Saudi Arabia to welcome 20 million visitors by 2020

by Sophia Soltani | 20 Oct 2016

Inbound arrivals to Saudi Arabia will reach over 20 million by 2020, as the religious tourism sector flourishes in line with increasing demand to join the annual Hajj pilgrimage, the most important religious event of the year in the Muslim world, according to consumer insight firm Canadean. The company’s latest report finds that the Hajj

Banyan Tree RAK to become Ritz Carlton branded hotels

by Sophia Soltani | 18 Oct 2016

RAK National Hotels (RAKNH), a subsidiary of RAK Hospitality Holding (RAKHH) has inked a deal with Al Hamra Real Estate Development (AHRED) with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to open the branded hotel in Ras Al Khaimah.  Until 14 December 2016, the two properties, the desert and the beach, will continue to be operated by Banyan

Sheraton Oman reopens following extensive renovations

by Sophia Soltani | 17 Oct 2016

Sheraton Hotels and Resorts has reopened the Sheraton Oman following a transformative renovation of its guestrooms, public spaces and food and beverage offerings.  Owned by Al Hashar Hotels LLC, under the umbrella of Al Hashar Group, and in association with Twenty14 Holdings, the 230-room hotel has been a landmark in Muscat for over three decades

Qatar Airways reveals daily service to Luxor Egypt

by Sophia Soltani | 13 Oct 2016

Qatar Airways has announced a new daily service to the city of Luxor in Egypt. The now daily service is an increase on Qatar Airways’ current five-times weekly service to the Egyptian city, and will deliver an additional 30,000 seats per year to the tourist destination. Filled with deep Egyptian history and a rich cultural

Middle East reports 14.8% increase in hotels under construction

by Sophia Soltani | 12 Oct 2016

STR’s September 2016 Pipeline Report has revealed  that there are 159,127 rooms in 555 projects under contract in the Middle East and 56,858 rooms in 303 projects under contract in Africa.  The under contract total in the Middle East represents a 14.8% increase in rooms under contract compared with September 2015. Specifically in the in

IN FOCUS: A new era of Omani hospitality

by Sophia Soltani | 11 Oct 2016

As the Sultanate of Oman seeks to outgrow its status as a niche luxury destination, the initial steps towards an ambitious and prosperous future for Oman’s hospitality sector is well underway, explains Zoltan Kali, chief strategy officer, Omran Hospitality. Oman is known for its hospitality and its warm welcome to visitors, and nowhere is this

Dubai welcomes first Austrian University dedicated to hospitality industry

by Sophia Soltani | 10 Oct 2016

Dubai has welcomed the Middle East’s first Austrian University, dedicated to the development of the next generation of hospitality professionals. MODUL University Dubai, a subsidiary of Dubai Investments PJSC, a leading university specialising in tourism and hospitality courses in the Middle East and Austria’s top international private university has officially opened for business. The opening

Serviced Apartment Summit MEA returns for second edition

by Sophia Soltani | 10 Oct 2016

The Serviced Apartment Summit MEA will return for a second year and is set to take place at The Fairmont Hotel, Palm, Dubai on October 30 and 31. The two-day conference will cover a variety of industry topics and sectors including: serviced apartments, branded residences, aparthotels, extended stay hotels, corporate housing  and short-term rentals. The inaugural

DWTC turns to solar energy in line with Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy 2050

by Sophia Soltani | 05 Oct 2016

Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) is turning to fully integrated, renewable energy solutions across its developments in a bid to spearhead its sustainability efforts across its convention centres.  DWTC complex, the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) is set to incorporate next-generation technologies for the optimisation of solar power as well as the latest

Saudi Prince, Alwaleed bin Talal sells Four Seasons hotel Toronto in $170m mega-deal

by Sophia Soltani | 03 Oct 2016

Saudi billionaire, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s company has sold the luxury Four Seasons hotel in Toronto for $170 million. The Kingdom Holding Company said that it sold the hotel for 225 million Canadian dollars to Shahid Khan, the Pakistani-American businessman who founded auto parts maker Flex-N-Gate and owns English Premier League club Fulham. KHC said

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