Riyadh hosts Dilmah’s School of Tea

A group picture of Dilmah’s School of Tea participants in Riyadh.
Updated 07 November 2018

Riyadh hosts Dilmah’s School of Tea

Dilmah’s School of Tea held its first session in Riyadh on Monday, attracting individual tea lovers, members of the hospitality sector, the retail sector and the media to a day-long presentation of the ins-and-outs of fine tea. 

Dilmah, a purveyor of pure Ceylon tea, is the only vertically integrated tea company in the world, owning components of the entire tea process from tea fields to distribution.

As part of its goal to educate the public on the taste of pure Ceylon tea and reintroduce it in a big way to the Kingdom, Dilmah brought its School of Tea to Riyadh for the very first time. “Education inspires passion and that is what we hope to achieve,” said Merril Fernando, the company’s founder. “We want to elevate tea to the same level as the finest cuisine because it is just as complex and satisfying as any gourmet offering.”

The School of Tea was established through a partnership with Institut Paul Bocose, an international culinary institute known for educating and training students who want to pursue careers in the culinary arts. In its fullest incarnation, the School of Tea takes place in Sri Lanka and extends across five days.

The School of Tea in Riyadh explored all components offered by the five-day program. After an introduction to Dilmah itself, visitors learned about the history of tea, the many varieties of the drink and the manufacturing process. The session ended with a tasting of four fine teas: Ceylon Silver Tips, Ceylon whole green tea, First Ceylon Oolong and Brilliant Breakfast.

This was followed by an overview of the tea producing regions of Sri Lanka and an explanation of why Ceylon tea is so valued by tea connoisseurs the world over. The day then segued to a demonstration of how to brew the perfect cup of tea, a task visitors tried their hand at.

The lunch hour was accompanied by instructions on tea pairings, demonstrating which teas should be served with certain plates. Afternoon sessions focused on the ethical issues involved in tea production and distribution as well as the health benefits tea offers within a modern lifestyle.

“Given Saudi Arabia’s long history of pure Ceylon tea, a tradition that has been interrupted by tea traders’ profit concerns, the country will be happy to become reacquainted with it. The School of Tea is not just a step in that direction, but it will also serve to reaffirm that tea is a fine beverage, not a cheap soft drink,” said Dilhan C. Fernando, Dilmah CEO. 

“I thought I knew something about tea, but I found out that there is so much more to lean,” said one of the tea lovers.


Russia’s cultural capital beckons GCC travelers

Updated 17 October 2019

Russia’s cultural capital beckons GCC travelers

  • Citizens of Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia can now benefit from fast and convenient 
eVisa portal when arranging their next visit to the city of St. Petersburg.
Guarded by two marble lions at the entrance, the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg sits within the walls of a 19th-century royal palace in the beautifully preserved imperial city of St. Petersburg. Celebrated globally for its history and architecture, Russia’s cultural capital recently became an even more attractive destination for GCC travelers thanks to the introduction of a convenient new online eVisa process.
Launched at the beginning of October, the St. Petersburg eVisa portal enables citizens from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman to enjoy the benefits of fast and simple online visa applications. Travelers can simply fill in the online form, upload a photograph, and can complete the entire process in just a few clicks. Applications can be made within 20 days of traveling, and up to four days before arrival. The visa is valid for stays of up to eight days in St. Petersburg and the surrounding Leningrad Region.
Felix Murillo, general manager of Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg, said: “The introduction of the eVisa portal offers a new level of convenience for international travelers, making it easier than ever for GCC citizens to arrange a trip to our wonderful city. Our concierge team takes great pleasure in highlighting St. Petersburg’s historical and cultural visitor attractions, and will be happy to arrange anything our guests may require to turn every trip into an unforgettable experience. We look forward to welcoming visitors from the Middle East to our beautiful hotel to share cherished moments and create memories that will last a lifetime.”
The Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg is located in the upmarket Admiralteysky district and was originally constructed in the early 19th century for Prince Alexander Yakovlevich Lobanov-Rostovsky.
Since first opening its doors to guests in 2013, the property offers 183 rooms, including 26 sumptuously decorated suites.
Perhaps the most stunning of the hotel’s accommodations is the one-of-a-kind Lobanov Presidential Suite, where guests can gather by the living room fireplace for a night of intimate conversation, host an al fresco dinner party on the expansive private terrace with stunning views of the Admiralty building and the surrounding park, or retreat to the grand master bedroom for a quiet and cosy evening.
The hotel is inviting guests to embark on a range of culinary adventures across its three restaurants. Diners can experience pan-asian fusion flavors at Sintoho, authentic Italian dishes at Percorso and modern Russian cuisine at The Tea Lounge.
Catering to the needs of visitors from the Middle East, halal meat is available on request.