DIRECTOR OF SALES
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING
Kim Feldmann de Britto
How to get in | Dubai 12
Dubai International Hotel 14
The Neighborhoods of Dubai 16
Lade Mauve - Melissah Russo 24
Sisters Beauty Lounge 26
Metro Central Hotel Apartments27
Holiday inn Al Barsha Dubai 28
The Desert | Dubai 32
The One to Watch | Erbil, Iraq 34
Erbil International Hotel 36
24 Hours in Kuwait 38
Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa 42
Qatar – A Rising Star 44
Bahrain Top 5 48
The Beautiful City | Medina, Saudi Arabia 54
Bosphorus Hotel 56
An Ancient Retreat | Nizwa, Oman 58
Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel 60
Excellence in Service is an important category, as customer
service can often be responsible for having guests return
year after year. We look for the hotels and tour operators
that go out of their way to please their guests, those that
provide a personal level of service and take the time to
get to know each visitor so that they might anticipate their
every need. This can be something as simple as a 24-hour
concierge desk, a hotel manager who offers a personal
greeting or a tour guide who is happy to create bespoke
private tours – but whatever it is, we are always pleased
when we encounter staff that have been trained in the art
of customer satisfaction.
It is no question that style and design plays a big part in
selecting our awards shortlist. A guest will form an opinion
about a hotel as soon as they arrive so it is important
to us that all our winners make those first impressions
count. We’re certainly not partial to a particular period of
architecture – but whether we’re judging a gothic castle or
an environmentally friendly lodge, the criteria remains the
same. We consider factors such as architectural features,
use of materials, creation of spaces, décor and the overall
feel. We love it when we find a hotel that tells a story
though its design and construction, or offers a design that
is sympathetic to the natural surroundings of its location.
STYLE & DESIGN
Knowledge of the local area is essential for any
organization, be it a hotel or a tour operator. The quality
of services takes a great hit when the quality of this
element is not up to the mark. Quite a few of our winners
in this category are because they have displayed excellent
knowledge about the surrounding areas. The criteria for a
hotel is slightly lenient compared to a tour operator, as the
latter is expected to have thorough knowledge of the area
in order to provide good services.
Image by: Leo Manjarrez
Award-winning guest rooms come in all shapes and sizes,
but they all have one thing in common – a home-awayfrom-home
feel. The comfort of the facilities on offer are
of vital importance; we look for luxurious linens, stylish
bathrooms and a coordinated colour scheme that work
together to create a cohesive sense of relaxation. Additional
touches, such as complimentary toiletries, free wi-fi or tea
and coffee making facilities are always a bonus in making
us feel welcome. We’re always impressed to find hotel
rooms that embrace technology and offer amenities like
tablets or smart thermostat systems, but this does not
always necessarily trump the traditional – four poster beds,
ornate fireplaces or antique furniture can add a touch of
decadence to a hotel stay.
Location is one of the most important factors, but also one of
the most subjective, as the ‘ideal’ is very much determined
by the type of visitor and the type of hotel itself. However,
there a few factors we take into consideration when
determining the winners of location-based awards. The
first is convenience; that is, hotels that are easy to travel
to. Many of our winners in this category are in convenient
locations, such as adjacent to airports, close to beaches or
found in the heart of easy-to-navigate cities. We are always
impressed when hotels go the extra mile to take the hassle
out of traveling and offer such additional services as airport
shuttles or car hire services. However, we’re always excited
to come across a hotel that is, to use a familiar phrase, offthe-beaten-track.
A hotel that can offer something a little
different, in terms of natural surroundings, can make the
difference between a good holiday and an incredible one.
In today’s modern age, a hotel or tour operator cannot rely
on word of mouth to get their message out into the world.
As social media has become a vital part of everyday life,
we like to see companies that go the extra mile to engage
with their guests, both past and future. Attractive and
informative websites and engaging and honest content
and what we look for when judging a company’s use of
marketing; how well they display their services, how upto-date
their content is, how well they get their brand
message across, and, most importantly, how well their
marketing can tempt us to go and see what they have to
offer for ourselves.
What better way is there to know about an organization
than by getting first hand reviews? Customers are the best
judges of any service out there as they are the ones who
experience them and can assess whether they were up to
the mark or not. Considering reviews from hundreds of
customers gives us a fair idea about the general pros and
cons of any organization and also gives us valuable inputs
for the other criteria as well.
Diversity is one important aspect that needs to be taken
into consideration when in the travel and hospitality
industry. It is essential to have staff that has varying diversity
to ensure that the organization can properly connect with
their guests. Diversity is taken into account in terms of
gender, nationality as well as languages spoken among
other factors. Not only do we take the diversity of the staff
into account but even that of the facilities and services
offered; a hotel or tour operator providing a better range
of services is preferred over those that do not.
It is of prime importance that an organization has thorough
industry knowledge. Without knowing the nit-bits of the
in , it is difficult to flourish and provide services which are
a class apart. Before any organization ventures into the
industry, it is essential that they know how the industry
is moving and how they should make changes to their
methodologies in order to remain relevant and also be a
Image by: Aakash Singhal
HOW TO GET IN | DUBAI
For a long time, Dubai was nothing more than a small settlement on the shores of the
Arabian Gulf, supported by fishing and precious stone trading. Nowadays, the city
stands as a lodestar of modernity, with its bold architecture, artificial islands, and luxury
hotels creating a contemporary mystique that draws travelers from across the globe.
As a gateway of travel in the Middle East, Dubai is easily accessible either by land, air,
Dubai International Airport is located north of the city and is the main hub for visiting
the UAE. It is one of the most modern and best equipped operating airports in the
world and offers easy access to the city’s major hotel regions. The airport is located near
the old part of Dubai, only 8 km from the historical center. There reliable taxi and Uber
services to reach the city, but the most economical option is the subway.
Port Rashid is the main link between the
city and the Persian Gulf, accessible by
boat from anywhere in the world. Since
ferries are unusual in this region, coming
on a cruise ship or charter yacht is the best
option to Dubai by sea.
Due to Dubai’s location, land access is more
popular if coming from other emirates. The
E11 connects the city to the capital Abu
Dhabi at a distance of about 140 kilometers,
which can be covered in 1 hour by a fourlane
coastal highway. This road also extends
to other cities and regions, such as Qatar or
the southernmost emirates.
United Arab Emirates
Airport Hotel of the Year
We understand that whether you’re a
solo traveller, a honeymooning couple, a
loving family, busy professional, or a firsttime
traveller, you need a restful oasis and
someone to take care of you and help
you transit in style. We are your special
someone at the airport.
Come to DIH and experience what it feels
like to be pampered. Experience speed
and ease in an environment that will
captivate you. Your happiness and comfort
is our privilege at DIH.
Dubai International Airport, Terminal 3, Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Tel +9714 224 4000 ♦ dubaiintlhotels.com/
Dubai International Hotel (DIH)
is conveniently located within
the Airport at Terminal 3. Experience
our World-Class Hospitality, bringing
Dubai to your doorstep. Since we
understand the demands on your
time, our comprehensive effort is to
bring you the Best Dubai experience,
without even leaving the Airport.
From our Luxurious Lounges, our
personalised Meet and Greet
services, our super special Ahlan
service to our spectacular Dining
options, Spa indulgences and Stateof-the-Art
Conference Centers, there
is no desire left unfulfilled.
Dubai Begins Here
THE NEIGHBORHOODS OF DUBAI
Dubai, a haven of luxury, is located in a desert area of the United Arab Emirates. The
region mixes the simplicity of the old religious customs with the grandiosity of intricate
skyscrapers, considered as the most modern in the world. Among the city’s attractions
are the old Bastakia neighborhood; the Deira bazaars; the boat-shaped Burj al Arab
Hotel; the Palms Islands artificial complex; and the tallest building in the world, Burj
Dubai, with almost 800 meters in height.
There are various neighborhoods in Dubai, each with their own personality and price
range. Since the city is renowned as a luxury travel destination, the most popular
regions usually have higher prices for lodging. At the same time, they are the closest
to the main attractions, which comes in handy for those who prefer to be well located,
even if that means paying a little more. Alternatively, one can choose to stay near a
subway station, as the Dubai subway caters for most of the tourist attractions, thus
making it easier to get around.
The area of Deira, together with Bur Dubai, can be seen as the historical part of the
city. Only a 20min drive from the airport, this neighborhood has a “double personality”,
converging tradition with modernity in a subtle way. The seaside area, near the curve
of Dubai Creek, is more traditional and commercial, where old markets – like the Gold
Souk and the Spice Souk – are located. This is not the most sought after area among
tourists (mainly due to its lower-quality lodging options) but is still worth visiting.
Alternatively, the region near the Deira City Center – the business and modern side
of the neighborhood – offers an array of good and affordable accommodation, as
well as top hotels like Park Hyatt Dubai. Because of its proximity to the airport, the
neighborhood can be a good alternative for those who have little time in the city.
On the southern banks of the Dubai Creek, connected by bridges to north and south,
is the area known as Bur Dubai. Much like its counterpart Deira, Bur Dubai is a popular
neighborhood among locals and an important commercial center. Some tourist
attractions – like the Dubai Museum, different palaces of sheikhs, and several Arab
markets (souks) – are located in this area. It also has a plethora of three to four-star
hotels, such as the Majestic Tower and the Four Point. Bur Dubai is not far from the
most famous part of the city but the rates here are cheaper than in the modern area,
which makes it a great option for those who have a medium-sized budget and wish to
be closer to the main attractions.
If you do decide to stay in Downtown Dubai, make sure you are ready to stretch your
budget. This is a region known for having the most expensive square meters in the world
– and hotel rates are not far behind. On the other hand, when staying in this area there
is a great chance your room will have a view of the almighty Burj Khalifa. You will also be
close to Dubai Mall – the must-see shopping mall in Dubai. The neighborhood slogan,
“the center of the now,” says it all: Downtown is where things are happening. Although
the region is known for luxury, it also has small hotels like The Palace Downtown, The
Address Downtown & The Address Dubai Mall. Boulevard Sheikh Mohammed bin
Rashid, which crosses the neighborhood, is an example of sophistication and charm,
full of restaurants, cafes and people from all over the world. If the price is not an issue,
this is definitely one of the best areas to stay in Dubai.
SHEIK ZAYED ROAD
Do you know that avenue that often appears in the postcards of Dubai with the super
modern and beautiful office buildings? That is the Sheik Zayed Road, the main avenue
of the city. Essentially, the road cuts through the city, but the section close to Bur Dubai
is the hub of business. Here are important places like the Dubai Convention Center
and the DIFC (the city’s financial center), as well as the Trade Center exhibition center
where some of the largest regional fairs take place. The Sheik Zayed road also features
various four to five start business hotels which, together with the great central location
and access to subway stations, create enough reasons for visitors to stay in the area.
The neighborhood of Al Barsha is one
of the most inhabited and busiest
residential areas of the city, featuring
a series of restaurants, shops, and
entertainment options. If one of the
objectives of your trip is to shop, the
region of Al Barsha is a great alternative.
Here is located the must-see Mall of the
Emirates – a representation of Dubai’s
consumer appeal and one of the most
emblematic shopping malls in Dubai,
famous for the ski slope inside the mall.
There are several options for those who
want to stay close to the mall: from a
wide range of 3 to 4-star hotels, through
5-star options, as well as many of Dubai
cheapest, high-quality accommodation.
On top of affordable prices, the
proximity to the beach (Jumeirah Beach)
and pleasant Al Barsha Pond Park, make
this an excellent neighborhood to stay.
Jumeirah Beach is the address of several
landmarks in the city: the iconic Burj Al Arab (the
world’s first 7-star hotel and third tallest)t, as well
as the Madinat Jumeirah Hotel, and Wild Wadi
Water Park entertainment complex. Also in this
neighborhood is The Beach – one of the newest
malls in Dubai, with a family-friendly atmosphere.
Aside from the beach, there are several the
options of what to do in the neighborhood,
such as cinemas, picnics, restaurants, shopping,
children playgrounds, and outdoor exercise
facilities. If one of the priorities of your trip is to
enjoy the beach this is a great area to stay and
explore. It is also the perfect location for anyone
traveling to Dubai with children. However, due
to its location, Jumeirah tends to be one of the
A trip to Dubai is not complete before visiting
the Palm Jumeirah – a palm-shaped artificial
archipelago known for its high-end (and
expensive) hotels and resorts. This is surely one
of Dubai’s most recognizable brand images
and probably its main tourist attraction, but
unless you are looking for luxury resorts with
private beaches, it may not be the best place
to find accommodation. The ring island, which
envelops the “branches” of the palm tree, is
accessible by subway and ferry. As a fun daytrip,
you can visit the Aquaventure Waterpark
and explore its zip lines, slides, and kid-friendly
pools. Interestingly, the Palm Jumeirah is a
popular choice between party seekers as well
as families, with the luxurious Atlantis being
a resort hotel ideal for families with children.
The islands’ romantic air also make it a popular
choice among honeymooners.
Dubai Marina is widely known for its vibrancy and
a great selection of four and five-star hotels. The
highlight of this area is The Walk – a wooden walkway
around a man-made canal and a well-arranged
marina for luxury yachts from around the world.
The public beach has an extremely well-maintained
infrastructure, which makes this neighborhood ideal
for both tourists and locals. Usually, Westerners love
to stay in this area of the city, due to its similarities
with the United States or Europe. Dubai Marina is a
relatively new neighborhood, opened in 2008, and
has that super modern architecture characteristic of
Dubai. It is one of the best neighborhoods to stay
in Dubai, given the easy access to the metro; the
beautiful urban surroundings; leisure and shopping
options; proximity to the beach; and the quality of
the hotels. And for those who want to complement
the trip to Dubai with a night out, this is the right
Tel +971 50 465 3359 ♦ facebook.com/byladymauve
The collection seems to have very local and somewhat
urban feel. what was your inspiration behind it all?
Growing up with creative parents has definitely had a huge
influence on me, also living in Dubai and traveling the
world has given me the confidence to believe in myself
and trust all the decisions I have made when sourcing and
designing for our collections. I grew up doing dancing for
15 years, and have always been a creative person. I usually
get inspired while traveling to remote places, and looking
at my favorite artists artwork. 2 of them are Vali Myers and
Frida Kahlo. 2 years ago, we launched a collection called
VALI after her, the whole collection was focused on her and
Tell us a little about yourself
Back in 2006 I went for an interview
for Emirates airline in Melbourne, after
receiving the great news of passing all
the stages of the interview, I packed
up my life there and moved to Dubai
at the young age of 23 years old, to
start a new adventure. After exploring
the world for 4 years, I took the plunge
and decided to set up Lady Mauve, as I
knew there was a gap in the market for
unique accessories. Working for myself
was something that I always dreamed
of, since I was a young girl. I’ve always
had an entrepreneurial spirit and drive
to want work for myself, even in high
school I used to make and decorate
T-shirts with my best friend, and sell
them through family and friends.
What made you decide to
set up shop in Dubai of all
I noticed that there was a
gap in the market back in
2010, so decided to start
selling all my handmade
products there in Dubai.
Another market called
Ripe started in 2012, so
we moved across to that
market, as it allowed us to
not only sell handmade
products, which allowed
us to grow. We love
attending it so much that
we have been with them
every weekend since.
What are some of the most popular
individual pieces or sets in your
Over the years the collections have
grown. Initially it used to be all my
own work, which I used to hand
make, but as the years have gone
on we have grown. Now I travel to
Bali and work with a team of silver
smiths who make our bohemian
style silver rings. They would have
to be our most popular pieces
trending now. Our tribal necklaces
are also popular pieces too, as they
are very versatile and you can wear
them with any outfit.
Where would one go to buy your
pieces, are they available online?
During the summer season Lady
Mauve is available every Sat at
Times Square Centre from 9-5pm
and during the winter it is available
every Fri at Zabeel Park 9-4pm, with
Ripe market, and soon to be online.
Are there any places you’d
recommend for travellers to visit?
specifically, those that reflect brand
and style of lady mauve.
Areas like Satwa, Deira and Bur
Dubai have a soulful feel to them,
and you could spend hours walking
throughout the streets. I would
highly recommend trying Ostadi
Special Kebab in Bur Dubai for
incredible Iranian Kebab. This family
run business have been serving
delicious kebabs since the 70’s.
Best place to grab a coffee & why?
My favorite coffee place would have
to be Boston lane coffee, located
in the Courtyard in Al Quoz. It’s a
beautiful spot with the best coffee
What is the best “off the beaten
My favourite place to go to in Dubai
is Global Village. Global village
is opened every winter and has
sections of different countries, that
sell their native products from food,
clothing and home wears.
What would you say is the best way
to get around Dubai?
Taxis are super affordable in Dubai,
and they are definitely the best way
to get around the town.
United Arab Emirates
Award for Excellence in Service
Apartments of the Year
The Dubai Mall, Financial Center Rd, Dubai, UAE ♦ Tel +97143398500
Barsha Heights (Tecom), Dubai ♦ Tel +971 435 4200 ♦
Launched back in 2003 in the Village Mall of Dubai with a commitment to provide the
finest beauty services to women, Sisters Beauty Lounge has seven branches across
the city today. This place not only brings out your inner beauty but also serves as a tranquil
oasis for unwinding from dreary days. The lighting and plush furnishings of each branch
are carefully selected to ensure that as soon as you enter this place, all your worries are
left out and you can be at ease and get pampered by their experienced staff. Whether
you’re looking for hair services, manicure, waxing or even semi-permanent make-up, they
do it all with great finesse to give you your desired look. Trusted by thousands of loyal
customers, this beauty lounge has gone on to become the go-to place for many residents
of Dubai, the credit for which, without doubt, goes to their extraordinary service.
If you’re visiting Dubai and want a homely apartment all to yourself, you should choose
Auris Metro Central Hotel Apartments as your residence. Located in the Barsha
Heights, these apartments facilitate ease of access to the major landmarks of Dubai
thanks to their proximity to the Dubai Internet City Metro Station. You can choose to
stay in one of the 210 apartments here which are designed to provide the finest of urban
comforts for both short and long stays. Wish to cook something? The apartments come
with a fully-equipped kitchenette and boast of walk-in closets and give you breathtaking
views of the city. You could dive into the swimming pool which is located on the 14th
floor and get some splendid 360 degree views of the city too! They have all the services
covered for you and have a concierge to help you with getting to know the city better.
The hotel also features a restaurant.
Eco Friendly Hotel
Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE ♦ Tel +971 4 323 4333 ♦ hialbarshadubai.com
Located on the
Sheikh Zayed Road, close
to the Jumeirah Beach,
Holiday Inn Dubai – Al
Barsha boasts of 309
with high-speed internet
connectivity among other
amenities. You could
choose from a host of
dedicated smoking and
as well as single and
interconnected rooms for
families, and an exclusive
meeting rooms, a fullyequipped
gym with private
instructor, Spa and a rooftop
pool with spectacular views
of the Burj Al Arab along
with the finest cocktails
served from the rooftop bar
are some of the facilities
awaiting your arrival.
With fabulous award winning dining outlets, the Holiday Inn Dubai – Al Barsha features a
variety of Thai, Arabic, Continental and Indian cuisine with a choice of live entertainment.
Stay once at the Holiday Inn Dubai - Al Barsha, and you will make it your destination in
CEO - Holiday Inn Dubai –
Born in Kenya, Roxana Jaffer began her
education and career in London where she
went on to become a seasoned professional
and entrepreneurial powerhouse. She
serves as the CEO Sovereign Hotels and is
currently head of of the Holiday Inn Dubai
- Al Barsha; an award winning hotel she has
steered successfully towards becoming
a competitive force in the hospitality
forefront of Dubai.
Her journey in Dubai began by managing
and supervising the construction and
commission of two properties - no easy
task. Unfazed by hard work Roxana’s desire,
commitment, adaptability and leadership
soon began to yield positive results, with
properties under her management were in
full bloom and competing with the best in
As if managing a property in Dubai wasn’t
enough Roxana’s thirst to continuously
improve saw her complete an MBA in
Leadership at the University of Liverpool.
Which culminated in her widely quoted
dissertation “Servant Leadership: A must
for the 21st Century Global Leader”.
After complete her MBA Roxana, like any
other confident leader, went about putting
her theory of “Servant -Leadership”
into practice. This in turn has led to over
300 fully engaged, committed and loyal
employees. All managed by individuals
adhering to the philosophy of “Servent-
Leader”, that is to lead with integrity,
respect & love.
Leadership Award 2015”
for Outstanding Leadership
Her social entrepreneurship led her to
the formation of a Non Government
Organization, abcF - “Advent in Building
Human Capital”. The NGO delivers a
specially formulated educational program
– “English for Hospitality Professionals”
to build human capital, presently running
programmes in India, Pakistan, and Dubai
with plans to take it to Tanzania. Graduates
certified through the nearly free learning
being accorded by specially trained tutors
are given an opportunity for employment
in the hospitality industry, both locally and
in the Middle East.
She is a regular panellist or a presenter
at seminars and empowerment summits.
Amidst all the hustle and bustle, she does
not forget that a human being also needs
spiritual sustenance and regular meditation
is an integral part of her life.
Outside of the hotel industry Roxana
has managed the advent in building
human capital (abcF), a non government
organisation designed to deliver specially
formulated Education programmes, to
India, Pakistan, Dubai and soon Tanzania.
Roxana is an avid bridge player, music
lover, teacher and a student of meditation.
In today’s, high powers and increasingly
competitive corporate world Roxana is
indeed a study in exceptionalism.
THE DESERT | DUBAI
Dubai is surprising in many ways; not only for
being one of the fastest growing cities in the world
but also for the incredible mega projects that
consequently make it as the business capital of the
UAE. Yet, another side of Dubai, the desert, is often
As a part of the Arabian Desert, the Dubai Desert
attracts travelers in search of picturesque landscapes
and venturesome experiences. To catch a glimpse
of the orange dunes at sunset is really a wonderful
feeling, and can be an interesting way of contrasting
the dynamic urban area.
There are several ways to visit the desert, with the
most common being to go on a 4x4 Safari. Most
tour companies follow similar itineraries, where
passengers leave the city at around 4 pm and
begin to traverse the dunes in the late afternoon.
After sunset, groups reach Bedouin camps, where
it is possible to go on camel rides, try sandboarding,
or experience traditional activities such as
haymaking. Before dinner is served, locals organize
performances of belly dancing and choreographies
with fire and swords. In addition to the regular
itineraries, there are alternatives to spend the night
in the desert to see the sunrise or have a romantic
dinner in the dunes.
For those looking for a more exclusive experience,
the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is the ideal
place to look into. This area of the desert is richer in
life (popular for species like the Arabian oryx) and
the grandiosity of its dunes. Within the reserve, one
can stay at one the resorts in the midst of the dunes,
which aside from accommodation offer various day
tours that allow an even closer look into the desert.
THE ONE TO WATCH | ERBIL, IRAQ
Erbil is the ancient Arbel, an important
Assyrian political and religious center
that is considered as one of the oldest
continuously inhabited settlements on the
planet. Nowadays, the city is the fourth
largest in Iraq and is also the capital of Iraqi
Kurdistan, an autonomous region located in
the north of the country.
As its most important landmark, the citadel
of Erbil sits on the top of an imposing hill,
with the continuous wall formed by the
facades of nineteenth-century houses giving
it the visual impression of an unattainable
fortress that overlooks the city of Erbil. The
citadel has a street layout dating back to
the Ottoman period of the city and which,
together with other traits, has afforded it a
World Heritage Site title.
Outside the citadel, a series of parks,
century-old minarets, and a very active
bazaar – as full of life as any bazaar in the
Middle East – dot the landscape. Along
the bazaar’s streets one can find everything
from household, to children’s clothes, and
local tobacco. On top of that, the genuine
and widespread sense of welcome floats in
the air: everyone wants to know where you
are from, what you think of Iraq and, above
all, about Kurdistan. As you explore the rest
of the city, make sure to visit on of the many
tea houses, wander around the abandoned
Arab quarter (Kurds are a distinct ethnic
group), or simply sink into the bustling life
of Erbil’s main square, where locals meet
Hotel of the Year
30 Meter street, Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq ♦ Tel +07502 600 600 ♦ erbilinthotel.com
When you’re visiting the
great city of Erbil in Iraq
for business meetings, you have
got to stay at Erbil International
Hotel. Known best as the very first
business hotel in Erbil, this hotel
gives you the vibe of a beautiful
huge home. You can choose from
167 different guest rooms and
suites according to your taste of
luxury. The contemporary design
and plush furnishings will spoil
you with their comforts.
The hotel boasts of three
swimming pools - two open air
and one indoor. Right by the
outdoor pools, a special pool
bar is present too so that you can
have your favorite cocktails right
there. You could also relax on the
day beds alongside the pools.
For your gastronomic indulgence,
four restaurants serve traditional,
Italian, Indian and Chinese
cuisines. The Loft is a great place
to have meetings over drinks
while enjoying the views of open
sky in fresh air.
If you’re looking to unwind, you should head over to Balance and Harmony
Fitness Club in the hotel. This place is an oasis for relaxation with a spa
consisting of 5 treatment rooms where you can get treated at the hands of
the most experienced masseuses in town. Apart from the spa, the fitness
club features a relaxation area, sauna and steam bath, a fully equipped gym
and a special pool for kids!
You can conduct your very own private event or wedding here in one of
the 2 ballrooms that have a capacity of up to 600 people! For corporates,
the hotel serves as a great venue for holding meetings with 2 conference
rooms and a VIP meeting room! This just goes on to prove the fact that it is
no regular business hotel but a lot more than that.
24 HOURS IN KUWAIT
Tucked away in West Asia between Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Kuwait is an ultra-modern
nation and one of the largest producers of oil in the world. When visiting Kuwait, there
are loads of historic and modern places that you can visit to discover the country
further. If you’re in the country for just 24 hours, mentioned below are the places that
you must cover.
1. KUWAIT TOWERS (3 HOURS)
The iconic Kuwait towers are twin towers that
rise up to a height of 187 meters. They have
huge tanks for storing water in them but one
of the towers has a revolving viewing sphere.
From here, you can see Kuwait city spread out
in front of you. It also has high-rise restaurants
that offer fine dining experiences with the city
view. From here, you can head over to the
2. LIBERATION TOWER
While this tower is not open for public, you
definitely can view it from the outside. It rises
to a height of 372 meters and was built to
symbolize the liberation of Kuwait from Iraq.
It is also the second tallest building in the city.
3 AL HAMRA TOWER
If you’re in Kuwait City, you simply cannot
miss out on the towering building, Al Hamra
Tower. Rising up to a height of 413 meters,
this is tallest building in the country and is
an architectural marvel for its construction
and design. They also have a sprawling mall
complex right at the base of the tower.
4. GRAND MOSQUE (3 HOURS)
The Grand Mosque of Kuwait City is spread out across an area of 45,000 square meters
and has a prayer hall that can hold up to 11,000 people! You can visit the mosque with
guided tours and witness its beauty. The best part about the guided tours is that they are
free of cost and give you in-depth details about the mosque. This is one place that you
should visit to know the heritage of the country.
5. KUWAIT NATIONAL MUSEUM (2 HOURS)
The Kuwait National Museum brings you face to face with the past of Kuwait with ancient
artefacts. Built in 1983, this museum has 5 complexes and you can see archeological
pots and a dhow here along with a planetarium. From here, the Green Island is a great
place to head to for relaxing.
6. GREEN ISLAND (3 HOURS)
The Green Island is an artificially built island off the coast of Kuwait City and is the first
one in Arabian Gulf. You can find a swimming pool and a vast expanse of garden with
beaches all around the island. You could visit the tourist tower or enjoy some of the
attractions there like a train ride and soap football.
7. SOUQ AL MUBARAKEYA (3 HOURS)
If you’re looking for a place that is bustling with activity, you should head over to the
Souq Al Mubarakeya. It is one of the oldest souqs in the country and you can find
all traditional things here like Persian silk carpets, perfumes, spices, dates, traditional
clothes and what not! As a tourist, this is a place that you simply cannot miss when
If you can squeeze in some time to relax, do check out Al Shaheed Park where you
can laze around in the lush environs of the garden or can explore the museums and
the botanical gardens. They also have restaurants where you can satiate your hunger
There’s so much to do in Kuwait that a day is indeed not sufficient enough to cover
it. However, you can definitely get a glimpse of this country in a day and carry back
truckloads of memories with you.
HOTEL & SPA
Hotel & Spa of Year
Al Ta’awun Street, Kuwait ♦ Tel +965 2226 9600 ♦ jumeirah.com
Moreover, the hotel houses the most
prestigious spa in Kuwait - Talise Spa.
This is the place where you can get
some soothing treatments done in one
of the 19 treatment rooms and suites.
You could also get exclusive therapies
done here like Hammam, together as a
Jumeirah Group is well-known in the
United Arab Emirates for its luxurious
hotels around the country. Jumeirah
Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa is this
group’s first venture outside UAE in Safat,
Kuwait. Built on the spot of the original
Messilah Hotel, which opened in 1974, this
hotel lives up to the historical value of the
place. Designed with various aspects of
Arabic architecture to reflect the heritage
of the area, this hotel also lives up to its
name, which means a low-lying area where
waters merge before flowing into sea, and
has water flowing throughout as streams,
channels and fountains.
With 407 luxuriously furnished rooms and
suites to choose from, you will definitely
be spoilt for choice when choosing to stay
here. You can get some splendid views of
the beach, which is located right next to
the hotel, hotel gardens and Arabian Gulf
from your rooms. If you’re looking for a
larger than life experience, you can stay at
the three-bedroom villas, which come with
private pools and access to private beach
group. Alternatively, you could go to the
Himalayan Salt Room, which is one of a
kind treatment room in the Middle East,
where you can get treated with the purest
natural salt on Earth!
The hotel also features 3 restaurants and
cafes each where you can indulge in a wide
variety of culinary preparations. Moreover,
you can relax while sipping tea in the Tea
Lounge too. For an all round experience,
the hotel also features a tennis court, two
swimming pools, and special clubs for
QATAR – A RISING STAR
Qatar is connected to the rest of Asia by
just one land border with Saudi Arabia.
Slated to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup,
this country has witnessed spectacular
growth in the past few years. Being one
of the highest oil producers in the world,
Qatar has modernized to become one of
the most modern countries in the world.
With the announcement of the World
Cup and the easing up of visa norms
with visa on arrival facility for citizens of
over 80 countries, tourism has started
picking up in the country and so have its
To witness the historic past of the country,
you can visit the ancient outdoor market,
Souq Waqif with its numerous alleys with
shops selling traditional fabrics, spices,
food, and souvenirs. You could also
take a peek into the Islamic art at the
Museum of Islamic Art, where there are
art displays that are up to 1400 years old.
For those who appreciate modern art,
the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern
Art is the perfect destination. It has
thousands of works by Arab artists up for
display and frequently hosts events and
You could also visit the National Museum
of Qatar, Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al
Thani Museum, Doha Fort, The Pearl
Monument and the Barzan Towers.
To see the modern side of Qatar, you
can visit the upscale island, The Pearl,
which is an artificial man-made island off
the coast of Doha. With a spectacular
waterfront and loads of activities, this
place is a must-visit destination.
You can stay in the Aspire Tower, the
skyscraper hotel of Doha that rises to a
height of 300 meters and is the tallest
building in the country.
To delve deeper into the culture of Qatar,
you should visit the Katara Cultural
Village. This place has a huge waterfront
along with a museum, an amphitheater,
shops selling traditional goodies and
numerous eateries. Post the exploration,
you could laze around on the Katara
Beach that is located right next to it.
For shopping, you can head over to
the Villaggio Mall, that has an Italian
theme and also has an indoor canal with
gondolas. You can find some of the most
prominent international brands here and
could also go ice skating.
Apart from the older destinations, Qatar
is coming up with new tourist attractions,
especially for fans who are coming to
witness the FIFA World Cup!
For hosting the World Cup, numerous
stadiums are being erected or
refurbished. The Al Rayyan Stadium will
boast of 40,000 seats, which will provide
the perfect environment to host the
football matches. The other stadiums
in construction are the Al Bayt Stadium,
Khalifa International Stadium, Al
Wakrah Stadium, and Qatar Foundation
The Doha Metro phase 1 will be fully operational to
facilitate easy movement between the venues and will
be one of the most sophisticated rail systems in the
world. They are also setting up a completely new city -
Lusail City, which will spread across four islands and will
have loads of high rise buildings and leisurely activities.
It will also be home to one of the main stadiums for the
World Cup, Lusail Stadium.
To give a boost to the historic downtown area of Doha,
the Msheireb Downtown Doha project was launched. It
looks to become the world’s first sustainable downtown
area and will boast of leisurely facilities, museums,
cultural and entertainment venues apart from the retail
stores and hotels.
With Qatar National Vision 2030 in place, the tourism
industry is going to boom in the nation and you can
expect loads of other tourist attractions to open up
soon. Do visit Qatar during the FIFA World Cup to see
it bubbling with energy at its best!
BAHRAIN TOP 5
The Bahrain Kingdom is a small archipelago consisting of 36 islands scattered across the
Arabian Gulf, bordering the coast of Saudi Arabia. As a major trade route in antiquity,
the country conceals more attractions than the traveler could think of. Manama, its
modern capital, full of skyscrapers and enormous constructions, is the destinations that
attract most visitors.
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM
If you want to understand the importance, richness, and grandeur of the history of this
small territory, the national museum is a great place to start. This two-store building
has several spacious and luminous rooms in which crafts (such as jewels and fabrics)
are exhibited. Here, it is possible to have a glimpse of the culture of the pearls; the
traditional boats (dhow); magnificent archaeological vestiges of the site of Dilmun that
date back to the Bronze Age; as well as explanatory models of Bahraini architecture.
THE BAHRAIN FORT
Bahrain enjoys an ideal location on the route between the Middle East and Asia, and
for this reason has lived under the influence of many peoples, such as the Greeks,
Portuguese, and Persians. These occupants left many traces of their passage including
the building of forts. The most impressive is undoubtedly the fort of Bahrain: Qalaat al
Bahrain, dating back to 2300 BC it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Situated on the shores of
Amwaj Islands, this unique park
houses various species of birds
from all around the world. It was
envisioned by Mr. Saud Kanoo
as a way to accommodate his
father’s private collection and
now works as a recreational
facility as well as an education
center. The site opened in 2014
and since then has hosted
different events, markets,
parties, and exhibitions. It is
a great place to relax while in
Bahrain and offers a series of
activities for children.
THE TREE OF LIFE
This ancient acacia lost in the desert to the southeast of Bahrain, about 2 km
from Djebal Dukhan (the Smoke Mountain), deserves to be the highlight of
the kingdom – both for its 137 meters high and the fact that its water supply
remains a mystery. According to the legend, this is the only vestige of the
mythical garden of Eden, which is another reason why so many visitors come
to admire this mere tree, enjoy its shade for a picnic, or touch its leaves and
make a wish.
THE AL FATEH MOSQUE
The immense mosque of Al Fateh
was built from different objects and
materials brought from all over the
world. It is adorned with 1000 lamps,
worked wood from India, thick creamcolored
carpets with arabesques,
a monumental chandelier from
Swarovsky (Austria), among other
things. With a height of 70 meters, it
opened in 1994 and can receive up
to 7000 people during the prayer. In
the middle of the building is a vault
that dominates the entire space,
considered the largest fiberglass vault
in the world.
Attraction of the Year
Al Aziza Birds Kingdom, Jood, Amwaj Islands, Bahrain ♦ Tel +973 1603 0597 ♦
If you’re a person who loves birdwatching, Azizia Bird Kingdom is the perfect place
for you. This private bird sanctuary of Bahraini businessman Abdul Aziz Qasim Kanoo
houses more than 500 birds of over 70 different species, including critically endangered
species. From the brightly coloured macaws to the California quails, this place is a treat
for your eyes and ears with the melodious sounds of birds chirping around. Neatly tucked
away on the shores of Amwaj Islands, this place also provides a tranquil getaway from the
busy city life. It serves a dual purpose of being a recreational spot as well as a place that
educates people about these beautiful creatures. The facility boasts of a nursery, gift shop
as well as a cafe where you can relax after your visit. Your kids too will have a lot of fun on
the rides just outside the aviary. You can also choose to have a birthday party here or even
hire the venue for some private gatherings!
Image by: Dan Grinwis
THE BEAUTIFUL CITY |
MEDINA, SAUDI ARABIA
Saudi Arabia is known as the birthplace of Islam,
with the city of Mecca and its Grand Mosque
(Masjid Al-Haram) being the first bodies of
representation for the religion. Just north of
Mecca, lies Medina (literally meaning “the city”),
another important place in the history of Islam.
This is where Prophet Muhammad fled to after
being persecuted; also where he amassed a great
number of followers and spread his teachings to
the rest of the world.
As the most important landmark of Medina, the
Al-Masjid an-Nabawi mosque complex is located
in the very heart of the city. It was built in 622
and its first structure was erected near the house
of prophet Mohamed. The Al-Masjid an-Nabawi
is the second holiest place in Islam, the third
mosque built in history, and the second largest
in the world, after Al-Haram. At the time of its
construction, it also served as community center,
court-martial, and religious school; nowadays it is
an important destination for pilgrimage.
Although it has undergone many reforms, the basic plant of Al
Nabawi remained and inspired the architecture of several mosques
around the world. The original building was uncovered – the
mosque still retains many open areas, which today are covered
by these giant and beautiful parasols This gargantuan structure
is specifically beautiful at night, when its lights reflect on the
surrounding patterned marble floors, enhancing the beauty of the
intricate minarets that tower over the city. Regardless of faith or
nationality, the Al Nabawi is an incredible place to visit, both for its
historical and architectural significance.
The Award for Excellence in
As Salam Rd, An Naqa, 42311 Al Madinah, Saudi Arabia ♦
Located in the holy city of Medina, Bosphorus Hotel is the perfect place for all those going
to Saudi Arabia for their pilgrimage. Conveniently located at a short 4-minute walk from
the Prophet’s Mosque, this hotel boasts of 140 spacious and well-furnished rooms and suites
with modern Arabic and Turkish touches. Wish to make a coffee during your stay or even relax
and watch TV? They have those facilities as well. Even the holy Kaaba Mosque and Mount Sun
are just at 15 minutes distance!
Special care is taken to ensure that the guests feel at home during their stay here and for this,
the front desk is open 24x7 for assisting them. Fancy some Turkish cuisine? Head over to the
in-house restaurant that serves mouth-watering Turkish delights throughout the day. But more
than anything, what stands out for this hotel is its courteous staff which is ever ready to assist
their guests for anything and everything. So much is their commitment at making sure that you
have a great stay that right from the moment you enter the hotel and reach the reception desk
to the moment you leave post your stay, each and every person goes out of their way to give
you a satisfactory stay.
The plush and modern furnishings of the
rooms too do their bit at making your stay
comfortable. You can simply sink into the
plush beds and sofas of the rooms and
fall into a good night’s sleep after a day
of worship at the holy mosques around
in Medina. With thousands of happy
customers across the years, you can surely
trust them with your stay in Medina.
AN ANCIENT RETREAT | NIZWA, OMAN
When thinking of Oman, most people are reminded of historical Muscat, with its
Portuguese forts and shopping malls. However, just south of the port city lies an
influential place that not only used to be a center for Islamic learning but also the
country’s old capital: Nizwa.
Located in a large oasis, at the meeting point of major trade routes between north
and south, Nizwa has always been an important commercial hub. The landscapes of
the region are magnificent, with deep canyons sheltering ancient villages and terraced
crops. The city is easily accessible from Muscat by bus or car, in a 1,5-hour drive along
a highway that passes small villages surrounded by some of Oman’s highest mountains.
Nizwa’s fort, although it has been reformed, is still the city’s most important landmark.
It is distinguished by its XVII century construction, with various courtyards, wide towers,
and views that extend over the region and the palm groves with a close-up on the blue
dome of the mosque. Aside from visiting the fort, do not miss the camel market on
Friday mornings, where the locals go to buy animals and fodder; or the Nizwa souq,
famous for its fresh dates, Khanjar (curved dagger), gold, and silverware – considered
as the best jewelry in the country.
Around Nizwa, it is possible to go for a walk, bike or donkey ride through the mountains
of Jebel Akhdar; take a bath in the springs of Tanuf in the Al Hajar mountains; visit the
town of Jabrin and its impressive 17th century castle; or explore the fortified town of
Bahla and admire some of the region’s clearest skies.
Hotel and Restaurant of
Hai A Thurat 611, Nizwa, Oman ♦ Tel +968 25431616 ♦ goldentulipnizwa.com
The hotel features one all-day dining
restaurant, Birkat Al Mawz, where you can
enjoy a variety of international cuisines, all
under one roof. Apart from the restaurant,
there are two bars, which serve a fine selection
of cocktails and wines. Al Wasit Bar has live
band performances in the evenings while the Sports Bar has a billiards table and
darts for your entertainment. Moreover, the hotel has two cafes, one by the pool
and the other in the lobby. Whether you’re looking for a quick snack, want to enjoy
some cocktails or a cup of coffee, these places make sure that you get the best of
everything. Additionally, the hotel has a Sheesha Corner too.
If you wish to conduct a meeting or a private event, the hotel will be more than
happy to assist you in it and create an unforgettable experience.
If you’re looking for a peaceful
getaway in Oman, Golden Tulip
Nizwa Hotel is a great option. Tucked
away in the Hajjar Mountain range
near Nizwa, this hotel provides you
all the luxuries in the midst of nature.
Set away from the cities, this place
has 120 rooms and suites which
give you some dramatic views of
the mountains around. All amenities
are made to ensure the utmost
comfort and you can relax here
and get pampered by their services
throughout your stay.
You can dive into the temperature
controlled outdoor swimming
pool and enjoy the views from the
water. If you wish to keep up with
your business, a 24-hour dedicated
business center is present in the
hotel with high-speed internet.
They have a special playground and
activities for children so that they can
have a gala time during their stay
too! You could also go to the health
club for keeping up with your fitness
routine or relax in the sauna.