Al-Ahram Weekly Online   3 - 9 December 2008
Issue No. 925
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875


Airlines and airports

British Airways FIRST upgrade

BRITISH Airways is offering a free one-way upgrade to FIRST for customers purchasing a Club World return ticket departing from Cairo to London, USA or Canada. The offer is valid for tickets purchased / journeys between 7th of October 2008 until the 31st of March 2009. Passengers taking advantage of this exceptional offer are assured of the finest possible flying experience. They will discover what makes flying FIRST so very special, from the exclusive, discreet and responsive service, to the elegant and refined luxury.

The FIRST cabin is a world of its own; a world where luxury and innovation are in close harmony. At the touch of a button, each individual seat converts into a completely flat six foot six inch bed, where passengers are able to sleep, undisturbed and in total privacy.

The T5 exclusivity

TERMINAL 5, British Airways' exclusive new home at London Heathrow, offers a smooth and stress-free customer experience. In the new ultra-modern building passengers can find everything from fine dining to great shopping and relaxing in the 6 lounges, collectively known as "galleries". Inside Terminal 5, FIRST passengers can have the opportunity to enjoy the Concorde bar and restaurant at the exclusive Concorde Room and the luxurious "Gold bar" at the Galleries First Lounge.

"We operate in a very competitive market and we are determined to be the first choice for air travelers, who want luxury, flexibility, and a superb flying experience," said Mervat Alfy, British Airways Country Commercial Manager.

A team of renowned chefs from across the globe work in close collaboration with the British Airways catering team to ensure that FIRST passengers can enjoy an excellent and exclusive selection of dishes. Guests can select from an a la carte menu at a time that suits them and can choose from a selection of the finest wines and Champagnes.

In-flight entertainment is also designed to meet the high expectations of FIRST passengers, providing on-screen menus which allow viewers to easily select their entertainment.British Airways operates daily flights from Cairo to London, with a wide range of connections. The airline's website - - offers a wide range of facilities including online booking and check-in services and more.

Hotels news:

Lebanese fashion

RECENTLY, the Ramses Hilton hosted a fashion show for famous Lebanese designer Dany Atrahe. The show took place on two consecutive days at the hotel's Ballroom, where more than 1000 state officials, ministers, ambassadors, as well as celebrities enjoyed the lavish dinner created by the hotel's Executive Chef Dimitrios. The revenue of the Haute Couture show, which was organised by the Egyptian Lebanese Friendship Association, was dedicated to charity. Over the past few years, the Ramses Hilton's name has been associated with fashion shows for famous designers like Valentino, Ungaro, Rocco Barocco, Christian Dior, among others. The event was organised by Onsi Barakat, Director of International Events, under the supervision of Haitham Nassar, the hotels general manger.

All for one and one for all

ALL the Ramses Hilton department heads and assistants, attended a one day training session organised by the hotel's Human Resources Department, headed by Magda Abdel Wahab. The training session, according to Amal Rateb, Public Relations and Advertising Manger, will create a healthy atmosphere in the daily work and "will reflect positively on the quality of service provided to our guests in the hotel."

The session, which focused on building the staff's team spirit and improving their abilities to handle every day work interactions, involved a lot of discussions and workshops based on role play and exercises which enhanced the understanding of individual differences and value of inclusivity in team work.

Bridal spa package

PREPARING for the most important day of a woman's life is no easy task. But Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza has created a unique bridal spa package, designed to put the bride and maid of honour at ease prior to the special day.

The pampering experience starts with a warming rose petal body polish which is infused with a rose-scented essence. Simultaneously, the ladies' hair is given a Royal Crowning Glory Treat, awash with coconut oil, adding texture, lustre and nourishment to the tresses.

The bride-to-be and maid of honour are then treated to a sensual aromatic herbal bath to invigorate, refresh and prepare the ladies for the wedding. Once bathed, and emerging with soft, supple skin, the ladies are offered nothing but royal pampering with a Pharaonic massage; a luxurious treatment originating from ancient times.

As a final preparation and to conclude with the treatment, a hand and foot mask is then applied, leaving one's hands and feet soft, rested and refreshed, the perfect end to a day of true pampering and the ideal start of a wonderful journey.

This glorious Treatment can be experienced for two and a half hours.

Hotels and Resorts

EGYPT's hotels celebrate the 2008 holiday season, welcoming Bairam, Christmas and New Year.

Fairmont Towers

THE FIVE-star luxury new hotel, which has a whole host of Bairam, Christmas & New Year activities on offer this December, promises an exclusive holiday experience that captures seasonal ambiance and provides an unparalleled getaway for the whole family. Celebrations will run from December 1st until January 8th 2009. The hotel has designed a range of fantastic festive activities and packages to run over the entire holiday season. Celebrations begin on December 1st with the official and traditional lighting of the hotel's lobby Christmas tree in the middle of the Atrium.

Café Heliopolis gourmet menu available from the 1st of December till 8th of January 2009 offers a take away service. Order from Café Heliopolis holiday menu your traditional Turkey with chestnuts and glazed sweet potatoes, Turkey stuffing, cranberry sauce and sage jus, Christmas cookies, hampers and lots of other seasonal favorites. Bring your kids to enjoy the children's corner with the amazing Gingerbread house and meeting Santa over a dedicated kids brunch on the 25th and 26th of December.

Fuze Lounge offers a new menu , Oysters, Sushi bar, Christmas Cocktails andd Champagne menu all while enjoying live entertainment that adds to the festive atmosphere.

Aqua e Luce: if fine dining is more your style, then experience a fabulous portfolio of options available at Aqua e Luce, the hotel's critically acclaimed restaurant which offers a four-course set Christmas Eve menu including Champagne, Christmas Day on December 25 and Boxing Day on December 26 Jazz Brunch promising to be the ultimate gourmet experience in tradition and taste. As for New Year's Eve Aqua e Luce will celebrate with its guests with five course set menu while enjoying live entertainment, and on New Year's day on the 1st of January, it is Fairmont style Brunch with the rhythms of the Upbeat Jazz band. As for the New Year's Eve Party the Fairmont promises a night with a swing at its Canyon Luxurious Ballroom with live entertainment, pop singer stars and belly dancers. In case you miss those lovely traditional Christmas carols, the hotel offers a chance to revive those memories and get yourself fully in the Christmas spirit bringing two of Cairo's best Choirs performing at the hotel's premises to spread holiday cheer and share songs. December 20th at Canyon Ballroom - 7:00 pm (Prières Vivantes) December 23rd at Hotel Lobby - 7:00 pm (Les Juniors)

Semiramis InterContinental

THE FIVE-star hotel is preparing a night with the stars for their guests. For a night of Eastern delights, the InterContinental chefs have created a very special menu of Middle Eastern delights. For a very special Eid or Bairam, there will be a program featuring belly dancer Dina, singers: Ihab Tawfik, Saad El-Sagheer, Essam Karika, Amina and Hoda Hakim.

Special menus have been prepared for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Pane Vino, Sabaya and the Bird Cage.

Christmas season will start with Santa and Christmas Carols from 7:00pm-8:00pm. ON December 16, Les Anges de La Basilique Choire, December 22, Pierre Vivante Choir.

The Grill will feature contemporary French cuisine with spectacular Nile views, French authenticity is preserved by Chef Eric Heurtel and his team. Private dining rooms and a selection of wines complete the experience along with the tunes of the one and only Jazz Duo Rachad and Amer. On Christmas Eve, Haroun EL-Rachid would shed an oriental taste on your Christmas celebrations, with a special oriental show. If interested in a take away menu, treat yourself and the Café Corniche where you can order from a fabulous take away selection that include: chocolate Santa, ginger bread cookies and special Christmas hampers.

For New Year's Eve, the hotel's Cleopatra Ballroom hosts the biggest bash of the year, an endless night of celebrations and entertainment with superstars like pop singer Tamer Hosny, Jannat, along with the infamous belly dancer, Dina.

At Pan Vino Italian chef Roberto Boggio has specially designed a menu that include: smoked salmon, duck half breast with orange sauce or grilled beef fillet served with Pistahio bavaroise with cherries. The venue also features the Italian DJ, International Trio and belly dancer Hanadi.


Trekking the toughest terrains

MTI Automotive, the exclusive importer of Land Rover in Egypt, has announced on November 17 that Land Rover once again displayed the agility of their vehicles in the Spirit of Adventure Raid in Egypt. The Raid kicked off on the 24th of October; traversing thousands of kilometers of Egyptian desert and cementing Land Rover's status as the best 4x4 off-roading vehicle on the market. Organisd by Aquasun Expedition, the Raid was a massive ten-day journey that took thrill-seekers to the furthest reaches of the Egyptian landscape. "We're always looking for ways to demonstrate the ability of our Land Rovers," stated MTI General Manager Ahmed El-Gharib naturally, we will jump at any opportunity to push our vehicles to the limits, and I can't imagine any better way than to have them tackle the vast Egyptian wilderness." The Raid once again was led by Aquasun Expedition owner, Hesham Nessim. As a 23 year veteran of desert safaris, Nessim brought with him a level of experience and expertise unmatched in the field. "I've made so many of these treks, so I can say with confidence that I always want a Land Rover with me," stated Nessim. "We put the vehicles through a lot of abuse, so I need something that is rock- solid, reliable, and designed for the most adverse conditions. With Land Rover, I know I have all of those things and more."

Following tradition, the Raid promised to deliver excitement and thrills as the team travelled through such difficult environments as the Great Sand Sea and the White Desert. The adventure began by exploring several of Egypt's most scenic spots; including the Baharia and Farafra Oases. The team then attacked the majestic rocks of the White Desert before tackling the tours greatest challenge: Egypt's Great Sand Sea. The Sea's soft sand and high dunes create an unparalleled challenge for any vehicle, but

the expedition used the Land Rovers to overcome the natural obstacles and reached the Silica Glass Valley, then headed north to Siwa Oasis. With a tour that explored mountains, desert and oases, the Expedition gave participants a view of Egypt that they had never seen -- and will never forget. "It was a great opportunity for us to join our clients in that great trip that showed both the spirit of adventure and the extra ordinary capabilities of the Land Rover cars" stated Mostafa Salah Marketing Manager " There is more to come from Land Rover to all of the desert safari lovers and we promise to offer more exciting and challenging Raids in the future."

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