Monthly Archives: April 2009

Premier League Fantasy Cricket Game (IPL)

Enter the IPL Fantasy Cricket Game, with 34 days to play but only your best 14 considered in the tournament rankings along with the semis and the finals, you can have a few off days and still win your share of the prizes.

You can enter your team on each day of the premier league and win prizes for the days best performance.

Select your squad with a maximum of 6 players from any team. Pick a balanced squad of batsmen, bowlers and a keeper to make up you team.

Your players Live Match perfromance will determine your fantasy teams perfromance as you compete against users from all over India! You can also create your own league and invite your friends to join and compete for the league prizes too.

Your players scores and bowling figures are updated with each ball of the live matches into your very own, fantasy cricket scorecards so you can follow your teams performance and ranking with each ball of the LIVE match!!

Click here to participate in the IPL Fantasy Game

Arabia Poised To Welcome New Hospitality Flags

Arabia continues to remain a favourite among investors and operators in the tourism and hospitality sector, in particular those in the budget segment, according to Jonathan Worsley, co-organiser of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference.Worsley, co-organiser the event, now in its fifth year, said that industry figures show that the region is still considered a hot-spot, although 10 and 20 per cent of the 500-plus planned hotel projects in GCC have been put on hold.

“Recent numbers issued by Jones Lang LaSalle estimates that 680,000 new hotel rooms will enter the market next year in the greater Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) – compared to an original prediction of more than 800,000. It seems that many are jumping on the budget hotel bandwagon that is sweeping through the GCC.

“Indeed, the case for low-cost hotels and the buoyant entry of new brands into the region is high among the key topics under discussion during the three-day event (May 2-4),� he said.

Worsley suggested that budget hotels are set to revolutionise the scale of choice for the consumer and open up new market categories for business and leisure travel.

He noted that Emirates and Whitbread Hotels have entered into a joint venture, with the Premier Inn brand and plan to operate three hotels in Dubai later this year.

Darroch Crawford, Managing Director Premier Inn, said that the launch had been well received. “The limited-service hotel sector presents the best opportunity in the hospitality sector in these times as even more individuals, and certainly most businesses, look for value for money. We are offering guaranteed consistency at a low price that will be in big demand.

“Lower operating costs allow budget hotels to make excellent returns, even at modest occupancy levels. There are good investment opportunities, particularly as land and construction costs are returning to more realistic levels. The best opportunities lie in GCC capital cities where the limited-service sector currently has little or no representation.”

Crawford’s view is echoed by Sami A Ansari, CEO of Ishraq Gulf Real Estate, the developer behind Holiday Inn Express. Ansari said that his hotels in Dubai have outperformed the market occupancy average in the city by as much as 15 percent in the past four months.

“Budget hotels have historically been shown to be recession resilient. The model continues to generate targeted profits for investors, as they operate on much lower margins than their full service rivals,” he said.

“We will continue our development of the Holiday Inn Express brand in the region at full speed. We are opening of our fourth property near Dubai airport this summer. Construction is at full speed in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Fujairah and Doha.”

Other low cost brands announced for the region include Hilton’s Garden Inn in Saudi Arabia, easyHotels in Dubai and Rotana’s Centro in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

“Despite the spread of budget and mid-market hotels, top names are still being attracted to the region to plant their flag,� said Worsley.

“We have seen names such as W debut in Doha. Radisson’s Missoni will open one of its first two hotels in Kuwait and has recently announced a second resort in Oman, while Langham and Taj both have projects in Doha.

“Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi will have Anantara, Angsana, Conrad, Dusit, Rocco Forte, Hard Rock, Le Bristol, Oberoi, Regent, St Regis, Westin, Wyndham, yotel and Hilton’s new brand Denizen to name a few.”

Another new player, The Address Hotels & Resorts from Emaar, is looking both in the GCC and in North Africa in its initial expansion phase. According to CEO, Marc Dardenne, brand distinction will be an imperative for survival for all existing and new players in the hospitality sector.

Mr. Dardenne said, “The key challenge for any new entrant is the ability to create a unique brand differentiated by positioning the property correctly in a crowded market,” he said.

“The region has varied drivers including leisure and business tourism. The MICE sector will contribute immensely in the coming months. All new players must identify their niche and create properties that are focused on specific sectors.”

He said the hospitality sector in the Middle East was emerging from a state of flux and is carving a strong identity but warned that service standards need to be redefined.

In addition, the 2009 conference includes a half-day summit on Saudi Arabia. The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference is organised by Bench Events and MEED Events.?  Details can be found on www.arabianconference.com.? ? 

Industry Bites
The hospitality sector has scaled back its Middle East ambitions with planned construction down 10 percent since the financial crisis hit and more declines ahead, according to a new report by Lodging Econometrics.

A new report from Business 24/7 claims that around 20 per cent of hotel room supply in the MENA region, particularly the GCC, proposed for completion by 2010 will not be ready.

The delay rate for projects earmarked for completion by 2015 could be as high as 40 per cent, according to an industry report by global hotel investment services firm Jones Lang LaSalle Hotel.

Camel Polo Tour in Dubai

Now small groups of 8 or more people you can enjoy an exciting game of Camel Polo in Dubai.Travel & Culture Services is proud to offer this very unique opportunity for our valued clients. We will offer true camel Polo playing tour for group size minimum 8 making 2 teams of 4 each.

Cost for Group size 8 or more US$ 199.00 or Dhs 730 Per person Inclusive of every thing Pick up from your hotel at 3:30PM return return 8PM Timing can also be adjusted as per your wish upon request.?  contact us to book now

For Corporate parties or groups please feel free to contact us for a custom quote.

The camel Polo Playing activity will allow the participants, the opportunity to play in this highly entertaining hybrid of the traditional game of polo.

The tour of camel Polo includes Return Transfers the camels, all the equipment, including helmets & chaps, all the staff, soft drinks and water and polo shirt as well as a prize for the winning team. Contact us to book your tour now

SmartOman.com

If you want to read Oman related business news www.smartoman.com is the best site to visit. Site contact email is voice@smartoman.com? ?