Jordan: Planning for tourism growth"
Jordan’s recently unveiled five-year national tourism strategy foresees the private sector playing a growing role in the sector, with the eventual goal of doubling the industry’s contribution to GDP. The tourism sector’s contribution to GDP reached 12.4% in 2010. According to the National Tourism Strategy (NTS) 2011-15, the government estimates that the public sector will spend JD152 million ($215.5 million) and the private sector will spend JD38 million ($53.6 million) over the five-year period. “Jordan will continuously work on creating a more supportive business environment to enable successful investments in the tourism sector, as Jordan has great potential which investors can help us reach, and we in return can help investors reach their potential and contribute to economic prosperity,” said Haifa Abu Ghazaleh, the minister of tourism and antiquities, at the plan’s unveiling in early August. The NTS 2011-15 builds on the foundation laid for the sector by first tourism development plan, the NTS 2004-10, which was based on four main pillars guiding growth and development. The NTS 2011-15 keeps the same four-pillar framework, though the focal points have been slightly amended to reflect the success of the previous plan and current goals. Source: Oxford Business Group"
Qatar to invest $20bn in tourism through 2022"
Qatar will invest $20 to $25 billion in tourism infrastructure development over the next 11 years as it prepares to host the 2022 soccer World Cup, the head of its state-run tourism authority said. Qatar's copious natural gas reserves have turned it into an economic powerhouse and the world's richest country per-capita, and driven its bold ambitions to lure visitors. ""This is mostly going to be in hotels, but also in parks and entertainment venues,"" the chairman of the Qatar Tourism Authority Ahmed Abdullah Al-Nuaimi told Reuters in an interview. The country, which currently has 10,000 hotel rooms, will add an additional 5,500 this year with plans to reach 30,000 by 2013. 5,000 new rooms will come on stream each year through 2022, he said. ""Big names are coming into the market, including four-star brands and furnished apartments. Five hotels at the Pearl will start coming in the next three years: Four Seasons, Nikki Beach Hotel, one boutique hotel. Every brand in the world will be in Doha."" Source: Reuters"
Abu Dhabi: Tourism achieving targets"
Abu Dhabi has surpassed 1 million hotel guests for the first half of the year and seems likely to achieve its tourism aims for 2011, although increased competition could eat into margins in the longer term. The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) released its report on the industry’s first-half year performance at the end of July, showing that the emirate’s hotels hosted more than 1 million guests during the first six months of the year, an increase of 11% over the same period in 2010. There was also a 26% jump in the number of room occupancy nights, exceeding the 3 million mark, with rates for Abu Dhabi’s hotels running at 70%, up by 10% on the first six months of last year. ADTA has set the goal of 2 million hotel guests for 2011, which seems achievable given the year’s performance to date. Breaking the 2 million barrier would be a significant increase given that the figure for 2009 was 1.54 million. One percentage that did not rise quite so sharply was revenue, which climbed 6% to reach a total of Dh2.26 billion ($615.4 million). This slower rate of growth, despite the steep increase in visitor numbers, was due to reducing reduction of room tariffs in order to boost bookings, noted by ADTA’s chairman, Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan. “Results have been assisted by the destination’s heightened competitiveness, with average room rates falling by 15% in the first half compared to last year, making Abu Dhabi a more affordable upscale option than Sydney, Paris, New York or Tokyo,” Al Nahyan told local media. Source: Oxford Business Group"
Iraq 5-star hotel project on track"
Range Hospitality, a leading real estate developer, said work has started at its five-star hotel complex in Karbala, Iraq and the project will be completed in third quarter of 2013. Al Rawdatain Residences by Shaza is the flagship project of Range Hospitality, which has offices in UAE, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Pakistan and Bahrain. The 65,000-square mile hospitality development is conveniently located just a kilometer away from the holy Shiite shrines, said Munaf Ali, CEO of Range Hospitality while speaking at the 'cornerstone ceremony' celebrations of the flagship project. Once completed the 12 storeyed development will be the largest five-star hotel and residence in Iraq, he added. Source: TradeArabia News"
Osasco opens first hotel in Oman"
Real estate and hotels firm Orascom Development opened its first hotel in Oman in early September, the Swiss-listed firm said. Orascom, which has its main presence in Egypt, has projects in the Middle East and Europe and has been expanding its hotel portfolio in the region. Its four-star Sifawy Boutique Hotel in Jebel Sifah in Oman has 55 rooms and suites, the firm said in a statement. Jebel Sifah is one of three destinations the firm is developing with local partners. The project in Jebel Sifah, 45 kilometers outside of Oman's capital Muscat, will cover an area of more than 6.2 million square m and will include four-star and five-star hotels, shopping centers, restaurants, a marina and a golf course. Source: Reuters"
Kempinski opens 5 star-hotel in Bahrain"
Bahrain’s newest 5-star luxurious destination, Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre opened its doors in early September to welcome its first guests into the hotel's 460 luxurious rooms. Nestled in the fashionable Seef district and adjoined to the island’s biggest shopping destination, the hotel boasts of 79 suites, including a range of corporate and luxury facilities and a landscaped terraced pool, together with 8 unique restaurants and bars. The lavish city center hotel boasts two unique hotel towers, the Grand and the Ixir, which bring together Kempinski’s world-renowned services and amenities, while presenting their own distinctly unique style and characteristics. Kempinski comprises a portfolio of 65 five-star hotels in 27 countries and continues to add new properties in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Source: AMEInfo"