Saudi travel enthusiasts can now explore the White Continent

Updated 10 August 2017
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Saudi travel enthusiasts can now explore the White Continent

Antarctica is slowly emerging as one of the most sought after destinations for Saudi cruise travelers, who are always in search for something exotic and different.
As per the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), 38,478 visitors traveled to Antarctica with IAATO members during 2015 and 2016. That is a 4.6 percent increase over the previous season. Furthermore, 43,885 visitors are expected to visit the continent in the 2016-2017 season.
To address the needs of the Saudi travelers, “The Q Experiences” has announced a trip to Antarctica on a luxury cruise. Starting on Dec. 9, this will be an 11-day curated trip to the exotic ice-crowned continent rightly known as “the White Continent.”
Vasim Shaikh, founder of the India headquartered, Q Experiences said: “We have received a tremendous response for this remarkable trip from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. At Q, it is our constant endeavor to create memories that last a lifetime for all our travelers; we are keen on creating a similar experience for our Gulf travelers as well, and we are hopeful to see more travelers from this region to join us in this trip of a lifetime.”
“It is the first time such a curated journey to Antarctica is being promoted in the GCC. Since the number of travelers from this region has been negligible over the last few years, The Q wanted to bring this journey to the luxury travelers of GCC who are globetrotters and have been waiting to step foot on the seventh continent. We have put together the most refined way to explore the wilderness of Antarctic Peninsula with a superlative culinary experience,” added Shaikh.
Starting off from Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the luxury cruise trip promises to create an experience of a lifetime.
The travelers would be on board “The Great Majestic Explorer” — a sleek, gorgeous yacht, which would have 132 elegant staterooms and suites. To ensure a superior gastronomic experience to the travelers, Atul Kochhar, renowned Indian Michelin-starred chef will be on board curating the finest of Indian regional cuisine. In addition, the team of a catering center of excellence run by Alain Ducasse Enterprise will also be on board to enhance the global cuisine.
“The travelers aboard the Majestic Explorer will be sailing through the confluence of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, known as ‘The Drake Passage’ for two days and nights. On the fourth day, travelers will get their first experience of magnificent glaciers, rising slowly from the waters at Neko Bay and Paradise Bay,” added Mr.Shaikh.
Marching toward Port Charcot and Port Lockroy on day five and six, travelers will explore the stunning ice-covered rocks and home to the kelp gull — a haven for the avid wildlife enthusiast.
On the seventh day, travelers will be exploring “Deception Island” — a place steeped in history and home to the largest colony of “Chinstrap Penguins” in the Antarctic peninsula. Travelers will witness a breathtaking sight of over 100,000 pairs of penguins and play along with serenity of Elephant seals and Fur seals. The following day, they will be sailing through the quietest places on earth -—The Weddell Sea.
“During the last three days of the journey, travelers will hit the land, crossing the Drake Passage once more, making their way back to Ushuaia and civilization. The ship will dock on the last day and the journey to majestic White Continent will thereby come to an end,” said Shaikh.


Marriott hotel, apartments open in Riyadh’s DQ

Updated 20 March 2019
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Marriott hotel, apartments open in Riyadh’s DQ

Marriott International and Dur Hospitality this week celebrated the opening of the Riyadh Marriott Hotel Diplomatic Quarter and Marriott Executive Apartments Riyadh, Diplomatic Quarter. The complex is strategically located in the heart of one of the most sought-after areas in the city with easy access to key embassies and major corporate headquarters, and a 30-minute drive from King Khalid International Airport. 

“We are delighted to enhance our footprint in Saudi Arabia with the opening of two strategically important hotels that not only complement each other but also deliver very distinct brand experiences. Saudi Arabia continues to be one of our key markets and we are delighted to further strengthen our partnership with Dur Hospitality,” said Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International.

The hotel is inspired by Wadi Hanifa, a beautiful desert oasis running through Riyadh. The low-rise hotel resembles the smooth, dry canyon walls that make for a dramatic arrival experience. Once you step inside, the waterways guide the way into the building, ushering guests through the arrival court into the palm-dotted oasis in the hotel’s courtyard. Planted cacti, flowering vines, plentiful blooming desert flora and native date palm trees create a calming ambiance, providing shade from the desert sun. 

The complex is the first five-star full service hotel in the Diplomatic Quarter and features 80 spacious modern rooms, and 140 fully equipped apartments. The deluxe rooms feature modern décor and ample work space, allowing guests to stay connected with in-room technology, including high-speed WiFi and bedside USB outlets. Guests staying in one of the six Premium Suites or the Presidential Suite can enrich their experience in the M Club Lounge offering an international buffet, hors d’oeuvre and local specialties 24 hours a day. 

The Riyadh Marriott Hotel Diplomatic Quarter houses three dining venues, Goji Kitchen — an all-day dining destination, a la carte restaurant Mesquite and Agave Café located in the lobby. The hotel offers multiple recreational areas surrounded by lush greenery. 

Muin Serhan, general manager of Marriott Hotels in Riyadh, said: “The opening of Marriott Riyadh and Marriott Executive Apartments Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter is considered an important milestone in our developing journey in the hospitality field; we are keen to provide a very special experience to our valuable guests whatever they are traveling for — business or leisure.”

He added: “And we are very proud to be part of the new Marriott travel program ‘Marriott Bonvoy,’ built on the belief that travel enriches its members and the world around them. Launching in February 2019, Marriott Bonvoy replaces Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG).”