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Online Version: www.travel-arabia.com

September 2008, Volume 4, Issue 8

Living Arabia:

Antalya and the Black Sea Region

Eid Mubarak

Eid celebrations around the world

Outside Arabia:

Angkor of My Dreams


editor’s note

T

he month of September is an important month for over a billion Muslims around the world. For 30 days, the entire Muslim population will observe Ramadan (which falls on September 1st this year), an important religious act that they looked forward to because it calls for humility, sacrifice and sharing. This is my third Ramadan in Dubai and like the first time, observing Ramadan still fascinates me. The mood everywhere is solemn and serene. Respect is observed especially in offices where both Muslims and non-Muslims work together. I observed nonMuslims who were very discreet in consuming their food, so not to offend their Muslim colleague. Others even observe fasting since work hours are usually cut short during Ramadan. The local hospitality is also very clear as invitations from friends and colleagues for iftars and suhoors flood your emails and phones. Observing Ramadan for the past two years, I realized that there are more important things that Muslims carry out during the holy month. The most important I think is fasting. Muslims are required to fast from sunrise to sunset. Others may find starving yourself during the day and then feast on food in the evening absurd but fasting gives many special benefits. Among these, the most important is you learn self-control and patience. Because we are not preoccupied with the urge to satisfy hunger during the day, a measure of ascendancy is given to one’s spiritual nature, which becomes a means of coming closer to God. By experiencing hunger, one also develops sympathy for the less fortunate and learns thankfulness and appreciation for all of God’s blessings and provisions. Fasting is also beneficial to the health and provides a break in the cycle of rigid habits or overindulgence. Ramadan is also a time of intensive worship. By reading the Quran and attending prayers, one is purifying his behavior and then does good deeds. Why? This is because during this month, the Muslims are less involved with physical needs

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and have a better opportunity of understanding the Quran. Therefore there is a better chance of understanding the truth and reaching that spiritual elevation that we all desire. The most obvious aspect of Ramadan is the intensification of family and community spirit. It is a common practice to invite and be invited to family and friends homes for the breaking of the fast and for suhoor. Muslims also gather to pray together which is highly encouraged and rewarded. Ramadan spans for either 29 or 30 days and once it is completed, Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, a day for thanksgiving. Eid, as popularly called, is celebrated differently from country to country. For Muslims, Eid ul-Fitr is a joyous occasion with important religious significance, celebrating the achievement of enhanced piety. It is a day of forgiveness, moral victory, fellowship, brotherhood and unity. There is so much to learn about Ramadan and the best way to learn it is by observing it yourself. Since Ramadan is here, I hope this issue will help you take advantage of this blessed month and appreciate what the Muslims population will observe. If you get invited to an iftar or suhoor, please accept the invitation. You will not only experience true local hospitality but goodness that comes from the purest heart. Ramadan Kareem and Eid Mubarak!

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 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 Maher El Zein Samir Ahmed Designer Altaf Hussein df Assistant Designer Mohd Noufal 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

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your letters Summer in Abu Dhabi

I came across your magazine during our brief stay in Dubai. I love your magazine with its colourful pages and interesting topics. I read your July-August issue which featured the Dubai Summer Surprises and Summer in Abu Dhabi events. I am travelling with my 5-year-old daughter so we ended up visiting Abu Dhabi. It was a fantastic experience. My daughter loved discovering the Islands. This is a unique idea and we will come back next year for sure. Mrs. Jacob India

E-Gate Card

I am a resident of Dubai and travels frequently because of my business. In the past, I used to get irritated with the long queue at the Passport Control because it eats up at least an hour of my time. But with the E-gate card, those long lines are over. I just want to encourage your readers that getting an E-gate card is indeed helpful. You can avoid the long queue and have a swift entry or exit at the airport. Hassle-free! James George Dubai

More Salik toll gates

Beginning September 9, motorists plying through Al Maktoum Bridge will have to pay 4 dirhams because of the new Salik toll gates. The new toll gates were installed to help regulate the traffic on Dubai roads. This means less congestion on Al Maktoum Bridge because motorists who don’t want to pay the toll charge have to use the alternate routes like the Floating Bridge, the Business Bay Crossing, Al Khail Road and Emirates Road. But this would tremendously affect the budget of motorists like me. I just wish RTA will consider reducing the toll charges. R. Reynolds Dubai

Smart Tips for Travellers I want to thank you featuring the Dubai Airport’s “Smart Tips for Smart Travellers”. With summer comes a lot of expats like myself who leave Dubai because of the heat. And because this is the vacation period for schools and offices, I am sure the Dubai airport will be packed with travellers who are all eager to catch their flights out. The smart tips is indeed very helpful because it reminds you of the things that we often forget such as giving yourself at least three hours for your check in and passport control. This is very useful especially if you are travelling with your kids and all. Thanks for this. A mother of 3 UK

Travel Arabia would like to receive your comments and suggestions. Write to editor@travel-arabia.com


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Ramadan Kareem

Eid Celebrations around the World

Ahlan Ramadan

The Antalya and Black Sea Region of Turkey

Ramadan in 2008 will start on Monday, the 1st of September and will continue for 30 days until Tuesday, the 30th of September.

Few festivals in the Muslim world are anticipated with greater delight than Eid ul-Fitr, the festival that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Celebrate Ramadan this year with your family and friends at our finest dining places and be ready to create a memorable experience for you.

About the Cover: A religious occasion is being observed by the Muslim populations around the world. Ramadan Kareem!

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In Antalya, the pine-clad Toros (Taurus) Mountains sweep down to the sparkling clear sea resulting in an irregular coastline of rocky headlands and secluded coves.


48 Angkor of My Dreams The majesty, the beauty of coming face to face with the real thing will stay with me forever. Angkor Wat, up close, took my breath away. It is a photographer’s dream, an artist’s canvas, a poet’s inspiration. From the intricacy of the artwork, to the symmetry of its architecture, to the history that every stone brings, beauty is everywhere you look.

60 Her name is Nurai: by Zaya Iconic project ushers in the newly-established real estate firm’s entry into luxury property market Zaya, a dynamic newly-formed Abu Dhabi-based real estate company has launched its first of many property ventures.

64 Singapore’s Unique Transformation With a host of major upcoming events and attractions in 2008, Singapore is laying the foundation for a future which holds strong potential for ongoing growth in visitor numbers.

72 Anantara Spa… If you step into an Anantara Spa today, you have answered a call of your body and mind. Be it to heal, pamper, rejuvenate or revitalize, rest assured that your inner most desire will be their utmost quest.

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September events COLORS OF TIME

An exhibit by Al Zaraa Sulaiman Opening Night – September 11, 2008 Gallery 76, Dubai International Art Centre Jumeira Beach Road Street 75b, Villa No 27

Soffreh by Gita Meh 6 – 28 September 2008 The Jam Jar

Soffreh meaning tablecloth is a traditional Shiite Muslim religious offering made by women for women that has been kept alive for fourteen hundred years. It is the process of preparing food for a party of fifty women or more each time one desires something from Allah. The women cook and prepare colorful dishes for two days. Then the ceremony starts by constant praying, moaning, crying and singing. Then consumption of delicious and decorated foods begins. Tasting, and dancing they practice a kind of independence or liberation from the public or patriarchal power. Through this offering they both perform their religious duties and at the same time transcend it. In this installation a 30 feet long tablecloth is poured out of 300 pounds of sugar on the ground in a rectangular shape. And specific foods are made for this offering and are decoratively placed on the sugared tablecloth. Fifty prayer rugs in various colors carpet the tablecloth all around. On each prayer rug a folded black veil is placed as the audience experiences wearing a chadoor while trying to serve food, eat and communicate. Meh explains, “Soffreh is an interactive piece, which needs and depends on the audiences collaboration and participation in order for the installation to have functionality, in other words the audience becomes the effectiveness of the artwork itself. Soffreh is the art of interaction where the audience will be able to examine the process of human-to-human, culture-to-culture communication. The audience sits around the Soffreh (Tablecloth) forming new meaning, visualizing new possibilities for cultural understanding to reach broader form of integration. Where the white tablecloth becomes the canvas as audience can draw onto sugar using their finger as an art tool.” For Meh, “Soffreh is the experience of exchanges between diverse individual human landscapes reflecting on collective understanding. Soffreh particularly aims and is interested in the process of cultural evolution promoting and provoking a sense of generosity, mercifulness, kindness and peace. Where diverse human landscapes can reflect on the practicing of integration of border lines.” The exhibition at The Jam Jar will open and close with the Soffreh Installation on the 6 September and 28 September 2008. The event will begin at 6pm and will commence at the start of Iftar. Additional offerings will take place as part of START’s Art and Iftar program on 13 and 20 September. To take part in the Soffreh please contact The Jam Jar to book your FREE place. Telephone 04 3417303 or Email gallery@thejamjardubai.com

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These digital paintings are way beyond the traditional calligraphy we all used to see. When you stand before one of them, do not expect it to have a literal meaning or a predictable verse. They are a burst of healing colours, a mixture of blissful emotions and an attempt to allow some thoughts to run free. It has always been hard for Al Zahraa Sulaiman to express herself in words, but everything changed since she explored this magnificent world of visual communication. At the age of 6 she won her first award for a mural and her second was at the age of 10 for producing a series of paintings on driving awareness and since then she knew exactly what she wanted to be. She started as a Fine Artist and gained most of her foundation education from The College of Fine Arts in Sharjah, then transferred to the American University in Dubai to major in Graphic Design and graduated Spring 2007.

Zahraa won an award for designing the corporate identity of Sharjah Heritage days Festival when she was a freshman. She also won the Photographer of the month award from Soura Magazine and has been featured in the George Washington Review. Her most recent achievements are completing the supporting photographic work for the book ‘Souza Bridging Indian Art with West Art’. Zahraa is currently working on two books and a body of work for an upcoming solo exhibition. This exhibition will continue until Saturday 13th October 2007


COVER STORY

Ramadan Kareem Ramadan in 2008 will start on Monday, the 1st of September and will continue for 30 days until Tuesday, the 30th of September.

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Ramadan is a special month of the year for over one billion Muslims throughout the world. The third pillar of Islam and the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, it marks the day the Qur’an was revealed via the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad. Ramadan is a time for inner reflection, devotion to God and self control. Ramadan is also a time of intensive worship, reading of the Qur’an, giving charity, purifying one’s behavior, and doing good deeds. During Ramadan, Muslims observe sawm or fasting, lasting for the entire month during the daylight hours. From dawn until sunset, stringent rules dictate that eating, drinking, smoking, and marital sex are strictly forbidden. All healthy Muslims both male and female about age 12 must take part in sawm. The start of Ramadan varies from year to year, depending on the Islamic lunar calendar. Since the Islamic lunar calendar is some 12 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, the date changes from year to year. The much-anticipated beginning of Ramadan is based on a combination of the physical sightings of the crescent moon (which is why the crescent is often used as an unofficial symbol of the month) and astronomical calculations. The calculations practice is not universal. It varies from country to country. In some lands, the start of the fast relies heavily on sighting reports while in others it is based totally on calculations. Before the sun rises, families get up early to have suhoor, a pre-fast meal and after sunset break the fast with iftar, a post-fast meal. Traditionally, foods eaten for the suhoor and iftar are light, nutritious meals containing fresh fruits, vegetables, and halal meats. Following the custom of Prophet Muhammad, the fast is often broken with dates then followed by sweet drinks.

Ramadan is a special month of the year for over one billion Muslims all over the world. It is a time for inner reflection, devotion to God, and self-control. HABEEB SALLOUM tells us more. Subsequently, the meal is enjoyed with friends and family and, at times, with invited travellers who are not residents of the area. Even though the practice is to have small meals in some Muslim countries, in others eating goes on to the hours after midnight. During Ramadan in the majority of Muslim countries most restaurants and other eating places are closed during the daylight hours but usually do a brisk business when evening falls. The fast is an obligatory 30-day period of penance and forgiveness, a time of worship and inner reflection allowing for complete devotion to the Muslim faith and a way of coming closer to God. It is the utmost time to strengthen family and community ties. The sacred month of fasting has many special benefits. During this period Muslims by experiencing hunger learn selfcontrol and show greater sympathy for and try to help the needy and poor. A time of intensive worship and devotion to God, the fasting emphasizes one’s spiritual nature and purifies the person’s thinking and behaviour, leading to cleansing the body of overindulgence and leads to practising charity and other good deeds and a kinship with fellow believers. During the whole month, Muslims try to read the Qur’an as

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much as they can. A good many will read the whole book at least one time or more while others spend a good part of their time listening to the recitation of the Qur’an at home or in a mosque. In some of the mosques some one thirtieth of the Qur’an is recited each night in what is known as tarawih, hence, completing the entire Book when Ramadan ends. Muslims think of Ramadan as a kind of enhancement for their worldly and spiritual lives and an appreciation of God’s gifts to humankind. As well, as many health conscious people will tell anyone who will listen, ‘fasting is beneficial to good health and gives a break in the cycle of overindulgence’. On the other hand, there are certain exceptions made to those who would be affected adversely by fasting. The sick, travelers, and women in certain conditions such as pregnancy are exempted from the fast but must make it up subsequently when they are able. The last ten days of Ramadan are a time of special religious feelings as everyone tries to exude an aura of goodness and belief by their devotions and thoughtful actions. More so during a very special day in Ramadan, the evening of the 23rd day of Ramadan, called Laylatal-Qadr (the Night of Power). It is the evening of the day when the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, and it is believed that a person’s sins are forgiven and any good act is returned many times over. Because of this belief, innumerable Muslims spend the evening and, in fact, entire night praying. The day after Ramadan ends is marked by the celebration of a three-day Feast of Breaking the Fast called ‘Eid-al-Fitr’. During this time, many adorn their homes with lights and decorations, dress in their finest clothes, give treats to children, enjoy visits with friends and family and celebrate with large meals. It is the time of joy and happiness.

Dos and Don’ts for Non-Muslims during Ramadan • Avoid eating, drinking, chewing or smoking in public between the hours of sunrise and sunset, thus being considerate to those fasting. • Dress and behave modestly, avoiding behaviour that could cause offence. • Avoid playing loud music, at home, in your car or on the beach. • Avoid singing or dancing in public. • Saying “Ramadan Kareem” to Muslims and attending a fast-breaking feast, or Iftar, would be appreciated. • Using profane language is prohibited. • Be cautious when driving because levels of concentration can drop because of a lack of sleep and fasting. • Shops and government departments are open for shorter hours during Ramadan. • It is obligatory to donate a set amount of money to charity in order to help the poor to buy new clothes and food so they too can celebrate.

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Ramadan

The

Food

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In many Muslim countries, certain ritual dishes are prepared during Ramadan. With so many Muslims observing Ramadan from a variety of countries and cultures, many types of food will be prepared, not just Middle Eastern foods. Traditionally, foods eaten for the suhoor and iftar are light, nutritious meals containing fresh fruits, vegetables, and halal meats. The suhoor is the light meal eaten prior to daylight. The fast begins after this meal and resumes until sundown. But some Muslims do not practice suhoor because they are not comfortable with waking up in the early hours of the morning just to eat and then sleep again. These Muslims who do not wake up for the suhoor immediately starts fasting as soon as they wake up.

to break the fast. Sometimes they break the fast with dates. In most Lebanese homes, those who fast are advised to drink juice first to prepare the stomach

or seven of them, I like taking it in odd numbers. Then when I go home, I made instant coffee. If I were in somebody’s house I may eat salad and soup.� In Egypt, Ramadan takes on a different flavor than in any other country, as special dishes are prepared for iftar. The streets are bustling with people who, in preparation for Ramadan, are rushing to buy the traditional Ramadan food ingredients such as zabib, bondok, looz, gooz, and fosdok (raisins, nuts, almonds, walnuts and pistachios). It is during Ramadan that one can experience Omani food at its best and two of the most popular traditional dishes served at iftar include sakhana, a thick, sweet soup made of wheat, date, molasses and milk and fatta, a meat

Food plays a big part in the celebration of Ramadan. Since Ramadan is a special time, Muslims in many parts of the world prepare certain favourite food during this month. Iftar is when the fast ends for the day. This is followed by the sunset prayer which is followed by dinner. Usually ladies at home prepare the special Ramadan dishes for the evening meal. A halal meal may be eaten. Any type of food may be eaten, there are no restrictions. However, the most popular are honey, breads, figs, dates, fruits, and olives. For instance, in Morocco, a hearty soup called harira is traditionally served to break the fast each night. Harira is between a soup and a stew, it contains lamb, lentils, chickpeas, noodles, tomatoes, herbs and spices, and is flavoured with lemon. In most Muslim countries like the UAE, it is a common practice to break the fast at sunset with dates, following the custom of Prophet Muhammad. The evening meal can include fattoush, hummus, samosa (a triangular pastry crust filled with vegetable, chicken or beef), salad, kebabs, znood el banat (Arabic meat balls) or chorba (a soup or stew). In Lebanon, most families prepare soup, salad like fattoush and French fries

before eating any meal. One Jordanian man said he breaks the fast by eating dates. “I take dates, five

and vegetable dish, mixed with khubz rakhal, thin Omani bread, made out of unleavened dough. Sweets are also an important part

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of Ramadan food. The culinary art of Egyptian pastries takes on a new dimension with delicious konafah, basbousah, and katayef while the traditional drink, Qamar al-Din (a juice made from dried apricots) takes center stage in every home. A favourite sweet during Ramadan is the dumplings, halawa, baklava, cakes, cookies, and a whole lot more. Since Ramadan emphasizes community aspects and since everyone eats dinner at the same time, Muslims often invite one another to share in the

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Ramadan evening meal. In Syria, Ramadan is a month of vivid social activities. Almost every member of the extended family will take care to invite the whole family to an iftar banquet. And in turn he or she will be invited to other banquets held by the rest of the family members. During the month of Ramadan, one will expect to dine with the whole extended family an average of four to five times. Some Muslims find that they eat less for dinner during Ramadan than at other times due to stomach contraction.

However, as a rule, most Muslims experience little fatigue during the day since the body becomes used to the altered routine during the first week of Ramadan. When the new moon arrives to signal the end of Ramadan, there is a colossal celebration called Eid ul-fitr. The feasting and revelry of Eid ul-fitr are unparalleled by any of the other dinners held during Ramadan. Eid ul-fitr is a time when the whole community comes together to rejoice and, of course, eat!


SPECIAL FEATURE

Few festivals in the Muslim world are anticipated with greater delight than Eid ul-Fitr, the festival that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Celaround ebrati o n the world Eid ul-Fitr or Id-ul-Fitr, often abbreviated as simply Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic term meaning “festivity” or “celebration” while Fitr means “to break the fast” and therefore symbolizes the breaking of the fasting period. Fasting is forbidden on this day as it marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan. A Muslim is encouraged to rise early and partake of a light snack such as dates before attending morning prayers with family members in the local community mosque, in large open areas, stadiums or arenas. The prayer is

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generally short, and is followed by a sermon. Worshippers greet and embrace each other in a spirit of peace and love after the congregational prayer. After the special prayers, festivities and merriment are commonly observed with visits to the homes of relatives and friends to thank God for all the blessings. For Muslims, Eid ul-Fitr is a joyous occasion with important religious significance, celebrating of the achievement of enhanced piety. It is a day of forgiveness, moral victory, peace of congregation, fellowship, brotherhood and unity. Muslims celebrate not only the end of fasting, but also thank God for the help and strength that they believe he gave them throughout the previous month to help them practice self-control. It is a time of giving and sharing, and many Muslims dress in holiday attire. Everywhere children receive gifts of cash and new clothes. Some Muslims especially go to graveyards to pray for the salvation of the departed soul. Usually, children visit elder relatives and neighbours to pay respects and greetings. The first Eid was celebrated in 624 CE by The Prophet Muhammad with his companions and relatives after winning the Battle of Badr. This very occasion is celebrated annually in the lunar calendar as Eid Ul Fitr. Because the day depends on the sighting of the moon, the sighting can only be possible just after sunset. Most Muslims check with local mosques or other members of the community to see if the moon has been sighted by authoritative parties. There is a wide range of customs and traditions that mark the Eid ul-Fitr celebrations in various countries in North Africa, the Middle and Far East and even in the Pacific, but in general it is looked upon as a day of family, rather than public celebration. Preparation for the festival often starts the day before and the entire celebration can last up to five days. In Bahrain, people even mark the half-way point in Ramadan. On the 15th day, children dress smartly and call at their friends’ and neighbours’ homes in the evening and are given sweets. On Eid ul-Fitr itself, the family lunch will consist of biryani (a mixed rice dish of meat and spices), sago dishes, stuffed, sweet pastries (sambouseh), and other sweetmeats. Egypt sees four days of celebration, with preparations starting several days earlier. Special biscuits are made to give to friends and relatives on the day. The men will go to the mosque early in the morning, while the women start work on the preparation of the fish that will form the centrepiece of a great celebratory lunch. In Somalia, a three-day celebration starts with a family lunch which includes rice mixed with meat and vegetables, and pasta accompanied by anjira (a thin bread prepared liked chapatti). Halva, which in Somalia is more like a cumin-flavoured custard, is also served, along with special fried (or baked) biscuits made of flour, sugar, oil, warm water and baking powder. In Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, the night before Eid is called Chand Raat, or night of the moon. People

visit bazaars and shopping malls, with their families and children, for last minute Eid shopping. Women, especially young girls, often paint each others’ hands with traditional “henna” and wear colourful bangles. On the morning of Eid ul-Fitr, after taking a fresh bath, every Muslim is encouraged to wear new clothes, if they can afford so. Alternatively, they may wear clean washed clothes. One of the special dishes in India, Pakistan and Fiji is sivayyan, a dish of fine, toasted vermicelli noodles, which is served for the first breakfast after the fast. Toasted vermicelli can be easily made by browning fine vermicelli in a warm oven, or by dry-frying broken pieces in a frying pan until browned. It can then be boiled until soft, drained and mixed with creamy milk and sugar. In Indonesia there is a special ritual called halal bi-halal. During this, Indonesians visit their elders, in the family, the neighborhood, or their work, and show respect to them. They will also seek reconciliation (if needed), and preserve or restore harmonious relations. The family lunch consists of dishes made of chicken, lamb or beef, but never fish which is too ubiquitous in Indonesia to be considered as a celebratory dish. The traditional sweet is lapis legit, a rich layered cake. Here, the celebrations will last for a whole month. In Malaysia, three public holidays mark Eid, but the visiting and celebrations will also continue for a month. Festive dishes include ketupat (rice cooked in wrapped coconut leaves) and lemang (glutinous rice cooked in bamboo cane), served with beef rendang. In Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, Eid is also commonly known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Hari Raya Puasa. Hari Raya literally means ‘Grand Day’ i.e. ‘The Day’. Muslims in Malaysia and Singapore celebrate Eid like other Muslims throughout the world. It is the biggest holiday in Malaysia and is the most awaited one. Shopping malls and bazaars are filled with people days ahead of Hari Raya, causing a distinctive festive atmosphere throughout the country. Many banks, government and private offices are closed for this holiday, which usually lasts a week. The night before Eid is with the takbir which is held in the mosques or musallas. In many parts of Malaysia, especially in rural areas, pelita or panjut (oil lamps) are lit up in house compounds. Eid also witnesses a huge migratory pattern of Muslims, from big metropolitan cities to rural areas. This is known as balik kampung — literally going back to home town to celebrate Eid with one’s parents. Special dishes like ketupat, dodol, lemang (a type of glutinous rice cake cooked in bamboo) and other Malay delicacies are served during this day. It is common to greet people with “Selamat Hari Raya” or “Salam Aidilfitri” which means “Happy Eid”. Muslims also greet one another with “maaf zahir dan batin” which means “Forgive my physical and emotional (wrongdoings)”, because Eid ul-Fitr is not only for celebrations but also the time for Muslims to cleanse their sins and strengthen their ties with relatives and friends.

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DINING PROMOTIONS

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Ahlan Ramadan Celebrate Ramadan this year with your family and friends at our finest dining places and be ready to create a memorable experience for you.

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starting from AED 130* net per person. Call +971 4 2820000.

Al Diar Siji Hotel Fujairah Al Diwan Restaurant Daily Iftar buffet with a wide selection of garden-fresh salad bar, bodynourishing soup choices, mouth-watering hot dishes, warm and juicy shawarma station, a wide selection of tempting rich desserts, as well as juice and laban station. Guests may also choose to dine al fresco at Al Diwan Terrace with a fascinating view of the skyline. Siji Café will serve up a variety of crepes, waffles, and pancakes. Meantime, Al Shourfa Pool Bar, an open-air café by the poolside, will offer shisha and a wide range of Oriental delicacies as well as a variety of tea. For more information call 09-2232000. Al Bustan Rotana Dubai

Al Bustan Rotana Dubai Layalina Tent The newly renovated and airconditioned tent, the first of its kind in Dubai, opens daily to the public on the first night of Ramadan from 09:30pm to 03:00am.The tent can accommodate up to 450 people at a time and features an elegant modern décor and design elements enhancing the true spirit of Ramadan ambiance. En lounge area, while enjoying your Sohour as well as a wide selection of shisha in many flavours under the stars, and listening to the Lebanese Super Star 2008 Mohamed Jaafeel who will play vibrant Arabic music featuring the traditional Arabic instrument “Oud”, for the first time in Dubai. Choices Restaurant Showcasing the rich culinary heritage of the Middle East, the Iftar buffet which will be extended to the magnificent lobby, features an excellent spread of traditional dishes including warm, freshly-baked Arabic bread. At our live cooking stations, your favourite dishes such as shawarma, falafel, ouzi and traditional Arabic sweets will be freshly prepared to perfection by our master chefs. Enjoy all these for only AED145*, inclusive of a refreshing selection of Ramadan drinks and soft beverages. To celebrate Iftar in groups, find out more about our special meeting packages

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Al Murooj Rotana Dubai Pergolas Restaurant This Ramadan, celebrate the season with a delectable Iftar buffet laden with traditional Arabic delicacies within the serene ambience at AED 149* net per person. Zaika Restaurant Go to some delicious destinations of India to celebrate the spirit of Ramadan. The special menu will feature a selection of traditional Indian dishes, which are among the favourites of food connoisseurs and now have become the identity of those places. Come and savour some of the recipes from old streets of Delhi, Lucknow and Hyderabad for AED 149* net per person.

Al Yasat Ballroom

You can also organize private Iftar parties in Al Yasat Ballroom with special buffet menus starting from AED 178* net per person and minimum number of guests from 30 persons. Call +971 4 321 1111 for reservations.

Al Raha Beach Hotel Sevilla Restaurant or Al Sukaria A luxurious and elegantly appointed tent set in the landscaped gardens of the hotel. Unwind and relax with your family and friends from sunset to sunrise whilst savouring exquisite Ramadan delicacies from the award winning chef’s. Listen to the melodious sounds of the Oud and enjoy your favourite flavour of and aroma of Shisha. Iftar buffet priced at Dhs.130 per person plus 16 per cent. Group bookings can be accommodated. Souhor buffet is Dhs. 85 per person plus 16 per cent. For further information and bookings, contact 02 508 0555.

Danat Resort Jebel Dhanna Tides Restaurant Iftar buffet from Iftar time to 11:00 pm. Experience authentic Arabic cuisine, live cooking and traditional Ramadan juices. Priced at Dhs. 150 plus 16 per cent service charge. Children from 6 to 10 yrs old gets 50 per cent discount. Group of 10 persons get 15 per cent discount. Group of 20 persons get 25 per cent discount. Sahour starts from 3:00 am – 5:00 am for Dhs.110 plus 16 per cent service charge. Al Nakhel From 7:00 pm to 2:00 am enjoy a wide selection of flavoured shisha, refreshing cold and hot beverages, nourishing fresh fruit cocktails and a


selection of snacks and grill. For further details call 02 801 2222.

Dusit Thani Dubai The Californian Restaurant The 24th floor of the hotel will be themed and decorated to highlight the Arabic heritage and culture and will be open for Iftar from sunset to 11pm every evening, where an extensive Arabic and International buffet will be available for AED149 per person. Groups consisting of 50 to 350 guests will be able to share the Iftar and sohour, with their families, friends and colleagues in the Al Wasel ballroom, starting from AED 125/person. For more information, please call +97143174260.

Emaar Hospitality Group Ippos Lounge and Terrace, Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club Offering dramatic views of the Polo fields, the Ippos Lounge and Terrace are the ideal venues to relax and enjoy a delectable Iftar every evening. Take your pick from an assortment of specially prepared Arabic dishes, a sizzling barbecue and a selection of hot and cold mezze from the restaurant’s a la carte menu from sunset to 11:30 pm.

the Iftar offerings include a selection of Arabic appetizers and traditionally prepared meat and seafood. For further information and reservations please contact the Dubai Marina Yacht Club on 04 362 7883. Hayya! Lakes Club Take the family out of the city into the garden setting and enjoy Ramadan nights on the Club lawns. Every weekday, take your pick from a selection of fresh fruit juices and a host of Arabic dishes from a specially prepared a la carte menu. On weekends, the Lakes Club barbeque invites guests to choose from an array of sizzling, succulent cuts, while for the little ones there’s also plenty to feast on. For larger parties, the Hayya! Lakes Club offers an extensive buffet menu with prices ranging from AED 100 to AED 175. For more information, please contact The Lakes Club Restaurant on 04 3627791/ 3627790. Ewaan Restaurant, The Palace –

The Athena Dubai Take to the open seas and enjoy spectacular views of the Marina and Dubai skyline as you dine onboard The Athena Dubai. Available from sunset onwards,

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The Old Town Luxuriously appointed in the style of Arabia and complemented by the gentle, harmonious chords of Arabic music, the sumptuous buffet at Ewaan provides the perfect atmosphere to entertain clients or friends from sunset to 8 pm for AED 180 per person including Ramadan juices and water. For late night entertaining, the Sohour set menu, served between 9.00 pm and 2.00 am (3.00 am on Thursdays and Fridays) is also a regal occasion and is priced AED 160 per person, exclusive of beverages. The pool side at The Palace – The Old Town

The Palace Hotel offers you and your loved ones the opportunity to share an intimate evening together under the stars within a traditional Arabian tent. Sohour ‘majlis-style’ includes dining a la carte, soft drinks, shisha and butler service. Price: AED 2000 (minimum spend) for a group of maximum 8 guests. To make a booking at either of the venues listed above, please contact The Palace – The Old Town, on 04 428 7951 The Academy Restaurant – The Montgomerie, Dubai With sweeping views overlooking the 18th hole and putting green, Bunkers is an ideal venue to sit down to an Iftar buffet. Daily from 6 pm to 8 pm for AED 110 per person including soft beverages. Dine outside on the terrace under the stars or inside where the atmosphere is warm and inviting. Whatever your choice of location, you’ll enjoy the mouth watering spread created by Chef Kevin and his team. To make a booking, please contact The Montgomerie, Dubai on 04 363 1265.

Four Points by Sheraton Bur Dubai Promenade Restaurant Break your fast with traditional favourites like Shish Taouk, Mutton Biryani, Hammour Harra, Fried Kibbeh, Grilled Lamb Chops Chicken Tikka and much, much more. The Iftar buffet is available daily throughout the month of Ramadan from 6pm to 10.30pm and is priced at Dhs 79 per person. For guests who would prefer to dine with friends, family and colleagues in larger groups, special private dining rooms are available with a separate buffet


tantalising sauces – curried, spicy Provencal, beer and bacon, tikka masala and Thai. Enjoy the seafood delicacy either on its own as an appetiser or with pommes frites and aioli as a main course, paired with a chilled glass of wine from our extensive wine list. For further information or reservations, please contact: (04) 212 7551 or email glasshouse.creek@hilton.com

Hilton Dubai Jumeirah

spread. There are three different menus, created by the culinary team which can be tailored to individual needs. Price is Dhs 69 net per person for groups of 50 persons or more. For reservations, call 04 397 7444.

Fujairah Rotana & Spa An iftar to remember for just AED 99*. Break your fast with delicacies specially prepared by our oriental chefs. Then relax by the seaside as the waves gently lap your feet. Or gaze at the stars and enjoy a shisha as you lounge on a bean bag. Advance booking is required. Call +971 9 244 9888.

Grosvenor House Sloane’s Sloane’s will be open 24 hours, serving a traditional Iftar buffet from its delightful open kitchen at 6.00pm (sunset) until 8.00pm, priced at Dhs.195 per person. Regular dining operations will resume from 8pm onwards. Ottomans Visitors to the exquisite Turkish restaurant will be treated to a delicious Iftar menu (at sunset) whilst enjoying the mellow tones of the oudh and tabla. Ottomans will be open only for group Iftar bookings throughout the holy month of Ramadan. Regular dining operations will resume from 8pm to 1am, Tuesday to Sunday. To enjoy any of these fantastic offers please call Grosvenor House

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on 04-399 8888 for reservations.

Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa Al Naai Ramadan Tent Enjoy the sights and sounds of the relaxed traditional social gatherings during Ramadan at Al Naai Tent. Choose from a selection of lavish Lebanese delicacies and sweets, sip on the aromatic Arabic coffee and select your favourite from an extensive shisha menu while listening to chill out background music. Al Dhiyafa Al Dhiyafa Restaurant invites you to a daily sumptuous Iftar buffet for only AED 185* per person. Savour your favourites from a wide selection of delectable Arabic cuisines and traditional Ramadan juices from sunset until 8.00 pm. Call Restaurant Reservations at the Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa on +971 4 399 5000 or email hgrs.fbreservation@ habtoorhotels.com

Hilton Dubai Creek Glasshouse Mediterranean Brasserie For lunch and dinner you can indulge in the best of Scottish Mussels with your choice of one of five

The large contemporary Arabian tent will offer both in-house and outside guests the chance to recline on low seating and indulge in spectacular nighttime views of the beach in the comfort of an air conditioned space. During “Iftar”, a fabulous spread of Salads, hot and cold Mezzeh, authentic Arabian dishes and Dessert will be available on the buffet, which will be changed on a daily basis to reflect the diverse flavours of the region. During “Suhur”, an extensive a la carte menu will be available for guests to pick and choose from during the early hours. Iftar at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah is from Dhs 145 per Adult*. [Free for children 5 years and below; half price for children between 6-12 years.]. For further information or to make your booking in our tent or in our spectacular ballroom, please contact our Conference and Events team on (04) 3991111.

Kempinski’s Emirates Palace The Emirates Palace Ramadan tent is located in the stunning grounds of the region’s landmark luxury resort, offering a sumptuous Iftar buffet from AED 185 per person and Sohour dining, including warm and cold selections starting from AED 25 per dish. For alternate dining options, Emirates Palace multitude of restaurants operating during the holy month include Le Vendome Brasserie, which is open for all day dining, excluding the terrace area and the popular feast retreats – Mezzaluna, Diwan L’Augerge, Anar Persian Cuisine, Embassy Club Lounge and Emirates Palaces’ flagship restaurant Sayad are open for


dinner daily, incorporating their renowned three course set menus. To book or for further information visit www.kempinski. com

Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort Views Restaurant The mouthwatering buffet will serve a vast selection of international and Arabic cuisine to cater to a variety of palates for only AED 95 served from sunset. Children between the ages of 6-12 can dine for half price while children under 6 will be served with complimentary dining. The restaurant will also host a Suhour menu during the Islamic Holy month that will be served upon request in Views or in the comfort of your hotel room. Guests at the hotel will also be able to enjoy the resort’s popular traditional Ramadan tent, ‘Layali Al Aqah’. With the golden sand beach and the majestic Hajar Mountains providing a breathtaking backdrop, the tent is the perfect venue to enjoy a timeless Ramadan. Giant screens will also be showcasing traditional Arabic entertainment for the viewing pleasure of guests in the tent. Experience the friendliest hospitality and unwind under the stars everyday from 8 pm to 2 am.

Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates Sezzam Sezzam takes you on a night of live cooking and authentic Arabic flair with a specialty buffet (AED 189 per

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Children under 12 years (Dhs 79.00) from Sunset till 8:00 pm.

person including Ramadan juices, cold and hot drinks) that reigns supreme. Quick snacks and individual meals are also available, along with a special weekend menu for the little ones (AED 50).

Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa

24Seven Venture into a culinary world filled with authentic Arabian atmosphere and Ramadan bliss. With a magical menu teeming with traditional delights (AED 210 per person including juices, cold and hot drinks), Iftar at 24 Seven is an experience beyond compare. For further information or bookings please call +971 4 409 5095 or send an email to reservations. malloftheemirates@kempinski.com

Al Khaima Sit back, relax and watch the sunset over the beautiful Arabian Sea from the

Brasserie During the holy month of Ramadan the Brasserie will be providing a superb Iftar buffet from sunset until 8pm priced at Dhs. 185 per person. Regular dining will resume from 8pm onwards. Kindly book ahead for Iftar at the Brasserie to ensure Le Royal Meridien is able to accommodate your request.

Le Méridien Hotel, Abu Dhabi This year’s Iftar will be served in La Brasserie restaurant with the benefit of having the live cooking outside at the terrace. A variety of delicious hot and cold food, Arabic appetizers ‘Mezzeh’, soups, salads, live cooking stations in addition to the main hot dishes. And for the sweet tooth, we offer an array of classical Ramadan desserts and Arabic sweets as well as the healthy dried nuts, dates and fruits. Opening time will be from 17:00 until 20:00. After 20:00 pm the buffet will be upgraded to international buffet. Iftar price will be AED 135 net per person. Ramadan Tent A custom made Ramadan tent will be on the terrace of Wakataua. Entertainment will be focused on the traditional tunes of the Oud player, backgammon, playing card, and certainly different flavors of shisha will compliment the enjoyable evenings. The success of the traditional Syrian Ice Cream will be featured again this year. For reservations, call +971 2 644 6666.

Le Meridien Dubai Yalumba Break the fast this Ramadan at Yalumba. A lavish buffet offers an array of Arabic dishes such as hot and cold mezzehs, warm Arabic soups, grills, ouzzi and traditional sweets and pastries and juices for Dhs 139 nett per person.

terrace at Al Khaima, or in the comfort of the delightful indoor dining area at the specially designed Ramadan tent. Entry price of AED. 99, which includes a selection of two hot and two cold mezzehs, applies. Al Khaima is open between 8.00pm until 2.00am on weekdays (3.00am Thursdays). To enjoy any of these fantastic offers please call 04-316 5550 for reservations.

Moevenpick Hotel Bur Dubai Experience Ramadan in the traditional atmosphere of the Layali tent. An Arabian feast that will delight


your senses with live cooking stations and cuisine heralding from Syria to Lebanon, Tunisia to Kuwait. Relax amid the Oud players, mouth watering aromas and Arabian Peninsula dates served upon arrival. The authentic tent is complete with Majlis, local décor and uniforms flown in from Tunisia offering a true Ramadan experience.The airconditioned Layali tent is the ideal place to be at sunset. On the weekends there will be a separate area available for the kids to run around and enjoy themselves leaving you free to lounge the night away. Iftar costs AED 99 per person for food and be sure to pick up special loyalty cards which will entitle you to complimentary visits. For more information or bookings please call +971 4 3104307.

Park Hyatt Dubai The Terrace “Ramadan Nights at The Terrace”, an opportunity to share with family and friends a variety of gourmet delights as you relax adjacent to the beautiful waterfront. It also offers a large variety of shisha flavours for guests to choose from, priced between Dhs45 and Dhs55, as they relax and listen to the Arabic lounge-style music. An option of two Sohour Set menus will also be available, priced at Dhs180 and Dhs200, including cold mezze, hot cuisine such as Shawarma and Mixed Grills, a selection of sweets and an assortment of soft beverages. From 8:00pm to 3:00am. A minimum consumption charge per person will apply. Café Arabesque Iftar Arabesque is available daily from sundown to 7:30pm and is priced at Dhs170 per person, including soft drinks, or Dhs 85 for children aged six and up, including drinks. A choice of five Iftar menus will be offered on a rotational basis. For reservations, please call 04 317 2222.

Radisson SAS Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek Boulvar A daily traditional Iftar buffet at sundown featuring hot and cold mezzeh,

followed by a choice of main courses. Finish your meal with Arabic and Continental desserts. Savour the flavour of truly Arabic cuisine for only Dhs. 125 per person. Al Mansour Dhow A special five-star Iftar Ramadan cruise featuring a sumptuous International and Arabic buffet accompanied with a free flow of soft drinks available only for private group Iftar bookings. Al Mansour Dhow sails away from Dubai’s creek and out into the open sea in a remarkable way to unwind and relax in a luxurious atmosphere. See the sights, feel the breeze and feast on a full International and Traditional Buffet. For more information, please contact the Information Centre on 04 - 205 7333 or 7444.

please call +971 4 314 9888 or email dining. dubai@raffles.com

Renaissance Hotel Dubai Spice Island From 6pm onwards, Spice Island is offering an extensive selection of Arabic specialties to break the fast. You and your family can choose from a wide array of traditional salads, Arabic and Iranian dishes, fresh grilled meats, Shawarma and special Ramadan juices accompanied by a sumptuous spread of fresh fruits, Oriental and International desserts. Baklava will not be forgotten in addition to the usual fantastic oriental and international desserts. Aquarium Lounge Daily from 7pm till dawn, Aquarium Lounge is stocked with traditional Arabic sweets to help you break your fast on a sweet note during the holy month of Ramadan, or take away one of the sumptuous cakes, prepared by our Pastry Chefs. For reservations call, (9714) 608 8076.

Sheraton Abu Dhabi Arzanah Ballroom Families and friends are invited to an Iftar Buffet at Arzanah Ballroom from approximately 18.00 to 20.00 hrs (depending on the sunset-exact schedule will be issued on the start of Ramadan) at AED 145 per person.

Raffles Dubai Azur Every evening, feast on an array of authentic Arabic dishes and mouth-watering delicacies with classic specialties, a main feature of Azur Buffet. Break your fast with fresh dates and start with a traditional lentil soup and mezzeh comprising of hummus, moutabel, fattoush and from the hot section, falafel, sambouseh and kebbeh. Live cooking and meat carving stations, including a large selection of Oriental mix grills from our Kamados barbecues, will delight the most robust appetite. Special Azur Iftar Buffet priced at 200.00 AED including drinks and Regular Dinner Buffet at 225 AED excluding drinks. For dining reservations and enquiries,

Al Bashawat Café A special Ramadan Village on the beach for Sohour where guests can eat, drink and smoke Shisha. For Sohour tent there will be an air conditioned tent, there will be a cover charge at AED 25 per person and three kinds of Mezzeh to nibble on (Hommous, Foul, Termes) and a half bottle of water.

Sheraton Bahrain Hotel During the holy month of Ramadan, Sheraton Bahrain Hotel will host a special Iftar buffet at the Awali Ballroom. Starting at sunset everyday, a sumptuous feast would be spread out for Iftar in a relaxed and comfortable ambience. Guests would be able to enjoy from a selection of mouth-watering traditional and international preparations. Further, freshly prepared pastas, shrimps, crabs and more could be savoured from the live

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cooking stations or sinful desserts.For further information and bookings about Iftaar offerings, please call Sheraton Bahrain Hotel on 17 533533 ext. 259.

Sheraton Deira Hotel The Terrace Sheraton Deira Hotel and Austrian airlines have teamed together this Ramadan to shower you with a flying opportunity including 2 night stays at the luxurious Hotel Bristol, Vienna, while you partake from the lavish Iftar buffet at Dhs. 99 net featured at the hotel’s signature dining outlet, The Terrace. Executive Chef Robin Gomes and his team have prepared the Iftar delights, which consist of a wide spread from soups, appetizers, main courses, carving and desserts. One cannot forget about the traditional juices, which is a customary affair for Iftar, such as tamarendi, kammruddin and more of such refreshing juices. Corporate Iftar bookings are also available and are entitled for the raffle entry. Call 042688888 Ext. 8615 for more details.

Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers On the Sheraton Dubai Creek‘s Iftar buffet (which will be served at the Hatta Room), guests can discover a myriad of fresh and nutritious variety of grilled items. Executive Chef Fabien and his team scoured the emirates for some of the best meats in town and have planned a special grilled menu for

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the occasion. Priced at AED129 net per person, the Iftar buffet is served daily (during the holy month of Ramadan) from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. After your meal, move outdoors to the poolside where the Al Mashrabiya tents are set up. Intricately decorated in true Arabic charm, the airconditioned tents provide private majlis seating areas with TV sets. There is an a la carte menu offered here for snack items like hot and cold mezzeh, freshly-made sandwiches and sweet desserts. And there’s more! When you partake in the Iftar buffet at the Sheraton Dubai Creek, you may just be THE lucky winner to win yourself a great holiday package for two persons to exotic Budapest. The prize includes a chic 2 nights’ stay at Le Méridien Budapest, Hungary inclusive of breakfast plus two return Economy flight tickets, courtesy of Austrian Airlines. Hence, hurry over and make your table bookings now at (04) 207 1405.

The Monarch Dubai Mizaan, the hotel’s all day dining restaurant will host an elaborate Iftar buffet with classic and contemporary Arab dishes, sweets and juices priced at AED 165 per person. “Ramadan under the Stars” can be experienced in its full glory at The Monarch Dubai’s Quantum Pool Lounge, where after dinner shisha, drinks and a selective a la carte menu will be served. The tranquil pool side ambiance of the Quantum Pool Lounge sets the character and mood for the perfect evening to relax by the pool with family and friends from Iftar to Souhour during this holy month. For larger groups of a minimum

30 people, the exclusive Al Massa ballroom, or Nur Al Ain meeting room overlooking the foyer, offer Iftaar menus starting from AED 165 to AED 195 per person. Special arrangements have been made for guests to offer prayers during Iftar and other times with prayer rooms in close vicinity to both venues. For reservations, call +971 4 501 8888.

The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai The Ramadan Marquee at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai is always a spectacular sight to behold but this year, it is even more impressive as it encompasses two levels to cater for corporate events and family celebrations. Situated in the landscaped grounds of the hotel and overlooking the beach, the glassed exterior offers unrivalled panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf. For exclusive, intimate gatherings, book one of several stylish VIP areas for the evening, complete with your very own private butler. Each private VIP area can accommodate 10 to 12 guests in luxurious splendour. It is advised that reservations are made in advance to avoid disappointment. Please call (971) 4 3186715 for bookings and enquiries. For corporate enquiries please call (971) 4 3186448.

Towers Rotana Flavours on Two! This Ramadan, indulge in an authentic Arabic Iftar buffet for only Dhs. 115* per adult and Dhs. 58* per child that includes an extensive range of mezzeh, traditional favourites, refreshing Ramadan Beverages and delightful dessert selection. Call 04-3122210 / 043122202 for reservation.


The warmth of Morocco in Sharjah Experience true Moroccan hospitality in Sharjah as Millennium Hotel Sharjah, the top five-star property in Sharjah, celebrates Ramadan in a Moroccan style Following last year’s successful celebration, Millennium Hotel Sharjah is again inviting residents of the Emirates as well as its guests to savor and enjoy true Moroccan hospitality through its month-long Ramadan celebration. “As soon as you enter the lobby, you will feel a different atmosphere. It’s like being invited by your Moroccan friends and stepping into their home,” says Satish Menon, Financial Controller of Millennium Hotel Sharjah. “Festivity is in the air as friends and families gather together to share the food that our staff meticulously prepared for them. It will be a good evening to just relax, enjoy the food and appreciate the blessings that we have received,” added Menon. The lobby of the hotel will be transformed to carry the ambiance of a home in Morocco and follow the traditions of how they celebrate the

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holy month of Ramadan. The lobby will consist of Moroccan curtains and decorations complete with Bedouin tents to include Arabic seating, Moroccan tea to welcome arriving guests, staff dressed in traditional Moroccan outfits and Arabic music coming from the “oud” will be available throughout the entire evening. Most of the decorations for the Ramadan event were imported from Morocco, according to Menon, including the cutlery, the fountains, the handicrafts, the curtains, the lamps and other things that are associated with the country. The restaurant will be open for iftar but the hotel can also accommodate reservations for suhoor. Iftars for a large number of people and sponsored by companies or corporate offices can be arranged at the hotel’s ballroom which can accommodate up to 600 guests. The iftar buffet will be served

at both Citrus and Al Dallah outlets located at the Millennium Hotel’s ground floor. The selection of food will be enormous and will include some Moroccan specialties like the harira (a hearty soup with many variations), lamb mrouzia, chicken tagine, vegetable couscous, oxtail bil batata, samak mahshi, dajaj mousharmal, pigeon tagine, specialty breads called mousaman moamar, malwi, ragifah, baghrir, batbout, including the traditional Arabic dishes like baby lamb ouzi on daily bases, warak enab bil kastaleta, kousa and batijane mehshi, mansaf dajaj bil moukasarat, kebbeh shish barak, samaka hara, kibeh bil laban, fasolia bil lahmeh, fateh bil homose, koushari, hamem bil friekeh. You can start your iftar with a date and juices like kamar edine, jellab, tamer hindi, sharab lward, karkadeh, and then followed with appetizers


like fatoush, Shrimps Salad, hommos, moutabel, greek salad, artichoke salad, seafood cocktail salad, warak enab, labneh bil toum, tabouleh, spinash assoura, zalouka, babaganouj smoked salmon and lobster Salad, only to mention a few. Aside from the harira soup, there are other soup selections like shorobet adas, shorobet koudar, mushroom soup, leek and potato soup and seafood soup. You can enjoy the flavor of these soups with breads prepared by the hotel’s Chef.  A separate dessert stations with ousmaliah, znoud iset, kounafa naboulsi, shoaibiat, kataief cream, awamat, cheese cake, Tiramisu, madit kashta and a mamoul moshakal selection will complete your meal. Try the Moroccan temptation from goraibah, kaab lgazal, shibakiah, pastille, focus bil fostok, and from the life cooking station fried katayief bil jawz and kellaj Ramadan. Enjoy your dessert with your favorite coffee or tea. Take pleasure in all these while admiring the magnificent view of the Khalid Lagoon at night. Bring your family and friends and let them experience Ramadan the Moroccan way. The iftar buffet is priced at AED 99 ++ and is open from 19.00 pm to 21.00pm. For reservations and bookings, please call +971 6 5192222 ext: 2043 & 2045.

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Ramadan & Eid offers amidst charming Arabesque setting. A mix of Iftar and Sohour delights The Palace, The Old Town, at Downtown Burj Dubai invites guests to enjoy an evening of relaxation and dining in time honoured, local tradition. The elegant hotel offers guests the opportunity to enjoy Iftar and Sohour, in the comfort of a variety of intimate settings. The all day dining restaurant, Ewaan, luxuriously appointed in the styles of Arabia and renowned for its Arabic and Oriental cuisines provides the perfect atmosphere to entertain clients or friends. At AED 180 per person, including beverages, the sumptuous buffet is complemented by the gentle, harmonious cords of Arabic music.

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For late night dining, the Sohour set menu, served between 9pm and 2am is priced at AED 160 including beverages. As an alternative location, The Palace Hotel offers you and your loved ones the opportunity to share an intimate evening together under the stars in a traditional Arabian tent surrounding the pool side. The Sohour ‘majilis style’ includes dining a la carte, soft drinks, and shisha. To celebrate Eid, Ewaan is offering a regal selection of Arabic delicacies: a large buffet Brunch including a selection of mezze, and a splendid dessert buffet. Served from 12:30pm to 3:30pm, Ewaan is the perfect place to celebrate this special occasion with your family.


Traders Hotel, Dubai celebrates Ramadan and Iftar with promotional offers To mark the start of a significant holy month, Traders Hotel, Dubai is celebrating Ramadan and Iftar with promotional offers both for accommodation and food. The promotional package, “Ramadan Mubarak Specials”, includes accommodation in a Superior Room at AED 465++ for single occupancy and AED535++ for double occupancy, with complimentary in-room Sohoor serving or “Iftar Shahy Buffet” at The Junction Restaurant. Guests are encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment, as the rooms are available on a first come, first served basis. Bookings can be made online from the hotel website, www.tradershotels.com, or by calling the hotel’s reservation team at (04) 214 7308. During the holy month of Ramadan, The Junction restaurant at Traders Hotel, Dubai is offering an Iftar Shahy buffet with a selection of Arabic cuisine. The “Iftar Shahy Buffet” promotion is priced at AED 95 nett per person. Guests may indulge in hot and cold Mezze, Grilled Seafood Kebab, Arabic Mixed Grill, Fricca with Lamb and lots more. An array of Arabic sweets and desserts are also available. For reservations, please call (04) 214 7272 or email the hotel at thdb@shangri-la.com

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ARABIAN GALLERY

SHARJAH

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LIVING ARABIA

The Antalya and Black Sea Region of Turkey In Antalya, the pine-clad Toros (Taurus) Mountains sweep down to the sparkling clear sea resulting in an irregular coastline of rocky headlands and secluded coves.

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When people talk about Turkey as a destination, the most common place that travellers would mention is Istanbul, described as the only city in the world which embraces two continents, one arm reaching out into Asia and the other into Europe. Istanbul is well-known for its museum, churches, palaces, mosque (the famous of which is The Blue Mosque) as well as its sceneries and historical and cultural background. But Turkey is not about Istanbul alone. There are many places to explore in Turkey and a lot of travellers from the United Arab Emirates or the Gulf region may not be familiar with these places. In this regard, the Turkish Tourism and Consulate Office has embarked on a campaign to promote two of the many places in Turkey that are worth visiting and discovering – Antalya and the Black Sea Region. The campaign is part of the government’s mission to attract more than 50 million tourists to Turkey by 2020. If you have been visiting the malls lately, the Turkish Tourism office has put up an information booth where guests and residents of Dubai can get information about the two destinations. “Everybody knows Turkey as a friendly country but as a tourist destination it is not popular. Last year from the UAE alone, we have 13,000 tourists but from the GCC there are more than 100,000 but if you compare this number with other destinations this number is quite less,” starts Emin Kaya, Cultural and Information Attache. “Turkey is a Muslim country. There’s a misunderstanding in this region about Turkey as a mixed country. Actually it’s 99 per cent Muslim country and all the food is Halal food because we produce it ourselves. There are many attractions and activities to offer in Turkey,” he adds. “Antalya, for example is the best place for summer destination especially for families. Antalya is in the southern part of Turkey and during summer the place is very good. Every resort has a kids club. The Black Sea region is another tourist attraction because of its natural scenery. There are forests, mountains, rivers and the lakes where you can get fresh fish,” adds Kaya. Accommodation is also not a

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problem when visiting Antalya and the Black Sea region because the tourism industry started in Turkey 25 years ago so most of the luxury hotels have established their presence here. Brands like Rixos Premium Hotel and 10 more themed hotel and five-star plus hotels can be found in Antalya. “If you want to see the city and explore history, it would be nice go to Istanbul. If you want summer tourism all inclusive in one place where you can go for shopping, swimming and just pure relaxation, you will enjoy your time in Antalya,” ends Kaya.

ANTALYA The region, bathed in sunshine for 300 days of the year, is a paradise for sunbathing, swimming and sports activities like windsurfing, waterskiing, sailing, mountain climbing and spelunking. If you come to Antalya in March or April, you can ski in the mornings and in the afternoons swim in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. Awaiting your discovery are important historical sites set in a landscape of pine forests, olive and citrus groves and palm, avocado and banana plantations. Surrounded by amazing scenery of sharp contrasts, Antalya, Turkey’s principal holiday resort is an attractive cit with shady palm-lined boulevards and a prize-winning marina. In the picturesque old quarter of Kaleici, narrow, winding streets and old wooden houses abound the ancient city walls. Antalya has been continuously inhabited since its founding in 159 BC by Attalos II, a king of Pergamum, who named the city Attaleia after himself. The Romans, Byzantines and Seljuks successively occupied the city before it came under Ottoman rule. The elegant, fluted minaret of the Yivli Minareli Mosque in the center of the city, built by the Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat in the 13th century has become Antalya’s symbol. The two most important Ottoman mosques in the city are the 16th century Murat Pasa Mosque, remarkable for its tile decoration and the 18th century Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Mosque. In the Ataturk and Karaalioglu Parks, the colourful exotic flowers and the shimmering water in the bay with the mountains behind, demonstrate why Antalya has become such a popular


resort. At Aqua Park, on the eastern coast, every kind of water sport is available, including exciting water slides. The award-winning Antalya Kaleici Marina and Leisure Center is considered one of the loveliest marinas in Turkey with its many souvenir shops, friendly cafes and restaurants as well as yacht moorings and services. Sail in the morning and enjoy the restful peace of the marina in the afternoon. The old city walls, lit up at night lend an atmosphere of serenity and timelessness.

BLACK SEA REGION From the European border with Bulgaria to the Georgian border, dense pine forests cover the mountaintops while lush vegetation and bountiful crops grow in the lower elevations and valleys. Along the coastline, mile after mile of beautiful uncrowded beaches offer sun, swimming and relaxation. In the springtime, delicate wild-flower blossoms carpet the rolling meadows of the eastern hills. The wooden houses in fishing villages and mountain hamlets

The vibrant green of Turkey’s lush, humid Black Sea Coast surprises those who imagine the country to be nothing but barren shape.

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alike preserve indigenous and traditional architectural styles. The humid climate and fertile soil encourage cultivation of a variety of crops including tea, tobacco, corn and hazelnuts. The magic of such a diverse landscape proves irresistible to any friend of nature, whether hiker or mountain climber or enthusiast, whether you go in by mountain bike or by jeep safari. The Black Sea is accessible to tourists and provides a wide range of hotels and restaurants at a variety of prices. Vize (Byzia), an important Byzantine center, houses the Kucuk Ayasofya Church and a castle, both dating from the Byzantine period. If you are travelling north to Bulgaria, linger for a few hours in the peaceful and green town of Derekoy, the last stop before the border. Back on the coast, the lovely beach and comfortable guest houses and hotels at Akcakoca ensure that it remains a popular holiday resort. Alapli is an ideal place for water sports, especially sailing and surfing. Long sandy beaches stretch both east and west on both sides of the town.

346 km east of Samsun in the Eastern Black Sea Coast is Trabzon, being one of the major cities in the region, has a long history. The earliest evidences of civilization are dated at 7000 BC. The jewel of Trabzon’s monuments is the restored 13th century Byzantine church, used for centuries as a mosque and now as the Ayasofya Museum. Splendid frescoes, some of the finest examples of Byzantine painting, cover every one of the interior church walls. Rize (75 km east of Trabzon) is built on a mountain slope covered with tea bushes that look like puffy green pillows. Be sure to see this typical Black Sea city’s 16th century Islam Pasa Mosque and the remains of a Genoese castle. From Ziraat Park you can take in a splendid panorama of the whole area. A lightweight summer cloth of good quality and printed with colourful patterns comes from the Rize area. During Summer Tea Festival you can purchase the best blend of Black Sea tea. For more of Antalya and the Black Sea region log on to www. turkishtourism.ae or www.turizm.gov.tr


AMBIENCE

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Relaxation

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OUTSIDE ARABIA

Angkor

of My Dreams Text and Photos by JAY CUNANAN-CANLAS

The majesty, the beauty of coming face to face with the real thing will stay with me forever. Angkor Wat, up close, took my breath away. It is a photographer’s dream, an artist’s canvas, a poet’s inspiration. From the intricacy of the artwork, to the symmetry of its architecture, to the history that every stone brings, beauty is everywhere you look. There are places you dream of going to and places that are like dreams come true when you reach them. My biggest dream as a child was to go Stonehenge in England. The massive stones that have puzzled people for ages held a great fascination for me, too. There was nothing I wanted to do more than to wander around the great big stones -- to weave in, out, and under them while I pondered the mysteries of life. That is why it was with some disappointment that I finally saw Stonehenge and realized that I could only do so behind a cordon. Neither was it as big as I envisioned it to be. What was

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worse was there was a line of tourists waiting to view the rocks and I couldn’t take my sweet time to savor the moment. That is why it was with some trepidation that I planned my trip with 2 college friends to Angkor Wat (which means temple) in Cambodia. I didn’t want to be disappointed. Thankfully, I was not. Research shows that Angkor Wat, the temple, is regarded as the supreme masterpiece of Khmer architecture. The majesty, the beauty of coming face to face with the real thing will stay with me forever. Angkor Wat, up close, took


If you only have a day, or a few days, to visit, aside from Angkor Wat don’t miss out on these equally breath-taking sights… Angkor Thom – An ancient walled city that includes the Bayon (a temple that is famous for its 52 serene faces of Jayavarman VII), the Elephant and Leper King Terrraces. Not as well preserved as Angkor Wat, the bas-relief carvings in the temples and terraces are fascinating with scenes of legends and depictions of a past life. Ta Prohm – about a kilometer away from Angkor Thom, the temple was reportedly built by King Jayavarman VII as a shrine for his mother. One can marvel at the coming together of nature and manmade wonders. Left virtually untouched by the archaeologists who discovered it, the roots of the giant trees resemble snakes and octopuses that hug and, at times, destroy the passages that stand in their way. This marvelous ruin was also the site of Angelina Jolie’s blockbuster, Tomb Raider. Banteay Srei – Referred to as The Women’s Citadel, it is the smallest temple built but perhaps also the most beautiful. Made of pink sandstone, it virtually glows in pink splendor. Older than Angkor Wat, the Hindi temple Banteay Srei has beautifully made intricate carvings.

my breath away. It is a photographer’s dream, an artist’s canvas, a poet’s inspiration. From the intricacy of the artwork, to the symmetry of its architecture, to the history that every stone brings, beauty is everywhere you look. But Angkor War is much more than just a thing of beauty. Within its environs, I felt a peace I had never felt before. Despite the many tourists that streamed in and out, there was still a sense of serenity, a feeling of oneness. Indeed, you don’t have to be religious to experience the spirituality of the great temple. Angkor Wat, built in the 12th century, is but one of the many temples and structures that are in and around Angkor. It would, in fact, take weeks or even months to view everything. As a Frenchman and his Cambodian wife proudly told me, it was their seventh time to visit and it was still not enough. You find something new every time,

they pointed out, their smiles filled with anticipation of discovering new things. Like them, I plan to go back again one day and discover more old and new things. A six-hour bus ride brought my friends and I from Pnom Penh to Siem Reap where we were immediately

swamped by a multitude of tuk-tuk drivers all wanting us to make use of their services. Thankfully, we’d already booked a ride with Proo, a former tuk-tuk driver who now drives a Toyota camry. From the bus station he brought us to a small hotel in downtown Siem Reap, after which he whisked us off to get tickets to the main event – Angkor Wat. Siem Reap, the gateway to the Angkor temples, is a small seemingly sleepy town. It is home to hotels, motels, guest houses, B&B’s, souvenir shops, bars, restaurants, groceries, banks, internet cafes among other buildings and services that primarily cater to the nonstop stream of tourists. Quite impressive,

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IF YOU GO: Visas are available at overseas Cambodian embassies, on arrival at all international airports and most international border crossing checkpoints, and through the new online E-Visa procedure. A passport with at least four month validity is required. All visitors need to apply visa, except from Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Laos. Temperatures are cooler and there are less chances of rain in December and January. February till April is hot. While May to October is the rainy season, although locals say that it is a good time to visit because everything is green and the moats are full. November is when the biggest festival, the Bon Om Tuk (Festival of the Reversing Current), is held. Cambodia’s main language is Khmer Main Religion: Buddhism (Theravada) Monetary unit: 1 riel = 100 sen (although dollars are widely accepted) Electricity: 220V AC 50 Hz Driving: Right hand side; International Driving Permit required Direct Flight: from Bangkok, Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Vientiane, Kuala Lumpur, and Guangzhou

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too, is the number of ongoing construction, a sign that people simply can’t get enough of what is referred to as the “Disneyland of Temples” or more formally, The Angkor Archaeological Park . We arrived at the ticket booth, which is located at the park’s main entrance and resembles a toll-gate and got our day pass ($20, 1- day pass; $40, 3-day pass; $60; 1 week pass), complete with our very own photos taken by a camera that hung from the ticket booth ceiling. We were advised to hang on to our tickets as the tickets are inspected at the entrance of each temple by the guards. As we got our tickets a few minutes before 5 PM, they were technically for the following day but we would be allowed in for free for the rest of the day. (At five pm, people are allowed in free at the temples but can only stay until the sun goes down.) The first glimpse we got of Angkor Wat was from across the moat. Squeals of delight, followed by a succession of pinches to check if we really were there was the first reaction. As he parked across the bridge that led to the temple, Proo rushed us off, anxious for us not to waste a single minute). It was true were really there to visit one of the world’s most famous sights! Our first step towards the temple set off a barrage of photo-taking, dozens of them, and we hadn’t entered the main gate yet. Finally, we went through the entrance with its three central towers,

went past an altar of Buddha to get our first glimpse of the main temple with its pyramid like architecture. Built as a tribute to Visnu, the Hindu God, by King Suryavarman II, in the 12th century, Angkor comes from the Sanskrit word nagara, meaning ‘town’. Translated from Khmer, Angkor Wat, actually means, City Temple. It is said that it took 30 years to construct it. Angkor Wat covers 200 acres and is surrounded by a 570 feet wide and around four miles long moat. The temple is made up of a towering complex of terraces and small buildings that are arranged in a series of three diminishing storeys and surmounted by five towers believed to represent the five peaks of Mt. Meru, the home of the gods and centre of the Hindu universe. From Hindu temple, Angkor Wat, became a symbol of Buddhism when King Suryavarman II became disillusioned by his religion and turned Buddhist. It was the Buddhist monks who helped preserve it when it was abandoned in the early 15th century. The Khmers fled Angkor when the Thais invaded and looted it. For 400 years, the city was lost to the jungle. For centuries, it became a secret, just a rumor that people whispered about. It was only in 1869, when a curious French naturalist Alexandre-Henri Mouhot rediscovered the city, that Angkor Wat was again opened to the eyes of the world. From then on, people have never tired of visiting it.


As we joined the throngs of people hurrying to catch a glimpse of every nook and corner of the great Angkor Wat, the general feeling of everyone there was that of awe. Once, an ancient civilization had lived, worshipped and thrived in the very place we now stood. We we were all one in absorbing the greatness and beauty of the temple. Every step led to a different chamber, a different pavilion, a different court-way. Everywhere one looked, a visual eyecandy was a guarantee from the carvings on the walls, the bas-reliefs that told of tales of Hindu mythology and the battles of King Suryavarman II to the sheer perfect symmetry of the buildings. We could only stand and marvel at the great architectural feat and the artistry of the

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people who built this wonder that has survived time, war and the elements. While Angkor Wat is no longer home to an ancient civilization, it is now home to the millions who weave in and out of its rooms and passageways. The people who go there don’t speak the same language, hail from different nations, but are one in appreciating Angkor Wat. Whether sitting on the ground to just look and absorb the surroundings; or walking and climbing every step that leads to different chambers and passageways; or holding an incense stick to bow down in prayer to Buddha or to their own God; or watching the monkeys that sometimes flit in and out the passageways ; or avoiding the guards that try to stop you from going into places that are restricted or under construction; or watching other visitors as they excitedly take photos or tourists as they surround their guide

to listen; one thing is certain – Angkor Wat takes you in and embraces you in its arms. The best time to view Angkor Wat, we were told, was during the sunset and during the sunrise. People wake up very early in a hope to see the sun rise and touch the temple with its rays. Others stay on until the sun paints the temple red, orange and purple and disappears into the sky. Personally, I say the best time to view it is at both times. Angkor Wat takes on a different look at every time of the day, and it’s no wonder that people continue to troop in and out to view its splendor. As night made its way, we wandered reluctantly out of Angkor Wat wanting to stay longer and wanting to know more. We got our wish as a group of kids surrounded us offering maps, souvenirs and books about Angkor. With one more lingering glance, we finally managed to say goodbye.

DO’S AND DON’TS Do wear lots of light and cotton clothes and sturdy shoes. Avoid heels. Bring sandals and slippers. Don’t forget to bring sunblock, handwipes or sanitizers, bottled water when you visit the temples. Observe silence when in the temples. Beware of men bearing incense sticks when in the temples. They ask for “donations”. Don’t forget to charge your camera and video batteries. Bring extra film, tape or memory cards. You won’t get tired of filming the sights, the people and monks.


The museums of Sharjah 54 I Travel Arabia I September

In Sharjah, museums are a must visit place. A trip to this emirate is not complete without visiting any of the museums currently being administered by the Sharjah Museums Department. Created to promote Sharjah to the region and to the world, the Sharjah Museums Department helps to maintain Sharjah’s reputation for promoting culture by providing a wide variety of museums dedicated to the arts, sciences and local culture. “It helps to promote Sharjah to the region and the world in several ways, we provide an important attraction for visitors to the Emirates and for this we actively collaborate with the Tourism Department in marketing Sharjah abroad,” starts Manal Ataya, Director of the Sharjah Museums Department. “Another example is the exchange of exhibitions with museums abroad. For instance in the Museum of Islamic Civilization at present we have a temporary exhibition from the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin; and we have lent two paintings to an exhibition on Orientalist painting that is being held in the USA, UK and Turkey before it comes to Sharjah next year,” he adds. The 17 museums in Sharjah are not all dedicated to artefacts, historical finds or antiques. Ataya explained that the 17 museums include an aquarium, which was opened three months ago and has proved extremely popular with the public and a Science Museum and Discovery Centre which are dedicated to education for the young. “I should also mention that half of our museums are located in historic buildings in Sharjah and Kalba, and so the building itself, together with its furnishings, serves as a museum. Sharjah is unusual in having so many historic house museums, as they are called, and a number of them form part of the “Heritage Area” which is a large area in the centre of Sharjah which is protected from modern development, beautifully restored by the Directorate of Heritage,” Ataya proudly says. Each museum is built to educate the public in a broader sense. “We aim to encourage Emiratis to be proud of their traditional culture, religion and history – the historic house museums and the Al Hisn Fort are especially important in this respect. The Archaeology Museum

shows the remarkable discoveries made in Sharjah about the pre-Islamic history of the country and its connections with the wider world of the Gulf and the subcontinent. The Sharjah Museum of Islamic civilization also brings together all the community to learn and be proud of Islamic achievements and contributions to the world.” “In the Sharjah Art Museum we want our visitors to be excited about various art forms for expression so that they are inspired to create. And in our museums such as the Sharjah Natural History Museum and Sharjah Aqaurium we want our emirate visitors and other audiences to appreciate the natural environment of the UAE and be active in protecting it,” Ataya pointed out. The museums of Sharjah are designed for an Emirati audience but also for the non-Emiratis who live in the country or who come on holiday here. On the other hand, the Science Museum and the Discovery Centre are aimed particularly at schools and families. Inside the museum is an active Education Programme which runs a series of family weekends, summer camps and school workshops with the aim of making museums an integral part of school curricula. The Museum of Islamic civilization which is the first of its kind in the UAE replaces an earlier museum which was located in one of the historic houses in the Heritage Area of Sharjah. “Now we have much more space to do justice to the remarkable treasures that it contains and to place them in their wider context of Islamic civilization. We would like the Museum to help people of all kinds to appreciate the artistic and scientific achievements of the Islamic world. The Museum has proved to be extremely popular since it opened and so there definitely seems to have been a demand for this type of museum in the Emirates,” adds Ataya. With the museums becoming a popular attraction in Sharjah, the Department is looking to further developing the cultural offerings of Sharjah and the UAE as a whole. Ataya said that these efforts reflects directly the strong personal interests of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah and Member of the Supreme Council.


The emirate of Sharjah is the only emirate that has 17 museums containing the most extraordinary collections and exhibits which date back from thousands of years ago.

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

B_ASEMENT Gallery Opens its Doors A new art gallery opened in Dubai’s Al Quoz district to raise the regional and international profile of emerging Iranian artists. BASEMENT gallery, created by a consortium of architects, art collectors and entrepreneurs, showcased the works of five Iranian artists in its opening exhibition, all of whom are under the age of 40 and the majority of whom have not exhibited their works previously outside Iran. “One of the concepts behind the gallery name is to create a platform for bringing these artists and their works out of the ‘basements’ where art is sometimes stored and forgotten into a growing regional and global marketplace,” said Baharak Raoufi, one of the founders of the BASEMENT gallery. Another key objective is to underscore the fundamental value of art, the role of art in daily life, and the concept of the UAE and wider region as one large and open ‘studio’ environment in which art can be found almost everywhere,” she added. BASEMENT’s opening exhibition is themed around the concept of ‘contemporary living,’ with large canvases that incorporate abstract themes, vibrant colour, and elements of Iranian calligraphy. “The growth of the Middle East’s art market and the specific demand for works by Iranian artists have prompted us to develop the BASEMENT gallery. We are focused on offering a mix of artists and pieces previously unseen in Dubai as well as highlighting works by more established names in the Middle East’s arts community,” continued Narges Hamzianpour, another co-founder of the BASEMENT gallery. BASEMENT’s opening comes at a time when international auction houses are achieving record prices for contemporary Iranian artworks, and galleries from Europe and Asia are increasingly exhibiting works by Iranian artists. For further information on BASEMENT, please visit www. basementdubai.com or call +9714 341 4409.

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Tourism: Making a Difference in

Ras Al Khaimah 58 I Travel Arabia I September


“Ras Al Khaimah is a haven of peace where age-old traditions and modern life coexist in harmony.” This accurate description by Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi connects well with tourism developers eyeing the Arabian Peninsula’s potential. Both visitors and investors seeking to discover the real UAE need look no further than the exciting mélange of history, natural beauty and luxury offered by Ras Al Khaimah. With archeological revelations dating back 5,000 years, to modern amenities that include island projects, picturesque championship golf courses and eco-tourism projects, Ras Al Khaimah’s unique and authentic tourism assets set it apart from neighboring emirates. “Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, like his father, has a profound interest in the heritage of Ras Al Khaimah,” says Christian Velde, resident archaeologist at the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah. Opening up historic sites like Shimal, Julfar, and Dhayah Fort to receive visitors is integral to RAK Tourism’s long term plan. Hilary McCormack, General Manager of RAK Tourism, explains that Ras Al Khaimah as a tourism

destination has many lucrative opportunities for prospective investors. “Our main objective for the future,” says McCormack, “is to increase the annual number of visitors to 2.5 million by 2012.” As a result the emirate has encouraged a number of major international hotel brands to choose Ras Al Khaimah to be part of their GCC expansion plans. Over the past two years RAK Tourism, the organisation tasked to support, regulate and standardise tourism initiatives in Ras Al Khaimah, has supported these growth projections by promoting the destination locally and internationally. As a result, two dozen 5-star hotels plus several more premium hotel and hotel apartment operators are poised to start operations in Ras Al Khaimah within the next five years, as the emirate continues to enjoy its unprecedented tourism boom. The new hotels are expected to more than double the current supply of hotel rooms in Ras Al Khaimah, helping accommodate the projected 2.5 million tourists in the emirate by 2012. From a current capacity of over 1,800 hotel rooms, the influx of new hotel developments – including at least 20 internationally renowned 5-star hotels – will deliver up to 7,500 new rooms by 2012. Moreover, RAK Tourism is bringing in a wide range of hotel brands with the aim of providing a diverse selection of speciality offerings and services to suit

various tourist profiles. “Hotel development has jumped to a new level in Ras Al Khaimah as tourism activities continue to attract domestic, regional and international tourists to the emirate. It is also part of our strategy to keep watch for unique and innovative hotel operators in a bid to diversify our portfolio of hotels in the emirate. There is still so much room for expansion in this sector and we are looking forward to establishing partnerships with more world-renowned hotel brands in the future,” said Dr. Khater Massaad, CEO RAKIA. The new 5-star hotels expected within the next few years will significantly beef up Ras Al Khaimah’s formidable roster of 5-star hotels, which consists of the Al Hamra Fort Hotel & Beach Resort, Al Hamra Village Townhouse & Golf Resort, Khatt Springs Hotel and Spa, Hilton Beach Resort & Spa, and Hilton Ras Al Khaimah – collectively combining for nearly 1,000 5-star hotel rooms. “We already have an impressive line of reputed hotels operating in the emirate; we are now eyeing some exciting new names in the industry that have both a solid regional and global following. We are also seeing rapid market gains in developments such as the Al Marjan Island, Mina Al Arab and Saraya Islands; the momentum we have gathered will be vital in sustaining our efforts in further enhancing the tourism landscape of Ras Al Khaimah,” said McCormack.

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PROPERTY

Her name is Nurai by Zaya

Zaya, a dynamic newly-formed Abu Dhabi-based real estate company has launched its first of many property ventures; Nurai, a spectacular private community of limited edition resort beach-front estates and water villas on a natural island off the coast of Abu Dhabi. Derived from the Arabic word “nour” meaning light, Nurai is surrounded by clear waters and ringed with pristine sandy beaches. Lying immediately northeast of Abu Dhabi, the island is set in isolation away from the hustle and bustle of city life yet is within minutes from the mainland. CEO Nadia Zaal hand picked a world class team with a shared passion to bring her vision of Nurai to life. Backed by senior management with over 25 years of experience, Zaal leads with fresh prospective and passionate dedication in creating sustainable communities that will raise the bar in property development. Zaal explains, “Zaya has a passion for creating

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unique lifestyle solutions that goes beyond bricks and mortar. Using our unique understanding of the clientele and refusing to be bound by convention, Nurai is the most stylish contemporary living experience in the world”. Nurai is the beginning for Zaya’s collection of unique projects designed solely based on market research and the discerning clientele’s aspiration in mind. Extensive research concluded that there is a shortage in this kind of sophisticated projects and means that Zaya will remain focused on the high end of the market with plans for expansion into the Middle East, Asia and Europe being announced shortly. “On Nurai, you can have your own piece of paradise and still be just minutes from Abu Dhabi. On this incredibly lush island, you will find a distinctive collection of limited edition resort beachfront estates and water villas, along with all the services and comforts of a world class boutique resort,” added Zaal.


or ‘The Seaside’. The Shoreline estates will consist of six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, private beach and rooftop garden with a total build area of 12,275 square feet. Similar in size, but with five bedrooms and six baths, will be The Seaside estates. No detail has been overlooked. Each resort residence includes luxurious amenities such as a private beach and garden, infinity

have access to all of the services and comforts provided by the boutique resort. In addition to the amenities of the contemporary hotel, which include three world class restaurants and multiple lounges, Nurai also offers a private helipad and marina with arrivals lounge, a fully equipped spa and fitness centre, private beaches and water sports facilities.

The design concept of the island stemmed from Zaya’s desire to provide residents with abundant pieces of land and ultimate privacy. Two strands of Water Villas extend into the ocean, and Nurai’s Beachfront Estates are integrated into the gently scoping landscape. A carpet of greenery unfolds across the island, with sweeping structures underneath to envelop residents in their own world of private luxury. Island feels untouched as majority of land is landscaped lush greenery as opposed to populated with buildings. Discerning clientele interested in resort beachfront estates will have their choice of two designs – ’The Shoreline’

swimming pool, concealed service quarters and outdoor showers. Alternatively, the resort Water Villas offer an unparalleled over-water living experience. The homes are situated over the crystal clear waters surrounding the island and include three bedrooms and four bathrooms occupying 5,540 square feet. These contemporary resort villas indulge the fortunate few with every amenity one could wish for in a home - a private beach, rooftop garden with spa pool, infinity pool, outdoor barbeque area, gourmet kitchen and concealed service quarters. Nurai resort residents will also

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The Mansion redefines luxury living

Emaar Properties has unveiled one of Dubai’s most spectacular residential complexes, The Mansion at Burj Dubai. An architectural masterpiece, its unique value proposition is that all homes within the 60-storey tower open to direct views of Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building, and the magnificent fountain on Burj Dubai Lake. The Mansion at Burj Dubai is located on the Burj Dubai Boulevard and lakefront with private access and security to create an exclusive neighbourhood choice for discerning buyers. A truly luxury residential complex with in-tower retail options, The Mansion at Burj Dubai has been designed by the renowned international architect Adrian Smith, the designer of Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building, and will feature spacious, elegantly designed studios, and one-, twoand three-bedroom apartments. Views of Burj Dubai are assured from all living rooms with the balconies and terraces carefully aligned to give unparalleled views of Downtown Burj Dubai. The fountain in Burj Dubai Lake, a stellar water, light and music spectacle,

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can be watched from the convenience of their homes, witnessing the colourful splash of water jets in perfectly choreographed rhythmic patterns. Dubai’s complement to the world’s elegant water fountains, the fountain is about 25 per cent larger than The Fountains at Bellagio in Las Vegas in area and features powerful water nozzles shooting water sprays to heights of over 500 ft, and over 6,600 lights & 50 colour projectors creating a vibrant visual spectrum. At The Mansion at Burj Dubai, customers can also select from a handful of uniquely designed duplex units with double volume spaces. Large terrace units that integrate with the majestic shape of the tower sit atop the building. On the 58th storey, is a stunning penthouse unit with two large terraces - a perfect place for entertaining. The Mansion will also feature an international restaurant in its lobby that opens directly to magnificent views of the fountain. Residents can look forward to a flurry of lifestyle amenities at the Burj Dubai Boulevard and revel in the shopping

and leisure options at the nearby Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destinations. Several retail outlets and F&B facilities will be showcased in the retail plaza within the tower. The elegant interiors of The Mansion at Burj Dubai are complemented by convenient lifestyle features in the kitchens and bathrooms. A fully-equipped gym, business centre, multifunction areas for entertaining, and a pool & sundeck to relax are other features. Adding to their convenience, The Mansion at Burj Dubai will have a dedicated stop for the Burj Dubai Tram service. Downtown Burj Dubai is the newest neighbourhood in Dubai with a strong community life already. The 500-acre project all has three hotels that are well-established, and Souk Al Bahar, a shopping mall featuring Arabesque architectural elements. The Burj Dubai Boulevard also hosts lifestyle activities periodically bringing together the Downtown Burj Dubai communities.


FACE TO FACE

For several years now, Singapore has been a popular destination for the Middle East travellers. Aside from its close proximity to the region, Singapore offers a wide range of attractions, activities and entertainment for couples, honeymooners, group and families. In 2007, GCC markets overall saw an increase in visitors to Singapore compared to 2006, with strong double digit growth from key markets like the UAE (20%), Saudi Arabia (12%), and Kuwait (13%). In the first quarter of 2008, visitor numbers from the UAE to Singapore have surged by 23% year-on-year. The United Arab Emirates has emerged as the leading source market in the region for travel to Singapore, followed by Iran and Saudi Arabia, with steady visitor growth seen

throughout the Middle East. With a host of major upcoming events and attractions in 2008, Singapore is laying the foundation for a future which holds strong potential for ongoing growth in visitor numbers. Upcoming events include the SingTel Formula One Singapore Grand Prix, the Singapore GP Season and the Volvo Ocean Race, while new attractions like the Singapore Flyer and new shopping haven ION Orchard are redefining the city-state. “Singapore’s safe environment, coupled with our strong network of family-friendly attractions such as Sentosa Island, the Singapore Science Centre, the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari have made us a firm favourite for travellers from the Middle East,” said Jason Ong,

Singapore’s

Unique Transformation

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Area Director, Middle East and Africa, Singapore Tourism Board. “Singapore has been transforming itself, updating itself with new attractions, with new icons and new developments so our aim this year is to bring to the forefront all the new attractions that we have in Singapore and to update the people’s view of Singapore,” Ong added. “With the introduction of more family friendly attractions such as the Singapore Flyer, the world’s largest observation wheel and the upcoming Integrated Resorts, we are confident that Singapore will remain a firm family favourite destination for countries in the GCC,” he said. In addition, major landscape and infrastructure to the world famour Orchard Road have begun with work on


the iconic shopping district expected to b e completed by February 2009. The AED100 million project will enhance the pedestrian experience by introducing state-of-the-art lighting, creaing new spaces to stage events, introducing more integrated walkways, and developing a livelier pedestrian mall. “Orchard Road has consistently been ranked as the most visited attraction in Singapore and is an ideal place for Middle Eastern tourists to enjoy some of the best shopping in the world. The redevelopment project promises to significantly enhance the beauty of this street and will help redefine Singapore’s changing landscape,” added Ong. Singapore aims to strengthen its brand among regional travellers by communicating its position as a sophisticated and vibrant world-class destination offering diverse and exciting experiences for both new and repeat visitors. For the coming year, Singapore plans to leverage on several key tourism opportunities, particularly in the cruise, hotel, and MICE industries. The city-state is also well positioned as Asia’s healthcare hub, attracting an increasing number of travellers from the region seeking the most advanced medical treatments and facilities in Asia. “Singapore is a very family friendly destination, with great food and beverage options and a tropical climate. We have a very Muslim-friendly environment, we offer Halal food and we have Arabic services in different hotels so we are a great destination for the Middle East market. Our offerings range from high end to the budget conscious travellers so we have everything to suit their needs,” added Ong.

With the aim of attracting millions of visitors this year, Ong is confident that Singapore is prepared for this. Recently the government has announced a major human capital investment worth Dh1.3 billion as part of a wider tourism strategy that has targets to achieve 17 million visitor arrivals and Dh110 billion in tourism receipts by 2015. Through the TOurism TALent (TOTAL) Plan, the funds will train 74,000 new tourism workers within the next three years, significantly enhancing service levels in order to support the islandnation’s ambitious tourism goals. Jointly developed by the Singapore Tourism Board and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), the initiative will tap into local talent to meet the projected spike in demand driven by new tourism investments including two new integrated resorts – Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World at Sentosa. The holistic three pronged approach comprises of continuing education and training for adult workers, preemployment training for students and industry development to attract more workers to join the industry. The expanded community of tourism workers will also be supported by more resources for Middle East visitors, including a greater volume of printed and online material in Arabic to facilitate their visits to Singapore. What is the biggest challenge so far in attracting in both leisure and business travellers to Singapore? “Our number one challenge right now is the hotel situation. We do have a shortage in hotel rooms so we are building new hotels, adding new rooms to try to meet this new demand”.

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Best Western Hotel enters the ME market 66 I Travel Arabia I September

Best Western International Inc., the world’s largest hotel chain, with 4,000 independently owned and operated hotels, enters the Middle East Market. Travel Arabia talks to Glenn de Souza, Vice President International Operations – Asia and Mr. Samuel J.S. Poddar, General Manager of Mohebi Aviation & Escapades about their plans. Travel Arabia: Tell us about Best Western International? Glenn de Souza: Best Western International is a hotel company. We’ve been around for 62 years. Based in Phoenix Arizona, Best Western employs 1,076 people and offers more than 316,095 quality guest rooms in 4,000 hotels located in 80 countries and territories throughout the world. We came out to Asia in 2001 with six hotels and we now have 120 in operations going through re-branding and building. TA: What does Best Western bring to these hotel companies? GDS: The infrastructure which is our marketing platform, our sales offices around the world and our distribution channels, as relates to reservation, and the GDS system with airlines plus the bestwestern.com. All hotels are called Best Western, as a single brand with the largest hotel chain in the world. In the United States we post ourselves as a mid-scale hotel company, in Asia we position as 4 and 4.5 star product to compete with other international hotel chains. TA: Why the Middle East market? GDS: The brand has been around for 62 years. We’ve been in the USA for 62 years, in Asia we’ve been there since 2001. Redevelopment is always strategic, how you want to grow so the focus for us was initially Indo China, Korea, and China. Now we’re looking at Middle East, not that there’s critical massing in the countries where we initially started to develop but it’s now time for us to look at the Middle East. TA: Which part of the Middle East in particular? GDS: Were starting in Dubai, our first property will open in January of next year, 220 rooms, and we’re contemplating on building two more hotels in Dubai and then we’re moving on to Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi. That’s where we want to go. TA: What do you think are the potentials of your brand here? GDS: I think there’s room for new brands to come to the Middle East. Owners are always looking to affiliate themselves with international brands because it brings the marketing platform, it brings the sales and it brings the distribution channels but also professional managements which most of the owners require. TA: What are your short-term and long-term plans? GDS: Our short term goal is 25 hotels in the next five years. Samuel J.S.Poddar: Besides Dubai, we’re looking at Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain, Abu Dhabi, so we have hotels throughout the UAE plus GCC. TA: Will you look at the status of the Dubai market first before you establish the Abu Dhabi property and the rest of the Emirates? SJSP: It’s already in the plan; we are going to build irrespective of what happens here in Dubai. In the UAE we’re looking at about 10 properties in the next four to five years.


TA: How much investment are you bringing to the region? GDS: We have a partner here, the Mohebi Travel & Tourism to develop the brand. We licensed them to develop the brand. I think initially, when we had the first press conference we talked about 600 million US dollars to develop the Best Western brand but there are other investors looking at 600 million US dollars investment just to start. There are interested investors from the US that are keen to invest with Mohebi to develop Best Western brands in the GCC. So that’s the starting capital and there are other investors who are interested. TA: You are aware of the presence of local and international brands and hospitality groups in the region, how do you intend to compete with that? GDS: I don’t think we want to compete but we want to complement them. I think the destination is big enough for other hotel companies to come into Dubai or the UAE. We have our own customer base, we have our own loyalty program for which we have close to nine million members, we deal with 18 global airlines around the world, we work with 750 corporate accounts globally and we work with consulting agents so I think we have sufficient business to deliver to the hotels that will brand with us. TA: What are the outstanding features of your product? GDS: We have two products, a core brand which we call our hotel, a four star product and a premium which is four and a half product. The feature of every property is different depending on where it is. We like to modernize properties, we like to keep it simple and we like to focus in terms of the room and amenities. In the Middle East, it’s a little bit different in terms of restaurants. There are more restaurants in comparison with other destinations in Asia. One element that is important to us is training for the staff and orientation. We believed that our product is best in delivering service and I think the most important for Best Western is the value for money TA: Do you see any challenges in establishing your brand here? SJSP: I think the critical issue is where you will get the people to service the customer. That’s the big challenge GDS: I think manpower is important. I think when you work for a

hotel chain like ours we can always bring manpower from other hotels to assist for the pre-opening of the hotel and training. That’s the advantage of working with a chain. We have to get some locals and we need to get some foreigners SJSP: Being a local company we are in the process of getting both UAE and

GCC nationals to work for the various divisions that we currently have. TA: Aside from the manpower issue do you foresee other challenges? GDS: We’ve done several openings so I think we have the confidence to open the property and the only issue is the manpower because there are so many hotels that are opening in the next two to three years, so recruitment and retention are the only things that we may encounter.

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When the W Doha opens its doors this month, it will redefine the standards of hospitality and service in Qatar. Foremost among the hotel’s highly customer-oriented approach is their signature Whatever/Whenever® service, a 24 hour concierge that will arrange for whatever a guest requests, from a favorite music album at 2 am to a private hot air balloon trip over the desert, whenever they request it, as long as it’s legal. “Whatever/Whenever service is really the symbol of W hotels. We are here to ensure that you get something that you need but you did not know that you needed it before we offer it to you,” says TJ Taieb Joulak, Director of Sales, W Doha Hotel & Residences. And it isn’t just lip service either. Every W Hotel around the world has a dedicated Whatever/Whenever® department to deal with guests’ requests 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Whatever/Whenever® department is only one of the many reasons W hotels around the world is famous for. And now that the W brand has made a grand entrance in the Middle East, residents from and visitors to this part of the world will experience a totally unique form of hospitality.

Totally unique concept at

W Doha Hotel & Residences “It’s the proper W concept which is why the W today is really very successful because with so many luxury properties worldwide clients are not only looking for luxury today but looking for a concept, something new, something unusual and W succeeded in that,” adds Joulak. In fact, W hotels have been voted top luxury brand in 2007 by Forbes Magazine because it is actually bringing together not only luxury but new concepts like the way of dressing. “We don’t wear ties, we don’t have badges, and we all call ourselves by the first name including the general manager so it’s very trendy, it’s very glamorous, and it’s extremely personal.” W hotels are different in its concept including the use of its own terminology. “We have our own lingo so for instance, the swimming pool is called Wet, the Gym is called Sweat, the director of housekeeping is called the director of style, the director of human resources is called the director of casting, the living room is actually our lobby, the hairdresser is cut and the valet parking is wheels,” explains Joulak. W Doha Hotel & Residences, located in the commercial and financial district of Doha, will feature 291 guest rooms and suites, 154 W Residences, meeting and event space and luxury retail space. The W Hotel will occupy the lower 15 floors of the stylish new building in West Bay, while floors 16 through 29 will be home to

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the luxury serviced apartments of the W Residences, complete with its own exclusive private entrance. “W residences in America are extremely well established so we had the concept of bringing the W residence concept into Doha. Also, today in Doha there is much more demand than supply of accommodation so the owners decided before even to construct W to have a hotel and apartments together. Now when he thought of the W brand, he thought that W not only specializes in hotel but also specializes in residences.” The hotels and apartments have two separate entrances but guests who live in the residences have access to all the hotel facilities. They have access to the restaurants, to the room service, they have 24 hour request for Whatever/ Whenever and they have housekeeping everyday. It’s all included in one price so they don’t have to pay for electricity and gas. It’s all part of the price so it’s like living in a hotel. Guests and residents will be able to take advantage of exclusive W facilities

such as the BLISS Spa and WET pool as well as the W’s concept restaurants Market by three-star Michelin chef JeanGeorges and Spice Market, a poolside outdoor Shisha lounge “Wahm” and a variety of cafes and lounges. The BLISS Spa is the American trademark of Spa. It is extremely established in America and very well renowned. The BLISS Spa in W Doha is 900 sq m in size and will offer the latest massage technology. “But the difference between our Spas and all the other spas is when you come out you feel very energetic. If you go to any spa, you come out relax, ours you come full of energy and as soon as you come out we offer you a nice glass of orange juice and a big chocolate muffin. We don’t offer you one kiwi or one orange because you have to be on a diet but we offer you a glass of champagne, some chocolate muffin so you go enjoy your day.” “This is why W is so unique, because we have all the type of services. You come and get a great massage and you get all

the latest technology from manicure, pedicure, hair, different types of cream but when you come out of there, you are so full of energy so you’ll say I’m here, I’m ready to kick the day.” Another unique W concept is evident in its banqueting facilities. W Doha Hotel & Residences will use pioneering methods and technology to engage and energize attendees at business meetings and social events. The Sensory Set Up™ of the meeting rooms is aimed at stimulating all five senses with mood music and aromatherapy scents, thought-provoking place cards and creative catering, retro candies and inspiring games. It’s a new method to get ideas flowing using sensory inspiration. Recognizing that breaks during meetings can be used for more than just coffee, W’s Recess™ crew will offer a menu of fun activities to facilitate team-building and prevent boredom. And if work still isn’t running, Wish Workshops™, another signature W program, will encourage meeting participants to get out of their mid-day routine to uncover hidden talents and learn new skills such as cooking, knitting and yoga. All meeting rooms will feature virtually limitless technology – from plasma screens and high-speed wireless Internet to state-of-the-art Audio/Visual equipment. Personal events will also be handled with creative flair. Aptly called WOW VOWS, W wedding service is aimed at staging spectacular events to match every occasion and personality. With W pulling all the stops to wow guests and captivate their imagination, W Doha Hotel & Residences is truly worth visiting.

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A chef to

remember

The holy month of Ramadan is always an anticipated event. The United Arab Emirates, being a Muslim country, prepare for this religious event because of the benefit it provides to each individual along with the message that it brings to the Muslim population. Ramadan is a time of reflection and an event for togetherness and spending quality time with family and friends particularly during the sumptuous iftars after the breaking of the fast. At Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotels & Resort, extensive preparations are made to ensure that hotel guests and the local residents will have a memorable and enjoyable Ramadan every year. “Preparation actually starts days before the Committee’s announcement on the moon sighting,” starts Executive Chef Peter Anton Wicki. “The first week of Ramadan will not be that busy because it is usually spent with the family, the traditional meal together so it is also during these days that we check and finalize everything and this is also when we have iftar for our associates at

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the beginning of Ramadan.” This year, Sheraton Abu Dhabi will have the Iftar Buffet at Arzanah Ballroom as well as a special Ramadan Village on the beach for sohour where guests can eat, drink and smoke Shisha at the “Al Bashawat Café.” This is Chef Wicki’s second Ramadan at Sheraton Abu Dhabi but the hotel’s patrons can be assured of a meticulous and comfortable Ramadan evenings because of his years of work experience. A chef for 27 years, Chef Wicki hails from Switzerland and was working at Sheraton Bahrain and Sheraton Amman Al Nabil in Jordan before moving to Abu Dhabi. He’s been posted in China, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Cayman Islands, Australia and Switzerland. With his experience abroad, you can say that Chef Wicki is already familiar with hotel diners. But how about the diners in Abu Dhabi? “It’s a different market although it’s in the Gulf. A little bit Oriental and also a lot of people like to eat. It’s similar to Bahrain but definitely different from Jordan, Syria or Lebanon. The ways the food are prepared are also slightly different. It’s probably because the people here come from different cultures so that influence their attitude and choices too.” Working for Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotels & Resorts for over a year now, Chef Wicki said the work is still difficult because the hotel has eight outlets and he supervised them all. “It’s not made easier with the set up of the hotel itself. There are eight outlets but not eight kitchens. There are a couple of kitchens cooking for two outlets at the same time. Then they are quire far allocated from each other. One outlet is located on one end of the resort, the Spanish and the shisha on the other far end side and three other restaurants in the main building so it’s really a long distance to walk. It’s the biggest hotel with the most outlets and different styles, five specialities.” And how does he manage it? “With the help of my team. It’s not possible to manage everything yourself. I have a very strong assistant and have a very strong outlets chefs as well whom I can rely on the task that the work will be done.” Being in the hospitality industry for almost three decades now, Chef Wicki admits that nobody in his family ever worked in the industry. He said that the idea was introduced to him by a close friend who was apprenticing as a chef in a

restaurant in his hometown. “He said to me, why don’t you try this so I looked at it and tried it for three months in another hotel and I liked it, then I picked up. I like concocting things, a bit of designing things, the art. But that time one of the reasons was it gives me freedom to be able to go to other parts of the world which you probably won’t do if you work in an office from 9 to 5 Monday to Friday. I get to know a lot of people, other culture and one of my thinking is people are always going to eat so I’m not going to be out of job. I’m safe. People, no matter how bad the situation is, will always going to eat,” beams Chef Wicki. “It’s a very fulfilling job especially when people come back to eat. The best time is if you have a lot of return people. Not everybody can always go and eat the same thing but if you have a big percentage of people coming back to your restaurant and eat and they continuously coming back and they always give you comment it makes you happy and it makes you continuously look for something. Some changes to give to your loyal customers and make people coming all the time and make them happy as well.” Do you have plans of opening your own restaurant in the future? “I have thought about it before, to probably have my own small restaurant but this is the traditional thinking and I gave it up. I wanted to do something different. I was thinking of producing something, a good quality product that is not available yet in the market. Not that I’m tired of cooking, I would not mind dealing with a hotel but in the aspect of maybe providing the hotel with something. Produce some and sell it to the hotel from the other side, not being the center of it.”


TRANQUIL MOMENTS

Anantara Spa‌ Your Timeless Healing Touch

If you step into an Anantara Spa today, you have answered a call of your body and mind. Be it to heal, pamper, rejuvenate or revitalize, rest assured that your inner most desire will be their utmost quest.

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A trip to the Dead Sea in Jordan is not complete without a trip to Anantara Spa at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar. While the big Anantara Spa is on its finishing stage when I visited the property in May, the spa experience gave me a preview of what to expect from the Spa which is poised to become the leading spa in the Middle East. Feeling tired and exhausted, I decided to go for a treatment though I have no idea of what treatment to get. Wida, one of the therapists, asked a couple of questions and on that basis recommended the Aromatic Massage. Before I head to the treatment room, I was offered a warm ginger tea which really eases my feeling. The smell of ginger helped me breathe easier. After completing the medical form, Nuch, my therapist who hails from Thailand, escorted me to the treatment room located on the second floor with a tranquil view of the Dead Sea. The blue and calm waters of the Dead Sea plus the clear blue sky give a more relaxed atmosphere. The place is so serene that the only music you would hear is the occasional chirping of the birds and the soothing Anantara music. I can feel the warm breeze of the wind touching my skin as Nuch slowly massages my scalp and body. The Aromatic Massage is a one-hour massage that includes a ten-minute foot bath ritual. Your feet will be soaked in a rock basin filled with water and flower petals. After two or three minutes, your foot will be scrubbed with salt and then washed with soap. The ritual will end with a spray of cool peppermint. The Aromatic Massage is Anantara Spa’s most aromatic and relaxing massage because it uses four specially blended oils, Anantara, Harmony, Thailand Spice and Tranquility. Nuch massages my body using a combination of strokes and acupressure technique. The soothing and gentle massage allows the healing properties of the natural oils to penetrate into the skin, leaving it relaxed and with a sense of well being. Nuch concentrated on my shoulder where she felt some tension builtup brought by everyday stress. The treatment at Anantara Spa will improve the circulation of the blood by regulating its flow and removal of external causes of blockage. The massage was so relaxing that

I slowly drifted into sleep only to be awakened by Nuch’s soft voice saying the treatment is done. I asked for another cup of warm ginger tea and as I savour the drink, I enjoyed the mystical view of the surroundings even more. The Aromatic Massage is one of the signature massages at Anantara Spa. Anantara Spa has several treatments created with care, knowledge and most important, with the guest in mind. The treatments aim to foster a sense of balance and serenity. The elixirs and oil at Anantara Spa all use the finest and freshest indigenous

ingredients, nutrient-rich and luxuriously aromatic. Using traditional beauty essences such as sandalwood, ylang ylang, patchouli, mandarin, lavender, lemongrass, ginger, cinnamon, bergamot and natural ingredients such as Thai coffee beans, natural volcanic pumice, sweet woods, powdered spices, yoghurt, carrots and cucumber, all the treatments are designed to deliver radiance, relaxation and a sense of wellbeing. The treatments offered by the Anantara Spa will be even bigger when the new Spa opens. Set to become the leading and largest Spa in the Middle East with over 10,000 sq meters in size, Anantara Spa boasts 20 treatment rooms, a large studio where guests can learn and practice the art of Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation and Pilates as well as several breathtaking outdoor

therapy lounges, 28 spa suites (Simplex and Duplex), a Moroccan Hammam (with traditional Moroccan treatment), outdoor and indoor Jacuzzi, steam rooms, Ayurveda, natural Dead Sea water pool, Asian therapies and local salt and mud treatments. The spa will also boast a private Watsu pool. Watsu is a combination of water and Shiatsu which is a very soothing type of massage that takes place in waist-deep water. A hydro pool full of bubble seats and wall jets installed, a panoramic creative lap pool that features star-sky fiber-optic lighting, contemplated by heated beds for relaxation and meditation. In addition to the exciting features and facilities, the spa will also contain a full-fledged Tennis club which is accessible to all hotel guests. The Dead Sea is the perfect environment for the hotel’s Anantara Spa, which will be designed to create a realm of calm, tranquility and serenity, intertwined with nature. Ozone-rich air, mineral loaded sea water and muds will enhance the quintessentially luxurious treatments of Anantara which will bring together century old therapies such as Ayurveda and the most innovative treatments, all performed by highly trained (Far Eastern) therapists. This will be one of the most comprehensive spas in the world. Patricia Collins, Spa Director said there will be an Ayuverdic doctor at the new spa. There will be spa packages to cater to the needs of the guests. And because the Spa has its own suites, one could undergo the treatment in the comfort and privacy of their own room. “For our Middle East guests, there will be separate entrances for men and women. There are treatment rooms for ladies only. Everything here will be of total relaxation and well being,” added Ashraf N. Abulhuda, Marketing Manager, Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, Jordan.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Abu Dhabi Airport posts increase in passengers Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), the owner-operator of Abu Dhabi International Airport (ADIA), released its latest traffic figures with year-to-date (YTD) passenger numbers revealing a 39.2 percent increase over the

returning to original capacity after a previous year’s lull as much as it is to do with the overall and steady growth rates Abu Dhabi Airport is experiencing by successfully delivering on its commercial agenda.”

same period last year. ADAC also revealed that over 3.5 million passengers travelled through the airport during the first five-month period of the year. “Passenger traffic from January through May has largely matched the steady mid-thirty percentile growth rate we have been witnessing at Abu Dhabi Airport in line with managed and anticipated projections,” said Rudy Vercelli, ADAC’s chief executive officer. With growth still largely attributed to the airport’s home airline – Etihad Airways – and its increasing network of new destinations and frequencies, figures for the month of May alone showed a slight departure from the airport’s more recent growth rates by posting a solid 56.2 percent increase compared to the same month in 2007. However ADAC officials are keen to place May’s impressive growth figures in the context of the other influencing factors including the residual effects Gulf Air’s withdrawal from Abu Dhabi Airport had while Etihad was establishing its operations and network. Vercelli explains: “The transition of a major home-based airline departing and a new one starting up is a rare occurrence at an airport and will obviously have an impact on our numbers. “The occasional peaks in growth rates can be as much to do with services

Figures also revealed in ADAC’s monthly traffic report included the top five city destinations served from Abu Dhabi in May, representing 17.1 percent of the total passengers through the airport: Doha (31,296), London (25,486), Cairo (23,656), Bahrain (20,018) and Manila (18,215). As a whole, the Indian market currently remains the largest and most active to and from the UAE capital with figures further revealing that both India and Saudi Arabia are primary drivers of growth. The month of May saw a 50.32 percent increase of passengers to and from India and 51.01 percent increase in traffic between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, largely due to the success of Etihad and the new Jet Airways, Sama Airlines and Nas Air routes now operating to these key destinations. In line with this expansion, Terminal 3, due to be fully operational by the end of October this year will add an additional five million capacity to Abu Dhabi Airport, taking total capacity to 12 million per year. With thousands of square metres of additional retail space offering premium brands not available in other duty free outlets in the region, along with additional immigration and handling facilities, passengers can soon expect a new and enhanced travel experience out of the UAE capital.

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Rezidor Announces Two New Hotels In Dubai

The Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the fastest growing hotel companies worldwide, will strengthen its UAE property portfolio with the launch of two new hotels in the DMCC Business Park - a 13.8 hectare free zone authority offering 50-year guaranteed tax holiday, 100 per cent business ownership, and a secure regulated environment. The dual Rezidor property, which will open in Q3 2011, will encompass the 150 room Radisson DMCC Business Park Hotel, Dubai and a second yet unbranded 300 room hotel in a 32 storey complex located at the centre of the development. “Dubai is the economic heart of the United Arab Emirates and a very important market for us. These two new contracts bring our portfolio in the emirate to 10 properties in operation and under development – among them are the award winning Radisson SAS Dubai Deira Creek and Radisson SAS Dubai Media City,” said Kurt Ritter, President & CEO, Rezidor. Being developed in conjunction with DMCC - the Dubai Government’s strategic initiative to establish a commodity market place in the emirate - the two hotels will play an important role in meeting the development’s demand for high-end, shortstay business accommodation solutions. “DMCC Business Park has been launched to meet the needs of the growing business community in Dubai, and will be a mixed used development. The double-branded hotel tower will prove to be of great value in catering to the varied interests of all our members and the Business Park. We are pleased to tie up with the Rezidor Group which brings its special expertise to this project,” said Bryan Wilson, Executive Director – Property at DMCC. The Radisson DMCC Business Park Hotel, Dubai will boast three restaurants, a bar and restaurant, a lobby area with an executive lounge, a ballroom, meeting rooms and fitness facilities as well as ample parking space. The second hotel will comprise a restaurant, lobby lounge, meetings rooms, fitness facilities and further restaurants which will be shared with the adjoining Radisson property. “These hotels will play an important role in strengthening the Rezidor brand both here in the UAE and in the wider Middle East markets. Our partnership with DMCC, and their decision to appoint us to manage their properties, is a testament to our strengthening reputation here in the emirate,” said JeanMarc Busato, Area Vice President, Rezidor.


Experts laud impressive growth of KSA tourism and travel sector Experts laud impressive growth of KSA tourism and travel sector Elaf Group, one of the premium leaders in travel, tourism and hospitality industry in the Kingdom of Saudi

Arabia (KSA), has announced that it expects the tourism and travel sector to perform well in 2008, based on the remarkable economic growth achieved by the Kingdom in recent years. Elaf pointed to reports and surveys affirming an economic boom throughout the Gulf due to high oil prices, which in turn have boosted the volume of private and public investments in religious and leisure tourism; infrastructure; and real estate. The KSA has benefited significantly

from this trend as it has the appropriate cultural, educational, and social foundations to attract both regional and international tourists. Ziyad Ahmed Bin Mahfouz, recently appointed Elaf Group’s CEO by the Saudi Economic and Development Company “SEDCO”, said: “Tourism generates several job opportunities in the KSA and 12 per cent of work prospects throughout the world. It is also a major investment attraction, which is what we want to take advantage of. We have various hotels in Jeddah, Riyadh, Abha and Najran, which have contributed in raising nationalization rates from 30% to 60% per cent in the upcoming 3 years.” “Elaf will focus its strategy on leveraging the emergence of tourism as an important economic sector for Saudi Arabia and the world; we are particularly interested in advancing religious tourism. We will develop domestic and international services that will cater to the unique needs of tourists who wish to visit the Kingdom for religious reasons through our offices in Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and the United Kingdom,” added Bin Mahfouz. “Our successful efforts to find the right marketing strategy for the KSA tourism sector, especially its religious

niche, helped the industry generate SAR 7.6 billion in revenues in 2007. Our team continues to provide high quality personalized services to our local and international clients as we sustain efforts to introduce the KSA’s unique brand of tourism to new markets.” Said Tarek Hashem Nabulsi, Deputy CEO of Elaf Group The KSA’s tourism sector is also enhancing its leisure segment, with emphasis on the domestic market. The industry currently offers various summer programs such as sports competitions highlighted by an annual soccer championship featuring first-class clubs from Arab and European leagues. There are also poetry competitions held in cafés and during festivals; and various educational, cultural and religious activities such as free religious classes to interested travelers. “We are committed to implement ambitious plans that will complement the KSA Government’s strategies to further encourage domestic tourism and enhance the overall travel sector. We are pleased to observe that several local companies have signed various agreements and commercial deals related to the promotion and marketing of the Kingdom’s travel and tourism sector,” concluded Bin Mahfouz.

Another Successful Summer Camp at the Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi The annual Summer Camp at the Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi witnessed another year of success bustling with fun and activities for kids from the age 4 to 10 and supervised by professional trainers throughout the three long summer months. Kids from different nationalities and cultures come together to learn and enjoy the action-packed programme featuring dancing, singing, swimming, drawing, painting, colouring, watching videos and films, solving puzzles and educative quizzes but topping all that is getting involved in the day to day hotel operations and learning the ins and outs of working in a Hotel. For example cooking with the chefs in the kitchen, making beds with the housekeeping, folding napkins, setting the tables, flower arrangements and others. In addition to tantalizing breakfast and lunch buffets, and at the end the kids are presented with a gift and a certificate. "The aim of such camps is to discover the hidden talents of the children and brush up their skills and give them a chance to experience and learn something different with other children of various ages and backgrounds in a totally different ambience," says Moine Kandil, the General Manager of the Millennium who is a strong believer that these camps are tremendously beneficial in keeping the minds of the kids working throughout the summer giving them power to start afresh their scholastic year.

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IHG Launches Staybridge Suites Brand in Kuwait InterContinental Hotels Group and Bukhamseen Group Holding Company have signed an agreement to introduce IHG’s upscale extended-stay brand to Kuwait. The signing initiates the

development of two Staybridge Suites properties in Kuwait city - one in the Salmiya district and one in the Farwaniya airport area.

Established in 1997, Staybridge Suites is an innovative all-suite hotel brand whose flexible approach and blend of the domestic environment with traditional hotel services is expected to bridge the gap between conventional hotels and serviced apartments. As such, Staybridge Suites will appeal to a wide range of travel needs, from those in town on business or looking for a ‘home from home’ experience while on holiday to those relocating to the area or even seeking temporary housing during household renovations. “The outstanding performance of Staybridge Suites in the US has demonstrated the viability and growth of the extended-stay segment worldwide,” commented John Bamsey, IHG’s Chief Operating Officer, Middle East and Africa. “Building on this success, IHG is bringing its upscale extended stay brand to the Middle East where we aim to lead the market by setting new standards and clearly differentiating ourselves from the apartment-style concepts currently on offer. We have a longstanding relationship with Bukhamseen Group following our initial cooperation in launching the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands, and we are happy to be partnering with them again to introduce Staybridge Suites to the Kuwaiti market.” Staybridge Suites Salmiya, opening in November 2009, will comprise of

120 well-appointed suites. The property will be located in Kuwait city’s prime commercial and residential area, Salmiya, which is in close proximity to tourist attractions including the Marine Museum and Shaab Leisure Park, as well as a variety of shopping malls and restaurants. An extension to the existing Crowne Plaza Kuwait, one of Kuwait’s signature hotels, the country’s second Staybridge Suites property is expected to open in January 2010. Staybridge Suites Farnawiya will feature 150 suites and will be conveniently situated near Kuwait International Airport and a short walk from the business area as well as major shopping malls and dining outlets. Jawad Bukhamseen, Chairman of Bukhamseen Group Holding, said: “The government is investing heavily in Kuwait’s travel and tourism industry, and over the next 20 years we will witness substantial growth, especially in business tourism development. Partnering with IHG in introducing Staybridge Suites to Kuwait is inline with the country’s direction to offer a diversified hospitality environment to cater for all types of travellers. Our partnership with IHG is founded on the basis of innovation and leading Kuwait’s hospitality industry forward with a variety of internationallybranded accommodation choices as the market matures.”

Jet Airways begins daily direct flights from Dubai Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, commenced its daily flights from Dubai to Mumbai and Delhi, the airlines’ twentieth international destination, since August 23, 2008. Dubai will be the sixth destination in the airline’s Gulf network and the second in the UAE. Jet Airways’ Dubai flights will complement the airline’s daily services to Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Bahrain, Muscat and Doha from various gateway points in India. Jet Airways will deploy its dual-class, stateof-the-art Airbus 330-200 aircraft on these routes, featuring its acclaimed herringboneconfigured Première, and its spacious new Economy class. Announcing the launch of these new flights Mr. Naresh Goyal, Chairman, Jet Airways said,

76 I Travel Arabia I September

“All of us at Jet Airways are extremely happy to have connected an important destination such as Dubai with Delhi and Mumbai. Dubai is not only one of the most exciting cities in the world but also has been traditionally a very popular business, employment and leisure destination. The demand for a premiere service on the comparative India-Dubai sector remains high, and we are confident that with our superior inflight product, world class service and unbeatable pan – Indian connectivity will prove extremely popular with the traveling public on this sector.” On the Mumbai-Dubai sector, flight 9W 544 will depart Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 1840 hrs and will arrive at Dubai International Airport at 2015 hrs. On the return leg, flight 9W 543 will depart Dubai

International Airport at 2145 hrs and will arrive at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai at 0215 hrs. On the Delhi-Dubai sector, flight 9W 548 will depart Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport at 1840 hrs and will arrive at Dubai International Airport at 2025 hrs. On the return leg, flight 9W 547 will depart Dubai International Airport at 2255 hrs and will arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi at 0335 hrs. Customers can connect to 18 destinations across 3 continents and 42 destinations within India. Interline and code share agreements with our Airline Partners provide an enhanced network of international destinations across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.


Emaar brings water fountain to Burj Dubai Lake Emaar Properties will bring a world-class permanent water fountain with an integral light and sound show in Downtown Burj Dubai. This new iconic feature is set to be a global waterengineering marvel and will be one of the city’s major tourist attractions, expected to draw over 10 million visitors annually. The fountain in Burj Dubai Lake will be Dubai’s complement to the world’s elegant water fountains. The total development value of the Burj Dubai Lake, the fountain and its advanced filtrations systems is AED 800 million (US$218 million). At over 900 ft (275 metres) in length – equivalent to that of over two football fields - it is about 25 per cent larger than The Fountains at Bellagio in Las Vegas in area. Powerful water nozzles shoot water sprays to heights of over 500 ft (150 metres) – equivalent to that of a 50-storey building. Over 6,600 lights and 50 colour projectors create a vibrant visual spectrum of over 1,000 different water expressions that will appeal to visitors. Different combinations of water-forms perform to selected musical pieces – chosen from a range of classical to contemporary Arabic and world music. The fountain is positioned next to Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building, and The Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destinations. Mr Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties PJSC, said: “The fountain on Burj Dubai Lake is more than a visual spectacle that adds to the aesthetics of Downtown Burj Dubai. It is an engineering marvel and will further contribute to Dubai’s rich array of tourist attractions.” Highlighting the historic significance of water fountains for the Arab world, Mr Alabbar said: “Water fountains have been an integral component of the region’s civilization with several ancient monuments and palace gardens in the region featuring large utilitarian and decorative fountains. The fountain in Burj Dubai Lake creates a new dimension to Downtown Burj Dubai and will create another social hub and community space for Dubai’s residents and visitors to get together.”

78 I Travel Arabia I September

WAFI awards winners with The Treasure of Khan Murjan For the official launch of Khan Murjan, Wafi offered visitors to Khan Murjan the chance to win ‘The Treasure of Khan Murjan’, which was not one, but two prizes of 50,000dhs in WAFI vouchers. ‘The Treasure of Khan Murjan’ was a free competition for anyone who visited Khan Murjan, completed a coupon and placed it into the raffle boxes as part of the celebration of the birth of the legendary new souk at the heart of Wafi. There were a total of twenty finalists announced on each of the radio stations Dubai 92 and Al Khalijia. The final draw was made at the beginning of this year’s prestigious Dubai Summer Surprises and the two lucky winners were ecstatic to receive the phone call from the radio presenters. The 50,000dhs winner from Dubai 92 who was called by Catboy & Geordiebird on the Breakfast Show was Nick Peters. The 50,000dhs winner from Khaleek Fresh was lucky lady Elham Ali Abdulrahman. The winners are pictured here with the presenters, Victoria Smith, Marketing Director for Wafi Group of Companies and Layla Al Harmoudi, Marketing Manager for Wafi.


September I Travel Arabia I 79


A glimpse into the world of jewellery designing Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group (DGJG) and International Gemological Institute (IGI) recently conducted a three-weeks jewellery designing programme for professionals and jewellery enthusiasts. Conducted by professional coaches from IGI, the training programme was aimed at meeting the needs, requirements and design standards of the international jewellery industry. “As jewellery customers have become more and more fashion conscious, there is a strong demand for unique and beautifully crafted designs, “said Swapna Nair, General Manager of Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group. “This has led to a renewed interest in jewellery design as a profession and we are committed to providing the best quality educational programmes in association with IGI to meet the needs of the industry.” The programme is ideal for aspiring jewellery professionals, students, homemakers, and established designers who need that extra edge to stand out in the market or start a new business. “Our jewellery designing programmes that were initially available only in India, have proved to be exceptionally successful in Dubai and we are happy at the positive response it has gained. Today, Dubai has become the center of our educational programmes for students from the U.A.E, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Nigeria and many others. This further cements Dubai’s position as the regional industry hub, “says Roland Lorié, CEO, IGI. Comprehensively packaged, the IGI Professional Jewellery Design Programme comprises study of the components of jewellery (gemstones and precious metals), principles, elements and inspirations of design, keeping practical limitations in mind. IGI has been a pioneer in gemological courses that are today available in 11 languages targeting students from over 95 different countries. “Our instructors are highly skilled gemologists and jewellery designers who have a single-minded objective to provide intense hands on experience that translate into a high level of student competence and expertise,” added Ms. Lata Manghnani, General Manager, IGI Dubai. All students received a fully equipped design kit and complete Lab manual. On successful completion of the course, they were awarded the internationally recognized ‘Diploma in Professional Jewellery Design’ issued by IGI, Antwerp, Belgium.

80 I Travel Arabia I September

Dubai Airports launches new Al Majlis VIP facility

New brand identity and upgraded services unveiled Dubai, July 1, 2008: Dubai Airports launched at a ceremony today the all new Al Majlis VIP facility at Dubai International. The new brand identity for the dedicated facility, as well as its wide range of upgraded services was also unveiled at the ceremony. Ideally located close to Dubai International’s Terminal 3, the nearly 3,400 square-metre new Al Majlis VIP facility offers exclusive services for affluent travellers – both corporate and individuals, whether they are arriving, setting off or in transit. Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, formally launched the Al Majlis VIP facility, said, “At Dubai Airports, we are constantly seeking to add value to our product offerings, and enhance the quality of customer service. The new Al Majlis VIP facility is a reflection of that very approach of Dubai Airports. A dedicated, state-of-the-art facility for Al Majlis means that we have the

additional capacity and the latest in technology to enable us to serve our customers better.” Commenting on the launch of the service at a larger, dedicated building, Huraiz Bin Huraiz, Vice President of Commercial Unit at Dubai Airports, said the demand for Al Majlis services has been increasing steadily in recent years. “The number of customers we serve at Al Majlis has been increasing at an average annual rate of almost 15 per cent. We served nearly 70,000 customers in 2007 and achieved sales revenues in excess of AED33.13 million. This year we expect to serve 85,000 customers,” he said. Widely popular among businessmen, celebrities, and families alike, the Al Majlis VIP facility offers a hassle-free travel experience. While the customer relaxes at one of the 17 private lounges or shops at the Al Majlis’ own Dubai Duty Free, a private escort takes care of all formalities – from check-in to immigration. Family guests of Al Majlis are assigned a female personal assistant upon arrival. Other facilities at Al Majlis include limousine drop and pick-up between the aircraft and the facility, and special doorstep delivery of baggage upon request. The Al Majlis VIP facility also offers Wifi connectivity, a variety of light snacks and hot and cold beverages, separate prayer rooms for men and women, money exchange and facilities that create convenience for people with special needs from kerb to the aircraft.


Wataniya Airways Is Born A new era of aviation in the Gulf began with the announcement that Kuwait’s new premium airline will be called Wataniya Airways. Company Chairman Abdulsalam Al Bahar and Chief Executive George Cooper revealed the name and the distinctive new corporate identity and airline colours following the General Assembly of the company’s holding company – Kuwait National Airways. Wataniya Airways is the first shorthaul premium airline to be launched anywhere in the world in the past several years and has been created to meet the specific needs of the Kuwaiti traveler – among the most travelled and discerning passengers in the world. Services will commence from January 2009 and will offer a point to point service from Kuwait to destinations south and west of the country in the Gulf and Middle East – providing flight schedules and destinations that focus on Kuwaiti needs. Unveiling the name and visual identity Wataniya Airways Chairman Abdulsalam Al Bahar said: “This is a very proud day for us and we are confident that Wataniya Airways will quickly become a new symbol of Kuwait and the Kuwaiti people. We selected the name Wataniya because we intend to be a truly national airline for Kuwaiti travelers. “Our commitment to Kuwait is also

shown in the design and the colours we have chosen. On the tailfin of our aircraft we will feature that most potent and internationally known symbol of our country – the Kuwait Towers. “The research we have undertaken has shown that Kuwaitis prefer to fly when they can with an airline from their country and we believe having such a powerful image on our planes will reinforce that pride every time a Kuwaiti flies with Wataniya Airways. “In addition to its richness and Royal connotations, the colour purple we have chosen is also a provocative international reflection of the passion, commitment to evolution and leadership position we intend to secure in the short-haul premium airline sector in the region.” Wataniya Airways will start operations with a fleet of two Airbus A320 aircraft offering unparalleled room and comfort for all passengers with the lowest seat density of an A320 of any scheduled airline in the world. There will be a total of only 122 seats on the aircraft that will offer legroom and space that cannot be found on any comparable scheduled aircraft anywhere in the world. Chief Executive George Cooper added: “This is a major step towards ensuring Wataniya Airways becomes a unique premium airline that will deliver a truly outstanding service to

The Westin wows in first month of operations

The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina has proved to be THE place to be seen in Dubai, as the five-star hotel beat all forecast figures to record a 73% occupancy in its first month of operations. The resort property, located on the fringes of the Arabian Sea on Dubai’s prestigious Jumeirah coastline, opened on May 11, marking the brand’s entry into the Middle East market. The hotel’s prime location and strong marketing of the Westin brand have contributed to its success on opening. “We have been delighted by the tremendous response we have received since opening. We have a beautiful property here that is ideal for both business and leisure travellers and it is great to see so many satisfied guests in our opening month,” said Michael Scully, Complex General Manager, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina and The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina. “Mina Seyahi as a complex has developed a strong position in the market, and that coupled with the Westin brand, has helped us to create something truly memorable here which we hope will see guests returning year after year,” he added. Since opening in May, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina has enjoyed success with a number of international markets, with

our customers both in the air and on the ground. We have a world-class team of aviation professionals who are now in place to deliver a new kind of flying experience to Kuwait and the region. It takes time to develop a quality product, but we now have the right people, the right product and the right business model for success.” One of Europe’s leading brand consultancies, the Peter Schmidt Group, has been engaged for the development of the Wataniya Airways brand and corporate image. The company has wide ranging experience in the aviation industry and has worked in the past for Lufthansa, Germanwings and Air Madagascar.

UK, German and European travellers flocking to its sandy white beaches and stylish interiors. The hotel, which also boasts 15,000 square metres of function space, has proved a big hit with corporate travellers too, with companies already taking advantage of The Westin’s dedicated Italiandesigned conference centre with seven state-of-the-art venues. Dubai residents have also been enjoying the flavour of the new Westin, with the hotel’s dining portfolio proving a big hit. The Westin’s new concept dining includes a contemporary grill with open kitchen, international tapas with live entertainment, stylish wine bar and lobby outlets that are wicked in their indulgence. “Already, Mina Seyahi has a name in the market for innovative dining concepts, so for The Westin we have really raised the bar and created an innovative repertoire of dining options, which are proving popular with our in-house guests and local residents alike,” Scully said.

September I Travel Arabia I 81


TRAVEL DIRECTORY

ALGERIA

ALGERIA

GENERAL INFORMATION

82 I Travel Arabia I September

may have a mixture of 127 and 220 volts.

Area

Algiers (920 Km from city centre)

Visas

2,381,741 Sq.Kms

Annaba (12 Km from city centre)

Visas are required by all except nationals of

Population

Constantine (9 Km from city centre)

Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya,

33,739,635 (2008 est.)

Wahran 910 Km from city centre)

Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan,Syria, Tunisia,

Capital

Tlemcen (20 Km form city centre)

Yemen, Andorra Denmark, Finland, Guinea,

El-Djazair (Algiers)

No airport tax on departure

Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Leichenstein, Mali, Monaco,

Main Cities

Ports

Norway, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland

Algiers, Wahran/Oran,

Algiers (principal), Annaba, Oran, Skikda,

Customs Regulations

Constantine, Annaba Al-Boulaida,

Mostaganem, Bejaia

200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 400 gr of

Si di Bel-Abbes, Setif, Tizi Ousou.

Business Hours

tobacco and 1 bottle of wine are admitted free

Temperature/climate

Government offices and state Enterprises

of Duty

Summer: 27 to 32C

08.00 to 17.00 Sat to Wed

Currency regulations

Coast temperature,13 to 24C

0800 to 12.00 Thu

Any amount of foreign currency may be taken

Winter:Temperature variations inland,dropping to

Banks

into Algeria but is prohibited to take any Algerian

as little as 10C in the Sahara at night

09.00 to 16.00 Sat to Wed

currency into or out of the country. Proof of all

Languages

08.00 to 12.00 Thu

foreign exchange transactions must be presented

Arabic (official)

Electricity

on departure.All foreign visitors must change a

French (commercial)

220 volts (110 volts in some areas).

minimum of AD 1000.

Berber (in rural areas)

A continental adapter is necessary 127 volts or

Currency

3-phase 127/220/380 AC 50 cycles. Hotels

1 Algerian dinar (AD) =100 Centimes

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES Argentina 718683 643843 7 Rue Hamani Australia 40593300 592081 7 Rue Jean Rey, 75724 Paris cedex, France Austria 562699 567352 Les Vergers,Rue No.2 DZ-16330 Bir Mourad Rais Bangladesh 594805 603629 14 Ave.des Frères Oughlis Belgium 922446 925036 22 Chemin Youssef Tayebi,El-Biar Brazil 749575 749687 48 Boulevard Mohammad V Bulgaria 691514 691787 13 Boulevard Bougara,El Biar Canada 914951 693920 18 Mustafa Khaled St.,P.O.Box 48 China 692724 693056 34 Boulevawrd Des Martyrs Colombia 922090 923817 7 Avenue Malika Gaid,El-Biar Cote D’ivoire 692828 693683 Parc Paradeaux P.O.Box 710,Hydra Czech Republic 692274 693031 P.O.Box 999,Villa Malika Denmark 692234 692846 12 Ave.Emile Marquis,Hydra Egypt 691807 692952

Airports

P.O.Box 297,Hydra Finland 691212 691637 P.O.Box 256 Hydra France 692488 691369 25 Chemin Gaddouche,Hydra Germany 741956 740521 P.O.Box 664,165 Chemin Sfindja Greece 600855 691655 60 Blvd.Col.Bougara Holy See 623430 572375 1 Rue Noureddine Mekiri 16090 Bologhine Hungary 691709 694431 P.O.Box 68 ,El-Mouradia India 923444 924011 14 Rue Des Ambassades Iraq 603125 601097 4 Rue Arezki Abri,Hydra Italy 292330 793766 18 Rue Mohammad Ouidir,Amellal Al-Biar Japan 912004 912046 1 Chemin Al Bakri,El-Biar Jordan 692031 691554 6 Rue Chenoua,Hydra Korea Repub 692076 693014 21 Rue Stambuli El-Mouradia Kuwait 693408 693037 Chemin Abdel Kader Gaddouche

Lebanon 594977 692397 Rue Du Hoggar,Hydra Libya 921502 924687 15 Chemin Sheikh Bashir Ibrahimi Mauritania 792139 784274 107 Lot Baranes,Air de France, Bouzareah Mexico 924023 923451 P.O.Box 329,El –Biar Netherlands 922828 923770 P.O.Box 72 El-Biar Nigeria 691849 691175 P.O.Box F629,Hydra Oman 941310 941375 126 Rue Didouche Mourad Pakistan 693781 692212 P.O.Box 621,Djeann El-Malik,Hydra Poland 922553 37 Ave.Mustafa Ali Khodja,El-Biar Portugal 925313 92541 12 Lot El-Feth El-Biar Qatar 922856 922415 P.O.Box 118,Bin Aknoun Romania 690871 693642 24 Rue Arezki Abri, Hydra Russia 783134 782882 Chemin Prince D’Amman El-Biar Saudi Arabia 603518

4 Rue Arezki Abri,Hydra Spain 922713 922719 10 Rue Azil Ali Sweden 692300 691917 Rue Olof Palme Nouveau Paradou,Hydra Switzerland 737310 738158 P.O.Box 482,27 Boulevard Zirout Youssef Syria 912026 912030 11 Chemin A.Gaddouche Hydra Tunisia 691388 692316 11 Rue Du Bois De Bologne Hydra Turkey 691257 693161 Chemin De La Rochelle, Blv Col.Bourgara UAE 692574 593770 P.O.Box 454 El Mouradia UK 230068 230067 P.O.Box 8,7 Chemin DES Glycines USA 691255 693979 4,CHEMIN Sheikh Bashir El-Ibrahimi Yemen 693085 691758 Villa 41,Ave.Les Verges Venezuela 693846 607555 Chemin du Kadous Hydra Zaire 591227 5 Rue Saint Georges,Kouba


BAHRAIN KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Business Hours

Customs regulations

Area

Government Offices

200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, 250g of loose

716 Sq.Km

07.30 to 14.30 Sat. to Wed.

tobacco, 8 oz of perfume, 1 liter of wine and gifts

Population

Commercial Offices

up to the value of BD 250.00

(2007 estimate) 1,046,819

07.30 to 12.30 and 15:30 to 19:30 Sat to

Capital

GENERAL INFORMATION

Thu.

Currency regulations

Manama

Banks

There are no restrictions on the amount of

Main Cities

7.30 to 14.00 from Sunday to Wendesday.

currency bring in/take out of Bahrain.

Manama, Muharraq Town, Isa Town, Jidhafs,

Thrusdays bank are open from 7.30 to 13.00

Currency

Rifaa.

but closed on Friday and Saturday.

1 Bahraini dinar (BHD)=1.000 FILS

Temperature/climate

Electricity

Qatari riyal and UAE dirham are exchangeable at

Summer: 40 to 45 C,hot, humid.

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

rate of DH 10 or QR 10=BHD 1.

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

three-phase AC.

Languages

Visas

Arabic (official), and English (commercial).

Visas required for all except GCC and UK

Airport

nationals.

Muharraq (505 Km from Manama)

Tourist visas available at Bahraini embassies or

Taxis, hotel reservations, duty free shop Airport

on arrival at entry points-Bahrain Airport or the

tax on depature BHD 3.

King Fahd Causeway from Saudi Arabia.

Ports Mina Sulman

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES

Algeria 713669 P.O.Box 26402,Manama Bangladesh P.O.Box 26718,Manama 714717 Belgium P.O.Box 5820,Manama China P.O.Box 3150,Manama Denmark P.O.Box 997,Manama Egypt P.O.Box 818,Manama

224631 723800 725119 720005

France P.O.Box 11134,Manama 291734 Germany P.O.Box 10306,Manama 530210 Greece P.O.Box 5790,Manama India P.O.Box 26106,Adiliya

Iran P.O.Box 26365,Manama 722400

722101

New Zealand P.O.Box 5881,Mnama

210284

210271

Sweden P.O.Box 412,Mnama

531085

530063

710031

Iraq P.O.Box 26477,Manama 786929

786220

Norway P.O.Box 10580,Manama 531480

530158

Switzerland P.O.Box 795,Manama

227811

224623

229994

Japan P.O.Box 23720,Manama 716565

715059

Oman P.O.Box 26414,Manama 293663

293540

Tunisia P.O.Box 26911,Manama 714149

715702

727304

Jordan P.O.Box 5242,Manama

291980

Pakistan P.O.Box 563,Manama

255960

Turkey P.O.Box 10821, Manama 533448

536557

826582

Korea Rep P.O.Box 11700,Manama 291629

291628

Palestine P.O.Box 1102

276054

UAE P.o.Box 26505, Manama 723737

727343

721518

Kuwait P.O.Box 786,Manama

536475

Philippines P.O.Box 26681,Manama 710200

710300

UK P.O.Box 114, Manama

534404

531273

293655

Lebanon P.O.Box 2102,Manama

784998

Portugal P.O.Box11030,Manama 531533

272594

536282

Libya P.O.Box 26062,Adliya

262358

713662

291109

534040 786994

259211 712785

Netherlands P.O.Box 350,Manama

715527

224320

276099

530445

USA P.O.Box 26431, Manama 273300

Russia P.O.Box 26612,Manama 725222

725921

Yemen P.O.Box 26193,Manama 277072

740178

Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 1085,Manama

537722

533261

212295

Sudan P.O.Box 5438,Manama

252546

252578

714162

Morocco P.O.Box 26229,Manama 740566

244113

September I Travel Arabia I 83


EGYPT

EGYPT

GENERAL INFORMATION Area

997.738 sq.Km

Population (2008 est.) 80 million

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES Afghanistan 4177236 4177230 59 El Ourouba St. Heliopolis Algeria 3407671 3414158 14 Al-Brazil Street, P.O.Box 39, Zamalek Argentina 3401501 3414355 8 Al-Saleh Ayoub street,Zamalek Australia 5750444 5781638 1191 Corniche El-Nile, Boulaq Austria 5702974 5702979 5 Wissa Wassef St.Giza Bahrain 3407996 3416609 15 Brazil Street,Zamalek 3407996 3416609 Bangladesh 3402642 3412631 47 Ahmed Heshmat Str.Zamalek Belgium 3547494 3543147 20 Kamel El-Shinnawi St.Garden City 1125 Brazil 5756938 761040 Corniche El-Nile Maspero Bulgaria 3543110 3563548 6 El-Malek El-Afdal Street, Zamalek Canada 3543110 3563548 5 El-Saraya El-Kobra Square,Garden City China 3411219 3409459 22 Bahgat Ali Street,Zamalek Cyprus 3411288 3415299 23 A Ismail Mohammad Street,Zamalek Czech Republic 3485469 3608089 4 Dokki St.,Giza

84 I Travel Arabia I September

Local airports at Aswan, Hurghada, Luxor, Sharm

declared on entry.

El –Seikh.

Goods valued up to £E100 may be

Ports

exported.200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 200

Alexandria (principal), Port Said, Suez, Damietta,

gms tobacco,1 litre wine or spirits.

Safaga.

Capital

Business Hours

Cairo

Government: 08.00 to 14.00 Sat.to Wed,08.00

Main Cities

to 13.00 Thu,10.00 to 12.00 Sun.

Cairo,Alexandria,Ismalia,Port Said.

Businesses: Variable (some closed on Fri, others

Temperature/climate

on Sun.)

The import or export of Egyptian currency is

Banks

Winter: 9 to 22 C in Cairo.

09.00 TO 13.30 Mon.to Thu.,10.00 to 12.00

More temperature along Mediterranean coasts

Sun.

“Khamsin” (hot,dry wind in Spring)

Electricity

Languages

220/240 volts 50 cycles AC in Maadi and

Arabic, ( official),English and French (

Heliopolis some 110 volts, 50 cycles AC.

commercial).

Visas

Airports

Visas are required by all foreign visitors except

Cairo (22.5 Km from city centre).

most Arab nationals.

Coaches/taxis,duty-free shop,airport tax on

Customs regulations

departure.Alexandria (8 Km from city centre)

Currency,jewellery and other valuables must be Lebanon 3610623 5 Ahmad Nesim Street,Giza Libya 3402487 7 El-Saleh Ayoub,Zamalek Mauritania 3490671 14 Mohu El-din Abou El-Ezz St.,Dokki Mexico 5716156 6 Ahmed Shawki Street,Giza Morocco 3409849 10 Salaheddine Street,Zamalek Netherlands 3401936 18 Hassan Sabri Street,Zamalek Norway 3413955 8 El-Gezira St.Zamalek Oman 3031708 52 El-Hegaz Street, Mohandiseen Pakistan 3487504 8 Al-Salouli St. Dokki Portugal 3363950 57 El- Giza St.,Giza Qatar 3604693 10 El-Themar St.,Dokki , Giza Romania 3410107 4 Aziz Abaza Street, Zamalek Russia 3489354 95 Giza St,Giza Saudi Arabia 3490797 2 Ahmad Nessim St.,

prohibited.All receipts for the exchange of foreign currency into Egyptian pounds should be kept to be presented on departure.

Currency 1 Egyptian pound(£E)=100 piastres=1.000

Summer 22 to 35 C in Cairo,

Denmark 3402505 3411780 12 Hassan Sabri Street,Zamalek Finland 3411487 3421376 3 Abdul Feda Sreet,Zamalek France 5703920 5710276 29 El-Giza Street, Giza Germany 3410015 3410530 8 Hassan Sabri Street,Zamalek Greece 3547200 3563903 18 Aisha El-Taimouria St.Garden City Holy See 3402250 3406152 Apostolic Nunciature 5 Mohammad Mazhar Street Hungary 3408634 3408648 29 Mohammad Mazhar Street, Zamalek India 3413051 3414038 5 Aziz Abaza Street,Zamalek Iraq 3408087 3415075 9 Mohammad Mazhar St.,Zamalek Italy 3543194 3540657 15 Abdel Rahman Fahmi St. Garden City Japan 3553963 3563540 2 Abdel Qader St.,Garden City Jordan 3485566 3601027 6 El Guhaini Street,Dokki,Giza Kenya 3453628 3443400 7 El-Mohandis Galal St.Mohandisin Kuwait 3602661 3602657 12 Nabil Al-Wakad Street,Dokki

Currency regulations

3610463

3489060 5783040 3400937 3415249 3420709 3036464 3480310 3363952 3603618 3410151 3609074 3494590

millimes.

Singapore 3490468 40 Babel Street, Dokki Slovakia 3486550 4 Dokki St. Dokki Spain 3406397 44 Ismail Mohammed St.Zamalek Sudan 3545658 3 El Ibrahimi Street, Garden City Sweden 3411484 13 Mohammad Mazhar St.Zamalek Switzerland 3402250 10 Abed Al Khalek Sarwat St. Syria 3358320 18 Abdel Rahim Sabri St. Dokki Thailand 3408356 2 Malik El-Afdal St.Zamalek Tunisia 3408962 26 El-Gezira street,Zamalek Turkey 3563318 25 El-Falaki Street,Bab el-Louq UAE 3609722 4 Ibn Sina St.,Giza UK 3540850 7 Ahmed Ragheb St.,Garden City USA 3557371 5 Latin America Str.,Garden City Yemen 3614225 28 Amin El-Rifaii Street,Dokki

3481682

3547359 3542693 3404357 5745236 3358232 3400340 3412479 3558110 5700844 3543065 3573200 3604815


IRAQ GENERAL INFORMATION

IRAQ

Visa applications should be made well in advance

Ports

Area

Basra (principal),Fao (oil)

and supported by a written invitation from a

438.317 sq.Km

Government Offices: Summer 08.00 to 14.00

government organization.No admission granted

Population

Sat.to Wed & 08.00 to 13.00 Thu.

to visitors holding passports showing evidence of

29.58 million(2006 est.)

Winter: 08.30 to 14.30

travel to Israel.

Capital

Sat To Wed. and 08.30 to 13.30 Thu.

Visitors must register for stays exceeding

Baghdad

Shops and Firms: Summer 08.30 to 13.00

14 days and exit visas are required for visits

Main Cities

and 16.00 to 20.00 Sat.To Wed.& 08.30 to

exceeding 30 days.Apply to Directorate of

Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Kirkuk

13.00 Thu.

Residence,52nd street Baghdad, Tel:92377 Test

Temperature/climate

Winter:08.30 to 14.30 and 17.00 to 19.00 Sat

for HIV (The Aids Virus) is required.

Summer 24 to 42C in Baghdad,humid,hotter

To Wed and 08.30 to 13.30 Thu.

Customs Regulations Country under UN embargo,The import of most

and more humid in Basra

Banks

More temperature in north.Winter:4 to 16 C in

Summer 08.30 to 12.30 Sat to Wed. and

Baghdad.

08.30 to 11.30 Thu.

Currency

Languages

Winter: 09.00 to 13.00 Sat To Wed. and 09.00

1 Iraqi dinar (ID)= 1.000 FILS

Arabic (official and commercial).

to 12.00 Thu.

Airport

Electricity

Baghdad (17 Km from City Centre)

220 volts,50 cycles AC.

goods is prohibited.

Coaches/taxis,duty free shop-airport tax on

Visas

departure

Visas are required for all visitors except nationals of Egypt, Jordan, and Sudan.

Afghanistan P.O.Box 674 5560562 Algeria P.O.Box 444, Lane 35 5372181 Argentina P.O.Box 2443,Lane 24 7768140 Australia P.O.Box 661, Al Masbah 7193434 Austria P.O.Box 294,Lane 2 7199033 Bahrain P.O.Box 27117, Lane 7 5428945 Bangladesh 75/17/929 Hay Babe 7196367 Belgium Hay Babel,Mahallat 929 7198297 Brazil P.O.Box 2088, Lane 16 5411365 Bulgaria 5568197 Amireyah Embassies Quarter Canada P.O.Box 323,Lane 1 5421459 China P.O.Box 225 5562741 Czech Republic Mansour St., Lane 37 7767367 Denmark

5430275

P.O.Box 2001, Alwiyah 7717052 Egypt P.O.Box 6315,Lane 11 5430572 Finland P.O.Box 2041, Alwiyah 7766271 France P.O.Box 118 7196061 Germany P.O.Box 2036, Lane 2 7192037 Greece 63/3/913 Hay Al-Jamia AL-Jadiriya 7766572 Holy See P.O.Box 2090,Lane 2 7195183 Hungary P.O.Box 2065 7765000 India P.O.Box 4114, Adhaiyah 4222014 Indonesia St. 2, Houre 77, P.O.Box 420 7198680 Italy P.O.Box 2043,Lane 73 7765058 Japan P.O.Box 2369, Lane 17 7195157 Jordan Kindi Quarter 1 sec.213 5412892

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES 7170635

7760488

7180340

7196520

4229549 7198677

7196186

Korea Rep. 915/222/8278, Hay al -Jamia Malaysia 6/14/929 Hay Babel 7762622 Mauritania Al Mansour, Baghdad 5518261 Mexico 601/11/45 Al- Mansour 7198039 Morocco P.O.Box 6039,Lane 11 5421779 Netherlands P.O.Box 2064, Lane 35 7767616 New Zealand P.O.Box 2350 7768176 Norway 20/3/609 Hay-Al Mansour 5410097 Oman P.O.Box 6180, Lane 13 5518198 Pakistan Al-Mansour 14/7/609 5415120 Palestine P.O.Box 3122 7183146 Philippines P.O.Box 3236,Lane 3 7193228 Poland P.O.Box 2051, Lane 13 7190297 Portugal

7765496

P.O.Box 2123,Lane 25 7764953 Qatar P.O.Box 2445,Lane 46 5412186 Romania P.O.Box 2571 7762860 Russia 4/5/605 Al-Moutanabi 5414749 Somalia P.O.Box 2078, Lane 1 5410088 Spain P.O.Box 2072, Lane 1 7192852 Sudan P.O.Box 213, Lane 15 5424889 Sweden P.O.Box 720, Lane 41 7195361 Switzerland P.O.Box 2107, Lane 5 7193091 Thailand P.O.Box 6062, Al-Mansour 5418795 Tunisia P.O.Box 6057,Al Mansour 5517786 Turkey P.O.Box 14001,Waziriya 2220021 UAE P.O.Box 6192, Lane 13 5417026 Yemen P.O.Box 13037,Lane 28 7760647

2228353

September I Travel Arabia I 85


JORDAN

JORDAN

GENERAL INFORMATION

08.30 to 15.30 Sat to Thu Ramadan: 09.30 to 13.30 Sat to Thu.

Currency

92.000 sq.Km

Commercial Offices:

1 Jordanian dinar(JOD)=1.000 fils.

Population

Summer:08.00 to 13.30 and 15.30 to 19.30

Area

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES

on entry is permitted.

(2000 est.) 5 million

Sat to Thu.

Capital

Winter: 08.30 to 13.30 and 15.00 to 18.30

Amman

Sat to Thu.

Main Cities

Banks

Amman, Aqaba, Irbid, Zarka

08.30 to 15.30 Sat. to Thu.

Temperature/climate

Electricity

Summer 18 C to 22 C in Amman,Dry,

220 volts,50 cycles AC.

Winter 4C to 12 C in Amman,dry.

Visas

Languages

Visas required by all and can be obtained from

Arabic (official), English (commercial)

any Jordanian consulate.

Airport

Some visitors may acquire visas on arrival at

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

International airports.

shop,airport tax on departure.

Customs regulations

Port

200 cigarettes,25 cigars or 200 g tobacco,1

Aqaba

bottle of spirits.

Business Hours

Currency regulations

Government Offices:

Export of currency equal to the amount declared

Algeria 4641271 P.O.Box 1223,3rd Circle,Jabal Amman

4616552

France P.O.Box 5348,Mutanabi St. 4641273

Australia 5930246 Bet.4th & 5th Circles,Zahran St.

4616552

Germany Jabal Amman

4612725

Greece P.O.Box 35069

5664190

Holy See Amman

Belgium 5931859 5930487 Hawari Boumedienne St.,Near 4th Circle

Hungary Amman

Brazil Jabal Amman,3rd Circle 5925416 Bulgaria Amman

4659606

Libya Amman

5930351

5932887

Morocco Jabal Amman

5672331

5696591

5929934

5693404

Sudan Jabal Amman

4644251

4644187

5921771

5925185

5930179

Oman Jabal Amman

Sweden 5931177 12 Embassy St. Jabal Amman Jabal Amman 5931416

5686155

5680404

5694059

Pakistan Jabal Weibdeh

4624680

4611633

5925614

5930836

Philippines Amman

5518134

5518441

4612964

India P.O.Box 2168,1st Circle 4623175

4619172

Qatar Jabal Amman

5607311

5607350

4659730

Romania 5667738 Jabal Amman, P.O.Box 2869

5684018

UAE Jabal Amman

5932666

5539393

Italy 4638185 5/7 Hafez Ibrahim St.,Jabal El Webdeh

5934780

5529391

Canada 5666124 P.O.Box 815403,PC 11180

5689227

Japan 5930486 Al-Aqsa Street,Jabal Amman

5931006

Russia Jabal Amman

4641158

4647448

UK 5923100 P.O.Box 87, Abdoun, Amman

5923759

5920101

5920121

4642381

4654717

Austria Jabal Amman Bahrain Jabal Amman

4644635 5664148

5693102

Syria Jabal Amman, 4th Circle 4641935

4651945

Tunisia Jabal Amman

5674307

5605790

Turkey P.O.Box 2062,PC 11181 4641251

4612353

China P.O.Box 2023,PC 11181 5931530

5932607

Kuwait Jabal Amman

5675135

5681971

Saudi Arabia Jabal Amman, 5th Circle 5924154

5921154

USA P.O.Box 354,PC 11181

Egypt Jabal Amman,3rd Circle 5605175

5604082

Lebanon 2nd Circle, Amman

5929111

5929113

Spain Jabal Amman

4614173

Yemen Jabal Amman

86 I Travel Arabia I September

4614167

5930685


KUWAIT

KUWAIT

GENERAL INFORMATION Area

17.8182 sq.Km

Population (2005 estimate) 2.7 million

Capital Kuwait City

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

Temperature/climate Summer 40 to 45 C, dry, dust, storms. Winter cool, some rainfall in November to January.

Languages Arabic (official), English (commercial).

Airport Kuwait (16 Km or 30 mn from city center). Taxis, duty-free shop, no airport tax.

continiuing their journey to a third country bt the

Business Hours

same aircraft,or by passengers transiting within

Government Offices:

24 hours.However,passengers must have tickets

Winter 07.30 to 13.00 Sat to Wed.,

with reserved seats and valid documents for their

07.30 to 11.30 Thu.

onward journey.With visas for a visit sponsored

Summer 07.00 to 13.00 Sat.to Wed.

by a kuwaiti resident a form in duplicate must

Ramadan 08.30 or 09.00 to 13.00 Sat to Thu.

be validated by the Ministery of Interior.For a

Commercial Offices:

visit without a sponsor, form in duplicate can

08.00 to 12.00 and 15.00 to 18.00 Sat.to

be obtained from a Kuwaiti consulate.Some

Wed.08.00 to 12.30 Thu.

Nationals require a No Objection Certificate

Ramadan 08.00 to 14.00 Sat to Thu.

issued by Minister of Interior.

Banks

Customs regulations

08.00 to 12.00 Sat.to Thu.

No alcohol,500 cigarettes,2lb tobacco.

Ramadan 8.30 to 12.30 Sat to Thu.

Currency regulations

Electricity

There are no restrictions on the import or export

240 Volts single-phase

of currency

50 cycles AC

Currency

Visas

1Kuwaiti dinar(KD)=1.000 fils

Visas or entry permits are required in advance by

Ports

all visitors except for nationals of the GCC states.

Mina Abdulla (oil)

Transit visas are not required by passengers

Mina Al Ahmadi (principally oil) Afghanistan 2433075 P.O.Box 22944 Safat,13015 Algeria 2427185 P.O.Box 578,Safat Austria 2467421 P.O.Box 44180,Hawali 32056 Bahrain 5318530 P.O.Box 196,Safat 13002 Bangladesh 2542688 P.O.Box 22344,Safat 13084 Belgium 2561029 P.O.Box 3280,Safat Brazil 2561029 P.O.Box 39761,Safat Bulgaria 5314458 P.O.Box 12090,Kuwait City Canada 2563025 P.O.Box 25281,Safat 13113 China 5330165 P.O.Box 2346,Safat 13024 Cuba 5382024 P.O.Box 23685,Safat 13124 Czech Republic 2529015 P.O.Box 1151,Safat Egypt 2519955 P.O.Box 11252,Safat

Shuwaikh (container,ro-ro, slipway) Shuaiba

5326274 2519497 2449993 5330882 5722018 2562153 2562153 5321453 2560173 5333341 2402971 2529021 2563877

Finland 5312890 P.O.Box 26699,Safat France 5319850 P.O.Box 1037,Safat 13011 Gabon 4830975 P.O.Box 1230,Hawali 32013 Germany 4817055 P.O.Box 5930,Safat 13060 Hungary 5312600 P.O.Box 5671,Safat 13057 India 2530600 P.O.Box 1450,Safat 13015 Indonesia 2514588 P.O.Box 21560, Safat 13076 Iran 2560694 P.O.Box 4686,Safat Italy 2445120 P.O.Box 4453,Safat 13045 Japan 2518155 P.O.Box 2304,Safat 13024 Jordan 2533500 P.O.Box 5242,Safat 13053 Korea Rep. 4814004 P.O.Box 20771,Safat 13068

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES 5324198 2571058

2520763 5313782 2525811 4819250 2529868 2445124 5326168 2570894 2526874

Lebanon 2562103 P.O.Box 253,Safat Libya 3529172 P.O.Box 21460,Safat 13075 Morocco 4813700 P.O.Box 784,Safat 13008 Netherlands 5312650 P.O.Box 21822,Safat Niger 5316802 P.O.Box 44451, Hawali 32059 Nigeria 5320794 P.O.Box 6432,Hawali 32039 Oman 2561962 P.O.Box 21975,Safat 13080 Pakistan 5327649 P.O.Box 988,Safat 1310 Philippines 5329315 P.O.Box 26288,Safat 13123 Poland 2510355 P.O.Box 5066,Safat 13051 Qatar 2513599 P.O.Box 1825,Safat 13019 Romania 4843419 P.O.Box 11149, Dasmah 35152 Russia 5646277 P.O.Box 1765,Safat 13018

2571682 2575182 5317423 5326334 5652943 5320834 2961963 5327648 5329319 2534760 2563428 4848929 5659044

Saudi Arabia 2400250 P.O.Box 20498,Safat 13065 Spain 5325827 P.O.Box 22207,Safat 13083 Sweden 2523588 P.O.Box 21448,Safat Switzerland 2551872 P.O.Box 23954, Safat 13100 Syria 2531164 P.O.Box 25600,Safat 13112 Thailand 5317530 P.O.Box 66647,Bayan 43757 Tunisia 2522416 P.O.Box 5976,Safat Turkey 2531785 P.O.Box 20627,Safat 13067 UAE 2518569 P.O.Box 1828,Safat 13019 UK 2403335 P.O.Box 2,Safat 13001 USA 2424151 P.O.Box 77,Safat 13001 Yugoslavia 4818872 P.O.Box 20511,Safat 13066

2420654 5325826 2564224 5340176 5396509 5317532 2528995 2560653 2526382 2426799 2407368 5327568

September I Travel Arabia I 87


LEBANON

LEBANON

GENERAL INFORMATION Area

10.452 sq.Km

Visitors should check with airport duty-free shops

Capital Beirut

Commercial offices

Main Cities Beirut, Tripoli, Jounieh, Zahle, Sidon, Tyre

Temperature/Climate Summer 23 C to 32 C in Beirut, humid. Winter 11 C to 17 C in Beirut,moist, rainfall, especially in January. Highlands are cooler, with winter snowfalls.

Languages

on current regulations.

Currency regulations

Government offices 08.00 to 14.00 Monday to Thursday. 08.00 to 11.00 Friday, 08 to 13 Saturday.

(2007 estimate) 3.9 million

No Restrictions.

Currency 1500 Lebanese pound(ÂŁLeb)= 1 US dollars.

08.30 to 18.00 Mon.to Fri.

Banks

08.30 to 12.30 Monday to Friday. 08.30 to 12.00 Saturday.

Electricity

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

Visas

Arabic (official), French and English (commercial)

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

Visas are required for all visitors except nationals of Syria.Telex/Fax invitation required from sponsor to be sent to Embassy. Westerners wishing to visit Lebanon can get instant visas at Beirut airport ,seaport or at Lebanese border checkpoints.

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES

88 I Travel Arabia I September

Customs regulations

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

Business Hours

Population

Algeria P.O.Box 4794,Jnah 01/826711 826712 Argentina 01/987900 987903 P.O.Box 11-5245,Starco Area Armenia Rabieh 04/418860 Australia 01/374701 374709 Bliss Street,Ras Beirut Austria 01/217412 217772 Tabaris ,Ashrafieh Bahrain 03/611936 367952 Bliss Street,Itani Bldg Belgium 05/920551 923987 Hebu Building,Baabda Beirut Brazil 05/921138 923001 P.O.Box 166175,Rue Des Antonins,Baabda Bulgaria 01/861352 Raoucheh Canada 0211/6116851 611803 Sheraton Hotel,Damascus Jal el 04/713900 710595 Dib Highway Chile 04/418670 418672 Naccache

Ports

China 01/850315 Ramlet Al-Baida Denmark 01/364264 Ain Mreiseh Egypt 01/867917 Ramlet El-Baida France 01/420000 Hazmieh,Beirut Germany 04/914444 P.O.Box 2820,Rabieh Greece 04/521700 P.O.Box 309,Naccache Hungary 01/898857 Fanar India 01/372811 P.O.Box 113-5240,Kantari St. Iran 01/821230 Bir Hassan Italy 01/985200 Centre Ville,Beirut Japan 01/989751 P.O.Box 3360,Baabda Jordan 05/922500 Baabda

822492 372970 863751 420013 914450 418774

373538 821224 985305 989754 922502

Kuwait 01/822515 Bir Hassan,Jnah Libya 01/806314 805349 Verdun,Beirut Mexico 04/418870 New Naccache Morocco 01/862966 Ain-el-Tineh Pakistan 01/863041 Shell Bldg,Raoucheh Philippines 01/791093 Raoucheh,Beirut Poland 05/468152 Baabda Qatar 01/865271 P.O.Box 6717,Chouran Romania 05/924484 Baabda Russia 01/300042 Mar Elias,Beirut Saudi Arabia 01/860351 Koreitem, Beirut Spain 05/464120 Palace Chehab, Hadath Antounieh

842220

865194 864583 791095 746620 810460 924747 303837 861524 464030

Sudan 01/353270 Mme Curie St. Sweden 01/339505 Achrafieh Switzerland 01/324129 Ave.Fouad Chehab, Achrafieh Tunisia 05/457431 Hazmieh,Mar Takla Turkey 04/412080 Rabieh,Area 2,Str.3 UAE 01/857000 Wafic Tabbara Bldg,Jnah UK 01/990400 Zkak El-Blat USA 04/542600 Aoukar,Beirut Venezuela 01/888701 Zalka,P.O.Box 603 Yemen 01/852682 Bir Hassan,P.O.Box 114-5097 Yugoslavia 01/739633 P.O.Box 742, Sanayeh

339394 324167 950434 407557 857009 990420 544136 403670 821610 739638


N LIBYA GENERAL INFORMATION Area

1,757,000 sq.Km

Population (2003 estimate)5.5 million

Capital Tripoli

Main Cities Tripoli,Benghazi,Misurata,Surt,Sabha Temperature/Climate In Tripoli:Summer:22 to 38 C,dry. Winter:8 to 20C,most rainfall in January.

Languages Arabic(official),English and Italian(commercial)

Airports Tripoli(25 Km from City Centre) Benghazi(main port for East)

Business Hours Government offices Winter:(1 Nov.to 31 March) 08.00 to 15.00 Sat.to Thu. Afghanistan 4775192 Sharia Al-Aftas 4771183,4775192 Algeria Sharia El-Kairouan 4440052 4447042 Argentina Sharia Ibn Mufarrej 4770588 TX20190 Austria 4443393,444 Dahra 4440838 Bangladesh Hadbe El-Khadra 903807 900856 901866 TX20970 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 TX20341 China, Andalous 4775131 4775689 China-Taiwan 4775052/478 Gergaresh 4774980

LIBYA

Summer:07.00 to 14.00

departure.No restrictions on other currencies

Sat.To Thu.

though the amount taken out must not exceed

Commercial offices

that taken in.

07.30 to 14.30 Sat.To Thu

Currency

16.00 to 17.30 Sat.To Wed.

1 Lybian dinar(LD) =1.000 dirhams.

Banks Winter:08.00 to 13.00 Sat. to Thu. Summer:08.00 to 12.30 Sat.to Thu.and 16.00 to 19.00 Sat.to Wed.

Electricity 220 volts 50 cycles AC.

Visas Visas are required for all visitors except nationals of all Arab countries.Passport may need Arabic Translation.Invitation from Libyan company required.

Customs regulations No alcohol.200 cigarettes,250 grams tobacco,0.25 litre perfume.

Currency regulations A maximum of 20 Libyan dinar on entry and

Cuba Andalous 4771346 4776294 Cyprus 609547 Ben Ashour 609728/6015 Czech Rep. Ben Ashour 361543/37 600839 Denmark, Andalous 606848 TX20978 Egypt 4444945 Sharia-El-Shatt 4448909 4449262 Finland, Ghot Eshaal 830559 830559 France 4778267 Andalous 4773807 4778266 Germany 4448552 S.Hassan El-Mashai 4448333 4448968 Ghana Al-Suwae Khetumi 4444256 TX20879 India 4447899 S.Mahloud Shaltut 4441835 3337560 Iraq, Gourgi 4770487 4770780 Iran 606871 El-Jamahiriya 6069 602687 Italia 3333447 3331673 S.Uahran 3334131/2/3 Japan Tower No.4 Hall 13/14 607462/3 607462 Korea 8331 833503

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES Gergaresh Kuwait Ben Ashour Lebanon Ben Ashour Malaysia Andalous Mali Rue Dahanal 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

833484/ 444 4440282/ 3333733/ 334 833693/ 8337 33313304/ 44 3338081/ 334

607053 TX20609 833692 3331304 4448401

4443223/444 611101 3330800 TX20346 608269 333600411 607619/ 6076 TX20049 4772864/ 4772865 4770317 607904/ 6079 TX20482 3330485/333

Slovak Rep Jallal Bayar St. Somalia Gurji 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

3332568/ 3332805 4773124/ 477 4772728 3337955/ 333 607365/ 607366

3332568 TX 2205 4774781 TX20218 607487

4449565 3332423 33.310.613. 331.052 TX20217 4773146/ 47 TX20189 4448006 3330852/ 3/4/5/7

TX20219

4770251 3600407/ 36 833704/ 8307

TX20733

3330856

3600408 830994

September I Travel Arabia I 89


MOROCCO MOROCCO

Area

Ports

Visas

710,850 sq.Km

Casablanca (main sea port)

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.

Population

Tangier (sea port for the North)

Business Hours

33.757 million(2007 estimate)

Capital

Government

Rabat

Winter 08.030 to 12.00,14.30 to 18.00 Mon

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

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES Algeria 765474 46 Boulevard Tarek Ibn Ziad Argentina 755120 12 Mekki Bitaouri str.,Souissi Austria 2 Tiddas,Rabat 764003 Belgium 6 Marrakesh Ave., Rabat 764746 Brazil Cadi Benjalloun St.,Rabat 755291 Bulgaria 4 Ave.de Meknes 765477 Canada 13 Bisr Jaffar Assadik 672880 China 16 Ahmad Balagies Ave 754056 Czech Republic Ate.Zaers,Km 4,Souissi 755421 Denmark 769293 P.O.Box 203, 4 Khemisset St. Egypt 31 Alger Avenue 731833

90 I Travel Arabia I September

762237 755410

765425 767003 755291 763201 672187 757519 755420 769709

706821

to Fri 08.00 to 13.00 Sat. Summer 09.00 to 14.00 Mon to Fri. 08.00 to 12.030 Sat. Ramadan 09.00 to 14.00 Mon to Sat. Businesses 08.00 to 12.30 and 16.00 to 19.00

Customs Regulations

Banks

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

Winter 08.15 to 11.30 and 14.15 to 16.30 Mon to Fri.

Currency regulations

Arabic, French (commercial), Berber

Summer 09.00 to 15.00 Mon to Fri

Airports

Electricity

Tangier (15 Km from City Centre)

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

Rabat (10 Km from City Centre) Casablanca (30

Casablanca and Tangier.

Km from Town Centre)

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

Agadir (20 Km from Town Centre)

cycles AC in Fez.

Finland 16 Khemisset Street,Rabat 762312 France 3 Sahnoun Street,Rabat 689700 Germany 7 Maduine St. 709662 Greece Rte. Zaers,Souissi 638975 Holy See P.O.Box 1303, Souissi 772277 Hungary 21 Bisoulad Jerrar,Soussi 750757 India 10 Michlifen Street,Agdal 671339 Indonesia 757861 122 Ambassador Quarter Rte.Zaers Iran 659121 Route des Zaers,Bin Kasem Quarter Iraq 754466 2 Oukaimdem St.Agdal Italy 2 Idriss Al Azhar St. 706598 Japan 631782

463925 689750 706851 702270 756213 754123 671269 757859 659118 754572 706882 750078

39 Ahmed Balafrej Ave., Souissi Jordan Villa Al-Wafae, Soussi 751125 Korea Rep 41 Mehdi Benbaraka Blvd 751767 Kuwait 751775 300 Iman Malik Street, Km 4 Lebanon 19 Fes Avenue, Rabat 760728 Libya 1 Chouaib Doukkali Street 707400 Oman 673788 21 Hamza Street, Agdal, Rabat Pakistan 11 Azrou Street, Rabat 661611 Portugal 5 Thami Lamdouar Street 756446 Qatar 4 Tarik Ibn Ziad Blvd. 765681 Russia Km 4, Route des Zaers 753509 Saudi Arabia 730171 43 Place de L’unite Africaine

758722 750189 753591 766667 705200 674567 766742 756445

753590

No Moroccan currency may be imported or exported.

Currency

1 Moroccan Dirham (MD or DH)=100 centimes

Spain 3 El Fath St. 268000 Sudan 5 Ghomara Ave, Souissi 752863 Sweden P.O.Box 428 759303 Switzerland P.O.Box 169,Berkame Sq. 706974 Syria 757521 5 Rte., Zaers, Km 1, Souissi Tunisia 6 Fez Avenue 730636 Turkey 7 Fez Avenue 762605 UAE 11 Alaouines Avenue 707070 UK 17 Tour Hassan Boulevard 720905 USA 2 Marrakech Street 762265 Yemen 674363 11 Abou-Hanifa Street, Agdal

707387 752865 758048 705749 757522

704980 742145 704531 765661 674769


OMAN Business Hours

Currency

Area

Government Offices

1 Omani Riyal(RO)=1,000 Baizas

309.500 sq.Km

Winter:7.30 to 14.30 Sat.To Thu.

Population

Summer:7.30 to 14.30 Sat Top Wed.

(2000 estimate) 2.5 million

Businesses

Capital

08.00 to 13.00 and 16.00 to 19.00

Muscat

Sat.to Wed. 08.00 to 11.30 Thu.

Main Cities

Banks

Muscat-Muttrah-Ruwi-Seeb,Salalah

08.00 to 12.00 Sat.to Wed.08.00 to 11.30

Temperature/Climate

Thu.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Summer: 35 C - 47 C, Very humid

Electricity

Winter: 20.7 C men minimum

220/240 volts 50 cycles AC

Languages

Visas

Arabic (official), English (commercial).

Visas are required for all visitors except nationals

Airports

of the GCC.

Seeb (40 Km from City Centre).

Customs regulations

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

No alcohol.No Limit for Tobacco products.

Salalah (domestic)

Currency regulations

Ports

No restrictions on the amount of currency taken

Mina Qaboos, Muscat (principal), Mina Raysut,

into or out of Oman.

OMAN

Salalah (main port for Dhofar) Algeria 601698 P.O.Box 216, Madinat Sultan Qabous

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES 694419

Germany P.O.Box 128, Ruwi 112 702482

705690

Lebanon P.O.Box 67, Ruwi 118

595844

695633

Syria 697904 603895 P.O.Box 85, Madinat Sultan Qabous 115

Austria P.O.Box 2070, Ruwi 112 793135

793669

India P.O.Box 1727, Ruwi 112 702960

797547

Morocco P.O.Box 3125, Ruwi 112 696152

601114

Tunisia 603486 697778 P.O.Box 220, Madinat Sultan Qabous 115

Bahrain P.O.Box 66, P.C., 115

605072

Iran P.O.Box 3155, Ruwi 112 696944

696888

Netherland P.O.Box 3302, Rruwi 112 705410

799020

Turkey P.O.Box 417, Muttrah,115 697050

697053

Bangladesh P.O.Box 3959, Ruwi 112 707462

Iraq P.O.Box 1848, Ruwi 112 604178

605112

Norway P.O.Box 89, Ruwi 112

793892

UAE P.O.Box 551, Seeb 115 600302

604182

Canada P.O.Box 1275,Ruwi 112

Italy P.O.Box 3727, Muscat 112

560968

Pakistan P.O.Box 1302, Ruwi 112 603343

UK P.O.Box 300, Muscat 113 693077

693087

602322

Japan P.O.Box 3511, Ruwi 112 601028

698720

Qatar P.O.Box 802, Muscat 113 701802

794588

USA P.O.Box 202, Muscat

699189

Egypt P.O.Box 2252,Ruwi 112 600411

603626

Jordan P.O.Box 2281, Ruwi 112 786350

619495

Russia P.O.Box 80, Muscat 112 602893

604189

Yemen 600815 605008 P.O.Box 105, Madinat Sultan Qabous 115

Finland P.O.Box 84, Muscat 113 702133

703826

Korea Rep. 691490 P.O.Box 2220, Madinat Sultan Qabous 115

Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 1411, Ruwi 112 601744

603540

France P.O.Box 208, Muscat 115 604222

604300

Kuwait P.O.Box 1798, Ruwi 112 699626

Sudan P.O.Box 3971, Ruwi 112 697875

699065

605912

China P.O.Box 315, Muscat 112 696782

600972

703289

698989

September I Travel Arabia I 91


QATAR

QATAR

Area

Doha, Umm Said (oil and petrochemicals)

Customs regulations

11.437 sq.Km

Business Hours

Population

Government

products.

(2004 estimate) 792,883

07.30 to 13.00 Sat To Thu.

Currency Regulations

Capital

Businesses

None

Doha

07.30 to 12.00 and 15.30 to 18.00 Sat to

Currency

Main Cities

Thu.

1 Qatari Riyal (QR)= 100 dirhams

Doha, Rayan, Umm Said,

Banks

Al-Khor, Al-Wakrah, Ras Laffan

07.30 to 11.30 Sat to Wed.

Temperature/Climate

07.30 to 11.00 Thu.

Summer 36 to 40 C, in Doha very humid

Electricity

especially mornings

220/240 Volts 50 cycles AC.

Alcohol is prohibited.No limit for Tobacco

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

Visas

diurnal range

Visas are required for all visitors except nationals

Languages

of Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and UAE.

Arabic (official), English ( commercial).

No objection certificate required from Qatari

Airport

Minsitery of Foreign Affairs. Other businessmen, if

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

their visit is sponsored by a reputable Qatari, may

Duty- Free shop, no airport tax.

obtain a 72- hour visa at Doha Airport.

Ports

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES Algeria P.O.Box 2494 Bahrain Bangladesh P.O.Box 2080 Brunei China P.O.Box 17200

4831186

4836452

4839360

4831018

4671927

4671190

4884202

4873959

4884202

Ras Laffan (Gaz and ind.) Iraq P.O.Box 1526 Italy P.O.Box 4188

4672237 4667842

4673347

Morocco P.O.Box 3242

4831885

4833416

UAE P.O.Box 3099

4885111

4664644

Oman P.O.Box 3766

4670744

4670747

UK P.O.Box 3

4421991

4438692

4832525

4832227

USA P.O.Box 2399

4884101

4884298

Yemen P.O.Box 3318

4432555

4429400

Japan P.O.Box 2208

4831224

4832178

Pakistan P.O.Box 334

4873959

Jordan P.O.Box 2366

4832202

4832173

Russia P.O.Box 1540

4329117

4329118

4832238

4838264

Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 1255

4832030

4832720

Egypt P.O.Box 2899

4832555

4832196

Korea Republic P.O.Box 3727

France P.O.Box 2669

4832283

4832254

Kuwait P.O.Box 1177

4832111

4832042

Sudan P.O.Box 2999

4423007

4329118

Germany P.O.Box 3064

4876959

4876949

Lebanon P.O.Box 2411

4477773

4478817

Syria P.O.Box 1257

4832409

4832139

India P.O.Box 2788

4672025

4670448

Libya P.O.Box 547

4667546

4660548

Tunisia P.O.Box 2707

4832645

4832649

Iran P.O.Box 1633

4835300

4831665

Mauritania P.O.Box 3132

4836003

4836015

Turkey P.O.Box 1977

4835204

4835206

92 I Travel Arabia I September


SAUDI ARABIA KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA

GENERAL INFORMATION Area

2.240.000 sq.Km (approx)

Population

(2006 est.) 23.6 million

Capital

Ports

Riyadh

Main Cities Riyadh, Jeddah, Dhahran, Dammam, Al-Khobar, Qatif, Makkah, Medina, Abha, Khamis Mushayat, Taif

Temperature/Climate

Summer 38 to 45 C in Riyadh dry diurnal range up to 20 C. 35 to 42 C in Jeddha, very humid.35 to 45 C in Dammam, very humid. Winter 8 to 30 C in Riyadh, night frosts rain in March.19 to 33 C in Jedah,humid 15 to 30 C in Dammam, very humid

Languages

Arabic (official), English (commercial).

Airports

Algeria 4887171 P.O.Box 94388, Riyadh 11693 Argentina 4652600 P.O.Box 94369, Riyadh 11693 Australia 4887788 P.O.Box 94400, Riyadh 11693 Austria 4801217 P.O.Box 94373, Riyadh 11693 Bahrain 4880044 P.O.Box 94371, Riyadh 11693 Bangladesh 4195300 P.O.Box 94395, Riyadh 11693 Belgium 4882888 P.O.Box 94396, Riyadh 11693 Brazil 4880018 P.O.Box 94348, Riyadh 11693 Canada 4882288 P.O.Box 94321, Riyadh 11693 Denmark 4880101 P.O.Box 94398, Riyadh 11693 Egypt 4658425 P.O.Box 94333, Riyadh 11693 Eritrea 4801726 P.O.Box 94002, Riyadh 11693

Dammam (28 Km from City Centre) Jeddah (24 Km from City Centre) Medina (12 Km from City Centre) Riyadh (35 Km from City Centre) Taxis-no duty-free shops except at Jeddah-No airport taxes.

4887616 4653057 4887973 4801526 4880208 4193555 4882033 4881075 4880137 4881366 4652800 4827537

Jeddah(main port for Western province and the Kingdom’s principal port) King Abdel-Aziz, Dammam (main port for Eastern province) Jubail(industrial port for Eastern province) Yanbu(industrial port for Western province)

Business Hours

Government 07.30 to 14.30 Sat to Wed. Ramadan 09.30 tom 14.30 Businesses Variable from business to business But generally,07.30 to 13.00 and 14.30 to 20.00 Sat to Thu. Banks 08.00 to 12.00 and 16.30 to 18.30 Sat to France 4881255 P.O.Box 94367, Riyadh 11693 Germany 4880700 P.O.Box 9941, Riyadh 11693 Greece 801974 P.O.Box 94375, Riyadh 11693 India 4884144 P.O.Box 94387, Riyadh 11693 Iran 4881916 P.O.Box 943394, Riyadh 11693 Ireland 4882300 P.O.Box 94349, Riyadh 11693 Italy 4881212 P.O.Box 94389, Riyadh 11693 Japan 4881100 P.O.Box 4095, Riyadh 11491 Jordan 4880039 P.O.Box 7455, Riyadh 11693 Kenya 4882484 P.O.Box 94358, Riyadh 11693 Korea(Rep of) 4882211 P.O.Box 94399, Riyadh 11693 Kuwait 4883500 P.O.Box 2166, Riyadh 11451

Wed.08.30to 12.00 Thu. Ramadan 10.00 to 13.30

Electricity

220 Volts and 110 Volts,60 cycles AC.

Visas

Visas are required for all visitors except GCC nationals. Applications have to be applies for by sponsor in Saudi Arabia To the Ministery of Foreign Affairs who will inform Saudi Embassy On approval.Assistance from trade associations and chambers of commerce is advised. Marriage certificate for travelers accompanied by spouse required.

Customs regulations

No alcohol,600 cigarettes,100 cigars or 500g tobacco.

Currency regulations No restrictions

Currency 1 Saudi Riyal(SR)=100 halala

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES 4882882 4880660 4801969 4884750 4888890 4880927 4886590 4880189 4880072 4882629 4881317 488368

Lebanon 4197000 P.O.Box 94350, Riyadh 11693 Libya 4544511 P.O.Box 94365, Riyadh 11693 Mexico 4828218 P.O.Box 94391, Riyadh 11693 Morocco 4826382 P.O.Box 94392, Riyadh 11693 Norway 4881904 P.O.Box 94380, Riyadh 11693 Oman 4823120 P.O.Box 94381, Riyadh 11693 Pakistan 4887272 P.O.Box 6891, Riyadh 11452 Philippines 4880835 P.O.Box 94315, Riyadh 11693 Portugal 4644688 P.O.Box 94328, Riyadh 11693 Qatar 4825544 P.O.Box 94353, Riyadh 11461 Singapore 4657007 P.O.Box 94378, Riyadh 11693 Spain 4880606 P.O.Box 94347, Riyadh 11693

4192767 4567513 4828379 4827016 4880854 4823738 4887953 4883945 4044419 4825694 4652224 4880400

Sudan 4887728 P.O.Box 94337, Riyadh 11693 Sweden 4883100 P.O.Box 94382, Riyadh 11693 Switzerland 4881291 P.O.Box 9265, Riyadh 11413 Syria 4887481 P.O.Box 94323, Riyadh 11693 Thailand 4880300 P.O.Box 94359, Riyadh 11693 Tunisia 4887900 P.O.Box 94368, Riyadh 11693 Turkey 4887721 P.O.Box 94390, Riyadh 11693 UAE 4826803 P.O.Box 94385, Riyadh 11693 UK 4880077 P.O.Box 94351, Riyadh 11693 USA 4883800 P.O.Box 94309, Riyadh 11693 Yemen 4826764 P.O.Box 94356, Riyadh 11693

4887729 4880604 4880632 4826196 4881179 4887641 4887823 4827504 4882373 4883278 4881757

September I Travel Arabia I 93


SUDAN SUDAN

GENERAL INFORMATION Area

Currency Regulations

departure.

Import or export of Sudanese currency is illegal

Port

2,505,813 sq.Km

Currency

Port Sudan

Population

Khartoum :08.00 to 14.00 Sat to Thu.

Khartoum

Other centres :08.30 to 14.00(with Breakfast

Main Cities Khartoum, Oumdurman, Khartoum North, Port Sudan, Wadi Medani

Temperature/Climate Summer : 26 to 45 C, in Khartoum,sandstor ms,humid, Rain in August and September,hotter and more humid in South. Winter : 15 to 32 C in Khartoum, dry, wide diurnal range, Chilly nights.

interval) Sat to Thu. Businesses 08.30 to 13.30 and 17.00 to 20.00 Sat.to Thu Banks 08.30 to 12.00 Sat to Thu.

Electricity 240 volts,single phase AC

Visas Visas are reqiured for all visitors

Languages Arabic (official), English (commercial)

Airport

Customs Regulations 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 1 lb tobacco

Khartoum (4Km from city centre).

Algeria P.O.Box 80

451084

India 451031 P.O.Box 707, 61 Africa Rd.

452266

Libya P.O.Box 2091

2235358

Austria P.O.Box 1860

77170

Iran 81490 House No.8, square 2, Mogran

78668

Morocco P.O.Box 2042

451603

China P.O.Box 1425 Czech Republic P.O.Box 1047 Denmark P.O.Box 2758 Egypt P.O.Box 1126

272730

Holy See P.O.Box 623

271138

Iraq Burri, Garden City

Italy 451614 P.O.Box St.39 Khartoum 2

Jordan 25 Sreet Number 7

80489

Kenya P.O.Box 8242

72836 465928

Korea(Rep of) P.O.Box 322

77990

Kuwait P.O.Box 1457

74692

Lebanon P.O.Box 1407

94 I Travel Arabia I September

Netherlands St.47 House 76

271863

Japan 75875 P.O.Box 1649, St.43, House 67

43448

France 471082 P.O.Box 377, St.3, Plot 29 Germany P.O.Box 970

4899230

millimes

Government Offices

Capital

Belgium 489229 P.O.Box 969,St.33,House 15

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

Business Hours

(2007 estimate) 35.5 million

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES

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

451164

451217

Oman P.O.Box 2839

77668

Pakistan P.O.Box 1178

451038

Qatar P.O.Box 223

Sweden (Consulate)P.O.Box 2206 71913 451053

Switzerland P.O.Box 1707

451010

452804

471204

Syria P.O.Box 1139

451152

451066

451027

Tunisia P.O.Box 3533

75906

222000

Turkey St.2, House 31

471197

451620

451036

UAE P.O.Box 1225

451100

761113

UK P.O.Box 801

777105

451042

USA P.O.Box 699

74700

452583

Yemen P.O.Box 1010

451623

Yugoslavia P.O.Box 1180

41252

471012 451605

Romania 440386

452264

P.O.Box 1494

451136

Russia P.O.Box 1161

81525

Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 258

45008

81142

Spain P.O.Box 2621

338114

45072

451069

472542

776457

451020


SYRIA

SYRIA

GENERAL INFORMATION Area

185,180 sq.Km

Population (2007 estimate)10.276 million

Capital Damascus

Main Cities Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, 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)

Oman, PLO Gvt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia,

departure.

Ports

Sudan, Tinisia, United Arab Emirates And Yemen.

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

Appilications should be accompanied by

Business Hours

supporting letter from employers.Transit

Government

(for Visits up to 3 days), entry (for visits up to 2

08.00 to 14.00 Sat to Thu.

weeks)and visit(for re-entry from neighbouring

Ramadan :08.00 to 13.oo

countries) visas are available.

Businesses

Customs Regulations

Winter :09.00 to 14.00 and 16.00 to 19.00

200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 250 grams of

Sat to Thu,

tobacco and 1 bottle of wine and one bottle

Summer (May to October) :08.30 to 13.30 and

of spirits.

17.00 to 20.00 Sat to Thu.

Currency regulations

Banks

Up to £Syr 100 in local currency may be

08.00 to 14.00 Sat to Thu.

brought into or out of the country.Currency

Electricity

declarations are necessary for more than

220 volts

US$5000 in local or foreign curency.Visitors

50 cycles AC in Damascus.

are advised to keep adequate amounts of Bank

115/220 volts in Aleppo

notes on hand since it is sometimes difficult to

Visas

Airport

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

cash travelers checques

Visas are required by all except nationals of

Currency

Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan,

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

Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco,

Algeria Rawdah Street, Nass Bldg

Germany P.O.Box 2237

Argentina P.O.Box 116

Greece P.O.Box 30319, Mezzeh 2233009

3334167

Armenia 3732992 Malekie-Ibrahim Hanano St.

332732 3711757

3323800

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES

332812

Kuwait Ibrahim Hanano Street

2233035

Netherland P.O.Box 702

3336871

3339369

3327550

Pakistan P.O.Box 9284, Al Farabi St. 6662391

Sweden P.O.Box 4266

3327261

3327749

3339369

6667917

Poland P.O.Box 501, M.Ben Baraka St.

3330101

Switzerland Al-Mahdi Ben Baraka St. 3715474

3321137

3327691

3329232

Hungary 3337966 P.O.Box 2271, 102 al Fursani St.

Belgium 76 Ata Ayoubi Street

3338098

330426

India P.O.Box 685

3719580

3713294

Qatar P.O.Box 4188

6119632

Romania 8 Ibrahim Hanano St.

3327570

6110997

Russia Omar Ben Khattab St

4423155

Brazil P.O.Box 2219

Indonesia 17 Assalam St., Bldg 10 6119630

Canada P.O.Box 3384

6114000

Iran P.O.Box 2691

3332621

3320325

Saudi Arabia Al-Jala’ Avenue

3339181

3339920

Slovakia P.O.Box 33115

Cyprus P.O.Box 9269

6130812

6130814

Italy 82 Al Mansour Ave

Denmark P.O.Box 2244

3331008

3337928

Japan Al Mindi Bin Baraka St.

France 3327992 P.O.Box 769, Ata Al Ayoubi St.

3332126

Holy See 3337966 P.O.Box 2271, 82 Masr Street

Austria P.O.Box 5634

6116851

Sudan Al-Jala’ Street

6117675

Jordan Abu Roummaneh Street 3334642

Spain 81 Al-Jala’ Avenue

3336717

6669043

3327572

6616714

Tunisia P.O.Box 4114

6660356

Turkey P.O.Box 3738

3331411

3339243

UAE 62 Rawda Street/Abu Rummana St.

3333038

UK P.O.Box 37, Malki

3739241

3731600

USA 3332184 P.O.Box 29, No.2 Al Mansour St.

3319678

September I Travel Arabia I 95


TUNISIA TUNISIA

GENERAL INFORMATION Area

164,418 sq.Km

Population (2007 estimate) 10.276 million

Capital Tunis

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

Temperature/Climate Winter:13∞ with frequent rain. Summer: 35∞C,hot and dry

Languages

Arabic (official), French (commercial), Berber (in rural areas).

Airports

Tunis (8 Km from Tunis) Skanes (8 Km west of Monasrtir) Melita (6 Km west of Djerba) Tozeur (south oasis area) Tunis (main port), Zarzis, Sfax,

783166

788804

Finland 721700 61 H.Bourghiba Ave., Carthage

Argentina 10 H.Hassan Street

231222

750058

France Independence square

358000

358001

767824

Germany 786455 1 al Hamra st., Mutuelleville

788242

Bahrain 231811 72 Bin Abi Soufiane, Menzah

766549

Greece 9 Imp.Atlas, Belvedere

Belgium 781655 47 1st January St. Belvedere

792797

Hungary 12 Achtart St., Al-Menzah 780544

Brazil 37 Africa Avenue, Menzah 232538

750367

288411

Czech Republic P.O.Box 53, 1002 Tunis

280486

793228

Italy 37 Jamal Abdel Nassr St. 321811

Denmark 792600 5 Mauritania Street, Belevedere

790797

Japan 9 Apollo St. Mahrajenne 791251

Egypt 792233 Ave.Med V, Mont Plaisir, Belvedere

794389

Jordan 780875 10 Chankatti st., Mahrajene

Kuwait 32 Mansoura St., Ariana 754811

791923 767669

Currency regulations

The import or export of Tunisian currency is prohibited.O departure all Tunisian currency must be converted into foreign currency on production of exchange slips from Tunisian banks. This can be done at the Airport .The amount of excess currency exchanged back must not exceed 30 per cent of foreign currency originally exchanged or 100 dinars, whichever is the greater.

Currency

1 Tunisian Dinar(TD)=1,000 millimes(m) Sudan 30 Afrique Avenue Sweden Berges Lac, Mhiri

860580

860810

Switzerland 783997 10 Echenkiti st., Mutuelleville

788796

789518

795338 785557

Syria 119 A. Rebai St., Manar II 888018

887989

781264

Netherlands 799442 6/7/8/ Mercen St.Mahrajene Pakistan 234366 7 Ali Bin Abi Talib Street, Al-Menzah

752477

Turkey 30 Ave. Africa

750668

767045

UAE 9 Ashtart St., Belvedere

783522

783507

783177

Iran 791015 10 Doctor Burnett St., Mutuelleville

Korea Rep 893060 16 Caracalla St., Notre Dame

200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 400g tobacco and 1 litre of alcohol are admitted free of duty.

Morocco 782775 39 Rue du 1er Jiun, Belvedere

799949

792631

Domestic 220V and 110V. Industrial 220V 50 cycles AC

Customs Regulations

795338

Iraq 890347 10 Ben Ashour Ave. Menzah

China 792107 22 Dr. Burnett St., Mutuelleville

Electricity

Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Giunea, Hong Kong, Iceland, Italy, Ivory coast, Japan, Korea(South), Kuwait, Liberia, Leichtenstein, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritus, Monaco, Montserrat, Morocco, Nevis, Niger, Norway, Pitcairn Is., Porugal, Romania, St.Helens, St.Kittis, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Turks,& Caicos Is., UAE, UK, USA, Venuatu, Virgin Is,(Britsih) and Yugoslavia.

Libya 781913 48 Bis., Rue du 1er Jiun, Belvedere

783394

792371

96 I Travel Arabia I September

721670

India 787819 4 Didon Square, Notre Dame

Canada 796577 3 Senegal Street, Belevedere

Government Offices Winter :08.00 to 13.00 and 15.00 to 17.45 Mon.to Thu.08.30 to 13.00 Fri.and Sat. Summer:07.00 to 13.00 Mon.to Sat. Businesses Winter:08.300 to 12.30 and 14.00 to 16.00 Mon to Fri. Summer:07.30 to 13.00 Mon to Sat. Banks Winter:08.00 to 11.00 and 14.00 to 16.00 Mon to Fri. Summer:07.00 to 13.00 Mon. to Sat.

Visas are required by all except nationals of Angiulla, Antigua, Austria, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Cayman Is, Chile, Cuba, Denmark, Egypt, Eire, Falkand Is, Fuji, Finland, France, Germany,

Algeria 18 Niger Street

Austria 16 Ibn Hamdis St., Menzah 751091

Business Hours

Visas

Ports

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES

Sousse, Bizerta

Portugal 2 Sufetula St., Belvedere 893981 Romania 766926 18 Africa Avenue, Al- Menzah

791008 767695

324155

Russia Bergamate St., ManarII

882446

882478

786625

Saudi Arabia 781722 16 Jugurtha Ave., Belvedere

783235

Spain 782217 22 Conseil Avenue, Cite jardin

786267

784661

UK 141 Liberty Ave., Belvedere 792644

793322

USA 144 Liberty Avenue, Belvedere 789719

782566

Yemen 9 A.Ibn Abi Taleb St., Menzah

237933


UAE

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

GENERAL INFORMATION Area

90,559 sq.Kms (including Offshore islands)

Population

(2007 est.)4.4 m

Capital Abu Dhabi

Main Cities Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah,Ras Al-Khaimah Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al-Qaiwan

Temperature/Climate

Km form city centre), duty-free shop Al Ain International,Duty-free shop Dubai International (4 Km east of city), duty-free shop Fujairah Int’l, Duty-free shop Ras Al Khaimah International (20 Km south of Town), duty-free shop Sharjah International (10 Km southeast of Sharjah town and 25 Km north of Dubai Town), duty-free shop

Ports

Airports

Jebel Dhanna/Ruwais Abu Dhabi Mina Zayed ( Abu Dhabi town, 20% UAE tonnage) Mina Jebel Ali (Dubai) Port Rashid(Dubai Town), 50% UAE tonnage Ajman, Fujeirah Mina Saqr (Ras Al Khaima) Khorfakan (Sharjah/ East coast), container terminal. Mina Khalid (Sharjah Town), 20% UAE tonnage

Abu Dhabi International (19 Km southeast of City), duty-free shop Abu Dhabi New International Airport (Nadia, 35

Government Offices 08.00 to 15.00 Sat. To Wed. And 08.00 to

Summer:35to 40C peaks up to 48C along Gulf Coast,very humid in Dubai, more temperate along eastern(Gulf of Oman)coast. Winter : 20C, very dry in Abu Dhabi, Wet in Ras El Khaimah

Languages

Arabic (official), English ( widely spoken in Business and government)

Algeria 4448949 P.O.Box 3070, Abu Dhabi Argentina 4436838 P.O.Box 3325, Abu Dhabi Australia 3217444 P.O.Box 58010, Dubai Austria 4766611 P.O.Box 35539, Abu Dhabi Bahrain 6657500 P.O.Box 3367, Abu Dhabi Bangladesh 4465100 P.O.Box 2504, Abu Dhabi Belgium 6319449 P.O.Box 3686, Abu Dhabi Brazil 6320606 P.O.Box 3027, Abu Dhabi Britain 6101100 P.O.Box 248, Abu Dhabi Canada 6940300 P.O.Box 6970, Abu Dhabi China 4434276 P.O.Box 2741, Abu Dhabi Czech Republic 6782800 P.O.Box 27009, Abu Dhabi Egypt 4445566 P.O.Box 4026, Abu Dhabi

4447068 4431392 3212677 6715551 6674141 4464733 6319353 6327727 6101518 6946399 4436835 6795716 4449878

Business Hours

Finland 6328927 P.O.Box 3634, Abu Dhabi France 4435100 P.O.Box 4014, Abu Dhabi Germany 6446693 P.O.Box 2591, Abu Dhabi Greece 4492550 P.O.Box 5483, Abu Dhabi Hungary 4470100 P.O.Box 44450, Abu Dhabi India 4492700 P.O.Box 409, Abu Dhabi Iran 4447618 P.O.Box 4080 Italy 4435622 P.O.Box 46752, Abu Dhabi Japan 4435696 P.O.Box 2430, Abu Dhabi Jordan 4447100 P.O.Box 4024, Abu Dhabi Kenya 6666300 P.O.Box 3854, Abu Dhabi Korea Rep 4435337 P.O.Box 3270, Abu Dhabi Kuwait 4477146 P.O.Box 926, Abu Dhabi

12.00 Thu. Businesses 08.00 to 15.00 and 16.00 to 20.00 Sat.to Thu

Electricity

Abu Dhabi 220/240 volts, 50 cycles AC, Northern Emirates 220/380 volts, 50 cycles AC.

Visas

Visas are required by all except GCC nationals. UK Citizens will be granted 30-day visa at International Aiports.Other Will be required to obtain visas through sponsorship.

Customs Regulations

200 cigarettes or one half pound of Tobacco(Abu Dhabi), 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 500 gm tobacco(Dubai) are allowed duty-free. However locally retailed tobacco products are as cheap as duty-free goods. Alcohol, drugs, pearls and firearms are prohibited

Currency regulations None

Currency

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES

1 UAE Dirham(Dh)=100 fils 6325063 4434158 6444942 4493119 6667877 4444685 4448714 4434337 4434219 4449157 6652827 4435348 4477675

Lebanon P.O.Box 4023, Abu Dhabi Libya P.O.Box 5739, Abu Dhabi Malaysia P.O.Box 3887, Abu Dhabi Mauritania P.O.Box 2714, Abu Dhabi Morocco P.O.Box 4066 Netherlands P.O.Box 46560 Norway P.O.Box 47270 Oman P.O.Box 2517 Pakistan P.O.Box 846 Palestine P.O.Box 841 Philippines P.O.Box 3215 Qatar P.O.Box 3503 Romania P.O.Box 70416

4492100

4493500

4450030

4450033

4482775

4482779

4462724

4465772

4433963

4433917

6321920

6313158

6211221

6213313

4463333

4464633

4447800

4447172

4434048

4434363

6415922

6412559

4493300

4493311

4459919

4461143

Russia P.O.Box 8211 Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 4057 Spain P.O.Box 46474 Sudan P.O.Box4027 Switzerland P.O.Box 46116 Syria P.O.Box 4011 Thai P.O.Box 47466 Tunisia P.O.Box 4166 Turkey P.O.Box 3204 UK P.O.Box 248 USA P.O.Box 4009 Yemen P.O.Box 2095

6721797

6788731

4445700

4448491

6269544

6274978

4446699

4490530

6274636

6269627

4448768

4449387

6421772

6421773

6811331

6812707

4453330

4452522

6326600

6318138

4142200

4142469

4448457

4443691

September I Travel Arabia I 97


YEMEN YEMEN

GENERAL INFORMATION Area

209688

Airports

Population

Al-Rahaba(10 Km north of Sanaa).

(2007 estimate)22.211 million

Hodeida

Visas

Capital

(6 Km Southeast of city)

Visas are required for all visitors.One application

Sanaa(political), Aden(economic)

Al-Janad

form and 2 photographs must be presented with

Main Cities

(4 Km northeast of Taiz)

employer’s supporting letter.

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

Khormasakar International

Processing of applications takes 3 to 6 days.

Temperature/Climate

(10 Km from Aden).

Visitors must register within 5 days to obtain an

Summer:35 to 40 C,peaks up to 47 C in

No duty-free shop.Sanaa

exit visa which can sometimes also be arranged

Hodeida,Very humid, rainfall cooler and drier

Ports

by hotels.

in Sanaa.

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

Customs regulations

Winter: 26 C in Hodeidah,Humid, much cooler ,

port for Hodeida)

200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or _ lb tobacco and

with occasional frosts,in Sanaa.

Business Hours

1 qt wine are admitted duty-free.

Summer:average 35 C in Aden, very

Government

Currency regulations

humid,hotter but wideDiurnal range and drier

08.00 to 13.00 Sat.to Thu.

Because the exchange of riyals is difficult

inland.

Businesses

abroad, visitors exchange all local currency

Winter: average 28 C in Aden, humid, much

08.00 to 13.00 and 16.00 to 19.00 Sat.

before departure.

cooler inland.

to Thu.

Currency

Banks

1 Yemeni Riyal(YR)=100 fils

508084

508105

Lebanon P.O.Box 2283

203459

Syria P.O.Box 494, Hadda Road 413153

Morocco 247964 P.O.Box 10236,Westy Safia

Tunisia 240458 P.O.Box 2561,Diplomatic Area

Oman P.O.Box 105

208933

Turkey P.O.Box 18371, Al Safia 241395

Pakistan P.O.Box 2848

248812

UAE P.O.Box2250

248777

Poland P.O.Box 16168

413523

413647

UK P.O.Box 1287

264081

263059

Romania P.O.Box 2169

205515

214100

USA P.O.Box 22347

238843

251563

Russia 278719 P.O.Box 1087,26 sep.street

283142

289568

Indonesia Hadda Area, house 16

414633

412956

Canada P.O.Box 340

208814

209523

Iran 412690 P.O.Box 1437, Hadda Street

414139

Czech Republic 247946 P.O.Box 2501, Safia Janubia Denmark P.OBox 5302,Taiz

215170

244418

212334

Iraq P.O.Box 498

244153

Italy P.O.Box 1152

269164

266137

Japan 207356 P.O.Box 817, street 38 house2

209531

274196

Jordan P.O.Box 2152

France P.O.Box 1286, Al Bounia 268888

269160

Korea(PDR) P.O.Box 1209, Al Hasaba 232340

Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 1184

240429

Germany P.O.Box 41

413179

Kuwait P.O.Box 17036

Sudan P.O.Box 2561

265231

Egypt Jamal Abdul Naser St.

275948

413179

98 I Travel Arabia I September

220 volts, 50 cycles AC

India 12 Jiboti Street

285865

275337

Electricity

527.970 sq.Km

Belgium P.O.Box 2616

China Al Zubeiri St

11.30 Thu.

Arabic (official), English (commercial)

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES Algeria 209689 P.O.Box 509, 67 Amman ST.

08.00 to 12.00 Sat.to Wed. and 08.00 to

Languages

413279

216317

265234

241395


Profile for Kalimat Group International

Travel Arabia September 08  

Travel Arabia September 2008 issue, published by Kalimat Group International, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Travel Arabia September 08  

Travel Arabia September 2008 issue, published by Kalimat Group International, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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