Meliá  Hotels International has set plans to open two new hotels in the UAE in 2018. 

melia desert palmDubai

The first hotel—Dubai's Desert Palm Hotel—will be rebranded as a Meliá property through a partnership with Albwardy Investment Group, the hotel's owner. The official rebranding for the 38-guestroom Desert Palm Polo Club & Resort by Meliá is scheduled for July 1.

This will be Meliá's fourth partnership with Albwardy, following three others in Tanzania and Argentina: the Meliá Zanzibar and Meliá Serengeti Lodge in Tanzania and the Meliá Iguazu in Argentina. The Desert Palm Dubai originally operated under the Per Aquum brand by Minor Hotels before Meliá agreed to take over operations earlier this month. 

The group’s Me by Meliá Dubai—the first Me by Meliá in the UAE—is scheduled to open after its hotel with Albwardy begins operating. Architect Dame Zaha Hadid designed the 93-room hotel with 98 serviced apartments while developer Omniyat is developing it in the Opus building in Downtown Dubai’s Burj Khalifa district.

Worlds biggest Rotortug named at Albwardy DamenWorld's biggest Rotortug named at Albwardy Damen

This January, Albwardy Damen in Sharjah hosted a naming ceremony for the world’s biggest Rotortug, the ART 100-46 RT Raven. The vessel will be operated by Perth-based KT Maritime Services Australia, a joint venture partnership between Kotug International and Teekay Shipping Australia.

The 46m long Infield Support Vessel (ISV), RT Raven is built to a Robert Allen design, and features DP2 and a 100 tonnes bollard pull capability. The new tug, built at the Sharjah yard, will be used for offshore support operations and has been designed and outfitted for operations in the Timor Sea. In particular, Albwardy Damen points out that RT Raven has been specifically designed to meet the field’s unique marine service requirements, which include tanker berthing and operations support, including emergency response.

Speaking at the delivery ceremony, Lars Seistrup, managing director of Albwardy Damen, commented: “This is a special vessel in many ways. It is the biggest Rotortug ever built, and it is also one of the most powerful tugs ever built in the UAE. We are very pleased with the end result which is the consequence of close cooperation and teamwork with the client.”

Albwardy Damen is a joint venture between Albwardy Investment, Dubai, and the Damen Shipyards Group, Holland. Both are family owned companies with a long history. The company provides shipbuilding and ship repair services to the marine and oil and gas related industries in the Middle East, and currently has a total workforce of around 1100 people of 26 different nationalities in three UAE locations- Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah.

Desert Palm Retreat Dubai 005Albwardy Investment-owned Desert Palm rebrands

Desert Palm, a luxury boutique hotel in Dubai which was owned by Albwardy Investment, is being rebranded as Desert Palm Dubai and will be independantly operated.

Since opening its doors in 2008, Desert Palm has been Dubai’s little oasis of calm on the edge of the city.

The 160-acre private estate was formally opened by HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Originally created as a haven for owner Ali Albwardy’s personal enjoyment of polo, Desert Palm Dubai is set in the graceful, serene, manicured surrounds as a private polo estate. The retreat boasts four polo fields, a riding school and stabling facilities for over 300 horses.

As part of Albwardy LLC’s portfolio, Desert Palm Dubai has become a firmly established retreat, spa and fitness destination within the UAE community and stylish society.

James Reeves, general manager said: “The future of luxury hospitality will be to celebrate guest’s individuality, imagination and to redefine the code of unpretentious service. Our retreat focuses on continuously improving services using the ease of technology for in-house guests, enabling them to book experiences around the city from the privacy of their suites and villas, or simply reserving dinner at Rare to booking a spa treatment."

"Although we recognise that technology should not be seen as a ‘replacement’ for guest services, rather we believe it should enhance it. At Desert Palm Dubai, we focus on you so you can decide when you want something and how you want it as opposed to your stay being defined by breakfast, lunch, dinner," Reeves said.

The hotel focuses on the elements that makes the guest’s experience truly private - from the surrounding appeal of a boutique property to the sense of intimacy in certain spaces. "It is always important to keep some things classic and personal,” he said.

Situated as an oasis opposite the new Dubai Safari Park, which is slated to open later this year, and near IMG Worlds of Adventure, Desert Palm Dubai features 38 guest suites and villas, an infinity swimming pool, organic-specialised treatments at Lime spa, Rare as the fine dining restaurant that masters Argentine-style Grill, a relaxed poolside brasserie, the chic lounge Red bar or the outdoor Polo bar.

Desert Palm Dubai is an elegant, equestrian-themed boutique hotel and basks in the lush landscape to provide a refreshing, avant-garde contrast to the conventional flamboyance of the city’s sky-scraping image. The hotel’s culture is providing guests with everything they need for a relaxing and timeless experience from the fast-paced business hub’s lifestyle.

Taking cues from its rebranding celebration, guests will receive beautiful benefits when reserving directly from their new website on

pacman CCLCCL enters India through Super Label stake

CCL Industries has moved into India with its Pacman-CCL joint venture signing a binding agreement to acquire a 70 percent stake in Mumbai-based Super Label.

Super Label focuses on pressure-sensitive labels for large consumer products and healthcare customers with operations in India. Pacman-CCL will invest 3.75 million CAD (2.9 million USD) in the venture to acquire its stake, reduce debt and provide funding for future expansion.

After the investment, Super Label will continue to be headed by its founder, Bharat Mehta, and becomes part of Pacman-CCL, trading under the CCL corporate identity system with immediate effect.

Geoffrey T. Martin, CCL president and CEO, commented: ‘Over the last decade, we looked many times at entering India through acquiring a local business. Super Label is one of the best managed we have seen, I believe this is the best way forward given Pacman-CCL's proximity to the region.

‘Our Indian Checkpoint subsidiaries remain separate to this venture, entirely under CCL control, focusing exclusively on retail and apparel markets.’

The Pacman-CCL joint venture, headquartered in Dubai, is jointly owned by CCL and Albwardy Investment, and is headed by John Dawson, managing director. Pacman-CCL now has plants in Dubai, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt and India. 2016 sales were approximately 38 million USD.

Four Seasons Resort Seychelles on Desroches Island to Reopen in 2017

Four Seasons Resort Seychelles to Reopen in 2017Four Seasons Resort Seychelles on Desroches will reopen late this year. The island is one of the Amirantes Islands and is a 35-minute flight from Mahé.

The resort, previously known as Desroches Island Resort, is undergoing a transformation and will feature 40 exclusive beach suites as well as 11 private villas with direct access to the beach. The suites will feature private plunge pools, tropical gardens and outdoor living spaces.

Facilities will include two restaurants, a lounge bar and a six-suite spa offering locally inspired treatments and wellness classes. Activities include diving, fishing, snorkelling, water sports, cycling and hiking. The island has a Marine Conservation Discovery Centre and Giant Tortoise Sanctuary.

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