Wednesday, March 30, 2016

NTDC will promote Nzeh Mada festival – Mbanefo

The Director General,  Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation  (NTDC); Chief . Dr. ( Mrs.) Sally Uwechue-Mbanefo  with The Chun Mada,  His Royal Highness,  Mr. Samson Ganu Yare after the presentation of gift to the Director General during the Nzeh Mada Festival 2016 Tourism Fair which is in tandem with her domestic tourism campaign held recently  in Mada Hills Tourism Village, Numan, Nighaan District, Akwanga. Nasarawa State

……….Recommends the site for tourists
In a time when cultural sector is being given a shot as an alternative to oil in terms of revenue generation, the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, has thrown her weight on the promotion of the Nzeh Mada cultural Festival.
The DG who made this known during the third Nzeh Mada festival in Akwanga, Nasarawa state, said Nzeh Mada festival, when fully developed, would not only be of economic value to the country, but also engage the teeming unemployed youth.
According to the NTDC Boss, who was the chairman of the occasion, the onus of developing tourist sites doesn’t solely rely on the government, adding that NTDC as a government agency would do everything within its powers to promote Nzeh Mada festival. She therefore urged tourists to visit local sites.
“Mada culture is rich, the location is safe and serene, and the people are very hospitable. As you know, most of the tourist sites are not all in the cities, I therefore encourage tourists to explore the local sites and communities, which is embodied in Mada hill, its waterfall, serene climate and the hospitability of the people.”
In his reaction, the Chun Mada, HRH Samson Gamu Yare, thanked the NTDC boss for volunteering to promote the Nzeh mada festival. He therefore honoured her with a symbolic axe and wooden flatter as a sign of recognition of her support for the Nzeh Mada festival.

The Director General,  Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation  (NTDC); Chief . Dr. ( Mrs.) Sally Uwechue-Mbanefo declared winner of the wrestling competition by  the Executive Secretary / Chief Executive Officer , National Institute for Culture Orientation (NICO)    Associate Professor Barclays . F. Ayakoroma  during the Nzeh Mada Festival 2016 Tourism Fair which is in tandem with her domestic tourism campaign held recently  in Mada Hills Tourism Village, Numan, Nighaan District, Akwanga. Nasarawa State.

The Mada chief also noted that NTDC’s partnership would surely go a long way in repositioning the festival to international standard.
He said: “We have a very rich cultural heritage. We are endowed with the Cave, the stagnant water at the top of the Numan hill, the sounding rock and Nni-ngahaan tourism centre. With the professional touch in terms of packaging and organisation and right partnership from different stakeholders like NTDC, I believe we will go beyond our contemporaries.
“Also, I can see unity in diversity that is why I want to see Mada people putting heads together. We should not allow primordial sentiments keep us apart,” the chief yearned.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary/CEO of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Prof. Barclays F. Ayakoroma, noted the importance of cultural festivals in the area of creation of employment, and promotion of indigenous culture especially now that the sector is beginning to be a viable alternative to oil when properly exploited.
He said: “We always identify with people who promote their culture and festivals that is why since 2014 we have identified with Nzeh Mada festival, because we believe that that is one of the platforms for the unification of the people, promotion of the culture of the people and a means for gainful or meaningful employment.”
Ayakoroma therefore pledged his support to make sure that Nzeh Mada festival becomes one of the best in the country.
“Mada culture is unique, their costumes, dances and even the venue for the festival itself – foot of the Mada hill – is also astonishing. You can as well see how the people are really very enthusiastic about the festival because it is their own festival of their culture. So it is our hope that we will do the best we can to ensure that NICO and Mada community partner in every way possible,” he said.
Earlier, the Festival Director of the festival, Prof. Emmanuel Dandaura, pointed out that Nzah Mada festival, which was redesigned in 2014, is aimed at promoting the culture of Mada people as well as tourist attraction.
“The annual Nzeh mada festival was redesigned as a trado-modern tourism event, which now holds every Easter season in Akwanga metropolis. That is why this year we intend to go into major discussion with NTDC, NICO and other stakeholders that is hoped to culminate into signing an MoU for partnership.

“We have also invited the private sector to witness the festival so as to come up with the business ideas that will move the festival forward, Dandaura noted.

Dead dolphin in Madrid Park baffles police

 Spanish police are searching for clues to explain the discovery of a dolphin carcass in a Madrid park, after local zoo workers said they were not missing any animals, media reports said on Wednesday.
The animal's partially decayed body was discovered on Tuesday by a dog walker in Madrid's largest park, Casa de Campo.
Police said that the body was found wrapped in mesh wire close to a park cycle path.
They added that there was no immediate explanation as to how the dolphin got into the park.
According to the investigation, there is the possibility that the dolphin died during a private animal transport, which may have led the owner to dispose of the body in the park.
Report says private ownership of dolphins is illegal in Spain.


Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has appointed Fatma Al Mehairi as General Manager for Canada.

Fatma is the first female Emirati to be named General Manager of a region at the airline. In total, more than 130 Emirati women are employed in various management development programs as part of the airline’s workforce.

Based in Toronto, Fatma will lead the further development of the airline’s commercial strategy in Canada. She will also be responsible for further growing Etihad Airways’ relationships with its travel trade and corporate customers and will report to Martin Drew, Senior Vice President of The Americas for Etihad Airways.

Fatma joined Etihad Airways in 2010 as part of the airline’s Graduate Management Program, where she was trained in multiple aspects of Etihad Airways’ fast-growing operations.

After successfully completing the program, she accepted a post in Paris, where she spent three years in commercial operations as a Business Development Manager and subsequently as a Corporate Account Manager. Fatma was then appointed as Assistant General Manager, where she has been responsible for executing sales and marketing strategy; driving team performance; and maintaining business development.

“As the national airline of the UAE, Etihad Airways is committed to developing a successful Emirati leadership team and we value the important roles that Emirati women have at our airline,” said Mr. Martin Drew, Senior Vice President of The Americas - Etihad Airways. “We are especially pleased to announce the appointment of Fatma to this key leadership position. Fatma has a wealth of experience with Etihad Airways and her dedication to our company makes her an invaluable addition to the team in Toronto and in The Americas.”

Etihad Airways currently operates three flights per week between Abu Dhabi and Toronto on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Fatma, who assumes her new role this week, replaces Craig Thomas, who has been appointed Vice President - U.S.A. for Etihad Airways.

“As a proud graduate of Etihad Airways’ Graduate Managers Development Program and now a part of the Americas team, I look forward to further increasing our already strong commercial ties within Canada – an important market for our airline – and raising awareness among corporate customers about the unmatched world-class product and hospitality offerings we provide for our guests,” said Ms. Al Mehairi.

Tourism Stakeholders Summit to hold in April - FTAN President

Chief Tomi Akingbogun, the President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) said the much awaited Tourism Stakeholders Summit would hold in April.
Akingbogun said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
NAN reports that Lai Mohammed Minister of Information and Culture, had on Feb. 18, inauguration of the committee to organise the summit.
He said that the purpose of the summit was to sensitise states to the abundant culture and tourism potential they have and how they could effectively tap them to enhance their internally generated revenue.
The minister said that the ministry would partner with states with tourism potential to organise to summit.
The states are Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Kano, Kaduna, Edo, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Taraba, Kebbi and the FCT.
Akingbogun told NAN that the summit would avail the country the opportunity to chat a new course and way forward for the positive diversification of the economy from oil to tourism based.
``We all know that the international oil price has plummeted and we can see how it is negatively affecting the country’s economy.
``Tourism had the potential to generate huge revenue compared to oil; countries like Dubai, Kenya and others whose economy is not controlled by oil have achieved more than Nigeria.
``Tourism is the major driver of their economies and they have gone far in the area of human and capital developments.
`` The summit will hold from 27 to 29 of April this year; all tourism stakeholders across the country are expected to participate,’’ he said.
FTAN president said that past administrations in the country had been paying lip services to the development of tourism, adding that the present administration was determined to move the tourism sector forward.
``I believe that the forum unlike the previous ones would bring about positive strategies to better the tourism sector and generate revenue for the country.
``We as a country can make it work; we must be positive in achieving the diversification of the country’s economy,’’ he said.
The summit will hold in Calabar, Cross River State

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tourism development: Picnickers urge Nigerians to patronise indigenous parks, gardens

 Some fun-seekers had advised Nigerians to cultivate the habit of patronising indigenous parks, gardens and recreational centres as a way of promoting and projecting locally-made goods
They told the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) on Easter Monday at Hi Impact Planet Amusement Park in Magboro, Ogun , that people would through this means be internalising ``promoting Nigerian made goods as a first option’’ policy being spearheaded by the Federal Government.
This would discourage capital flight from the country but would encourage more employment opportunities, they said.
``All the ideas about patronising locally produced products must start from here, if what we are looking for in Disney Land has been replicated here, then why travelling overseas.’’
They also advised Nigerians to always form the habits of saving in bits for their families so that they could go on recreation during holidays and festivities.
They also said that when people patronised parks and gardens, they would be closer to nature and their lives would be elongated through recreation.
They said that when families visit parks and gardens, they were indirectly paying the salaries and wages of workers of such sites, promoting employment and reducing unemployment.
They urged the three tiers of government to create enabling environments for the organised private sector to tap into the potentials in the tourism sector in the country.

They, however, lamented that Nigeria was yet to tap the resources abound in the tourism sector optimally.
One of picnickers at the park, Mr Oluwaseun Adetoro ,an Insurance broker, said that despite the economic challenges and fuel crises, people still trooped-out to enjoy with their families at Easter.
``This is a statement that our life is incomplete without tourism, and it is, indeed, a sector for all.
``I make sure I dedicate this time for my family so that we can relax and talk on what concerns the family.
``It is true the economic situation is worrisome but I know I need to safe for today because I see entertainment as a way of relaxing with my family.
``Look at what we have here today, this is the only way we can have fun together in a relaxed atmosphere without having to spend much,’’ he
Also, Mr Sunday Ngegu, a business man and a resident of Ajah, a suburb of Lagos, commended various operators of parks and gardens across the country for investing in their developments.
Ngegu urged Nigerians to begin to patronize local parks and gardens as a way of developing what belongs to them.
He said that he saw no reasons why people should travel abroad to recreate because what they were going for there could be found in the country.
``Tourism is here with us, for me, I don’t see any reasons for travelling outside Nigeria to enjoy what I can enjoy here locally, at least if to safe our currency.
``All the ideas about patronising locally produced products must start from here, if what we are looking for in Disney Land has been replicated
here, then why travelling.
``The people here (Hi Impact ) have done a fantastic job of giving us a replica of what we had seen in Dubai and other developed countries.
``I will advise that people start to appreciate our heritage.
``I will also implore the Federal Government to emulate other countries by tapping from the abundant tourism potentials that abound in the country.
Also speaking, Mrs Atinuke Lawal urged government to make tourism the mainstay of the economy rather than over reliance on oil.
``Why not make tourism the mainstay of our economy, other countries are reaping bountifully from this and the irony of it is that we have more heritage sites than them.
``I think the problem with Nigerians is that they believe that they will continue to explore the oil free; and they think that there is no need to diversify into other areas such as tourism, agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
``Nobody wants to create or start anything from the scratch; we want ready-made economic gains without having to work for it; for how long are we going to continue to depend on oil?
Meanwhile , Mr Siji Oyesile, head of Public Relations of the park, called on government at
all levels to develop the industry to solve unemployment in the country.
Oyesile said this would boost the nation’s internally generated revenue (IGR) if well developed.
He said that the park, being an entertainment and tourism company, was a reflection of opportunities that abound in the industry that could provide solutions to unemployment in the country.
``This outfit has provided several employments to youths in our surrounding communities of :Magboro, Arepo, Ibafo and Mowe.
``Most of those working with us are from our host communities and this was strategic plan by the company to give a sense of belonging to those around us,’’ he said.
``We have been able to impact positively on our immediate community, by addressing their
immediate needs and this speaks volume of how big is this industry is poised to provide employment opportunities.
``If Nigeria has a good master plan for tourism, unemployment would have been reduced to the barest minimum,’’ he said.
Oyesile said that the investment at Hi-Impact was big and could accommodate everybody that wanted
to come visiting.

He said that the park had afforded picnickers the opportunity to spend their money without any stress.
``Some people that have visited this place are surprised to see that it is a worthy place where they can relax and enjoy themselves.
``They don’t have to go through the stress of exchange rate before they can have their pleasure, and this has saved tourism flight from the country to other countries,’’ he said.
NAN observed that the families and picnickers were treated to : stage dance by Madom Dance Ensemble, children and adult games, and
over 50 rides by the park. 

Domestic Tourism: Sally Mbanefo is on point —Hama Bachama of Bachama Kingdom

BY NTDC media team 

THE Hama Bachama of the Bachama Kingdom in Adamawa State, His Royal Majesty, Homun Honest Irmiya Stephen (Kwire Mana, Kpafrato II), has described the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs Sally Mbanefo, as a strong, courageous and diligent woman, who has given hope to the development and promotion of the cultural heritage, history and tourism potentials in the Bachama kingdom.

The resourceful and ebullient monarch said this during the eventful visit of the NTDC boss to the kingdom recently, adding that, “the people of Adamawa are so happy to host Sally Mbanefo who has brought the federal government presence to Numan Kingdom. 

The people of Bachama Kingdom are so overjoy for this historic and unprecedented visit.

“Sally Mbanefo is so courageous to have come to pay visit and honour the Bachama Kingdom, and the Adamawa people at large. She came to Bachama Kingdom when people are afraid of Adamawa State because of insecurity. No Director General of NTDC has ever visited the kingdom. In fact the immediate past boss of the corporation, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, who is my good friend never honoured the invitations given to him.

“This Kingdom and Adamawa at large is so peaceful. In Bachama Kingdom every tribe coexists peacefully. In fact, we have Igbos as political office holders and appointees in the state. And there is a good level of security; no insurgence whatsoever in Adamawa State.

The Hama Bachama of the Bachama Kingdom in Adamawa State, His Royal Majesty, Homun Honest Irmiya Stephen (right), the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs Sally Mbanefo (middle) and the Matriac of Bachama Kingdom and President of Pene Da Bwatiye Women Wing, Mrs. Irene Hamadu, at Women Exhibition Centre, Sangha, Lamurde Local Government, Adamawa State.

“Bachama Kingdom has innumerable rich tourism potentials, with enviable cultural heritage and history which are worth promoting and developing.”

The Hama Bachama of the Bachama Kingdom, who congratulated Mrs Mbanefo on her efforts at promoting tourism and culture in Nigeria, described her visit Lamurdi kingdom as a hope for the development and promotion of the great tourism potentials, cultural heritage and history of the kingdom.

The Kwire Mana, Kpafrato II urged the Federal Government to tap the tourism potentials of every state particularly Adamawa State whose rich culture is unique. It was a delight to see the DG participating in every dance with him.

Mrs Mbanefo in her response described the Adamawa people as hospitable and very intelligent, with rich cultural heritage and history, which are great tourism potentials, which if developed and promoted will not only create job opportunities in the kingdom and the state at large, but it will also strengthen unity among the people.

“Tourism is a value chain, which cut across every sector. That is why NTDC under my administration will not relent on its efforts at promoting domestic tourism in Nigeria to create more jobs, promote unity among the Nigerian people, reduce urban migration and reduce crime rates in the country,” Mrs Mbanefo. 

The NTDC boss, who said that she was in the Kingdom to support the tourism efforts of the Hama Bachama of the Numan Kingdom, described the cultural heritage of the kingdom as unique and worthy of being exported globally, just like the Sango festival in the Oyo town in Oyo State.

Her words: “Sango festival has been exported to over 40 countries. This Kwete festival, among other festivals and the cultural heritage of Numan Kingdom are so fantastic that they will be well accepted and celebrated if developed, promoted and exported. And this will not only put the Numan Kingdom on the global tourism map, but it will also make Nigeria stand tall in the comity of tourism nations.”

The Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs Sally Mbanefo, dancing with a cultural dance troupe, Wuro Wajale, from Lamurde Local Government.

Sally Mbanefo promised to partner with the Hama Bachama of the Numan Kingdom and the state government to develop and promote the great cultural heritage and tourism potentials in the kingdom and the state at large, while charging the community to continue their supports for the monarch.

Adamawa State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mattias Ngaro, lauded the bold step of Mrs Sally Mbanefo to visit the kingdom and the state at large, with a view to collaborating with the people, the traditional authorities and the government of the state to develop the rich cultural heritage and tourism potentials in the state.

“It is in my plans to bring the NTDC boss, Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, to Adamawa State to appreciate our rich cultural heritage and tourism potentials. But till now, I could not achieve this. Thank God that His Royal Highness, Homun Honest Irmiya Stephen (Kwire Mana, Kpafrato II), finally made this possible. The Adamawa State government will cooperate and partner with NTDC to ensure that our rich cultural heritage and tourism potentials are well developed and promoted for national and international acceptance,” Ngaro said.

The Hama Bachama of the Bachama Kingdom in Adamawa State, His Royal Majesty, Homun Honest Irmiya Stephen (Kwire Mana, Kpafrato II), explainig a point to the Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs Sally Mbanefo.

Displaying their delight for the visit of the NTDC boss to the kingdom were performances by various traditional dance troupes at the monarch’s house where the reception was held. The troupes include Wuro Kadwe from Lamurde, Jabin Imburu, Wuro Wajale from Lamurde, Igbo dancers and Mbowo Gra Njiya from Numan.

After the special reception, the His Royal Majesty, Homun Honest Irmiya Stephen, took the NTDC DG on entourage to over seven tourism locations and attractions in the neighboring villages, where was also welcomed by different dance and warrior troupes, entertaining her with different fascinating performances.

The tourism locations and attractions include the fantastic big lakes, which are far bigger than what is celebrated in America as the “big lakes,” and Women Exhibition Centre, Sangha, Lamurde Local Government, Adamawa State, just to mention a few.

“The performances of the warrior troupes made it that the people of Adamara are super warriors,” Sally Mbanefo remarked.


Polo Avenue unveils ‘Urban Movement’ ready-to-wear collection'

By Gloria Adokwu
Polo Avenue, Nigeria’s foremost connoisseur in luxury goods has reiterated its commitment to re-defining Nigeria’s luxury industry by positively representing and promoting the efforts of remarkable female talents across all spheres of the economy and in particular that of Nigerian women in luxury fashion.
Speaking at the unveiling of its ‘Urban Movement’ ready-to-wear collection, in collaboration with Omowunmi Label, Jennifer Obayuwana, Executive Director Polo Luxury Group, said the commitments represent their core values as a company.
“The Polo Avenue platform will continue to celebrate the myriad of women entrepreneurs, business owners and executives by positively promoting their hard work, successes and industry achievements in showcasing their talents as an inspiration to women everywhere.”
While celebrating the Director of Omowunmi Labels, Omowunmi Akinnifesi, Obayuwana said her creativity and laudable accomplishments in putting together an exceptionally stylish collection was astonishing.
Omowunmi Akinnifesi & Jennifer Obayuwana
Omowunmi Akinnifesi with Jennifer Obayuwana

Omowunmi Akinnifesi described her collection as one designed for the metropolitan woman who is actively on-the-go. “Boasting finely cut lines, bold colours and uniquely structural pieces, the unveiled collection targets women who daily require exclusively stylish and functional pieces.”
Polo Avenue, according to her, exists to exclusively attract confident and discerning shoppers who are seeking unique and elegant additions to their personal style collection.
Stocked with a luxurious fragrance bar and an exclusive collection of leather handbags, shoes and accessories from renowned international luxury brands Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Balenciaga, amongst many others,

The unveiling was a night of elegant affairs as stylishly attired guests were treated to an evening of top fashion crafted with the utmost creativity.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Court awards N200m damages against Delta Govt for demolishing entertainment resort

Demolition of entertainment resort, illegal, court tells Delta Govt

UGHELLI- A High Court sitting in Ughelli, Delta State has declared the November 15, 2011 demoiltion of Giddy's Place, an entertainment resort by the state government illegal.

It also awarded N200 million exemplary damage against the state government and ordered it to within seven days, unseal the premises of the entertainment resort located at Asaba, the State capital.

Agents of the state government had on November 15, 2011 supervised the demolition of the structures of entertainment resort on grounds that they were illegally erected in a residential area without permit and had since then sealed off the premises.

 Delivering his judgment in Ughelli on Tuesday, Presiding judge of the court, Justice Michael Obi  held that the state government had resorted to "self help" in its attempt to get the owner of Giddy's Place to comply with the provision of the law when the time given to the management of the entertainment resort to correct the defects had not expired. 

He maintained that it was wrong for the demolition to have been carried out without a court order, particularly when Mr. Gideon Nwaomu, the owner, had applied for permit to convert structures to commercial purpose on the land.

He said the owner was still waiting for response from the government before its agents moved in with their bulldozers and demolished the structures. 

Easter: Lawmaker plans to convey 2,000 intending picnickers to Sultan Beach

 Mr Dauda Kako-Are, Accord Party member, representing Mushin 1 Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, said he would take 2,000 intending picnickers from his constituency to the Sultan Beach on Easter Monday.
Kako-Are told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos that this would afford them the opportunity to relax in a natural setting devoid of the hustling and bustling of the city centre.
He said that this had been his culture to take some members of his constituency to tourist sites during Easter celebration.
The lawmaker said that no less than 2,000 intending picnickers had already shown interests in the exercise and more were still registering.

He said that the aim was to give back to the society and an avenue for people to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
``I believe my people need to enjoy the dividends of democracy and this is an avenue to do so.
``I will be responsible for the expenses and not the constituency because I do not want my people to be over burdened,’’ he said.
Kako-Are said that the idea was also to enable people know the tourism potentials in the state, adding that the beach was one of the best sites located in Badagry.
NAN reports that Kako-Are had been responsible for free school bus ride for primary and secondary school pupils in the area.
He was also providing clean water and monthly allowances for thousands of adults and elderly in his constituency

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

UNWTO strongly condemns the attacks in Brussels

UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)  is deeply shocked by the tragic attacks perpetrated in Brussels. On behalf of the international tourism community, UNWTO expresses its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims and to the Belgian people in this difficult moment.
"On the behalf of the international tourism community, UNWTO conveys its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims and expresses its full solidarity with the people and the Government of Belgium” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
“This is not an attack on Belgium, it is an attack on us all and sadly these tragic events remind us again that we are facing a global threat that needs to be addressed globally” he added.

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Wows Customers With Special Offers

As part of its fifth anniversary celebration since its operation, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray has announced plans to wow its customers with special offers. Located at Dubai, the resort is set to offer customers a long-room offer, spa, lifestyle and restaurant offerings. This was made known by the Senior Sales Manager, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Mr Cesar Habib, at a function recently held in Lagos.
The offer also includes special discounts on treatments and retail products at the Talise Ottoman Spa on every fifth (5th)of each month throughout 2016, with the celebrations extending further to the resorts leisure and children’s facilities, with special offers and activities happening every 5th of the month at its Sinbads Kids Club and watersport’s area, these will change on a monthly basis. At the resorts portfolio of restaurants, there will also be a dedicated 5th anniversary dessert and special themed beverages available to purchase throughout the year for just AED 55.
According to him, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray has put in place so much to put customers in the mood of celebration with them. His word: “Jumeirah Zabeel Saray marked its fifth year in operation on 4th January 2016. The resort commenced operation in 2011, and to mark the 5th anniversary, special offers will be put in place to celebrate the occasion including a year-long room offer, as well as spa, lifestyle and restaurant offerings. To mark the birthday in January, the resort arranged a Big Brunch with VIPs, loyal guests, media and partners of Jumeirah Zabeel Saray for 5 hours with music and prize give aways. The venues used were priced at 455 AED, 555 AED and 655 AED for different packages. Every 5th of each month throughout 2016, the Talise Ottoman Spa will be offering special discounts on treatments and retail products with the celebrations extending further to the resorts leisure and children’s facilities, with special offers and activities happening every 5th of the month at its Sinbads Kids Club and watersport’s area (these will change on a monthly basis). At the resorts portfolio of restaurants, there will also be a dedicated 5th anniversary dessert and special themed beverages available to purchase throughout the year for just AED 55”.

Description: Description:

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is the most  luxurious  resort on  Palm  Jumeirah, inspired  by  the  imperial palaces  of  the  Ottoman  era  offering  an  extensive  list  of  5 star exclusive  amenities and  facilities  including the  Talise  Ottoman  Spa;  one  of  the  largest  and  most luxurious spas in the Middle East spanning 8,000m² with 42 treatment rooms and 3 traditional hammam’s and home to 38 private luxurious Royal Residences. It is a family  friendly  destination which  resort  offers  several  activities  which enhances the  family  holiday  experience  without  compromise  to  its  luxuriousness.  This includes  a  new  1,885  square  meter development, Sinbads  Kids  Club which compliments the existing ‘Secrets of the Saray’ interactive tours, indoor cinema, water  sports,  bicycle  rides,  giant  chess  court  and P├ętanque  court,  shuttle  bus services to main land attractions including new Jetty and Shuttle boatto Dubai Marina, water sports and cooking classes from the resorts signature restaurants. Inherent in this resort is also a  unique  and  exciting  culinary  and  nightlife  destination with  bespoke nightlife venueson the Palm Jumeirah with eight award  winning dining destinations offering a  range of cuisines from  Indian, Turkish  and Japanese, to Lebanese, Italian, British and International.
As part of the resort’s ongoing plan for growth and to increase awareness of the Stay Different  experiences available to guests, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray has recently implemented a new brand marketing campaign entitled ‘The World Can Wait’. The new campaign is focused around three main lifestyle elements; service, relaxation and surroundings. The new branding, photography and marketing material showcases the resort’s lifestyle approach. The award winning Talise Ottoman Spa has refurbished their couples and VIP floor and will be refurbishing the grand entrance to provide an even better experience for guests. The spa has also introduced another product line and treatments from Natura Bisse and remains the largest and most luxurious spa within The Middle East New increased selection of water sports and outdoor activities are available at the resort complete with new Jetty  and water transfer shuttle boat which will transport guests to and from the resort on the palm to mainland Dubai. The Rib Room British steakhouse is which now includes a swanky British Brunch. The 50 year old brand complements Jumeirah Zabeel Saray’s eclectic restaurant portfolio –truly establishing the resort as a destination of culinary excellence. This is the third installment of the Rib Room across Jumeirah with two already existing in Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai and Jumeirah Carlton Tower, London, however the Rib Room at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray has its own unique identity focusing more towards the British steakhouse. New Sinbad’s Kids Club has opened on the resorts beach front. Set to enhance the family holiday experience, the 1,885 square meter development has replaced the previous children’s pool area and has seen the introduction of a new outdoor splash park. The club features exciting facilities such as a kid’s play pool, indoor kid’s club and water sports facilities, as well as fun interactive food and drink stations for children up to the age of 16years.
Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is one of the divisions of Jumeirah Group. It is a six floor beachside hotel with 405 elegantly appointed guest rooms, including 26 luxurious suites, and 38 opulent Royal Residences. It  offers  an  abundance  of  leisure  activities  across  the resort, unique  selection  of  award winning  restaurants  and bars,  each  offering  a  distinct  culinary concept and  an  exciting  nightlife  ranges .
Jumeirah  Group,  the  Dubai based  global  luxury  Hospitality  Company and  member  of Dubai  Holding,  has  been  appointed  by  Zabeel  Properties,  a  subsidiary  of  Zabeel Investments LLC to manage Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Marriott wins back Starwood with higher bid

Ibrahim Abubakar, Dir. Sales, Sheraton Abuja Hotel, Barry Curran, Area Manager Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Nigeria, Alex Kuthoor – Alex Kuthoor’s name – Managing Director, ONE SPIRIT COMPANY & GDN, Communications Manager Nigeria, Nanji Tyem

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide accepted a revised offer to merge with Marriott International Monday after saying last week that it would go with a competing bid from Chinese insurance company Anbang.

Marriott increased its bid for Starwood from $65.33 a share to $79.53 a share, greater than Anbang's offer of $78 a share. The deal values Starwood at $13.6 billion, excluding its timeshare business. Starwood shareholders will receive $21 cash and 0.8 shares of Marriott Class A common stock for each share of Starwood common stock. The merger will create the largest hotel chain in the world.

Arne Sorenson, Marriott International's CEO, who will helm the newly combined company, told USA TODAY on Monday that he was pleased the deal is back on.

"The deal with Starwood was signed last night,'' Sorenson said. "We’re excited to get back on track and get this historic merger together. We think what we can accomplish together is just fabulous.''

On Friday, Starwood dropped a $12.2 billion bid from Marriott to take over the company and opted instead for a $13 billion all cash offer from a group of investors led by Chinese insurance company Anbang. If Starwood had backed out of the agreement with Marriott, it would have owed its hotel rival $400 million in cash.

Sorenson, who is vice chair of President Barack Obama's Export Council is currently in Cuba with the President, who is making an historic trip to the Communist nation.

He noted that despite Anbang's alternate offer, negotiations between Marriott and Starwood had been productive.

"Even last week in the midst of this Chinese bid that was being negotiated, the Marriott and Starwood teams were working together on integration and planning and trying to look forward to the next step,'' he said. " I think there’s broad recognition of what we can accomplish together. I think there’s a high level of respect the teams have for each other, for their desire to success, and for the expertise that they bring to the work that they do. And we want to get back to that quickly.''

Starwood Hotels and Resorts is poised to play a significant role in Cuba, having received authorization from the U.S Treasury Department to operate existing hotels on the island. Marriott also received the necessary ok from the Treasury Department, but hasn't announced any deals, unlike Starwood. Havana's Hotel Inglaterra will become part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection brand. And the Hotel Quinta Avenida, also in Havana, will become a Four Points by Sheraton. And Starwood has also signed a letter of intent to convert the Hotel Santa Isabel in Havana into a Luxury Collection property.

Sorenson said that with their pending deal, the possibilities to reshape hospitality in Cuba are even greater. "We are eager to roll up our sleeves and get back to work and get ready to close the deal,'' he said.

If Starwood changes its mind yet again, it will now incur a break up fee of $450 million, and Starwood would have to reimburse Marriott up to $18 million of the actual costs Marriott has had so far, according to Baird analyst David Loeb.

Still, there's a strong likelihood that Anbang will be back. "It is an asset that means a lot to Anbang and its partners,'' Loeb says. Also, "Marriott's bid isn’t that much higher . . than Anbang's, and I doubt that Anbang's first bid would be its last.''

Though Anbang is an insurance company, it has made a high profile play in the hotel sector before, buying the Waldorf Astoria New York from HiltonWorldwide in 2014 for $1.95 billion.

But some analysts see a tie up of Marriott and Starwood being a much more natural fit.

"While Anbang offered a better value per share in the short term, Marriott seems a better suitor for Starwood in the long term,'' wrote Euromonitor analyst Wouter Geerts. "Anbang has a track rercord of making sweeping changes in the companies it acquires . . ..Furthermore, a deal with Marriott will strengthen Starwood's position in the global hotel industry, as the combined company will become the largest player, better able to make savings through economies of scale, compete better with (online travel agencies) and resulting in one less global hotel chain to compete with.''

Starwood shares were up 3.86% to $83.68 in morning trading, while Marriott's shares were down 1.37% to $72.16.

Soltan travels commends TBI for branding their office as a Royal Caribbean cruise sales outlet

Soltan Travel & Tours Limited, the pioneer and leading wholesale cruise agent for Nigeria and Ghana, has congratulated Tour Brokers International for choosing to brand their office as a Royal Caribbean cruise sales outlet.
Soltan that is also the official Representative for Cruises International in Nigeria, said TBI was one of the first agencies to run with their vision of promoting cruise vacations in Nigeria, while their representative participated in their  very first Agents FAM Cruise in September, 2006.
In the letter personally signed by the Managing Director, Victoria Soluade, she said “We are proud of how far they have come and are glad they have found their niche in the market.”

Soltan Travel product offers include over 18 Ocean and River cruise companies. There is such a wide variety to suite every sector of the market. I therefore seize this opportunity to encourage other agents who are yet to sell cruise holidays to join us. For those who prefer to specialize in a particular cruise product or destination, you are welcome so to do. 

Medical Tourism: ABUAD to Partner ADB to Build N10b Medical Facilities

By Rotimi Ojomoyela

Ado-Ekiti-The African Development Bank has indicated its intention to partner with Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti,  in financing  an ultra-modern medical facility in the university with sole aim of saving the nation billions of naira being spent by Nigerians to seek medica treatment abroad annually.

The ABUAD’s founder, Chief Afe Babalola(SAN) made the disclosure on Monday during an interactive session with the ADB delegation. 

The legal Luminary, who frowned at the way Nigerians are spending billions of naira annually to treat various ailments that are supposed to be treated locally, abroad,  said the hospital will not only serve in treating Nigerians of various ailments, but would also serve as a training ground for medical students in various fields of medicine.

Conducting the delegation round the construction site of the ongoing medical hospital in the university,  Babalola said the university is going into such partnership to develop the health sector, the way the university has intervened and pioneered quality university education in Nigeria.

According to Babalola,“just as BUAD intervened in giving Nigerians the best way to run a university education, we are also intervening this time  to develop the health sector .

“We are doing this gigantic medical project  through direct labour. A sum of N2 billion has been spent so far. We need another N6 billion. We are determined to put the best diagnostic equipment in place and this will cost a sum of N6 billion if we are to achieve the dream.

“We also wants to hire the services of the best consultants in Nigeria and abroad to start it and also train our experts here for sustainability. To finish the entire building and to get the best experts will cost another N2 billion making our expenses on this hospital to be N10 billion”, he disclosed.

Speaking on behalf of the ADB delegation, Mr Akinwumi Emmanuel, said
the bank rated ABUAD as one of the best private universities in Africa and globally, saying no amount will be too much to be invested in such a committed university that is striving towards making Africa a force to be reckoned with educationally.

The ADB chief said the International Finance Corporation and KMWD of
Germany, which are arms of the World Bank, have shown commitment  on the possibility of exploring investment opportunities in ABUAD.

“We came here some months ago to see what were on grounds and we filed our reports alongside our proposals to the headquarters and some experts in the financial organization were sent down to validate it.

“If this partnership should scale through, ABUAD will be the first university to be funded by ADB in Nigeria. This is a landmark achievement necessitated by the big dream and vision of ABUAD’s founder”, he said.

Thursday, March 17, 2016


Aero, Nigeria’s leading e-airline has announced special offer for its passengers ahead of the forthcoming Easter celebrations.
The aim of the promo tagged "Family and Friends Promo” is to appreciate and reward the loyal airline customers during the Easter period and to encourage Nigerians to fly more often. To further reward passengers Aero branded T-shirts can also be won in-flight as our passengers travel this Easter season. Any passenger may be lucky to win one.
The Commercial Manager of Aero Chima Okereke said: "To participate in the 'Family and Friends Promo,' which will commence today and last throughout the Easter, customers will have to purchase five (5) tickets in a group, and then get one ticket for free. All the five (5) bookings must come under the same booking reference.
"The free sixth ticket can be used at any other time within the validity of the complementary ticket and based on applicable terms and conditions."
He urged customers to take advantage of this special promo which will be available online at  and across the Sales counters.
He further explained that the T-shirt is a way of rewarding the airline's customers, promising that the airline is working to offer more rewards to its esteemed customers in the coming months. 
Chima added: “We are committed to providing world-class flight services at competitive rates for customers who will be travelling to visit families and friends within the Easter period. 
"Aero is most delighted to introduce this special promo. We appreciate our customers, and we promise to continue to offer them memorable travel experience, with on-time departures, and commitment to wonderful customer packages. We shall endeavour to introduce more innovative products and services during the year."
Aero flies to major cities in Nigeria and Accra in Ghana. It has operated scheduled and charter air transportation for over the last fifty-five years.