In Brief: Destination Reports


Bahrain’s Wadi Al Buhair is nature reserve

His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, and Prime Minister, issued a directive declaring the ecological areas in Wadi Al Buhair that contain terrain and rocky hills, as a nature reserve, reported BNA.

He called upon the relevant authorities to take the necessary ministerial measures and decisions to ensure the preservation of the area. 

HRH Prince Salman further directed the relevant authorities to continue their urban and infrastructure development in the Wadi Al-Buhair area, while taking into consideration the preservation of its protected areas.

He affirmed the Kingdom’s commitment to preserving and developing areas of natural and historic value, to support its role as a tourist attraction.


Khorfakkan project to open in 2024

Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has revealed details of its upcoming integrated large-scale development project in the Eastern enclave of Khorfakkan comprising a 5-star hotel, the first waterpark in the Eastern region, and more than 200 residential units.

Scheduled for completion in 2024, the luxury 5-star hospitality project, operating under the Autograph Collection by Marriott International and built on 38,000 sqm opposite the Khorfakkan port, will feature 75 deluxe units, pools, restaurants, and a ballroom for special occasions. 

The proposed rooms include 62 single rooms, 5 double rooms, and 8 luxury suites offering stunning views of the Arabian Sea and offers unparalleled luxury for visitors to the tranquil eastern enclave.

The expansive project will also see the development of the first waterpark in the Eastern region of the emirate and caters to the ever-growing demand for tourism and leisure experiences in the East Coast.

Shurooq’s new project follows the ongoing development of the nature-inspired LUX Al Jabal Resort in Khorfakkan, located on the slopes of the spectacular Soueifa mountain, overlooking a beach.


Berlin to turn into a smart destination

visitBerlin is beginning to develop its own smart tourism database for Berlin and has gotten Join GmbH on board as a partner. The goal is to store and consolidate all the city’s tourism information – e.g., about hotels, sights, museums, attractions, restaurants, and events – in a machine-readable format in a digital data hub and make it usable for a variety of applications. Not only will the city’s tourism providers benefit from the smart database, but the modern technology will also make it possible for visitors to access the latest information through various channels. visitBerlin plans to finish development of the first prototype by late 2022.

“Digitalization is affecting all industries today and, of course, tourism as well. The new DataHub is a consequent decision to make the wide range of information about Berlin tourism centrally usable for everyone. By developing a hub for Berlin-specific tourism knowledge, we are helping the industry to position itself for the future and to meet the needs of Berliners and visitors alike,” says Michael Biel, State Secretary of the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises.


Saudi visitors lead Qatar arrivals in May

‘Eid in Qatar’ festivities in May drove a strong influx of visitors last month, with international arrivals at 166,000, the highest monthly figure so far this year. Of all visitors, those from Saudi Arabia constituted 40 per cent, while the GCC overall made up more than half (54 per cent).

Supported by the easing of public health measures, the latest tourism performance data represents more than a quarter of all visitors welcomed over the first five months of this year. And capitalising on Qatar’s close proximity and ease of access, the proportion of total arrivals by land exceeded that of air for the very first time, with visitors opting to drive through the open and operative Abu Samra border.

The latest data on visitor arrivals point to a steady recovery of Qatar’s tourism sector, with the year-to-date total (580,000) fast approaching the overall arrivals figure of 2021 (611,000).