 21++ per person inclusive of a glass of local wine. Under the stars, our New Year’s Eve party will see a full

night of entertainment including live music, belly dancing, a folklore show, fireworks, dancing and a raffle. For those looking for a seated dinner, a set menu is available at Al Sufra Restaurant overlooking the main party location. Tickets for the gala dinner are priced at JD 90++ per person, While a complimentary babysitting service is provided by the hotel. For information, please call +962 3 203 4020.

Moevenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea Enjoy an exclusive Christmas buffet dinner on 24th December and a special Christmas lunch and dinner buffet on 25th December. Al Saraya Restaurant is serving a sumptuous array of local and international dishes as well as an extended dessert buffet with Christmas specialities. Dine in The Grill, our gourmet steak house or at Luigi’s, the traditional Italian, and enjoy Christmas Eve in style with a set menu candle-lit dinner. The full theme Gala Dinner at the resort’s Grand Ballroom can not be missed. Beside the rich dinner buffet we are offering non-stop entertainment for making sure, guests are smiling towards 2008. For a more informal welcome to 2008, the Al Khayyam Bar will turn over the dance floor to the sounds of disco for a musical farewell to the old year and will have a range of cocktails on offer to round the night off. To start the year 2008 romantically, the Grill is the venue of choice for a wonderful candle-lit set menu dinner. For more information, call +962 5 3561 111.

Renaissance Hotel Dubai Sails Mediterranean Restaurant offers a Christmas Eve Seafood Buffet on December 24th. From December 9th - 25th, order a festive three-course menu including a bottle of red wine, featuring a whole turkey served with all the traditional vegetables, apple and sage stuffing, chipolata sausages, cranberry jelly and gravy. And Santa has a special surprise for dessert!! Dhs 389/- for 4 persons including 1 bottle of wine; Dhs 555/for 6 persons with 2 bottle of wine; Dhs 729/- for 8 persons including 2 bottles of wine. Please note that 24 hours notice is required in order for us to prepare. Spice Island is offering a Christmas Eve Dinner, Christmas Day Brunch and Christmas Night Dinner. Confirm your booking (Full Payment) before the 15th December 2007 and get a 10% Discount. Bring in the New Year at any of our restaurants and enjoy the following offers: Gala Dinner at Spice Island; Dance the night away at Tiki Bar with the D.J on New Year’s Eve. Cocktail bar is open from 12 midnight to 2:45 am and a New Year’s Day Brunch. Confirm your booking with full payment before December 15th and get 15% discount for New Year. Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2007 with dinner and dancing at Harry’s Place where a sumptuous buffet inclusive of 2 complimentary glasses of

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champagne awaits you. Our live band “Blue Angels” and DJ will get you grooving on the dance floor in style, instant gifts to be won and a dinner cruise. Dhs. 225 per person. Children from 6 to 12 – Dhs. 105. Confirm your booking with full payment before December 15th 2007 and get 15% discount for New Year. Please call 04 2625555 for more information.

call 971 (2) 6146020.

Radisson SAS Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek

Metropolitan Palace Al Shindagah invites you to share with family and friends a special 3- course Set Menu featuring the finest cuisines from around the world for Dhs 175 nett person including house beverages. The celebration continues on Christmas Day with a traditional Christmas buffet priced at Dhs 135 nett per person. Treat yourself to Tahiti on Christmas Eve where a wide spread of authentic Polynesian cuisine featured in a grand buffet provides an amazing feast and unforgettable experience for the entire family for Dhs 240 nett per person. Modern and with a lively and chic atmosphere, Sketch lets you enjoy the best of Mediterranean cuisine featuring a 6-course Christmas Set Menu with a glass of champagne for Dhs 199 net per person. What better way to celebrate New Year’s Eve than chilling out with family and friends. Enjoy a lavish gala dinner buffet featuring the finest selection of palatable dishes at Al Shindagah, Sketch, Tahiti, Al Diwan and at the Al Hamra and Seville Ballroom.

Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi A Christmas buffet will be offered at Citrus for Dhs. 160++ / adult and Dhs. 70++ /child (available for both lunch & dinner) inclusive of unlimited house red and white wine. A six course Family style Set menu will be offered at Sevilo’s for Dhs 250++ / adult & Dhs. 120++/child inclusive of unlimited house red and white wine. On Christmas Day, Brunch is offered for Dhs. 190++ /adult and Dhs. 90++ / child Celebrate Christmas at Marakesh where a Christmas buffet and unlimited selected house beverages await you for Dhs. 250++ / adult and Dhs. 120 ++ /child. A four-course set menu is offered at Cristal Bar for Dhs. 150 ++ /person On New Year’s Eve, Sevilo’s is offering a six course set menu and glass of champagne as welcome drink for Dhs. 400++ /person. There will be entertainers to entertain you as you usher in the new year with a 6-piece Cabaret show dancers, Dolce Vita, DJ. At Marakesh, welcome the New Year with a Buffet and unlimited selected house beverages and glass of champagne as welcome drink for Dhs. 750 net /person. Entertainers – 6-piece Cabaret show dancers, Sabrine., Moroccan Band & Sabrina. There will be raffle draw to bring good luck to your new year. At Cristal Bar, a Seafood buffet and unlimited selected house beverages, glass of champagne as welcome drink for Dhs. 600 net /person. Entertainers – DJ, Cabaret show Dancers, Sera & Sabrina. At the Grand Ballroom, International buffet and unlimited selected house beverages, glass of champagne as welcome drink for Dhs. 650 net /person. Entertainers – DJ, Cabaret show Dancers, Sera & Sabrina. There will be raffle draws to win exciting prizes like airline tickets. For more information, please

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Indulge into a Grand Christmas Eve buffet at our bustling international restaurant Boulvar, for only Dhs. 175 per person, and only Dhs. 240 with half a bottle of red or white wine. Dine at the trendiest steakhouse in town, Palm Grill, with a special set menu for only Dhs. 250 per person. Enjoy our traditional Christmas Eve Festive Buffet; located on the 2nd floor of the hotel, where 6 different restaurants come together to offer delicious spreads of cuisine only for Dhs. 175 per person! You can have the world on a plate at our famous Christmas Brunch located on the 2nd floor, where 6 different outlets come together to treat you for the best traditional Christmas buffet in town, for only Dhs. 185 per person. Also on Christmas Day, you can indulge into a special Christmas lunch cruise aboard the Al Mansour Dhow for only Dhs. 199 per person and Dhs. 99 for children. Enjoy a fine New Year’s Eve at our contemporary steakhouse, Palm Grill for only Dhs. 449 per person and Dhs. 759 with ½ bottle of Moet Et Chandon. Spend your New Year’s Eve at our fashionable Italian restaurant, La Moda and savour delicious Italian from a choice of two delectable set menus inclusive of half a bottle of wine for only Dhs. 499 per person. Boulvar’s international buffet inclusive of a half bottle of

wine for only Dhs. 429 per person. Fish Market offers a set menu featuring the freshest of Seafood for only Dhs. 449 pp inclusive of ½ wine bottle. The China Club provides the best Chinese dining experience and welcomes the New Year with a traditional set menu for only Dhs. 449 pp inclusive of ½ wine bottle. Al Mansour Dhow will be cruising into 2007 with an extensive international buffet while cruising along the creek featuring breathtaking views for only Dhs. 399 pp and Dhs. 699 inclusive of ½ bottle of Moet et Chandon. Start off the first day of the year 2008 with a Grand New Year’s Day brunch located on the 2nd floor of the hotel where 6 different restaurants offer a spread of buffets to suit your taste buds for only Dhs. 135 per person! For more information, please call InfoCentre on 04/205 7033, 7034, 7333, 7444

Sharq Village & Spa, Doha Enjoy a magnificent holiday feast prepared by Chef de Cuisine Hassan Abdallah at Al Dana. Sample a wide array of traditional favourites, savoury delights, grilled dishes and exquisite desserts all wrapped up in an authentic Arabic atmosphere. Celebrate Christmas Eve with family and friends, indulging in a sumptuous menu featuring the coastal cuisine of Chef Shahram de Contades, and includes a glass of bubbly. Indulge in a six-course Christmas Day menu, which includes a glass of Mimosa. Chef Hassan Abdallah prepares a lavish buffet of regional favourites, grilled dishes, seafood, salads, live cooking stations and a decadent dessert display in Al Liwan. New Year’s Eve in Al Dana includes a five-course dinner with fisherman’s platter of Maine lobster, king crab, shrimp and mussels served on ice with fresh lemon, salmon fillet en papillote with braised fennel and a trio of oyster shooters. Alternatively, there is a six-course menu including fig carpaccio, maché and licorice, caviar chantilly, Alaskan crab and butterpoached lobster. For those who prefer to dine al fresco, there is no better setting than Al Wanis Terrace. The terrace offers breathtaking views over the resort and ample seating to choose from. Choose from a sumptuous Oriental pix fixe menu created by our master chefs. After dinner relax and enjoy the haunting melodies of the live oriental band. For more information regarding Sharq Village & Spa’s festive activities or to make a reservation kindly, contact the reservations on 974 425-6666.

Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort Indulge in the ultimate Christmas Eve dinner at Flavours Restaurant. Let our chefs enchant you with an International Buffet, featuring a wide selection of traditional continental Christmas favorites, Far Eastern delicacies and Middle Eastern fare for AED 165 per person inclusive of unlimited sparkling wine. 50% discount for children under 12. For reservations please call 02 697 0262 Join us at La Mamma and let Chef Rakesh dazzle you with his magical cooking skills and delight you with a lavish traditional Seafood Antipasti Buffet. Located adjacent to the hotel lobby, with direct access from street level. AED 89 per person for the Antipasti Buffet with 50% discount for children under 12. For reservations please call 02 697 0258.

Chef Salvador of El Sombrero has created authentic Mexican Christmas dishes for you to choose from, and the Brissa Trio will entertain you with their great Latino tunes. Christmas crackers and a sweet giveaway will complement your night ! Located next to La Mamma Italian restaurant, with direct access from street level. For reservations please call 02 697 0238 For a “long lasting memory” join us in Il Paradiso for your Christmas Eve Dinner. Enjoy Chef Ahmed’s Festive Seafood Specials while Harpist Alejandra to entertain you! Join us at Flavours for Christmas Day Brunch, where the buffet will overflow with all your favourites Christmas goodies for AED 165 per person and 50% discount for children under 12. Come to La Mamma and celebrate Christmas Day with family and friends. Join us on this occasion, where Chef Rakesh and his team invite you to an elaborate Antipasti Buffet. Indulge in a wonderful feast filled with traditional dishes of the Italian Christmas Day Lunch for AED 99 for the Antipasti buffet per person Come to Il Paradiso for a delightful Christmas a la carte lunch on our timber deck overlooking the lagoon. Relax, kick back and take in the view while enjoying Chef Ahmed’s Festive Seafood Specialties, or select your favorite from our menu, order a scrumptious cocktail and enjoy the holidays Resort style!

Sheraton Deira Hotel Step into The Terrace at the Sheraton Deira Hotel along with friends or family and feel the joy of Christmas with our lavish Christmas Eve dinner buffet. The buffet is open from 7:30 to 11:30 pm and priced at Dhs. 140 net per person including soft drinks or Dhs. 180 net with regular house beverages. Children below the age of 12 eat at half price. The Christmas feast is a time of magical celebration with family and loved ones and what better place to be together than at The Terrace restaurant to share the spirit and joy of Christmas. The Terrace offers you a richly laden buffet table open from 1230 hrs till 1530 hrs and is priced at Dhs. 140 net per person inclusive of soft drinks or Dhs. 180 net with regular house beverages. Kids below 12 years eat at half price. Bid goodbye to all the lovely memories of 2007 and ready to usher in the Bright New Year 2008 in grandeur whilst you embark on a culinary journey at the gala dinner buffet, prepared by talented and trendy Executive Chef Robin. The buffet opens at 1930 hrs and is priced at Dhs. 320 net per person including a welcome cocktail. Plus to add to the fun and enjoyment, guests have a few surprises in store! For reservation or more information, please call 04-2078615. Want the perfect Christmas gift and have no time! Walk into the Le Café at the Sheraton Deira Hotel and place your order for

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any one of their Festive Gourmet Hampers, to give to a business colleague or a loved one. The hampers come in 3 kinds - Classic at Dhs. 300, Premium at Dhs. 400 and Deluxe at Dhs. 600 net, consisting of Christmas cakes, Stollen, Log, Pannatonne, ginger cookies and more. One week advance notice required. For more information, please call 04-6068613.

Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers Come and join us at Vivaldi for a memorable Christmas Eve dinner cooked up by Chef Andrea and his kitchen brigade. The 4-course menu is priced at AED250 net per person. On Christmas Day, the chefs will serve up dishes from around the world in addition to the traditional Christmas lunch for AED180 net per person. Ring out the old with Chef Andrea’s 5-course special menu at Vivaldi Italian Restaurant featuring King’s Crab Terrine, Woodland Mushrooms Ravioli, Cream of Asparagus or the charcoal grilled veal and a White chocolate cold fondant for AED650 net per person, inclusive of house beverages, midnight celebrations and entertainment by Carillon Duo. For reservations, please call 04 207 1717. For Japanese food lovers, Creekside is the place to head for your Christmas Eve dinner celebration. On hand to enhance the festive experience is our hotel’s Christmas choir. Price: AED180 net per person. On Christmas Day, you can enjoy a mouth watering Teppanyaki Buffet, featuring your favourite Japanese dishes for AED125 net per person. Go East and celebrate New Year’s Eve with a special Far Eastern touch for AED650 net per person, inclusive of house beverages, midnight celebrations and entertainment from a 2piece band. For reservations, please call 04 207 1750. Take your Christmas celebration to an authentic height and celebrate with mouth-watering Indian specialities.On Christmas Day, continue the celebration with a delicious spread of soups, starters, curries, stir-fried dishes, rice specialities, assortment of breads and our very own Christmas suggestions for main courses. Price starts at AED 89net per dish. Aromatic Indian traditional favourites make for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve dinner. Chef Gaurav and his team have laid out a wide and mouth-watering buffet forAED550 net per person, inclusive of house beverages, midnight celebrations and entertainment. For reservations, please call 04 207 1733. As we glide into a New Year, we invite you to make up your New Year resolutions by continuing with the festivities offered at the Vivaldi Italian Restaurant. Spend quiet moments with family and loved ones over a beautiful New Year’s Day brunch at the Vivaldi. Priced at AED160 net

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per person, inclusive of entertainment by Carillon Duo. For reservations, please call 04 207 1717.

The Fairmont Dubai The Fairmont Dubai invites families to ‘Teddy Bear Tea’, a festive afternoon tea party for parents and children. Now in its fourth year, this five star iconic hotel presents three exclusive events on December 9, 12 and 17 in Bacchus restaurant. Children and parents will be delighted with a live puppet show, magic acts and a special appearance from Santa bearing gifts. ‘Teddy Bear Tea’ at The Fairmont Dubai is priced at Dhs 100 per adult and Dhs 50 for children aged 4 – 10 years. To make a reservation, please contact the festive concierge at +971 311 8316 or by email at fbconcierge@fairmont. com. This festive season, the culinary brigade at The Fairmont Dubai invites guests to take Fairmont home with a host of holiday entertaining options to be enjoyed with family and friends in any location, from the bustling ambience of your office party to the comfort of your own home. The Pronto gourmet festive take home menu features over 30 holiday items and is the perfect dining and entertaining solution to alleviate time pressures and take the hassle and stress out of holiday cooking. Pronto’s gourmet festive take home menu offers an easy solution with ‘Turkey to Go’, a comprehensive holiday feast featuring a whole roasted turkey for 8, 10 or 12 people, in addition to an apple, chestnut and cranberry sauce, turkey jus and a selection of traditional side dishes, including candied yams and roasted root vegetables, all packaged and ready to enjoy with family and friends. To find out how to ‘capture a moment’ at The Fairmont Dubai this season, visit to preview the 29 festive offers available from 1 November - 31 December 2007.

The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai Traditional decadent brunches, hampers of sweet treats and carol singing around the Christmas tree all combine to celebrate this festive season at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai while

barbeques under the stars and Arabic nights in Amaseena provide a welcome alternative. Four-course menus in La Baie and Splendido will satisfy any Italian or seafood cravings as feasts of foie gras, Brittany lobster and veal tenderloin feature this Christmas Eve. This gourmet cuisine can be enjoyed in the intimate ambience of the restaurants or in Splendido, al fresco on the terrace overlooking the starlit waters of the Arabian Gulf. The Christmas spirit is no where more apparent than in The Lobby Lounge, the setting for a gigantic and beautifully adorned tree that overlooks singing carolers as afternoon teas of minced pies, stolen, gingerbread and gluhwein are served. Christmas Eve brings the caroling to a crescendo as live performances on December 24 resound throughout The Lobby Lounge. An alternative seasonal celebration can be had at the Christmas Day Barbeque by the pool in the lush grounds of the hotel. Instead of turkey, enjoy grilled steaks and seafood and marvel at the sunshine that beats down even in winter! Sizzled to perfection, this sumptuous barbequed feast is accompanied by salads, soups and appetizers, as well as delectable desserts from the famed pastry team. When it all becomes too much and you want to escape the festivities, relax in the tranquil tents of Amaseena, where the fine wines of Massaya are showcased alongside Lebanese cuisine that reflect the sunny landscapes and diversity of the country. For information or reservations, visit The Ritz-Carlton Web site at or call the toll free reservations number in UAE at 800 4789 or : (971) 4 3994000.

The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain A lavish buffet awaits the grown-ups and the little ones, featuring Middle Eastern, international and Christmas specialties on Christmas Eve at La Mediterranee. From 7 p.m. to 11.30 p.m at BD 17 ++ per person and BD 9 ++ per child under 12 years. From 7 p.m. onwards, on December 31, enjoy a New Year’s Eve Buffet with Middle Eastern and international festive specialties for BD 19 ++ per person and BD 9 ++ per child. On New Year’s Day, enjoy a lavish buffet rounded off by live entertainment from 12 noon to 4 pm for BD 19 ++ per person and BD 9 ++ per children under 12 years. A set menu, featuring Indian festive specialties will be offered at Nirvana on December 24th. The evening is accompanied by classical Indian live entertainment with a set menu for BD 17++ from 7 pm to 11:30 pm. On December 31, from 7 p.m. onwards, enjoy a met Menu for BD 19 ++ with live entertainment by classical Indian musicians. The Ritz-Carlton Jazz Brunch is a family celebration of culinary delights with the collaborative efforts by the hotel’s chefs highlighting many of their most fabulous creations. Santa Claus is visiting and a playground for kids is arranged as well on December 25 at the Grand Foyer from 12 noon to 3:30 pm for BD 19 ++ per person and BD 9 ++ per child under 12 years. On December 31, Al Ghazal Ballroom will host a New Year’s Eve Ball with the theme “The 80’s Nostaglia – 80’s pop”. A deluxe buffet spread with a lavish seafood bar. Live entertainment with “Soul Divas” and DJ - Georgios. All these are happening from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. for BD 95 ++.

Don’t forget the Kids New Year’s Party on December 31 at Rotonda from 8 p.m. onwards. For BD 10 ++ per child under 12 years, kids will enjoy a buffet with unlimited games, movies, popcorns, refreshments and prizes. For information or reservation, please call (973) 1758 6499.

The Ritz-Carlton, Doha A sizzling season of events awaits guests at The RitzCarlton, Doha over Christmas and New Year. Kids Teddy Bear Tea Party with Santa will be held on December 21 when children will enjoy special treats, lots of traditional goodies such as sandwiches, candies and cookies, all washed down with yummy hot chocolate…just what Teddy Bears love to drink at Christmas. From 4.30pm, in The Lobby Lounge at QR 85 ++ (adults) and children charged 50%. The Lagoon Restaurant will have a Christmas brunch with live entertainment, Santa Claus, bouncing castles and activities for children on the terrace at QR 265 ++ per person. The Lagoon Restaurant offers Dinner buffet at QR 225 ++ per person from 6.30 pm. La Mer: Evening 5-course set menu at 485QR++. Porcini: Evening 5-course set menu at 450QR++ on December 24 and 25. On December 31, the Lagoon Restaurant is ideal for a seasonal get-together, an extensive buffet showcases the best international skills of our chefs at QR 340 ++ per person. La Mer plays host to a quieter celebratory evening as diners are treated to a six-course gourmet menu at QR 585 ++ per person. Lovers of Italian cuisine will enjoy the classic menu offered in Porcini. Our Italian chefs have pulled out all the stops to create a 6-course celebratory menu. Our resident harpist accompanies at QR 520 ++ per person. Cool leather and crystal chandeliers are the classic backdrop in Habanos. Ring in the New Year with a taste of Havana: live music from the hotel’s Cuban band, Son a la Roca, will have guests’ feet tapping until it’s 2007 no more at QR 95 ++ per person. A magnificent display of culinary wizardry suited perfectly to the very first day of the New Year awaits guests at The Lagoon Restaurant for QR 225 ++ per person. Reservations are highly recommended. For further information and reservations, please contact (974) 484 8503; Fax: (974) 484 8484; E-mail: info.

Trader’s Hotel, Dubai Guests can savour a six-course set menu at The Junction

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from 7.30pm to 11.30pm on Christmas Eve. Priced at AED170 per person, price includes 10% service charge and 10% municipality fee. For a true gastronomic treat, guests at the Christmas Day brunch buffet will find an extensive spread of Arabic favourites, traditional Christmas dishes and Asian delights. The Christmas Day all-day buffet is priced at just AED150 per person, which includes 10% service charge and 10% municipality fee. This New Year’s Eve, Traders Hotel, Dubai, is pleased to offer a unique countdown experience to 2008. The New Year’s Eve Chinatown carnival countdown party is priced at AED350 per person, which includes 10% service charge and 10% municipality fee. An early bird discount of AED50 will apply for guests who book by 15 December 2007 and for guests who attended last year’s “Black & Gold Countdown Party”. For reservations at The Junction, please call (04) 214 7270 or 72. For more information on the New Year’s Eve Chinatown carnival countdown party, please call (04) 265 9888.

Shangri-la Hotel, Dubai Resident Chinese Chef Ken has prepared a festive Christmas Eve set menu at Shang Palace featuring favourites such as Assorted BBQ meats and tossed salad, Sautéed prawns with celery in bird’s nest, Steamed hammour fillet, Yang Zhao fried rice and more. A la carte menu is available on Christmas Day. Shang Palace is opened for lunch from 13h00 to 15h00 and for dinner from 20h00 to midnight Rest your senses from the holiday rush and delight in a myriad of French Vietnamese cuisine at Hoi An. Resident Vietnamese Chef Phu will prepare authentic Vietnamese specialties on Christmas Eve with a scrumptious set menu. A delectable a la carte menu is available on Christmas Day. Open daily for dinner from 19h00 to 23h00. Marrakech ushers in the joyful season with traditional Moroccan specialties. Enjoy the restaurant’s a la carte menu available on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The freshest catch of the day takes centre stage at Amwaj. Enjoy the varied harvest from the sea in more ways than one with special dinner set menus on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Start the countdown to a new year with a drink or two at iKandy. Listen to the cool music of DJ Rabih while you lounge and chill out under the stars. Whether for before-dinner drinks or to start revving up the year’s farewell party, iKandy is the place to be! Celebrate the coming of another year with a buffet spread of international as well as Mediterranean specialties at Amwaj and Marrakech. Savour the best of two worlds with an Italian live station, foie gras station, seafood station and holiday carving. All these including unlimited Champagne and house pouring brands at

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AED 1,688 net! Purchase the dining package before December 15 and pay only AED 1,388 net. Or, opt for a festive albeit subdued New Year’s Eve dinner at Shang Palace and Hoi An both featuring special set menus for the yearend celebration. Set menus are priced at AED 988 net per person including one glass of Champagne and house pouring brand. After a joyous dinner, welcome the New Year in grand style and party the night away to 2008 at the Lobby Lounge! At AED 488 net, let your hair down and usher in the New Year with unlimited Champagne and house pouring brands. Get into the groove with a guest DJ as well as a five-piece live band as everybody says goodbye to 2007. For further information and reservations, please call (04) 405 2703.

Towers Rotana Hotel, Dubai A delicious festive set menu awaits you this Christmas Eve at Teatro. Join us for dinner to sample traditional seasonal delicacies on our four-course set menu, for AED 285 per person or alternatively indulge in the popular à la carte menu. The elegant décor is just part of the attraction. Our dressy and stylish New Years Eve celebration includes a delicious à la carte menu along with live entertainment with our fabulous 4 piece “Symphony Band”. Entrée 300 AED per person including a glass of Piccolo Jacob’s creek and along with our special midnight balloon drop. The festive and the traditional combine with an eclectic and tantalizing cuisine this Christmas Eve at Long’s Bar. Join us for dinner, and taste festive sensations specially prepared on threecourse set menu at AED 110 per person (excluding beverages) or alternatively, indulge in a wide range of à la carte dishes and Christmas specials. Ring in the New Year and finalise your New Year’s Eve resolutions at an informal yet sumptuous brunch for only 100 AED per person (including selected beverages) Come discover all those favourites to get you into gear for another successful year. Flavours On Two, our themed restaurant serving contemporary cuisine is a fantastic venue in which to celebrate any occasion. Our festive buffet on Christmas Eve presents unique flavours with a festive twist and is only priced at AED 225 per person. With its relaxing atmosphere this is the ideal location for a more casual festive lunch buffet with for AED 210 per person (including selected beverages). On New Year’s Eve, celebrate this special occasion and bring in the New Year with a sumptuous array of festive cuisine. Dance the night away with the resident disc jockey at this legendary New Year’s Eve Party with our first midnight balloon drop all for AED 345 per person (including selected beverages). For bookings and reservations, call +971 4 3438000.

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Season’s Best Two Star Michelin Chef Philippe Gauvreau returns to Dubai to introduce an exciting new menu this season to cater to the most discerning clientele of Café Chic, Le Meridien Dubai’s signature restaurant.

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Chocolate Soufflé Serves 10 Ingredients: Milk Corn Flour Chocolate (70% Cocoa) Eggs White Sugar

600gr 40gr 600gr White 160gr

Egg Yolks


Method: > Preheat the oven to 190deg celcius. > Coat the inside of a copper pot, with butter > Mix the milk and corn flour and allow to boil. > Place the chocolate in a glass bowl, and pour the milk mixture over the chocolate so that it melts. > Then add the 6 egg yolks. > Remove from direct heat. > Beat the egg whites together with the sugar until light and fluffy. Fold into the chocolate mixture with a metal spoon. > Pour the mixture into the greased copper pot, and place in the heated oven. > Bake the soufflé for 16 minutes. > The soufflé should rise, and have a light and airy consistency. > Serve immediately. Serving Suggestion, Dust with icing sugar, and serve with vanilla or caramel ice cream.

Creating dishes and menus according to the season are the specialty of Chef Philippe Gavreau, a two star Michelin chef, who comes to Dubai four times a year to introduce a new menu for Café Chic, the vibrant and sophisticated French restaurant at Le Meridien Dubai. And this season is all about lobster, the crustacean of choice among restaurants and diners in Dubai and the region because of its delicate flavour and a wide range of possible cooking methods along with its flexibility to be served with grilled vegetables, potatoes or rice. Gavreau’s creations are “authentic but with a modern twist” and because lobster is the food of the season, he created four recipes based on the different parts of the lobster - one recipe for the head, one for the left claw, one for the right claw and one recipe for the body of the lobster. A consultant to Café Chic for six years now, most of the dishes served at the restaurant are created by Gavreau. When he visits Dubai, he will communicate and share his ideas with the hotel’s Executive Chef and together they will agree to change the menus based on the availability of the food produce and in keeping with the restaurant’s standards. “I change the menu based on the season and availability of the product. In this market there are certain products that you cannot use because of the heat. For example, you can’t serve deer, because when you serve deer it needs to be very cold. And there are certain products that do not cater to this market so what I try to do is work on a similar ingredient that is available in the local market and use it in the recipe. This system has worked out really well,” he said. Café Chic is Gavreau’s primary focus and his visits usually follow a schedule which entails the launch of the new menu, the training of the chefs about the new dishes and a time to reconnect with Café Chic’s loyal clientele who makes a special visit to see him and be the first to sample the new dishes. These loyal patrons also become Gavreau’s critics and will always give their constructive feedback. Gavreau observed that diners here in Dubai are loyal patrons who keep returning to a restaurant because “they enjoy the experience, the quality of the food, the presentation of the product and its general appeal. Diners here are patrons who want to sample French food so if they hear it’s a French restaurant they will come and most of them are people who heard about it from a relative, a friend or a colleague. So it’s mostly a word of mouth.” Of the new dishes that he created this season, Gavreau recommends La grosse morille “Jumbo” farcie de cuisses de grenouilles et queues d’ecrevisses, sauce moussseuse a l’huile de noisette et ail doux (Jumbo morel mushroom filled with frog legs and crayfish served with sweet garlic cream) for starters; Tajine de homard entier, cassolette de semoule et aubergines confites, jus de crustace aux epices Orientales (Tajine of lobster with aubergine, artichokes, cherry tomato filled with a “ragout Nicois”, pine seed and raisin semolina, shellfish and Oriental spices juice) for the main course; and Le soufflé du Café Chic caramel de sucre Muscovado et glace a la vanille (Café Chic chocolate soufflé served with pistachio Muscovado sugar caramel and vanilla cream) for dessert. When not visiting Dubai, Gavreau works at La Rotonde, a restaurant in France. His culinary career was influenced by his Uncle Francis who owned a pastry shop. To earn his pocket money, he would work on weekends and it was here that he discovered his passion for cooking. After completing a qualification at a catering college, Chef Philippe commenced training in ‘La Vieille Maison’ in Chartres, the ‘Bristol’ thereafter moving to ‘Grand Vefour’. He went on to work in many prestigious restaurants and then finally he started to work in ‘La Rotonde’ in Lyon, the heart of French cuisine. It was here that all of his hard work and dedication paid off when the hotel was awarded a two star Michelin rating. Chef Pierrick Cizeron, Executive Chef at Le Meridien Dubai, works closely with Philippe Gauvreau, and together they promise a menu that will delight even the most discerning diner. Diners at Café Chic can also indulge in an award-winning wine selection endorsed by Wine Spectator’s Award for Excellence. JeanDaniel Angibaud, resident Chef-Sommelier, recommends the wines to complement gourmet cuisine. For those who prefer a luxurious setting, Café Chic has the upper deck with its plush red furnishing or the cosy winter garden with a

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MillenniumSharjah Hotel team

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Scrumptious dinners, family celebrations, gingerbread houses, gifts from Santa Claus and lively New Year’s events are just some of the festive offerings taking place at Millennium Hotel Sharjah. “During the festive season, we invite the people of Sharjah and our visitors to celebrate Christmas and New Year here at Millennium Hotel so we are hosting a feast that family, friends and visitors will surely enjoy,” said Najib Bensouda, General Manager, Millennium Hotel Sharjah. The celebration on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day have been meticulously prepared by the food and beverage team to give diners and in-house guests an unforgettable and magical experience at Sharjah’s favourite hotel. To start off, Al Dallah is offering Christmas cakes and Yuletide logs from December 18th to the 25th. Make your Christmas table complete with the delicious and divine Christmas cakes and the creamy Yuletide logs. But you need to make your reservations because they sold out really fast. A breath-taking view of the Khalid

Lagoon plus a delicious Christmas Eve dinner awaits you at Mojo where Executive Chef Wassim B-Fakhredeen cooked up a five-course dinner to give you a memorable Christmas Eve. Start off with Prawn Ceviche, followed by Mozzarella in Carozza, Roast Tom Turkey with Giblet Gravy as the main course. Finish your meal with Traditional Christmas Strawberry Pudding with Vanilla Sauce. Priced at Dhs 130 per person inclusive of beverages and live entertainment from a European band. On Christmas Day, the chefs will serve up dishes at Citrus. Enjoy a Christmas feast, fit for a king, with selections of Roasted Stuffed Turkey with Red Current Pepper Sauce and Crispy Roast Duck with Honey and Fresh Thyme. Don’t forget the festive treats available at the dessert station where you can find your favourite desserts like Classic Panettone Traditional Italian Christmas Cake, Profiteroles au Chocolate, Baileys Cheese Cake, Strawberry Pies and more temptations. The Christmas Day buffet is priced at Dhs 115 per person inclusive of selected beverages, including live entertainment. On New Year’s Eve, gear up for

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an evening of fantastic cuisine, festive atmosphere and live entertainment as Millennium Hotel Sharjah say goodbye to 2007 and welcome 2008 with a New Year’s Gala Dinner buffet at the Al Jawhara Ballroom 1 and 2. Bring your friends, loved ones and colleagues to share the evening filled with merriment and a wide selection of European, Asian and Arabic cuisine for Dhs 450 per person inclusive of beverage. Sample Seafood Mountain, Pici-pici Sashimi, Thai Seafood Salad, Duck and Herbs Galantine, plus more Salads Choices, from the main courses buffet, Stuffed Ostrich Fillet with Figs and Pistachio with Red Current Sauce, Lamb Rack Marinated in Miso and Roast Potato and Garlic, Norwegian Salmon Steak with Dill Lemon Butter Sauce and more. Remember, if you will book a table for 10 persons, one gets to eat free. Meanwhile, if you want to have a cozy New Year’s Eve celebration with your spouse or partner, head to Shiraz where the Iranian chef Hassan Doniadar prepared an Iranian set menu for Dhs 240 per couple. Ring out the old year with the selection of Traditional Iranian Salads, Life charcoal Grill Lamb Kebabs & Koubideh, Jooeh, Lobster and Shrimps

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(Main of dishes) and mouthwatering Makloud Iranian Ice Cream served with Falouda as dessert. After an evening of fun and excitement, an international lavish buffet awaits everyone at Citrus, on January 1st, the first day of 2008 which is also called Boxing Day. Citrus will offer Ouzi Roast Fresh Baby Lamb with Oriental Rice, Grill Mix Seafood with Walnut and Lemon Butter Sauce, Stuffed Roll of Turkey with Crushed Nuts and Apricot served with Glazed Cream Supreme Sauce for Dhs 120 per person inclusive of beverages and live entertainment. “Our Christmas and New Year will be different. There will be lots of surprises and the atmosphere will be what everyone is wishing for. We will decorate the lobby with the biggest Christmas tree. Our staff will be dressed for the occasions and Santa Claus will be around giving gifts,” added Bensouda. So head to Millennium Hotel Sharjah and make your Christmas and New Year celebration fun and meaningful. For reservations and bookings, please call +971 6 5566666 or email sales.sharjah@

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Whatever your

mood is‌. We have a weekend for you Two Nights of Shopping Excitement (Shopping Weekend) Are you a shopping enthusiast? Satisfy your temptations and indulge in your fantasies! Spoil yourself with the trendy and elegant fashion with a complimentary shopping voucher worth Dhs. 200/- at BurJuman shopping mall and after an exquisite shopping experience indulge in our elegant accommodation and luxurious amenities. The special rate is AED 1,110* for 2 nights based on a double occupancy including breakfast and a shopping voucher worth AED 200 redeemable at BurJuman mall. Two Nights of Attention (Family Weekend)

When it comes to a weekend planning, Al Murooj Rotana Hotel & Suites, Dubai has a solution to satisfy even the most demanding traveler with its selection of tailor-made weekend packages. Whether your are looking for shopping or romantic break, whether you would like to spend a quality fun time with your family or simply indulge into gastronomic delights, this property is all set to ensure the best of experience. Its great weekend offers will allow you to have all fun and relaxation without any extra pressure on your budget.

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When was the last time you thought of a weekend away from the maddening crowd? Our team will go out of their way to make families welcome with accommodation options to suit your needs. The special rate is AED 1,175* for 2 nights based on a double occupancy with 1 child including breakfast and babysitting service for 4 hours. Two Nights of Dining (Gastronomic Weekend) Are you ready for a memorable dining experience? Then our Gastronomic Weekend is sure to be quite an appetizing deal.

About Al Murooj Rotana Hotel & Suites Al Murooj Rotana Hotel & Suites has 253 guest rooms and 137 fully furnished apartments. The luxurious property also features Bodylines Leisure & Fitness Club with outdoor swimming pool, one of the largest pillar less ballrooms in town and a host of other amenities. The package is priced at AED 1,210* for 2 nights based on a single or double occupancy including breakfast and a dining voucher worth AED 400 redeemable at any of participating outlets. Two Nights of Romance (Romantic Weekend) When it comes to setting up a romantic scene for the two of you, we make sure that you enjoy every moment of your stay. Start your day with a complimentary champagne breakfast in bed. Get an invigorating complimentary massage with your loved one and then take a stroll together on our private beach or pool areas before you retire to your room. In the evening, enjoy a quiet drink, before sharing a candlelit dinner in one of the restaurants. The special rate is AED 1,380* for 2 nights based on a double occupancy and inclusive of champagne breakfast and 1 hour massage per person. *Terms & Conditions The above offers are valid till the 31st of December 2007. Rooms are subject to availability and must be booked in advance. The rates are subject to 10% Municipality fees and 10% service charge. Other terms & conditions apply

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Purity and Wellbeing A setting of

Mรถvenpick Resort & Spa Mauritius

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Located on the south west coast of Mauritius, in the heart of the preserved nature of Bel Ombre, the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Mauritius is an authentic paradise perfectly integrated into large sugar cane fields as well as lush vegetation. Personal attention. Friendly faces. An windsurfing, kayaking, and paddling oasis of peace and tranquility. Endless which are all free of charge. white beaches. A real paradise for those “They are all included in the price who want comfort and luxury. These so people can go down there and make things abound at Moevenpick Resort & use of these facilities at the beach,” added Spa Mauritius, an enchanting place that Wood. “We have an animation team that was built with you in mind. takes care of the activities; they organize Known for its tropical setting and table tennis (ping pong) competitions sandy white beaches, Moevenpick and events down at the beach like the Resort & Spa tug-o-war because Mauritius is the we have a lot of perfect holiday kids around.” destination for The Kids Club those who want (which is open to enjoy the year round) holds sea, soak up the pottery making sun, engage in workshops where adventure or guests can make simply enjoy their own pottery, nature. personalize it John G.C. Wood, General Manager “It’s a and make it their lovely property, set in ten hectares of Christmas presents or whatever. “We virgin territory, right on the beautiful have our own kiln so they can make sandy beach on south of the island and it and we’ll teach them how to make surrounded by sugar cane,” described things. It initially started out for kids John G.C. Wood, General Manager. but it soon developed for adults because The warm or summer season enters mom and dads come along so there are a Mauritius at this time of the year (when whole lot of activities going on.” temperature outside is approximately Moevenpick Resort & Spa Mauritius between 28 and 34 degree Celsius), so combines first-class service, excellent it’s the perfect time to relax on the beach cuisine and exceptional spa facilities, (the temperature of water varies between aside from the wide range of sports. With 22 and 25 degree Celsius) and engage 160 spacious rooms (55 sq m), 20 suites in water sports activities like water (70 sq m and 120 sq m) and one villa skiing, glass bottom boat, snorkeling, (275 sq m), all facing the Indian Ocean,

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the resort provides the ideal setting for a relaxing and luxury stay at any time of the year. Upon arrival, after only 45 minutes transfer from International Airport, guests are welcomed with a lemongrass iced tea freshly picked from the hotel’s gardens. The exceptional location of the resort, between lush tropical vegetation and speechless crystal blue water lagoon makes it the ideal starting point for day excursions on Mauritius. The spacious and luxuriously designed rooms, suites and the villa offer the ultimate in comfort and are spread through casuarinas, coconut trees, frangipanes, hibiscus and bougainvilleas in 22 acres of tropical gardens. They are all appointed into a classical style with a wood or palm thatch roofs, with terrace or balcony overlooking the Indian Ocean. “The rooms and suites are all facing the sea which is an overly fantastic advantage. There’s nothing like inland view, garden view, or sugarcane view. All the rooms have the ocean’s view,” said Wood. For the ultimate chill-out experience five Indian beds and 20 hammocks have recently been added to the lavish tropical garden. Space and tranquility are the key words to define this unique resort. “The beauty of this property is it got lots of space. Yes you could put more bungalows and villas on it but you then change the nature of the property so we want to keep it that way,” explained Wood when asked if there are any expansion plans in the future. Families are not forgotten with special rooms offering a separate children bedroom of 11 sq m, particularly recommended to parents wishing both to preserve their intimacy as well as having their children close by. “We have 42 of these rooms with bunk beds and they have a separate door so you can put your kids into sleep. They have their own television set to watch cartoon shows while mom and dad can watch something else and that is in addition to the 55 sq m room, so it’s really huge,” said Wood. The resort’s culinary offer is just as diverse. Three restaurants have their own personality: “The Moulin”, as main restaurant offers themed diners with its varied buffets, “Le Camaron”, the beach restaurant, serves light dishes, fresh fish and seafood. “Grand’Caze”, the à la carte restaurant, invites to experience

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innovative and exceptional recipes with Mauritius flavors in a romantic setting. In the evening guests might enjoy live entertainment or other events at the bar, savouring the perfect end to a lovely day. Inspired by a Zen atmosphere, the sumptuous Spa dedicates its 1800 sqm to peace and serenity. The humid pavilion, which accommodates Turkish baths, saunas and a whirlpool, is the right place for body wraps, scrub and hydro jet showers. Treatment rooms surrounded by an aquarium, put forward treatments developed from tropical, local elements as well as traditional ingredients. This unique place brings a feeling of harmony to body, soul and mind. The ultimate relaxation takes place in the unique roof solarium. State-of-the-art conference and banqueting facilities are also available at the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Mauritius. A choice of indoor and outdoor settings offers great opportunities for conferences, meetings, weddings and other functions for up to 250 persons. Mövenpick Resort & Spa Mauritius is also an ideal setting for weddings and honeymoons. Wedding dreams come true at this place where all the arrangements are meticulously coordinated to fulfill the wishes of the bride and groom. From the hotel management to local professionals everyone is there to satisfy the individual wishes and requirements of the happy couple and create a unique, tailor-made wedding. Every single detail is accounted for, from the administrative formalities (including obtaining the official documents from the Mauritian authorities and ensuring the presence of a wedding official, as well as the formalities with the relevant embassies to ensure the marriage’s validity in the couple’s country of origin) to the reception, the floral decorations and the care of the bride’s wedding dress. Nor are there any limitations to the couple’s wishes; even underwater ceremonies can be arranged. Packages for the wedding vary and largely depend on the requirements of the couple. But when it comes to wedding, Wood observed that the price is not really an issue. “You want to have this on a perfect date and it’s a once in a lifetime thing. You can get married in Mauritius in a very intimate way, with your family and closest friends. We can

arrange for a traditional wedding if the couple desires and since there are quite a number of religions in Mauritius, we can organize the ceremonies and in the language that they also prefer.” A two-week notice is advised for couples who want to hold their wedding at the resort. Guests can be assured that there will never be more than one wedding held on any given day at the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Mauritius. They may also require the services of professionals for the photographs and videos to materialise these special moments. For newlyweds, the Resort offers an unforgettable Honeymoon Package. Based on a minimum stay of seven nights, the bride will enjoy free accommodation including breakfast in a club room or junior suite (valid only for a period of nine months after the wedding day; a copy of the marriage certificate will have to be forwarded to the Hotel). The package includes a romantic, candle-lit dinner in an idyllic setting, with personal butler service as well as several other surprises. Honeymooners also enjoy free use of the sumptuous Aldana Tropical Spa, which boasts a number of pools, a sauna, a hammam and a solarium. A separate pavilion has been specially equipped for the happy couple’s treatments. A particular favourite is the two-hour “Moment tête à tête” package, complete with a glass of champagne. Those looking for a totally exclusive experience can book the five-day “Paul & Virginie” Spa Package, which includes a wide range of massages, scrubs, facial treatments, baths and other rituals for two. Emirates Airlines flies six times a week to Mauritius so access to the resort is easy. The island is getting popular with the UAE nationals whose numbers are increasing yearly. Wood said that there were 1300 UAE nationals who visited Mauritius in 2005, 2500 visitors last year and this year is going up to 4000 visitors. For individual advice or pricing information contact Moevenpick Resort & Spa Mauritius directly by e-mail to or phone +230 6235001. Further details on the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Mauritius are available at

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The epitome of


Francisco Giles was recently awarded Hotelier Middle East’s General Manager of the Year for 2007. This is to add to the many awards and achievements the hotel has received over the past few years and Giles remains humble and works even harder to attain his goals.

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Giles is very proud of his latest achievement, being named “General Manager of the Year” by Hotelier Middle East at the awards ceremony held in October where he was chosen from five short listed candidates from different hotel brands in Dubai and the Middle East. “This is a totally different ballgame because it comprises the Middle East and involves various hotel brands so awareness created within your own markets is great. It’s the first big award within the Middle East for the hotel outside of the awards that we received from Marriott in the last five years.” The selection process at this year’s Hotelier Awards was much more difficult as there were a number of nominees submitted in each category but the judges chose Giles as the winner because of his strong leadership skills, vibrant energy and ability to turn around the fortunes of the hotel. During his tenure, the Renaissance Dubai Hotel has won over 25 awards from Marriott International including the Leadership Excellence Award, Food and Beverage Excellence Award and Best Catering Revenue Improvement Award for Middle East and Africa. In February this year, Giles was named “General Manager of the Year 2006” for the Renaissance brand comprising of over 75 participating hotels Internationally at the Marriott International GM’s conference held in San Francisco. How did he do it? “I was given a window of opportunity to change things and I seized the moment. I didn’t know that things would change so drastically such as the real estate market which changed Dubai forever, but we were in the right place at the right time. After creating the foundations of a superior product and implementing all new systems and processes, concentrating on training to take care of the corporate business traveller, then came the boom time.” Francisco Giles is a perfectionist, studying every minute detail and is always prepared for the unexpected. He took over the reins of the Renaissance Hotel in 2002 and five years later, the hotel’s revenue has gone up by 220% and the profitability increased by 620%. Giles is not new to the hospitality industry having held various hotel

management positions in countries like Switzerland, Mexico, Australia and the South Pacific. He has been living in Dubai for 14 years which has set him in good stead to know the local market well. Giles’ number one priority has always been his associates (employees). “I took care of the welfare and the benefits of my people because I want the very best in the business to work in our team. If you want the best, you have to give the best. Therefore my expectations of service and attention to detail are very high. “ Since January this year, Giles was on top of recruiting and attracting the best talent with the right hospitality experience. He worked hand in hand with Human Resources to make sure that the salaries were competitive with those offered in the industry. He also lifted the minimum wage of the hotel’s associates and recently moved them into brand new housing facilities, located a few kilometers from the hotel, complete with a swimming pool and gymnasium which was a great morale booster. Now all associates receive private medical, another initiative not every hotel has adopted. Politics, favoritism and racialism are three things that you will not feel or see at the Renaissance. Giles’ philosophy is that no person is more important than the other. But he makes sure there is someone to “steer the ship”. “You have to inspire your people. The

more you inspire your people the more they inspire you. It’s two-fold and it sounds very simple, but that’s the secret. Discipline. Great communication. Leadership from all levels and above all the great passion to serve.” “Leadership is only as good as followship and you can tell your associates to follow you because you’re paying them, you can also tell them to smile because it’s their job, however when it comes from the heart and they come to work with you and not for you, it’s a buzz. It’s exciting, you can have fun.” Bill Marriott, chairman of Marriott International, is Giles’ mentor. He speaks highly of Marriott, who at 75, still works five days a week and 10 hours a day. “He walks and talks the Marriott culture and is a source of inspiration for everybody.” Team work is something that Giles always preaches to his associates. “This business is 24/7, 365 days a year, if you don’t work smart and together as a team, then consistency will not follow.” Giles reckons that communication is the most important tool of management especially with a staff of 350 coming from 30 different nationalities and speaking 40 different languages. He revealed that it’s always a challenge to send the message across but with a good system, a good process and keeping politics and favoritism out, the results are very healthy. “I have a saying. It’s not what you

say; it’s how you say it. It’s not what you do; it’s how you do it. Respect other cultures, respect other nationalities. Build an understanding and be disciplined. You have to believe in your people and they have to believe in you. And if there is mutual respect and mutual understanding, you will be successful together. I believe every single associate that I have in this hotel is the best for the job they have been chosen to perform.” And what does 2008 look like for the Renaissance Hotel? “Even bigger and better. Bigger in terms of more revenue, more profit, more promotions for my associates, more rewards and awards. It gets tougher every year because you’re competing with yourself and a more mature and competitive industry.” Giles knows that the hotel still has a long way to go and needs the support of his owners in terms of investment to ensure that the Renaissance Dubai Hotel is as competitive as the many new hotels opening over the next two years. Having said all this, you might think that it’s all work and no play for Giles. If he’s not managing the hotel, you will see him at the golf course, perfecting his swing, enjoying fatherhood and playing with his 16month old son.

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The man behind

Burjuman Rotana Suites Burjuman Rotana Suites general manager Mrad El Khoury talks to Travel Arabia about the property’s first year. Burjuman Rotana Suites represent metropolitan living in a great location for those who are uncompromising on quality and style. The design concept was to offer a contemporary but unique space by introducing inspiring art, stylish sculpture and distinctive pieces of furniture. Travel Arabia: How has the hotel performed since its opening? Mrad El Khoury: In February we had a soft opening for the hotel and then in May it opened. The hotel is doing great. In terms of occupancy it is extremely high. We’re running an average of 85 to 90 percent on a monthly basis. TA: Even during the low season? MEK: The low season was good for families and since it was the first opening months, we have a very good occupancy rate, 60 to 80 percent during summer. It was a nice promotion period for the hotel. It was the first summer of the hotel so it gives a very good and positive impact.

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TA: What was the best feedback you received? MEK: The furniture and the design of the suites. It’s very trendy, very modern, very relaxing, it’s not arrogant and the colours are pleasant. Everybody feels at home. The rooms are spacious which the guests found very comfortable and convenient. You have the space, you have all the facilities, you have a writing desk, a fully equipped kitchen, very big bathroom, very modern and very relaxing furniture and you have the view, which in the evening is very beautiful and this is what’s very relaxing to the guests. TA: You are very much familiar with the Rotana property, having served as the Area Sales & Marketing Director of Rotana Hotels. How would you describe Burjuman from the other Rotana properties? MEK: First the hotel itself, its location, the furniture is so trendy, so upscale and so rich in design. Second, the location is ideal being it connected to Burjuman Mall, one of the prestigious malls in Dubai. These are the main two and third, because it’s a hotel of Rotana, we have a good name in the market.

Good support and good presence. TA: Did it help that the hotel is connected to the mall? MEK: Yes, especially for families and leisure people. And second for businessman because once they are here and new to Dubai, with all the traffic and the Dubai situation, they don’t need to get a taxi to leave and to shop and to buy. It’s very convenient for individual and families. TA: Who are your main markets? MEK: International. We have British, European, German, Russian, Arabs, Lebanese, from GCC, it’s international, but Europeans mostly make up our guests. TA: Corporate or leisure? MEK: Corporate more than leisure. TA: Which market you’re trying to tap next? MEK: In terms of marketing and sales presence we’re all over but as a hotel we’re still trying to make our presence in the Middle East market. There’s a lot of potential to grow and to cover. There are a lot of cities where we need to be present. Rotana has 23 properties in the Middle East and we’re still planning to have another 23 or 25 in the next two to three years. We’re the fastest growing chain. TA: What’s the biggest challenge so far since opening the property? MEK: We have lots of challenges especially in the area. First the metro, the site construction, the traffic, these are the major challenges because people cannot reach the hotel easily. We are trying our best to provide taxis from our locations, contracting special service car companies to provide airport drop and the taxi services inside Dubai. The second challenge is the surrounding hotel next to us. Because we are perceived as a high standard hotel in terms of furniture, rate and services so comparing to the other hotel, we are the highest rate in the area. TA: But you’re the only five-star hotel in the area? MEK: Yes, in Bur Dubai. The other hotel (Dhow Palace Hotel) has a different clientele but they’re doing very well.

GM Fact File: How long have you been in the business? · I have 12 years of experience in the hotel industry, five years with Rotana. What do you like best about Rotana? · They take care about their people. It’s not like the big chains where people are just numbers. Here, we’re a family, we all know each other, and we always support each other. What brought you to the hospitality industry? · Curiosity, it started by liking the hotel. I’m not an hotelier graduate. I have a master’s degree in business marketing and management. But I like the segment and the services. I started to foresee that there’s a big development in this segment, big future.

What is your greatest achievement? · Having three or four hotel openings in around three years. Usually you have one opening in 5 or 6 year for any hotelier but from 2002 to 2007, I had like 5 or 6 openings so that’s good achievement and reaching the GM in a moderate age. What is your advice to those aspiring to be in the hotel industry? · I encourage them to pursue their dreams but they need to put their heart in their work, they should believe in what they do and they should like it. If you don’t like your job you can not excel, you can not perform, and you can not deliver. You need to focus and be dedicated and you always need to develop yourself, don’t wait for people to develop you.

It’s a five-star property also but it has a different perception from the client’s point of view.

because we are next to the mall where you have the food court, where you have all the restaurants.

TA: What outlets do you have in Burjuman Rotana? MEK: The Gallery is our restaurant and our coffee shop. We have a very good audience after we opened. It’s very convenient for us because we have seven meeting rooms plus the tower offices. It’s very convenient because we are the only unique restaurant to serve buffet and a la carte. The Gallery is opened from 6:30 a.m. till midnight. Guests can choose from a variety of special theme nights and can enjoy meals in the comfort of their rooms with 24 hour room service.

TA: How about spa facilities? MEK: Fitness First is connected to the hotel and our guests can use the services and its facilities. Fitness First is one of the biggest in the Middle East, having 5,000 sq.m and they will soon have a very Asian, five-star spa which our guests can also use.

TA: Are you planning to open any outlet in the future? MEK: Actually, there is no objection but we are having second thoughts

TA: What do you think lies for Burjuman in the future? MEK: We will maintain our status because once you reach the top, you need to maintain it and that’s very hard so by maintaining you need to work on your staff, your service, upgrading your services, your promotions, your offers, the product itself should be well maintained, always on tip top shape.

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Extraordinary Fashion Event at


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From independent boutiques to multicultural chic, WAFI offers a unique selection of fashion from leading design houses and emerging new designers. On 28th and 31st October, a series of fashion events were held to provide the opportunity to preview just a few of the rare and eclectic brands available at WAFI. Wafi has recently completed a period of major development across the site, which has resulted in the opening of a new retail extension, adding an extra 250,000sq ft of retail space and offering an additional 70shops to the existing retail mix, plus a 100,000sq ft department store from Salam, which also includes many new exclusive brands to Wafi and Dubai. “Wafi has always attracted stores that can provide something more special and eclectic and this major double-storey extension is introducing a host of esteemed brands, to complement its already distinctive product mix,” explained Mike Davidson, Property Director, Wafi Group. “We now offer nearly 350 stores and literally thousands of brands across the site and are proud to provide such a fashion event to showcase the rarity of Wafi”. The collections presented at the fashion shows were some of the world’s most original, and influential fashion brands, many of which are exclusive to WAFI. The classic luxury of Gerard Darel and Feraud, to the unconventional and edgy creations of Roccobarocco, 109 and Kitson, or the raw originality of Ginger & Lace and Desert Rose, to the glamour of Unrath & Strano, St John and Escada. FACEStockholm provided the artists and makeup for all the shows.

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Southern Sun’s Qamardeen Hotel, located in Burj Dubai’s Old Town has recently introduced a regular Cheese and Wine evening offering the crème de la crème of cheeses, an array of exotic condiments and the very finest old and new world wines. The Cheese and Wine evenings are held in the Lobby Lounge of Qamardeen Hotel three nights per week on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays where lounge-style music is played in the background. The unique and refreshing concept is already getting weekends in Dubai off to a sparkling start. CD Kotze, Food & Beverage Manager for Qamardeen and Al Manzil Hotels believes the Cheese and Wine soiree at Qamardeen will become a part of Dubai’s culture. “Our aim is for the Cheese and Wine evening at Qamardeen to become the place where people unwind and relax on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night and start and end the weekend in a relaxed and trendy environment,” said CD. A selection of the finest red and white wines are available. “Wines will be in-line with Qamardeen’s own charm and will be young, trendy, funky and memorable,” said CD. With a distinctive contemporary Arabesque feel and style, a vivacious colour-scheme and sumptuous furnishings, the Cheese and Wine evenings suits the spirit of Qamardeen perfectly. The Cheese and Wine display brims with mouth-watering European cheeses such as Camembert terroir du Cotentin, Bleu de Laqueuille, Roquefort, Gorgonzola and Ricotta. The condiments include handmade French butter, mango chutney, pear and fig comfit as well as black and green Olive Tapenade. Sweet and savoury items also feature in the immaculate display. Homemade Goat & Feta Cheese pralines with herbal coating, Spinach and Camembert tart, Quiche Lorraine, Taleggio with Ruccola and Walnut tart and cheese croissants with goat cheese and herbs provide a superb perfect entrée accompanied by delectable breads such as rye, pumpernickel, walnut and black olive. Crackers and vegetable sticks as well as grapes and succulent strawberries are also available for those who are watching their waistline. Several diminutive delights such as the legendary Italian dessert, tiramisu and mango and rasberry cheesecake provide a sweet ending. The Cheese and Wine Evenings at the Lobby Lounge, Qamardeen Hotel costs 85 AED per person and is available every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening from 6 - 9pm..

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Thiptara & Asado & Ewaan

The Palace, The Old Town

This festive season will see The Palace’s three fine dining restaurants celebrate uniquely, by serving their traditional cuisines right through the New Year, with a festive flair to match the joyful season. Thiptara, translated “Magic at the Water” will bring fire to the cool season. Upon entering the thematic restaurant, you will be greeted with the traditional Thai welcome – a huge smile and ‘wai’ – the palms of the hands pressed together. Housed in a contemporary modern exterior, Thiptara provides a truly traditional Thai ambience, sweetened by the delicate melodies that are played by the restaurant’s Thai musician. Thiptara serves the authentic Sukothai cuisine with a special emphasis on Bangkok style seafood, which is specially selected from the restaurant’s live aquarium. The chef’s signature dish is Pla Nuang Manow – steamed whole fish glazed with herbs and topped with a spicy garlic lemon sauce. A swanky bar also stands out in a room adjacent to the main dining room; exotic cocktails, mocktails and fine wines can be enjoyed by guests at the specially created bamboo bar. Thiptara is undeniably Dubai’s first Thai fine dining restaurant. Open exclusively for dinner only, the restaurant adopts an elegant dress code and offers guests the perfect evening, with

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mesmerising night-time views of the lake and the World’s tallest tower – Burj Dubai. Asado is The Palace’s Argentinean concept restaurant that serves up the traditional La Parilla cuisine. With a cavern-line interior, dark red floors and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the lake and Souk Al Bahar, Asado’s rugged ambience is fitting for the traditionally Argentinean fare. The cuisine owes its speciality to the premium meat cuts that are prepared on a live pit – asador criollo – in the centre of the restaurant. Cabrito (Baby Goat) is the house special, specially selected from the south of Argentina and slowly roasted on the grill for six to seven hours. The meat is then served with a choice of two sauces, Salsa Criolla – mixed peppers with oil or Chimichurri – basil and oil with a hint of spice. The mouth-watering food, wide selection of Argentinean and new country wines from the Bodega (Wine Cellar) and tango music and dancers ensure that all guests feel like they are dining in a typical Argentinean country farmhouse. Asado is also pleased to accommodate any private festive celebrations in one of two secluded dining rooms. Ewaan is the third fine dining restaurant featuring at The Palace. Open throughout the day, the restaurant offers guests the option of sampling the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean live buffet or the à la carte. Savour seasonal delicacies as 2008 comes to a close. Ewaan also accommodates traditional private dining rooms for guests looking for a little seclusion. All of The Palace’s restaurants offer guests the option of dining outdoors, with enviable locations beside the Burj Dubai Lake and stunning views of the Burj Dubai. From royal Christmas lunches and dinners to a majestic New Years Eve under the starry sky, celebrate in truly palatial style with friends and family at The Palace, The Old Town.

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Traditional Polynesian terrace with a fantastic view A perfect place to unwind, entertain and experience with beautiful sounds from the sea and a spectacular view to match. Wakataua terrace is situated next to the beach with gentle waves lapping from the Arabian Gulf. With a picturesque view and an exquisite, relaxing ambiance - it is a great way to spend your evening after a long strenuous day or enjoy an intriguing evening over the weekend. Wakataua Terrace is a chillout outdoors cocktail terrace with instrumental live music and a chic range of cocktails married with our kai (nosh) nibbles to complement, bursting with flavour and friendly

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service, just as if you were vacationing on a pacific island surrounded by palms and fresh breeze. The location is one of the limited areas in Abu Dhabi that can be classed as a “hot spot. Wakataua Terrace is a pacific theme cocktail terrace bar. The beverages are bright, cheerful, and not blended as the rule, with fresh fruit garnishes a must and syrups are prepared to well guarded secret recipes. Enjoy great specials such as the Cast Away and Volcanic Bubbles, and cool off with specially made cocktails, such as the Wakataua Sunset and Pacific Cosmo, that refresh your body and mind. Many

regulars have embraced the reinvention of Wakataua and many new guests are becoming regulars, the clientele are overjoyed with what Wakataua has to offer but visit to enjoy your own Pacific Rim experience. Wakataua is located in Méridien Village, a unique sense of outdoor environment surrounded by exceptional combination of 14 restaurants and beverage outlets offering various cuisines from around the world boasting its relaxing indoor and outdoor seating with friendly service. Wakataua Terrace is open daily from 17:00 till 01:30 hrs. Kai will be available from 18:00 hrs.

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DUBAI First we make the world revolve around you‌.Then we gently slow it down

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Water trickling over pebbles, ancient wood carvings and mystical artifacts - The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai brings the ambiance of nature>s exotic eastern gardens to The Spa and creates an environment where one may relax and unwind. The spa environment and therapists provide a calm, tranquil and soothing atmosphere which transports guests to deep relaxation and overall wellbeing. The spirit of nurturing, caring, and enhancement of physical and spiritual levels can be perceived in all the guest sees, smells and touches. Therapists deliver signature services as only The Ritz-Carlton can deliver. Theme The decor of the purpose-built Spa reflects a Balinese influence, with much of the furniture and artwork coming from the island. Soothing colours of ivory, cream and pale yellow contrast with the natural wooden floors. With these earth tones in mind, exclusive designs are used for the spa’s sarongs, robes and body wraps and incorporated into the Balinese style uniforms of the staff. The Balinese theme is also evident in many of the treatments and therapies that are performed by seven highly skilled male and female masseuses. These include the Balinese Boreh massage and the Javanese Lulur Body Ritual. Presenting an extensive palette of treatments, The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Dubai honours cultures from every corner of the earth to offer the ultimate spa experience. Famed European brand Carita and organic range Bella Lucce combine to offer facials and body treatments that rival the best in the world. Carita Located at 11 Rue due Faubourg Saint-Honore, France, La Maison de Beaute Carita was and continues to be a sanctuary of luxury and elegance. The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Dubai stays true to the vision of Caritas’s founders, offering a sophisticated spa oasis in the heart of Dubai. Carita’s exquisite treatments are born from a passion to offer the very best. A unique fusion of science and nature lies at the heart of these

luxurious and highly effective facials, giving the ultimate rejuvenation and anti-aging skincare experience. Carita’s exclusive “Pro-lifting” equipment is the result of intensive research and represents a major breakthrough in skin care technology. It offers anti-aging benefits which are immediately visible after your very first treatment and must be experienced to be fully appreciated. Bella Lucce Founded in late 2003, Bella Lucce was born from its creator’s desire for a more natural approach to beauty. Bella Luccè unlocks the secret to exquisite skin by sourcing some of the most exotic ingredients on the planet: Rhassoul clay mined beneath the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, Alaea sea salts harvested in Hawaii, organic shea butter imported from Ghana and Manuka honey collected in New Zealand. Raw materials from 26 countries on 6 continents have been incorporated to create a decadent collection of innovative, organic-infused, luxurykissed products. Treatments The Naturally Blissful range is a set of unique treatments that can only be experienced at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Dubai. These treatments are designed to soothe and improve body, mind and soul. The range of products used are all organic and are free of preservatives yet result orientated and senses will be stimulated with the fresh aromas. All Naturally Blissful Rituals are inclusive of a 50 minute full body massage.

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are removed using the strawberries and cream scrub and body masque. Stresses melt away with the relaxing full body massage to complete the treatment. 1hr 50 minutes – 650Dhs

Pumpkin & Cinnamon Body Glow Skin will tingle while it’s being exfoliated with a warming body scrub, buffing off any dried and dead skin cells. The scrub is removed with steamed towels and the fresh pumpkin mask is applied. Pumpkin is a natural source of Beta Carotene and active enzymes, renewing tired skin and dissolving impurities and toxins. Wrapped in a warm cocoon of zingy aromas, guests are treated to a comforting scalp massage. After a refreshing shower one will enjoy a massage of rich sweet smelling French Sugared Vanilla and Honey body cream to hydrate skin, release tension and leave a long lasting fragrance on the skin. 1hour 50 minutes – 650 Dhs Wild Berry Body Buff This uses a combination of fresh berries that will stimulate senses while the aroma of fresh strawberries and raspberries fill the air. Skin will enjoy a hydrating treatment while impurities

Festive Treatments for the Season Sparkle like a golden fairy or relive Christmas childhood memories with the scent of gingerbread and cinnamon. Be literally covered in gold, 24carat gold no less! The 24 Carat Gold Massage begins with a revitalising and stimulating exfoliation, leaving the skin smoothed and moisturised before the body is massaged with a satin smooth body oil and 24-carat gold dust. This shimmering massage is the perfect accessory for any Christmas or New Year’s party dress! Not only great for making Christmas cookies, gingerbread spiked with cinnamon and spice is an ideal ingredient for dissolving and eliminating expired cells to give an entire body a holiday glow. The Gingerbread Spice Body Cocoon will give an inner warmth and glow that will reflects the Christmas spirit. This is an exclusive treatment that is not available anywhere else in the country. While spicy festive aromas infuse the air, skin will be buffed with a Ginger and Cinnamon Sugar Scrub, removing any dry and dead skin

cells to leave skin glowing and tingling. The Sugar Scrub is a delicious medley of natural oils, organic shea butter and pure cane sugar with cocoa powder and a sprinkling of real cinnamon. A warm ginger body mask will then be applied before one is cocooned in warm blankets, enjoying a special pressurepoint scalp massage. Once the mask is absorbed, the sweet smelling ginger cream body lotion is applied along with a one hour full body massage, the skin-loving indulgences of real honey, pure silk, exotic butters, nourishing organic oils and a select blend of fruit extracts working their magic and leaving an ultimate sense of well-being and warmth. The experience can even be taken home as Gingerbread boxes of goodies

are available to buy at The Spa as a sweet treat! The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. currently operates 67 hotels in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Among the 33 new hotels currently under development are sites in Dublin, Tokyo, Lake Tahoe, and the Bahamas. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice won the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award which recognizes outstanding customer service from the U.S. Department of Commerce. For information or reservations, visit The RitzCarlton Web site at or call the toll free reservations number in Bahrain 800-00995, Egypt 02 510 0200, Istanbul 00800 4491 1137, Jordan 0800 22010, Kuwait 632 9988, Lebanon 800 432 5965, Qatar 0800 97115, Saudi Arabia 800 8971 435 or UAE 800 4789.

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DTCM Honour

127 Employees

DTCM Director General Khalid A bin Sulayem with the group of employees who were honoured for their long services at a ceremony in Dubai on November 21.

The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) honoured 127 of its employees who have completed more than five to 15 years of service with the department in addition to the winners of Hawafez, in-house staff incentives scheme. The DTCM Director General, Mr. Khalid A bin Sulayem, presented certificates and mementos to the selected staff at a ceremony held at the Sheraton Creek Hotel on Wednesday, November 21. Also present were DTCM Executive Director Human Resources and Training Solutions, Mr. Ibrahim Yaqoot, and DTCM Executive Director Media Relations and Acting Director Business Development, Mr. Eyad Ali Abdul Rahman. Mr. bin Sulayem praised the commitment and dedication of the employees towards their work which in turn made the department an employer of choice. Also honoured on the occasion were the winners of Hawafez, an inhouse incentives

scheme for employees. Since its launch in the year 2004, the Hawafez incentives scheme has been honouring competent staff members for their excellent performance and hard work. The scheme honours the employees under the Best Employee, Distinguished Supporting Employee, Distinguished Supervisor, Best Customer Service and Best Group/Team work categories. Over the years, the Hawafez scheme has proved to be a huge success as it has been rewarding employees for their additional efforts and contributions in attaining higher standards of customer services. The scheme has been received very well by the staff as it has been a motivating factor in their individualistic effort in achieving excellence, raising of morale and encouraging team work besides qualifying them to represent the department’s mission as per the goals set out by the Dubai government.

‘Airline of the Year’ flies to

the Gold Coast

Sheraton Bahrain Hotel welcomes new food & beverage manager Sheraton Bahrain Hotel announced the appointment of Mr. Michael Naber as the Food & Beverage Manager for the property. In his role as the Food & Beverage Manager at Sheraton Bahrain Hotel, Mr. Naber endeavors to innovate and expand the F&B offerings, enhance the top customer service, nurture talent and focus upon the career development of team members by creating and leveraging opportunities within the organization. Having graduated from German Hotel Specialist Training, Mr. Naber began his career with Penta Hotel Heidelberg, Germany. He then went on to work for several leading hotels in Germany, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and UK. With his rich experience in the Food & Beverage industry, Mr. Naber has a proven track record of improving standards, good leadership qualities and excellent customer relations. Mr. Naber’s last appointment was with Crowne Plaza Hotel Marlow, UK before he became a part of the team at Sheraton Bahrain Hotel.

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The Gold Coast rolled out the red carpet to welcome low cost long-haul Malaysian carrier - AirAsia X - on its first official flight from Kuala Lumpur (KL). AirAsia X operates four direct return flights per week between KL and the Gold Coast serviced by the airline’s A330-300 aircraft. The 315 passengers - including high level Malaysian Government officials, media and VIP guests - were greeted at Gold Coast Airport with a special celebration including a guard of honour from local Surf Lifesavers, Dreamworld theme park characters and koalas from Currumbin Sanctuary. CEO of AirAsia X, Azran OsmanRani said “The access to Gold Coast means a lot to us as this route will open more opportunities to enhance both hubs with greater international links in the region. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is the gateway to over 80 exotic and cosmopolitan destinations on AirAsia’s network, including Bangkok, Phuket, Langkawi, Sabah and Bali. Gold Coast is also the gateway to destinations within Queensland and Northern New South Wales. Our service is a low-cost option into Brisbane area where there are multiple daily connecting flights to Sydney, Melbourne, and New Zealand. The inaugural flight was sold out and we

have already recorded a strong demand in November’s load of 70 %.” Azran added “The response has been overwhelming since we opened for sale on 29th September 2007. With the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 going in full swing, we are convinced that more Australians will want to take advantage of our unbeatable low fares as it enables them to enjoy more savings to visit our richly diverse region.” Sir Richard Branson, stakeholder of AirAsia X stated “I wish I could be there to join the wonderful AirAsia X team on their inaugural flight from Kuala Lumpur to the Gold Coast, one of my favourite destinations in the world. I hope that as many people as possible have the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful service and friendly team at AirAsia X as I know that they will make any flying experience a very enjoyable one.” The airline will be accommodated in Gold Coast Airport’s main terminal building and would move into the airport’s expanded terminal once completed. AirAsia X is an affiliate of AirAsia, a Malaysian low cost carrier launched in December 2001 currently operating the largest and most modern fleet of A320s on short haul routes throughout Asia. IndoChina, Indonesia, Southern China and India in the near future.

Winners of

Concierge of the Year 2007

Mahmoud Chamchame of Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah was declared Concierge of the Year 2007, whilst Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah won the Best Concierge Team 2007 overall. Concierge of The Year 2007 has been a thrilling competition with many twists and turns. There were 32 competing teams from the 5 star hotels in Dubai participating in this event sponsored by Wafi, in conjunction with the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. Over 55,000dhs was awarded in prize money plus specially designed trophies and certificates presented by Ibrahim Yaqoot, Executive Director for Training Solutions for the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and Abdulla BinHussain, Director of Local Affairs & Marketing, Wafi Group of Companies and the sponsors, Concierge Magazine, Castaway Cards and Big Bus Company. Mahmoud won the title and will receive a total of Dhs 12,000 as a cash reward from Wafi plus attendance at UICH Conference 2008 in Copenhagen

and a trophy with a certificate. Mahmoud took the Most Caring Concierge Award last year and has continued his development until his success as Concierge of the Year 2007, which is excellent progress for his future career. Al Qasr won the overall Best ConciergeTeam Award and received Dhs20,000 in cash, plus a trophy. Other winners include: • Isaac David from Jebel Ali Hotel won the First Class Customer Care due to his high score in the Mystery Shopping of 94%. This award is sponsored by Concierge Magazine. • Rodel Emedes from Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Beach also scored 94% for Mystery Shopping and he won the Outstanding Knowledge of Culture & Heritage award due to his excellent knowledge of UAE’s heritage. He received 2500dhs prize money sponsored by Big Bus Company. • Gerardo from Ritz Carlton Dubai proved himself to have Outstanding Knowledge of Attractions & Events due to his helpfulness and knowledge to assist tourists and to plan a varied vacation in Dubai. His prize of 2500dhs with a certificate was sponsored by Castaway Cards. • Roy Aljentiera from Movenpick Dubai had high scores in both Mystery Shopping and his presentation, which showed his positive attitude towards the guests. This gave him the Exceptional Positive Attitude Award. • The winner of the Head Concierge

of the Year is Janos Dioszegi from Grand Hyatt Dubai. He achieved the title due to his creativity and being focussed on customers’ needs. • Special Judges Award was grasped by Hyatt Regency Dubai since their team got the highest overall score in their presentations displaying with a high team spirit of participation during the competition. • Shiva Kumar from Al Bustan Rotana won the Judges Award for an Individual due to the highest score for Mystery Shopping as a Head Concierge. • The winners for the Judges Team Award were Jumeirah Beach Hotel as a result of their steady overall Mystery Shopping scores. The Concierge of the Year Awards 2007 were presented following months of research by mystery guests, who visited all 35 properties at least six times each and allocated points for various skills and attitudes. All of the awards were allocated on the basis of the results from the mystery shopper reports, the results of a quiz and individual presentations by all participating hotels.

Jeddah FAM Trip to Dubai As part of an ongoing effort to promote Dubai as a top class tourist destination and create increased awareness of the emirate’s attractions in key target markets around the world, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing has assisted the visit of tour managers, supervisors and consultants from various Travel Agencies in Saudi Arabia during the month of November. Burjuman Rotana Suites has arranged different site inspections for different groups followed by a sumptuous lunch at The Gallery restaurant. The schedule started by a Welcoming note of the General Manager Mrad El Khoury and then the tour of the property. After the tour, the group enjoyed their lunch at The Gallery restaurant with the Sales and Marketing team of Burjuman Rotana Suites. The guests enjoyed exquisite treats from the splendid buffet specially created to please everyone’s taste. The aim of DTCM is to position Dubai as the leading tourism destination and commercial hub in the world and to strengthen the Dubai economy.

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Taste of Armenia at the Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi As a continuation of the series of innovative and creative events planned for 2007 by the General Manager of the Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi Mr. Moine Kandil, along with H.E.Vahagn Melikian, the Armenian Ambassador, a cultural extravaganza week took place in Abu Dhabi called “ Taste of Armenia”. Every part of the outlets of the Millennium was transformed into a little piece of Armenia. Cultural performances by prominent singers of high ranking awards, live jazz band, dance group, tantalizing food from their cuisine, art exhibition by painter Zara Gasparian, gala dinner and the National Day on the occasion of the 16th. Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Armenia under the Patronage of Mrs. Nani Oskanian, spouse of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia. Mr. Kandil explained that by contributing to such special happenings, you convey the cultural and historical heritage and spirit of the country and its people to the UAE nationals and expatriates which definitely strengthens the communication bond between the two countries and that is why he will keep on generously supporting and continuing assisting such kind of events that have a societal impact.

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Maurice Flanagan, Executive Vice Chairman - Emirates Airline & Group, together with Gary Chapman, Emirates President Group Services and Dnata; and Iain Andrew, Divisional Senior Vice President with representatives of the seven airline customers celebrating 40 years of GSA partnership with Dnata Travel Services.

Dnata honours 40 years of partnership Dnata Travel Services celebrated 40 years of GSA partnership with seven airline customers at the Dubai Air Show. Maurice Flanagan, Executive Vice Chairman - Emirates Airline & Group, together with Gary Chapman, Emirates President Group Services and Dnata; and Iain Andrew, Divisional Senior Vice President, honoured this long-standing relationship with their airline customers by hosting a commemorative ceremony. Mr. Flanagan acknowledged this milestone in the local travel industry and expressed his thanks to representatives of each customer airline. He also presented a specially-commissioned souvenir to each airline customer representative, as a token of appreciation and to recognise the deep and longstanding relationship between them and Dnata Travel Services, the region’s largest provider of travel management services. Dnata’s partnerships with Air India, British Airways, Gulf Air, Iran Air, Kuwait Airways, Middle East Airlines and Pakistan International Airlines, were signed in 1966 - the first year of Dnata’s operation as a general sales agent. Mr. Flanagan said: “We extend our deep thanks to our airline partners. In an ever-changing and increasingly competitive travel market, we are grateful

to our partners who have stuck with us through thick and thin for forty years. The longevity of these partnerships testify to the commitment from both Dnata and our customers to work together for mutual success.” Mark Turner, Head of Airline Affairs, Dnata Travel Services added: “The role of the traditional GSA is changing but for the time being will continue to play a pivotal role in supporting airlines maximise their revenues through  well crafted distribution and marketing strategies. We make an ideal partner for new entrants to the region who are able to access and capitalise on our regional retail and corporate network as well as local expertise to quickly grow market share.” Personalise souvenirs of appreciation were presented to: Paul Starrs, Area Commercial Manager, U.A.E, M.E. & Pakistan, British Airways, Freddie Vaz, Regional Head, Air India, Noman Shah, Manager U.A.E & ME, Pakistan International Airlines, M. Mehdi Oskounejad, Area Manager UAE, Iran Air, Othman Othman, Regional Director, Kuwait Airways, Mahfood Al Harthy, Gulf Regional General Manager, Gulf Air and Nizar Khoury, Head of Commercial, Middle East Airlines. 

Landmark of luxury launched at

Dubai Festival City

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) have launched three brand new properties at the Creek side in Dubai Festival City. The elegant InterContinental Dubai Festival City, superior upscale Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City and lavish long-stay InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Festival City are the latest luxury hotels to open in Dubai. The soft launch of the InterContinental took place earlier in November, to be shortly followed by the Crowne Plaza and InterContinental Residence Suites this December. These magnificent properties have gone from concept to completion in just three years, becoming iconic landmarks on the city skyline. The project is the largest in the history of IHG; having three properties open simultaneously within the same location is a first for the group. The 36 floor InterContinental Dubai Festival City has become a visually iconic example of modern architecture on the outside and has been beautifully furnished inside. The new hotel managed by Dieter Franke includes a total of 500 ultra stylish rooms,

including 121 Suites, 3 Presidential Suites and one Royal Suite. InterContinental Dubai Festival City has sports and recreational facilities dedicated to fulfil the needs of any traveller on offer, whether they desire a full work-out session, or simply to unwind, relax and enjoy themselves. The leisure deck includes an outdoor 25 metre pool, children’s splash pool and three outdoor spa pools, and the state of the art gym will sport the latest fitness equipment including the Kinesis ‘free weights’ range. For those who prefer to relax when travelling, Spa InterContinental will feature 700 square metres of wellness facilities including eight treatment suites and two VIP couples spa suites. After opening in December, a variety of treatments will be available from experienced therapists, including holistic therapies infusing unique Arabic and Asian techniques. Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City, managed by Pascal Eggerstedt, hosts 316 superior upscale guest rooms and suites over 19 floors, most with panoramic views over Dubai Creek. The hotel

includes a fully equipped gym with sauna and steam rooms, and its own leisure deck featuring a 25 metre outdoor pool with spa pools overlooking the beautiful views of Dubai. InterContinental Dubai Festival City and Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City share an impressive 3,800 square metre (40,660 square feet) Event Centre across two levels. This space also has the option of splitting into 8 break-out rooms to provide additional meeting space for smaller functions. The Event Centre is able to service anything from smaller VIP board meetings to a reception style banquet catering up to 1600 guests, with direct access to either InterContinental or Crowne Plaza. InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Festival City, managed by Steven Greenwood, just minutes along the Creek from InterContinental Dubai Festival City is an extended stay hotel with the feel of a home. 212 rooms made up of studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments are found within the iconic building. Residents can benefit from a range of InterContinental services, such as complete maid and laundry service as well as 24 hour room service and concierge. A swimming pool and gym are also available for residents. Opening three hotels within a mixed-use project has great advantages for guests of InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental Residence Suites. As both the InterContinental and Crowne Plaza are internally connected to the Festival Waterfront Centre, the 550 retail outlets and 90 restaurants and cafés are just a minutes’ walk away. Two 18-hole championship golf courses are also close to hand, as is a scenic stroll along the waterfront promenade, connecting to the 100 berth Festival Marina. The opening of these new hotels promises to be something worth celebrating.

Luxury accommodation in Deira, Dubai Millennium Burooj Suites Hotel Apartments is scheduled to open during the last quarter of 2007 in the Port Saeed area of Deira; just 5 minutes walk from the shopping and entertainment complex, Deira City Center and the picturesque Dubai Creek. As a luxury all-suite hotel in the Millennium Hotels & Resorts portfolio, Millennium Burooj Suites Hotel Apartments offers business and family guests superbly spacious and well equipped accommodations for a short or long term visit to Dubai, together with a delightfully convenient location in the heart of the city’s shopping and commercial district. With quick and easy access to the Dubai International Airport, business and leisure centres in Deira as well as smooth access to the Bur Dubai and Jumeirah side of the city via the newly

opened Floating Bridge, Millennium Burooj Suites also offers spectacular panoramic views of the Dubai Creek and its surrounding parks. Developed by Burooj Properties, a wholly owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Millennium Burooj Suites represents the first of several residential hotels to be announced by the developer. According to General Manager, Mr Reda Moukthar, “All-suite hotels are growing in popularity in the region due to the flexibility of the accommodations and additional facilities offered to guests whether on business or pleasure; in addition, Millennium Burooj Suites embraces the traditional values of Islamic hospitality, ensuring that all guests’ needs are catered for, whilst providing the excellence in service for which Millennium Hotels are recognised throughout the world. Arabic

hospitality in a contemporary modern environment, enhanced by a highly respected management company is a primary focus of the newly appointed management team at Millennium Burooj Suites.”

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Air Arabia to acquire Airbus A320 aircraft Air Arabia (PJSC), the first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) in the Middle East and North Africa, has signed an agreement with Airbus for the acquisition of up to 49 A320 aircraft. The carrier has signed a firm contract for 34 Airbus A320 aircraft with an option for 15 more. The deal, whose total book value approaches US$3.5 billion at list prices, will more than triple the size of Air Arabia’s fleet, and underlines its stated ambition to increase its total operating fleet to over 50 aircraft by 2015 and become a worldleading airline. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani, Chairman, Air Arabia, said the

RAK Airways flies to Beirut RAK Airways – the UAE’s fourth national carrier – made its inaugural flight to Beirut last 29th November. The full-service airline will also launch flights to Colombo, Sofia and Dhaka. Launched under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince & Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. RAK Airways also plans to unveil more destinations, including cities in India, Nepal, Qatar and Tanzania, within three months as part of an ambitious growth strategy. Ticket sales for the first four destinations start today and tickets can be obtained from authorised travel agents as well as online via the airline’s website ( and travel portals. Captain Khalid Almeer, Chief Operating Officer of RAK Airways, said: “It is matter of great privilege for me to announce that RAK Airways is flying to Beirut, Sofia, Colombo and Dhaka. Catering to all passenger segments, RAK Airways will be operating Boeing 757s for its start-up operations.” He added that RAK Airways will operate three weekly flights to Beirut – in addition to three weekly flights to Dhaka, three flights a week to Colombo and a once-a-week flight to Sofia. Captain Khalid continued: “As part of our growth strategy in the region, we will launch our operations

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to destinations in India, Nepal, Qatar and Tanzania over the next two to three months. However, our first objective is to grow and establish RAK Airways in the Middle East.” He added that RAK Airways plans to acquire six to eight narrow-bodied aircraft within the next two years, covering about 20 destinations within the Gulf, South Asia, Middle East and East Africa. The airline plans to undertake trans-continental flights over the next two to three years. Referring to market demand, Captain Khalid commented: “As per the Industry sources, air traffic in the UAE is estimated to grow at the rate of 15 per cent per annum and the trends are promising. Ras Al Khaimah has a strong traffic base and we will tap into that. We estimate approximately one million passengers a year and the annual projected growth over the next two- three years is 20 per cent.” RAK Airways also announced that its tickets would be competitively priced. “We will not create conditions for a fare war. We will respect industry norms with regard to pricing policies,” summed up Captain Khalid. The launch of RAK Airways is aimed at supporting the economic development of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, as it embarks upon an ambitious expansion programme.

decision to choose the Airbus A320 reflects the company’s objectives in continuously providing the best value for money services in the region. “Our vision is to be one of the world’s leading low-cost carriers in terms of profit margins, innovation, reputation and operational excellence. Having the A320 at the heart of our fleet is the best and quickest way we can achieve this. The aircraft has an outstanding success record throughout the world and is ideal for our needs and those of our customers,” he said. “We are pleased Air Arabia is expanding with our A320 Family. The decision reflects the technological superiority of the A320, as well as the wider fuselage for operational efficiency and added passenger comfort with increased storage volume. The aircraft has the lowest operating costs in its class,” Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO, said. Air Arabia already operates 11 leased A320s, and serves a network of 37 destinations across the Middle East, North Africa, Indian Subcontinent and Central Asia. Launched in 2003 and based in Sharjah, Air Arabia has served more than 5 million passengers over the past four years.

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Dubai to welcome Westin’s signature hospitality The city of Dubai is ready to experience a unique brand of hospitality with the imminent launch of The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina. Scheduled to open mid March 2008, the flagship Westin property in the UAE signals several distinctive standards in contemporary hospitality. Apart from its famed brand of hospitality, Westin properties around the world are known for its inspiring architecture, thoughtfully designed interiors, and signature products and services. Modelled on the same lines as its international counterparts, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina will combine the benefits of its excellent location and stunning design, with superior services and amenities – in order to offer guests a personal experience. Explaining the concept and associations of the brand, Complex General Manager Michael Scully says that around the world, Westin is synonymous with innovative and comprehensive services that encompass the entire guest experience, including welcome and departure, and the duration of their stay. “Personalised guest service is truly the hallmark of the Westin brand and among our many innovations are the ‘Heavenly’ line of services and amenities. In each of the 31 countries that we operate in, Westin has established a strong

tradition of anticipating guests needs, then meeting and exceeding them - effortlessly and efficiently. At The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina, we are geared to follow the same traditions, as we converge hospitality experiences from different parts of the world, as well a creating a unique outlook on entertainment and lifestyle experiences,” he stated. Scully said the intrinsic strengths of the Westin team in Dubai would also do much to bolster the brand’s reputation for superior services. Their extensive experience covers a cross-cultural understanding of operations, guest relationship management, and client servicing, Scully explained. “Our international standards and local strengths are

SAS launches non-stop thrice-weekly

Dubai-Copenhagen service

(From left to right): Magnus Engstrom, Mohammed Ahmad Bin Ghannam and Per Moller Jensen Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), the leading carrier in Northern Europe and the fourth largest airline group in Europe, has launched a non-stop, thrice-weekly service from Dubai to the Danish capital, Copenhagen – the first to directly link the UAE with Scandinavia. The move comes

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as the airline targets the Middle East as a new growth market. “There is huge potential for SAS to regionally develop further as other GCC countries such as Oman and Bahrain are also becoming popular leisure and business destinations for Nordic travellers,” said Per Moller Jensen, Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, SAS. “The Middle East will play an integral role in our new 2011 strategy, which includes growing our international network as well as developing new concepts for both leisure and business travel. The aviation industry is changing rapidly and we want to continue to be at the forefront in terms of giving passengers the best service and the most attractive destinations.” The new SAS service started operation in November 1 until the end of March next year from Dubai

a formidable combination, and guests will have much to look forward to, during their stay with us in Dubai.” The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina will offer the full array of Westin’s signature products, services and amenities including The Heavenly Bed®, The Heavenly Shower®, WestinWORKOUT Powered by Reebok Gym®, Kids Club®, Express Checkout®, and the new Sensory Welcome®, comprising white tea scents, muted music, soft lighting and botanical products. The property will feature 294 rooms, including 216 deluxe rooms, 52 Westin Executive rooms, and 24 suites, apart from a spa, a health club, and three themed restaurants. State-of-the-art conference and banqueting facilities include an 8,999 square feet ballroom, an Italian designed conference centre with 10 meeting rooms, an outdoor beachside amphitheatre, and a variety of lawn and barbecue locations accommodating up to 5,000 guests.

International Airport every Monday, Thursday and Sunday on a wide-bodied, 245-seater Airbus A340 with a three-class configuration – SAS Business, Economy Extra and Economy Class. The 6 hour 30 minute flight to Copenhagen accommodates 46 passengers in SAS Business Class, 28 in Economy Extra and 171 in Economy Class. SAS Business Class is equipped with SAS Business Sleeper seats with a 170-degree decline; Economy Extra is SAS’ economy premium concept which comes in a 2-3-2 seat configuration with wider seats and increased leg space as well as video screens with audio/video-on-demand. Economy Extra passengers are entitled to checkin at Business Class counters. Economy Class also has individual video screens in all seats. Bookings and further information on SAS are available on-line at To download SAS International’s new media kit, high-res images and for the latest press releases, please visit

First Airline in the World to be powered by Gas-based Fuel

Key partners host a press conference at the Dubai Air Show to announce the GTL initiative. Qatar Airways entered into a landmark agreement with key players across the aviation, fuel and educational sectors to power its aircraft with natural gas. The revolutionary move would see Qatar Airways become the first commercial airline in the world to operate flights using gas-to-liquids kerosene fuel – seen as the technology of the future that will be environmentally friendly, helping to significantly reduce carbon emissions and reduce the impact on climate change. A Letter of Intent was signed at the Dubai Air Show to investigate fuelrelated benefits of using Synthetic Jet Fuels to power aviation turbine engines. Qatar Airways has been joined by Qatar Petroleum, Shell, Airbus, Rolls Royce, Qatar Science & Technology Park and Woqod (Qatar Fuel Company) for the intensive study to be carried out over the next few years. During the ‘Working Together Agreement’, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker spoke of how the global spotlight was firmly on the most sensitive issue facing the world – that of the need to be more environmentally responsible. “There is a huge movement lobbying for the reduction in carbon emissions to make for a cleaner and safer environment,” he said. “The aviation industry has been at the centre of this highly topical debate. We as industry leaders gathered here at this press conference are committed to this cause

and today’s move highlights how serious we take this important issue.” “Together with our partners, we will all work in close collaboration to study the use of synthetic jet fuels, or GTL kerosene in our drive towards a cleaner and safer world. And we at Qatar Airways look onward to becoming the first airline in the world to power commercial aircraft with natural gas.” Qatar Airways currently operates one of the world’s youngest and fuel-efficient fleet of 58 all-Airbus aircraft, and was highly committed to the development of environmentally-friendly synthetic fuel for commercial aviation. The consortium’s research will focus on the benefits of using GTL kerosene, with particular emphasis on improved air quality, fuel economy and reduced carbon emissions in an around airports and at cruising altitude. Training and research will be carried out at the state-of-the-art facilities within the Qatar Science and Technology Park, a world-class education and research centre run under the auspices of Qatar Foundation. Qatar Petroleum and Shell are currently building a multi-billion dollar, world class, fully integrated gas-to-liquids complex, which is set to transform the State of Qatar into the GTL capital of the world. GTL kerosene will be an important component of the Pearl GTL project, intended to be marketed as a natural gas derived synthetic component for jet fuel.

Sofitel Luxury Hotels reveals its strategic plan

Sofitel Luxury Hotels has revealed its ambitious strategic plan to elevate the brand into the premium-end of the international luxury hotel market. The brand aims to become a new global reference in international luxury hotels between now and 2010, and will become the first European luxury hotel brand. The new Sofitel creates unique contemporary luxury hotels and resorts in the world’s most attractive destinations, by the artful blending of its French origins and the very best of local cultures. Sofitel Luxury Hotels will broaden its luxury offer with the creation of two sister brands to address niche segments in the luxury market: Sofitel Legend, a collection of unique legendary properties with exclusive services, destined for travellers seeking the ultimate luxury experience; and So by Sofitel, a creative, edgy and stylish offer dedicated to a new generation of guests. Yann Caillère, CEO, Sofitel and Member of the Accor Executive Committee, said: “The Sofitel network is being completely reviewed through a robust program to re-shape our current network and to upgrade each of our hotels through extensive renovation and refurbishment and aim to improve our presence in North America, Europe, Russia, North Africa, Middle East and Asia. By 2010, we will have a very consistent network of 139 business and resort hotels in prime locations around three distinctive and clear offers to address the specific needs and expectations of luxury guests. We have a mid-term objective of 250 hotels in total.”

December I Travel Arabia I 83


ALGERIA ALGERIA General Information Area

Embassies & Consulates Argentina 7 Rue Hamani 718683 643843 Australia 7 Rue Jean Rey, 75724 Paris cedex, France 40593300 592081 Austria Les Vergers,Rue No.2 DZ-16330 Bir Mourad Rais 562699 567352 Bangladesh 14 Ave.des Frères Oughlis 594805 603629 Belgium 22 Chemin Youssef Tayebi,El-Biar 922446 925036 Brazil 48 Boulevard Mohammad V 749575 749687 Bulgaria 13 Boulevard Bougara,El Biar 691514 691787 Canada 18 Mustafa Khaled St.,P.O.Box 48 914951 693920 China 34 Boulevawrd Des Martyrs 692724 693056 Colombia 7 Avenue Malika Gaid,El-Biar 922090 923817 Cote D’ivoire Parc Paradeaux P.O.Box 710,Hydra 692828 693683 Czech Republic P.O.Box 999,Villa Malika 692274 693031 Denmark 12 Ave.Emile Marquis,Hydra 692234 692846 Egypt P.O.Box 297,Hydra 691807 692952 Finland P.O.Box 256 Hydra 691212 691637 France 25 Chemin Gaddouche,Hydra 692488 691369 Germany P.O.Box 664,165 Chemin Sfindja 741956 740521 Greece 60 Blvd.Col.Bougara 600855 691655 Holy See 1 Rue Noureddine Mekiri 16090 Bologhine 623430 572375 Hungary P.O.Box 68 ,El-Mouradia 691709 694431 India 14 Rue Des Ambassades 923444 924011 Iraq 4 Rue Arezki Abri,Hydra 603125 601097 Italy

84 I Travel Arabia I December

18 Rue Mohammad Ouidir,Amellal Al-Biar Japan 1 Chemin Al Bakri,El-Biar Jordan 6 Rue Chenoua,Hydra Korea Repub 21 Rue Stambuli El-Mouradia Kuwait Chemin Abdel Kader Gaddouche Lebanon Rue Du Hoggar,Hydra Libya 15 Chemin Sheikh Bashir Ibrahimi Mauritania 107 Lot Baranes,Air de France, Bouzareah Mexico P.O.Box 329,El –Biar Netherlands P.O.Box 72 El-Biar Nigeria P.O.Box F629,Hydra Oman 126 Rue Didouche Mourad Pakistan P.O.Box 621,Djeann El-Malik,Hydra Poland 37 Ave.Mustafa Ali Khodja,El-Biar Portugal 12 Lot El-Feth El-Biar Qatar P.O.Box 118,Bin Aknoun Romania 24 Rue Arezki Abri, Hydra Russia Chemin Prince D’Amman El-Biar Saudi Arabia 4 Rue Arezki Abri,Hydra Spain 10 Rue Azil Ali Sweden Rue Olof Palme Nouveau Paradou,Hydra Switzerland P.O.Box 482,27 Boulevard Zirout Youssef Syria 11 Chemin A.Gaddouche Hydra Tunisia 11 Rue Du Bois De Bologne Hydra Turkey





08.00 to 12.00 Thu

2,381,741 sq.Kms



220 volts (110 volts in some

31,19 million (2000 est.)



A continental adapter is

El-Djazair (Algiers)

necessary 127 volts or 3-phase

Main Cities

127/220/380 AC 50 cycles.

Algiers, Wahran/Oran,

Hotels may have a mixture of 127

Qacentina, Annaba Al-Boulaida,

and 220 volts.

Si di Bel-Abbes, Setif, Tizi Ousou.



Visas are required by all except

Summer: 27 to 32C

nationals of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan,

Coast temperature,13 to 24C

Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya,

Winter:Temperature variations

Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan,Syria,

inland,dropping to as little as 10C

Tunisia, Yemen, Andorra Denmark,

in the Sahara at night

Finland, Guinea, Iceland, Ireland,


Italy, Leichenstein, Mali, Monaco,

Arabic (official)

Norway, San Marino, Sweden,

French (commercial)






Berber (in rural areas)




Customs Regulations

Algiers (920 Km from city centre)

200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or



Annaba (12 Km from city centre)

400 gr of tobacco and 1 bottle of


Constantine (9 Km from city

wine are admitted free of Duty

921502 792139 924023 922828 691849


Currency regulations


Wahran 910 Km from city centre)

Any amount of foreign currency


Tlemcen (20 Km form city centre)

may be taken into Algeria but is

No airport tax on departure

prohibited to take any Algerian


currency into or out of the country.

Algiers (principal), Annaba, Oran,

Proof of all foreign exchange

Skikda, Mostaganem, Bejaia

transactions must be presented

Business Hours

on departure.All foreign visitors

Government offices and state

must change a minimum of AD



923770 691175






08.00 to 17.00 Sat to Wed



0800 to 12.00 Thu

1 Algerian dinar (AD) =100










603518 922713










09.00 to 16.00 Sat to Wed Chemin De La Rochelle, Blv Col.Bourgara UAE P.O.Box 454 El Mouradia UK P.O.Box 8,7 Chemin DES Glycines USA 4,CHEMIN Sheikh Bashir El-Ibrahimi Yemen Villa 41,Ave.Les Verges Venezuela Chemin du Kadous Hydra Zaire 5 Rue Saint Georges,Kouba














Embassies & Consulates



General Information Area

on depature BHD 3.

Tourist visas available at Bahraini embassies or on

707 sq.Km


arrival at entry points-Bahrain Airport or the King


Mina Sulman

Fahd Causeway from Saudi Arabia.Visas cost BD

(200 estimate) 642.000

Business Hours

10 for 72 hours or BD 15 for 7 days.


Government Offices

Customs regulations


07.00 to 13.00 Sat. to Wed.

400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or _ 1

Main Cities

Commercial Offices

bs.tobacco,some perfume,2 bottles of wine or

Manama, Muharraq Town, Isa Town, Jidhafs, Rifaa. 07.00 to 13.00 and 15:30 to 18:00 Sat To Thu. spirits.



Currency regulations

Summer: 40 to 45 C,hot, humid.

8.00 to 14.00 and 16.00 to 18.00 Sat. to Thu.

There are no restrictions on the amount of

Winter: Warm, dry, 10 C to 20 C.


currency bring in/take out of Bahrain.


220-240 volts, Single-phase AC and 400 volts,


Arabic (official), and English (commercial).

three-phase AC.

1 Bahraini dinar (BHD)=1.000 FILS



Qatari riyal and UAE dirham are exchangeable at

Muharraq (505 Km from Manama)

Visas required for all except GCC and UK

rate of DH 10 or QR 10=BHD 1.

Taxis, hotel reservations, duty free shop Airport tax


Algeria P.O.Box 26402,Manama Bangladesh P.O.Box 26718,Manama Belgium P.O.Box 5820,Manama China P.O.Box 3150,Manama Denmark P.O.Box 997,Manama Egypt P.O.Box 818,Manama France P.O.Box 11134,Manama Germany P.O.Box 10306,Manama Greece P.O.Box 5790,Manama India P.O.Box 26106,Adiliya Iran P.O.Box 26365,Manama Iraq P.O.Box 26477,Manama Japan P.O.Box 23720,Manama Jordan P.O.Box 5242,Manama Korea Rep P.O.Box 11700,Manama Kuwait P.O.Box 786,Manama Lebanon P.O.Box 2102,Manama Libya P.O.Box 26062,Adliya Morocco P.O.Box 26229,Manama Netherlands P.O.Box 350,Manama New Zealand P.O.Box 5881,Mnama Norway P.O.Box 10580,Manama Oman P.O.Box 26414,Manama Pakistan P.O.Box 563,Manama Palestine P.O.Box 1102 Philippines P.O.Box 26681,Manama Portugal P.O.Box11030,Manama Russia P.O.Box 26612,Manama Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 1085,Manama Sudan P.O.Box 5438,Manama Sweden P.O.Box 412,Mnama Switzerland P.O.Box 795,Manama Tunisia P.O.Box 26911,Manama Turkey P.O.Box 10821, Manama UAE P.o.Box 26505, Manama UK P.O.Box 114, Manama USA P.O.Box 26431, Manama Yemen P.O.Box 26193,Manama

















259211 712785
















714162 740566








































December I Travel Arabia I 85

General Information Area


997.738 sq.Km

Local airports at Aswan,


Customs regulations

Hurghada, Luxor, Sharm El

Currency,jewellery and other

(2000 est.) 68.5 million


valuables must be declared




Alexandria (principal), Port Said,

Goods valued up to £E100 may

Main Cities

Suez, Damietta, Safaga.

be exported.200 cigarettes or



on entry.


Business Hours


Government: 08.00 to 14.00

litre wine or spirits.

Temperature/ climate Wed,08.00 to 13.00 Thu,10.00 to 12.00 Sun.

Currency regulations

Summer 22 to 35 C in Cairo,

Businesses: Variable (some

The import or export of Egyptian

Winter: 9 to 22 C in Cairo.

closed on Fri, others on Sun.)

currency is prohibited.All receipts

25 cigars or 200 gms tobacco,1

More temperature along


Mediterranean coasts “Khamsin”

09.00 TO 13.30

currency into Egyptian pounds

(hot,dry wind in Spring)

Thu.,10.00 to 12.00 Sun.

should be kept to be presented

for the exchange of foreign



Arabic, ( official),English and

220/240 volts 50 cycles AC in


French ( commercial).

Maadi and Heliopolis some 110

1 Egyptian pound(£E)=100


volts, 50 cycles AC.

piastres=1.000 millimes.

on departure.

Cairo (22.5 Km from city centre).



Visas are required by all foreign

shop,airport tax on departure.

visitors except most Arab

Alexandria (8 Km from city


Embassies & Consulates Afghanistan 59 El Ourouba St. Heliopolis 4177236 Algeria 14 Al-Brazil Street, P.O.Box 39, Zamalek 3407671 Argentina 8 Al-Saleh Ayoub street,Zamalek 3401501 Australia 1191 Corniche El-Nile, Boulaq 5750444 Austria 5 Wissa Wassef St.Giza 5702974 Bahrain 15 Brazil Street,Zamalek 3407996 Bangladesh 47 Ahmed Heshmat Str.Zamalek 3402642 Belgium 20 Kamel El-Shinnawi St.Garden City 1125 3547494 Brazil Corniche El-Nile Maspero 5756938 Bulgaria 6 El-Malek El-Afdal Street, Zamalek 3543110 Canada 5 El-Saraya El-Kobra Square,Garden City 3543110 China 22 Bahgat Ali Street,Zamalek 3411219 Cyprus 23 A Ismail Mohammad Street,Zamalek 3411288 Czech Republic 4 Dokki St.,Giza 3485469 Denmark 12 Hassan Sabri Street,Zamalek 3402505 Finland 3 Abdul Feda Sreet,Zamalek 3411487 France 29 El-Giza Street, Giza 5703920 Germany 8 Hassan Sabri Street,Zamalek 3410015 Greece 18 Aisha El-Taimouria St.Garden City 3547200

86 I Travel Arabia I December

4177230 3414158 3414355 5781638 5702979 3416609 3412631 3543147 761040 3563548 3563548 3409459 3415299 3608089 3411780 3421376 5710276 3410530 3563903

Holy See Apostolic Nunciature 5 Mohammad Mazhar Street 3402250 Hungary 29 Mohammad Mazhar Street, Zamalek 3408634 India 5 Aziz Abaza Street,Zamalek 3413051 Iraq 9 Mohammad Mazhar St.,Zamalek 3408087 Italy 15 Abdel Rahman Fahmi St. Garden City 3543194 Japan 2 Abdel Qader St.,Garden City 3553963 Jordan 6 El Guhaini Street,Dokki,Giza 3485566 Kenya 7 El-Mohandis Galal St.Mohandisin 3453628 Kuwait 12 Nabil Al-Wakad Street,Dokki 3602661 Lebanon 5 Ahmad Nesim Street,Giza 3610623 Libya 7 El-Saleh Ayoub,Zamalek 3402487 Mauritania 14 Mohu El-din Abou El-Ezz St.,Dokki 3490671 Mexico 6 Ahmed Shawki Street,Giza 5716156 Morocco 10 Salaheddine Street,Zamalek 3409849 Netherlands 18 Hassan Sabri Street,Zamalek 3401936 Norway 8 El-Gezira St.Zamalek 3413955 Oman 52 El-Hegaz Street, Mohandiseen 3031708 Pakistan 8 Al-Salouli St. Dokki 3487504 Portugal

3406152 3408648 3414038 3415075 3540657 3563540 3601027 3443400 3602657 3610463

3489060 5783040 3400937 3415249 3420709 3036464 3480310

57 El- Giza St.,Giza Qatar 10 El-Themar St.,Dokki , Giza Romania 4 Aziz Abaza Street, Zamalek Russia 95 Giza St,Giza Saudi Arabia 2 Ahmad Nessim St., Singapore 40 Babel Street, Dokki Slovakia 4 Dokki St. Dokki Spain 44 Ismail Mohammed St.Zamalek Sudan 3 El Ibrahimi Street, Garden City Sweden 13 Mohammad Mazhar St.Zamalek Switzerland 10 Abed Al Khalek Sarwat St. Syria 18 Abdel Rahim Sabri St. Dokki Thailand 2 Malik El-Afdal St.Zamalek Tunisia 26 El-Gezira street,Zamalek Turkey 25 El-Falaki Street,Bab el-Louq UAE 4 Ibn Sina St.,Giza UK 7 Ahmed Ragheb St.,Garden City USA 5 Latin America Str.,Garden City Yemen 28 Amin El-Rifaii Street,Dokki













3486550 3406397

























General Information Area 438.317 sq.Km

Population 21.7 million(2000 est.)

Capital Baghdad

Main Cities Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Kirkuk

Temperature/climate Summer 24 to 42C in Baghdad,humid,hotter and more humid in Basra More temperature in north.Winter:4 to 16 C in Baghdad.

Languages Arabic (official and commercial).

Airport Baghdad (17 Km from City Centre) Coaches/taxis,duty free shop-airport tax on departure

Ports Basra (principal),Fao (oil) Government Offices: Summer 08.00 to 14.00 Wed & 08.00 to 13.00 Thu. Winter: 08.30 to 14.30 Sat To Wed. and 08.30 to 13.30 Thu. Shops and Firms: Summer 08.30 to 13.00 and 16.00 to 20.00 Sat.To Wed.& 08.30 to 13.00 Thu. Winter:08.30 to 14.30 and 17.00 to 19.00 Sat To Wed and 08.30 to 13.30 Thu.

Banks Summer 08.30 to 12.30 Sat to Wed. and 08.30 to 11.30 Thu. Winter: 09.00 to 13.00 Sat To Wed. and 09.00 to 12.00 Thu.

Electricity 220 volts,50 cycles AC.

Visas Visas are required for all visitors except nationals of Egypt, Jordan, and Sudan. Visa applications should be made well in advance and supported by a written invitation from a government organization.No admission granted to visitors holding passports showing evidence of travel to Israel. Visitors must register for stays exceeding 14 days and exit visas are required for visits exceeding 30 days.Apply to Directorate of Residence,52nd street Baghdad, Tel:92377 Test for HIV (The Aids Virus) is required.

Customs Regulations Country under UN embargo,The import of most goods is prohibited.


Embassies & Consulates Afghanistan P.O.Box 674 Algeria P.O.Box 444, Lane 35 Argentina P.O.Box 2443,Lane 24 Australia P.O.Box 661, Al Masbah Austria P.O.Box 294,Lane 2 Bahrain P.O.Box 27117, Lane 7 Bangladesh 75/17/929 Hay Babe Belgium Hay Babel,Mahallat 929 Brazil P.O.Box 2088, Lane 16 Bulgaria Amireyah Embassies Quarter Canada P.O.Box 323,Lane 1 China P.O.Box 225 Czech Republic Mansour St., Lane 37 Denmark P.O.Box 2001, Alwiyah Egypt P.O.Box 6315,Lane 11 Finland P.O.Box 2041, Alwiyah France P.O.Box 118 Germany P.O.Box 2036, Lane 2 Greece 63/3/913 Hay Al-Jamia AL-Jadiriya Holy See P.O.Box 2090,Lane 2 Hungary P.O.Box 2065 India P.O.Box 4114, Adhaiyah Indonesia St. 2, Houre 77, P.O.Box 420 Italy P.O.Box 2043,Lane 73 Japan P.O.Box 2369, Lane 17 Jordan Kindi Quarter 1 sec.213 Korea Rep.

5560562 5372181 7768140 7193434 7199033 5428945 7196367 7198297 5411365 5568197 5421459 5562741 7767367




5430572 7766271


7196061 7192037


7766572 7195183


7765000 4222014




7765058 7195157 5412892


915/222/8278, Hay al -Jamia Malaysia 6/14/929 Hay Babel Mauritania Al Mansour, Baghdad Mexico 601/11/45 Al- Mansour Morocco P.O.Box 6039,Lane 11 Netherlands P.O.Box 2064, Lane 35 New Zealand P.O.Box 2350 Norway 20/3/609 Hay-Al Mansour Oman P.O.Box 6180, Lane 13 Pakistan Al-Mansour 14/7/609 Palestine P.O.Box 3122 Philippines P.O.Box 3236,Lane 3 Poland P.O.Box 2051, Lane 13 Portugal P.O.Box 2123,Lane 25 Qatar P.O.Box 2445,Lane 46 Romania P.O.Box 2571 Russia 4/5/605 Al-Moutanabi Somalia P.O.Box 2078, Lane 1 Spain P.O.Box 2072, Lane 1 Sudan P.O.Box 213, Lane 15 Sweden P.O.Box 720, Lane 41 Switzerland P.O.Box 2107, Lane 5 Thailand P.O.Box 6062, Al-Mansour Tunisia P.O.Box 6057,Al Mansour Turkey P.O.Box 14001,Waziriya UAE P.O.Box 6192, Lane 13 Yemen P.O.Box 13037,Lane 28

7765496 7762622 5518261 7198039 5421779 7767616 7768176 5410097 5518198 5415120 7183146 7193228 7190297 7764953 5412186 7762860 5414749 5410088 7192852 5424889 7195361 7193091 5418795 5517786 2220021


5417026 7760647

1 Iraqi dinar (ID)= 1.000 FILS

December I Travel Arabia I 87

Embassies & Consulates Algeria P.O.Box 1223,3rd Circle,Jabal Amman Australia Bet.4th & 5th Circles,Zahran St. Austria Jabal Amman Bahrain Jabal Amman Belgium Hawari Boumedienne St.,Near 4th Circle Brazil Jabal Amman,3rd Circle Bulgaria Amman Canada P.O.Box 815403,PC 11180 China P.O.Box 2023,PC 11181 Egypt Jabal Amman,3rd Circle France P.O.Box 5348,Mutanabi St. Germany Jabal Amman Greece P.O.Box 35069 Holy See Amman Hungary Amman India P.O.Box 2168,1st Circle Italy 5/7 Hafez Ibrahim St.,Jabal El Webdeh Japan Al-Aqsa Street,Jabal Amman Kuwait Jabal Amman Lebanon 2nd Circle, Amman Libya Amman Morocco Jabal Amman Oman Jabal Amman Pakistan Jabal Weibdeh Philippines Amman Qatar Jabal Amman Romania Jabal Amman, P.O.Box 2869 Russia Jabal Amman Saudi Arabia Jabal Amman, 5th Circle Spain Jabal Amman Sudan Jabal Amman Sweden 12 Embassy St. Jabal Amman Jabal Amman Syria Jabal Amman, 4th Circle Tunisia Jabal Amman Turkey P.O.Box 2062,PC 11181 UAE Jabal Amman UK P.O.Box 87, Abdoun, Amman USA P.O.Box 354,PC 11181 Yemen Jabal Amman

88 I Travel Arabia I December




















shop,airport tax on departure.

220 volts,50 cycles AC.



92.000 sq.Km




Visas required by all and can be obtained from



Population (2000 est.) 5 million

Business Hours

any Jordanian consulate.


Government Offices:

Some visitors may acquire visas on arrival at


08.30 to 15.30 Sat to Thu

International airports.

Main Cities

Ramadan: 09.30 to 13.30 Sat to Thu.

Customs regulations

Amman, Aqaba, Irbid, Zarka

Commercial Offices:

200 cigarettes,25 cigars or 200 g tobacco,1


Summer:08.00 to 13.30 and 15.30 to 19.30

bottle of spirits.

Summer 18 C to 22 C in Amman,Dry,

Sat to Thu.

Currency regulations








General Information





Winter 4C to 12 C in Amman,dry.

Winter: 08.30 to 13.30 and 15.00 to 18.30

Export of currency equal to the amount declared




Sat to Thu.

on entry is permitted.

Arabic (official), English (commercial)






08.30 to 15.30 Sat. to Thu.

1 Jordanian dinar(JOD)=1.000 fils.



Amman (32 Km from city centre. Taxi, duty free


























5931177 5931416

5930179 5930685















General Information General Information

Wed.08.00 to 12.30 Thu.


Ramadan 08.00 to 14.00 Sat to Thu.

17.8182 sq.Km



08.00 to 12.00 Thu.

(2000 estimate) 2 million

Ramadan 8.30 to 12.30 Sat to Thu.



Kuwait City

240 Volts single-phase

Main Cities

50 cycles AC

Kuwait City, Ahmadi, Hawali, Farwaniya, Al-Jahra



Visas Visas or entry permits are required in advance by all

Summer 40 to 45 C, dry, dust, storms.

visitors except for nationals of the GCC states.

Winter cool, some rainfall in November to January.

Transit visas are not required by passengers


continiuing their journey to a third country bt the same

Arabic (official), English (commercial).

aircraft,or by passengers transiting within 24 hours.


However,passengers must have tickets with reserved

Kuwait (16 Km or 30 mn from city center).

seats and valid documents for their onward journey.With

Taxis, duty-free shop, no airport tax.

visas for a visit sponsored by a kuwaiti resident a form in


duplicate must be validated by the Ministery of Interior.

Mina Abdulla (oil)

For a visit without a sponsor, form in duplicate can be

Mina Al Ahmadi (principally oil)

obtained from a Kuwaiti consulate.Some Nationals

Shuwaikh (container,ro-ro, slipway) Shuaiba

require a No Objection Certificate issued by Minister

Business Hours

of Interior.

Government Offices:

Customs regulations

Winter 07.30 to 13.00 Sat to Wed.,

No alcohol,500 cigarettes,2lb tobacco.

07.30 to 11.30 Thu.

Currency regulations

Summer 07.00 to 13.00 Wed.

There are no restrictions on the import or export of

Ramadan 08.30 or 09.00 to 13.00 Sat to Thu.


Commercial Offices:


08.00 to 12.00 and 15.00 to 18.00

1Kuwaiti dinar(KD)=1.000 fils

Embassies & Consulates Afghanistan P.O.Box 22944 Safat,13015 Algeria P.O.Box 578,Safat Austria P.O.Box 44180,Hawali 32056 Bahrain P.O.Box 196,Safat 13002 Bangladesh P.O.Box 22344,Safat 13084 Belgium P.O.Box 3280,Safat Brazil P.O.Box 39761,Safat Bulgaria P.O.Box 12090,Kuwait City Canada P.O.Box 25281,Safat 13113 China P.O.Box 2346,Safat 13024 Cuba P.O.Box 23685,Safat 13124 Czech Republic P.O.Box 1151,Safat Egypt P.O.Box 11252,Safat Finland P.O.Box 26699,Safat France P.O.Box 1037,Safat 13011 Gabon P.O.Box 1230,Hawali 32013 Germany P.O.Box 5930,Safat 13060































4830975 4817055


Hungary P.O.Box 5671,Safat 13057 India P.O.Box 1450,Safat 13015 Indonesia P.O.Box 21560, Safat 13076 Iran P.O.Box 4686,Safat Italy P.O.Box 4453,Safat 13045 Japan P.O.Box 2304,Safat 13024 Jordan P.O.Box 5242,Safat 13053 Korea Rep. P.O.Box 20771,Safat 13068 Lebanon P.O.Box 253,Safat Libya P.O.Box 21460,Safat 13075 Morocco P.O.Box 784,Safat 13008 Netherlands P.O.Box 21822,Safat Niger P.O.Box 44451, Hawali 32059 Nigeria P.O.Box 6432,Hawali 32039 Oman P.O.Box 21975,Safat 13080 Pakistan P.O.Box 988,Safat 1310 Philippines P.O.Box 26288,Safat 13123



































Poland P.O.Box 5066,Safat 13051 Qatar P.O.Box 1825,Safat 13019 Romania P.O.Box 11149, Dasmah 35152 Russia P.O.Box 1765,Safat 13018 Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 20498,Safat 13065 Spain P.O.Box 22207,Safat 13083 Sweden P.O.Box 21448,Safat Switzerland P.O.Box 23954, Safat 13100 Syria P.O.Box 25600,Safat 13112 Thailand P.O.Box 66647,Bayan 43757 Tunisia P.O.Box 5976,Safat Turkey P.O.Box 20627,Safat 13067 UAE P.O.Box 1828,Safat 13019 UK P.O.Box 2,Safat 13001 USA P.O.Box 77,Safat 13001 Yugoslavia P.O.Box 20511,Safat 13066

































December I Travel Arabia I 89



General Information


08.00 to 14.00 Monday to Thursday.

10.452 sq.Km

08.00 to 11.00 Friday, 08 to 13 Saturday.


Commercial offices

(2000 estimate) 3.6 million

08.30 to 18.00 Fri.




08.30 to 12.30 Monday to Friday.

Main Cities

08.30 to 12.00 Saturday.

Beirut, Tripoli, Jounieh, Zahle, Sidon, Tyre



110 Volts,50 cycles AC and 220 volts,50 cycles AC.

Summer 23 C to 32 C in Beirut, humid.


Winter 11 C to 17 C in Beirut,moist, rainfall, especially in January.

Visas are required for all visitors except nationals of Syria.Telex/Fax

Highlands are cooler, with winter snowfalls.

invitation required from sponsor to be sent to Embassy.


Westerners wishing to visit Lebanon can get instant visas at Beirut airport

Arabic (official), French and English (commercial)

,seaport or at Lebanese border checkpoints.


Customs regulations

Beirut ( 16 Km from city centre) Coaches/taxis,duty-free shop-airport tax

Visitors should check with airport duty-free shops on current regulations.

on departure.

Currency regulations


No Restrictions.

Beirut (principal), Tripoli (main port for North), Jounieh, Sidon (main port


for South)

1500 Lebanese pound(ÂŁLeb)= 1 US dollars.

Business Hours Government offices

Embassies & Consulates

Algeria P.O.Box 4794,Jnah Argentina P.O.Box 11-5245,Starco Area Armenia Rabieh Australia Bliss Street,Ras Beirut Austria Tabaris ,Ashrafieh

90 I Travel Arabia I December





04/418860 01/374701




Bahrain Bliss Street,Itani Bldg 03/611936 367952 Belgium Hebu Building,Baabda Beirut 05/920551 923987 Brazil P.O.Box 166175,Rue Des Antonins,Baabda 05/921138 923001 Bulgaria Raoucheh 01/861352 Canada Sheraton Hotel,Damascus 0211/6116851 611803 Jal el Dib Highway 04/713900 710595 Chile Naccache 04/418670 418672 China Ramlet Al-Baida 01/850315 822492 Denmark Ain Mreiseh 01/364264 372970 Egypt Ramlet El-Baida 01/867917 863751 France Hazmieh,Beirut 01/420000 420013 Germany P.O.Box 2820,Rabieh 04/914444 914450 Greece P.O.Box 309,Naccache 04/521700 418774 Hungary Fanar 01/898857 India P.O.Box 113-5240,Kantari St. 01/372811 373538 Iran Bir Hassan 01/821230 821224 Italy Centre Ville,Beirut 01/985200 985305 Japan P.O.Box 3360,Baabda 01/989751 989754 Jordan

Baabda Kuwait Bir Hassan,Jnah Libya Verdun,Beirut Mexico New Naccache Morocco Ain-el-Tineh Pakistan Shell Bldg,Raoucheh Philippines Raoucheh,Beirut Poland Baabda Qatar P.O.Box 6717,Chouran Romania Baabda Russia Mar Elias,Beirut Saudi Arabia Koreitem, Beirut Spain Palace Chehab, Hadath Antounieh Sudan Mme Curie St. Sweden Achrafieh Switzerland Ave.Fouad Chehab, Achrafieh Tunisia Hazmieh,Mar Takla Turkey Rabieh,Area 2,Str.3 UAE Wafic Tabbara Bldg,Jnah UK Zkak El-Blat USA Aoukar,Beirut Venezuela Zalka,P.O.Box 603 Yemen Bir Hassan,P.O.Box 114-5097 Yugoslavia P.O.Box 742, Sanayeh







04/418870 01/862966


















01/353270 01/339505





















Embassies & Consulates Afghanistan Sharia Al-Aftas 4771183,4775192 4775192 Algeria Sharia El-Kairouan 4440052 4447042 Argentina Sharia Ibn Mufarrej 4770588 TX20190 Austria Dahra 4443393,444 4440838 Bangladesh Hadbe El-Khadra 903807 900856 901866 TX 20970 Belgium Tower No.4,5th Floor 3333660 3333771 75618 Benin Quartier Gout-Shaal 830990 Tx 20357 Bosnia Ben Ashour 602406 602162 Brazil S.Ben Ashour 607969,608 3614895 Bulgaria S.Benin Ashour 609690/4444 Burkina Faso Gergaresh 4771221 4772626 Chad Dahra 4443955 TX 20341 China Andalous 4775131 4775689 China-Taiwan Gergaresh 4775052/478 4774980 Cuba Andalous 4771346 4776294 Cyprus Ben Ashour 609728/6015 609547 Czech Rep. Ben Ashour 361543/37 600839 Denmark Andalous 606848 TX 20978 Egypt Sharia-El-Shatt 4444945 4448909 4449262 Finland Ghot Eshaal 830559 830559 France Andalous 4778267 4773807 4778266 Germany S.Hassan El-Mashai 4448552 4448333 4448968 Ghana Al-Suwae Khetumi 4444256 TX 20879 India S.Mahloud Shaltut 4447899 4441835 3337560 Iraq Gourgi 4770487 4770780 Iran El-Jamahiriya 606871 6069 602687 Italia S.Uahran 3334131/2/3 3333447 3331673 Japan Tower No.4 Hall 13/14 607462/3 607462 Korea Gergaresh 833484/ 8331 833503 Kuwait Ben Ashour 4440282/ 444 607053 Lebanon Ben Ashour 3333733/ 334 TX 20609 Malaysia Andalous 833693/ 8337 833692 Mali Rue Dahanal 33313304/ 44 3331304 Malta

Rue Dahanal Mauritania S.Eysa Wokwak Morocco April Str. Nicaragua S.Al Nassr Pakistan Manshia Ben Ashour Palestine Tripoli Philippines Tripoli Poland Ben Ashour Ruanda Andalous Romania Ben Ashour Saudi Arabia Tripoli Slovak Rep Jallal Bayar St. Somalia Gurji Sudan

3338081/ 334


4443223/444 611101 3330800

TX 20346

608269 333600411

607619/ 6076

TX 20049

4772864/ 4772865


607904/ 6079

TX 20482

3330485/333 3332568/ 3332805 4773124/ 477


Gergaresh Syria Mohamed Rashed St. Switzerland Ben Ashour Togo Khalid Ibn Al Waleed Tunisia Tripoli UAE Gergaresh Uganda Ben Ashour UNDP Turkiya Street UNICEF Adr.UNDP UNIC Andalous Venezuela Ben Ashour Vietnam Gergaresh



3337955/ 333

TX 20218

607365/ 607366




33.310.613. 331.052 TX 20217 4773146/ 47

TX 20189


TX 20219

3330852/ 3/4/5/7



TX 20733

3600407/ 36


833704/ 8307


TX 2205

General Information Area

Business Hours

Visas are required for all visitors except nationals

1,757,000 sq.Km

Government offices

of all Arab countries.Passport may need Arabic


Winter:(1 31 March)

Translation.Invitation from Libyan company

(2000 estimate)5.1 million

08.00 to 15.00 Thu.



Summer:07.00 to 14.00

Customs regulations


Sat.To Thu.

No alcohol.200 cigarettes,250 grams

Main Cities

Commercial offices

tobacco,0.25 litre perfume.


07.30 to 14.30 Sat.To Thu

Currency regulations


16.00 to 17.30 Sat.To Wed.

A maximum of 20 Libyan dinar on entry and

In Tripoli:Summer:22 to 38 C,dry.


departure.No restrictions on other currencies

Winter:8 to 20C,most rainfall in January.

Winter:08.00 to 13.00 Sat. to Thu.

though the amount taken out must not exceed


Summer:08.00 to 12.30

that taken in.

Arabic(official),English and Italian(commercial) Thu.and 16.00 to 19.00 Wed.




1 Lybian dinar(LD) =1.000 dirhams.

Tripoli(25 Km from City Centre)

220 volts 50 cycles AC.

Benghazi(main port for East)


December I Travel Arabia I 91


General Information

Area 710,850 sq.Km

Population 30.20 million(2000 estimate)

Capital Rabat

Main Cities Rabat, Casablanca, Fez,Marrakech, Meknes ,Tangier,Agadir

Temperature/Climate Summer 35 to 45 C in the interior,dry 18 to 28 C along the Mediterrenean,dry. Winter wide daily variation in the interior,dry,8 C to 17 C in the North, With frequent frosts,rainfall in December.

Languages Arabic, French (commercial), Berber

Airports Tangier (15 Km from City Centre)

Embassies & Consulates Algeria 46 Boulevard Tarek Ibn Ziad Argentina 12 Mekki Bitaouri str.,Souissi Austria 2 Tiddas,Rabat Belgium 6 Marrakesh Ave., Rabat Brazil Cadi Benjalloun St.,Rabat Bulgaria 4 Meknes Canada 13 Bisr Jaffar Assadik China 16 Ahmad Balagies Ave Czech Republic Ate.Zaers,Km 4,Souissi Denmark P.O.Box 203, 4 Khemisset St. Egypt 31 Alger Avenue Finland 16 Khemisset Street,Rabat France 3 Sahnoun Street,Rabat Germany 7 Maduine St. Greece Rte. Zaers,Souissi Holy See P.O.Box 1303, Souissi Hungary 21 Bisoulad Jerrar,Soussi India 10 Michlifen Street,Agdal Indonesia 122 Ambassador Quarter Rte.Zaers Iran Route des Zaers,Bin Kasem Quarter Iraq 2 Oukaimdem St.Agdal Italy 2 Idriss Al Azhar St. Japan 39 Ahmed Balafrej Ave., Souissi

92 I Travel Arabia I December















































Rabat (10 Km from City Centre) Casablanca (30 Km from Town Centre) Agadir (20 Km from Town Centre) Jordan Villa Al-Wafae, Soussi Korea Rep 41 Mehdi Benbaraka Blvd Kuwait 300 Iman Malik Street, Km 4 Lebanon 19 Fes Avenue, Rabat Libya 1 Chouaib Doukkali Street Oman 21 Hamza Street, Agdal, Rabat Pakistan 11 Azrou Street, Rabat Portugal 5 Thami Lamdouar Street Qatar 4 Tarik Ibn Ziad Blvd. Russia Km 4, Route des Zaers Saudi Arabia 43 Place de L’unite Africaine Spain 3 El Fath St. Sudan 5 Ghomara Ave, Souissi Sweden P.O.Box 428 Switzerland P.O.Box 169,Berkame Sq. Syria 5 Rte., Zaers, Km 1, Souissi Tunisia 6 Fez Avenue Turkey 7 Fez Avenue UAE 11 Alaouines Avenue UK 17 Tour Hassan Boulevard USA 2 Marrakech Street Yemen 11 Abou-Hanifa Street, Agdal

Ports 751125


Casablanca (main sea port)



Tangier (sea port for the North)














Winter 08.030 to 12.00,14.30 to 18.00 Mon to Fri 08.00 to 13.00 Sat. Summer 09.00 to 14.00 Mon to Fri. 08.00 to 12.030 Sat. Ramadan 09.00 to 14.00 Mon to Sat. Businesses 08.00 to 12.30 and 16.00 to 19.00 Banks Winter 08.15 to 11.30 and 14.15 to 16.30 Mon to Fri.

765681 753509

Business Hours

Summer 09.00 to 15.00 Mon to Fri 753590

Electricity 110V.,127V or 220V/50 cycles AC in Rabbat,


Casablanca and Tangier.



115/50 cycles AC in Marrakech,110V/50 cycles AC in Fez.










Visas required except by nationals of Andorra, Argentine, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Congo, Côte D’ivoire, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guinea, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Niger, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Porto Rico, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Korea, Spain,


Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, UK, US, Venezuela.









No Moroccan currency may be imported or exported.




Customs Regulations 400 grammes of Tobacco, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars are admitted free of duty.1 litre of wine or spirits.

Currency regulations 1 Moroccan Dirham (MD or DH)=100 centimes


Embassies & Consulates

Mina Qaboos, Muscat (principal), Mina Raysut,

of the GCC.

(2000 estimate) 2053 million

Salalah (main port for Dhofar)


Business Hours

Customs regulations


Government Offices

Main Cities

Currency regulations

Winter:7.30 to 14.30 Sat.To Thu.

No restrictions on the amount of currency taken


Summer:7.30 to 14.30 Sat Top Wed.

into or out of Oman.




Summer: 35 C - 47 C, Very humid

08.30 to 13.30 and 16.00 to 18.00

1 Omani Riyal(RO)=1,000 Baizas

Winter: 20.7 C men minimum

Wed. 08.00 to 11.30 Thu.



Arabic (official), English (commercial).

08.00 to 12.00 Wed.08.00 to 11.30

Algeria P.O.Box 216, Madinat Sultan Qabous 601698 Austria P.O.Box 2070, Ruwi 112 793135 Bahrain P.O.Box 66, P.C., 115 605912 Bangladesh P.O.Box 3959, Ruwi 112 707462 Canada P.O.Box 1275,Ruwi 112 China P.O.Box 315, Muscat 112 696782 Egypt P.O.Box 2252,Ruwi 112 600411 Finland P.O.Box 84, Muscat 113 702133 France P.O.Box 208, Muscat 115 604222 Germany P.O.Box 128, Ruwi 112 702482 India P.O.Box 1727, Ruwi 112 702960 Iran P.O.Box 3155, Ruwi 112 696944 Iraq P.O.Box 1848, Ruwi 112 604178 Italy P.O.Box 3727, Muscat 112 560968 Japan P.O.Box 3511, Ruwi 112 601028 Jordan P.O.Box 2281, Ruwi 112 786350 Korea Rep.of P.O.Box 2220, Madinat Sultan Qabous 115 691490 Kuwait P.O.Box 1798, Ruwi 112 699626 Lebanon P.O.Box 67, Ruwi 118 595844 Morocco P.O.Box 3125, Ruwi 112 696152 Netherland P.O.Box 3302, Rruwi 112 705410 Norway P.O.Box 89, Ruwi 112 703289 Pakistan P.O.Box 1302, Ruwi 112 603343 Qatar P.O.Box 802, Muscat 113 701802 Russia P.O.Box 80, Muscat 112 602893 Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 1411, Ruwi 112 601744 Sudan P.O.Box 3971, Ruwi 112 697875 Syria P.O.Box 85, Madinat Sultan Qabous 115 697904 Tunisia P.O.Box 220, Madinat Sultan Qabous 115 603486 Turkey P.O.Box 417, Muttrah,115 697050 UAE P.O.Box 551, Seeb 115 600302 UK P.O.Box 300, Muscat 113 693077 USA P.O.Box 202, Muscat 698989 Yemen



P.O.Box 105, Madinat Sultan Qabous 115 600815

General Information General Information

Taxis,airport tax on departure,duty-free shop.

220/240 volts 50 cycles AC


Salalah (domestic)


309.500 sq.Km


Seeb (40 Km from City Centre).


Visas are required for all visitors except nationals

No alcohol.No Limit for Tobacco products.

694419 793669 605072

602322 603626 703826 604300 705690 797547 696888 605112

698720 619495

600972 695633 601114 799020 793892

794588 604189 603540 699065 603895 697778 697053 604182 693087 699189 605008

Electricity December I Travel Arabia I 93



Embassies & Consulates Algeria P.O.Box 2494 Bahrain Bangladesh P.O.Box 2080 Brunei China P.O.Box 17200 Egypt P.O.Box 2899 France P.O.Box 2669 Germany P.O.Box 3064 India P.O.Box 2788 Iran P.O.Box 1633 Iraq P.O.Box 1526 Italy P.O.Box 4188 Japan P.O.Box 2208 Jordan P.O.Box 2366 Korea Republic P.O.Box 3727 Kuwait P.O.Box 1177 Lebanon P.O.Box 2411 Libya P.O.Box 547 Mauritania P.O.Box 3132 Morocco P.O.Box 3242 Oman P.O.Box 3766 Pakistan P.O.Box 334 Russia P.O.Box 1540 Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 1255 Sudan P.O.Box 2999 Syria P.O.Box 1257 Tunisia P.O.Box 2707 Turkey P.O.Box 1977 UAE P.O.Box 3099 Uk P.O.Box 3 USA P.O.Box 2399 Yemen P.O.Box 3318

4831186 4839360

4836452 4831018

4671927 4884202

4671190 4873959









































11.437 sq.Km

Doha (8 Km from city centre). Taxis, No





Duty- Free shop, no airport tax.

Visas are required for all visitors except nationals of Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and UAE.




Ports Ras Laffan (Gaz and ind.)

No objection certificate required from Qatari




Doha, Umm Said (oil and petrochemicals)

Minsitery of Foreign Affairs. Other businessmen,


Business Hours

if their visit is sponsored by a reputable Qatari,


Main Cities Doha, Rayan, Umm Said,


may obtain a 72- hour visa at Doha Airport.



Al-Khor, Al-Wakrah, Ras Laffan

07.30 to 13.00 Sat To Thu.

Customs regulations



Alcohol is prohibited.No limit for Tobacco

Summer 36 to 40 C, in Doha very humid

07.30 to 12.00 and 15.30 to 18.00 Sat to


especially mornings


Currency Regulations

Winter 13 to 23 C in Doha, very humid, wide



diurnal range

07.30 to 11.30 Sat to Wed.



07.30 to 11.00 Thu.

1 Qatari Riyal (QR)= 100 dirhams

4885111 4421991






General Information

(2000 estimate) 700.000

Arabic (official), English ( commercial).

94 I Travel Arabia I December


220/240 Volts 50 cycles AC.



General Information

General Information

Jeddah (24 Km from City Centre)

Ramadan 10.00 to 13.30


Medina (12 Km from City Centre)


2.240.000 sq.Km (approx)

Riyadh (35 Km from City Centre)

220 Volts and 110 Volts,60


Taxis-no duty-free shops except at

cycles AC.

(2000 est.) 20 million

Jeddah-No airport taxes.





Jeddah(main port for Western

except GCC nationals.

Main Cities

province and the Kingdom’s

Applications have to be applies for

Riyadh, Jeddah, Dhahran,

principal port)

by sponsor in Saudi Arabia

Dammam, Al-Khobar, Qatif, Makkah,

King Abdel-Aziz, Dammam (main

To the Ministery of Foreign Affairs

Medina, Abha, Khamis Mushayat,

port for Eastern province)

who will inform Saudi Embassy


Jubail(industrial port for Eastern

On approval.Assistance from trade



associations and chambers of

Summer 38 to 45 C in Riyadh dry

Yanbu(industrial port for Western

commerce is advised.

diurnal range up to 20 C.


Marriage certificate for travelers

35 to 42 C in Jeddha, very

Business Hours

accompanied by spouse required.

humid.35 to 45 C in Dammam,


Customs regulations

very humid.

07.30 to 14.30 Sat to Wed.

No alcohol,600 cigarettes,100

Winter 8 to 30 C in Riyadh, night

Ramadan 09.30 tom 14.30

cigars or 500g tobacco.

frosts rain in March.19 to 33 C


Currency regulations

in Jedah,humid 15 to 30 C in

Variable from business to business

No restrictions

Dammam, very humid

But generally,07.30 to 13.00 and



14.30 to 20.00 Sat to Thu.

1 Saudi Riyal(SR)=100 halala

Arabic (official), English



08.30 to 12.00 and 16.30 to


18.30 Sat to Wed.08.30to 12.00

Dammam (28 Km from City Centre)


Visas are required for all visitors

Embassies & Consulates Algeria P.O.Box 94388, Riyadh 11693 Argentina P.O.Box 94369, Riyadh 11693 Australia P.O.Box 94400, Riyadh 11693 Austria P.O.Box 94373, Riyadh 11693 Bahrain P.O.Box 94371, Riyadh 11693 Bangladesh P.O.Box 94395, Riyadh 11693 Belgium P.O.Box 94396, Riyadh 11693 Brazil P.O.Box 94348, Riyadh 11693 Canada P.O.Box 94321, Riyadh 11693 Denmark P.O.Box 94398, Riyadh 11693 Egypt P.O.Box 94333, Riyadh 11693 Eritrea P.O.Box 94002, Riyadh 11693 France P.O.Box 94367, Riyadh 11693 Germany P.O.Box 9941, Riyadh 11693 Greece P.O.Box 94375, Riyadh 11693 India P.O.Box 94387, Riyadh 11693

































Iran P.O.Box 943394, Riyadh 11693 Ireland P.O.Box 94349, Riyadh 11693 Italy P.O.Box 94389, Riyadh 11693 Japan P.O.Box 4095, Riyadh 11491 Jordan P.O.Box 7455, Riyadh 11693 Kenya P.O.Box 94358, Riyadh 11693 Korea(Rep of) P.O.Box 94399, Riyadh 11693 Kuwait P.O.Box 2166, Riyadh 11451 Lebanon P.O.Box 94350, Riyadh 11693 Libya P.O.Box 94365, Riyadh 11693 Mexico P.O.Box 94391, Riyadh 11693 Morocco P.O.Box 94392, Riyadh 11693 Norway P.O.Box 94380, Riyadh 11693 Oman P.O.Box 94381, Riyadh 11693 Pakistan P.O.Box 6891, Riyadh 11452 Philippines P.O.Box 94315, Riyadh 11693

































Portugal P.O.Box 94328, Riyadh 11693 Qatar P.O.Box 94353, Riyadh 11461 Singapore P.O.Box 94378, Riyadh 11693 Spain P.O.Box 94347, Riyadh 11693 Sudan P.O.Box 94337, Riyadh 11693 Sweden P.O.Box 94382, Riyadh 11693 Switzerland P.O.Box 9265, Riyadh 11413 Syria P.O.Box 94323, Riyadh 11693 Thailand P.O.Box 94359, Riyadh 11693 Tunisia P.O.Box 94368, Riyadh 11693 Turkey P.O.Box 94390, Riyadh 11693 UAE P.O.Box 94385, Riyadh 11693 UK P.O.Box 94351, Riyadh 11693 USA P.O.Box 94309, Riyadh 11693 Yemen P.O.Box 94356, Riyadh 11693































December I Travel Arabia I 95



General Information



to Thu

2,505,813 sq.Km

Arabic (official), English (commercial)




08.30 to 12.00 Sat to Thu.

(2000 estimate) 35.5 million

Khartoum (4Km from city centre).



Coaches/taxis, Duty-free shops,airport tax on

240 volts,single phase AC




Main Cities


Visas are reqiured for all visitors

Khartoum, Oumdurman, Khartoum North, Port

Port Sudan

Customs Regulations

Sudan, Wadi Medani

Business Hours

200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 1 lb tobacco

Government Offices

Currency Regulations

Summer : 26 to 45 C, in Khartoum,sandstor

Khartoum :08.00 to 14.00 Sat to Thu.

Import or export of Sudanese currency is illegal


Other centres :08.30 to 14.00(with Breakfast


Rain in August and September,hotter and more


1 Sudanese Dinar(SD)=100 piastres=1,000

humid in South.

Sat to Thu.


Winter : 15 to 32 C in Khartoum, dry, wide


diurnal range, Chilly nights.

08.30 to 13.30 and 17.00 to 20.00 Sat.


96 I Travel Arabia I December

Embassies & Consulates Algeria P.O.Box 80 Austria P.O.Box 1860 Belgium P.O.Box 969,St.33,House 15 China P.O.Box 1425 Czech Republic P.O.Box 1047 Denmark P.O.Box 2758 Egypt P.O.Box 1126 France P.O.Box 377, St.3, Plot 29 Germany P.O.Box 970 Holy See P.O.Box 623 India P.O.Box 707, 61 Africa Rd. Iran House No.8, square 2, Mogran Iraq Burri, Garden City Italy P.O.Box St.39 Khartoum 2 Japan P.O.Box 1649, St.43, House 67 Jordan 25 Sreet Number 7 Kenya P.O.Box 8242 Korea(Rep of) P.O.Box 322 Kuwait P.O.Box 1457 Lebanon P.O.Box 1407 Libya P.O.Box 2091 Morocco P.O.Box 2042 Netherlands St.47 House 76 Oman P.O.Box 2839 Pakistan P.O.Box 1178 Qatar P.O.Box 223 Romania P.O.Box 1494 Russia P.O.Box 1161 Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 258 Spain P.O.Box 2621 Sweden (Consulate)P.O.Box 2206 Switzerland P.O.Box 1707 Syria P.O.Box 1139 Tunisia P.O.Box 3533 Turkey St.2, House 31 UAE P.O.Box 1225 UK P.O.Box 801 USA P.O.Box 699 Yemen P.O.Box 1010 Yugoslavia P.O.Box 1180

451084 77170 489229




43448 80489 72836 471082


77990 74692 451031




271863 451614








451136 81525


45008 2235358 451603






222000 451620




451042 452583


45072 71913 451010




75906 471197


451100 777105


74700 451623 41252


General Information General Information

Area 185,180 sq.Km

Population (2000 estimate)17.76 million

Capital Damascus

Main Cities Damascus, Aleppo, Homos, Latakia, Hama

Temperature/Climate Summer : 30 to 42 C, in Damascus, occasionally humid. Winter : 0 to 20 C in Damascus, occasional snowfalls

Languages Arabic (official), French (widely understood in business and government) English (Sometimes used in Business)

Airport Damascus (32 Km from citycentre). Coaches/taxis, duty-free shop, airport tax on departure.

Ports Latakia (principal), Tartous, Banias (oil).

Business Hours Government 08.00 to 14.00 Sat to Thu. Ramadan :08.00 to 13.oo Businesses Winter :09.00 to 14.00 and 16.00 to 19.00 Sat to Thu, Summer (May to October) :08.30 to 13.30 and 17.00 to 20.00 Sat to Thu. Banks 08.00 to 14.00 Sat to Thu.

Electricity 220 volts 50 cycles AC in Damascus. 115/220 volts in Aleppo

Visas Visas are required by all except nationals of Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, PLO Gvt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tinisia, United Arab Emirates And Yemen. Appilications should be accompanied by supporting letter from employers.

Transit (for Visits up to 3 days), entry (for visits up to 2 weeks)and visit(for re-entry from neighbouring countries) visas are available.

Customs Regulations 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco and 1 bottle of wine and one bottle of spirits.

Currency regulations Up to £Syr 100 in local currency may be brought into or out of the country.Currency declarations are necessary for more than US$5000 in local or foreign curency.Visitors are advised to keep adequate amounts of Bank notes on hand since it is sometimes difficult to cash travelers checques

Currency 1Syrian pound (£Syr)=100 piaster or qirsh.



Embassies & Consulates Algeria Rawdah Street, Nass Bldg Argentina P.O.Box 116 Armenia Malekie-Ibrahim Hanano St. Austria P.O.Box 5634 Belgium 76 Ata Ayoubi Street Brazil P.O.Box 2219 Canada P.O.Box 3384 Cyprus P.O.Box 9269 Denmark P.O.Box 2244 France P.O.Box 769, Ata Al Ayoubi St. Germany P.O.Box 2237 Greece P.O.Box 30319, Mezzeh Holy See P.O.Box 2271, 82 Masr Street Hungary P.O.Box 2271, 102 al Fursani St. India P.O.Box 685 Indonesia 17 Assalam St., Bldg 10 Iran P.O.Box 2691 Italy 82 Al Mansour Ave Japan Al Mindi Bin Baraka St. Jordan















3327992 3323800


















Abu Roummaneh Street Kuwait Ibrahim Hanano Street Netherland P.O.Box 702 Pakistan P.O.Box 9284, Al Farabi St. Poland P.O.Box 501, M.Ben Baraka St. Qatar P.O.Box 4188 Romania 8 Ibrahim Hanano St. Russia Omar Ben Khattab St Saudi Arabia Al-Jala’ Avenue Slovakia P.O.Box 33115 Spain 81 Al-Jala’ Avenue Sudan Al-Jala’ Street Sweden P.O.Box 4266 Switzerland Al-Mahdi Ben Baraka St. Tunisia P.O.Box 4114 Turkey P.O.Box 3738 UAE 62 Rawda Street/Abu Rummana St. UK P.O.Box 37, Malki USA P.O.Box 29, No.2 Al Mansour St.






3330101 3336717 3327570





3332126 3327261




6660356 3331411


3333038 3739241




December I Travel Arabia I 97

Embassies & Consulates Algeria 18 Niger Street Argentina 10 H.Hassan Street Austria 16 Ibn Hamdis St., Menzah Bahrain 72 Bin Abi Soufiane, Menzah Belgium 47 1st January St. Belvedere Brazil 37 Africa Avenue, Menzah Canada 3 Senegal Street, Belevedere China 22 Dr. Burnett St., Mutuelleville Czech Republic P.O.Box 53, 1002 Tunis Denmark 5 Mauritania Street, Belevedere Egypt Ave.Med V, Mont Plaisir, Belvedere Finland 61 H.Bourghiba Ave., Carthage France Independence square Germany 1 al Hamra st., Mutuelleville Greece 9 Imp.Atlas, Belvedere Hungary 12 Achtart St., Al-Menzah India 4 Didon Square, Notre Dame Iraq 10 Ben Ashour Ave. Menzah Iran 10 Doctor Burnett St., Mutuelleville Italy 37 Jamal Abdel Nassr St. Japan 9 Apollo St. Mahrajenne Jordan 10 Chankatti st., Mahrajene Korea Rep
























General Information


Government Offices

Kuwait, Liberia, Leichtenstein, Malaysia, Mali,

164,418 sq.Km

Winter :08.00 to 13.00 and 15.00 to 17.45

Malta, Mauritania, Mauritus, Monaco, Montserrat,

Population Thu.08.30 to 13.00 Fri.and Sat.

Morocco, Nevis, Niger, Norway, Pitcairn Is.,

(2000 estimate) 9.65 million

Summer:07.00 to 13.00 Sat.

Porugal, Romania, St.Helens, St.Kittis, San



Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain, Sweden,


Winter:08.300 to 12.30 and 14.00 to 16.00

Switzerland, Turkey, Turks,& Caicos Is., UAE, UK,

Main Cities

Mon to Fri.

USA, Venuatu, Virgin Is,(Britsih) and Yugoslavia.

Tunis, Sfax, Ariana, Bizerte, Djerba, Sousse

Summer:07.30 to 13.00 Mon to Sat.

Customs Regulations 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 400g tobacco







Winter:13∞ with frequent rain.

Winter:08.00 to 11.00 and 14.00 to 16.00

and 1 litre of alcohol are admitted free of duty.



Summer: 35∞C,hot and dry

Mon to Fri.

Currency regulations

Summer:07.00 to 13.00 Mon. to Sat.

The import or export of Tunisian currency is



Languages Arabic (official), French (commercial),


prohibited.O departure all Tunisian currency must

Berber (in rural areas).

Domestic 220V and 110V.

be converted into foreign currency on production


Industrial 220V 50 cycles AC

of exchange slips from Tunisian banks. This can

Tunis (8 Km from Tunis)


be done at the Airport .The amount of excess

Skanes (8 Km west of Monasrtir)

Visas are required by all except nationals of

currency exchanged back must not exceed 30

Melita (6 Km west of Djerba)

Angiulla, Antigua, Austria, Bahrain, Barbados,

per cent of foreign currency originally exchanged

Tozeur (south oasis area)

Belize, Bermuda, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada,

or 100 dinars, whichever is the greater.


Cayman Is, Chile, Cuba, Denmark, Egypt, Eire,


Tunis (main port), Zarzis, Sfax,

Falkand Is, Fuji, Finland, France, Germany,

1 Tunisian Dinar(TD)=1,000 millimes(m)

Sousse, Bizerta

Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Giunea, Hong Kong,

Business Hours

Iceland, Italy, Ivory coast, Japan, Korea(South),















16 Caracalla St., Notre Dame Kuwait 32 Mansoura St., Ariana Libya 48 Bis., Rue du 1er Jiun, Belvedere Morocco 39 Rue du 1er Jiun, Belvedere Netherlands 6/7/8/ Mercen St.Mahrajene Pakistan 7 Ali Bin Abi Talib Street, Al-Menzah Portugal 2 Sufetula St., Belvedere Romania 18 Africa Avenue, Al- Menzah Russia Bergamate St., ManarII Saudi Arabia 16 Jugurtha Ave., Belvedere Spain 22 Conseil Avenue, Cite jardin Sudan 30 Afrique Avenue Sweden Berges Lac, Mhiri Switzerland 10 Echenkiti st., Mutuelleville Syria 119 A. Rebai St., Manar II Turkey 30 Ave. Africa UAE 9 Ashtart St., Belvedere UK 141 Liberty Ave., Belvedere USA 144 Liberty Avenue, Belvedere Yemen 9 A.Ibn Abi Taleb St., Menzah

98 I Travel Arabia I December








































Embassies & Consulates

Algeria P.O.Box 3070, Abu Dhabi Argentina P.O.Box 3325, Abu Dhabi Australia P.O.Box 58010, Dubai Austria P.O.Box 35539, Abu Dhabi Bahrain P.O.Box 3367, Abu Dhabi Bangladesh P.O.Box 2504, Abu Dhabi Belgium P.O.Box 3686, Abu Dhabi Brazil P.O.Box 3027, Abu Dhabi Britain P.O.Box 248, Abu Dhabi Canada P.O.Box 6970, Abu Dhabi China P.O.Box 2741, Abu Dhabi Czech Republic P.O.Box 27009, Abu Dhabi Egypt P.O.Box 4026, Abu Dhabi Finland P.O.Box 3634, Abu Dhabi France P.O.Box 4014, Abu Dhabi Germany P.O.Box 2591, Abu Dhabi Greece P.O.Box 5483, Abu Dhabi Hungary P.O.Box 44450, Abu Dhabi India P.O.Box 409, Abu Dhabi Iran P.O.Box 4080 Italy P.O.Box 46752, Abu Dhabi Japan P.O.Box 2430, Abu Dhabi Jordan P.O.Box 4024, Abu Dhabi Kenya P.O.Box 3854, Abu Dhabi Korea Rep P.O.Box 3270, Abu Dhabi Kuwait P.O.Box 926, Abu Dhabi Lebanon P.O.Box 4023, Abu Dhabi Libya P.O.Box 5739, Abu Dhabi Malaysia P.O.Box 3887, Abu Dhabi Mauritania P.O.Box 2714, Abu Dhabi Morocco P.O.Box 4066 Netherlands P.O.Box 46560












Dubai International (4 Km east of city),

to Thu



90,559 sq.Kms

duty-free shop


(including Offshore islands)

Fujairah Int’l, Duty-free shop

Abu Dhabi 220/240 volts, 50 cycles AC,




Ras Al Khaimah International (20 Km south of

Northern Emirates

(2006 est.)4.10 m

Town), duty-free shop

220/380 volts, 50 cycles AC.


Sharjah International (10 Km southeast of


Abu Dhabi

Sharjah town and 25 Km north of Dubai Town),

Visas are required by all except GCC nationals.

Main Cities

duty-free shop

UK Citizens will be granted 30-day visa at

Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah,Ras Al-Khaimah


International Aiports.Other Will be required to

Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al-Qaiwan

Jebel Dhanna/Ruwais Abu Dhabi

obtain visas through sponsorship.


Mina Zayed ( Abu Dhabi town, 20% UAE

Customs Regulations

Summer:35to 40C peaks up to 48C along Gulf


200 cigarettes or one half pound of

Coast,very humid in Dubai, more temperate

Mina Jebel Ali (Dubai)

Tobacco(Abu Dhabi), 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars

along eastern(Gulf of Oman)coast. Winter : 20C,

Port Rashid(Dubai Town), 50% UAE tonnage

or 500 gm tobacco(Dubai) are allowed duty-

very dry in Abu Dhabi, Wet in Ras El Khaimah

Ajman, Fujeirah

free.However locally retailed tobacco products are as cheap as duty-free goods.















General Information




Mina Saqr (Ras Al Khaima) Khorfakan (Sharjah/



Arabic (official), English ( widely spoken in

East coast), container terminal.

Alcohol, drugs, pearls and firearms are



Business and government)

Mina Khalid (Sharjah Town), 20% UAE tonnage


Business Hours

Currency regulations



Airports Abu Dhabi International (19 Km southeast of

Government Offices


City), duty-free shop

08.00 to 15.00 Sat. To Wed. And 08.00 to


Abu Dhabi New International Airport (Nadia, 35

12.00 Thu.

1 UAE Dirham(Dh)=100 fils

Km form city centre), duty-free shop


Al Ain International,Duty-free shop

08.00 to 15.00 and 16.00 to 20.00 Sat.





























Norway P.O.Box 47270 Oman P.O.Box 2517 Pakistan P.O.Box 846 Palestine P.O.Box 841 Philippines P.O.Box 3215 Qatar P.O.Box 3503 Romania P.O.Box 70416 Russia P.O.Box 8211 Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 4057 Spain P.O.Box 46474





















Sudan P.O.Box4027 Switzerland P.O.Box 46116 Syria P.O.Box 4011 Thai P.O.Box 47466 Tunisia P.O.Box 4166 Turkey P.O.Box 3204 UK P.O.Box 248 USA P.O.Box 4009 Yemen P.O.Box 2095



















December I Travel Arabia I 99



Embassies & Consulates

General Information Area


527.970 sq.Km

Hodeida(principal), Aden, Mokha, Saleef(relief port for Hodeida)


Business Hours

(2000 estimate)17.5 million



08.00 to 13.00 Thu.

Sanaa(political), Aden(economic)


Main Cities

08.00 to 13.00 and 16.00 to 19.00 Thu.

Sanaa, Aden, Hoddeida, Taiz, Ibb, Dhamar, Hajjah



08.00 to 12.00 Wed. and 08.00 to 11.30 Thu.

Summer:35 to 40 C,peaks up to 47 C in Hodeida,Very humid, rainfall


cooler and drier in Sanaa.

220 volts, 50 cycles AC

Winter: 26 C in Hodeidah,Humid, much cooler , with occasional frosts,in



Visas are required for all visitors.One application form and 2 photographs

Summer:average 35 C in Aden, very humid,hotter but wideDiurnal range

must be presented with employer’s supporting letter.

and drier inland.

Processing of applications takes 3 to 6 days.

Winter: average 28 C in Aden, humid, much cooler inland.

Visitors must register within 5 days to obtain an exit visa which can


sometimes also be arranged by hotels.

Arabic (official), English (commercial)


Customs regulations 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or _ lb tobacco and 1 qt wine are admitted

Al-Rahaba(10 Km north of Sanaa).



Currency regulations

(6 Km Southeast of city)

Because the exchange of riyals is difficult abroad, visitors exchange all local


currency before departure.

(4 Km northeast of Taiz)


Khormasakar International

1 Yemeni Riyal(YR)=100 fils

(10 Km from Aden). No duty-free shop.Sanaa

100 I Travel Arabia I December

Algeria P.O.Box 509, 67 Amman ST. Belgium P.O.Box 2616 Canada P.O.Box 340 China Al Zubeiri St Czech Republic P.O.Box 2501, Safia Janubia Denmark P.OBox 5302,Taiz Egypt Jamal Abdul Naser St. France P.O.Box 1286, Al Bounia Germany P.O.Box 41 India 12 Jiboti Street Indonesia Hadda Area, house 16 Iran P.O.Box 1437, Hadda Street Iraq P.O.Box 498 Italy P.O.Box 1152 Japan P.O.Box 817, street 38 house2 Jordan P.O.Box 2152 Korea(PDR) P.O.Box 1209, Al Hasaba Kuwait P.O.Box 17036 Lebanon P.O.Box 2283 Morocco P.O.Box 10236,Westy Safia Oman P.O.Box 105 Pakistan P.O.Box 2848 Poland P.O.Box 16168 Romania P.O.Box 2169 Russia P.O.Box 1087,26 sep.street Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 1184 Sudan P.O.Box 2561 Syria P.O.Box 494, Hadda Road Tunisia P.O.Box 2561,Diplomatic Area Turkey P.O.Box 18371, Al Safia UAE P.O.Box2250 UK P.O.Box 1287 USA P.O.Box 22347

* Whilst every effort is made to provide totally accurate information, no responsibility is taken for inaccuracies and omissions contained herein.







275337 247946 215170

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413153 240458 241395


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Travel Arabia Dec 07  

Dec 07 issue of Travel Arabia published by Kalimat Group International

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