Al-Ahram Weekly Online   17 - 23 July 2008
Issue No. 906
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875


Airlines & airports

Etihad passes

ETIHAD Airways has passed a rigorous aviation industry safety audit with flying colours. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier was praised after a team of specialists from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) examined the airline's safety procedures.

IATA and the International Operational Safety Audit perpetually seek to ensure that airlines are compliant with safety requirements and recommended practices determined by IATA.

British Airways' OAG award

BRITISH Airways, the UK's flagship carrier which operates a daily flight from Cairo to London Heathrow, has been chosen "Best Business Class" and "Best Transatlantic Airline" in the 26th OAG airline industry awards.

The airline also won the "Best Business/Executive Class" category, an award that has been won for the past five years by Continental Airlines.

"This is a great credit to our new Club World cabin which we launched in November 2006," British Airways Country Commercial Manager Mervat Ali said. The new Club World cabin allows customers to define their own space. It includes wider, more comfortable seats with "z" bed positions, greater privacy, storage which can hold a range of items, a wide range of snacks and drinks between meals, and audio and video programmes upon request.

Hotels & resorts

Outdoors à la Four Seasons

FOUR Seasons First Residence hosted an exceptional event to mark the launch of Cairo's latest outdoor spot "The Garden" in Mansouriya, Cairo.

Amidst the greenery, Four Seasons chefs cooked up delectable dishes incorporating fresh ingredients.

The Four Seasons team, along with Randy Shimabuku, the hotel's general manager and Aziz Refaat and his wife, owners of the event's venue, received the guests.

Conrad's casino

JAN Mönkedieck, general manager of Conrad Cairo, recently appointed Steven Bullen as director of the hotel's casino.

Coming from Britain with 34 years of experience in the Casino business, Bullen has worked in Belgium, South Africa and Sharm El-Sheikh and is looking forward to reviving the Conrad Cairo casino for a different gambling experience.

"I'm very happy to work again in Egypt after a fabulous experience in Sharm El-Sheikh. This coming season Conrad Cairo's casino will witness an overhaul to compete with international casinos," Bullen said.

African ladies golf at Holiday Inn CityStars

HOLIDAY Inn Cairo CityStars sponsored the 2008 All African Challenge Trophy, or AACT. Some 125 participants from African countries were accommodated at the hotel during the event.

The AACT is the most prestigious event in regional ladies golf and includes the best African players. The 2008 event was hosted in Cairo at Katameya Heights Golf and Tennis Resort and produced fabulous days of competitive golf. Each country had a team of three players. A total of 18 teams participated.

Ramses Hilton apprentices graduate

A PARTY was held to distribute certificates to six kitchen apprentices after two years of training with Dimitrios, Ramses Hilton's executive chef, and his experienced brigade.

The tribute is part of the Ramses Hilton development strategy for talented Egyptians, jointly coordinated with the Ministry of Tourism.

A getaway for kids

NOVOTEL Sharm El-Sheikh Palm Resort prides itself on being a family destination. Vacationers with children need not worry about their kids and their entertainment, for the hotel boasts a Kids Club where children aged 6 to 12 enjoy a separate play area located on the beach and offering a variety of entertainment programmes including outdoor activities, sports, games, handicraft and a circus school.

The resort has 382 spacious rooms combining modern and traditional décor with balconies overlooking the pool or garden. It includes outdoor heated swimming pools, one main pool for serious swimmers, a large fun pool, baby pool, lazy pool, a casino and an 18-hole golf course.

Starwood's President's Award

EVERY year Starwood Hotels and Resorts grants the President's Award to one of its employees as an example of excellence. This year the award went to Hanaa Abdel-Meguid, the reservations and revenue manager at Sheraton Cairo Hotel. The decision was taken by Ibrahim Fahmi, managing director of Starwood Egypt, in line with his company's policy of encouraging staff and improving services provided by the group.

InterContinental Cairo CityStars promotion

THIERRY Perrot, general manager of InterContinental Cairo CityStars, has promoted Pascal Caubo from executive housekeeper to executive assistant manager.

Caubo has almost 20 years experience in the hospitality and hotels industry. He has worked in various hotel chains around the globe in hotel operations including front office, reservations, revenue, food and beverage and housekeeping. Caubo joined InterContinental Cairo CityStars in 2005 as executive housekeeper.

He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration, specialised in hotel management, from The Netherlands.

Cairo Marriott wins four awards

THE CAIRO Marriott Hotel won four prestigious awards during Marriott's Middle East and Africa general managers conference hosted at the hotel recently. The awards are "Hotel of the year 2007, UKIMEA", "Mustang, UKIMEA", "Spirit to Serve our Communities 2007" and "F&B Award of Excellence 2007".

Ulrich Huth, general manager of the hotel, stated that "winning such prestigious awards consolidated the fact that the Cairo Marriott's team is the best. The team's exceptional devotion to work and its dedication to provide guests with the finest level of service is the reason behind this success."

Morocco on the Four Seasons menu

FOR THOSE into new tastes, Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza has added a unique cuisine option to its comprehensive menu at The Pool Grill restaurant. Guests can now savour tantalising choices with a Moroccan influence at the outlet.

Situated on the fifth floor of the hotel, the Pool Grill offers a casual dining experience in a setting overlooking the swimming pool. An ideal location during the summer, where guests can relax and enjoy the fresh evening breeze from the River Nile, the restaurant is open from 7pm every night.

The new menu includes an impressive variety of dishes, especially prepared by culinary expert chef Amina Shamoudi for all appetites. For starters, guests will be tempted by a selection of traditional Moroccan salads, or harira marrakchia, a Moroccan soup made of tomatoes, lentils, chick peas and tender meats. Charriya medfouna (braised pigeon) and sea bass fillet with chermoula (a herb marinade) are among other main dishes. In addition, a variety of tagines (stews) is on offer, including beef shank with plum and tomatoes, and lamb with artichoke and green peas.

Farewell and welcome

CONRAD Cairo recently hosted a VIP cocktail reception at the hotel's presidential suite to bid farewell to Jan Mönkedieck, general manager of the hotel. Mönkedieck is heading to Conrad Abu Dhabi, while Kevin Brett replaces him at Conrad Cairo.

The event was attended by top tour and travel agencies and corporate accounts.

Nile Hilton awarded Cristal Certificates of Achievements

THE NILE Hilton was awarded the Cristal Certificates of Achievements in recognition of its high standards of hygiene by successfully implementing the policies of the E Cristal System Programmes, based on the HACCP food safety management principles.

Rainforest in the heart of Cairo

IN KEEPING with its stature as a world class food service and hospitality giant, and within the framework of a sound regional expansion strategy, Wataniya Restaurants recently celebrated the launch of its first Rainforest Café at the CityStars complex in Cairo, signaling the official start of its wide-scale Egyptian operation. Present at the opening ceremony was Zoheir Garrana, minister of tourism, as well as a galaxy of guests that included businessmen, tourism officials and Egyptian and international media members.

Wataniya is the Doha-based master franchiser of Rainforest Café as well as 21 other universally recognised brand name restaurants, from fast food to casual family dining and ultra-fine French haute-cuisine.

Sherif Wagdi, Wataniya's director of operations expressed delight at the launch of his first Rainforest Café in Egypt, saying Egypt was an easy decision to make because of its strategic location and huge popularity as a tourist destination in the Middle East. Wataniya, therefore, had little hesitation in committing to investments expected to reach $20 million by year's end with 2,000 job opportunities for Egyptians.

Cairo Marriott has the EDGE

RECOGNISING his achievements, Gamal Mursi, director of rooms operation at the Cairo Marriott Hotel, received the EDGE (Excellence in Delivering the Guest Experience) Award for the UKIMEA region. UKIMEA covers the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Middle East and Africa. The ceremony was held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.

UK press trip at the Ritz-Carlton Sharm

THE RITZ-CARLTON Sharm El-Sheikh recently hosted a UK press trip comprising the finest British journalists in partnership with Thomas Cook UK. During their visit, the group went on the camel safari, a boat trip on the Red Sea and was entertained by the desert sunset scenery. The aim behind the media trip was to get extensive exposure and create a high level of awareness of Sharm El-Sheikh among UK travellers.

CRM courses

THE STEIGENBERGER Al-Dau Beach Resort Hotel has teamed up with Class Training Centre, the reputed training company with offices in both Cairo and Hurghada. The most recent training initiative involved some 20 participants from hotel departments taking part in a four-day course, "Customer Relationship Management" (CRM). The proclaimed goal of the course was to further the hotel's CRM strategy. Participants eagerly embraced new concepts and showed themselves keen to apply the new tools in their day to day customer contacts.

Other upcoming courses include integrated marketing communications and emotional intelligence. The courses are not confined to hotel associates but are available to interested parties.

Revolutionary anti-ageing treatment in Soma

TRADITIONAL beauty treatments that promise to hold back the years have a reputation for no pain, no gain. It seems Les Thermes Marines des Cascades at Soma Bay has gotten hold of a new beauty treatment that promises instant results and is pain-free.

Acthyderm is a system for transdermally delivering products into the face and body. Introduced to Europe in 2000 by Microlab Biomedical of Italy, Acthyderm (meaning active skin) uses the process of electroporation, in which a special roller electrode conducts a light electrical current which opens up tiny channels down to the deepest layers of the skin, facilitating intense absorption of products such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin complexes and anti-cellulite treatments. By using electroporation, Acthyderm achieves an absorption rate of over 90 per cent.

Specialist treatments are also available to combat facial wrinkles, localised fat deposits, cellulite, stretch marks, and to rejuvenate the delicate décolleté area. Acthyderm's principal use as a "virtual syringe" is in aesthetic medicine, but it can also be used in cosmetics, physiotherapy (pain management), homeopathy, fitness and wellness treatments.

New GM at Hyatt Regency Taba Heights

GORDON Campbell, area director of Hyatt Hotels and Resorts in Egypt, has announced the appointment of Dirk Breuchmann as general manager of Hyatt Regency Taba Heights. Breuchmann comes to Egypt with 22 years experience in the hotel industry, occupying several management positions in Germany and the Far East.

Conrad Sharm Best Environmental Hotel

THE CONRAD Sharm El-Sheikh Resort has been allocated the Silver Award for Best Environmental Hotel in the 2008 Middle East and North Africa Travel Awards, organised by CHA International in Dubai. Beating off tough competition in the region, Conrad Sharm won in acknowledgment of its strong commitment to support and protect the environment as well as its continuous efforts to expand awareness among customers and team members. Judges were the guests. Travel trade professionals or end-users of the resort's services submitted their online votes using a programme exclusively designed to track down and reference-check the votes against the Voting Master's robotic system to endorse its accuracy.

In 2007, the Conrad Sharm was presented the Silver Award, and Best Price Value versus Service and Quality Hotel, while in 2006 the resort was awarded the Platinum Award for Best Five- Star Leisure Hotel.

Certificate of Achievement for Ritz-Carlton

TAWFIQ Mokhtar, director of sales and marketing at the Ritz- Carlton Sharm El-Sheikh, was recently awarded the prestigious "Certificate of Achievement" for the Middle East/Africa and European region during the Global Leadership conference held in Berlin. The certificate is in recognition of Mokhtar's accomplishments and dedication to the team and the company for realising sales and marketing objectives for 2007.

Mokhtar joined the Ritz-Carlton a year ago during which he has made an extraordinary contribution to the business.

Sheraton Montazah's walk-a-thon

NOT FOR the first time Sheraton Montazah organised a charity event for children in need. Whether orphans, handicapped or intellectually disabled, the hotel has been involved in such matters since it opened in 1981, recently hosting a walk-a-thon for the homeless children of Alexandria.

The walk-a-thon was organised by the Rotary Cosmopolitan and saw the gathering of more than 250 individuals from Egyptian and foreign residents in the Mediterranean city in order to raise funds for rehabilitation of homeless children and building new shelters for them.

The walk-a-thon started from opposite the hotel in Montazah to the Citadel at the seashore's end at Bahari.


Alexandria in details

NOW published monthly and distributed free of charge, Alex Agenda lists the main cultural and entertainment events taking place every day in the Mediterranean city, be they concerts, festivals, conferences, seminars or celebrations.

The publication, first introduced two years ago, doesn't stop at Alexandrian cultural events but aims the spotlight on talented Alexandrians who deserve to be recognised. It also supports the efforts and role played by social workers, volunteers and NGOs.

In addition to the fully detailed calendar of events, Alex Agenda presents a variety of articles tackling entertaining and informative topics.

Many hidden aspects of the Mediterranean city are revealed in Alex Agenda which can be picked up in cultural spots, cafés and restaurants.

Egypt-Germany update

GERMAN Ambassador to Cairo Bernd Erbel recently met representatives of the Egyptian press for a briefing on the latest in Germany's ties with Egypt. Erbel elaborated on the solid German-Egyptian political relationship, and the enormously growing economic ties between the two countries, citing 2.1 billion euros in trade exchange volume, and the balance of payment tilting in favour of Egypt.

Erbel also hailed the intensive cultural cooperation between the two countries, referring to the key role played in this regard by German schools, the Goethe Institute, AUC and the German Archeological Institute.


HC sponsors Golf Challenge Match

HC SECURITIES and Investment was one of the major sponsors of the 2008 Challenge Match, a golf event organised by the Egyptian Golf Federation and the Egyptian Professional Golf Association.

The event was held on 12 and 13 June at the Katameya Heights Golf and Tennis Resort in Cairo. The Challenge Match was a distinctive two-day tournament which brought together the top 16 professional and 16 amateur golf players in Egypt, from both Egyptian and expatriate communities.

The challenge was the first event of its kind in Egypt since professional and amateur players have never before been brought together to compete.

Throughout the duration of the tournament, HC representatives were present to give insight into the company's wide range of financial services at an information booth located at the Katameya Heights Clubhouse.

© Copyright Al-Ahram Weekly. All rights reserved

Issue 906 Front Page
Front Page | Egypt | Region | Economy | International | Opinion | Press review | Reader's corner | Culture | Features | Heritage | Living | Sports | Cartoons | People | Listings | BOOKS | TRAVEL
Current issue | Previous issue | Site map