New Accor identity unites Makkah, Madinah hotels

The new identity was launched in the presence of Managing Director Alaaeldin Saleh and executive directors of the group.
Updated 10 June 2019
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New Accor identity unites Makkah, Madinah hotels

AccorHotels Makkah has united all its hotels in Makkah and Madinah under the umbrella of “Accor Holy Destinations,” unifying booking processes for Hajj and Umrah.

The new identity was launched in the presence of managing director Alaaeldin Saleh and executive directors of the group.

Accor Holy Destinations — a first-of-its-kind alliance in the Saudi hospitality sector — includes eight hotels in Makkah and three in Madinah.

The global hospitality group recently participated in the Saudi pavilion of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage during the international travel and tourism event Arabian Travel Market 2019, held from April 28 to May 1.

The new alliance comprises 10,617 rooms, including residential units, suites, hotel apartments, royal floors and villas. “This has given AccorHotels Makkah a competitive advantage in the Kingdom’s hospitality sector for its market share of 52 percent of the luxurious rooms and hotel apartments,” a statement said. 

“Accor Holy Destinations aims at unifying the booking process for travel companies when booking for Hajj and Umrah, organizations and individuals alike across all AccorHotels in Makkah and Madinah.”

Managing director Saleh said Accor Holy Destinations will have a digital platform for booking containing information about Makkah and Madinah, a full-fledged map of the area, nearby shops, and a 360-degree video of the Holy Mosque. 

The first phase of the platform has already been launched and contains comprehensive information about AccorHotels in Makkah. The second and third phases are underway and will contain information about the rituals of Hajj and Umrah.

The fourth phase will focus on providing information about the city of Madinah and AccorHotels in that region.

“We hope that the new umbrella will facilitate many processes related to their travel and accommodation so that visitors of the Two Holy Mosques can travel comfortably. Additionally, we trust that this will contribute to the development of the field and achieve the desired objectives of the target audience from outside and inside the Kingdom,” Saleh added.

Hotels that are a part of the alliance include: From Makkah, Makkah Clock Royal Tower, a Fairmont Hotel, Swissôtel Al-Maqam, Raffles Makkah Palace, Ibis Styles, Swissôtel Makkah, Pullman Zamzam, Mövenpick Hajjar and Mercure Hibatullah Hotel; and from Madinah, Pullman Zamzam Madinah, Anwar Al-Madinah Mövenpick Hotel and Mövenpick Madinah

AccorHotels Makkah’s participation in the 26th edition of Arabian Travel Markets in Dubai aimed to further develop its partnerships, create networking opportunities and capitalize on the location of the hotels in the two holy cities.


New Hyundai Sonata a sportier mid-size sedan

Updated 24 June 2019
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New Hyundai Sonata a sportier mid-size sedan

Hyundai’s new Sonata is ready for showrooms, giving the eighth-generation of the mid-size sedan a sleek four-door-coupe look that highlights the brand’s latest “sensuous sportiness” design language.

Created at Hyundai’s California Design Studio, the redesigned Sonata offers a freshly styled cascading grille framed by distinctive lighting architecture, and an entirely new rear. Chrome accents surround the daylight opening (DLO) and fresh wheel designs complete the look. New bodywork is built on Hyundai’s latest third-generation platform for a re-engineered driving experience.

“For more than three decades, each new generation of Sonata has raised the bar for quality and value among mid-size sedans, and this latest evolution also sets the standard for style, innovation and technology,” said Mike Song, Hyundai’s head of operations for the Middle East and Africa. “In a market increasingly divided into niche segments, the all-new Sonata reconsiders customer expectation in the sedan class and offers something sportier and more exciting than what has gone before.”

A hallmark of the new Sonata’s exterior is its Hyundai-first LED daytime running lights — embedded in a chrome strip. The lighting strip appears as chrome when the engine is turned off, but lights up when the driver starts the car. When night falls, available LED headlamps with dynamic bending light illuminate the path ahead.

Inside, the renewed center stack and instrument panel echo the exterior’s new looks. The trend carries down to the instrument design and a strong three-spoke steering wheel. Piano key buttons for audio and HVAC controls give a premium look and touch. The instrument panel follows a winged shape inspired by stealth aircraft. Visual elements combine to create a levitating effect, while designers have worked to maximize the sense of interior space. One clever application of new technology is a shift-by-wire (SBW) gear selector, which is sleek and technologically advanced, and takes up significantly less space than a traditional gear selector.

Interior fittings include a standard seven-inch color display audio touchscreen with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and a Qi wireless charging pad is available to keep smartphones topped up. Sonata now adds a second-row USB charge port. At the heart of the AVN system is a Bose premium sound system equipped with 12 speakers.

“The all-new Hyundai Sonata delivers a premium experience for driver and passengers,” added Song. “We apply a range of new technologies intuitively, with an emphasis on functional convenience, adding features that we know our customers will use and value.”

The new Sonata features six standard airbags and a range of safety systems, including advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) as part of Hyundai’s SmartSense technologies.