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Online Version: www.travel-arabia.com

February 2008, Volume 4, Issue 2

CELEBRATING

Valentine’s Day AROUND THE WORLD

The gift of love Your guide to thoughtful gifts

Outside Arabia

The beauty of the Philippines

The parks of Dubai

CTION ATTRA deen r Qama l Hote

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editor’s note

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made a quick visit to my home country. Quick, I would say, because it was not a planned trip and if I tell you how tensed the days were leading to the trip, you would say that I should have stayed. Anyways, this quick respite, as I would like to call it, gave me a chance to discover some places in the Philippines which I really haven’t had the chance to explore. A twoweek stay ended in visiting three main provinces in Luzon and the city of Manila where I was brought up and worked before going abroad. In Manila, I had a chance to meet my high school friends. The excitement of seeing your high school buddies after 25 long years and checked how they are, what they looked like and what they have become is definitely worth the wait. What was sad though was that my old chums were not around. Most of them I was told have gone abroad to find greener pastures like I did. It’s very funny to see how the cutie guy in my high school days is now overweight, with thinning hair and a “beer belly”. Looking at them made me realize how much time had passed since my high school years. That short gathering made me reminisce and examine the choices I have made, or rather, what I chose not to do in the past. As a young adult, I was not exempt from the growing pains, but looking back, I regret not being able to hold on to the friendship that I have established during those younger years. Now I am faced with the agony of tracing back and picking up the pieces of the friendship that I should have nurtured and cared for in the first place. I regret not being able to explore the places in my country that I should have visited first rather than dream of visiting places abroad. The Philippines is made up of 7,107 islands and at this age and time, I haven’t even seen a handful of them. Not that I don’t like travelling but most of my time were spent minding other important things. So in this trip, I went to visit my father’s ancestral home which I haven’t seen for 15 years. The old house, the guava tree that I used to climb and the river where my late grandfather used to take us

for a swim were all there. They all looked small now because of the time that passed but the minute I stepped on the ground, the memories, the laughter and the tears all started rushing back. They’re all there, just waiting to be touched again as if I’ve never been away. I also had a chance to visit Tagaytay where you can get a view of the famous Taal Volcano. It was freezing cold when we reached the highest point. You can see the fog passing over the mountains. Tagaytay is the Philippines’ second summer capital, next to Baguio City in the north. The place was packed with residents and visitors when we get there. And because it was New Year’s Day, people were taking pictures, buying souvenirs, having a picnic, riding horses and enjoying the most of their time. It was indeed a short but memorable trip. It doesn’t happen very often but what I learned from this trip was life is too short to do all the things that we wanted. The most exciting adventure doesn’t have to be something obvious like a trip to Disneyland, a skiing trip to Japan or a ticket to the opera. A short visit to an old house, a short trip to the market place, a short conversation with you neighbor or a simple “hello” to an old friend are things that look very simple and yet, it could make a lasting impression and would definitely make your day. I hope you will enjoy reading my article about the Philippines. I hope you will enjoy it that you will make a trip to my country one day and visit the places that I have discovered. I have written a lot of interesting things about it that you might ask, “Was there any bad thing that you experienced?” Well, there is one, but it’s for me to keep and for you to guess. Happy reading!

Flor B. Pamintuan


www.travel-arabia.com 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 editor@travel-arabia.com

your letters E-Complaints System

General Manager Hekmat el Zein Editor Flor B. Pamintuan editor@travel-arabia.com Staff Writers Anjana Das Habeeb Salloum Contributors Gordon Torbet Eugene Correia Angela T Chuck Wightman Ty Treadwell 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 arif@kalimatgroup.com 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

Bush’s historic visit to Dubai The visit of US President George W. Bush to Dubai was indeed a historic one. First, I think this is the only time that a seating US president had visited the Middle East. Second, it halted all business transactions in Dubai which I would assume cost millions, if not, billions of dirhams. This is the first time I saw the long stretch of Sheikh Zayed Road deserted, with no moving vehicles, except perhaps the Bush entourage. Most of the residents were confined to their houses, a lot of tourists cancelled or missed their flights and a lot of business dealings had to be cancelled or rescheduled for another day. Wow, this doesn’t happen all the time. I just hope this visit is worthy of all the troubles or headaches that this government and its residents have endured to guarantee a smooth and safe visit for the President. Francis G. Dubai

I would like to congratulate the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) in launching the e-Complaints system to redress the grievances of the Dubai visitors. I think this system would go a long way because not only it meets the expectations of the tourists and visitors to Dubai but it will also enhance the confidence of visitors, businessmen and investors to the emirate. I just hope the department will be committed to attend to the complaints and don’t make a “deaf ear” about it. For the visitors, I do hope that they will only lodge reasonable and justifiable complaints. Complaints can be sent through email, fax or calling toll free number 800 7090. Martin Samuel

The cruise holidays

I work in one of the luxurious ships offering cruises around the world. I want to encourage a lot of people especially residents from Dubai to experience the cruise because you will truly love it. It’s like touring the world in the most luxurious ways. Why? Because the facilities on board are superb and could match any five-star properties out there. The activities are endless for both young and adults. The food choices are endless and the fact that you can see so much places in only a couple of days is truly worth it. Thank you for featuring the cruises in your January issue because it gives an idea of what holiday cruising is about. Richard Franco Philippines

The rains in Dubai

For several days last month, Dubai experienced a heavy downpour. I have always loved the rain because it provides a soothing and refreshing feeling. It’s good to feel the cold weather after suffering from high temperatures during summer. But I think the rain this time made Dubai really soaked and flooded in the true sense of the world. I was one of those who experienced being stuck in traffic for long hours. A ride that I normally take for an hour from Deira to Al Quoz took me five hours because cars were not moving at the second interchange where the rain created a deep water pond. I saw a lot of vehicles got stuck and the drivers were forced to leave their vehicles. This is one thing that Dubai has not anticipated. The government should go back and review their sewer system especially those at the low-lying areas. Khalifa M. Al Quoz Travel Arabia would like to receive your comments and suggestions. Write to editor@travel-arabia.com


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Love Is In the Air

The Gift of Love

The Parks of Dubai

Next to Christmas Day, one of the most celebrated occasions around the world is Valentine’s Day. Celebrated traditionally by the Christian population, the day is set on February 14 and on this day, couples find time to look for the perfect gift and some even make elaborate celebration to impress their loved ones.

Valentine’s gifts have the potential to create powerful emotional memories. While any Valentine’s gift you select will serve to reflect your thoughtfulness and convey your feelings, you can check this guide to find one that will be received with delight.

Romantic Celebration Whether you plan to have a candlelight dinner by the beach or an intimate dinner in the luxurious comfort of your suite or villa, the choices are plenty this Valentine’s Day.

There’s no perfect time to enjoy Dubai than during the winter months when you can go for a stroll outside of your hotel, away from the shopping malls and into the beautiful and serene park lands where you can enjoy the cool breeze of winter or simply spend the afternoon sitting and reading your favorite book.

About the Cover: Valentine’s Day is considered the most romantic day of the year. It is the perfect time to express your love and appreciation to the people you cared and loved most.

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The Beauty of the Philippines The Philippines is made up of 7,107 islands covering a land area of 115,739 sq. m. The main island groups are Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The capital of the country is Manila and close to the cities of Makati, Quezon City and all other cities that were established as a result of the growth and development in the country.

The Epitome of Luxury, Comfort and Style Qamardeen Hotel, situated beside its sister hotel, Al Manzil, in the Old Town, Burj Dubai is well known for its exquisite service, sumptuous furnishings and superb amenities. General Manager, John Aritho talks to Travel Arabia about what makes Qamardeen stand out amongst a myriad of hotels in Dubai.

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Accor Hospitality expands in the ME

The Ranch Steak House

Accor Hospitality’s presence in the Middle East continues to grow with a target of 70 hotels by 2011. The group is developing economy, midscale and upscale properties, to fill the gap between budget and luxury properties.

At the heart of Bur Dubai lies an elegant dining place where you can experience a relaxed atmosphere while enjoying the finest quality US certified Angus beef. The Ranch Steak House, located at Dhow Palace Hotel, gives steakhouse dining a new meaning with its superb food, sophisticated service and elegant setting.

GALLERY SCAN Carthage Ruins - Tunisia Watermill - Hama - Syria

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Events FEBRUARY Kev Orkian February 6 – 8

Madinat Jumeirah Kev Orkian has performed for many years across the world with his off the wall comedy show and piano accompaniment. This one man show will have you rolling in the aisle with laughter as he tells the story of his upbringing and life as the only Armenian Comic Pianist in the world. Kev is an accomplished pianist playing renditions of the great classics we all know, whilst also making you laugh with his clever musical interludes and comedy timing. Show starts 20.30hrs for AED 150. For more information, please contact Madinat Theatre Box Office at 971 4 366 6549.

Arts & Antiques Dubai February 21 – 24

Human Vibration

By Benoit Rondard February 1 – 29 Ibis World Trade Centre Dubai Discover “Human Vibrations” by Benoit Rondard at Ibis World Trade Centre Dubai from 1st to 29th February. Born in 1968 in Lyon, France, Benoit grew up with artistic parents, his father an architect and his mother a fashion designer. Although Benoit was drawn to mechanical engineering as a career he kept his interest in painting alive by attending night school and gained baccalaureate in art when he was 18 years old. After working as an Engineer in Japan and then

Madinat Arena, Madinat Jumeirah The debut of ‘Art & Antiques Dubai’, an international art fair scheduled to take place from the 21st-24th February 2008, promises to dazzle art lovers in the region with a wide ranging selection of the world’s finest art and antiques, including some of England’s best silver and exquisite glass paintings. Exhibitors in Dubai will include prestigious names such as Koopman Rare Art from London, internationally recognized as leading specialists in antique silver and works of art. Timo Koopman plans to bring ‘the best’ of his stock, which includes work by England’s greatest silversmiths, Paul Storr (1771-1844) and Paul de Lamerie (1688-1751), who were responsible for some of the most important and valuable silver ever produced. ‘Art & Antiques Dubai’ will also feature important examples from the decorative arts, including items of Middle Eastern origin. For art enthusiasts interested particularly in works of art illustrating the culture and lifestyle of the Middle East; there will, for example, be a selection of Islamic works of art at London dealer Amir Mohtashemi. Dealers in 20th century decorative arts in general include leading New York dealer, Maison Gerard who will be showcasing the lavish painted glass panels made by Jean Dupas in 1934 especially for the famous and newly built ocean-going liner SS Normandie. Benoist Drut of Maison Gerard considers pieces such as this should attract keen interest at the fair because art collectors in the Middle East “appreciate style and refinement”. Haughton International Fairs are renowned for providing a superb showcase for art and antiques of the highest caliber at their New York and London fairs, and the Dubai event will be no exception. Their reputation is also based on the stringent procedures surrounding the selection of works of art for quality and authenticity employed at all Haughton fairs.  I Travel Arabia I February

taking time out to gain a Master Degree in Business Administration, Benoit decided to persue his true passion of art five years ago. Benoit focuses on drawing hundreds of pencil sketches that have no relation to one and other on small sheets of paper. He then picks the ones that can be developed into paintings that will fit his unique style by re-drawing them on to canvas. The artist uses only acrylic paints so the paintings are textured and offer depth. This is combined with his use of pads to create an esthetic, harmonious imbalance within the painting.

International Property Show February 17 - 19 Dubai International Exhibition Centre The International Property Show is a major networking and transactional event where deals worth millions of dollars are concluded. The show brings together high networth individuals, commercial and residential investors and specialized visitors from the property industry including trade delectations. IPS 2007 concluded with multi billion Dhs in sales and recorded 18,764 visitors from across the globe who gathered to view the high-value projects, and select what best suits their needs from the properties showcased.


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COVER STORY

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Next to Christmas Day, one of the most celebrated occasions around the world is Valentine’s Day. Considered as the most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to express your love and appreciation for your wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, father and children.

e v o L Air e h t n i is

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Valentine’s Day is celebrated traditionally by the Christian population. The day is set on February 14 and on this day, couples find time to look for the perfect gift and some even make elaborate celebration to impress their loved ones. As soon as the first day of February comes, a lot of shopping malls and stores decorate its windows and floors with heart-shaped displays, red balloons, and

but on any occasion. Even early German baptismal certificates or marriage certificates were considered at one time to have been valentines, but were more likely simply decorative and pictorial documents which contained lovely verses. In the Philippines, Valentine’s Day is a much-awaited occasion. Most women wear red clothes on this day. Men are busy buying roses and chocolates

Valentine’s Day is celebrated traditionally by the Christian population. The day is set on February 14 and on this day, couples find time to look for the perfect gift and some even make elaborate celebration to impress their loved ones. photos of Cupid, red roses, chocolates and candies. Valentine’s cards are plenty and this is the most appropriate time to express your love for your partner. Some people even set this date for their engagement or wedding day. In Germany, it has become customary for the young man of a courting couple to present his beloved with flowers on February 14. Valentine gifts in Germany are usually in the shape of love tokens, complete with endearing messages. However, these are not distributed solely on Valentine’s Day,

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for the women. Couples and friends celebrate the day by exchanging cards and spending time together. Others who want to make the day more meaningful and memorable send singing telegram to their loved ones. Most of the restaurants are booked for the evenings for intimate dinners. Others spent time watching concerts or stroll around the park. Valentine’s Day is also celebrated on February 14 in Korea. On that day, many girls and young women give candies to their boyfriends. But there is another special day like Valentine’s Day in Korea.

It is called “White Day” which falls on March 14. It is the opposite of Valentine’s Day when many boys and young men give chocolates to their girl friends. Some confess their love to their girlfriends on that day so many young women look forward to this day. For those young people who have no particular romantic partners, the Koreans have set aside yet another date, April 14, also known as “Black Day.” On that date, such individuals get together and partake of Jajang noodles, which are black in color, hence the name of the day. In Japan, there are two days set for Valentine’s Day. One is held on February 14 and the other is on March 14. Like in Korea, the girl gives chocolate to the boy whom she is falling in love with on February 14. On March 14, it is the boy who returns the favour by giving candy to the girl he loves. Although most of the shops in Japan display chocolates and candies a week before February 14, most girls in Japan don’t buy those chocolates to give to the boys they love. They make the chocolates themselves to show that it is truly a “labour of love”. So the chocolates sold in shops are being given to friends or bosses whom they like. In Taiwan, Valentine’s Day is also celebrated on February 14 but there is also a special Valentine’s Day on July 7 of the lunar calendar. It comes from an ancient Chinese folk tale. Both of these Valentine’s Days are important in Taiwan. When the day comes, flowers become very expensive but there are still a lot of men who will spend a lot of money to buy special bouquets for girls. According to Taiwan tradition, the colour and number of the roses holds much significance. For example, one red rose means “an only love,” eleven roses means “a favorite,” ninety-nine roses means “forever,” and one hundred eight roses means “marry me.” The poets of Britain have probably penned the majority of the best-loved romantic verses associated with Saint Valentine. Different regions of the nation celebrate their own customs to honor this day, although the sending of cards and gifts of flowers and chocolates is standard procedure throughout the entire country. One custom is the singing of special songs by children, who then receive gifts of candy, fruit or money. In some areas, valentine buns are baked with caraway seeds, plums or raisins.


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In Turkey, this day is usually celebrated by young couples on February 14. They begin to do shopping two weeks prior to Valentine’s Day. These couples spend the whole day with each other. During the day, they go to an amusement park or a cinema and have dinner together. At the end of the day, they give each other gifts, especially red roses, because a red rose has special meaning for love. In the United States of America, Valentine’s cards are exchanged with friends. Over the course of the years, there have been many varieties of cards given. In the times of the Civil War, cards were flagged with rich colours accompanied by patriotic and/or political motifs. Early American Valentine cards were especially lithographed

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and hand-coloured, with beautiful and distinctive design, produced with intricate lace paper and decorated with such ornaments as beads, sea shells, berries and seeds. Many early American cards were imported from abroad. Today, American children usually exchange valentines with their friends with cards that they themselves make. The Danish valentine card is known as a “lover’s card.” Older versions of this greeting came in the form of a transparency which, when held up to the light, depicted the image of a lover handing his beloved a gift. One custom in Denmark is for people to send pressed white flowers called Snowdrops to their friends. Danish men may also send a form of valentine known as a gaekkebrev (or “joking letter”). The sender of this gaekkebrev pens a rhyme but does not sign his name. Instead, he signs the message with dots, one dot for each letter in his name. If the lady who receives the card guesses the name of the sender, then she is rewarded with an Easter egg later in the year. In Italy, Valentine’s Day was once celebrated as a Spring Festival, held in the open air, where young people would gather in tree arbors or ornamental gardens to listen to music and the reading of poetry. However, over the course of the years, this custom steadily ceased and has not now been celebrated for centuries. In Turin, it was formerly the custom for betrothed couples to announce their engagements on February 14. In Scotland, Valentine’s Day is celebrated with a festival. At this festival, there is an equal number of unmarried males and females, each of whom write their name (or a made-up name) on a piece of paper which is then folded and placed into a hat, one hat for

the ladies and one for the men. The females then draw a name from the hat containing the men’s names and vice versa. Of course, it is highly likely that the two drawn names will not match, in which event, it is usually expected that the male partner with the female who selected his name. This rite having been completed, the company split up into couples and gifts are given to the ladies. The females would then pin the name of their partner over their hearts or on their sleeves. A dance often follows and, at the end of the festival, it is not unusual for marriages to take place. According to another Scottish custom, the first young man or woman encountered by chance on the street or elsewhere will become that individual’s valentine. Valentine’s Day gifts in Scotland are frequently given by either parties in the form of a love-token or true-love-knot. In Spain, it is customary for courting couples to exchange gifts on Valentine’s Day and for husbands to send their wives bouquets of roses.

HOW TO SAY I love you AROUND THE GLOBE Wo ai ni (Mandarin) Ngo oi ney (Cantonese) Saya cinta padamu (Indonesian) Sukiyo (Japanese) Yo te amo/Te quiero (Spanish) Ich liebe Dich (Germany) Je t’aime (French) Sarang Ham-nida (Korean) Ya tyebya lyublyu (Russian) Ti amo/Ti voglio bene (Italian) Eu te amo (Portuguese) Seni seviyorum (Turkish) Khao raak thoe (Thai)


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GIFT GUIDE

Love The

Gift of

Valentine’s gifts have the potential to create powerful emotional memories. While any Valentine’s gift you select will serve to reflect your thoughtfulness and convey your feelings, you can check this guide to find one that will be received with delight.

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Perfume, chocolates, and flowers are the three gifts men traditionally give to women on Valentine’s Day. If you’re considering a Valentine’s Day gift of perfume, try to find out if she uses fragrance and what her favorite scent is. If you don’t know her signature scent, try one of the popular brands. A thoughtful gift for your wife that will be appreciated is always flowers. The best flowers to give at Valentine’s are red roses. Flowers show how fresh and precious your love is. Flowers remind her how beautiful and elegant she is. On a tight budget? Consider buying a scented bath product. They’re cheaper than perfume but still smell great.

Surprising your girlfriend with jewelry is an unforgettable event, and it can be underscored with a message true to your mind and heart. Visit the newly opened FRED boutique at the new WAFI extension. Rare red corals combined with diamonds and pearls, glittering diamond necklaces and bold watches are a must see at FRED’s first store in Dubai.

Diamond is a girl’s best friend so make your wife shine like awardwinning actress Eva Green in Montblanc diamonds. Miss Green’s Montblanc Dentelle set worn at the recent world premiere of The Golden Compass consisted of a sophisticated necklace in luxurious white gold, featuring diamonds with a carat weight of 6.11ct and a central rare Montblanc diamond - a unique patented cut, the result of 8 years of research - of 6.15ct, worth US$ 2.1million (AED 7.71 million). Match it with a sparkling white gold earrings featuring diamonds (total carat weight 1.80 ct) – and a Montblanc diamond of 2.15ct and 2.12 ct per earring with a value of US$ 750,000 (AED 2.75 million).

Indulge your loved one to a Special Valentine bounty by booking a 5 hours Luxurious full day package “Ultimate Spa Experience” at the Taj Palace Hotel, Dubai. The AED 1110 (per person) package includes four hours of Milk and Honey Bath, Honey Body Polish, Swedish massage, majestic glow facial, lunch (spa cuisine) and tea. If that’s not enough, the remaining day can be spent relaxing by the pool. Do not forget to avail a complimentary couple Health Club membership for 15 days! Book early to guarantee your love and devotion! For more information and appointments, call 04-2113101.

Creativity can also add a lot of flair to an otherwise predictable night of gift-giving. Order in her favorite meal from afar, ahead of time, and put it in the freezer for the special night. Try to think of a few things when deciding on her gifts. Make it the object of your desire to bestow as much joy as possible on her with the Valentine’s Gifts for her - and only her.


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Enjoy a perfect retreat at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa this Valentine’s Day. From February 14 to February 16, 2008, The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain offers a romantic package for BD210 per night – based on a minimum stay of two nights. The Valentine’s Package includes a Deluxe Sea View Room for two; Daily breakfast in La Mediterranee restaurant; Tete a Tete couples spa treatment per stay, a Romantic dinner at the Italian restaurant Primavera inclusive of house wine and Valentine’s Sweets in the room. For more information, contact The Ritz-Carlton toll free reservations line at 1 (800) 241-3333, visit the company web site at www.ritzcarlton.com, or consult a travel professional.

In this modern time, gifts come very handy. Though the traditional perfume, chocolates and roses abound during Valentine’s Day, HP Middle East introduced a special edition consumer notebook with a chocolate Imprint design. The new stylish HP Verve Imprint design on the “chocolate” coloured notebook is sure to stand out in the crowd. In line with the seasonal trends of earthy browns and chocolates, the high quality finish exterior hard casing is adorned with a striking filigree flower pattern. Price starts from AED 5499.

If your intention is to give a digital camera then look no further than the latest slim and trendy camera from Kodak, the KodakEasyshare M753. This small wonder comes with 7-mega pixel, 3X optical zoom lens and ISO up to 1250 allowing you to capture the details with faster shutter speeds when shooting under low light conditions. Get a good look at your pictures on the large 2.5-inch. (6.4 cm) LCD screen. Slim and pocket sized, perfect as a gift for your beloved.

The new Motorola RAZR2 Luxury Edition fits perfectly with the latest haute couture. The signature RAZR2 form factor has been redesigned and re-imagined in the most luxurious materials – bathed in gold and clothed in a sensual snake-like skin with embossed graphics, and 18 carat elegant gold plated accents with an engraved diamond-cut pattern on the sideband. A 2.0 megapixel camera with 8x digital zoom records the moment with high resolution pictures and also provides up to 2 hours of video capture and playback. Up to 2GB of on-board storage for up to 1,000 songs and a powerhouse processor for fast over-the-air downloads.

Unique Valentine’s gifts are personalized. Personalized gifts show an extra bit of thoughtfulness. Those are the gifts that both you and your loved ones will remember for many years. Unique gifts have a personal touch whether you give the gifts to your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, mom, dad, daughters or sons.


Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa gives you a chance to create your own romantic experience and make this day truly memorable. Starting from their personalized room arrangement, your romantic journey will continue with the specialty beach massage for couples. The highlight of your day will be the signature romantic beach and restaurant dinner package which will be individualized to your wishes. To ensure your Valentine’s Day is perfect, book early to avoid disappointment as places are limited. For reservations, please call 00 971 9 244 98 88.

Surprise that special someone with a funky, fun and fashionable gift this St. Valentines Day. The ladies can flaunt it wearing ‘Alice,’ a slimfitting chic style for women, in red, the colour of love. Meanwhile, guys can match their partner by opting for the muscly ‘Off Road,’ rugged alternative for men in red and black. You and your partner can enjoy and share the comfort, when putting on your new CROCS™ at St. Valentines Day and throughout the year. The ‘Alice’ is available in Women’s 4-12, and the ‘Off Road’ in sizes Men’s 4-13 in a selection of colours through selected retailers across the UAE.

TAG Heuer revolutionizes chronograph movements, inventing the world’s easiest-to-read and most elegant chronograph. Representing nothing less than the most elegant, high-performance sports chronograph ever conceived, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Calibre S revolutionizes watchmaking by presenting a breakthrough in chronographs movements with a home-designed caliber making it possible to measure and display all watch and chronograph functions with the same hands. This new and unique architecture offers the most elegant, logical way to intuitively and easily read time, elapsed chronograph time and countdown for regattas.

If you really want to impress with a unique evening that will create memories to last a lifetime, look no further than Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The evening of luxury will begin when you are collected by limousine from your front door; you will then board your private chartered yacht for an exclusive cruise around Dubai with your own butler on hand to meet your every requirement. The yacht will anchor in the lagoon and guests will enjoy a spectacular five course gourmet menu specially crafted by the chef, and complemented by a bottle of Dom Perignon. At the end of your cruise you will receive a very special gift which will serve as a momento of what promises to be a magical evening. Price is AED 15,000 per couple. For more information, please contact Restaurant Reservations at +9714 406 8999.

The Natural Healing Wellness Spa is offering a total indulgence treatment this Valentine’s Day. Indulge with your partner in Paradise Found Treatment that starts with a masage in the couple’s room, followed by the chocolate body scrub and chocolate body mask treatment. Your journey doesn’t end there! The Natural Healing Wellness Spa will give you tips on how you and your loved one can take your “Spa Indulgence” home with 30 minutes basic steps massage techniques by the Spa Therapist. Treatment time is 2.30 hours for Dhs.995 per couple. For booking please call: +9714 3483896.

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Edible Arrangements specializes in creating delicious fruit designs filled with fresh strawberries, pineapple, grapes, oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, bananas and pears. Arrangements are guaranteed fresh and are available in a variety of styles and sizes.

Freshest Gifts The

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The future of bouquets, gift-giving and party centerpieces has arrived in the UAE with the launching of Edible Arrangements, a unique store that offers hand sculpted fresh fruit bouquets which is perfect for any occasion. Edible Arrangements, America’s fourth fastest growing private company allows you to say “Thank You”, “Happy Birthday”, “Happy Valentine’s Day”, “Congratulations” or any occasion with

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a fresh fruit bouquet in a bigger, brighter and more delicious way. The product comes in various sizes and exclusive designs to meet each customer’s need. The arrangements are made daily with fresh fruits which can be personalized with a variety of plush teddy bears, special Mylar balloons and chocolate sauce to create a memorable occasion for all kinds of celebrations. “The unique and visually appealing arrangements include designs such as the Delicious Fruit Designs, Blooming Daisies, and the Delicious Celebration. These bouquets will definitely draw attention at our new store,” said Shukri Al Braik, Chairman of Al Braik


Investment LLC, the company that introduced Edible Arrangements to Dubai. “The fruit arrangements are filled with fresh strawberries, pineapples, grapes, oranges, cantaloupe and honeydew. Consumers can also add a variety of chocolate dipped with fruit to any bouquet. The bouquets are hand sculpted, arranged to look like flowers, gift wrapped and delivered at the doorstep to make life easier for our valuable customers. All one needs to do, is to enjoy the occasion,” says Shukri. The concept of Edible Arrangement was introduced by Tariq Farid, born in Pakistan in 1969 and immigrated to the United States at the age of 11. He launched the first Edible Arrangement store in 1999 in East Haven, Connecticut, inspired by the convergence of three trends: Americans’ growing consumption of fresh fruits, the robust growth in the specialty food market and the increasing dollars Americans were spending on gifts. Al Braik Investment LCC of Dubai which signed an agreement with Edible Arrangements International, Inc. last year has the exclusive rights to begin sub franchising the concept in the GCC region to include the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the Sultanate of Oman. “Our customer base reflects a vibrant mix of nationalities that bring along different tastes and lifestyle situations, thus positioning Edible Arrangements in the Middle East market holds a huge advantage,” said Mr. Tariq Farid, President and CEO of Edible Arrangements International Inc. From a single store in the United States to the current network of stores across the world today, Edible Arrangements has ambitious plans to make its regional presence in the UAE, Qatar and other places in the GCC countries and plans to expand further in the MENA region in the coming years. “We aim to expand into other regions of the Middle East as this market leverages new concepts and ventures to another level,” adds Farid. With increase in per capita retail spending and consumers seeking creative, healthy, high impact gifts for special occasions, the potential for growth retail outlets and franchises in Dubai is enormous. “We have plans to

bring more stores to Dubai and other emirates soon” said Shukri. Associating with one of the leading speciality fruit bouquet retailer from the US expands the current portfolio of Al Braik’s business units and forays Al Braik entry into the booming Retail Industry of GCC. The concept is new to this region and will make customers think beyond traditional gifts. Edible Arrangements provides a perfect solution for giftgiving for all occasions, be it for

Birthdays, Anniversaries, Get well soon, Bridal showers, Baby showers or for Entertaining guests. There are more than 20 varieties of concepts to choose from. The Delicious Party bouquet is perfect for occasions or events of any size. It comes in small to party and bouquet sizes, from 675 AED to 1995 AED. The Delicious Party is a beautiful display of festive fruits including pineapple, daisies, strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe and honeydew. The Sweetheart Bouquet and

Hearts & Berries are perfect gifts for Valentine’s Day. Sweetheart Bouquet is made of fresh strawberries hand dipped in gourmet chocolate and arranged in a keepsake container. It comes in five sizes from 150 AED to 350 AED. The Hearts & Berries is an arrangement filled with love. It is

beautifully designed with pineapple hearts, juicy strawberries and grapes and is also arranged in a keepsake ceramic container. Available in two sizes for 250

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AED and 300 AED. Edible Arrangement will help you create the perfect arrangement for your occasion. Simply visit the store at the Healthcare City Bldg, No. 49 Ground Floor Shop 2 & 3 or call 04-3752125.

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DINING GUIDE

Romantic celebration Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your loved ones and savour meticulously prepared menus by the leading restaurants in town. Whether you plan to have a candlelight dinner by the beach or an intimate dinner in the luxurious comfort of your suite or villa, the choices are plenty. 24 I Travel Arabia I February


of unlimited selected beverages for AED.560 net per couple. Rodeo Grill also offers a five set menu inclusive of inclusive of unlimited selected beverages for AED.620 net per couple. For further information, please call 00971 4 2820000.

Al Murooj Rotana Hotel & Suites

Al Diar Siji Hotel, Fujairah

Al Diar Siji Hotel, Fujairah

Al Bustan Rotana Hotel

Spoil the one you love with delicious and romantic sets of 5-course meal for only AED250 for two persons at Al Diwan Restaurant. You will have Spring Salad for starter, Zuppe Di Porcini soup and heart-shaped Sorbet. For the main course you may choose from Poached Salmon with Yoghurt Cucumber Dill Sauce or Prime Rib Eye of Beef. Dessert choices are Parfait or Chocolate Crescendo and finishes with Petit Four. If you opt to enjoy the amorous festivities with family and friends, Al Diwan also sets up scrumptious lunch and dinner buffet carvery specials of Stuffed Hammour in different sauces, beef and chicken specialties, as well as Roast Turkey for only AED95. Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year and there is no sweeter way to celebrate it than with Heart Shaped Cakes from Siji Café. For chocolate lovers, Siji Café offers Kiss Me Quick Cake, a heart-shaped Chocolate Mousse Cake with French chocolate garnish. Other choices include Be My Valentine Cake (cold cheese cake topped with fresh strawberry) and the Pick Me Up Cake (Tiramisu cake). For the more adventurous couple, Zorba Bar & Cocktail Lounge dishes up special meals with flavorful and spicy overtones such as Char-grilled Pink Steak with Wasabe Soya Sauce, Barbeque Shrimp Duck Breast with Mango Coriander Salsa, Beef Medallion Madagascar and Marinated Rack of Lamb with Mint Gravy Sauce. Price starts from AED55. For enquiries call (09) 223 2000.

Lovely venues and a splendid time welcome both the young and the young at heart to come over and celebrate Valentine’s Day in a romantic dinner at our newly opened restaurant, Choices as well as at our four other dining venues that includes Blue Elephant, Benihana, Come Prima and Rodeo Grill. Choices offers a lavish international seafood buffet inclusive of unlimited selected beverages and live entertainment for AED.199 net per person. Blue Elephant is having a Special Sawadee Siam Night featuring an extensive Thai dinner buffet inclusive of unlimited selected beverages for AED.199 net per person. Enjoy a five course set Teppan dinner at Benihana inclusive of unlimited selected beverages for AED. 400 net per couple or at Come Prima for a five course set Italian dinner inclusive

There is no better way to mark the occasion than indulge into romantic ambience of candlelit dinner and gourmet food with your loved one. It may also become your most memorable and exciting celebration with luxurious surprise gift courtesy of Korloff by Samra Jewellery – be lucky enough to pick up the right chocolate box.

It’s a love affair between the taste buds and the sumptuous sea delights presented over lavish five course set menu at Waterside Seafood Restaurant & Terrace for only AED 750* net per couple, inclusive of 1 welcome drink and an exclusive gift for ladies. Our master chef has prepared five course set menu with special spices and molecules of love at Latino House Restaurant & Bar for AED 750* net per couple, inclusive of 1 welcome drink and an exclusive gift for ladies. Discover the chemistry between the hearts as you dine on a spice-rich

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Jumeirah Beach Hotel and long lasting five course set menu at Zaika for only AED 550* net per couple, inclusive of 1 welcome drink and an exclusive gift for ladies. Enjoy a deeply delicious buffet at Pergolas for AED 600* net per couple, including unlimited selected beverages and an exclusive gift for ladies. For reservations and more information, please call (04) 3211111 or e-mail to fb.almurooj@rotana.com.

Dubai’s newest restaurant will be decked in candles, highlighting the restaurant’s stunning architecture for AED 400 per couple. To get you and your loved one in the mood for Valentine’s Day, Grand Hyatt Dubai’s chic patisserie Panini will be stocking a selection of handmade goodies for you to enjoy! Special Valentine’s cakes in your favourite flavours, shapes and sizes, luscious

chocolates and a whole host of other sweet romantic treats will be available. Whether you give these goodies as gifts or simply want to pamper yourself with some tasty delights, call into Panini and you will be sure to find the perfect delicacy. A selection of Valentine’s treats, available from the 7th until the 14th of February. For reservations, please call 04 317 2222.

Grand Hyatt Dubai For a romantic evening, a fourcourse dinner will be served in the relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere of Andiamo!. This will include a “lover’s dessert” created for sharing for this occasion, as well as a rose and a gift for every lady. A bottle of Champagne will also be at your table and ready to enjoy all evening. AED 600 per couple, including Champagne. Manhattan Grill will play host to a truly luxurious five-course dinner by candlelight on Valentine’s Day, complete with a bottle of exclusive Champagne. A stylish evening sure to be the perfect way to your loved one’s heart! AED 800 per couple, including Champagne. Enjoy the finest in Indian cuisine with a sumptuous set menu, and a gift and a rose for each lady. Grand Hyatt

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Grand Hyatt Dubai


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Masala Terrace Jumeirah Bab Al Shams

Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Celebrate Valentines Day with an intimate dinner for two in the luxurious comfort of your own Royal Villa with Jumeirah Bab Al Shams. The evening starts when guests are picked up from home by a Jumeirah Bab Al Shams limousine, inside which a small bottle of bubbly will be waiting. Guests are then driven to their own Royal Villa situated 2 kilometers away from the Resort at Dubai International Endurance City. A gourmet dinner will be butler served (1 per villa) with grape beverages and guests are driven home by limousine the following day after breakfast. Pizzeria Le Dune captures the charm and romance of rural Italy for an evening to remember. Guests will be welcomed with a Bellini upon arrival, followed by their choice of beautifully prepared antipasti and a selection of special pizzas (including the ‘Amore’, a heart shaped pizza created specially for Valentines Day). For those with a taste for the exotic flavours of India, Masala will be serving a special Valentines set menu. To add to the romance of the occasion your evening will start on the Masala rooftop where you can watch the sun go down whilst sipping your favourite cocktail to the sounds of a Sitar. Enjoy your favourite cocktail at Al Sarab rooftop lounge and bar and watch a spectacular desert sunset whilst relaxing in the cushions of your own Majlis, before the nights sky becomes alive with the twinkling of 1000s of stars. Following this, indulge in a romantic candlelit dinner for two at Al Forsan. For more information, please contact Jumeirah Bab Al Shams at Tel: +9714 832 6699.

Jumeirah Beach Hotel Be transported to the heart of romantic Buenos Aires with an elegant evening to remember at La Parrilla this Valentines Day. Enjoy the sensational five course menu accompanied by a bottle of Laurent Perrier and complimented by

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the most passionate of dances, the Tango. Guests will also receive a rose, Godiva chocolates and a luxurious spa gift voucher. Price is AED 2,500 per couple. Enjoy Valentines Day at Marina where you can start the evening in style with a glass of sparkling grape beverage at 360o and have your photograph taken against the stunning backdrop of Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Burj Al

Jumeirah Emirates Towers With a breathtaking view from Level 50 in the Hotel Tower of Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Vu’s restaurant promises to set the perfect backdrop for an evening of romance and enchantment. Upon arrival diners will receive a complimentary sparkling grape beverage cocktail, with gifts for the celebrating couples and roses

Jumeirah Beach Hotel La Parrilla Arab. Guests will then proceed down to the table at Marina where a frosted set of French black magic roses and a set of pearl earrings awaits. Be soothed by the velvety sounds of our Jazz band whilst you enjoy a sensational five course gourmet menu accompanied by a bottle of Dom Perignon. At the end of the evening you will be presented with your photograph and a box of Godiva chocolates. Price is AED 4,500 per couple. Celebrate Valentines Day the Arabic way and delight your loved one with an evening at Al Khayal. Be entertained by an authentic belly dancer and the delightful sounds of our Asian band, whilst savouring the authentic special four course romantic Lebanese menu and with a glass of sparkling grape beverage upon arrival. Price is AED 1,600 per couple. Celebrate Valentines Day in a relaxed atmosphere with the special themed buffet at Latitude restaurant. In addition to our sumptuous buffet selection and Valentines cocktail upon arrival, make your evening even more relaxing by taking advantage of our free babysitting service. Price is AED 199 per person. For more information, please contact Restaurant Reservations at +9714 406 8999.

for the ladies. A five course set menu promises to tantalise your taste buds, guaranteeing a romantic night coupled with sophistication and luxury. Price is AED 1,350 per couple. At Mosaico restaurant in Jumeirah Emirates Towers, passionate Mediterranean cuisine with an Italian touch awaits you and your loved one. With a Mediterranean décor, the warm and rich atmosphere adds to the romantic ambience. Couples can look forward to a full and sumptuous Mediterranean buffet featuring live cooking stations and all ladies will receive a rose and special gift to commemorate Valentine’s Day. Price is AED 780 per couple. At Tokyo@thetowers in the

Jumeirah Emirates Towers


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Jumeirah Beach Hotel


Jumeirah Emirates Towers Boulevard at Jumeirah Emirates Towers you can experience an authentic Japanese kaiseki five course set menu that promises to add variety and oriental charm to this special Valentines Day. Guest will also receive a welcome cocktail on arrival and wonderful surprise gifts to commemorate the occasion. Join us and say ‘Aishiteru’, (‘I love you’). Price is AED 880 (per couple). For those who are not in the mood for long romantic dinners, obligatory flowers and chocolates, spend Valentine’s Day at Scarlett’s in the Boulevard where you can dance the night away with or without that special someone. With complimentary entrance to the ultimate Valentine’s Day party in town, there is no better way to celebrate the fun aspect of this special occasion. Come dressed in red to match the all-red theme and dance to popular tunes presented by the resident DJ. Price is AED 140 (three course set menu). For more information, please contact Jumeirah Emirates Towers at +971 4 319 8088.

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JW Marriott Dubai Do you want to surprise your loved one with the ultimate Valentine’s gift? JW Marriott Dubai has exactly what you are looking for! Earn the opportunity of a lifetime and win a Damas Diamond! Dine in any of our food & beverage outlets on February 14th evening and you can be one of the lucky participants

fondue that would make her heart melt! Dhs 555 per couple including two glasses of sparkling wine to toast the evening. Italian lovers are famous throughout history. With all the history of love and romance it would only seem natural that Italy, the purported land of romance would celebrate Valentine’s Day with great passion and joy. And it’s no different here at Cucina, JW Marriott Dubai’s traditional Italian restaurant. For Valentine’s Day, we have decided to play cupid and offer couples the ultimate romantic experience with a 5-course set menu and a bottle of Prosecco for Dhs 355. If you are on a “delicious” mood on Valentine’s Day, these three restaurants will take you to an idyllic food journey with your precious one. Enjoy Asian, German and International delights

Jumeirah Beach Hotel

for our biggest Diamond Hunt at Town Square at exactly 23:00 hrs. The first 150 couples to book for Valentine’s Day dinner will have a chance to test their luck to search for four loose diamonds buried randomly inside heart-shaped cakes around Town Square. Up your chances of winning her heart and impress her with a luxury dinner for two at JW’s Steakhouse with an indulgent menu for two especially created by our master chefs. Starting with a dozen of freshly shucked oysters or fresh salad of seafood followed by Café de Paris flambéed tableside for two and ending with a delicate chocolate

that will surely bring Valentines and Valentinos together on this wonderful night. All this and more for Dhs 208 per person (food only) and Dhs 315 per person with regular spirits. Dine under the twinkling stars by the poolside. A nice peaceful candlelit dinner with the cool breeze is all you need for this unforgettable Valentine’s Day. The set menu for Dhs 158 per person is simply marvelous. For more information and reservations please call 04 6077977/ 04 6077009 or log on to www.marriottdining.ae.


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Madinat Jumeirah Celebrate your love this Valentine’s Day in the city’s most romantic backdrop, Madinat Jumeirah. From views of the waterways, lit wind towers, or the stunning view of the iconic Burj Al Arab, Madinat Jumeirah will most certainly complement the romance that evening. Arboretum and Khaymat Al Bahar will offer a sumptous Valentines buffet for AED 280. Koubba, Bahri Bar, The Agency, and Shimmers Lounge will be offering hot and cold canapés with a bottle of sparkling grape beverage for AED 950. Pierchic has been voted the most romantic restaurant in Dubai on numerous occasions and promises to be a romantic, extravagant and delectable evening this Valentine’s Day with a 4 course set menu and a bottle of rose bubbly for AED 2500 per couple. The three time award-winning seafood restaurant Pisces will tantalize your taste buds with a 4-course set menu and a bottle of sparkling rose grape beverage for AED 1800 per couple. Alternatively, guests can rent their own personal tent on the shores of Al Qasr or Mina A’ Salam beach for the evening with a 4-course set menu and a bottle of rose grape beverage for AED 3000. A la carte menu options are also available at Jambase, Shoo Fee Ma Fee, The Wharf, Zheng He’s, Shimmers, Segreto, Pai Thai, MJ’S, and Al Hambra. For more information, please contact Restaurant Reservations at 971 4 366 6730.

Moevenpick Hotel Bur Dubai Make this Valentine’s Day a memorable experience with an exquisite roof top fondue session for two. The Mövenpick Hotel Bur Dubai is using its Swiss expertise to create a culinary evening indulgent enough to take any loved one’s breath away. Cuddle up under the stars on fluffy

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bean bags at intimately set tables for two and allow the discreet staff to serve an evening to remember. Cream of truffled forest mushroom soup and Swiss raclette with potatoes start the evening off before moving onto an array of smoked meats, fish and roasted vegetables. Every table is presented with their individual Swiss fondue made from the finest cheeses for a truly opulent experience. The pieste de Resistance is dangerously tasty chocolate fondue which is served with strawberries, raspberries, marshmallows, Madeline cookies, miniature cakes and handmade chocolate praline- ideal for feeding each other! All guests are served with choices of hot white chocolate with Kaluha or hot milk chocolate with peanut butter to keeps things toasty! The romance starts from 7.00 pm and bookings can be made by calling the hotel at 04 3366000 ext.320. The evening is priced at AED 175.00 net per person and there is a wide selection of wines available. To complete the evening, romantic music will be rendered by a lady violinist. For booking, call +971 4 3104203.

(non-alcoholic beverages) - 159/- Dhs; Everlasting (regular house spirits) - 199/Dhs and Sparkling (1 bottle of sparkling wine) - 299/- Dhs. A special occasion calls for a special meal and at Spice Island we promise just that with our Valentines Day Couple’s Special. Wine and dine your loved one for just Dhs 239* per person which includes a glass of bubbly, a rose for the lady and heart shaped chocolates for both. Other packages priced at Dhs 189/- net per person (Tee Total Package) and Dhs 289/- net per person (Premium Experience). Sweeten up your day with our wide selection of Valentine themed cakes and enjoy 20% off on all 1/2 kg and 1 kg cakes. Take your pick from White Forest to Chocolate Raspberry and Strawberry Cheesecake all ready to be personalized with a message for your loved one. All cakes sold at a la carte prices. Celebrate on cloud no - 9 at Harry’s Place with your love forever! Enjoy a special dinner for 2 at Dhs 152/including a love potion. Please call 04 2625555 for more information.

Moevenpick Resort & Residence Aqaba

Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai

Show your loved one the true meaning of love this Valentine at Moevenpick Resort & Residence Aqaba. Start off with a romantic, candlelit dinner, at the fine dining Al Sufra Mediterranean Restaurant and Terrace. Or choose to celebrate the occasion at Abu Nawwas Fun Pub with exiting entertainment by a live band and the magical performance of the belly dancer. Only for JD 21.000++ per person including a glass of sparkling wine. Special Valentine sweets platter for all arrivals on February 14th, 2008. The Bakery Shop offers a strawberry heart shape tart.Enjoy the taste of pastry chef creation, one special kind of cake, tart or sweet and according to the main occasions during the month. JD 8.00/kg inclusive. For reservations call +962 3 203 4020.

Renaissance Hotel Dubai Fall in love all over again at Sails. Set the mood for romance with roses and a heart shaped chocolate cake along with a mouth watering seafood buffet. Available in 3 packages: Soft Romance

Set the scene for romance this special Valentine’s Day with promotions sure to make you fall head over heels. Whether to unwind and relax at the end of the day, or to start an evening of fun and pleasure, the Balcony Bar is the perfect place to be. On Valentine’s Day, it offers an array of delectable oyster dishes paired with fine Chablis. Sweep your date off her (or his) feet with a buffet dinner at Amwaj and Marrakech or an intimate set dinner at Hoi An or Shang Palace. Ladies get a rose and an exclusive gift when dining in any of the hotel’s restaurants on 14 February 2008. Please call 405 2703 for restaurant reservations.


Jumeirah Bab Al Shams

Abu Dhabi the Roses have been ordered and the Champagne safely stored, join us at either La Mamma, El Sombrero and Il Paradiso where Chef Peter and his team has prepared aphrodisiac set menus on offer for that special Valentines Tête à Tête, in Flavours you will find a fantastic buffet laden with aphrodisiac dishes ranging from oysters, prawns to chocolate covered strawberries. A complimentary glass of bubbly will be offered to all diners and at a price of AED 165 per person, what could be better? Come to Sheraton and romance the night away…

Sheraton Deira Hotel

Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers At the Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers, we offer you two special ways to show your affection to your loved ones. A romantic set menu at Vivaldi or Ashiana, welcome drinks, live entertainment as well as a surprise for the couple - all inclusive for only AED480 net per couple or a romantic buffet spread at Creekside, welcome drinks, live entertainment as well as a surprise for the couple - all inclusive for only AED480 net per couple. Whether you choose to dine at the romantic Vivaldi Italian restaurant with its panoramic view of the Dubai Creek, in the magnificent setting of Ashiana the Indian restaurant or at the exquisite Creekside Japanese restaurant, we have the perfect ambience to ensure your evening will be memorable. Alternatively, if you prefer to celebrate in private, don’t forget to surprise your loved one with some delicious Valentine sweets, available at The Lobby Café and the Chelsea Arms Pub. Prices start at AED50 net per Valentine cake. To book your romantic table, please contact 04 207 1410.

Sheraton Abu Dhabi Are looking for the perfect spot to romance your loved one? At the Sheraton

Celebrating the Valentine’s with loved ones is invited at The Terrace in Sheraton Deira Hotel. Enjoy the sweet sensation of Valentines’ at ‘The Terrace’ milieu with soft music serenading you into a perfect Valentines’ bliss while you partake from the exceptionally exotic set menu prepared by Robin Gomes, Executive Chef for AED 280- net per couple, served from 7.30 pm till 11.30pm, including a bottle of Sparkling wine. The Set-menu favoring all tastes, kicks-off with an appetizer of ‘Exotic salad leaves & roses of pink salmon touched with caviar mayonnaise, to build up the momentum with a tempting soup of ‘Essence of duck garnish with quail egg’, going to the main course creating a fervent desire for ‘Medallions of veal and turkey roll with goose liver sauce, grilled vegetable and heart potato’ and to savour the culmination of the evening with a tingling sweet sensation of ‘Light cheese, kiwi and raspberry parfait with red currant coulis ’. Every couple gets to take-away a heart shaped strawberry cake. This is a Valentine deal you can’t resist. Call 042688888 Ext. 8615 for reservation and more details.

Sheraton Khalidiya, Abu Dhabi Be my Valentine and enjoy the Cupid menu in the relaxing ambience at Downtown and place your order for your Valentine Cake and share it with your loved one for AED 320++ per couple. Enjoy a romantic buffet for Valentine

Sheraton Dubai Creek at La Veranda Restaurant where our friendly team will ensure you have a perfect dinner with your loved one for AED150++ / person. Charm your Valentine at 3rd Avenue, for a relaxed and passionate evening with lots of tempting dishes, 3rd Avenue is the excellent choice that set the romantic ambiance for your tete a tete for AED 320++ / Couple. For reservations, please call (02) 666-6220.

Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort & Towers Table for two, excellent food, warm service, right in-front of the white sandy beach and under the star, A Candlelit Dinner on the Beach that’s all you need to celebrate this Valentines day with someone special. This Valentine’s Day, the Sheraton Jumeirah pulls out all the stops with a romantic dinner for two at the beach and top off with a fine bottle of Champagne. This special offer is available at 1800/- per couple, and reservations are essential. For a sumptuous Valentines buffet prepared by our Executive Chef Engelbert Gamsriegler and his team, The Palm Garden restaurant will treat you and your loved ones with our special Valentine’s Dinner buffet for AED 250 per person inclusive of a glass of sparkling wine. Enjoy performances by our belly dancer, flamenco guitarists and

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Renaissance Hotel Dubai smooth vocals from our musician. And if you are looking for something more intimate to celebrate your love, come to our famous Steak & Seafood restaurant The Grill Room with a romantic fine dining experience, indulge in our 5 course Valentine’s Dinner menu for AED 325 per person specially designed by Chef Michael Weber. Or go oriental, Shower her with (N)oodles of love this Valentines at the finest Chinese restaurant in town, The Peacock restaurant. Enjoy a set menu for just AED 195 per person. For reservation please call 04-315 32 18 or 04-399 55 33.

The Fairmont Dubai This Valentine’s Day treat the special person in your life to a romantic evening at Spectrum on One. Indulge in a sumptuous four course themed menu that has been specially created to incorporate ingredients that symbolise Valentine’s Day for Dhs 420 per person. Includes a four course menu and a long stem rose for ladies. For a more private evening, enjoy a four course degustation menu in an The Fairmont Dubai

exclusive private dining room, made complete with your own butler for the duration of the evening for Dhs 750 per person. Includes a four course meal and

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a long stem rose for ladies. All guests enjoying a Valentine’s Day themed menu will receive a gift box of handmade chocolates upon departure and one lucky diner will walk away with a diamond ring from Damas jewellers, valued at Dhs 3,000. Enjoy an intimate evening at the award winning Exchange Grill. Signature Chef Graham Kruse has designed an exquisite six course menu featuring Beluga caviar, Oscar of 1855 Angus beef fillet mignon and a signature dessert of raspberry parfait, rose petal supreme and a chocolate macaroon sabayon for Dhs 2,000 per couple. Includes a six course menu, a glass of Champagne per person upon arrival, a long stem rose for ladies and a Cohiba Siglo 6 cigar for men. Savour a decadent buffet of fresh seafood at Cascades, including ‘Fines de Claires’ oysters, poached lobster tail, and king crab claws, alongside an assortment of exotic salads and live interactive cooking stations, featuring Beef Wellington and mint, pistachio crusted rack of lamb. To complete the culinary experience, Executive Pastry Chef, Eric Gouteyron, has created a tantalising selection of chocolate themed desserts that will satisfy every craving for Dhs 195 per person.Includes a glass of sparkling wine or a Valentine’s themed alcoholic cocktail per person upon arrival. For a more intimate indoor setting, enjoy a romantic dinner overlooking the rooftop swimming pool and delight over a four course themed menu, featuring seared Diver scallops, maple gnocchi and a selection of homemade chocolate desserts for Dhs 800 per couple. Includes a four course menu and a glass of Champagne per person upon arrival. In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Pronto will showcase specially packaged homemade chocolates and heart shaped cakes that can be personalised with a special message. For further information and restaurant reservations, please phone + 971 4 311 8316 or fbconcierge.

dubai@fairmont.com

Taj Palace Hotel This Valentine’s Day, in celebration of love and romance, The Taj Palace Hotel will be giving away very special complimentary gifts to all the couples who indulge in its special prix-fixe Valentine’s Day menus. In addition to embarking upon a culinary love journey through an exquisite variety of exclusive cuisines and extraordinary experiences, they stand the chance of enjoying a complimentary stay in one or more truly romantic destinations around the world. A specially created menu for lovers will feature in each of The Taj Palace Hotel’s restaurants; Topkapi will offer a four course set meal, for two, inclusive of a welcome drink for AED350.00. A five course set menu together with live music will be available in Handi for AED399.00 per couple and Sakura will offer a special buffet with a complimentary welcome drink for AED 185.00 per person. Last but not the least, Verdi will serve a truly romantic Italian extravaganza for AED350.00 per couple. Places are limited so booking is advisable to guarantee your devotion. For enquiries, please call on 04-2113020

Towers Rotana Hotel Let your hearts grow fonder in the romantic settings of Teatro. Our Master Chefs have prepared a classic 4 course set menu with the spices of love. So come along with your very special someone and have an unforgettable Valentine’s celebration for only Dhs. 580 net per couple including bubbly. Savour Early bird Special (up to a group of 8 persons only). The finest cuisine at the trendiest venue offers the best value in town. Dine in Teatro between 6:00pm and 8:30pm and enjoy 50% off your food bill. (Last Order at 7:15pm). Please call 04-3122202 for reservation.


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ARABIAN GALLERY

Carthage Ruins - tunisia

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LIVING ARABIA

The

Parks

Dubai of

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There’s no perfect time to enjoy Dubai than during the winter months when you can go for a stroll outside of your hotel, away from the shopping malls and into the beautiful and serene park lands where you can enjoy the cool breeze of winter or simply spend the afternoon sitting and reading your favorite book.

Zabeel Park

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Mushrif Park

Mushrif Park

The parks are where you will see a lot of families, friends and loved ones mingling together especially during weekends because the parks provide a respite from the urban life.

Dubai’s largest park, Mushrif Park, has a variety of trees, shrubs, flower beds and ornate plants. Located around 15 kilometers from Dubai’s center and lies on the road leading to Al Khawanij, the park has attracted many picnic lovers who enjoy the beauty and serenity of its nature, far from the chaos and the noise of the city. Mushrif Park is originally sprawled along 125 hectares of land but in 1992, another 400 hectares of land were added in order to develop it into a natural forest. A variety of leisure games awaits both adults and children at the park. You’ll find swings, slides, seesaws, climbing ropes and other games to keep you entertained and excited. One of the most prominent areas of Mushrif Park is the International Village where you can gaze at 13 different house models, built in a meticulous way, expressing the architecture of each represented country. Three patterns of indigenous houses are displayed: the palm leaves, clay, and rocky houses with wind towers. The Nubian type house is also displayed, as well as the Arabic one with its distinguished beautiful windows called “mashrabia”. There are the English, Norwegian, Thai, Indonesian, Chinese and Japanese houses, in addition to a model of the famous Dutch mill. If you’re a sports enthusiasts, a game of basketball or volleyball will surely attract you on the sports playground. You can follow it up with a refreshing dip in the pool. The playground also

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offers games like planes, rotating camels, children’s small cars and the parrot’s ship. After a day full of activities, enjoy a barbecue meal at any of the 56 picnic areas equipped with wooden shades, seats, modern grills and some wooden games. These areas could be easily reached through paths and passageways built amidst sand and hills. Entrance fees are 10 Dhs for cars, swimming fees are 10 dhs for adults and 5 dhs for children.

Creekside Park The name of the park was derived from its location, being situated on the banks of Dubai Creek. One of the most scenic parks in the city, the Creekside Creekside Park

Park is a beautifully landscaped green which is a perfect harmony to the aquamarine waters of the Arabian Gulf. The Creekside Park is sprawled along a 96 hectare land and is considered the second largest park in Dubai following Mushrif Park. Nevertheless, it is recognized by its modern equipment and is distinctive due to its strategic location in the heart of the City. The park offers a range of

recreational activities. Five shady places have been set for the children’s games as well as an amphitheater than can accommodate 4000 people for public events or performances. Take on a splendid game of golf at the 18 hole mini golf course. Or take a fascinating view of Dubai on board a cable car which runs along a stretch of 2.5 kms. This is the first of its kind in the Emirates and offers an unrestricted view of the city of Dubai, 30 metres above. The park is designed in a modern style, combining both architectural and natural designs. It includes new kinds of plants cultivated for the first time in the United Arab Emirates. The park has 280 kinds of trees and flowers planted for the first time in addition to green lawns covering around 39 hectares of the park’s total area. A better way to tour this park is to either rent the two-wheel bikes or four-wheel cycles. Enjoy the cool breeze as you ride through the narrow lanes that are beautifully dotted with a variety of trees and flowers. Stop by the Date Palm Groves that recreate the past by showcasing the traditional irrigation

Creekside Park


February I Travel Arabia I 41


Mamzar Park

method called “falaj”. If you wish to travel by the days of yore, then go for an unforgettable ride in an “abra” (old wooden boat) and take in the magnificent view of Dubai Creek. At the Creekside Park you can relive your childhood days at Children’s City, the first educational city in the UAE. Although the City is devoted to children between the age of two and 15, adults can also enjoy it to the fullest. In addition to the children-underfive corner and a planetarium, the City embraces several exhibits and programmes on applied science, nature, space exploration, human body, local and international culture. These help children to investigate, explore, play, discover, and learn about the world in an interesting manner.

42 I Travel Arabia I February

In addition to the main restaurant, many small snack houses are set along the park so you don’t need to worry if you forget to pack your food. Entrance fee is 5 dirhams per person.

Zabeel Park One park that one should not miss visiting is the Zabeel Park. It is the first-based recreational theme park in the Gulf. Spread over 47 hectares of land, this unique park is divided into three zones – Alternative Energy Zone, Communications Zone and a Techno Zone. All three zones offer plenty of play areas for children. You can start an early morning jog on the 4.3 km jogging track or take a coffee break at the lakeside restaurant and enjoy the magnificent greens of the park. Or ride the train that will give you a tour you around the park. The ornamental boating lake at the southern area is definitely worth your while. Choose from a range of pedal,

Zabeel Park

rowing and battery-powered motor boats that are available on hire. If you enjoy sports, then play a game of cricket on the mini-cricket pitch or play football on the grassed football pitch. In addition to exhibition centres and an amphitheater, the park also features a series of high-tech interactive displays including educational and recreational exhibits. A space maze modeled on the planetary system is one of the major attractions at Zabeel Park. Entrance fee is 5 dhs per person.

Safa Park One of the first parks in Dubai is the Safa Park. It offers a scenic environment for your family. A mini train roams around the area, in addition to various electrical games such as bumper cars, horses, and a giant wheel that will give you a bird’s eye view of the park. Safa Park offers a range of sporting facilities like tennis courts, volleyball,


basketball and football pitches. Children can enjoy the Traffic Village that encompasses battery-run mini cars, roads, traffic signals and pedestrian lines. While having fun, this area helps them to learn about traffic rules at an early age. In addition to traditional games, the Village has an elaborate maze formed with various passages surrounded by bushes. After many twists and turns, feel the joy of discovering your way out. A big hill was built, allowing a panaromic view of the whole park, as well as a waterfall streaming from the hilltop down into a big lake. This area is provided with resting seats and children’s games on both banks of the lake. Bridges were added to facilitate crossing between both sides. Fountains and small touring boats exist in the middle of the lake. Being a natural region, these lakes attract numerous kinds of birds, over 200 species including the migrant ones. Al Safa Park is uniquely characterized by its vast green lawns covering 80% of its total space. Many kinds of trees were cultivated in the park, such as palms, almonds, and many other, as well as bushes and multi coloured roses. The number of trees and bushes planted in Al Safa Park amounts to 6653, in addition to flowers, soil and wallplants. End your day with a scrumptious barbecue meal which can be prepared at the barbecue areas equipped with wooden shades and seats.

Al Mamzar Park Being one of the beach parks, Al Mamzar Park distinguishes itself with its vast space and unique location. It is 99 hectares large and lies on the gulf shores, north of Al Hamriya Port in Al Mamzar Residential Area. With chalets, swimming pools, children’s play area and barbecue pits, this park will be an unforgettable experience. A total of 15 bungalows are

Safa Park situated on beach number 4 and could be rented from the park’s administration. The park has an amphitheater equipped to host various musical ceremonies. A variety of children’s games have been distributed around the park, where modern sledges, climbing and hanging items are available.

Jumeirah Beach Park The park opened in 1989 on 13 hectares of land, to be the first beach park, overlooking the Arabian Gulf in the Jumeirah residential area. A great number of swimmers are attracted to this beautiful golden sand beach where one can soak in the warm sun or the cool waters of the Arabian Sea. There are sunbeds and umbrellas available on hire. Visitors can enjoy a full view of the sea from the cafeteria. If you wish to play some beach sports, then enjoy beach volleyball, football or frisbee. Or simply enjoy a barbecue while your children have fun with the traditional games like slides, seesaws and swings.

Jumeirah Beach Park

February I Travel Arabia I 43


AMBIENCE

44


Watermill - Hama - Syria

February I Travel Arabia I 45


OUTSIDE ARABIA

A short trip back home made me discover several places in my country, a beauty that could surpass any other place in the world.

The Beauty

Philippines of the

The famous Manila sunset

46 I Travel Arabia I February


Fort Santiago

The Philippines is made up of 7,107 islands covering a land area of 115,739 sq. m. (299,764 sq. km.). The main island groups are Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. I live in the capital of the country which is Manila, located in Luzon, and close to the cities of Makati (the financial district), Quezon City (an affluent city) and all other cities that were established as a result of the growth and development in the country. Although I was born in the province of Cavite, most of my younger years were spent in Manila. Manila is where I studied and landed my first job. During my younger days, we would occasionally visit places like Baguio City in the north to experience the cold climate or my parents’ ancestral homes, mostly during vacation. But the memories gradually faded because I have become an alien to my own country. It was only recently that I had a good look at the country that I have sorely missed. A good look because this is the first time after 15 years that I was able to return to the places where I spent the most exciting years of my life. The long walks in the paddy field, the bruises after a fall from a tree, the tears after a fight with a friend and the taste of that home made meal are things that I could now vividly recall. The Philippines has so much to offer. It is the third largest English speaking country in the world and has a rich story combining Asian, European and American influences. We were conquered by the Spaniards and prior to the colonization, we were trading with the Chinese and the Japanese. In 1898, the Philippines became the first and only colony of the United States. Following the Philippine-American War, the United States brought widespread

education to the islands. Filipinos fought alongside Americans during World War II, particularly at the famous battle of Bataan and Corregidor which delayed Japanese advance and saved Australia. They then waged a guerilla war against the Japanese from 1941 to 1945. The Philippines regained its independence in 1946. Filipinos are a fun-loving people. Throughout the islands, there are fiestas celebrated everyday and foreign guests are always welcome in every Filipino’s homes. We are famous for our hospitality and we carried this from generations to generations. The fiesta is part and parcel of the Filipino culture. Through good times and bad times, the fiesta must go on. Each city and barrio has at least one local festival of its own, usually on the feast of its patron saint, so there is always a fiesta going on somewhere in the country. But the biggest and most elaborate festival of all is Christmas, a season celebrated with all the pomp and pageantry the fun-loving Filipino can manage.

At the center of Intramuros is the Manila Cathedral, the seat of the Catholic Archdiocese of Manila. Then there is San Agustin Church, the oldest stone church in Metro Manila and one of the four Philippine Baroque Churches inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Marking its entrance at the northwestern tip is Fort Santiago, one of the oldest forts of Intramuros. Built in nearly 150 years through Filipino forced labor, it now houses a lush park with flowering trees, homing pigeons, and rides aboard horse-drawn carriages. Manila is also home to the Malacañang Palace, the official residence of the highest chief executive of the country and one of the most historic structures in the Philippines. Along the northern bank of the historic Pasig river is Chinatown, a symbol of the long history of Chinese presence in the Philippines. Within the vicinity are old houses used by the Spaniards. Today it is an important trade and business center, and a primary bargain shopping destination. Five-star hotels and restaurants, some of them housed in historic buildings, make the perfect party place in the city. The nightlife offers everything from dazzling cultural shows to futuristic discotheques, lively casinos, sensational entertainment lounges, and fashionable cafes. The popular districts of Malate and Ermita showcase a wild variety of restaurants, clubs, bars, cafes, art and antique shops.

Manila Manila is a vibrant city commanding a magnificent view of the world-famous Manila Bay and its golden sunset. A lot of visitors to the country rarely miss the sunset which is always a subject of photos about the Philippines. The Walled City or Intramuros is found in the heart of Manila. Spain’s colonization of the Philippines brought about the construction of the city in 1571. Comprised of European buildings and churches, Intramuros had been one of the world’s best preserved medieval cities where dungeons and old churches share space with art galleries, theaters, and a nature park.

February I Travel Arabia I 47


Pampanga My last visit to Pampanga was 15 years ago during the wake of my grandmother. Back then the place was very simple, the roads were not thoroughly paved, the houses were

always enjoyed the title, “The Culinary Center of the Philippines”, populated by the locals who are justifiably proud of their famous Kapampangan cuisine. The capital city of San Fernando is world-famous for its annual Easter

Waterfall in one of the provinces in the Philippines

every third week of December to witness the Giant Lantern Festival. Pampanga is home to Mt. Arayat, an inactive volcano rising to a height of 1026 m (3366 ft) above ground level. There is no recorded eruption of the volcano. Mt. Arayat is considered a mystical mountain, the legendary home of the fairy godmother Mariang Sinukuan, and was once believed to contain a wealth of fruit. Ten miles to the west of Mount Arayat is Angeles City and the former Clark Air Base. Mount Pinatubo is located a further ten miles west. Pampanga is located in the central part of Central Luzon. It is bounded on the north by Tarlac and Nueva Ecija, Bulacan on the east, on the south by Bataan, and on the west by Zambales.

Laguna

spaced far apart, the matriarch’s house was the first to greet visitors to the village and my aunt’s house, next to it was just a wooden structure. I could still remember the days when we would sit outside at night, gazing at the stars, listening to frightening tales and learning the local dialect, hoping to converse properly to the elders. In the morning we would rushed to the back yard after a breakfast of carabao’s milk, rice and fried fish, to pick a guava fruit and watch the villagers catch fish, crabs and shrimps from the river. Now, the place has completely turned around. Along the road leading to my father’s old house are factories, fish ponds and huge houses, proof of a thriving economy. The river is still there, now wider I supposed, and the old guava tree that I used to climb is still there, as if I’ve never been away. But my aunt’s house is now a two-storey concrete structure and there are less vacant spaces because several houses have been built and the people looked all stranger to me. Pampanga is steeped in history and blessed with natural and man-made scenery providing several sightseeing options for visitors. The province has

48 I Travel Arabia I February

re-enactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is also famous for the Pampanga Christmas lanterns. Every year during the Christmas season, the province of Pampanga becomes the center of a thriving industry centered on handcrafted lighted lanterns called “parols” that displays a kaleidoscope of light and color. Competitions are held every year in the province for the most artistic, imaginative and beautiful giant lantern. Thousands flock to the city

Fruit stand along Tagaytay Road

Regarded as the Resort Province of the Philippines, Laguna is a haven of fresh and pristine bodies of water such as hot springs, lakes, and waterfalls. Most notable is Pagsanjan Falls, referred to as “shooting rapids”. The thrill of shooting the rapids here is an experience of a lifetime, starting with boarding a banca (wooden boat) paddled by two expert boatmen. The only way to the falls is through the Bumbungan River of Pagsanjan. The upstream trip, three miles from outside town on the rugged Cavinti highlands, is relatively slow as the boatmen paddle and drag the banca against the currents. But the half-hour trip back provides an unforgettable experience in shooting the 14 rapids. Innumerable hot springs abound in the province, including the famous Hidden Valley Springs which is located


in a secluded part of Alaminos town. During summer months especially on Easter, most Filipinos travel to Laguna to enjoy the hot and cold spring waters of the mountains. Nowadays, private pools are being rented to guests, especially for corporate parties or family get-togethers. The villas are equipped with adult and children’s pools, air-conditioned rooms, plus a separate kitchen and bathrooms for a more private and comfortable stay. Prices for the resort vary so you could use a little bargaining power. The mystical Mt. Makiling in Los Baños is an inactive volcano, rising to about 1,109 meters above sea level. It is indeed endowed with nature’s beauty, making it ideal for all types of nature tripping, from trekking to bird and butterfly watching and even camping. The slopes of Mt. Makiling are shaped to resemble a woman reclining, hence, the air of mysticism that surrounds the mountain. Legend has it that it is the profile of the sleeping Maria Makiling, a mythical goddess. Still others say that Maria Makiling dwells in this mountain and protects dwellers and travelers from harm. Laguna is not only endowed with natural wonders. It also plays an important role in the country’s history as the birthplace of Dr. Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero. Owing to its nearness to Manila, Laguna is presently becoming the center of economic activity in the Southern Tagalog Region and the CALABARZON area. Business in the area is bustling as shown by the presence of several industrial estates designed for handling large scale firms engaged in textile manufacturing, electronics, food processing, industrial machines, and car assembly.

Cavite The province of Cavite abounds with great objects, and subjects, of culture and history. It is the birthplace of a good number of Filipino heroes and it has an interesting range of sites associated with the Philippine Revolution of 1896. Found in the province is the residence of the first president of the republic, Emilio Aguinaldo, which is also the site where the Philippine Republic was proclaimed on June 12, 1898. Cavite is known for its warm and friendly people, whose ancestors fought for a noble cause, manifest industry and

Filipinos are a fun-loving people. Throughout the islands, there are fiestas celebrated everyday and foreign guests are always welcome in every Filipino’s homes. We are famous for our hospitality and we carried this from generations to generations.

Aguinaldo Shrine in Cavite

49 February I Travel Arabia I 49


patience in various skills and professions, openly receptive to the entry and exchange of culture and technology that are of value to this wondrous province. Cavite province lies at the southwest entrance of Manila Bay across the Bataan Peninsula, extending eastward along the shore line up to the historic Zapote Bridge, and the inland terrain in the south, to the municipality of Carmona. It is bounded on the east by the provinces of Rizal and Laguna, on the south by the province of Batangas, on the west by the South China Sea, and on the north by Manila Bay and the city of Manila. Majority speak Tagalog while those in Cavite City and in some areas speak Chabacano. English is considered as the second language and is widely used as medium of communication in business and higher education. Other indigenous languages are Waray, Bicolano, Cebuano, Ilokano, Pangasinense, and Hiligaynon. Chinese and Spanish are also spoken by some local residents. Cavite teems with natural resources and fantastic landscapes. It is home

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to Tagaytay City, located 2,500 feet above sea level and enjoys a cool and invigorating climate characterized by a relatively low temperature, low humidity, and abundant rainfall. Average temperature is 22.7 degrees Celsius. For this reason, Tagaytay with its cool weather, balmy winds and foggy mists is called the “second summer capital” of the country after Baguio City. The accessing highway offers a breathtaking sight of the world-famous Taal formation, a crater within an island within a lake. Coconut groves dot the ridges of Tagaytay and classy accommodations give the visiting tourists the pleasures of relaxation, and at the same time, wide opportunities to enjoy the magnificent view of Taal. Taal volcano is known to be the smallest in the world and yet the most active. Surrounded by a lake, it is situated on an 8.8-kilometer islet, lapped by the 27-kilometer-long lake. Both the lake and the volcano are situated on the crater of an extinct volcano. It is accessible by boat from at least seven

towns surrounding the lake. Tour agencies as well as some Tagaytay resorts offer tour packages to the lake. As with most tourist destinations throughout the world, there is no shortage of peddlers here. You’ll see them holding up signs that say, “Boat Trip to Volcano” or similar. A trip to the volcano is recommended and plan on at least a half day for the sojourn. One can even cook hard boiled eggs there, which makes for quite an experience visiting this great natural wonder. A visit to Tagaytay is a must for everyone visiting the Philippines. You will fell in love with the serene surroundings and astonishing views. There is no disturbance because there are no factories around, you are guaranteed cool, clean and fresh air and it is not a populated city. Orchards of fresh home grown fruits and flowers of different colours line paved winding roads, and there are many sights, places and things to do like horseback riding, picnics, biking or just gazing at the sunset overlooking Taal. At nightfall, one sees the lake sparkle with the pinpoint lights of fishing boats. It is a perfect picnic spot. Here, the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Philippine Tourism Authority built Picnic Groove, a public park in the city which generates public patronage through user fees and the sale of low priced goods, thus contributing to the industrial growth of Tagaytay.


Taal Volcano

IF YOU GO · March to May is hot and dry. June to October is rainy, November to February is cool. Average temperatures: 78°F / 25°C to 90°F / 32°C; humidity is 77%. · Two official languages - Filipino and English. Filipino which is based on Tagalog, is the national language. English is also widely used and is the medium of instruction in higher education.

51

· Some 83% of Filipinos are Catholic. About 5% are Moslem. The rest are made up of smaller Christian denominations and Buddhist. · The Philippines’ monetary unit is the peso, divided into 100 centavos. Foreign currency may be exchanged at any hotels, most large department stores, banks, and authorized money changing shops accredited by the Central Bank of the Philippines. International credit cards such as Visa, Diners Club, Bank Americard, Master Card, and American Express are accepted in major establishments. · For more information and places to see in the Philippines, log on to www.tourism.gov.ph February I Travel Arabia I 51


SPECIAL FEATURE

Understanding the Famous

Asian Dining Culture With an increase in trade and travel between Asia and the Middle East, it pays to consider the Asian countries’ dining and drinking customs, whether visiting on business or for pleasure. According to a 2007 World Trade and Tourism Council report, China, India, Vietnam, and Hong Kong are among the top ten countries around the world expected to grow their travel and tourism demand fastest between 2007 and 2017. For Middle East visitors travelling to Asian countries for business or pleasure, it is essential to show respect and support by understanding the local culture and traditions. “Middle East travellers are known around the world for their kind generosity, warm nature, and their love of food,” said Thierry Bertin, Area Director of Marketing Middle East, Hyatt International Hotels and Resorts. “Coming from an area rich in culture and traditions themselves, it is essential that Middle East visitors understand the specific dining etiquette and customs that Asia is famous for,” Bertin added. Indigenous traditions are rapidly dying out but some still remain, and for Middle East visitors to Asia, they can be mighty confusing. In India and Indonesia, for instance, you should always clear your plate to indicate how delicious you found the food. In southern India, where curries are often served on a banana leaf, Deepak Bhatia, Executive Chef at the Hyatt Regency Mumbai says you must fold the leaf after a meal to show that you are satisfied. It’s considered rude to leave it open. According to Andreas Stadler, Vice President, Food & Beverage, Hyatt International AsiaPacific, there is strict seating protocol to follow in China and the host must sit facing the door, with the guest of honour to the right and the person of secondary importance to the left. In Korea, like in much of Asia, filial piety is paramount, and you must wait until the eldest starts eating before you do. In India you must always serve the guest before anyone else, and in Vietnam, women must always be served before men, while also in descending order of age. In India, you should eat with your hands rather than cutlery, as food is considered more pleasurable this way. It’s taboo in India to eat with your left hand, while in Korea a similar rule applies where you must never use chopsticks with your left hand, even if you’re left handed. This is to prevent the embarrassing predicament of clashing elbows. As if operating chopsticks weren’t tricky enough, there is also a minefield of taboos surrounding their usage. “Never stand your chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice as this is how rice is offered to the dead at funerals,” explained Stadler. “Never stab your food or point at people with chopsticks, never suck your chopsticks and never hit a bowl with your chopsticks as this is what beggars do.” In Japan, you pick up your chopsticks with your left hand and place them into your right hand to use them, says Malcolm Omond, Executive Assistant Manager F&B at the Hyatt Regency Osaka. “Never push your bowl away with your chopsticks and never ever pass

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morsels of food from your chopsticks to someone else’s,” he advises. When laying a Thai table, lay a fork and spoon, never a knife as knives are not part of the traditional way to eat Thai food. The edge of a spoon should be used to cut food. You hold the fork in your left hand and the spoon in your right, and use the fork to push food onto the spoon. Never put the fork into your mouth. According to Laurent Khoo, Assistant Director of F&B at the Grand Hyatt Seoul, when eating kimchee in Korea, you should always peel the top layer first, rather than grab a stack. Soup should be served piping hot, never warm, and when drinking soup, there shouldn’t be a sound. In Japan, you should never use a spoon to drink miso soup. You should drink from the small bowl and use your chopsticks to eat whatever is inside the soup. When eating soba and udon noodles, you should slurp to express how much you like it. In China, you are frequently faced with the task of serving a whole fish. The fish head should point towards the guest of honour and then be served to them. Subsequently the cheeks are then offered to the female guest. After the first side of a fish is eaten, never flip the fish as the act sounds like ‘throwing away your luck’ in Chinese, and among fishing families, it is supposed

to bring bad luck and cause a boat to flip and capsize. So as not to waste the fish, try to pull away the skeletons in one go, leaving the flesh on the plate. Drinking brings with it a whole new set of rules. In Korea, never pour a drink for yourself and when serving drinks, always cup the elbow of your pouring arm as a sign of respect, says Khoo. “Not doing so will show that you’re uneducated.” (An upside is that it helps avoid spillage too.) This custom is said to originate from olden times when you were trying to keep the wide sleeve of your traditional hanbok out of the recipient’s dinner. The person on the receiving end should also cup the elbow of the arm that’s holding the glass. Then, when clinking glasses, you should clink lower than the other person as a sign of respect. In Japan, emptying a glass means you want more, so you

should leave it full if you have had your fill. And when toasting, refrain from using the English expression ‘Chin, chin!’ What you should exclaim is ‘kampai’, while in China it is ‘gan bei’; in Hong Kong, ‘yum bui’; in Indonesia, ‘pro’; in Korea, ‘gunbae’; in the Philippines, ‘mabuhay’; in Thailand ‘chok dee’; and in Vietnam, ‘dzo’. After being served tea in Hong Kong, you should tap the pads or knuckles of your index, middle and ring fingers twice on the table as a silent expression of gratitude. This ritual originates from the Qing Dynasty when the emperor liked to visit his subjects incognito. While visiting a teahouse, the emperor served tea to his personal servant to preserve his anonymity. The servant couldn’t kowtow in case he gave the emperor’s game away, so instead showed his imperial obeisance by tapping with three fingers. One finger represented his bowed head and the other two his prostrate arms. After serving tea, never point the spout towards anyone and when the teapot is empty, flip the lid upside down to indicate to the wait staff that you need a refill. Stadler believes that as foreign guests it is our duty to be interested in a country’s customs and etiquette. “Take the time to learn about the cuisine and the festivals. Learn about what locals do and how they live. Don’t be ignorant – show respect and support by blending in.”

January I Travel Arabia I 53


Millennium...

a genuine commitment to providing a wide spectrum of quality It comes as no surprise that the name Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi is generating plenty of growth in the hotel industry nowadays, a hive with a great foreseeable future and a capacity to have guests create a vision and turn it into an unrivaled reality. The Hotel is witnessing massive proven-results progress with tangible signs of improvements, adjustments and lots of development expansion to further enhance quality. Mix these attributes with an obsession of service fuelled by a renowned passion for international savoir-faire with selected staff that have set of skills that are difficult to find anywhere, focused to satisfy the demands of various guests by approaching each one with a unique perspective based on his particular needs, operating with the determination of helping them realize their business potential. “If you have never experienced the true meaning of pampering and are looking to spoil yourself , the Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi ranks top of the list and you are welcomed to come and see for yourself what is in store for you,� says Moine Kandil, the General Manager of the Hotel. The Millennium has today made its way as a leading top five star Hotel in the region that continues to draw high profile guests and is looking for the future with high hopes for substantial increase with an active presence and stature to become the beacon of the region in line with Abu Dhabi’s position on the international tourism map as an insignia world hub.

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February I Travel Arabia I 55


ATTRACTION

The epitome of

style

luxury, comfort and

Qamardeen Hotel, situated beside its sister hotel, Al Manzil, in the Old Town, Burj Dubai is well known for its exquisite service, sumptuous furnishings and superb amenities.

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To commemorate the luxury hotel’s first birthday last month; General Manager, John Aritho talks to Travel Arabia about what makes Qamardeen stand out amongst a myriad of hotels in Dubai.

UNIQUE SIZE There are certain factors that make Qamardeen an absolutely unique hotel in Dubai. Qamardeen is a relatively midsized hotel unlike large hotels evident in Dubai which is a great blessing in disguise as it enables guests to have oneon-one interactions with staff and they feel as close as a guest would feel with the host in a typical home.

PROMINENT LOCATION Qamardeen is also uniquely located at one of the most promising locations in Dubai, the Burj Dubai Boulevard in the Old Town. The location which has extensive residential living, traditional souqs and soon commercial space is special. This makes the hotel attractive to both people living in the locale as well as people visiting the Old Town for various activities. It is a truly great time to be involved in the Burj Dubai development which will soon become a major landmark not only in Dubai but in the whole world as the world’s tallest building ,the Burj Dubai, the Burj Boulevard and The Dubai Mall, one of the largest malls in the world, come to life soon.

HANDPICKED STAFF All our staff are hand picked in accordance to Southern Sun’s ethos that include hiring the best people for the best positions. They are people with high levels of Emotional Intelligence (EQI) and can relate extremely well with their colleagues and with the guests. Having people that are happy, jovial, and professional and have a great sense of commitment and purpose is one of the major goals that our Managing Director Richard Weilers strives for by bringing

together a pool of highly emotive people and helping staff understand the importance of Intuitive Service

hospitality. The hotel is quite young and trendy and has a lot of energy and attracts a large cross section of clientele from the corporate traveler to the conscious consumer in search for a hotel in Dubai that “stands away from the crowd” and quite individualistic in its approach and particular to specific needs of each individual.

TOP OF THE STARS I had a guest recently asking for the General Manager of the hotel and when I went to meet him I expected that there must have been a problem that he had experienced. On approaching the guest he asked me whether I was the General Manager and on affirmatively replying, he led me to the front of the hotel where he went on to point to the classification plaque saying that he thought there is a star that is missing from the 4 stars displayed! This to me was a humble way of accepting a guest’s view that though we are a 4-star classified property, the staff offered him great service. We pride ourselves in being a fantastic value deluxe hotel without being caught up in the hype involved in the ‘star grading.’

SUBLIME AMBIENCE Qamardeen has a very relaxed atmosphere right from the onset. It was well designed taking into consideration the rich Arabic architecture infused with a modern clean-cut minimalist interior design. Guests have sometimes said that Qamardeen feels like a big living room in a house which explains how the hotel has a unique way of translating bold designs into a friendly intimate recluse. The rooms are very functional with ideal light colors with good working space amidst a flow of natural lighting. As the name suggests, Qamardeen is like an apricot fruit – refreshing, welcoming and functional.

EXCEPTIONAL GUESTS Qamardeen tends to attract a very interesting type of guest profile. A large part of our market segmentation and definitely a large focus that we have is the film and media professionals. The guest profile is quite varied and attracts a hip type of Arabic guests as well as the individual traveler that is looking for a simplistic approach to

One of our main goals is moving our levels of service from “conscious competence” to “unconscious competence” as we position ourselves as a brand to be “different from the crowd”. Qamardeen Hotel is situated in the Burj Dubai complex with easy access from Sheikh Zayed Road via Doha Road and features: - 186 rooms over 6-floors including 3 deluxe-suites and 10 executive suites - A 24-hour Business Centre providing comprehensive support - 2 contemporary-style Meeting/ Boardrooms - A state of the art Fitness Centre - Outdoor Swimming Pool and deck. - Esca, the main all-day dining outlet - Lobby Lounge, 24-hour café with WI-FI access and location for the popular - Cheese and Wine evenings that take place from ThursdaySaturday, 6 - 9pm For more information contact Qamardeen Hotel on: 04 428 5888

February I Travel Arabia I 57


FACE TO FACE

Accor Hospitality

expands

in the Middle

East

some of the clients are looking for budget hotel so Accor wants to cover the whole need or wants of the hospitality industry,” said Christophe Landais, Managing Director of Accor Hospitality Middle East. Landais established the Middle East office for Accor in Dubai where he oversees the development and operations for the Accor group growing the regional hotels portfolio. The expansion this year within the region are in Kuwait with the opening of Ibis Salmiya, a 175-room hotel and two properties in Dubai, the 450-room Sofitel Jumeirah Beach and the 550-room Novotel/Ibis in Deira which are scheduled to open in October this year. Another development is the signing of a new Sofitel hotel, the Sofitel Muscat & Spa, scheduled for January 2011. This announcement will see the Sofitel brand venture into the Sultanate for the first time with over 230 rooms and a location on the Azaiba beach front. “We are thrilled to open yet another Sofitel hotel in a brand new market. Oman is undeniably the region’s emerging leisure capital; I believe our hotel will meet the growth in demand for the deluxe five-star hotel sector in the Sultanate and the region, and will undoubtedly set the benchmark with its contemporary lifestyle appeal, spa facilities and French flair, all symbolic of our most upscale hotel brand,” said Landais at the signing ceremony. Accor Hospitality has also added a new chain of upscale hotels to meet the needs of business travellers in the presence of Pullman. With Pullman,

Accor Hospitality’s presence in the Middle East continues to grow with a target of 70 hotels by 2011. The group is developing economy, midscale and upscale properties, to fill the gap between budget and luxury properties. Accor Hospitality Middle East was established in 2000 in Dubai and till date, the group has 15 hotels in operation in the region and is planning to develop 70 hotels by year 2011. The group is a leading developer of all hotel segments, from budget to luxury, with brands like Novotel, Ibis, Mercure, Sofitel Luxury Hotels and the latest addition, Pullman. “We want to cover the whole spectrum of the hospitality needs. Some customers are looking for luxury hotels,

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Accor is reinforcing the coherence of its brand portfolio in order to impose itself as a major player in the upscale hotel segment. The Pullman brand is the perfect complement to Accor’s current portfolio of non-standardized brands. The Pullman brand anticipates trends and answers the needs of the business traveller, whether travelling alone or in a group. The brand’s promise is constructed around technology and human relations and offers a new way of experiencing business travel.


The development being undertaken by Accor Hospitality comes at a time when the region is capitalizing on the growth opportunities of the hospitality industry. “The market is very fragmented so we need to see who are using the hotels. If they are mostly foreigners who come to do some business, projects and that kind of stuff, the domestic market might not respond to that because there is no need. But with such market as Dubai, there is a need because the market is very fragmented.”

“There are requests for each type of product. For example, the chairman of the company will go to the upscale hotel, the technician or the middle management will go to Novotel and the workers to Ibis Hotel. So in this market, we see the need for economy to midscale properties and there are a few of these properties that exist in Dubai. Most are luxurious properties and the mom and pop kind of hotels. In the middle we have nothing. No intermediary product and that’s where we come in, the

midscale and economy hotel. Depending on the market structure and the demand, our target is to respond to the product demand,” explained Landais. According to Landais, location is also part of Accor Hospitality’s strategy. Each product responds to very precise location. Luxury brands have to be located in the capital city or the best location in the city. “Look at Dubai, we just opened The Palace hotel. In terms of location, it is central, close to the world’s tallest tower (Burj Dubai). That is a premium location so that calls for this kind of hotel, Sofitel Legend. If you look at Pullman, it caters to the MICE segments so those hotels need to be where business is taking place, like the financial district, the exhibition centres or the airport,” added Landais. “With Dubai as a hub, one can come from Bahrain, Kuwait or Manila, meet for one day and go back to their country so the airport hotel is a good location. So when we choose location we consider those elements, the brand specification and the market segment.” Within the next five years, the Middle East region hopes to bring an additional 100,000 rooms. Half of it is reportedly coming from the UAE, in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. And Landais is proud that Accor Hospitality will contribute to that development. At this stage, Accor Hospitality is preparing for the influx of visitors to the region and while other properties are facing a big challenge of finding the human resources to carry out the services, Accor Hospitality has 170,000 staff “so what we need to do is to put synergy in all the properties and hope to bring staff more easily. We hope to bring staff from other regions.”

The company has also embarked on its first Maharat Training programme for the employment of UAE nationals. The programme will see the placement of 25 UAE nationals at The Palace, The Old Town and Ibis Novotel World Trade Centre hotels. “We are serious in our commitment to develop local resources,” Landais said.

“Dubai is growing very fast and a lot of people are now investing in the region than ever before. One of the big challenges that we are facing is the speed of what Dubai is doing. It’s very fast so what we need to be careful of is to keep sustainable developments in the region,” Landais added.

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PROPERTY

A Sanctuary in the Kingdom of Bahrain Al Areen Holding Company owns the US$1-billion Al Areen development, which is a vast and luxurious mixed-use health and family tourism development, located in the southern region of the Kingdom of Bahrain, next to the Al Areen Wildlife Sanctuary and close to the Bahrain International Circuit.

Waleed Ishaq Saffy General Manager

A US$1 billion development, Al Areen has a spa and resort and a world-class water park. A twomillion square metre desert area will be developed to provide over 2,000 villas, 600 apartments, a large shopping mall, and hotels. The site is located within a 35-minute drive from Bahrain International Airport, and is approximately 20 minutes from the King Fahad Causeway and the central business district. The development draws upon the wealth of Bahrain’s long and distinguished past, giving the visitor an opportunity to experience the legacy of the country’s rich and varied history, while maintaining the comfort and convenience of modern living. Travel Arabia: What is the concept behind Al Areen Development? Waleed Saffy: Al Areen is a development project over a land with an area of two million square metres. Al Areen Development is

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part of the wildlife sanctuary. The idea is to develop that area and come up with a scheme that blends with the surrounding. It’s a mixed-use development that comprises of all the needs of the residents and its visitors. It’s done in a way that the wildlife will remain there and the residents or the visitors to Al Areen can enjoy that area at the same time. A master plan was developed in 2004 and was finalized in early 2005 and basically it comprises of land divided into certain commercial areas which cover all areas of leisure, entertainment, residential, commercial, private spa and educational facilities. Based on our master plan and design guidelines developers came and we explained to them what this project is about and it has proven to be successful in terms of gaining the confidence of the developers in this project. So, basically this project creates a destination in the kingdom of Bahrain. TA: What are the projects currently being developed in the area? WS: Now we have two major projects, one is the Banyan Tree Resort which is now operational. The Banyan Tree is one of the finest resorts in the region. Another project is the Lost


Paradise of Dilmun which is again; I would say a fantastic themed park. It’s been completed and has been opened to the public. Lost Paradise is the most recent high tech water park in the Middle East, covering 77,000 square metres and featuring the very latest water park technology designed by Malaysia-based Sim Leisure Consultants, a leading water park designer. Constructed and installed by Canada’s Whitewater West, the water slides, wave pool and interactive structures are the newest in the Gulf. The Lost Paradise of Dilmun is the second component in the unique US$ 1.3 billion plus Al Areen Development and is located near to the high-end luxury Banyan Tree Desert Spa & Resort. Spread over an area of 2 million square meters, Al Areen strengthens Bahrain’s reputation as a leading luxurious family-oriented tourist destination. The park is extensively themed around the Kingdom of Bahrain’s rich cultural history, from a time 4,000 years ago when Bahrain was the center of the Dilmun civilization, a place with an abundance of water, springs and shallow wells, the legendary source of eternal life. Banyan Tree is the ideal intimate retreat experience, featuring its own signature blend of romance and Asian sensuality. The philosophy behind the hotels, resorts, spas and galleries is based on providing a place for rejuvenation of the body, mind and soul - a Sanctuary for the Senses. TA: What about hotel projects? WS: The other construction being undertaken is the Domino Hotel which is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2009. The Oryx Hill is also being constructed by a Bahraini developer. This area has 65 villas and these are very sizeable plots, from75 sq m up to 1200 sq m. which is very luxurious. Another development is from Abu Dhabi investment which is currently doing a residential and a commercial area. These projects are expected to be complete by end of 2009. TA: The whole property will be operational in 2009? WS: No, it will be done in phases.

Some sites will be operational by 2009. In 2007 we have two sites, in 2009 we will have three sites hopefully to finish and then by the end of 2009 we have further development. By 2009, approximately 40 to 50 percent will be done and then we have a short stop target date which is end of 2010 at which time all the developers have either started or finished. By 2012, around 75% is done. TA: It is more like a community? WS: Exactly, we’re creating a community, self sufficient community, you can either reside or stay here, buy your apartment or villa or townhouse. You can enjoy the water park, you can enjoy the private health clinics that will come soon, and we’re creating a destination in Al Areen. TA: Is this your first property in Bahrain? WS: Yes, Al Areen is a subsidiary of the Gulf Finance to handle this project. It’s a very challenging project because we’re dealing with developers but so far everything is doing well. TA: Why Bahrain, why not Dubai? WS: The project is meant for Bahrain. From our side Al Areen Holding Co., we wanted to create something for Bahrain. Bahrain still needs project such as this. We’re creating something different, there’s nothing like this in Bahrain. Bahrain is always concentrated on Manama, it’s only recently that there are other developments coming in Bahrain and they’re all sea front and they’re all good. We’re complementing each other. We’re all working for Bahrain.

or regional or international market because we’re talking here about a development that is top quality, top quality hotel, resort, and water park. We will have private health clinics and rehabilitation centers of highest quality, we have luxurious residential areas so we’re talking about a mixed kind of audience here. TA: Is it a freehold property? WS: Al Areen as a project has been listed on a freehold. In Bahrain freehold is given to certain development areas so you can buy a villa or whatever and in fact it’s not only villa, it applies to let’s say a non-Bahraini company who would like to purchase or see the plot on the commercial side, that would be fine. TA: What makes this project unique from other tourism developments in Bahrain? WS: Al Areen will be a main player in the development of Bahrain and we knew it would add value and we could actually attract people to come in Bahrain. Dubai is just 45 minutes away and Saudi is one hour away. We’re getting positive feedback which is interesting, it’s creating one destination. Hopefully when all developers come to life, we’ll be a self contained destination. It would promote itself definitely. TA: What are your Middle East expansion plans? WS: We are focusing on Bahrain now and we are targeting on finishing it, running it and thoroughly manage and maintain it.

TA: So this is more to support the government to bring tourism back WS: Exactly. In the future, we are thinking that tourism will play a big contribution to the government and all the development in Bahrain is working on the same goal. The developers and investors are all producing rewards and everybody wants to enhance Bahrain as a tourism destination. TA: Who will be or what is your target market? WS: Because of the mixed-use type of development, the locals, residents of Bahrain and others from the GCC,

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Pushing the envelope Experience a desert sunrise from the sky

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4.30am and the incessant alarm clock across the other side of the bedroom is the only way this ‘highflyer’ is going to fall out of bed in time to arrive at the Balloon Adventures Dubai pick up point in the city. By 6.50am twenty guests, one pilot and an efficient crew are on the edge of the Maliha plains 50 kilometres outside Dubai watching the four 4,000bhp gas burners injecting twelve tons of hot air into the huge multicoloured envelope as the morning sun silhouettes the spine of rocky ridge behind us against the pale morning sky. Finally, the large wicker basket – with room for up to 24 passengers – is dragged upright as the envelope heads for the open sky, and everybody scrambles in. This is the last frenetic activity that takes place for the next hour or so. With an amazing feeling of weightlessness, the balloon begins to rise serenely above the ochre tinted sand. The calm of our ascent is punctuated by the raucous bursts of flame from the burners which also help to take the mild chill out of the January morning air. Between bursts we are given an informal and informative commentary from our very friendly pilot, Captain Dee Shepland, one of four experienced pilots who fly on a daily basis for the Dubai-based operation. Thanks to recent heavy rains the air

has been purged of much of the sand, so visibility is exceptional. For those of us who know the geography of the region from the ground, Dee puts it into perspective from the air, while for international visitors he points out the distant landmarks of the growing Burj Dubai tower and the barely visible Burj Al Arab on the horizon. We climb further, eventually reaching 2,800ft which, I have to admit, feels ‘high’, but as Dee comments is only going to be the altitude of the highest penthouse suite in the new Burj. Suddenly the immensity of the construction project falls into perspective. But anything ‘man-made’ pales in comparison to the vastness of the bronzed desert floor and the ferocity with which the earth moulded the jagged ridges to the Maliha plain millions of years ago. We drift effortlessly over some newly-built Bedouin settlements each with its own centrally-located mosque, and a 5 kilometre long camel racing strip, while Dee continually delivers nuggets of knowledge: there are no dinosaur remains from the Jurassic period here because, at that time, Arabia as we know it was under water; one of the most prolific bushes in the desert releases a sap which can be used both as a glue and a laxative; and

following the recent discovery of some peculiar circular mounds by a German archeological team it has been calculated that man has inhabited this region of the desert for around 10,000 years. The hour-long experience is over all too quickly. As the winds are very light, we probably only cruise about 5 kilometres in total. It can be a bit of a gamble with wind direction and speed – you literally have to go with the flow, so don’t expect to drift over the Dubai city skyline. But even on our short ‘hop’ there was no shortage of scenery and intriguing features, and Captain Dee’s fascinating and jolly commentary made the trip that much more enlightening. With touchdown complete every guest receives a flight certificate as a souvenir while light refreshments are served and the crew pack the balloon away. With the rest of the day ahead you’ll still be flying by bedtime. Ironically, the company initials B.A.D. are emblazoned on the backs of the crew’s overalls. But trust me, if you are visiting the UAE – or even if you live here – this is a very, very good way to gain an appreciation of the desert’s true beauty. For more information visit www. ballooning.ae or call +9714 285 4949.

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GREAT FLAVOURS

Coastal

Cuisine Al Dana shines at

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Sharq Village & Spa’s signature seafood restaurant Al Dana offers a front-row seat to paradise on one of Doha’s most stunning beaches. This casually chic culinary haven happens to be the only beachfront enclave in Doha. Dining in the 118-seat Al Dana Restaurant offers guests a relaxing beachside sanctuary in a breathtaking Qatari-inspired setting. Other distinctive features include a visually exciting show kitchen and sushi counter where aspiring gourmets can follow the preparation of their meal. During the cooler winter months the relaxed and al fresco environment of the outdoor terrace, offers stunning views over Doha bay, and make for a casual dining spot and the perfect location for evening cocktails and stargazing under swaying palms. Under the creative guidance of Chef de Cuisine Shahram de Contades, Al Dana offers a diverse menu with cuisine meant to share with family and friends. The selections are light, healthy and heavy on flavor. Here, the culinary focus is inspired by tastes found in the Southern Mediterranean coast – a “Coastal Cuisine” that’s both sweet and savory and evokes a wave of succulent, refreshing flavor at every bite. The chef ’s culinary brilliance is highlighted with dishes on the menu such as oysters shucked to order, mussel pots with choice of flavours, such as miso broth with shitake mushrooms or Thai green curry and coconut milk. The daily selection features whole fish prepared to your liking: the chef recommends salmon steamed with soy, ginger and cilantro or baked with lemon confit and rosemary.

For those with a sweet tooth, there are plenty of delectable treats to satisfy the senses. A stellar dessert selection includes lemongrass crème brulee, strawberry tiramisu, pineapple compote served with coconut ice cream and decadent chocolate fondue served with fresh seasonal berries and fruits, biscotti and home-made marshmallows. Arab Engineering Bureau, responsible for the conceptual design and development of Sharq Village & Spa, along with Qatar National Hotel’s (QNH) senior interior designer Pascale Julian, known for her expertise in Qatari culture and interior design, are responsible for the design approach of Al Dana. Their combined vision infuses the Ritz-Carlton elegance with architectural details inspired by Qatari heritage to create a traditional “sense of place.” Al Dana’s interior design reflects Doha>s marine life, with fanciful

blown-glass light fixtures inspired by sea urchins, jelly fish and vibrant coral reefs. To complete the illusion of an underwater retreat Al Dana features a large sea water aquarium located at the heart of the restaurant that is home to 30 species of tropical fish. Local patterns and traditional colours such as gold, bronze, copper, brown, deep blue, white and cream have been used in the lavish handmade furnishings, linen, crockery, ornaments and staff uniforms of the bistro, with an emphasis on environmental factors where appropriate. “Al Dana delivers a chic dining experience combined with the impeccable Ritz-Carlton service standards. The design approach had to meet the high standards for which The Ritz-Carlton brand is known, while the interior design had to evoke a authentic sense of place with décor, patterns and colors inspired by the vibrant colors of the sea and the rugged landscape that are symbolic of Qatar” said Abdul Aziz Al Emadi the General Manager of Sharq Village & Spa. Al Dana is open for dinner every evening between 7pm and 11 p.m. For dinner reservations and more information on Sharq Village & Spa contact the hotel directly on 974 425 6666 or visit The Ritz-Carlton website at www. ritzcarlton.com.

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The Ranch

Steak House

At the heart of Bur Dubai lies an elegant dining place where you can experience a relaxed atmosphere while enjoying the finest quality US certified Angus beef. The Ranch Steak House, located at Dhow Palace Hotel, gives steakhouse dining a new meaning with its superb food, sophisticated service and elegant setting.

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The Dhow Palace Hotel is Dubai’s first premium property in Bur Dubai. It is located in calm, peaceful and posh residential vicinity so you could imagine that this property is well equipped with the world’s finest cuisine and specialty restaurants. Dining at Dhow Palace Hotel is like finding a real treasure. As soon as you walked into the lobby, you could sense a relaxed and elegant atmosphere. The same is true with their restaurants. They are not overly decorated but the setting, furniture and the ambiance all command a rich and sophisticated taste. The hotel has several specialty restaurants but if you’re looking to have an intimate dinner, The Ranch Steak House is a perfect venue. Here is where you can savour the most succulent steaks and the finest seafood while

being serenaded by a jazz trio from Colombia. The Ranch Steak House exudes an American steak house setting. You will find a lounge area where you can have a drink while enjoying your cigar. You won’t miss the bar where a wide selection of wines and liquors from around the world are displayed. Guests of the hotel and other customers sit here enjoying their drinks while listening to the band playing Latino, jazz and contemporary music. The walls of the steak house are decorated with photos of great actors like Al Pacino, Sylvester Stallone, Charlston Heston, James Dean and a whole lot more. One feature of the steak house is the open kitchen where Chef Sayed Mansoor and his staff are preparing the orders. “It’s our way of showing


the customers what’s going on in the kitchen and they can see that everything is being prepared fresh and clean,” explained Kazza Moddien, Assistant Restaurant Manager. At The Ranch Steak House you will never feel like a stranger. The minute they sit you on your table, the staff will immediately attend to your needs. Very attentive, polite and happy to assist, you will feel like dining with you own butler. The chef never fails to surprise his guests with a treat. That evening, Chef Mansoor prepared Smoked Salmon with Mozzarella Cheese. A good choice to stimulate one’s appetite. There are several choices for starters and appetizers but we sampled the Shrimp Cocktail. It is made up of Gulf shrimps poached traditionally and served with home made cocktail sauce. This one really amazed me because of the way the food was presented. The shrimps are placed on top of a block of ice shaped like a ball and placed on a bowl with shredded greens. It’s a unique and creative set up and one might find it very tricky or difficult to eat. But no, you just have to indulge the moment and don’t make a fuss of it. The soup that we sampled was the Wild Mushroom soup. Don’t expect the soup to taste and appear like the mushroom soup that you normally order from a restaurant. The Wild Mushroom soup is not creamy and had a distinct taste. It is best eaten with bread spread with salted butter. To change your taste and before you start your main course, you will

be served a sorbet. Ours was a Lemon Sorbet which tasted really good. The main course of the evening is Beef Tenderloin (in Ladies cut) with Mushroom Sauce. The meat is tender, sweet and perfectly cut to satisfy your hunger. I chose grilled vegetables and mashed potato for the sides which is even more enjoyable with a bottle of Jacobs Street Shiraz Cabernet from Australia or the Cuvee de Richard from France. Other choices for main course are New York Strip Loin, Rib-Eye Steak, T-Bone Steak and Porter House. The steak house offered only the finest quality of US Certified Angus Beef and the caviar of all beef, the Wagyu. Aside from steaks, The Ranch Steak House also serves US steaks, Lamb, Beef, Chicken, Fish, Lobster and other seafood. They also offer vegetable selection for vegetarian diners. Customers can order a la carte or set menus from as low as AED 175 per person. The AED175 per person set

menu comes with a Traditional Caesar Salad with Chicken, New York Sirloin Steak or Grilled Chicken and a dessert of Ranch Crepes. To end a great meal is an ideal dessert which is Ranch Crepes (rolled home made crepes with pastry cream and blackberry) and Baked Cheese Cake (exotic cheese cake served with berries). You could also pick from other tempting choices like Fresh Fruit Platter, selection of ice cream and sorbet or Dark & White Chocolate Mousse. One should taste the dessert with a cup of coffee or tea. Dining at The Ranch Steak House is a wonderful experience. It is one place you should try because you will truly enjoy it. The food is excellent, the presentation is exceptional, the place is classy and the staff very courteous and alert. The Ranch Steak House at Dhow Palace Hotel in Bur Dubai truly gives a new meaning to steak house dining. For reservations, call +971 4 3599992.

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DINING PROMOTIONS

Culinary treats Valentine’s Day highlights the month of February but there’s more to it in terms of intimate dining, corporate dinners and family get together. Here’s what the restaurants in town are offering.

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Al Diar Siji Hotel If you like your food as freshcooked as it can possibly be, visit Al Diar Siji Hotel, Fujairah this month. Siji Hotel invites everyone for an artful, unique, and healthful dining experience as its Al Diwan International Restaurant dishes up Sushi & Teppanyaki Feast all Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays of February. At Al Diwan Terrace, eat what you like, the way you like, and as much sushi you like. Our specialty chefs prepare each roll of sushi to your satisfaction. Fill your plate with a selection of these beneficial Japanese foods. Al Diwan also welcomes guests to the exciting world of the famous Teppanyaki live cooking. Relax and be entertained as Chef Mico prepares your meals before your eyes through this ancient art of cooking. So bring everyone along and be prepared for a time of fun and great food as you enjoy and savor this authentic cuisine. For enquiries and reservations call (09) 223 2000.

Al Murooj Rotana Hotel & Suites Passionate about seafood? Then make Pergolas restaurant at Al Murooj Rotana Hotel & Suites your harbour to indulge into blue waters’ delicacies with addition of their new seafood night. It is the night to savour the treasures of the ocean. Luxuriate a wealth of sumptuous seafood recipes put together by our master chef in an exclusive seafood buffet along with enticing live cooking stations. The seafood theme night is available from 7:00 pm till 11:30 pm. There are two packages available: AED 185* net per person including soft drinks, chilled juices and mineral water or AED 225* net per person including selected beers & wines. Children between 5 and 12 years get 50% discount. For reservations, call +971 4 321 1111.

Burjuman Rotana Suites For those who strive on sweet and sour can choose form the various palettes’ combinations of assorted mini sandwiches, muffins, cake, cookies and ice cream with their favorite coffee or tea with an open free internet wireless connection for just AED 39*. Afternoon Tea Time: from 3:00 pm to

6:00 pm. Free internet connection: from 3:00 pm to 11:30 pm. For reservation call UAE Toll Free at 800 ROTANA or 971 4 3524444.

Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa Choose your fresh fish from Waves’ special display, the local catch of the day is selected by our Executive Chef Mauro. Whether you like your fish grilled, fried or boiled, the choice is yours. This special offer is available daily for lunch and dinner. Welcome to the ideal exotic venue with an abundance of legendary “Tabu” cocktails, shooters and specialty drinks. Enjoy a large selection of Cuban cigars, relaxing with cool tunes and a hint of tropical vibes. Tabu offers Happy Hour every day from 6pm – 8pm (50% off on selected beverages) and Step in and boogie to the tunes of our new resident band “Creole Stars” at the most happening bar on the East Coast! Come and unwind at our brand new addition to our beautiful beach front. Sharkeys Beach Bar combines the tranquil atmosphere of warm soothing breezes with some relaxing tunes. Enjoy refreshing drinks, mocktails and cocktails specially selected by experienced Sharkeys bar staff. To accompany your drink we offer a selected menu of delicious snacks.

Jumeirah Emirates Towers Mosaico Restaurant is inviting diners to a long and leisurely lunch every Friday. This exceptional culinary

Burjuman Rotana Suites affair features a menu of Italian classics and outstanding Spanish Tapas in addition to the regular main courses, all using the classic columns of Mediterranean cuisine: olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Pricing: AED 150 (or AED 250 with a half-bottle of sparkling grape beverage). For more information, please contact Jumeirah Emirates Towers at +971 4 319 8088.

JW Marriott Dubai At Hofbräuhaus, indulge in our imported Bavarian beverages and traditional German delights, and dance along with traditional music from Cologne. If stuffing your face full of candied almonds and candy floss isn’t enough, then get ready for the Rosenmontag Costume Party on February 4th and be sure to wear the most creative costume to stand in

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La Veranda Moevenpick Bur Dubai

line to win a prize. Venture into our typical German á la carte menu every day, with Wednesday nights following the “Fondue and Raclette theme and Saturday nights are the true “Bavarian Night”. Ladies, watch out, on 15th February, you have the license to put on your feminine charm and enjoy the night. Every group of 6 ladies or more will receive a free bottle of sparkling wine! Discover the best of Australian fare brought to you by our master chefs. The Market Place with its live cooking stations will highlight a wide range of Australian seafood products every week. Meat products such as Crocodile, Emu and Kangaroo will also be available on the buffet and live cooking stations for guests to enjoy the freshness of these products. Available each evening until 28th February, and during the XII Brunch. Set your imagination alight with thoughts of tantalizing and

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juicy Australian Beef Steaks at JW’s Steakhouse. Feast your eyes and tempt your taste buds with a 250 day grain fed Angus from Queensland, Wagyu, Tasmanian Angus King Island Lamb and relish on the Blue Eye Travella from Tasmania. During the promotion, the restaurant will also offer three exclusive dinners paired with specially selected beverages from the region. For more information and reservations please call 04 6077977/ 04 6077009 or log on to www.marriottdining.ae

Le Meridien Abu Dhabi February will the month of chocolate in Tea Lounge. Do not miss the opportunity of trying all the benefits and varieties of the most popular flavour in the world. Try our Dark Swiss chocolate and pistachio cake. Priced at Whole cake AED 60 A la carte AED 14. Pappagallo will host during the month of February different ways of

preparing this delicious pasta. Enjoy with NRG a sports action packed month in February with all screens entertaining every sporting event. Sweet and Salty. This two flavours are normally opposite, but In Bistrot and only during February, the chef will combine them to create rich, juicy and tasty dishes, like “Poached duck liver in red wine with gingerbread”. Do not miss the opportunity to combine opposites to create unique tastes with a French touch. During the cold month of February, Talay restaurants will offer a selection of Thai curries, with dishes like “Prawns in yellow curry with bell pepper, cherry tomato and onion”.

Madinat Jumeirah Madinat Jumeirah Friday brunch offers diners a choice of five magnificent locations at Mina A’ Salam (Al Muna and The Wharf) and Al Qasr (Arboretum, Al Hambra and MJ’s


Al Murooj Rotana Hotel & Suites Steakhouse). Each hotel offers a variety of food and free-flowing beverages with stunning views overlooking the waterways and stunning architecture of Madinat Jumeirah and exciting activities for children of all ages. On arrival at Al Qasr, guests will be treated to a complimentary glass of bubbly, and can look forward to an Indian Stall, Malaysian Stall, Tex Mex, Arabic Grill Station and Charcuterie Platters. Pricing: AED 385 per person Zheng He’s is a Chinese restaurant with a radical twist. Modern, progressive and beyond compare in Dubai- this is a “new Chinese” cooking, a fusion of Western Tastes and Far Eastern ambience. The master Chefs of Zheng He’s have created an ample menu of favorite dishes for a brunch that everyone can enjoy. The menu will be an ideal opportunity for everyone at the table to indulge in new world Chinese cuisine without ever having to leave the seat, where they can enjoy stunning views of Burj Al Arab. Free flowing beverages and Asian Cocktails are also available throughout the afternoon. Price: AED 400. For more information, please contact Restaurant Reservations at +971 4 366 6730.

Pizza, Pasta e basta! – The choice is yours on Tuesdays. Create your own Italian masterpiece from a wide range of fresh pizza toppings or sumptuous pasta choices and our Chef will prepare it to your liking. With unlimited Italian red and white flowing from 7.00pm to 11.00pm, it is an ideal Tuesday evening for only AED 95.00 per person. Thursday night is a treat for all seafood lovers. From 7:00pm to 10:30pm the Fountain Restaurant presents itself as your personal fish market. Grilled, steamed, poached or Bouillabaisse – our chefs will prepare your selection, cooked to perfection. Accompanied by a great range of sides, guests can sit back and enjoy a nice evening in great atrium style atmosphere. Price is AED 135.00 net per person for food only and AED 185.00 including standard drinks.

Shangri-La Hotel Shangri-la Hotel, Dubai ushers in the most auspicious celebration to welcome the Year of the Rat! Out with the old and in with the new as lucky lions bring in good luck for the coming year. Kick off the Chinese New Year with the traditional Lion Dance on February 7th, 2008 at 11h00 starting in the hotel’s main lobby. Another performance is slated that same day at 19h00. Continue the celebrations at Shang Palace and feast on its “Prosperity” set menu even emperors will love! The revelry will be complimented with the auspicious red “hong bao” and Chinese Horoscope booklets to take away. Available for

lunch from 13h00 to 15h00 and dinner from 20h00 to 23h30 from 7th February until 13th February 2008. For enquiries and reservations, please call 04 405 2703. The Mediterraneo high lunch transforms Level 2 of the hotel into a Mediterranean dream, combining Amwaj, our seafood restaurant and Marrakech, our Moroccan restaurant. Amwaj features a range of the freshest seafood prepared to your taste in true Mediterranean style with Marrakech providing authentic culinary delights from across the North African and East Mediterranean regions. The all inclusive experience is priced at AED 295 per person. The I Kandy Ultra Lounge at the poolside on level 4 continues this month. This super stylish outdoor lounge on the pool deck is set to become the coolest evening venue in town and a great place to watch the sun

Moevenpick Hotel Bur Dubai Every Wednesday dine out under the stars with Swiss Chill Out night at the Roof Top Bar. Kick back and relax on beanbags while indulging in cheese and chocolate fondue accompanied by free flowing house white or red. It is pure Swiss heaven dipping soft bread cubes or cherry tomatoes into the melted cheese not to mention the fresh strawberries into the chocolate. A host of other Swiss delicacies and live cooking stations with traditional dishes like Rösti will be served keeping you licking your lips all night long.

February I Travel Arabia I 71


Shangri-La Hotel

set over the Dubai skyline. The Lounge will be open daily from 20h00 to 02h00. A tapas menu will be available along with top of the range beverages plus nightly performances from world class DJ’s. For further information and reservations, please call (04) 405 2703.

Sheraton Deira Hotel You are invited to the Pie Promotion this February 2008 at the Mediterranean style outlet ‘The Terrace’ at Sheraton Deira Hotel. The Pie promotion is available for lunch from 12 noon till 3pm starting from Dhs.40 to 50 net per dish. You can also enjoy the pies at the Le Café. Chef Robin has prepared some tempting pies with aromatic spices so that the pies linger on your taste buds much after you have eaten them. Experience the shores of Sardinia at your fingertip! Well hop over to dine at The Terrace restaurant, Sheraton Deira Hotel, every Monday from 7.30 pm to 11.30 pm to partake from a lavish Italian buffet at AED 79 only. Savour the regional and national specialties of Italy from the buffet with its wide selection of starters, the main course and desserts. Children under 12 years can benefit from a 50% discount. Call 04- 2688888 Ext. 8615 for more details.

Sheraton Deira Hotel

and savoury crêpes. On the menu are crêpes stuffed with crab meat served with mixed green salad; Seafood crêpes gratinated with Parmesan cheese and served with Thai green curry sauce or to sweeten your palate the very traditional crêpes with ice cream, chocolate drops and nuts. Indulge in these delicious crêpes today at prices starting from AED21 net each. For reservations or takeaway orders, please call The Lobby Café at 04 207 1719. In February, Ashiana will be staging a delicious Chooza promotion. Chooza means spring chicken in Hindi and Chef Gaurav is all set to tantalise your tastebuds with authentic Chooza

Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers At the Creekside, Chef Narit will prepare a delicious menu of ramen, in soups with various toppings - ranging from shrimps, sea scallops, roast duck to poached chicken, eggs and more. Prices start from AED31 net per dish. For reservations, please call the Creekside Japanese Restaurant at 04 207 1750. During the month of February, The Lobby Café pays tribute to crêpes with a tempting selection of sweet

72 I Travel Arabia I February

specialties, prepared in a variety of ways. Available from 6 to 15 February 2008, the dishes are priced at AED31 net per dish. For reservations, please call

Ashiana Indian Restaurant at 04 207 1733. Sample the 7 best cuts of beef at Vivaldi as Chef Andrea and his team will showcase the Beef Trolley or Il bollito misto di Carru. Be prepared to learn and taste these various cuts such as chuck, rib, loin and more. And what’s best to accompany your favourite meat? Chef Andrea has prepared novel and exciting Piedmont sauces guaranteed to get you all fired up. Prices start from AED36 net per dish. For reservations, please call Vivaldi Italian Restaurant at 04 207 1717.

Sheraton Khalidiya, Abu Dhabi Downtown Restaurant is a trendy meeting and dining spot, offering wireless internet and a wide selection of delicious dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Featuring our popular Apple Promotion, Lebanese Brunch and our Daily Business Lunch, Downtown Restaurant is a great place to seen and be seen. Every Saturday, celebrate the start of the week by joining for a special brunch, where you choose your Lebanese Mezze & Manakich combinations and we make it fresh – before your eyes. AED 85++ . The Daily Business Lunch from Saturday


Sheraton Dubai Creek

to Thursday offers a wide variety of quick and healthy dishes –salads Bar, Main courses and deserts – to keep you satisfied and energized for the rest of the day. AED 55++ . For reservations, please call (02) 666-6220 – Ext. 68 La Veranda Restaurant offers an elegant all-day dining experience, with our Executive Chef, Anthony Galo, responsible for creating some of the best international cuisine in town. Every Saturday, enjoy delicious pastas, pizzas, grilled meats, antipasti and more, all served the traditional Italian way. AED 110++. Every Sunday, Taste the flavors from Jamaican, Mexican to Bahamas with some Spanish tips, so good you’ll think you’re in Latin America. AED 110++. Every Monday, delight in Sushi, Sashimi, Spring rolls and the best noodles for you pleasure AED 110++. Every Tuesday, variety of deliciously prepared by our Chef with Dishes of French, Italian and Asian trend combine specially for you. AED 110++. Every Wednesday, delight in fresh mezze and the best in traditional grilled specialties from across the Orient prepared for your pleasure. AED 110++. Every

Thursday, experience the freshest crab, salmon, sushi, calamari and more, made just the way you like it at live cooking stations throughout the restaurant. AED 130++ Spend an enjoyable Friday afternoon with family and friends sampling the flavors of the world as well as unlimited sparkling wine. The friendly staff will entertain the kids with games and activities, giving you a chance to unwind after a long week. AED 115++. For reservations, please call (02) 666-6220 – Ext. 78

The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina The Italian restaurant Bussola located at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina, has re-opened for dinner from 7pm until 11pm Bussola can be reached by entering Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina. Club cars will be available to take guests to the restaurant at the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi. For reservations call +971 (0)4 399 3333.

Sheraton Khalidiya Abu Dhabi

February I Travel Arabia I 73


INDUSTRY NEWS

Air Arabia to open new hub in Nepal

Air Arabia (PJSC), the first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) in the Middle East and North Africa, will establish a new hub in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, providing the Sharjah-based LCC with a platform from which to serve markets stretching across South and Central Asia, the Far East, Middle East and Indian Subcontinent. The announcement follows the signing of a joint venture agreement between Air Arabia and Yeti Airlines, the market leader in domestic air travel in Nepal and approval from Nepal Government’s Department of Industries (DOI). Under the terms of the agreement, Air Arabia and Yeti Airlines will jointly establish a new low-cost carrier, based in Kathmandu that will provide affordable and convenient service to a broad range of international destinations. The new carrier began operations with Inaugural flight taking off to Sharjah last month followed by

IHG expands midscale property portfolio with Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced the opening of a new Holiday Inn property in Dubai, UAE in early 2008, further expanding its mid-scale hotel brand in the Middle East and Africa region. The announcement follows a development agreement to build Holiday Inn Bur Dubai, set to open in 2009.  The Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha and Holiday Inn Bur Dubai properties will be the third and fourth Holiday Inn hotels in the UAE respectively. Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha will be ideally 74 I Travel Arabia I February

operations to selected destinations in India as well as to Doha and Kuala Lampur in Malaysia. “This is an enormously significant agreement for Air Arabia, and an extremely timely one” said Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia. “As we set our sights on global expansion, we remain focused on youthful, fast-growing markets where the opportunities for growth are greatest. Nepal, with a population of 29 million and a median age of just 20, is clearly among them. In this regard, we are especially pleased to join efforts with Yeti Airlines, which has nearly a decade of experience serving this market and unmatched management expertise. “We are extremely pleased to announce this partnership with Air Arabia, already a trusted and familiar name in Nepal,” said Lhakpa Sonam Sherpa, Chairman of Yeti Airlines. “As one of the first airlines, after Nepal Airlines Corporation, in the country to receive an Air Operator Certificate to operate as an international LCC, we look forward to offering expanded choices for regional travelers, who will soon experience for themselves the many benefits of low-cost travel. Operating at the high standards established by both carriers, Yeti Airlines and Air Arabia will together revolutionise air travel in Nepal and across a much wider region.”

situated near Mall of the Emirates, one of the city’s largest and most popular shopping malls and entertainment centres, as well as commercial hubs such as Dubai Internet and Media Cities and Jebel Ali Freezone. It will cater to both business and leisure travellers looking for dependability, friendly service and modern attractive facilities at excellent value. “Holiday Inn is one of the world’s most recognisable hotel brands with a global reputation for service, comfort and value and we are very pleased to partner with owning company Splendid Hotels Group to further expand the brand’s presence in the thriving UAE market,” said John Bamsey, Chief Operating Officer,

Madison Residence unveiled at Dubailand DAMAC Properties unveiled Madisson Residence at Majan - in downtown Dubailand. Located at the heart of Emirates Road, Madison Residence is a 4-storey low-rise contemporary architecture, constructed in Manhattan buildings style, adapting modern designs and breaking the monotony of glass-paneled buildings. Hussain Sajwani, Chairman of DAMAC Holding, said: “Madison Residence is a modern development that offers residential and mixed-use retail that addresses the increasing needs of the consumers, a development that represents an integral part of Dubai’s bold vision. We constantly thrive to provide our customers with a unique development and the Madison Residence is designed with a unique combination of art and luxury.” Peter Riddoch, CEO of DAMAC Properties, said: “The Madison Residence is DAMAC’s first project within our Majan development, which consists of four plots. The property is strategically located in Dubailand in close proximity to the Jebel Ali Airport, the Arabian Ranches, Dubai Sports City and also the biggest shopping destination – the Mall of Arabia.” The Madison Residence provides a lifestyle of uncompromising quality with intricately designed homes, office spaces, retail outlets, entertainment and leisure facilities with theatre, gymnasium, swimming pool, exhibition centre and public parks. A district cooling plant, sewage treatment plant and a telecom server are stationed to maximize benefits to customers.

InterContinental Hotels Group, Middle East & Africa. “The hotel industry needs more than one million new rooms in the next five years – more than half of which are in the mid-scale segment. IHG will aim to meet this demand with an aggressive expansion plan for Holiday Inn, not only throughout the Middle East and Africa but on a global scale.”  Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha, which his located on the city’s main hub Sheikh Zayed Road, will feature 310 spacious rooms, including suites complete with WiFi and 95 beautifully-appointed studios, one and two bedroom rooms. The in-house conference facilities will feature state-of-the-art video, audio

and telecommunications equipment for corporate visitors, as well as a fullyequipped business centre. For leisure travellers, the hotel will also offer a fully-equipped spa inclusive of a temperature controlled swimming pool, gym, sauna, steam room and pool deck. A selection of dining options will include Thai, Indian and Arabic restaurants and a Sushi Bar, as well as an all day dining outlet, which will serve a diverse mix of cuisine. Guests will also be able to enjoy an afternoon coffee at the Lobby Lounge, or an evening drink at the Sports Bar and night club.


Anantara to manage Sir Bani Yas and Qasr Al Sarab Resorts Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the name behind some of the most prestigious tourism initiatives in Abu Dhabi, has appointed the award-winning Thai hospitality operator Anantara Resorts & Spas to manage two unique five-star resorts within the emirate. Anantara, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, will manage the boutique Desert Islands Resort & Spa, which will be the centrepiece of the unique Sir Bani Yas island experience, as well as the Anantara Qasr Al Sarab retreat, planned for the inspiring Liwa desert in Arabia’s Empty Quarter (Rub Al-Khali). The two will be the first Anantara-managed hotels in the emirate. “Anantara has established an

The boutique Desert Islands Resort & Spa – to be managed by Anantara

exceptional reputation within Abu Dhabi for the operation of its ultradeluxe spa at the seven-star Emirates Palace Hotel,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, Managing Director, TDIC and Director General of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA). “It will now bring its internationally-renowned reputation for delivering distinct experiences immersed in culture, heritage and natural beauty to these truly unique resorts. The 64-room Desert Islands Resort & Spa, which is scheduled for a softopening in the second quarter of next year, will be central to the opening up of Sir Bani Yas, a former Royal eco-resort which lies eight kilometres off Abu Dhabi’s western coastline. Sir Bani Yas is the largest of eight islands which, together with an onshore gate, will ultimately make up the multiexperiential Desert Islands destination. “Starting the second quarter of this year, guests at the Desert Islands Resort & Spa, will have access to this inspirational island with its unique wildlife herds, including some previously-threatened breeds which were successfully bred in captivity under the directive of the late UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan,” said Lee Tabler, CEO of TDIC. Designed as an aspirational desert retreat, amid the towering dunes of the Liwa district, the Anantara Qasr Al Sarab,

Make the best of DSF from Burjuman Rotana Suites With the aim of promoting Dubai as the global shopping and tourist destination by creating world class events and retail promotions, Burjuman Rotana Suites is taking part in this nonstop shopping and entertainment festivities during the Dubai Shopping Festival for 32 days.

The Anantara Qasr Al Sarab – an aspirational desert retreat will be just 90 minutes drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport. Fashioned in a style reminiscent of a desert fortress, the resort will be the ultimate in ‘getaway’ luxury and will also boast a luxury health spa, a conference centre, adjoining excursion and tented villages and a children’s playground. It is scheduled to open in 2009. “Creating a destination experience is at the core of the Anantara philosophy and one that the brand takes seriously,” said Michael Sagild, COO of Minor International, Anantara’s holding company. “All our resorts offer first-class, unobtrusive service, spa facilities and a range of adventure activities associated with their individual locations. Abu Dhabi is a very welcome addition to our highly selective destination portfolio, which currently includes luxury resorts in Thailand, the Maldives and Bali.”

With the direct connectivity to Burjuman shopping mall, Burjuman Rotana Suites is expecting a high occupancy during this period and is offering a special DSF package. The stay in magnificently designed suites and contemporary facilities and world class services is complemented with the ultimate shopping experience at The Burjuman Shopping mall. Burjuman Rotana Suites represent metropolitan living in a great location for those who are uncompromising on quality and style. The design concept is to offer a contemporary but unique space by introducing inspiring art, stylish sculpture and distinctive pieces of furniture. The Burjuman Rotana Suite’s 148 guestrooms, including upscale one Bedroom Suites, Duplex Town Houses and a Penthouse offers classically elegant furnishings, luxury bedding and pampering bath amenities. Windows open to dazzling views of Dubai Along with sales across the city, there is also plenty of fun for all the family that is a part of an exciting calendar of events and promotions in the most happening place in the city. “It goes without saying that this is obviously a very busy time for the tourism industry. However, Burjuman Rotana Suites is the place to stay during the shopping extravaganza,” said Mrad El Khoury, General Manager.

February I Travel Arabia I 75


The New Trussardi Brand Opens Its First Store In Dubai

Emaar Malls Group partners with SEGA Corporation to develop indoor theme parks Emaar Malls Group, the shopping mall subsidiary of Emaar Properties, has joined hands with SEGA Corporation, a global leader in interactive technologydriven entertainment facility operations, in a strategic partnership to develop and operate indoor theme parks in its malls planned across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and the Subcontinent. Within the partnership, Emaar Malls Group has secured the rights to develop the Entertainment complexes with SEGA in several countries. It will enable Emaar Malls Group to generate a platform for its retail and entertainment destinations, and increase its market share of entertainment within the MENA region and Subcontinent. The first project to be undertaken by the partnership will be a two-level 76,000 sq ft indoor entertainment and gaming complex in The Dubai Mall, Emaar’s flagship mall development within Downtown Burj Dubai. Mr Rashid Zakaria Doleh, Chief Executive Officer, Emaar Malls Group said: “These innovative ‘shoppertainment’ concepts further position Emaar Malls Group as a global provider of retail and entertainment destinations. Apart from strengthening our international portfolio of projects and maximising our growth opportunities, the Emaar Malls Group and SEGA partnership synergises our expertise to provide a world-class

76 I Travel Arabia I February

experience for mall visitors.” Mr Hajime Satomi, President and Chief Executive Officer, SEGA Corporation, said “Entertainment is about living dreams, it is about experiencing joy and culture. In joining with a company of Emaar’s stature and power, we hope to convey the pleasure and excitement inspired by great entertainment to people all over the world.” The entertainment complex with SEGA at The Dubai Mall will feature high-adrenaline, action-packed attractions that will appeal to children and adults alike. Based on SEGA’s flagship entertainment concept, the “Tokyo Joypolis”, the entertainment and gaming complex at The Dubai Mall will introduce a full line up of SEGA’s headline ride attractions; including a thrilling indoor coaster, motion ride simulators, and one of the largest selections of games to be found anywhere. A number of themed zones in the complex provide different adventures, such as one focusing on “sports” experiences, another on the thrill of “speed”, while an expansive redemption game zone caters to the youngest family members. The entertainment complex with SEGA at The Dubai Mall adds considerable value to the mall’s already strong entertainment offer that includes Kidzania, an innovative children’s ‘edutainment’ concept, a world-class Aquarium, an Olympic-sized Ice Rink, a 22-screen cineplex and exclusive access to the Burj Dubai observation deck in the world’s tallest tower.

The Italian fashion brand Trussardi, in cooperation with Belbadi Fashion, one of Dubai’s foremost fashion retailers, opened its first Tru Trussardi boutique at Dubai Festival City Mall. “The Belbadi Fashion Group is happy to launch the new Tru Trussardi boutique in the Dubai Festival City Mall. This boutique marks the continuation of a successful collaboration between the Trussardi Group and the Belbadi Fashion Group. We hope that the opening of this new boutique will continue to promote the success of the brand and better service its clients.” Says Mr. Ghassan Ibrahim, General Manager Belbadi Fashion Group.

TRU TRUSSARDI: a play on words, almost a nickname, that sounds like authentically and truly Trussardi. A fast name for a casual collection, conceived for the city: the place of unexpected meetings and where languages, sounds, signs, symbols and desires are exchanged. TRU TRUSSARDI moves in this metropolitan space where all exchanges are possible, to define a project that expresses how the city is changing and, at the same time, how the attention given to personal well-being and practicality evolves into style. No longer citywear, but in actual fact urban wellwear, TRU TRUSSARDI becomes an attitude and a type of behaviour that lets you live the city better, dividing your time between business meetings and personal dates, free time and official occasions and increasingly travelling on two wheels to gain time and speed, ideal for the fast-moving lifestyle of the UAE. This is why every article can be used on more than one occasion and adapts to different settings, slowing down the pace of the city. The strong images of the advertising campaign, shot by Stefano Galuzzi, have all the vividness and impact of a still photo in reportage on current affairs. Concentrated on shapes and fabrics, the stylistic research encourages multi-functionality of the clothes and emphasises one of the most topical features of design: touch, complete sensory perception.


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New Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai opens With the opening of the new Four Points by Sheraton THE Downtown Dubai,NEW StarwoodTRUSSARDI Hotels & Resort Worldwide is proudBRAND to introduce yetOPENS another greatITS property to its vast FIRST portfolio of leading hotels in the UAE. The FourSTORE Pour Points by hotels brand is not INSheraton DUBAI

(from left to right) His Excellency, Dilip Nair, Consuate-General, Republican of Singapore and Jason Ong, Area Director, Middle East and Africa, Singapore Tourism Board

Singapore makes travel easier for UAE visitors Travel to Singapore has just been made easier for visitors to Singapore who require visas, according to the Consulate of the Republic of Singapore, who announced the appointment of two new visa processing agencies in Dubai. The move will help accommodate the significant increase in visa requests due to the rise in travel to Singapore from the UAE, which has witnessed a steady 19 percent year-on-year growth in visitor arrivals. “Singapore has always been a very desirable and convenient destination for travellers from the Middle East, and the launch of this new service will make it even easier to travel to the Lion City from 2008,” said Mr. Dileep Nair, Singapore’s Consul General in Dubai. The newly-appointed agencies, VSA Versatile Service Agency and Uranus Travel & Tours (LLC), will provide new service that will significantly facilitate the visa application process in Dubai. Visitors can now submit their visa application at either of these agencies, and will benefit from a new user-friendly web-based application “Submission of Application for Visa Electronically” (SAVE) which the agencies will use to forward the applications to the Consulate. SAVE will also help boost security by enabling the Consulate to issue visa stickers with security embedded features that can pre-empt forgery and electronically link all stored information to Singapore checkpoints and Missions around the world. “The Singapore Tourism Board is delighted by these positive developments in visa application procedures, which we believe will further drive our impressive visitor growth from the UAE,” said Jason Ong, Area Director, Middle East and Africa, Singapore Tourism Board. While UAE nationals do not need visas to visit Singapore, citizens of a range of countries across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia require one. They are encouraged to visit the Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website at www.mfa.gov.sg/dubai to check the list of countries that require visas for travel to Singapore. The Singapore Consulate will continue to offer emergency visa processing at its new central location in Al Satwa.

78 I Travel Arabia I February

new to the market as brand it has been introduced TheUAE Italian fashion Trussardi, in co- to the area tenoperation years agowith withBelbadi the firstFashion, Four Points Sheraton one by of Dubai’s Bur Dubai. With the opening of theopened new Four foremost fashion retailers, its Points first Truby SheratonTrussardi Downtown Dubai,atthe hotelFestival is readyCity to Mall. build on boutique Dubai the brand focusing on its three “The Belbadi Fashion key values. These values Group is happy to are the little things that make launch the new Tru the difference in somebody’s in life; theyTrussardi are aboutboutique the simple theofDubai Festival City pleasures life. We are talking about Honest, Uncomplicated Mall. This boutique & Comfort values, will marks the that continuation be foundofina all the facilities & successful servicescollaboration of the new Four Points between by Sheraton Downtown Dubai. the Trussardi Group When explaining the real values and the Belbadi Fashion Group. We hope that of the Four Points by Sheraton brand, Mr. Erik Vedsegaard, opening of this new willPoints continue ComplextheGeneral Manager of theboutique new Four by promote the success of Points the brand and better SheratontoDowntown Dubai & Four by Sheraton serviceRoad its clients.” Says Mr. Ghassan Ibrahim, Sheikh Zayed explains: “What does a guest expect General Manager FashionorGroup. from a hotel when travelingBelbadi for business leisure? a warm welcome but not tooaformal, service TRU TRUSSARDI: play ongood words, almostbuta not too interruptive, good but no value nickname, thatfood sounds likenon-sense authentically andfor truly money and a comfortable atmosphere without all the fuss. Trussardi. A fast name for a casual collection, Bottom line, he/she needs to stay in a nice atmosphere that has all the comforts of home. Well, this is what our brand is all about. It is about the little things that make the guest feel at home” and he adds “We trust that our guests will experience these core values in every service and at each facility of the new Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai”. At the Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai, the guests will feel right at home, close to the city’s shopping and business districts in Bur Dubai. They will find ample space and all the comforts in the oversized guest rooms and suites. Guests can get great nights’ rest in the “Four Points Four Comfort Bed”, zapping through more than 60 different channels on the Interactive LCD TV or simply browsing the internet, all in the comfort of their room. In the “Family Room” guests can enjoy a fresh cup of coffee and a great piece of pie whilst surfing the net. They will also enjoy a large selection of home cooked meals at the “Eatery”; the hotel’s all day dining restaurant. The hotel also has two meeting rooms equipped with the latest audio-visual facilities. For rest and relaxation, the hotel features a state-of-the-art health club along with outdoor roof top swimming pool for adults and another one for children. Furthermore, the newly open hotel promises a personalized touch of services thanks to the dedicated team that are trained on the brand’s core values and the true spirit of hospitality. Committed to deliver the Four Points by Sheraton brand core values of an Honest, Uncomplicated & Comfortable experience, this new property promises to offer their guests a unique and unforgettable stay.


Swiss-Belhotel International starts with new resort in Oman Hong Kong headquartered SwissBelhotel International announced their sixth hotel in as little as 14 months in the Middle East. Owned by the Al Batnah Hotels Company SOAC and managed by Swiss-Belhotel International, the Sohar Beach by Swiss-Belhotel in Oman opened its doors on 4 January following a takeover and rebranding of the former Sohar Beach Resort. “We have an ambitious expansion plan for the Mid East and I’m delighted with the results, closing deals on six properties in 2007,” said Mr. Gavin Faull, President, Swiss-Belhotel International. In July 2007, Swiss-Belhotel Plaza Kuwait became the first operational hotel in the Middle East for the group, which went on to secure properties in Jordan, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and in the United Arab Emirates in the same

Nakheel announces new waterfront development -Dubai Promenade Nakheel, one of the world’s largest privately-held property developers, has announced its latest development - Dubai Promenade, a sophisticated waterfront community which will create a virtual peninsula along the Dubai shoreline anchored by a spectacular fivestar wheel-shaped hotel. Surrounded by the sea, a marina and a natural beach, Dubai Promenade will offer panoramic views, idyllic walkways, and carefully considered architecture to create a distinctly different residential and commercial environment. Dubai Promenade is located between

year. “2008 promises to be a very busy year with soft openings planned for three of our properties, representing a combination of both city hotels and leisure resorts,” added Mr. Faull. The low-rise (two level) four star, beach resort property, features 41 guest rooms, suites and chalets, extensive facilities including four restaurants and lounges, temperature controlled outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, fitness centre, business centre and meeting facilities. The resort hotel attracts a combination of leisure and corporate business. originating from neighbouring countries. Europe is growing source market for ‘inquisitive’ travelers who enjoy exploring the secrets of a destination and learning about Middle Eastern history and discovering the natural beauty the Sultanate of Oman enjoys. “Oman continues to be a favourite destination for Gulf travelers. There Dubai Marina and the seafront and is adjacent to Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC). The development offers breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf, The Palm Jumeirah and the coast towards Jebel Ali Port. The development places an emphasis on open space and waterfront lifestyle with an expansive promenade opening up the seafront to residents and visitors. In addition to a selection of commercial and residential towers, cafés, restaurants and retail offerings will span the length of the entire waterfront. Dubai Promenade will have its own marina with more than 60 berths. Ali Bin Damithan, Senior General Manager – Dubai Promenade, said: “When masterplanning Dubai

is also increased potential for dual destination travel for return visitors to Dubai, who would appreciate the contrast of the bustling, gleaming city with destinations such as Sohar, which are rich in natural beauty and heritage.” said Mr Solenthaler. “Sohar Beach by Swiss-Belhotel is the ideal choice for families, couples and more mature travelers who enjoy peace and quiet. The beachside location ensures tranquility yet accessibility to nearby attractions and nightlife.” he said.

Promenade, we were keen to create a feeling of open space, capitalizing on the waterfront views. As well as being a premium location for offices and retail, public access to the promenade will provide a unique location for families to stroll and enjoy seafront views. “Dubai Promenade will also further enhance the emirate’s international profile through its centrepiece wheelshaped hotel. The hotel’s unprecedented shape and structure will be spectacular and no other skyline in the world offers anything like it.” Reclamation at Dubai Promenade is being undertaken by Van Oord. It is due to be completed in the first quarter of 2008 with a total of some 750,000 tons of rock being placed and 650,000 m3 of sand reclaimed. Construction will begin in mid-2008 and on completion the development will accommodate approximately 10,000 residents in more than 2,000 residential units, will offer over 25,000 m2 of retail space and over 17,000 m2 of office space. Further details of the project will be available at the Tourism Development Projects & Investment Market exhibition 20-22 January 2008 at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre.

February I Travel Arabia I 79


TRAVEL DIRECTORY

ALGERIA ALGERIA General Information Area

Embassies & Consulates Algeria: 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

80 I Travel Arabia I February

Italy 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

08.00 to 12.00 Thu

2,381,741 sq.Kms

Electricity

Population

220 volts (110 volts in some

31,19 million (2000 est.)

areas).

Capital

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

Temperature/climate

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, Finland, Guinea, Iceland, Ireland,

292330

793766

in the Sahara at night

Italy, Leichenstein, Mali, Monaco,

912004

912046

Languages Arabic (official)

Norway, San Marino, Sweden,

French (commercial)

Switzerland

692031

691554

692076

693014

693408

693037

594977

692397

921502

924687

Airports

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

Berber (in rural areas)

centre)

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

792139

784274

924023

923451

No airport tax on departure

prohibited to take any Algerian

922828

923770

Ports

currency into or out of the country.

Algiers (principal), Annaba, Oran,

Proof of all foreign exchange

691849

691175

Skikda, Mostaganem, Bejaia

transactions must be presented

941375

Business Hours

on departure.All foreign visitors

Government offices and state

must change a minimum of AD

Enterprises

1000.

941310 693781

692212

922553 925313

92541

922856

922415

690871

693642

783134

782882

603518 922713

922719

692300

691917

737310

738158

912026

912030

691388

692316

08.00 to 17.00 Sat to Wed

Currency

0800 to 12.00 Thu

1 Algerian dinar (AD) =100

Banks

Centimes

09.00 to 16.00 Sat to Wed Turkey 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

691257

693161

692574

593770

230068

230067

691255

693979

693085

691758

693846

607555

591227


Embassies & Consulates

BAHRAIN

KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

General Information Area

on depature BHD 3.

Tourist visas available at Bahraini embassies or on

707 sq.Km

Ports

arrival at entry points-Bahrain Airport or the King

Population

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.

Capital

Government Offices

Customs regulations

Manama

07.00 to 13.00 Sat. to Wed.

400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or _ 1

Main Cities

bs.tobacco,some perfume,2 bottles of wine or Commercial Offices Manama, Muharraq Town, Isa Town, Jidhafs, Rifaa. 07.00 to 13.00 and 15:30 to 18:00 Sat To Thu. spirits.

Temperature/climate

Banks

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.

Electricity

currency bring in/take out of Bahrain.

Languages

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

Currency

Arabic (official), and English (commercial).

three-phase AC.

1 Bahraini dinar (BHD)=1.000 FILS

Airport

Visas

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

nationals.

Manama: 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

713669

713662

714717

710031

224631

229994

723800

727304

725119

826582

720005

721518

291734

293655

530210

536282

259211 712785

715527

722400

722101

786929

786220

716565

715059

291109

291980

291629

291628

534040

536475

786994

784998

714162 740566

740178

224320

212295

210284

210271

531480

530158

293663

293540

244113

255960

276099

276054

710200

710300

531533

530445

725222

725921

537722

533261

252546

252578

531085

530063

227811

224623

714149

715702

533448

536557

723737

727343

534404

531273

273300

272594

277072

262358

February I Travel Arabia I 81


General Information Area

centre)

997.738 sq.Km

Local airports at Aswan,

Population

Customs regulations

Hurghada, Luxor, Sharm El

Currency,jewellery and other

(2000 est.) 68.5 million

–Seikh.

valuables must be declared

Capital

Ports

Cairo

Alexandria (principal), Port Said,

Goods valued up to £E100 may

Main Cities

Suez, Damietta, Safaga.

be exported.200 cigarettes or

EGYPT

EGYPT

on entry.

Cairo,Alexandria,Ismalia,Port

Business Hours

Said.

Government: 08.00 to 14.00

litre wine or spirits.

Temperature/ climate

Sat.to 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

Banks

Mediterranean coasts “Khamsin”

09.00 TO 13.30 Mon.to

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

Languages

Electricity

Arabic, ( official),English and

220/240 volts 50 cycles AC in

Currency

French ( commercial).

Maadi and Heliopolis some 110

1 Egyptian pound(£E)=100

Airports

volts, 50 cycles AC.

piastres=1.000 millimes.

on departure.

Cairo (22.5 Km from city centre).

Visas

Coaches/taxis,duty-free

Visas are required by all foreign

shop,airport tax on departure.

visitors except most Arab

Alexandria (8 Km from city

nationals.

Embassies & Consulates Cairo 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

82 I Travel Arabia I February

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

18 Aisha El-Taimouria St.Garden City 3547200 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

3563903 3406152 3408648 3414038 3415075 3540657 3563540 3601027 3443400 3602657 3610463

3489060 5783040 3400937 3415249 3420709 3036464 3480310

Portugal 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

3363950

3363952

3604693

3603618

3410107

3410151

3489354

3609074

3490797

3494590

3490468

3481682

3486550 3406397

3547359

3545658

3542693

3411484

3404357

3402250

5745236

3358320

3358232

3408356

3400340

3408962

3412479

3563318

3558110

3609722

5700844

3540850

3543065

3557371

3573200

3614225

3604815


IRAQ IRAQ

General Information Area 438.317 sq.Km

Population 21.7 million(2000 est.)

Capital Baghdad

Embassies & Consulates

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 Sat.to 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.

Currency 1 Iraqi dinar (ID)= 1.000 FILS

Baghdad 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

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

5430275

7717052

7170635

5430572 7766271

7760488

7196061 7192037

7180340

7766572 7195183

7196520

7765000 4222014

4229549

7198677

7198680

7765058 7195157 5412892

7196186

Korea Rep. 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

2228353

5417026 7760647

February I Travel Arabia I 83


Embassies & Consulates Embassies & Consulates Amman 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

84 I Travel Arabia I February

JORDAN

4641271

4616552

5930246

4616552

4644635

4612725

5664148

5664190

5931859

5930487

5925416

4612964

5529391

5539393

5666124

5689227

Area

shop,airport tax on departure.

220 volts,50 cycles AC.

5931530

5932607

92.000 sq.Km

Port

Visas

Aqaba

Visas required by all and can be obtained from

5605175

5604082

Population (2000 est.) 5 million

Business Hours

any Jordanian consulate.

Capital

Government Offices:

Some visitors may acquire visas on arrival at

Amman

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

Temperature/climate

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

4641273

4659606

5930351

5932887

5672331

5696591

JORDAN

General Information

5929934

5694059

5925614

5930836

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

4623175

4619172

Languages

Sat to Thu.

on entry is permitted.

Arabic (official), English (commercial)

Banks

Currency

4638185

4659730

Airport

08.30 to 15.30 Sat. to Thu.

1 Jordanian dinar(JOD)=1.000 fils.

5930486

5931006

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

Electricity

5675135

5681971

5929111

5929113

5693102

5693404

5921771

5925185

5686155

5680404

4624680

4611633

5518134

5518441

5607311

5607350

5667738

5684018

4641158

4647448

5924154

5921154

4614167

4614173

4644251

4644187

5931177 5931416

5930179 5930685

4641935

4651945

5674307

5605790

4641251

4612353

5934780

5932666

5923100

5923759

5920101

5920121

4642381

4654717


General Information General Information

Wed.08.00 to 12.30 Thu.

Area

Ramadan 08.00 to 14.00 Sat to Thu.

17.8182 sq.Km

Banks

Population

08.00 to 12.00 Sat.to Thu.

(2000 estimate) 2 million

Ramadan 8.30 to 12.30 Sat to Thu.

Capital

Electricity

Kuwait City

240 Volts single-phase

Main Cities

50 cycles AC

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

Temperature/climate

KUWAIT KUWAIT

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

Languages

continiuing their journey to a third country bt the same

Arabic (official), English (commercial).

aircraft,or by passengers transiting within 24 hours.

Airport

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

Ports

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 Sat.to Wed.

There are no restrictions on the import or export of

Ramadan 08.30 or 09.00 to 13.00 Sat to Thu.

currency

Commercial Offices:

Currency

08.00 to 12.00 and 15.00 to 18.00 Sat.to

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

2433075

5326274

2427185

2519497

2467421

2449993

5318530

5330882

2542688

5722018

2561029

2562153

2561029

2562153

5314458

5321453

2563025

2560173

5330165

5333341

5382024

2402971

2529015

2529021

2519955

2563877

5312890

5324198

5319850

2571058

4830975 4817055

2520763

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

5312600

5313782

2530600

2525811

2514588

4819250

2560694

2529868

2445120

2445124

2518155

5326168

2533500

2570894

4814004

2526874

2562103

2571682

3529172

2575182

4813700

5317423

5312650

5326334

5316802

5652943

5320794

5320834

2561962

2961963

5327649

5327648

5329315

5329319

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

85

2510355

2534760

2513599

2563428

4843419

4848929

5646277

5659044

2400250

2420654

5325827

5325826

2523588

2564224

2551872

5340176

2531164

5396509

5317530

5317532

2522416

2528995

2531785

2560653

2518569

2526382

2403335

2426799

2424151

2407368

4818872

5327568

February I Travel Arabia I 85


LEBANON

LEBANON

General Information

Area

08.00 to 14.00 Monday to Thursday.

10.452 sq.Km

08.00 to 11.00 Friday, 08 to 13 Saturday.

Population

Commercial offices

(2000 estimate) 3.6 million

08.30 to 18.00 Mon.to Fri.

Capital

Banks

Beirut

08.30 to 12.30 Monday to Friday.

Main Cities

08.30 to 12.00 Saturday.

Beirut, Tripoli, Jounieh, Zahle, Sidon, Tyre

Electricity

Temperature/Climate

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

Summer 23 C to 32 C in Beirut, humid.

Visas

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.

Languages

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

Arabic (official), French and English (commercial)

,seaport or at Lebanese border checkpoints.

Airport

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

Ports

No Restrictions.

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

Currency

for South)

1500 Lebanese pound(ÂŁLeb)= 1 US dollars.

Business Hours Government offices

Embassies & Consulates

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

86 I Travel Arabia I February

01/826711

826712

01/987900

987903

04/418860 01/374701

374709

01/217412

217772

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

05/922500

922502

01/822515

842220

01/806314

805349

04/418870 01/862966

865194

01/863041

864583

01/791093

791095

05/468152

746620

01/865271

810460

05/924484

924747

01/300042

303837

01/860351

861524

05/464120

464030

01/353270 01/339505

339394

01/324129

324167

05/457431

950434

04/412080

407557

01/857000

857009

01/990400

990420

04/542600

544136

01/888701

403670

01/852682

821610

01/739633

739638


LIBYA LIBYA

Embassies & Consulates Tripoli 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

3338081/ 334

4448401

4443223/444 611101 3330800

TX 20346

608269 333600411

607619/ 6076

TX 20049

4772864/ 4772865

4770317

607904/ 6079

TX 20482

3330485/333 3332568/ 3332805 4773124/ 477

3332568

Sudan 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

4772728

4774781

3337955/ 333

TX 20218

607365/ 607366

607487

4449565

3332423

33.310.613. 331.052 TX 20217 4773146/ 47

TX 20189

4448006

TX 20219

3330852/ 3/4/5/7

3330856

4770251

TX 20733

3600407/ 36

3600408

833704/ 8307

830994

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

Population

Winter:(1 Nov.to 31 March)

Translation.Invitation from Libyan company

(2000 estimate)5.1 million

08.00 to 15.00 Sat.to Thu.

required.

Capital

Summer:07.00 to 14.00

Customs regulations

Tripoli

Sat.To Thu.

No alcohol.200 cigarettes,250 grams

Main Cities

Commercial offices

tobacco,0.25 litre perfume.

Tripoli,Benghazi,Misurata,Surt,Sabha

07.30 to 14.30 Sat.To Thu

Currency regulations

Temperature/Climate

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.

Banks

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

Languages

Summer:08.00 to 12.30

that taken in.

Arabic(official),English and Italian(commercial)

Sat.to Thu.and 16.00 to 19.00 Sat.to Wed.

Currency

Airports

Electricity

1 Lybian dinar(LD) =1.000 dirhams.

Tripoli(25 Km from City Centre)

220 volts 50 cycles AC.

Benghazi(main port for East)

Visas

February I Travel Arabia I 87


MOROCCO MOROCCO

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 Rabat 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 Ave.de 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

88 I Travel Arabia I February

765474

762237

755120

755410

764003

765425

764746

767003

755291

755291

765477

763201

672880

672187

754056

757519

755421

755420

769293

769709

731833

706821

762312

463925

689700

689750

709662

706851

638975

702270

772277

756213

750757

754123

671339

671269

757861

757859

659121

659118

754466

754572

706598

706882

Rabat (10 Km from City Centre) Casablanca (30 Km from Town Centre) Agadir (20 Km from Town Centre) 39 Ahmed Balafrej Ave., Souissi 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

631782

750078

751125

758722

751767

750189

751775

753591

760728

766667

707400

705200

673788

674567

Businesses

661611

766742

08.00 to 12.30 and 16.00 to 19.00

756446

756445

Tangier (sea port for the North)

Business Hours Government 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.

Banks Winter 08.15 to 11.30 and 14.15 to 16.30 Mon to Fri. Summer 09.00 to 15.00 Mon to Fri

765681 753509

Casablanca (main sea port)

753590

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

730171 268000

707387

752863

752865

759303

758048

706974

705749

757521

757522

730636

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

Visas 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.

762605

704980

707070

742145

720905

704531

762265

765661

674363

674769

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

Currency regulations No Moroccan currency may be imported or exported.

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


OMAN OMAN

General Information General Information

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

220/240 volts 50 cycles AC

Area

Salalah (domestic)

Visas

309.500 sq.Km

Population

Ports

Visas are required for all visitors except nationals

Mina Qaboos, Muscat (principal), Mina Raysut,

of the GCC.

(2000 estimate) 2053 million

Salalah (main port for Dhofar)

Capital

Business Hours

Customs regulations

Muscat

Government Offices

Main Cities

Currency regulations

Winter:7.30 to 14.30 Sat.To Thu.

No restrictions on the amount of currency taken

Muscat-Muttrah-Ruwi-Seeb,Salalah

Summer:7.30 to 14.30 Sat Top Wed.

into or out of Oman.

Temperature/Climate

Businesses

Currency

Summer: 35 C - 47 C, Very humid

08.30 to 13.30 and 16.00 to 18.00 Sat.to

1 Omani Riyal(RO)=1,000 Baizas

Winter: 20.7 C men minimum

Wed. 08.00 to 11.30 Thu.

Languages

Banks

Arabic (official), English (commercial).

08.00 to 12.00 Sat.to Wed.08.00 to 11.30

Airports

Thu.

Seeb (40 Km from City Centre).

Electricity

No alcohol.No Limit for Tobacco products.

Embassies & Consulates Muscat, Ruwi 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

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

February I Travel Arabia I 89


QATAR

QATAR

Embassies & Consulates Doha 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

90 I Travel Arabia I February

4831186 4839360

4836452 4831018

4671927 4884202

4671190 4873959

4884202

4873959

4832555

4832196

4832283

4832254

4876959

4876949

4672025

4670448

4835300

4831665

4672237

4673347

4667842

4664644

4831224

4832178

4832202

4832173

4832238

4838264

4832111

4832042

4477773

4478817

4667546

4660548

4836003

4836015

4831885

4833416

4670744

4670747

4832525

4832227

4329117

4329118

4832030

4832720

4423007

4329118

4832409

4832139

General Information Area

Airport

11.437 sq.Km

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

Visas

Population

Duty- Free shop, no airport tax.

Visas are required for all visitors except nationals

Ports

of Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and UAE.

(2000 estimate) 700.000

Capital

220/240 Volts 50 cycles AC.

Ras Laffan (Gaz and ind.)

No objection certificate required from Qatari

Doha

Doha, Umm Said (oil and petrochemicals)

Minsitery of Foreign Affairs. Other businessmen,

Main Cities

Business Hours

if their visit is sponsored by a reputable Qatari,

Doha, Rayan, Umm Said,

Government

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

Temperature/Climate

Businesses

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

products.

especially mornings

Thu.

Currency Regulations

4438692

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

Banks

None

4884101

4884298

diurnal range

07.30 to 11.30 Sat to Wed.

Currency

07.30 to 11.00 Thu.

1 Qatari Riyal (QR)= 100 dirhams

4432555

4429400

Languages Arabic (official), English ( commercial).

4832645

4832649

4835204

4835206

4885111 4421991

Electricity


SAUDI ARABIA

KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA

General Information

General Information

Jeddah (24 Km from City Centre)

Ramadan 10.00 to 13.30

Area

Medina (12 Km from City Centre)

Electricity

2.240.000 sq.Km (approx)

Riyadh (35 Km from City Centre)

220 Volts and 110 Volts,60

Population

Taxis-no duty-free shops except at

cycles AC.

(2000 est.) 20 million

Jeddah-No airport taxes.

Capital

Ports

Visas

Riyadh

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

Taif

Jubail(industrial port for Eastern

On approval.Assistance from trade

Temperature/Climate

province)

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.

province)

Marriage certificate for travelers

35 to 42 C in Jeddha, very

Business Hours

accompanied by spouse required.

humid.35 to 45 C in Dammam,

Government

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

Businesses

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

Languages

Currency

14.30 to 20.00 Sat to Thu.

1 Saudi Riyal(SR)=100 halala

Arabic (official), English

Banks

(commercial).

08.30 to 12.00 and 16.30 to

Airports

18.30 Sat to Wed.08.30to 12.00

Dammam (28 Km from City Centre)

Thu.

Visas are required for all visitors

Embassies & Consulates Riyadh 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

4887171

4887616

4652600

4653057

4887788

4887973

4801217

4801526

4880044

4880208

4195300

4193555

4882888

4882033

4880018

4881075

4882288

4880137

4880101

4881366

4658425

4652800

4801726

4827537

4881255

4882882

4880700

4880660

801974

4801969

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

4884144

4884750

4881916

4888890

4882300

4880927

4881212

4886590

4881100

4880189

4880039

4880072

4882484

4882629

4882211

4881317

4883500

488368

4197000

4192767

4544511

4567513

4828218

4828379

4826382

4827016

4881904

4880854

4823120

4823738

4887272

4887953

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

4880835

4883945

4644688

4044419

4825544

4825694

4657007

4652224

4880606

4880400

4887728

4887729

4883100

4880604

4881291

4880632

4887481

4826196

4880300

4881179

4887900

4887641

4887721

4887823

4826803

4827504

4880077

4882373

4883800

4883278

4826764

4881757

February I Travel Arabia I 91


SUDAN

SUDAN

General Information

Area

Languages

to Thu

2,505,813 sq.Km

Arabic (official), English (commercial)

Banks

Population

Airport

08.30 to 12.00 Sat to Thu.

(2000 estimate) 35.5 million

Khartoum (4Km from city centre).

Electricity

Capital

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

240 volts,single phase AC

Khartoum

departure.

Visas

Main Cities

Port

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

ms,humid,

Other centres :08.30 to 14.00(with Breakfast

Currency

Rain in August and September,hotter and more

interval)

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

humid in South.

Sat to Thu.

millimes

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

Businesses

diurnal range, Chilly nights.

08.30 to 13.30 and 17.00 to 20.00 Sat.

Temperature/Climate

Embassies & Consulates Khartoum 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

92 I Travel Arabia I February

451084 77170 489229

4899230

272730

271138

43448 80489 72836 471082

465928

77990 74692 451031

452266

81490

78668

271863 451614

451217

75875

77668

451164

451038

440386

452264

451136 81525

81142

45008 2235358 451603

451053

471012

471204

451605

451027

222000 451620

451036

338114

761113

451042 452583

451069

45072 71913 451010

452804

451152

451066

75906 471197

472542

451100 777105

776457

74700 451623 41252

451020


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.

SYRIA

SYRIA

Embassies & Consulates Damascus 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.

3334167

332732

3732992

3711757

3327691

3329232

3338098

330426

6116851

6114000

6130812

6130814

3331008

3337928

3327992 3323800

332812

2233009

2233035

3337966

3327550

3337966

6667917

3719580

3713294

6119630

6119632

6117675

6110997

3332621

3320325

3339181

3339920

Jordan 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.

93

3334642

3336871

3339369

6662391

3339369

3330101 3336717 3327570

3327572

4423155

6669043

6616714

3332126 3327261

3327749

3715474

3321137

6660356 3331411

3339243

3333038 3739241

3731600

3332184

3319678

February I Travel Arabia I 93


Embassies & Consulates Tunis 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

94 I Travel Arabia I February

783166

788804

231222

750058

751091

767824

231811

766549

781655

792797

232538

750367

796577

792371 792631

TUNISIA TUNISIA

General Information

Area

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

Mon.to 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 Mon.to Sat.

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

793228

Capital

Businesses

Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain, Sweden,

792600

790797

Tunis

Winter:08.300 to 12.30 and 14.00 to 16.00

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

Mon to Fri.

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

792233

794389

Main Cities Tunis, Sfax, Ariana, Bizerte, Djerba, Sousse

Summer:07.30 to 13.00 Mon to Sat.

Customs Regulations

Temperature/Climate

Banks

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

Languages

Summer:07.00 to 13.00 Mon. to Sat.

The import or export of Tunisian currency is

Arabic (official), French (commercial),

Electricity

prohibited.O departure all Tunisian currency must

Berber (in rural areas).

Domestic 220V and 110V.

be converted into foreign currency on production

Airports

Industrial 220V 50 cycles AC

of exchange slips from Tunisian banks. This can

Tunis (8 Km from Tunis)

Visas

be done at the Airport .The amount of excess currency exchanged back must not exceed 30

792107 280486

721700

721670

358000

358001

786455

788242

288411

789518

780544

781264

787819

783394

Skanes (8 Km west of Monasrtir)

Visas are required by all except nationals of

890347

799949

Melita (6 Km west of Djerba)

Angiulla, Antigua, Austria, Bahrain, Barbados,

per cent of foreign currency originally exchanged

791015

783177

Tozeur (south oasis area)

Belize, Bermuda, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada,

or 100 dinars, whichever is the greater.

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

Currency

321811

324155

Ports 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),

791251

786625

780875

784661

Korea Rep 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

893060

791923

754811

767669

781913

795338

782775

795338

799442

785557

234366

752477

893981

791008

766926

767695

882446

882478

781722

783235

782217

786267

860580

860810

783997

788796

888018

887989

750668

767045

783522

783507

793322

792644

782566

789719

237933


UAE

UAE

Embassies & Consulates

Abu Dhabi Algeria P.O.Box 3070 Argentina P.O.Box 3325 Australia P.O.Box 32711 Austria P.O.Box 3095 Bahrain P.O.Box 3367 Bangladesh P.O.Box 2504 Belgium P.O.Box 3686 Brazil P.O.Box 3027 Britain P.O.Box 248 Canada P.O.Box 6970 China P.O.Box 2741 Czech Republic P.O.Box 27009 Denmark P.O.Box 46666 Egypt P.O.Box 4026 Finland P.O.Box 3634 France P.O.Box 4014 Germany P.O.Box 2591 Greece P.O.Box 5483 Hungary P.O.Box 44450 India P.O.Box 409 Iran P.O.Box 4080 Italy P.O.Box 46752 Japan P.O.Box 2430 Jordan P.O.Box 4024 Kenya P.O.Box 3854 Korea Rep P.O.Box 3270 Kuwait P.O.Box 926 Lebanon P.O.Box 4023 Libya P.O.Box 5739 Mauritania P.O.Box 2714 Morocco P.O.Box 4066

4448949

4447068

4436838

4431392

63646100

6393525

6267755

6267133

6657500

6674141

4465100

4464733

6319449

6319353

6665352

6654559

General Information Area

Dubai International (4 Km east of city), duty-free

to Thu

90,559 sq.Kms

shop

Electricity

(including Offshore islands)

Fujairah Int’l, Duty-free shop

Abu Dhabi 240/415 volts, 50 cycles AC,

Population

Ras Al Khaimah International (20 Km south of

Northern Emirates

(1999 est.)2.80 million

Town), duty-free shop

220/380 volts, 50 cycles AC.

Capital

Sharjah International (10 Km southeast of

Visas

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 International Aiports.Other Will be required to

6326600

6318138

4456969

4458787

Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah,Ras Al-Khaimah

Ports

4434276

4436835

Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al-Qaiwan

Jebel Dhanna/Ruwais Abu Dhabi

obtain visas through sponsorship.

Mina Zayed ( Abu Dhabi town, 20% UAE

Customs Regulations

6782800

6795716

Temperature/Climate Summer:35to 40C peaks up to 48C along Gulf

tonnage)

200 cigarettes or one half pound of

Coast,very humid in Dubai, more temperate

Mina Jebel Ali (Dubai)

Tobacco(Abu Dhabi), 1000 cigarettes, 200

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

Port Rashid(Dubai Town), 50% UAE tonnage

cigars or 1 Kg tobacco(Dubai) are allowed duty-

very dry in Abu Dhabi, Wet in Ras El Khaimah

Ajman, Fujeirah

free.However locally retailed tobacco products

Languages

Mina Saqr (Ras Al Khaima) Khorfakan (Sharjah/

are as cheap as duty-free goods.

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

prohibited

Airports

Business Hours

Currency regulations

Abu Dhabi International (19 Km southeast of

Government Offices

None

City), duty-free shop

08.00 to 15.00 Sat. To Wed. And 08.00 to

Currency

Abu Dhabi New International Airport (Nadia, 35

12.00 Thu.

1 UAE Dirham(Dh)=100 fils

Km form city centre), duty-free shop

Businesses

Al Ain International,Duty-free shop

08.00 to 15.00 and 16.00 to 20.00 Sat.

6325900 4445566

6351690 4449878

6328927

6325063

4435100

4434158

4435630

4453712

6654847

6656008

6660107

6667877

6664800

6651518

4447618

4448714

4435622

4434219

4435696 4447100 6666300 4435337 4446888 4492100 4450030 4462724 4433963

4449157 6652827 4435348 4444109 4493500 4450033 4465772 4433917

Netherlands P.O.Box 46560 Norway P.O.Box 47270 Behrain P.O.Box 2517 Pakistan P.O.Box 846 Palestine P.O.Box 841 Qatar P.O.Box 3503 Romania P.O.Box 70416 Russia P.O.Box 8211 Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 4057 Spain

6321920

6313158

6211221

6213313

4463333

4464633

4447800

4447172

4434652

4434363

4493300

4493311

6666346

6651598

6721797

6788731

4445700

4446747

P.O.Box 46474 Sudan P.O.Box4027 Switzerland P.O.Box 46116 Syria P.O.Box 4011 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

6269544

6274978

6666788

6654231

6274636

6269627

4448768

4449387

6811331

6812707

6655421

6662691

6326600

6318138

4436691

4435441

4448457

4447978

February I Travel Arabia I 95


YEMEN

YEMEN

Embassies & Consulates

General Information YEMEN

No duty-free shop.Sanaa

General Information

Ports

Area 527.970 sq.Km

Population

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

Business Hours Government

(2000 estimate)17.5 million

08.00 to 13.00 Sat.to Thu.

Capital

Businesses

Sanaa(political), Aden(economic)

08.00 to 13.00 and 16.00 to 19.00 Sat.to Thu.

Main Cities

Banks

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

08.00 to 12.00 Sat.to Wed. and 08.00 to 11.30 Thu.

Temperature/Climate

Electricity

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

220 volts, 50 cycles AC

cooler and drier in Sanaa.

Visas

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

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

Sanaa.

must be presented with employer’s supporting letter.

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

Processing of applications takes 3 to 6 days.

and drier inland.

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

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

sometimes also be arranged by hotels.

Languages

Customs regulations

Arabic (official), English (commercial)

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

Airports

duty-free.

Al-Rahaba(10 Km north of Sanaa).

Currency regulations

Hodeida

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

(6 Km Southeast of city)

currency before departure.

Al-Janad

Currency

(4 Km northeast of Taiz)

1 Yemeni Riyal(YR)=100 fils

Khormasakar International (10 Km from Aden).

96 I Travel Arabia I February

Sanaa 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

209689

209688

285865

289568

208814

209523

275337 247946 215170

244418 212334

275948

274196

268888

269160

413179

413179

508084

508105

414633

412956

412690

414139

244153 269164

266137

207356

209531

413279 232340 216317 203459 247964 208933 248812 413523

413647

205515

214100

278719

283142

240429 265231

265234

413153 240458 241395

241395

248777 264081

263059

238843

251563


February I Travel Arabia I 97


98 I Travel Arabia I February

Profile for Kalimat Group International

Travel Arabia Feb 08  

Travel Arabia Feb issue published by Kalimat Group International, Dubai

Travel Arabia Feb 08  

Travel Arabia Feb issue published by Kalimat Group International, Dubai

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