Palestine hotel room count ‘to double’

Political artist Banksy — whose artworks sell for millions of dollars — opened his “Walled Off” hotel in Bethlehem earlier this year. (Reuters)
Updated 11 November 2017
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Palestine hotel room count ‘to double’

LONDON: Palestine’s hotel room count is set to double by the end of the decade.
Elias Al-Arjah, who is chairman of the Arab Hotel Association and the owner of The Bethlehem Hotel, predicts that the number of hotel rooms in the country will rise from 6,000 to 10,000 by 2020.
Speaking on the sidelines of London’s World Travel Market, Al-Arjah told Arab News: “In Bethlehem in 1994, before the peace process, we had 800 rooms, now we have 4,000 rooms. We are growing faster than our neighbors, such as Tel Aviv and Amman.”
The Arab Hotel Association (AHA) — which represents 120 hotels throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem — is tasked with promoting tourism to the region through events and marketing.
The AHA chairman said: “Most Palestinian tourism is religious, but there is about five percent of tourism which is cultural and historical.” Al-Arjah said that Palestine and Israel are “working together” to promote Jerusalem as a tourist site.
“When the tourists come, they come to see more than East Jerusalem, they want to see all of the holy sites. Business-wise, we are working together with Israel, even if there is very bad political conflict,” Al-Arjah said.
“Our area has been quiet and there has been no problems in the last three or four years — it has been a good situation. Thank God there is no conflict, so there are more tourists,” he said.
According to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Palestine is the world’s fastest growing tourism destination. The country saw a 57.8 percent increase in international arrivals in the first half of this year, compared to the first half of 2016.
Earlier this year political artist Banksy — whose artworks sell for millions of dollars — opened his “Walled Off” hotel in Bethlehem. The hotel, which the artist described as having “the worst view of any hotel in the world,” exists both as a hotel and a museum space that explains the turbulent history of the region. Rooms start at $60 and go up to $965 for the presidential suite.


Iraq’s Basra Oil, Chevron agree to implement MOU to develop oil fields

Updated 19 August 2018
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Iraq’s Basra Oil, Chevron agree to implement MOU to develop oil fields

  • Executives from the two companies have signed an agreement which outlines a program to develop the fields
  • The MOU provides for Chevron to conduct surveys and studies on oil sites and installations

DUBAI: Iraq’s state-run Basra Oil Company and Chevron agreed to begin implementing a memorandum of understanding to develop fields in the south of the country, the Iraqi oil ministry said on Sunday.
Executives from the two companies have signed an agreement which outlines a program to develop the fields, which includes studies to survey the reservoirs and extraction operations, said a statement posted on the oil ministry’s website.
Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Al-Luaibi announced in June that Basra Oil and another state-run company, Dhi Qar Oil, signed an MOU with Chevron.
The MOU provides for Chevron to conduct surveys and studies on oil sites and installations and help the two Iraqi companies to improve their technical, administrative and financial performance.