Category Archives: Hotels

Marriott International to debut 201 key Four Points by Sheraton in Oman

Mustafa Sultan Enterprises signed an agreement with Marriott International to debut the first Four Points by Sheraton in Oman, scheduled to open in early 2024. Operated by Valor Hospitality Partners, a third-party hotel management and development company, Four Points by Sheraton Muscat will offer a centralized location for both business and leisure travellers in Qurum. “It gives me great pleasure to announce our first franchise collaboration with Marriott International in the Middle East as we expand our full-service hotel management services in the region. We are honoured to have Mustafa Sultan Enterprises, a trusted and established owner, for our first property in Oman,” said Julien Bergue, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Valor Hospitality Middle East & CIS. “We are working closely with the ownership and Marriott International on the full renovation plan,” Bergue continued. Expected to feature 201 guest rooms, the hotel will also offer visitors ballroom and conference facilities, leisure and fitness amenities, and multiple food and beverage venues. Four Points by Sheraton Muscat is anticipated to reflect the brand’s promise of ‘travel reinvented’, providing everything that matters most to today’s travellers seeking balance on the road, including timeless style and comfort with genuine service. Shabeer Mustafa Sultan, Chairman of Mustafa Sultan Enterprises, said, “We are thrilled to work with Valor Hospitality Middle East and Marriott International to bring the Four Points by Sheraton brand to Oman.  This collaboration points to a full renovation and rebranding investment that supports our mission to create long-term value for the tourism, real estate and leisure sectors across Oman. It also supports the vision of Oman’s leaders, particularly in the upscale hotel segment.” Saahil Lalit, Vice President, Development – UAE and Oman, Marriott International …

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Thynk partners with Dur Hospitality 

Thynk announced its partnership with Saudi Arabia-based Dur Hospitality, a leading Saudi hospitality company recognized for its extensive record in managing, developing, and operating a broad portfolio of hotels and residential compounds across the Kingdom, at the Future Hospitality Summit in Dubai. Developed by hoteliers for hoteliers and powered by Salesforce®, the world’s largest Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, Thynk.Cloud is designed to simplify and automate sales, operations, decision making, and data management for hotels of any size. The partnership will enable the sales organization at Dur Hospitality to further enhance the way they manage their B2B business relationships and maximize their sales productivity and efficiency. Pascal Petit, Co-founder & CEO at Thynk.Cloud, said: “We are excited to be working with Dur Hospitality, a company at the forefront of our industry when it comes to modern hospitality, agility and innovation. Together, our goal is to deliver a smart, modern system that not just streamlines processes and drives efficiency but enables hotel teams to deliver a unique guest experience, whether that’s in one of the Group’s branded hotels or in an independently managed property.” Commenting on the announcement, President of Hotel Operations at Dur Hospitality, Hassan Ahdab, said: “Our collaboration with Thynk provides an immense opportunity to interconnect our processes further and accelerate enhanced customer experiences. Thynk’s innovative digital ecosystem will drive personalization across our properties, amplifying our customer-centric approach and empowering our team members to make data-driven decisions in real-time while communicating with ”one voice”. Together, we will take customer-focused service to the next level”. “We have a shared vision to make hospitality an attractive and rewarding career for the next generation of hoteliers. We are committed to providing hotel …

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Gulf Travel Show 5.0 wraps up in resounding success with 2000 plus meetings

The fifth edition of the Gulf Travel Show (GTS) 2022 with Tourism Malaysia as platinum partner and German National Tourists Office GCC as silver partner successfully concluded yesterday after two very productive days of networking with an overwhelming response spearheading the recovery of tourism in the region. The theme in focus was sustainability hence buyers from across the Middle East were able to connect with exhibitors and conduct over 2000 one-on-one meetings attended by travel agents, tour operators, tourism boards, airlines, hotels, travel management companies, international agencies and media. Yamina Sofo, Director of Sales and Marketing at the German National Tourist Office (GNTO), the regional office of GNTB, “It’s been a pleasure being back at this year’s Gulf Travel Show, and connecting with both our legacy partners, and brand new potential who we’re looking forward to fostering relationships with. As part of the show, we have been presenting information on our #FeelGood campaign, which focuses on sustainable tourism and highlights ways to explore Germany’s diverse culture, while reducing carbon footprint. We are also driving awareness of accessible tourism, through Tourism For All, which promotes the barrier-free options in Germany and offers a wide range of adventurous offerings for all. In addition, we’re hosting a webinar on #FeelGood in the GTA auditorium, which we’re excited for visitors to the show to come and witness. The GCC is one of our most important source markets, so it’s great to be hear and further develop our understanding of the market, as well as present what we have on offer.” VIP buyer Zayeem Mohtisham, General Manager, Tour Planner reiterated, “We had a great experience at the Gulf Travel Show 5.0. Not only were the …

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Accor and Qatar Airways unveil an ambitious partnership to strengthen their loyalty value

ALL-Accor Live Limitless and Qatar Airways Privilege Club are pleased to announce the enhancement of their strategic partnership to provide new ways for members to accelerate point collection and fast track their tier status upgrades, solidifying the first venture of its kind in the Middle East and Africa region. Previously members could only earn points or miles with one program per booking, which could then be transferred between programs as per their preference. As part of the enhanced partnership, eligible customers who are members of Qatar Airways Privilege Club and ALL – Accor Live Limitless, will have the opportunity to earn simultaneously Avios from Privilege Club and ALL Reward points on eligible hotel bookings and Qatar Airways operated flights by linking their membership profiles. Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer, Thierry Antinori, said: “At Privilege Club we are constantly striving to achieve excellence by providing our members with a loyalty programme that sets the highest standards for our members. To achieve this, we have taken the strategic decision to enhance our partnership with Accor, expanding benefits for both Privilege Club and ALL – Accor Live Limitless members and granting opportunities for tier fast-track. We look forward for our members to enjoy the benefits of this partnership enhancement in some of the world’s leading hotels, as well as introducing members of ALL to our award-winning services.” Mehdi Hemici, Chief Loyalty and Partnerships Officer for Accor commented “We are thrilled to elevate our existing partnership with Qatar Airways by offering additional benefits to our joint members. Through a seamless web or app customer journey, members of ALL and Qatar Airways Privilege Club can easily enroll and get rewarded for each flight and hotel …

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Google launches tools to provide actionable insights to MENA’s travel industry

On World Tourism Day, Google is launching two free tools to help the travel industry in the Middle East and North Africa identify timely travel demand and make better-informed decisions. The tools are launched under the ‘Travel Insights with Google’ website which includes two new tools available in both English and in Arabic; Destination Insights and Hotel Insights. According to Google Trends, people in Saudi Arabia searched for many countries in the past 8 months including Azerbaijan, Egypt, Georgia, Thailand the UAE and the UK (London in particular). Additionally, searches from Saudi Arabia for “booking tickets” this year have increased 153% compared to previous year. In the UAE, according to Google Trends, people searched for local entertainment destinations in the past 8 months including the Dubai Fountain and Dubai Butterfly Garden, as well as hotels located locally in the UAE and in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, searches from UAE for “ticket prices” this year have increased 122% compared to previous year. These and similar insights can be helpful for businesses to connect with people searching to travel and plan their campaigns. By leveraging the tools, businesses in the travel and tourism industry can discover insights to reach global travelers, whether they are departing or arriving in MENA, at every stage of their journey, from dreaming about their next travel destination, to booking flights and hotels. Destination Insights The Destination Insights tool will give travel businesses, governments and tourism boards a clear picture of the top sources of demand for a destination, and the destinations within their countries that travelers are most interested in visiting. It also allows businesses to explore how tourism demand is changing, compared to previous months’ or years’ demand and adjust marketing …

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Accessibility a key driver in tourism for all

Celebrating World tourism day this year comes in with a lot more hope and aspirations for the sector, as UNWTO declares its theme as “Rethinking tourism” – it also amplifies “tourism for all”. Accessibility and sustainable tourism are key factors that are being addressed by the world tourism organisations, Iftikhar Hamdani – Area General Manager – Norther Emirates – Coral Beach Resort Sharjah and Bahi Ajman Palace Hotel, share his views on accessibility in tourism, “in my opinion this is moral responsibility to focus on all means to accommodate all type of accessible guests. In our hotel we made sure that guests with hearing difficulties enjoy using Amsaan technology to be at par with other guests. We hosted groups with hearing difficulties from Pakistan and Armenia and their experience was awesome. I personally met with them and hear the story of their amazing stay. In the past I personally organized Blind World Cricket Cup, 8 International blind cricket teams stayed in my previous hotel without any issue, it was one of best event in my life. Seeing people with visual challenge enjoyed the international event and staff played vital role in the success. At HMH level we are trying our best to make sure that our hotels to offer positive travel experiences to people with different needs by addressing them from various perspectives, and by providing service solutions that fit to their needs as much as possible. This is moral and responsible thinking for hospitality business to provide physical and communication access to the people of determination. Tourism Board globally to make it mandatory for the accommodation provider to establish accessible facilities. to ensure tourist destinations, products, and services are accessible to …

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Marriott International to expand its Middle East footprint with over 20 properties across GCC by end of 2023

From the Future Hospitality Summit in Dubai, Marriott International, Inc. announced plans to expand its Middle East footprint with the expected addition of over 20 properties and more than 5,000 rooms across the Gulf countries over the next 15 months. The company’s growth in the region is fuelled by ongoing demand for its extraordinary portfolio of hotel brands across Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, and increased appetite from developers for conversions and adaptive reuse properties. “The tourism industry in the Middle East continues to undergo significant growth in line with the long-term strategies of regional governments to diversify their economies,” said Jerome Briet, Chief Development Officer, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International. “The reputation of Marriott International and our world-class brands, along with our long-established presence in the Middle East, continue to put us in a great position to contribute to the ongoing growth and diversification of the region’s tourism sector.” Luxury Segment Spearheads Growth in Saudi Arabia, While Select Segment Maintains Momentum With significant demand for luxury offerings in Saudi Arabia, particularly within the country’s ambitious developments such as the Red Sea Project and Diriyah Gate, Marriott International expects to enhance its portfolio with six additional luxury properties in the Kingdom by the end of 2023.  The anticipated openings will debut the St. Regis and EDITION hotel brands in the country and introduce the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the Middle East with the opening of Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the Red Sea Project. Additionally, the company is responding to strong demand in the country for select service accommodation, with a new Four Points by Sheraton in Riyadh and Courtyard by Marriott in Jubail expected …

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Radisson Hotel Group cements presence in Middle East with a growing portfolio of 77 hotels in operation and under development in Middle East

The Group announced tenacious expansion plans as it sets to add over 5,000 keys to its expansive portfolio in the next five years. After two successful years of record-breaking signings and key developments, Radisson Hotel Group continues to focus on the Middle East region, with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and United Arab Emirates (UAE) remaining its core markets. The Group has ambitious plans to sign at least five hotels and open more than 1000 keys within the next 12 months. In the UAE, Radisson Hotel Group is set to open the highly-anticipated resort Radisson Beach Resort Palm Jumeirah this year, following the successful opening of Radisson Resort Ras Al Khaimah on Marjan Island, earlier this year as the first Radisson Resort in the Middle East. As part of the Group’s aim to strengthen its resort portfolio, the property will open its doors at West Beach, Palm Jumeirah, one of the most buzzing destinations in Dubai. The most recent opening of Radisson Hotel Riyadh Airport marked the Group’s first Radisson branded property in Riyadh, KSA. June saw the opening of Mansard Riyadh, A Radisson Collection Hotel, which is the luxury lifestyle brand’s second hotel in the city, further enhancing its collection of city and leisure hotels across Riyadh. With a robust pipeline in place, the Group now has over 25 hotels and serviced apartments in operation and under development in the Kingdom, including the upcoming openings of Radisson Blu Hotel, Riyadh Convention and Exhibition Center, and Park Inn by Radisson hotels in Makkah’s Thakher City Development. Commenting on the Group’s expansion plans in the region, Elie Milky, Vice President Development for the Middle East, Pakistan, Cyprus and Greece, Radisson …

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Abu Dhabi National Hotels to invest over AED 1 billion (US$ 272 million) to develop a luxury resort at Ras Al Khaimah’s Al Marjan Island

Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH), a listed company at Abu Dhabi Stock Market operating Hotels, Catering, Tours and Transportation, has acquired a prime plot on Al Marjan Island to develop a AED 1 Billion luxury Resort with 1,000 rooms, spread over 1 million square feet overlooking the Arabian Gulf. The investment highlights the appeal of Al Marjan Island as one of the top tourist destinations in the UAE with several global hotel operators already having made significant investments. Arch. Abdulla Al Abdooli, CEO of Marjan, said: “Ras Al Khaimah’s strength is its fully diversified economy with the leadership focused on promoting trade, tourism, hospitality, and manufacturing. Over the years, the Emirate has strengthened its reputation as an investment, hospitality, and tourism hub, attracting high-profile investments and featuring world-class assets. Marjan continues to establish high-end projects in the hospitality, leisure and sports sectors to support the destination strategy of the Emirate. The investment by ADNH to develop a luxury resort in Al Marjan Island reflects its confidence in the potential of the destination and will catalyse additional investments.” Sheikh Ahmed Aldhaheri, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of ADNH, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to expand and position into other Emirates. Our strong believe in the potential, economy and leadership of the UAE were the main catalyst of this investment.” Khalid Anib, CEO of ADNH, said: “At ADNH, we are confident that our investment in Ras al Khaimah will create strong returns to our shareholders and enhance UAE as a leading travel and hospitality destination. This luxury Resort will complement our existing portfolio across Abu Dhabi and Dubai.” Al Marjan Island by Marjan has more than 3,000 hotel rooms, including Hampton by …

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Marriott International celebrates graduation of its first Tahseen hospitality programme in Egypt

Marriott International announced that its unique hospitality training program, Tahseen, celebrated its first graduating class in Egypt. Developed in partnership with Helwan University and Professional Development Foundation, the company created the unique programme for Egypt in 2018 to support its commitment to further enhance tourism education in the country. The inaugural graduating class featured 80 students who completed the first of its kind Bachelors of Hotel Operations Management Degree. The celebration took place at The St. Regis Cairo with all 80 students accompanied by their families. The milestone event was hosted by Satya Anand, President, Europe Middle East & Africa, Marriott International and was attended by Professor Dr. Hosam Refai, Acting President, Helwan University and Mohammed Farouk Hafeez, Chairman, Professional Development Foundation, along with other senior officials from the organizations. Satya Anand, President, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International said, “We are excited to celebrate the first group of graduates as part of our Tahseen programme in Egypt.  Tahseen is focused on providing young people with the skills and experience to grow and thrive in the hospitality business and to be part of the success of Egypt’s travel and tourism sector. As a company, we remain committed to enhancing tourism education in Egypt and developing the next wave of exciting and impactful local hospitality leaders in the country.” Tahseen was launched in 2018 in partnership with Helwan University and Professional Development Foundation to focus on fast-tracking the next generation of hospitality leaders by providing them with firsthand experience of the industry and a springboard to launch successful careers in hospitality. In 2019, the programme received the Ministry of Higher Education’s approval in Egypt and earned bachelor’s degree accreditation. Today, …

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