Airlines & airports
Abu Dhabi terminals
TWO new contemporary terminals in Abu Dhabi International Airport (ADIA) in the capital of the United Arab Emirates are now fully operational after being delivered by SCADIA (Supervision Committee for the expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport) to the Abu Dhabi Department of Civil Aviation in a record of six months.
The $30 million Terminal 1A and Terminal 2 are the initial components of an ambitious $6.8 billion re-development of Abu Dhabi International Airport and are key to the airport's future expansion in the face of passenger overload.
The state-of-the-art terminals have increased the airport's capacity by three million passengers a year. They are designed to smooth passenger flow and relieve pressure of high density flights from the existing airport until the mega Midfield Terminal Complex is completed in 2010.
"This is the beginning of a journey designed to transform ADIA into a leading international aviation hub which will meet projected demand for the next 50 years. The next few months will see more key developments to our medium-term vision of developing a best-of-breed infrastructure to cater to a capacity of 20 million passengers by the end of the decade," Khalifa Al-Mazrouei, chairman of SCADIA, said.
WITH only a click of a button in the comfort of your office or home, you can book your seat on British Airways, pay for your ticket and even check in through ba.com.
Since 1 July 2005, British Airways customers have been booking and paying online in Egypt. "British Airways has created a programme that puts the customer in control, while improving the range of technology available and reducing the amount of complexity involved in booking an airline ticket," said Chris Phipps, British Airways manager for North Africa.
Phipps added that 76 per cent of all journeys on British Airways are by passengers using an e-ticket, and that these can now be used on about 150 routes or 70 per cent of the network. More routes are being added each month.
Electronic tickets offer a whole host of advantages. They are secure and hassle-free. They cannot be lost because they are contained within British Airways electronic system; they can be e-mailed; they can be easily changed through the Internet, and travellers do not need a "replacement" ticket following any changes they make to bookings. Moreover, the e-ticket system is transforming the way people travel on British Airways by simplifying booking, choosing seats and meals, and arranging all details of travel plans.
Additionally, oneworld has become the first alliance to offer e-ticketing on all partner airlines. Oneworld is a global alliance of leading airlines including British Airways, American Airlines, Qantas and Cathay Pacific.
Hotels & resorts
Sheraton Luxor goes wireless
BUSINESS travellers to Luxor can now travel light and feel as if they are in the office with the help of the latest modern technology provided by Sheraton Luxor Resort. The resort is now able to deliver this comfort to its guests through the most advanced and only wireless Internet hospitality service in Luxor.
Sheraton Luxor Resort provides the high-speed Wireless Internet connectivity in every room in the main building, the Hathour meeting room, Karnak and Agra restaurants and also at the pool area.
This service is provided through the partnership of Sheraton Luxor Resort with the WAY OUT Company -- Internet Service Provider.
New Ville D'Este menu
ITALIAN food fans will be delighted with the change in Conrad's Ville D'Este menu. The restaurant recently introduced a new a la carte menu encompassing a wide variety of authentic Italian dishes of the best northern and southern Italian cuisine. Conrad officials said the menu is meant to suit healthy and gourmet trends.
Charity at Grand Hyatt
THE LADIES committee at Grand Hyatt Cairo organised a special outing for children of the Om Kolthoum orphanage. The outing, to the Geroland amusement park, was sponsored by Gezira Travel which provided transportation, and Geroland which granted free entrance passes and games for the children throughout the day. The children also enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by the hotel.
THE SEMIRAMIS InterContinental Hotel recently earned one of the most coveted distinctions in the travel industry: a place on the 2005 Conde Nast Traveler Gold List, the annual guide to the top 700 hotels, resorts and cruise lines in the world. Readers of Conde Nast Traveler, the most affluent, sophisticated, and frequent travellers have collectively judged the Semiramis InterContinental among the best in the world.
INTERCONTINENTAL Citystars is expected to soon open its luxurious Intercontinental Residence Suites. The suites, specially designed to accommodate guests for medium and long-term stays, are furnished to the highest standard. Overlooking the Intercontinental Citystars Hotel and swimming pool, the property is part of Citystars complex situated in the luxurious suburb of Heliopolis.
Accommodation within the residence consists of studios and a selection of one to four-bedroom suites, featuring kitchenette and living area. The suites are serviced by Intercontinental staff and have full access to all hotel services and facilities. For more information call +202 4800 100.
DINING at the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza is a worldly affair, offering guests a wide variety of cuisines from Italian to Lebanese and seafood dishes to Cantonese. The latest arrival is the opening of the hotel's fifth restaurant: Steaks.
Steaks is the dedicated restaurant for meat lovers, featuring the premium cuts of Egyptian beef which is aged, thus allowing for the meat to mature which gives it more flavour. For those interested in savouring imported beef, the restaurant offers the finest cuts from the US and Australia. Also, and for the first time in Egypt, Wagyu beef of Australia has been introduced. Wagyu is a Japanese breed of cattle which is grain fed and massaged in order to produce highly marbled beef of astounding flavour.
The menu at Steaks offers a wide range of appetisers. Main courses include steaks cooked to taste and served with a range of accompaniments including salads and creative vegetable dishes.
Abu Soma appointments
JOHN Lagos, general manager of the InterContinental Abu Soma Resort has announced the appointment of Lamia Assem as public relations manager. Lamia has over 11 years experience in the hotel industry. She has held positions with several international hotel chains including Sheraton, Hyatt and Le Meridien.
Marriott in MTF
THIS YEAR the Marriott and Renaissance Hotels and Resorts in Egypt participated in the Mediterranean Travel Fair (MTF) with a bigger booth which reflected a stronger presence. The sales and marketing team of the seven spectacular properties around Egypt received guests from all over the world. Famous jazz star Yehia Khalil with his band performed marvelous musical pieces that added an atmosphere of fun and entertainment. Moreover, an elegant cocktail reception was served throughout the fair.
Photo shows the Cairo Marriott Hotel team, JW Marriott Hotel, Sharm El-Sheikh Marriott Beach Resort, Hurghada Marriott Beach Resort, Taba Height Marriott Beach Resort, Renaissance Alexandria and Renaissance Golden view Beach Resort Sharm El-Sheikh.
Sheraton Soma Bay award
SHERATON Soma Bay Resort, flag ship hotel on the Red Sea, has received the EAME Divisional Award for the highest "GOP Margin Improvement" (Gross Operating Profit) in 2004. This accolade is in recognition of the hotel's achievements of the highest GOP growth in the Starwood division of Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
The selection followed the outstanding operational performance of the Sheraton Soma Bay team, especially the sales and marketing efforts which resulted in achieving a revenue increase of 103.3 per cent in Egyptian pounds and 93.5 per cent in US dollars in 2004 compared to 2003.
"Our commitment over the past few year to apply long- term marketing plans, approach new markets and improve hotel services and facilities along with enhancing the hotel's staff skills, have all contributed to this highly prestigious award," said Franz Kielnhofer, general manager of Sheraton Soma Bay Resort.
Kuwait team in Sheraton Heliopolis
A KUWAIT table tennis team for young girls recently spent one week in Sheraton Heliopolis Hotel, Towers and Casino for their training camp. The team, which played against Ahli, Shams and Zamalek clubs, was led by Sheikh Nour, daughter of Sheikh Khaled El-Sabah, owner and manager of Salmeya Club in Kuwait. The girls' ages were between 17 and 23 and were trained by Gowd El-Ghareeb and Fatma Abu Hamad.
ON 6 SEPTEMBER, Egypt, Syria and Turkey signed a memorandum to further tourist cooperation among the three countries. The memorandum is to provide products that are complementary to each other to attract travellers from far flung places such as China, India and Japan. The memorandum was signed by Egyptian Minister of Tourism Ahmed El-Maghrabi and the Syrian and Turkish ministers of tourism.
The three countries agreed to encourage both the public and private sectors to provide common products in cooperation with official air carriers, travel agents and tour operators. In that respect, a workshop will be held in Damascus in December 2005.
A joint tourist advertising and marketing campaign will be launched and directed to China as a first phase, then India and Japan, and followed by the US. There will also be cooperation in holding tourist fairs in which to present products in common.
....and more regional cooperation
HEAD of the Egyptian Tourist Authority (ETA) Ahmed El-Khadem met recently Aristidis Kalogeropoulos, head of the Greek Tourist Authority, and Photis Photion, head of the Cypriot Tourist Authority to discuss cooperation among the three countries in tourism by jointly marketing and promoting them especially in long haul markets. They also discussed joint training courses and tourist investments.
The officials agreed on the importance of the Chinese market as a promising and fast growing destination.
El-Khadem said Egypt, Cyprus and Greece could cooperate in presenting one of the best marine excursions in the world. He stressed that the travel agencies and tour operators of the three countries could activate this kind of cooperation.
INDIA is currently receiving more attention from Egyptian tourist officials as a promising market. A road show was organised recently to India headed by the Egyptian tourism minister, top tourist officials, travel agents and tour operators.
In return, India participated in the sixth Mediterranean Travel Fair 2005 held from 6 to 8 September, displaying its varied tourist potential in the fields of cultural, therapeutic, religious, sports and adventure tourism. According to Indian officials, tourist arrivals in India has gone up by 25 per cent whereas foreign exchange earnings witnessed a 36 per cent jump. A recent survey concluded by Lonely Planet indicated that India ranked fifth on the list of the most attractive global tourist destinations. "India is aggressively promoting its rich and diverse tourist potential all over the world especially in Egypt which is very similar to India in terms of culture, traditions and customs," said Jay Prakash Shaw, director of the India Tourism Office in South Africa.
Shaw added that the Indian booth offered a number of tourist packages to Egyptian customers at very special prices.