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Signature of management agreement for two hotels in Tehran

September 18, 2015

Signature of management agreement for two hotels in Tehran
AccorHotels, the world’s leading hotel operator, today announced that it has signed a management agreement with Aria Ziggurat for its two inaugural properties in Tehran.

The new hotels – Novotel IKIA and ibis IKIA – are connected to the main terminal of Imam Khomeini International Airport and scheduled to open in October 2015. AccorHotels is the first international hotel group to launch its brands in Iran.

Sébastien Bazin, AccorHotels’ Chairman and CEO, said at a press conference in Tehran today: “We are very excited about signing this partnership with Aria Ziggurat in Iran. We are certain that Novotel and ibis will fit perfectly into the growth momentum that Iran’s hospitality sector is enjoying. Our brands are looking at huge growth potential in this country, which is home to almost 80 million people and is expanding its economy. Our ambition is to develop an important network in the country thanks to our global portfolio of brands covering all segments, from luxury to midscale and economy.

Dr Mehdi Jahangiri, Aria Ziggurat’s Chairman, added: “We believe the expertise of international hospitality groups will upgrade local standards and existing levels of service in our hotels, and ultimately add value to our business. This important agreement with AccorHotels for the management of Novotel and ibis IKIA hotels in Tehran is a prosperous beginning that defines our new offer of hotel service along with an Iranian taste of hospitality and rich culture to our valued customers, partners and employees.

Aria Ziggurat Tourism Development Co., as a subsidiary of SEMEGA, is the owning company of Novotel and ibis IKIA hotels with 4 and 5 star ratings in Tehran. It is a private company established and registered in 2010 under the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Aria Ziggurat, SEMEGA, Tourism Bank and 37 other sister companies are all members of Tourism Financial Group, a leading holding company in Iran with over 4100 staff members mainly dedicated to developing the tourism and hospitality industry in the country.

The almost 500-room cluster hotels encompass a midscale hotel – Novotel IKIA (296 rooms) – and an economy hotel – ibis IKIA (196 rooms). Strategically connected to the main terminal of Imam Khomeini International Airport, within a 45-minute drive from downtown Tehran, the two new hotels are ideally positioned to attract domestic and international business travelers and tourists. Guests will enjoy a choice of Iranian and international cuisine, large meeting rooms and convention venues, and wellness facilities including spas, fitness centers and swimming pools.

AccorHotels currently manages 71 hotels (17,300 rooms) in the Middle East, spanning every segment from luxury to economy, in 10 countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Novotel ibis Tehran

ABOUT ACCORHOTELS
AccorHotels is a Group united by a shared passion for hospitality and driven by a shared promise to make everyone Feel Welcome.
Over 180,000 women and men in almost 3,800 AccorHotels establishments look after thousands of guests every day in 92 countries.

AccorHotels is the world’s leading hotel operator and offers its customers, partners and employees:
– its dual expertise as a hotel operator and franchisor (HotelServices) and a hotel owner and investor (HotelInvest);
– a large portfolio of internationally renowned brands covering the full spectrum, with luxury (Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Grand Mercure, The Sebel), midscale (Novotel, Suite Novotel, Mercure, Mama Shelter, Adagio) economy (ibis, ibis Styles, ibis budget, adagio access and hotelF1) establishments;
– a powerful marketplace and loyalty program Le Club AccorHotels
– almost half a century of commitment to corporate citizenship and solidarity with the PLANET 21 program.
Accor SA shares are listed on the Euronext Paris exchange (ISIN code: FR0000120404) and traded in the USA on the OTC marketplace (Code: ACRFY)

Follow news on Accor: Book a hotel: www.accorhotels.com
http://www.twitter.com/accorhotelsgroup | www.accorhotels-group.com

ABOUT NOVOTEL
Novotel is the midscale hotel brand of AccorHotels, the world’s leading hotel operator, present in 94 countries with almost 3,800 hotels and 180,000 employees. Novotel’s consistently high standard of service contributes to the wellbeing of both business and leisure travellers: think spacious, modular-design guestrooms, balanced cuisine available 24/7, excellent meeting facilities, attentive staff, dedicated children’s areas and rejuvenating wellness facilities. With PLANET 21, AccorHotels’ sustainable development program, Novotel commits itself to the planet. To meet today’s challenging environmental and social issues, the brand has chosen to rely on a world renowned environmental certification, ISO 14001. Novotel offers more than 400 hotels and resorts in 60 countries, situated in the centre of major international cities from business districts to tourist destinations. More information at: http://www.novotel.com

ABOUT IBIS
As one of the economy brands of AccorHotels, the world’s leading hotel operator active in 94 countries with almost 3,800 hotels, ibis has more than 1031 hotels and 129,000 rooms in 59 countries. The brand innovates constantly to illustrate its values of modernity, comfort and availability. For example, it has created the revolutionary bedding concept Sweet BedTM by ibis; new common areas; the Ibis Kitchen modern food and beverage offer. It also cultivates a spirit of service that drives each of its employees. ibis is the first hotel brand to have obtained ISO 9001 certification – 86% of the network certified – for its professionalism and reliability. In addition, 58% of the ibis network is ISO 14001-certified, concrete proof of the brand’s environmental commitment. Created in 1974, today ibis is European leader in economy hotels and in 4th place in its category worldwide. More information at: http://www.ibis.com

ABOUT TOURISM FINANCIAL GROUP
Tourism Financial Group is a leading holding company in Iran with over 4100 staff members and more than 40 member companies active and mainly dedicated to developing the tourism and hospitality industry in the country.
Investment programs in capital markets, commercial projects and production plans in profitable industries, construction projects to develop tourism industry, financial support to scientific, sports and cultural projects, charity and humanitarian activities are also among the large portfolio of activities the Tourism Financial Group accomplishes through its member companies.
Tourism Financial Group has 5 sub-group holding companies in the fields of Tourism, Banking, Construction, Oil & Gas, and Industry and Mines.

ABOUT SEMEGA
Cultural Heritage and Tourism Investment Company, abbreviated in Farsi as SEMEGA, is the executive arm to Tourism Financial Group in respect to hospitality and tourism services offered through its subsidiary companies. SEMEGA was established in 2009 with the Company mission to develop tourism industry in the country. As a specialized tourism holding with more than 15 subsidiaries, SEMEGA is currently participating in capital market and all sectors of tourism industry value chain and prepares itself to take new prominent steps towards its main objectives.
The company aims to promote its market position amongst the largest companies in tourism industry and to contend shareholders and investors through facilitating and developing investment opportunities in the industry besides the optimal utilization of its capacities.
SEMEGA is the first Iranian non-governmental member to UNWTO, and acts as investor, developer and operator to expand the range of activities in order to achieve the vision and realize its slogan: “SEMEGA, a familiar name to all Iranian families.”
As a listed company in Iran Securities & Exchange Organization, SEMEGA was able to meet shareholders satisfaction and receive their participations in the programs for capital market. SEMEGA is the largest shareholder of Aria Ziggurat Company and holds more than 70 percent of the company shares. It is also among the main shareholders of Tourism Bank in Iran.

ABOUT ARIA ZIGGURAT
Aria Ziggurat Tourism Development Co., as a subsidiary of SEMEGA, is the owning company of Novotel and ibis IKIA hotels with 4 and 5 star ratings, ideally located in Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran. It is a private company established and registered in 2010 under the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Aria Ziggurat is now a leading company active in the fields of hospitality, leisure and tourism development.
In line with a corporate strategy and SEMEGA holding vision to possess the largest chain of 4 and 5 star hotels in the country by 2025, Aria Ziggurat is now focused on new purchasing opportunities including new 5-star hotels in Tehran and other tourism oriented cities of Iran as well as feasible hotel construction plans across the country.

PREVIEW: GIBTM GEARS UP FOR SERIOUS BUSINESS IN ABU DHABI

February 17, 2014

GIBTM GEARS UP FOR SERIOUS BUSINESS IN ABU DHABI

New exhibitors, novel showcase features, major regional buyers, enhanced education programme, networking events and post-event fam’ trips – set the stage for GIBTM (www.gibtm.com) as the leading MICE exhibition in the Middle East.

The 2014 edition of The Gulf Incentives, Business, Travel and Meetings is shaping up to be the most successful yet, with robust exhibitor and buyer interest in the event giving rise to new exhibition features, innovative concept areas, up to 300 hosted buyers, over 2,000 trade visitors and an expanded educational programme.

Kicking off at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 24-26 March 2014, GIBTM has piqued the interest of a truly international audience, with a number of first-time exhibitors attending from Spain, the United States, Thailand, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Czech Republic, UAE, Korea, United Kingdom, Uganda, South Africa and Morocco.

Last year GIBTM tripled corporate meetings buyer attendance accounting for 35% of all hosted buyers attending the show, compared to 11% from the corporate sector in 2012.

The international pavilions have a new addition in the shape of the Africa Pavilion, which is being added in response to a surge in demand from exhibitors looking at targeting outbound business from the Middle East into the continent, with newcomers including Tips Tours and Rovos Rail Tours.

It joins the Asia Pavilion, with Korea and Thailand confirmed newcomers, as well as the European Pavilion, which this year will occupy a much larger area due to the addition of debutants such as L’way Express from the Czech Republic, Spain’s Iberostar Management, Serbia Convention Bureau, EPI Georgia, Arsenal Football Club and AYGUN TURIZM of Turkey.

GIBTM’s ‘Knowledge Programme’ has also been ramped up for 2014, with educational sessions conducted by some of the world’s leading meetings industry associations including MPI, ICCA and SITE, covering topics spanning industry trends, sustainability, issues impacting the corporate travel industry, and the challenges of staging international association meetings.

The seminar programme, sponsored by Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), has interesting sessions this year including the MICE Buyers report, in this session, Rob Davidson of the University of Greenwich in London will present the results of the Middle Eastern Meeting Planners’ Site Selection Survey – brand new research which demonstrates the factors that are most important to Middle Eastern meeting planners when they are deciding where to locate their events.

Another research study being presented by Sunil Malhotra, Director, Aviation Sector – Middle East & North Africa, Ernst and Young, is ‘The Habits of Middle East Business Travellers’. To view the full programme visit http://www.gibtm.com/knowledge

The GIBTM 20×20 Challenge, powered by PechaKucha is back for a second year running due to popular demand.

“The upswing in interest from a much wider audience of exhibitors than ever before has led the GIBTM team to introduce a number of exciting new initiatives at the 2014 show, enabling the event to reflect the demands and trends shaping the local and global meetings markets,” said Lois Hall, Exhibition Director, GIBTM.

“These new features include sourceme Pavilion in partnership with Nicholas Publishing International (NPI), which will showcase the leading event service suppliers from the Gulf region’s only annual events directory; the Technology & Services Zone, dedicated to the industry’s most technologically-advanced products and event planning services; plus Business Travel @GIBTM, featuring exhibitors in the Business Travel Zone. A dedicated Business Travel Knowledge programme and dedicated networking sessions.

“GIBTM will welcome up to 300 highly influential regional and international Hosted Buyers to attend this year’s show, all of whom have proven budget and sizeable business to place.” continued Hall.

Representatives from major industry players such as Kuoni Events, TE Connectivity, UHY International, Medicongress, Mary Kay, HelmsBriscoe, FEI Company, China International Medicine Exchange Association International Service Center, Contendam and Portigon Financial Services have all been accepted as Hosted Buyers.

“More than 8,500 pre-scheduled appointments are expected to take place between buyers and exhibitors at this year’s GIBTM,” said hall.

Additional value will be offered to Hosted Buyers through the launch of a series of post-event familiarisation tours to Qatar, Bahrain, Dubai, Jordan and Oman, giving these prime MICE destinations the opportunity to showcase their business and meeting facilities, hospitality portfolio and leisure attractions to global decision-makers.

To find out more about GIBTM please visit http://www.gibtm.com

Join GIBTM on Linked in, Twitter and Facebook.

GIBTM 2014 KNOWLEDGE PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED

February 10, 2014

GIBTM 2014 KNOWLEDGE PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED
For full details visit http://www.gibtm.com/knowledge

GIBTM, the leading Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition in the Middle East, has recently announced the full outline for their 2014 GIBTM Knowledge programme which will be delivered at the show, set to take place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 24-26 March, 2014.

Erica Keogan, Associations and Education Manager, IBTM Global Events Portfolio, Reed Travel Exhibitions commented, “GIBTM Knowledge has been rebranded for this year and is set to offer professional education opportunities for MICE and Business Travel professionals at all levels. The programme, which will be delivered by industry experts, has been designed to cover key market trends and issues in the Meetings, Incentives and Business Travel sectors.”

Sponsored by Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), the GIBTM 2014 Knowledge programme will be supported by SITE, MPI, ICCA and Green Globe and will include Business Travel, Industry Knowledge, Association and Sustainability sessions, which will deliver cutting edge professional education opportunities for MICE and Business Travel professionals.

The GIBTM Knowledge programme will incorporate the following sessions and full details can be found via http://www.gibtm.com/knowledge

The GIBTM 20×20 Challenge – Powered by PechaKucha (26 March 2014, 10:30 – 11:30 Knowledge Hub). This session invites attendees to present in a PechaKucha™ competition (PechaKucha™ is a style of presentation: 20 slides shown for precisely 20 seconds per slide). The audience will vote for their favourite presentation and pick the winner. Those interested in presenting should email abi.cannons@reedexpo.co.uk with a brief overview of their intended topic.
Habits of Middle East Business Travellers (25 March 2014, 16:00 – 17:00 Knowledge Hub) – Sunil Malhotra, Director, Aviation Sector – Middle East & North Africa, Ernst and Young, will be discussing the travel habits of business travellers in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) and will be addressing their travel needs and trends. This is a must-attend session for all those interested in discovering future Business Travel trends in the Middle East.
Using Content Marketing to Promote Your Event or Venue (25 March 2014, 13:00 – 14:00, Knowledge Hub) – This session, delivered by Jordan Boshers, Chief Digital Strategist and Founder, IstiZada, and Farah Isam Batarneh, Online Project Manager, IstiZada, will analyse how content marketing can be used to drive new business through utilising the creation and distribution of relevant and useful content.

To find out more about GIBTM please visit http://www.gibtm.com

Join GIBTM on Linked in, Twitter and Facebook.


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GLOBAL RECOGNITION SET TO ATTRACT INTERNATIONAL EVENTS

May 23, 2012

GLOBAL RECOGNITION SET TO ATTRACT INTERNATIONAL EVENTS
Global recognition highlighting the beauty and “must-see” aspects of Sultanate of Oman is good news for the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre which is scheduled for completion in 2016.

Speaking at one of Europe’s premier meetings industry trade fairs, IMEX, in Frankfurt, Geoff Donaghy, the Director of Convention Centres for AEG Ogden which manages the Oman Centre, said the importance of international awards could not be understated as a tool to promote venues to prospective customers.

“Oman and its capital city Muscat recently being acknowledged by both Lonely Planet and National Geographic for its range of attractions was very timely.

“Oman has been trading with the world for more than 5,000 years and is an active global community member so it comes as no surprise that our preliminary research and promotional activities has uncovered strong interest in the Sultanate as a destination,” he said.

Mr. Donaghy said Oman’s diverse landscape, natural attractions, pristine coastline and rich heritage and culture had contributed to its emergence as a business events destination and becoming the Arabian Tourism Capital in 2012.

“AEG Ogden has been working in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Oman’s key stakeholders in introducing the world to Oman and as the new hub for major international conventions, meetings and business events. Many international and regional organisations have already expressed a strong desire to hold future or expand events in the sea side city of Muscat.

“Our message to these decision-makers is consider Oman not only for the world class venue that will be there but the diversity of attractions at their disposal. It’s a total package that delegates will be inspired to attend and an experience they won’t forget,” Mr. Donaghy said.

The Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre will be a world-class venue within a fully integrated precinct housing a five star hotel, two four star and a three star hotel totalling 1,000 rooms, supported by a shopping centre, business park within four kilometres from Muscat International Airport.

The Centre will play an important role in the country’s Vision 2020 strategy to diversify the economy and build employment opportunities for the Omani people and open their country to the world. It will also offer an additional choice to international and regional associations, organisations, institutions and corporations to grow business opportunities, impart knowledge in a destination that has serious delegate appeal.

IMEX is being held in Frankfurt from 22 to 24 May. The Centre will feature on the Oman Ministry of Tourism stand E620. For more information view www.omanconvention.com

About the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre
The Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre is located in the Hayy Al Ifran district only four kilometres from Muscat International Airport.

The design of the Centre will ensure a flow of the meetings space to suit the most discerning conference and exhibition organisers. It also incorporated expansive concourse areas to enable ease of large delegations with floor to ceiling windows overlooking landscaped gardens and water features.

The Centre will feature an elaborate tiered auditorium to seat 3,200 while the exhibition halls will feature 22,000 square metres of column-free exhibition space. Halls 1 and 2 will have a superior fit out, specialised acoustic treatment, advanced lighting and rigging requirements to act as a multi-purpose space for plenary sessions, concerts, performances, gala events on a larger scale of up to 10,000 seated, theatre-style.

The Centre will also include an additional 14 meeting rooms for 70-360 delegates, two well-appointed ballrooms to seat up to 2,360, VIP Pavilion, a spacious food-court and a multi-storey carpark with capacity for 4,000 vehicles.

The Precinct will provide the infrastructure necessary to host successful international, regional and local events and for the enjoyment of the community. These include a five star hotel linked to the convention centre, two four star, and a three star hotel and apartments with a combined total of 1,000 rooms. A business park, retail shopping mall surrounded by a nature reserve which will be a haven for Oman’s exotic birdlife, parklands and wadi (valley) park are also part of this picturesque precinct. http://www.omanconvention.com

About the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre
AEG AEG Ogden is a joint venture between Australian interests and AEG Facilities of the United States.

AEG Ogden manages venues throughout the Asia Pacific region, including the Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Kuala Lumpur and Qatar convention centres and the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (under construction), Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, five live theatres including Perth’s His Majesty’s Theatre, the Perth Concert Hall and Subiaco Arts Centre, and a network of arenas including Sydney’s Allphones Arena, the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, the Newcastle Entertainment Centre, and the Perth Arena (currently under construction). www.aegogden.com

AEG, a subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, is the leading sports, entertainment and venue operator in the world. AEG Facilities, a stand-alone affiliate of AEG, owns, operates or consults with 100 of the industry’s pre-eminent venues worldwide, across five continents, and works in concert with affiliated AEG entities, including live event producer, AEG Live, AEG Global Partnerships and AEG Development to support the success of AEG venues across the globe. AEG owns, operates or provides services to venues including STAPLES Center (Los Angeles, Calif.), The Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.), Nokia Theatre L.A. Live (Los Angeles, Calif.), Citizens Business Bank Arena (Ontario, Calif.), Valley View Casino Center, (San Diego, Calif); Sprint Center (Kansas City, Mo.), XL Center and Rentschler Field (Hartford, Conn) The Rose Garden (Portland, Ore.), KeyArena (Seattle, Wash.), KFC YUM! Center (Louisville, Ky.), American Airlines Arena (Miami, Fla.), AT&T Center (San Antonio, Tx.), Time Warner Cable Arena (Charlotte, N.C.), Prudential Center (Newark, N.J.), Target Center (Minneapolis, Minn.), Mercedes-Benz Arena (Shanghai, China), MastercardCenter (Beijing, China), The O2 Arena (London, England), O2 World (Berlin, Germany), O2 World Hamburg (Hamburg, Germany), Ahoy Arena (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Pernambuco Stadium (Recife, Brazil), Allphones Arena, (Sydney Aust), Globe Arenas (Stockholm, Sweden), Turk Telekom Arena (Istanbul, Turkey) and the Qatar National Convention Centre (Doha, Qatar). For more information, visit www.aegworldwide.com.

For more information contact:
Rochelle Uechtritz
Group Manager, Convention Sales Development
AEG Ogden


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