Swiss-Belhotel Expands in Bahrain 

    Swiss-Belhotel International (SBI) has signed a management agreement with Hassan Lari Property Development & Management to operate Swiss-Belresidences Juffair in Bahrain. This latest announcement is not only testament to the group’s growing footprint in the GCC but also marks the debut of Swiss-Belresidences brand in Bahrain. Mohamed Lari, General Manager of Hassan Lari Property Development & Management, said, “We look forward to working with a reputed partner like Swiss-Belhotel International. Swiss-Belresidences Juffair has been designed keeping in mind the comfort and flexibility that today’s modern travelers demand, and will offer guests an enriching experience.” Laurent A. Voivenel, Senior Vice President, Operations and Development for the Middle East, Africa and India, Swiss-Belhotel International, said, “GCC is a strategic growth market for us and we are delighted to announce this superb new property in Bahrain with Hassan Lari Property Development & Management. 


    Crystal Lagoons Targets Jordan 

    Crystal Lagoons, the multinational water innovation company and developer of the “world’s top amenity”, is in discussion with several prominent real estate developers in Jordan in a bid to increase the number of the crystal-clear lagoons in the country’s Aqaba and Dead Sea areas. The cutting-edge technology is already making a huge impact in the Middle East and Africa, including the multi-million-dollar project located in the Al-Rama area of Jordan, just 30 minutes from Amman at the Lagoon Hotel and Resort, the 13 signed developments in Egypt, two in the UAE and talks taking place for further projects in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Dubai to bring the limitless sized lagoons with low construction and maintenance costs to the region. Crystal Lagoons is keen to capitalize on the burgeoning tourism market as individual overnight visitors in 2016 were around 3.86 million, registering a 2.6% increase compared to 2015, according to the ministry’s figures. 


    Mazagan Records High Footfall of GCC Tourists 

    Morocco, long famed as a tourist destination for its historical sites, sunny beaches and exotic cuisine, has witnessed a significant increase in number of tourists visiting the country. The total number of tourists who visited Morocco in March was 762,562, an increase of 3.7% compared to the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicraft and Social Economy. This increase was underpinned by the surge of the GCC tourists visiting Morocco during the same period. Khadija El Idrissi, Director of Communication and Public Relations at Mazagan Beach and Golf Resort stated that the profound increase in GCC tourist was mainly due to the higher spending power of GCC families as well as the number of persons in each family. “Morocco is fast witnessing an increase in travellers from the Gulf. The increased number of air links between the two regions, the cost-effective prices offered by the country and the high disposal incomes of the people have encouraged more GCC tourists to visit this part of the world,” said El Idrissi.


    Unilever Food Solutions to Support Omanexpo

    In a bid to showcase their most innovative range of solutions for professional chefs in the hotels, restaurants and catering businesses, Unilever Food Solutions Oman has announced its association with the Food & Hospitality Oman exhibition 2017. The exhibition, accompanied by the Food Safety Oman Conference, will be held from 16-18 October, is recognized as the benchmark for food and hospitality exhibitions in the Sultanate. With food consumption in Oman likely to grow at a CAGR of 4.5%, Food & Hospitality leverages the growing opportunities to expand the food market. "We are confident our association with the premier food and hospitality expo will help us continue to engage passionate professional followers of food culture. As the Platinum Sponsor for the event, our aim is to expand awareness of Unilever Food Solutions' varied products and services and also share learnings from the market," says Bilal Baig, Head of Marketing, Unilever Food Solutions, Middle East, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Home to some of the world’s well-known brands such as Knorr, Hellmann’s, Colman's, and Lipton, Unilever Food Solutions work closely with businesses of all sizes across more than 70 countries. 

    Saudi Arabia

    Radisson sets to open in Makkah

    The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the fastest growing hotel companies in the world is set to become one of the largest hotel operators in Makkah, Saudi Arabia with the announcement of two iconic hotels in the Holy City. The recent signing of a management agreement between the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and esteemed Saudi company Al Majd Al Arabiah was announced comprising a total of 2,850 rooms. This announcement will result in the opening of the world’s largest Radisson Blu hotel, featuring over 1,250 rooms. Located in the Aziziyah District in Makkah the Radisson Blu Hotel Al Hidaya will be situated in the Al Hidaya Complex, which is already welcoming pilgrims across 10 towers and features 4,500 rooms. Two towers will be initially converted to the Radisson Blu brand and will open in two phases with the first tower of 588 rooms set to open in May 2018 and the second tower of 663 rooms in May 2019. The Radisson Blu Hotel Al Hidaya will become a destination by itself, sitting on top of the Al Hidaya Gallery, a commercial retail avenue over 14,000 square meters.


    DMCC & Cropdata Promote Commodities 

    DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Centre), the Government authority on trade, enterprise and commodities in Dubai, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cropdata Technology. Based in Nagpur, India, Cropdata’s mission is to enhance the country’s agricultural sector, while improving the lives of its farmers, which comprise some 55 percent of India’s population. The objective of the memorandum is to explore how DMCC and Cropdata can collaborate to enhance bilateral trade relations with a focus on agricultural-based commodities, a sector that has shown remarkable stability, according to the World Bank’s Agricultural Price Index, with grains showing the most promise, posting 4 percent price gains in the first quarter of 2017. As one of the world’s biggest producers, India’s 2016-17 grains yield reached 136 million tons, according to the International Grains Council, up from 124.6 million the year before. Sanjeev Dutta, Executive Director, Commodities, DMCC, said: “We are committed to developing and leveraging new marketplaces and sectors, and this memorandum with Cropdata Technology is a natural step in that journey. Our scope of trade covers a broad range of food products, and food production issues having an increasingly wider global impact, agro goods occupy an increasingly strategic role in DMCC’s commodities mix.”