Al-Jouf heritage to be documented

Updated 02 October 2013
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Al-Jouf heritage to be documented

Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) on Monday launched the 20th version of the tourist media convoy to document the antiquities and rich cultural heritage of Al-Jouf Province.
Majed Al-Sheddi, SCTA director general for Information and Public Relations, said: “The convoy is a mix of amateur and professional Saudi photographers, in addition to YouTube cameramen.
“SCTA organizes the tourist media convoy on a regular basis. It is one of its information programs and has proven to be very successful in highlighting tourism and heritage sites in Saudi Arabia which is its major goal.”
Al-Sheddi referred to the close attention paid by Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of SCTA, to convoy’s programs.
He said that the media convoy adheres to the directives of the SCTA president in its pursuit of encouraging photography in the Kingdom.
He informed that last year, the SCTA, realizing the importance of the power of images in the tourism marketing process, and in its efforts to support photographers, launched the “Saudi Color Forum.”
Al-Sheddi said: “Consistent with these efforts, this year the SCTA has organized a special convoy devoted to amateur and professional photographers as well as the YouTube cameramen who will visit Al-Jouf Province, which is famous for heritage and tourism sites.”
The convoy comprises 45 prominent photographers representing different parts of the Kingdom and aims to highlight the reality of unique tourism sites in Al-Jouf Province. It will encourage and support the efforts of amateur and professional photographers and benefit from their production in enhancing the tourism photo Library of the SCTA, Al Sheddi said.
He praised the important role played by the photographers in highlighting tourism and heritage potentials across the Kingdom, pan-Arab and international media through high-definition and high quality images.
The SCTA has launched 19 convoys over the last few years. Over 650 media representatives from the Kingdom and abroad participated in these convoys. Al-Sheddi said that the tourism commission is all set to launch similar convoys for the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and domestic media in future.


Bulgari hotel: An Italian escape in Dubai

Luxury doesn’t shout its presence with bling or ostentatious features, instead it quietly whispers. (bulgarihotels.com)
Updated 19 April 2018
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Bulgari hotel: An Italian escape in Dubai

  • The “urban oasis” is currently the only hotel situated on the offshore Jumeira Bay island
  • Home to just 110 rooms, suites and villas, the sprawling low-rise property oozes Italian elegance with its minimalist aesthetic

DUBAI: Bulgari, the venerated Italian design house, has just five hotels around the world. And even in Dubai — a city crammed with luxury hotels — the Bulgari Resort manages to seem exclusive. The “urban oasis” is currently the only hotel situated on the offshore Jumeira Bay island, offering guests some respite from the city’s often-hectic atmosphere, even though it is literally minutes away from the pulsing heart of Dubai.

Home to just 110 rooms, suites and villas, the sprawling low-rise property oozes Italian elegance with its minimalist aesthetic. Master architects Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel — who are responsible for all the Bulgari hotels worldwide — have used a neutral color palette and custom motifs, such as coral-inspired lacquered steel parapets and mashrabiya-patterned accents, to give the hotel a sense of place.

Here, luxury doesn’t shout its presence with bling or ostentatious features, instead it quietly whispers, with fine materials — from Italian marble to sumptuous silks, impeccable attention to detail, and touches including the signature fragrance that wafts around you from the second you enter.

The hotel is responsible for a couple of firsts for the brand, including its ‘Little Gems’ kids club — where children are entertained with bespoke activities such as cooking classes and treasure hunts while their parents enjoy some downtime — and the global debut of the Bulgari Marina & Yacht Club, which has its own pool and recreation facilities, signature seafood restaurant, and 50-berth harbor.

All rooms and suites feature a walk-in closet, spacious balconies, smooth one-touch button controls, and bathrooms with standalone tubs boasting enviable views — making for some excellent Insta-fodder. The signature trunk-style mini-bar is as funky as it is functional, and the trendy basket beach bags are perfect for stashing your souvenirs — including designer knick-knacks from on-site concept store La Galleria.

The one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas offer private pools and butler service, but you don’t want to miss the resort’s circular central pool, where luxury cabanas with oversized daybeds and on-call service invite you to lounge the day away. Just adjacent is the crescent-shaped private beach, with the gentle waters of the Arabian Gulf offering perfect swimming conditions, even if the tip of the seahorse-shaped island mars the view slightly.

Whether you opt for a beach-and-pool day or a Dubai-sightseeing trip, your evening should definitely be devoted to the quintessentially Italian aperitivo experience at Il Bar, where an oval-shaped chrome counter provides a social centerpiece, and an outdoor terrace offers marina views. The seriously chic Il Ristorante (by lauded Italian chef Niko Romito) is just next door, and shares the terrace. Its tiramisu is one of the best in town, as is the freshly baked rustic bread.

Offering a more pared-back dining experience are La Spiaggia, a beachside restaurant and bar, and Il Café, the Bulgari take on a casual all-day dining destination which still features jaw-dropping design, and, in line with the whole ‘nothing is too much trouble’ service ethos, serves breakfast all day.

That ethos extends to the spa too, where therapists provide the ultimate in pampering using top-shelf products, including La Mer, in a soothing nature-inspired space. The use of rare precious materials, including grey Vicenza stone and green onyx, infuse the environment with a subtle opulence.

A 25-meter indoor swimming pool with its own cabanas, extensive facilities (including a shower offering a “Caribbean thunderstorm” experience), and private hammam, plus an exclusive Lee Mullins training program at the state-of-the-art gym complete the impressive recreation facilities at the resort.

If you’re looking for a classy, authentic ‘slice-of-Italy’ experience in the Middle East, then the Bulgari Resort Dubai is where you should check in.