UNWTO praises ‘amazing’ tourism development

Updated 10 October 2015
0

UNWTO praises ‘amazing’ tourism development

ABHA: The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has praised the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) for its development projects across the country.
Omar Valdez, executive head of the UNWTO’s Themis Foundation, said that his organization was also working closely with the Kingdom to host several seminars, and supports a study on using tourism to boost local communities.
The UNWTO and the Kingdom have already held joint seminars on tourism related issues in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, said Valdez recently at a seminar held here.
He said he has been amazed at the significant development in Asir since he visited three years ago. More could be done to attract mountaineers and outdoor lovers to the region’s mountainous areas, he said.
Adel Radhi, deputy minister of tourism and UNWTO consultant, said he has been involved in several projects to develop Asir as a major tourist destination, including some in Souda, Al-Habla village, Tanumah and Al-Namas.
Radhi said there should be more organized programs and trips to the region, with guides. He also urged local businesspeople to contribute by investing in hotels, restaurants and cafes needed in the region.
He also praised Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the SCTNH, for launching various tourist initiatives in the region and country, including the handicraft program.
Addis Sivash, a tourism expert with the UNWTO, said that there should be more promotion done on social networking sites, to keep the public informed of events taking place in the region.
She proposed that all programs and events should not only be held in Arabic, but also English, to attract larger numbers of local and international tourists.
The UNWTO delegation participated in the seminar on tourism developments in the region and visited various popular locations including Al-Muftaha village, Rijal village and Al-Souda park.


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
0

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.