Al-Ahram Weekly Online   3 - 9 April 2008
Issue No. 891
Travel
 
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Guidelines


Airlines & airports

New airport in Dahab

A NEW airport will open between Dahab and Nuweiba to serve tourism in Taba in South Sinai. According to Hani Metwalli, governor of South Sinai, the airport will be nine square kilometres and the first phase will cost LE100 million.

Metwalli said the airport, together with the airport in Taba, will develop the Taba-Nuweiba area and help attract tourists. It will also help promote 63 tourist projects in Taba, Nuweiba and Dahab.

Charter incentive programme extended

THE MINISTRY of Tourism has agreed to extend the charter incentive programme to Marsa Alam until the end of April. It has also allocated LE11 million and LE400,000 for the landing expenses of aircraft due to the fact that the landing fees of Marsa Alam airport is relatively high.

The programme is expected to be extended until the end of the year. Travco Travel has topped the list of companies that attracted charter flight trips to Marsa Alam airport with 287 charter trips. The National Travel Service came in second, attracting 165 trips followed by Bright Sky, 72, Albatros, 38, South Sinai, 38, Travel Harmony, 32, Flash Tours, 16, Welcome Tours, five, Sylvia Tours, two, and Utopia Travel, one.

Hotels & resorts

Easter break

IT'S SPRING and a long Easter holiday is within sight. Several hotels and resorts are offering lucrative deals for those who want to celebrate the season outside the capital.

The travel portal intoegypt offers a number of packages during Sham Al-Nessim holiday including Alexandria, Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada and El-Gouna. Packages are for four days/ three nights and rates are per person in a double room. Rates are valid from 24 to 28 April.

Alexandria lovers can choose to stay either in Mercure Romance Alexandria for LE570 per person in a double room or in Sofitel Cecil for LE975 on bed and breakfast basis.

The Red Sea has fans who could stay in Steigenberger Golf Resort in El-Gouna for LE1,170 per person in a double room on bed and breakfast basis. Mövenpick Resort & Spa El-Gouna also offers double rooms for LE1,350 per person on bed and breakfast basis. For a cheaper option, you can try either Arena Inn El-Gouna which has double rooms for LE840 per person or Dawar Al-Omda for LE945. Both offers are on half board basis (breakfast and either lunch or dinner). Three Corners Ocean View El-Gouna offers double rooms for LE684 per person on bed and breakfast basis.

InterContinental Resort & Casino Hurghada offers double rooms for LE1,425 while Jaz Makadi Star & Spa on Makadi Bay on the Red Sea offers double rooms for LE1,200. Both offers are per person and on half board basis.

Sharm El-Sheikh, on the Gulf of Aqaba, has its own packages. Maritim Jolie Ville Resort & Casino offers front palm double rooms for LE1,188 per person on bed and breakfast basis while Kahramana Hotel offers rooms for LE1,005 on half board basis.

Greek night at Sheraton Montazah

SHERATON Montazah Hotel recently held a Greek night at Café Coquillage in cooperation with the Greek Consulate and the Greek Culture Centre in Alexandria.

The special night, organised on the occasion of Greek National Day, and attended by a large number of Alexandrians as well as expatriates, included a rich buffet dinner of Greek food, Greek music and shows and decorations representing Greek culture.

Sheraton Montazah intends to prepare regular special nights in the coming months where countries, cultures, music and live shows will be represented along with food specialties.

Art tour at Nile Plaza

FOUR Seasons Nile Plaza recently organised an art tour presented by renowned Egyptian artist Mustafa Abdel-Moiti whose art pieces are prominently displayed throughout the hotel's lobby, restaurants and suites.

The display is reputedly one of the most significant Egyptian contemporary art collections in the city. The works of over 20 luminaries from the Egyptian art world, which took over three years to collect, grace the walls of this hotel. The collectors are the hotel's interior designer Frank Nicholson and general manager Olivier Masson.

To share this rare collection with its valued clients, the hotel organised an art discussion group followed by a tour of the hotel depicting its most attractive art pieces. In attendance were local art connoisseurs, artists and other avid collectors who engaged in in-depth discussions about the history, importance and movement of the Egyptian art scene.

The tour, which started in the Royal Suite and worked itself downwards to the hotel's ground floor, highlighted some of the most influential artists of the country, including Farouk Hosni, Effat Nagui, Gazbia Sirri, Abdel-Hafiz Farghali, Mohamed Abla, Salah Hammad, Omar El-Nagdi and Zeinab El-Sageni, and covered painting, photography, sculpture and pottery.

New Mövenpick property in Sokhna

M…VENPICK Hotels & Resorts recently signed a management agreement for a five-star holiday resort in Al-Sokhna with the owning company Galalah Company for Touristic Investments SAE. The official opening date is scheduled for June 2008.

The Mövenpick Resort El-Sokhna is to be an integral part of the 62-acre Al-Ein Resort Village, directly on the shores of the Red Sea with its own private beach of fine sand and crystal clear waters.

"Our new hotel will appeal not just to guests from all over the world, but above all to our target group in Egypt," says Josef Kufer, senior vice-president Africa. "Indeed, Al-Sokhna is located 55km south of the Suez Canal, which means it is only 90 minutes by car from Cairo."

The hotel's 162 rooms and suites are contemporary in design and each has a sea view. Spacious swimming pools, a whole raft of sporting activities, a health club and a variety of boutiques, (including the Gourmet Shop, offer a comprehensive range of leisure and entertainment facilities. There are also several outlets serving various cuisines, including the all-day restaurant Cataplana, Nubia, an Oriental specialty restaurant, Al-Gezirah Restaurant, overlooking the Red Sea and serving seafood and barbeque dishes to experience, as well as a number of bars and lounges which will ensure that guests enjoy the very best culinary choice round the clock. Premises for up to 160 persons are available for conferences and banquets, in addition to outdoor facilities for events for up to 1,000 guests.

"The Mövenpick Resort Al-Sokhna will ideally complement our portfolio of exceptional holiday resorts on the Red Sea," says Jean Gabriel Pérès, president & CEO Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. "After Qusseir, El-Gouna, Taba and Sharm El-Sheikh, Al-Sokhna is now the fifth Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts destination on Egypt's Red Sea, and we are already looking forward to treating our guests in Al-Sokhna to our unique brand of genuine Swiss hospitality."

New Four Seasons San Stefano manager

KEVIN Robinson has been appointed hotel manager at Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria. Robinson leaves his current post as director of rooms at Four Seasons Nevis in the West Indies to join the team on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Originally from Colorado, Robinson graduated from the University of Denver in business management. As a student, he found his way into the hospitality industry by working in hotels to support his tuition. He began his career with Westin Hotels working in various management positions until he joined Four Seasons Dallas as front office manager in 2002. Following several internal promotions, Robinson was promoted to assistant director of rooms. He then left Texas to gain valuable resort experience at Four Seasons Nevis in 2005.

Novotel Sharm Palm opens

NOVOTEL Resorts has announced the opening of the Novotel Sharm El-Sheikh Palm by Mohamed Metwally, governor of Sinai, who was welcomed by Philippe Trapp, general manager of Novotel Sharm El-Sheikh and delegate manager of Red Sea Accor Hotels.

The Novotel Sharm El-Sheikh Palm is an enlargement of the Novotel Sharm El-Sheikh Beach resort located across the road in the heart of bustling Neama Bay in Sharm El-Sheikh. Novotel Sharm El-Sheikh Palm is designed to complement the resort and become the perfect getaway destination for family vacations. It offers the highest standard of five-star leisure resort facilities built with families in mind and catering to the needs of children, including a fantastic Kids Corner. Visitors at the resort can relax on a private beach of fine sand, gear up for a unique diving experience, or rejuvenate at the well-being centre. The creation of the Novotel Sharm El-Sheikh Palm was inspired by the desire to make the family holiday experience the center attraction where children as well as parents can spend an unforgettable holiday.

Novotel Sharm El-Sheikh Palm is an addition of 185 room to the Novotel Sharm El-Sheikh Beach, for a total of 382 spacious rooms combining modern and traditional décor design with balconies overlooking a glimmering pool or garden view, offering 270 superior luxury rooms and 104 family-sized rooms accommodating up to five people. There are two presidential suites with seaside views overlooking Neama Bay plus six more junior suites. Each family room is designed with a master bedroom and connecting room for children built with bunk beds and storage area for toys.

The hotel offers access to its exclusive beach and leisure activities, including several outdoor heated swimming pools, one main pool for sports swimmers, a large fun pool, baby pool, and lazy pool. Guests also have access to the nearby Casino and a premier 18-hole golf course.

Guests will also enjoy tranquillity at the spa in the main building of the Novotel Sharm El-Sheikh Beach. The spa invites guests into a relaxing Zen ambiance where one can experience treatments combining traditional and modern techniques, including an Oriental hamam, cardio room, relaxation area, body and facial treatments, massages, and beauty salon. For those with an appetite, the Palm resort serves up a variety in dining experiences from fine Italian to an assortment of international cuisine.

There are three Novotel Hotels in Egypt: Novotel Cairo Airport with 207 rooms, Novotel 6th of October with 195 rooms and Novotel Sharm, Beach and Palm with 382 rooms. Opening soon is Novotel Al-Borg, overlooking the Nile, with 141 rooms.

News

Mohamed Ali in Pharaonic Village

A MUSEUM on Mohamed Ali was inaugurated at the Pharaonic Village in Giza. The museum portrays the period of Mohamed Ali's era and that of his family, from 1805 until the revolution in July 1952.

In an attempt to teach Egypt's children the history of their country, the Pharaonic Village has in the last decade established a number of museums reviewing the history of Egypt from the Coptic era to modern times.

The museum includes the resumes of 55 personalities since the time of Mohamed Ali until the reign of King Farouk: khedives, political, artistic and religious figures including Saad Zaghloul, Mustafa El-Nahhas, Ali Maher, Ahmed Hassanein Pasha, Refa'a El-Tahtawi, Abbas El-Aqqad, Mustafa Kamel, Talaat Harb, Taha Hussein, Naguib Mahfouz and Um Kalthoum.

The museum also displays 38 statues and 250 portraits and some of the important historical events in that period such as the Massacre of the Citadel, the Denshway incident, the Abdine demonstration, the incident of 4 February and the building of the Suez Canal.

The inaugural celebration was attended by a number of public political and artistic figures including the grandson of Khedive Abbas Helmi II, Mahmoud Abaza, head of Al-Wafd Party, Awatef Serageddin, Maj Gen Gamal Hammad, Youssef Mazhar and Wael El-Ibrashi.

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