Hotel Pic of the Week: Jumeirah Hotel at Etihad Towers Abu Dhabi

Infinity Pool and Private Beach

Jumeirah at Etihad Towers launched end of October 2011 and is part of the new and iconic Abu Dhabi 5-tower complex. The hotel has great views of the Arabian Gulf and Abu Dhabi Corniche. It clearly sets new standards for luxury hotels.

The Hotel and Travel Week

Monday, 31st October 2011

Expedia publishes their latest figures saying that gross bookings were up 11% in the 3rd quarter of 2011, while transactions were up 9.4%. Worldwide hotel revenue rose by 18%, with nights stayed up 16%. Air revenue however again decreased, this time 5%, as 10% fewer tickets were sold but at 6% higher prices on average. The OTA also announces that they sold 15,000 travel deals in the first three days of launching a partnership with Groupon but 3 months later Expedia is questioning the long-term value of those bargain shoppers and questioned whether customers would return to Expedia to book other trips.

Tuesday, 1st November 2011

Users of the Google Maps API will soon have to start paying for usage. The general price will be US$4 per 1,000 map loads but not everyone will be charged immediately. For regular maps, the first 25,000 users will be free. For Styled Maps, the initial limit goes down to 2,500 users. Google promises that they won’t block overused APIs right away, so users have time to think about what they want to do. Simply embedding Google Maps into a website without using the API is still free.

Wednesday, 2nd November 2011

Marriott International launches a section of its website specifically for their restaurants and bars. The new Restaurant & Bar Showcase, tells the stories of some of the company’s most popular venues. It also links to the outlets’ home pages and, where available, to Open Table or other equivalent sites to make a reservation. With this website, the hotel group looks to boost business for restaurant partners.

Thursday, 3rd November 2011

According to TRI Hospitality Consulting’s HotStats MENA market review for September 2011, Dubai and Saudi Arabian hotels are seeing strong growth, while Egypt’s continue to see declines in demand. Margins in Abu Dhabi are hurt by increased supply. Dubai is clearly benefitting from the Arab Spring and getting business from unstable countries such as Egypt and Syria. Occupancy was 78.6% compared to 71.8% in September 2010 which prompted hotels to increase rates by 10.9% in September, resulting in a 21.5% growth in RevPAR for the month.

Etihad Towers in January 2010
Etihad Towers in January 2010

Friday, 4th November 2011

Dubai-based Jumeirah Group opens its first property in Abu Dhabi, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. The hotel is located on the Arabian Gulf in the Ras Al Akhdar area of the UAE capital and features 382 guestrooms and suites, 199 fully serviced residences, 12 F&B outlets, the Talise Spa and one of the largest conference centers in Abu Dhabi. Etihad Towers is 280m tall and consists of 5 towers, containing residential, office and retail space.

Please, view also Hotel Pic of the Week: Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Abu Dhabi

Hotel Pic of the Week: Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi – another amazing hotel

Kempinski Hotel Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. is clearly one of the most luxurious hotels world-wide.
For a start, it’s massive and exceeds 7000 sqm of meeting room capacity. It is also surrounded by 85 hectares of beautifully landscaped gardens. The hotel features 1.3 km of private white sandy beach, ideal for sunbathing during the European winter.
If you don’t stay in one of the over 300 rooms and 92 suites, go and have an afternoon tea at Le Café & Caviar Bar at lobby level. I’d try the gold drizzled Black Forrest Chocolate Cake. It’s THE cake for chocolate lovers. Promise!
Take a look for yourself:
Black Forrest Chocolate Cake á la Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi

The Hotel and Travel Week #16

Monday, 29th March

Red Roof, a U.S. economy lodging chain with 350 properties nation-wide, announces an April Fools Day promotion: ‘No Fooling’ 1 Cent Sale. Starting on 1st April through to the 15th guests can book a room for 1 cent a night. 1% of rooms per property will be on sale. Red Roof say they want to give people the opportunity to travel even when economic times are tough. Red Roof
Tuesday, 30th March
Radisson tops Hilton as Europe’s largest upscale brand.
Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts and Radisson Edwardian Hotels, brands of the Rezidor Hotel Group, collectively offer 170 hotels and 38,079 rooms; followed by Hilton with 146 hotels and 37,806 rooms; and Marriott with 86 hotels and 20,806 rooms.
Wednesday, 31st March
The United Arab Emirates saw higher occupancy rates for February 2010.
According to The Global Hotel Survey conducted by STR Global, the overall occupancy rate for U.A.E. hotels rose to 77% in February, up from 67% in January and 75% during the same month in 2009. The occupancy rate in Dubai climbed to 86%, an 14% increase from January, while Abu Dhabi only saw a rise of 2% (with 59% occupancy). U.A.E. hotels witnessed an annual decline of 13% in revenues per available room, to US$183 in February, with lower revenues recorded in both emirates.
Thursday, 1st April
Staycation, the buzz term for spending holidays at home and a trend during the last recession, will still be going strong this Easter, for example in the UK. According to VisitEngland’s Easter Holiday Trip Tracker almost 10.5 million people will holiday in the UK this Easter, with 90% of them taking a break in England. Only six per cent are planning to travel overseas, the study shows. TravelMole
Friday, 2nd April
Wishing everyone a fantastic Easter break whether you are travelling or staying at home with your dearest. Enjoy!

© Sandra Brunsch -

The Hotel and Travel Week #9

Monday, 14th December

Abu Dhabi comes to Dubai’s help with USD 10 billion. Half of it will be used to repay Dubai World’s debt. The news instantly boosted stock markets in the UAE with Dubai’s main share index closing 10% up and Abu Dhabi’s rising more than 7%. This seems to mark the end of Dubai’s debt crisis – at least for the time being.
On the same day Abu Dhabi and Hyatt Hotels disclose a deal. An Abu Dhabi wealth fund buys a 10.9% stake of Hyatt’s common shares.
Tuesday, 15th December
Accor is to split into 2 companies, pending shareholder approval. The group’s board of directors recommended to separate prepaid services and hotel businesses in order to step up the pace of growth. The services division sells prepaid benefits such as gift vouchers or lunch vouchers and generated as much as 60% of the companies revenue last year.
Wednesday, 16th December
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts announces the launch of a new social media platform: Sheraton Shared Moments. The new site enables users to share travel experiences with friends, family and the public. People signing up to the portal also have the chance to win one of five dream holidays to a luxury Sheraton Hotel or Resort.
Thursday, 17th December
According to Sir Richard Branson space travel is only three years away. The Virgin boss unveils the Virgin Galactic space liner which will be called VSS-Enterprise and have room for at least 5 passengers. Apparently, there are already 13,500 potential customers for the 3-hour and USD 190,000 trip.
Friday, 18th December
Design Hotels and Unlike Media announce the launch of 11 Apple iPhone City guide applications. 10 English language city guides for the following cities can be downloaded at a charge: Amsterdam, Miami, Copenhagen, Berlin, Paris, London, Sao Paulo, Vienna, Shanghai and Barcelona. The city guide content is updated every 24 hours, free of charge. Since it is available offline, there is no need to worry about expensive roaming fees while you travel.


The Hotel and Travel Week #7

Monday, 30th November

After the news of Dubai’s debt problems rippled through the markets last week, Monday was all about assessing the severity of the problem. Dubai’s stock exchange suffers sharp falls of 7% on the first day of trading after Eid. Abu Dhabi markets drop by 8% in reaction to a request by Dubai World, the state-backed investment firm, to delay payment on its debt.
Dubai’s investment corporation also include the QE2 cruise liner, the Emirates airline and the Travelodge budget hotel chain.
Tuesday, 1st December
A Chicago-based company launches a new website which resells cancelled meeting contracts. The site serves as a clearing house, matching hotels with cancelled contracts with meeting planners. MeetingTrader claim that for the client who cancelled, reselling the contract can often reduce the financial penalty. The benefit for hotels is obvious, but meeting planners also have the chance to find venues and available dates for a very competitive price.
Wednesday, 2nd December
Hyatt launches its new Wish List website. At customers create an account. Purchases can then be made by family, friends or other well-wishers and include anything charged to a room, including spa visits, food and beverage, as well as other activities provided or hosted by Hyatt such as golf, mountain biking etc.
Thursday, 3rd December
Dubai says it will not stand in for the debts of state-owned Emirates Airlines. The airline has invested heavily in the past to get a competitive edge. It is also the main client for the Airbus A380 plane. According to rating agency Standard & Poor (S&P), Emirates has debts from 10 loans and bonds which become due in 2013.
Friday, 4th December
And some good news from Dubai at the end of the week: Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa reopens after completing a five-month refurbishing programme. The renovation covered all 260 rooms and suites as well as facilities throughout the hotel.