September 2014, Issue: 9 Volume: 32

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People & Places

  • The 149-room, four-star Swiss-Belhotel Seef in Bahrain officially opened on July 27 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Bahrain’s new business district. Swiss-Belhotel International chairman and president Gavin M Faull (second from left) said: “We are excited to be expanding in the Middle East and Bahrain is a very important market, which we are delighted to be entering. I am confident our blend of efficient service, professionalism, spacious rooms – much larger than you would normally find in a hotel in this category - and high value rates will be popular amongst business travellers in the region.” The Hong Kong-based firm aims operate up to seven hotels in the Middle East by 2015. This year will see Swiss-Belresort Ghantoot open in the UAE and Swiss-Belinn Ghubrah Muscat in Oman, Swiss-Belhotel Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and Swiss-Belhotel Erbil in Iraq will all open in 2015.
  • International superstar Ronan Keating was present at the official launch of Etihad Airways’ new daily services between Perth and Abu Dhabi in the Western Australian capital. The gala event was hosted by the airline’s chief commercial officer, Peter Baumgartner. Etihad Airways commenced daily, non-stop flights between Abu Dhabi and Perth on July 15 this year with an Airbus A330-200 offering 22 seats in business class and 240 in the economy cabin.
  • The Coral Beach Resort Sharjah’s summer camp concluded on a high note on July 28. Jean-Pierre Simon, regional general manager, Northern Emirates, Coral Hotels & Resorts, said that the resort’s summer camp has become popular with the masses as it offers result-oriented activities that encourage the participants’ decision-making and nurture the thought process of the child, in addition to encouraging innovative thinking and freeing the mind from pre-conceived notions.
  • As part of the Abu Dhabi Summer Season, hosted by the TCA and organised by Flash Entertainment, Emirates Palace executive pastry chef Alexander Haebe created a unique cake showcasing the exhilarating events line up. The unveiling of the cake was done in the presence of America’s favourite baker, Buddy Valastro.
  • The first mobile check-in at Marriott Executive Apartments Manama - Residence Inn by Marriott Manama Juffair took place on August 4 with guest Christopher Gibson. Mobile check-in is available in more than 40 hotels in the Middle East and Africa across seven brands. The mobile application enhances guest experience, with a customised check-in service, and faster check-out.
  • Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ador) – Abu Dhabi’s Volvo Ocean Race contesting crew – triumphed in its class, despite injuries, in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race (RB&I), leading the fleet for most of the 1,800-mile course and finishing with more than a two hour lead on its closest competition.
  • Emirates celebrated the launch of its daily, nonstop service to Chicago with a gala event at the city’s historic Navy Pier on Wednesday, August 6. The airline’s executive vice president and chief operations officer Adel Al Redha and Chicago deputy mayor Steven Koch were joined by more than 500 guests to commemorate the opening of Emirates’ ninth US gateway.
  • Accor Hotel Services Middle East has signed a management agreement with the Hiranandani Group, one of India’s largest real estate developers, to develop an ibis Styles hotel in Dubai, located alongside Business Bay Canal. The hotel will have 350 rooms and a view over Downtown Dubai.

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