Monday, March 24, 2014

Oman Comes On Strong With New Salalah Rotana Resort

The five-star Salalah Rotana Resort is now officially opened in the capital of the southern Omani province of Dhofar. The stunning 400 room waterfront resort, part of the company’s steadily expanding Rotana Resorts, is the Sultante’s largest free-standing hotel in Oman.

“We pride ourselves in identifying desirable travel destinations and are excited to begin a new journey today at the first hotel to be operated by Rotana in Oman. Not only does it take us one step closer to reaching our ultimate vision but it has strengthened the company’s standing as the leading hotel management company in the region,” stated Omer Kaddouri, President & CEO of Rotana.

Set on the pristine Arabian coast only a stone’s throw from the famous Salalah Beach, each of the resort’s luxury rooms and suites are positioned directly on unique lagoons or nestled around water features and an elaborate network of man made waterways which connect the property to the Indian Ocean and which are filled with 105,000m2 of seawater refreshed every four days using natural tidal patterns.

Salalah Rotana Resort sits at one with nature, and has been designed to offer guests a distinctive sense of calm. Drawing inspiration from the landscape’s natural beauty and culture, the heart of the hotel boasts high ceilings and a central internally-lit handmade red clay dome complementing the wooden finishing and decorative mashrabiya latticework windows. The in-room furnishings have been carved from desert rock while Arabesque geometric designs and stone archways, constructed using traditional techniques, resemble a cathedral atrium.

Ranging from 43 sq meters to 143 sq meters, Salalah Rotana Resort boasts some of the most spacious accommodations in Oman. Private terraces or balconies, ensuite bathrooms and generous living areas in each room and suite allows for optimal privacy and superior comfort in a grand setting.  The perfect destination for every type of traveller, the resort’s wide variety of dining options range from casual beachside cuisine and all-day-dining to fine dining Middle Eastern and Western fare.

Guests looking to rejuvenate and rebalance the body can make use of the Bodylines leisure and fitness club and impressive outdoor pool or indulge in spa treatments at Zen the spa, Rotana’s home-grown spa concept derived from ancient holistic Asian philosophies, which includes eight single-sex only treatment rooms and blends natural Omani elements with holistic treatments and rituals including full body massages, facials and soothing wraps.

Business visitors will benefit from a superb range of meeting rooms and a state of the art Business Center in addition to an array of business and leisure facilities.

Whether socializing at The Beach Bar & Restaurant, relaxing by the poolside or spending time with children in the sophisticated playful Kid’s Club, Salalah Rotana Resort exceeds the expectations of the most discerning guest.

++ I am glad to see Oman developing their own kind of Mega Projects that fit perfectly with the overall environment of the Sultanate.

Here is a link to the Salalah Rotana Resort site:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Qatar Registers Second Highest Growth Rate In GCC Projects Market

Qatar’s projects market grew 26 percent last year, the second highest growth rate in the GCC, where project awards increased overall by 21 percent between 2012 and 2013, the first growth year since 2009.

The data was presented in a breakfast briefing at the Qatar Projects Conference, where a MEED Insight report detailed a comprehensive review of the GCC projects market from 2008-2013. The report said 2008 was a landmark year for Qatar, when over $22bn worth of projects were awarded predominantly by the construction and power sectors for megaprojects such as Ras Girtas Power & Water, Kharamaa Transmission Phase VIII, Barwa City Development and the Lusail Development.

Fast forward to 2013, Qatar maintains its momentum, awarding as much as $20bn on projects such as Qrail’s Doha Metro Red and Green Lines and several stations, which account for 41 percent of all projects awarded in the country.

Overall, during the period in review from 2008-2013, Qatar’s project market accounted for 12 percent ($96bn) of the total projects awarded in the GCC, for a massive outlay of an average of $16bn a year.

MEED Insight expects a robust 2014, with project awards estimated to range between $140-150bn. The outlook is also positive over the long-term, as GCC economies continue to grow and as the population explodes requiring further investments in infrastructure.

Challenges will most likely come from stiffer competition as contractors from Asia move to gain a bigger share of the market; and financing will play a factor in ensuring projects are not delayed.

Meanwhile, Elie Andraos, General Manager of Al Maysan, says the steady growth of the projects market is a great opportunity for heavy equipment and machinery suppliers. “Our participation in MEED’s Qatar Projects Conference 2014 is due to its importance in attracting local and international contractors. This conference is considered as a unique opportunity to display SANY’s heavy equipment and its proven reliability and quality in major construction projects in the GCC region. We are delighted to have participated, as it falls in line with Qatar’s 2030 vision in all aspects, particularly economic and construction,” he added.

Qatar Projects Conference concluded successfully, with optimism high among project stakeholders about the continued expansion of the projects market in Qatar. This year’s conference was supported by Samsung as the Official Technology Partner, Qatar Steel as Associate Partner, Mashreq and Global Building Solutions as Silver Sponsors, Parsons, Al Maysan and Larsen & Toubro as Bronze Sponsors.

Other corporate partners include Ibq (Gala Dinner Sponsor), Qatar Insurance Group (Lunch Sponsor), SEIB (Dedicated Partner and Breakfast Sponsor), PWC (as Reception Sponsor), HSBC (Masterclass Sponsor), Drake & Scull, ECG Engineering Consultants Group SA, Zurich Insurance and Hill International as Conference sponsors; and Shapoorji Pallonji as the Networking Sponsor.

Exhibiting companies include Al Jaber Engineering, ASTAD Project Management, International Aramoon Co Ltd as well as Salfo and Associates SA.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Marjan Island Resort & Spa Opens in Ras Al Khaimah

Located on a private island off the coast of Ras Al Khaimah, Marjan Island Resort and Spa opened its doors to the public this month.  Offering spacious and sumptuously decorated accommodations, the resort boasts a total of 302 rooms and suites with large balconies from which guests can view idyllic island sunsets with the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf right on the doorstep. All rooms and suites, designed in palatial grandeur and thoughtfully decorated with Arabian touches, feature exclusive amenities and advanced interactive multimedia systems.

Marjan Island Resort and Spa prides itself on being a true family destination with a superb range of facilities and activities for even the very youngest of guests, including an indoor-outdoor playground, Pirate’s Club, Youngsters Entertainment Fun Center, dedicated children’s swimming pool and a host of watersports on the island’s two pristine beaches.  Visitors will discover a variety of delectable dining outlets on the resort’s 1-km seafront boardwalk.

Relaxation and wellbeing are essential elements of the resort’s vision, with an entire floor dedicated to the La’Mar Holistic Wellness Spa which houses separate ladies and gentlemen’s treatment rooms, Hamams, steam rooms, saunas, Jacuzzis, gyms and an indoor swimming pool.   Guests can book an appointment with a nutritionist or a cosmetic specialist, which forms part of the resort’s extensive wellbeing facility.

For business there is no need to leave the resort.  With a 250-person ballroom, fully serviced business center as well as a boardroom and various breakout rooms, executives and decision-makers will have everything they need to get the job done.

“I’ve been in the hotel business for over 30 years, and you don’t get opportunities like this very often, to work in a destination as beautiful and rewarding as Marjan Island - Ras Al Khaimah, managing a property as amazing as Marjan Island Resort and Spa,” said Roger Tannous - General Manager, a Lebanese national who is also fluent in English and French and Arabic. “I am thrilled to be working with Marjan Island Resort and Spa’s management and owners. This resort is a one-of-a-kind, offering families a complete immersion in an authentic, intimate Arabian experience soaking up the culture, hospitality, tranquility and stunning surroundings, and that remains truer today than ever before.”

“We already have such an incredible property, the type of place where you can spend a week and not go out at all, just soaking up the cultural experience and one of the regions’ biggest spas, fine restaurants and lavish guest rooms,” said Khalid Motik – EAM Marjan Island Resort & Spa.

“We are confident that now is the time to bring Marjan Island Resort and Spa Ras Al Khaimah to the world. We have listened carefully to what our customers are looking for and we have taken the necessary time to ensure the product offering is just right. It has been meticulously planned and we are extremely happy with the result.” Mr. Motik further added.

++ Marjan Island Resort and Spa is owned by Manazil Real Estate Group of Sharjah and managed by InnovationZ Hospitality Group, specialists in resort operations, and is located on a private island off the coast of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates. They have done a great job with the development of this Mega Project! Here is a link to their website:

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