Monday 30 April 2018

USA: American Airlines Orders 47 Dreamliners At $12.3 Billion

Boeing and American Airlines announced the world’s largest airline will more than double its 787 Dreamliner fleet with a new order for 47 of the super-efficient airplane plus 28 options.

The 47 787s are valued at more than $12 billion at list prices and makes American Airlines the largest 787 customer in the Western Hemisphere.

American originally ordered 42 787 Dreamliners and has been using the airplanes’ tremendous fuel efficiency and superior passenger amenities to open new routes around the world, including Asia Pacific and Europe, and boost its network efficiency.

While American still has more airplanes on the way from its initial order, the airline is buying the additional Dreamliners – 22 787-8s and 25 787-9s – to further modernize and expand its fleet.

We are extremely honored that American Airlines, is deepening its commitment to the 787 Dreamliner.

This new order is a powerful endorsement of the 787 family’s unique passenger appeal and unmatched ability to help airlines open new routes and grow profitably, said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Kevin McAllister.

Built with lightweight composite materials and powered by advanced engines, the Dreamliner family lowers operating costs by more than 20 percent compared to previous airplanes, and nearly 10 percent compared to today’s competing jets.

American becomes the latest airline to place a repeat order for the 787 Dreamliner.

More than half of the program’s 71 customers have done so, which has helped the 787 program achieve more than 1,350 orders to date.

We are showing again and again that the 787 Dreamliner is the champion in its class.

The airplane’s tremendous value proposition explains why it has become the fastest selling twin-aisle jet in history, said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales & Marketing for The Boeing Company.

And when we match the Dreamliner with Boeing’s suite of services, it is a combination that delivers unbeatable value for our customers.

Tourism Observer

INDIA: Jet Airways Hostess Protects And Saves Baby From Accident At Mumbai Airport

Airline crew are trained to save lives in any onboard emergency.

Jet Airways air hostess Mitanshi Vaidya did just that on the ground when she threw herself on the ground at an airport to protect a toddler who had accidentally fallen from his mother’s arms.

While she fell flat on her face, she managed to reach out her arms to the baby to ensure that he did not hit the ground and remained safe.

This good samaritan act was witnessed at Mumbai airport last month when a woman was flying with her less than a year-old baby to Ahmedabad.

After completing check-in formalities and while approaching the security check counter, the baby accidentally slipped from the mother’s arms.

Fortunately one young girl a Jet air hostess Mitanshi Vaidya saved the 10 month old baby boy from this accident.

The Jet air hostess without worrying about her life helped me and just jumped and caught my son the mother of the baby said.

She also suffered injuries in her face in the process, and may have also received a permanent scar on her nose.

The mother Gulafa Shaikh, who is the MD of a private company, has written to Jet Airways while thanking the air hostess who saved her baby.

Shaikh was travelling by another private airline.
Jet Airways confirmed this act of Mitanshi Vaidya, where she did not even worry about getting a scar on her face that might have affected her job as an air hostess.

We are very proud of Mitanshi, who has been working as a cabin crew with us since June 2016.

She is trained on the Boeing 737 aircraft, a Jet Airways senior official said.

The mothers letter says: I asked for her mobile number but the innocent girl just smiled and said it’s against company policy. She is an angel for me. I had my child after 14 years of marriage and she saved my child.

I wanted to thank her in anyway but she refused to take anything and just said ‘duaon mein yaad rakhna or remember me in your prayers.

The Hostess Mitanshi Vaidya then proceeded to operate on her flight after getting first aid.

Vaidya’s acrobatic leap may have been enabled by the fact that she is taking Judo classes.

She is a fun loving girl, passionate about singing and dancing, the Jet official said.

Tourism Observer

UNITED KINGDOM: EasyJet To Add A320neo Fleet And Phase Out 30 Airbus A319s

Aircraft scheduled to arrive and leave its fleet over the winter months.

UK LCC easyJet is bracing for a busy winter, transitioning aircraft to its Austrian air operator’s certificate (AOC), growing its A320neo fleet and phasing out 30 of its Airbus A319s.

EasyJet operates a fleet of 280 aircraft, made up of Airbus A319s, A320s and A320neos. The airline has 100 A320neos and 30 A321 neos on order, with flexibility to switch between the two variants.

We took our first A320neo in June, we’re now operating two and we have two more coming soon, followed by another 24 next year, easyJet head of engineering Gary Smith said, speaking at MRO Europe in London.

The airline’s first two A321neos will arrive in July 2019, followed by another two each month in August and September.

By 2022, easyJet will operate a fleet of 360-370 aircraft, with A320neo-family aircraft making up about 26% of the total. However, a large number of ceos will still remain in service.

There’s still a lot of growth coming in that we’ve got to cope with, he said.

With the fleet roll-over, the airline’s engineering department will have to prepare a large number of aircraft to be returned to their lessors.

EasyJet used to hand back its aircraft after eight years in service, but they are now being kept longer to cope with growth while waiting on new aircraft deliveries.

Some of easyJet’s aircraft are now up to 14 years’ old.

We haven’t redelivered that many A319s to the lessors. We will start redelivering more this year; we have a big program of 30 A319 redeliveries, he said.

Smith declined to comment on when the A319s are likely to be phased out of the fleet.

EasyJet reconfigured 49 aircraft in a new Spaceflex configuration in winter 2016-17, increasing them from 180 to 186 seats by rearranging the lavatory and galley at the rear of the aircraft.

This was the first time work like this has been handled by the airline, but Smith said the fairly aggressive program came in on time and under budget.

This winter, alongside the aircraft redelivery program, easyJet will start a huge base maintenance program and begin putting aircraft on its Austrian AOC.

This means the remaining 56 aircraft reconfigurations will be done in winter 2018-19.

In terms of balancing the work load, we are very busy. There’s a reasonable balance, but it’s a lot to undertake,Smith said.

He added that easyJet brought in a Beechcraft King Air two years ago as a maintenance support aircraft for ferrying engineers and parts around the network to minimize technical disruptions.

This year easyJet added a second aircraft – a Citation jet – which is based in Milan Malpensa.

We are looking for the best long-term solution, he said, trialing prop versus jet operations and the best base location for the support aircraft.

EasyJet recently partnered with Lufthansa Technik on a new maintenance hangar at London Gatwick, which opened in May 2016, and is now looking quite closely at what to outsource or keep in house.

Pre-2010, we outsourced everything, but we very quickly realized we needed to build up intelligence in-house, so we have steadily done that and have a very good Part M operation which is fully functional now, easyJet head of fleet technical management Swaran Sidhu said.

The Luton-headquartered airline has been working on a number of maintenance innovations, ranging from ash detection technologies, drone-based inspections, software to cut the cost of fan blade replacements and predictive maintenance through Airbus’ new Skywise product.

Sidhu said Skywise has already been very beneficial to the business.

The airline is also rolling out an electronic sign off for maintenance documentation, called e-sign.

We are working with the authorities and giving them confidence of how to work with this.

The idea is to go totally paperless; with this we have got rid of 80% of our paper.

We have a bit more work to do to, refining the system, but we are working with it and it is working very well, Sidhu said.

It makes engineers follow processes step by step, because they can’t move to the next task without certifying a task as complete, so builds in good human-factors safety.

Maintenance makes up around 6% of easyJet’s costs, or around £237 million of the total.

Tourism Observer

KENYA: Cafe Javas Opens In Nairobi As CJ's

Uganda coffee chain Café Javas has entered the local market with a new branch in Nairobi, raising competition for Kenya’s restaurant operator Java House.

Café Javas’ new outlet, operating under the name CJ’s, is located at the junction of Biashara and Koinange streets.

The firm’s expansion into Kenya raises its rivalry with Java House with which it was embroiled in a trademark war in its Ugandan home market.

Java moved to the Uganda High Court in 2016 after Mandela Group of Companies, which owns Café Javas, successfully objected to the registrar of trademarks’ acceptance of the Nairobi Java House name.

The court gave the coffee house a go-ahead to register name as a trademark and to operate its restaurants.

Justice Christopher Izama last year ruled that no evidence had been produced to prove that customers could easily confuse the two restaurant brands.

Café Javas has seven branches within Uganda’s capital Kampala and an additional outlet at Victoria Mall in Entebbe.

Java operates 65 branches across East Africa in addition to outlets under Planet Yoghurt and 360 Degrees Pizza brands.

Kenya based Java House has set aside Sh5 billion in a renewed expansion drive over the next five years. About 80 per cent of the firm’s expansion drive will focus on opening more outlets in Kenya.

Java Group is the biggest restaurant chain in the region, followed by fast-food brand Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Art Caffe restaurant and Subway.

Artcaffe, which has 12 branches, has been the main competitor for Java House until recently when smaller coffee houses including Kaldis and Connect set up shop locally.

In February this year, the upmarket coffee chain unveiled Artcaffe Fairtrade Coffee Blend from coffee sourced in Nyeri and Machakos to grow its revenue streams.

The product is available at all its outlets for Sh290 served in a French press while a 250 grammes ground box goes for Sh690.

America fast food chain Subway has 12 branches in the region — eight in Kenya, three in Tanzania and one in Uganda.

Java Group will inject up to KSh1 billion in expansion drive this year cementing its place as the number one restaurant chain in the region.
Chief executive Ken Kuguru said the firm would open new outlets in emerging towns and within major cities in the country to grow its branch count and create new revenue streams.

The firm will also simultaneously explore new markets in the East African region but most of the new investments are expected to be in Kenya.

Java Group is the biggest restaurant chain in the region with 64 branches, followed by fast-food brand Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Art Caffe restaurant and Subway.

The KFC has 31 branches in the region, 17 of them in Kenya, nine in Uganda and five in Tanzania. Art Caffe has 12 branches in Kenya.

America fast food chain Subway has 12 branches in the region — eight in Kenya, three in Tanzania and one in Uganda.

Mr Kuguru said that 80 per cent of the firm’s expansion drive over the next five years will focus on opening more outlets within the Kenyan borders.

The five-year strategy is estimated to cost the firm up to Sh5 billion.

Java Group runs coffee outlets under Java House, owns 360 Degrees Pizza and Planet Yoghurt brand.

The 64 branches under the label include 56 coffee outlets. The firm is looking to open at least two outlets of its brands every month.

Java House will invest between Sh500 million to Sh1 billion in new branches as well as advancements in a state-of-the-art central kitchen and commissary facilities,said Mr Kuguru.

Java Group is keen on Meru and Machakos counties, where it will open its first branches of the year.

The expansion drive indicates a shift to the counties after the devolved governments were established in 2013.

Tourism Observer

INDONESIA: Lion Air Involved In Accident After Landing In Rain And Overran Runway

Lion Air Boeing 737-800, performing flight from Makassar to Gorontalo, Indonesia with 174 passengers and 7 crew, landed in rain but overran the end of the runway and came to a stop on soft ground with all gear struts dug in.

There are no injuries being reported, the aircraft sustained substantial damage however.

The aircraft came to a stop about 420 meters past the runway end near the aerodrome perimeter fence.

The airline confirmed the aircraft overran the runway in rainy weather conditions.

All occupants evacuated the aircraft safely and were taken to the terminal.

No Metars are available for WAMG (Gorontalo), the local weather station reported at 17:00L: light rain, winds from eastnortheast at 3 knots, visibility 6000 meters, QNH 1010 hPa, temperature 24 degrees C, dew point 24 degrees C.

Humidity 88%, at 20:00L the weather station reported: light rain, winds from eastsoutheast at 2 knots, visibility 6000 meters, QNH 1010hPa, temperature 24 degrees C, dew point 24 degrees C, humidity 97%

Tourism Observer

INDIA: Jet Airways To Acquire 75 Boeing 737 MAX Airplanes From Boeing

Boeing and Jet Airways announced a new order for 75 737 MAX airplanes as India’s premier international airline looks to the new and improved 737 jet to power its future growth.

Our new order for the additional 75 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will allow us to deliver a differentiated and world class customer experience to our guests, said Vinay Dube, Chief Executive Officer, Jet Airway.

This additional order reemphasizes our trust and confidence in Boeing and also reaffirms our commitment to operate extremely modern, reliable and fuel efficient aircraft as part of our fleet.

Jet Airways’ partnership with Boeing goes back 25 years ever since the airline was conceived and took to the skies.

This order underscores Jet Airways’ commitment to the growth and sustainability of the Indian aviation market.

Jet Airways announced its first order for 75 MAX airplanes in 2015 as part of a strategy to refresh its fleet with the most modern and environmentally progressive airplanes.

The newest order adds 75 more MAXs to support the airline’s future expansion.

Jet Airways is set to take direct delivery of its first MAX airplane later this year.

We are honored that Jet Airways has again placed its trust in Boeing with its order for 75 more 737 MAXs, said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president, Asia Pacific & India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

These additional 737 MAX airplanes will help Jet Airways continue to be an industry leader by combining a superior passenger experience with reliable and efficient operations.

About Jet Airways

Jet Airways is a major Indian international airline based in Mumbai. In October 2017, it was the second-largest airline in India after IndiGo with a 17.8% passenger market share.

It operates over 300 flights daily to 65 destinations worldwide from its main hub at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and secondary hubs at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Chennai International Airport, Indira Gandhi International Airport, Kempegowda International Airport and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport.

Incorporated in April 1992 as a limited liability company, the airline began operations as an air taxi operator in 1993. It began full-fledged operations in 1995 with international flights added in 2004.

The airline went public in 2005 and in 2007, it acquired Air Sahara. It became the largest carrier by passenger market share in the country by 2010, a position it held until 2012.

Jet Airways was incorporated as a limited liability company on 1 April 1992. It started operations as an air taxi operator on 5 May 1993 with a fleet of four leased Boeing 737-300 aircraft.

The airline was granted a scheduled airline status on 14 January 1995. On 12 May 1994, all the shares were transferred to Tailwinds International, whose equity capital was held by Naresh Goyal (60%), Gulf Air (20%) and Kuwait Airways (20%).

In October 1997, as per the directive of Ministry of Civil Aviation forbidding foreign investment in passenger airlines, Goyal took control of the entire company.

The airline launched its first international flight in March 2004 from Chennai to Colombo. The company was listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and became public company on 28 December 2004, with Goyal retaining 51% ownership of the stock.

In January 2006,Jet Airways announced its intention to acquire Air Sahara for US$500 million in an all-cash deal; however, the deal fell through in June 2006.[

On 12 April 2007, the deal was back on track with Jet Airways agreeing to pay 14.5 billion (US$220 million). On 16 April 2007, Air Sahara was renamed as JetLite and was marketed between a low-cost carrier and a full service airline.

JetLite became a wholly owned subsidiary of Jet Airways. In August 2008, Jet Airways announced its plans to integrate JetLite into Jet Airways.

In October 2008, Jet Airways laid off 1,900 of its employees, who were later re-instated due to intervention from the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

In October 2008, Jet Airways entered into an alliance with rival Kingfisher Airlines for code sharing on domestic and international flights, collaboration on frequent-flyer program and sharing crew and ground handling equipment.

On 8 May 2009, Jet Airways launched another low-cost brand, Jet Konnect. It operated a fleet of Boeing 737 Next Generation and ATR 72 aircraft and operated on profitable short-haul routes with higher passenger load factors.

In the third quarter of 2010, Jet Airways became the largest airline in India with a passenger market share of 22.6%. In July 2012, the airline officially sought government approval to join Star Alliance.

In June 2011, it became the first domestic airline in India to ban meat products and liquids in check-in baggage.

Jet Airways merged the JetLite brand into Jet Konnect on 25 March 2012 and started offering business-class seats after the demise of Kingfisher Airlines.

In 2013, Etihad Airways planned to buy a stake in the airline following the government's announcement in September 2012 that foreign airlines could take a stake of up to 49% in Indian carriers.

On 24 April 2013, Jet announced that it was ready to sell a 24% stake in the airline to Etihad for US$379 million. The deal which was expected to be signed in January 2013 was postponed and was completed on 12 November 2013.

In 2013, the airline lowered prices and entered into fare war with low-cost carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet due to falling passenger demand.

In February 2013, the airline's market value dropped by 4.84 billion (US$74 million) owing to falling share prices.

Jet Airways made profits in the third quarter of the financial year 2013–14, after posting losses over the previous year.

Jet Airways announced on 11 August 2014 that it would phase out Jet Konnect by the end of the year as part of plans to re-position itself as a uniform full-service operator.

On 1 December 2014, Jet Konnect was fully merged with Jet Airways, making it the third full-service airline in India besides Air India and Vistara.

In December 2015, Jet Airways announced the closure of its scissor hub at Brussels Airport by March 2016 and the opening of new hub at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport effective 27 March 2016.

In 2016, it was the second largest airline in India after IndiGo with a 21.2% passenger market share.

The airline's head office is located at Siroya Center in Andheri, Mumbai. The head office was previously located at S. M. Center, a rented six-storey building in Andheri and was moved following criticism regarding the working conditions.

Jet Airways' original livery was designed by Lowe or Lintas then. It was navy blue with light grey and chrome yellow. The top and bottom of the aircraft were painted in light grey with the flying sun logo in the navy blue background.

In 2007, a new livery was created by Landor Associates which added yellow and gold ribbons; the design retained the dark blue and gold-accented colour scheme along with the airline's flying sun logo.

A new yellow uniform was simultaneously introduced, created by Italian designer Roberto Capucci. Jet Airways introduced its new identity in conjunction with a global brand re-launch which included new aircraft and seating.

The company is listed in the Bombay Stock Exchange. 51% of the stock is owned by Naresh Goyal through his company Tailwinds International and the remaining 49% by other investors.

Jet Airways serves 65 destinations including 45 domestic and 20 international destinations in 15 countries across Asia, Europe and North America. The airline has its primary hub at Mumbai and secondary bases at Bangalore and Delhi.

In March 2004, the airline introduced its first international destination Colombo with flights connecting to Chennai. London was the airline's first long-haul destination and was launched in 2005.

Since 2007, Jet Airways has had a scissors hub at Brussels Airport for onward transatlantic connections to North America, which was replaced by Amsterdam Schiphol Airport from 27 March 2016.

In 2008, the airline was forced to discontinue international routes because these attracted losses due to global economic downturn; it terminated services to San Francisco and Shanghai.

The airline planned to restore the Mumbai–Shanghai route by the end of 2011 but never did so. In 2012, the airline withdrew flights to New York and closed the Delhi–Milan route in 2013.

On 1 March 2016, the airline announced the integration of domestic and international operations in Mumbai airport and moved its entire operations to the newly constructed Terminal 2.

Jet Airways codeshares with the following airlines:

- Aeromexico

- Air Canada

- Air France

- Air Seychelles

- Alitalia

- All Nippon Airways

- Bangkok Airways

- China Eastern Airlines

- Delta Air Lines

- Etihad Airways

- Fiji Airways

- Garuda Indonesia

- Hong Kong Airlines

- JetStar Asia

- Kenya Airways


- Korean Air

- Malaysia Airlines

- Qantas

- South African Airways

- United Airlines

- Vietnam Airlines

- Virgin Atlantic

According to Business Traveller, SkyTeam CEO Perry Cantarucci admits that Jet Airways is the next target to join SkyTeam, although currently Skyteam is not out recruiting new members. Perry added that We would love to talk to Jet about becoming a Skyteam member. And they know it.

Jet Airways has ceased its Frequent Flyer Partnership arrangements with Emirates and Gulf Air starting 31 March 2018.

Jet Airways Operates a mixed fleet of ATR-72, Boeing 737NG, Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft. As of April 2018, the Jet Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft:

Airbus A330-200 - 5

Airbus A330-300 - 4

ATR 72-500 - 15

ATR 72-600 - 3

Boeing 737-700 - 5

Boeing 737-800 - 71
Boeing 737-900 - 2

Boeing 737-900ER - 4

Boeing 777-300ER - 10

Total Fleet - 119


Boeing 737 MAX — 154 Deliveries from June 2018

Boeing 787-9 — 10

Total Orders - 164

Jet Airways placed its first order for four Boeing 737-400 and 30 Boeing 737-800 aircraft on 11 December 1996; and the first aircraft was delivered on 12 November 1997.

It placed its second order for six Boeing 737-700 and two Boeing 737-900 aircraft on 14 June 1999 with deliveries starting in May 2001. On 5 January 2012, it inducted five ATR 72–600 series aircraft to operate on domestic regional routes.

Long-haul routes are served using its fleet of Airbus A330-200, Airbus A330-300 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. The airline placed an order for 10 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on 29 September 2005 which was delivered in 2007.

Jet Airways ordered 10 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on 29 December 2006 to operate on long-haul routes. It placed a further order for 75 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on 23 April 2013 as part of modernisation of its fleet of 737s.

This April 2018 the airline entered an agreement to acquire an additional 75 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

First class is available only in Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.The first class offers private suites; it features seats convertible to a fully flat bed, personal LCD TVs and in-seat power supply.

Premiere class available on long-haul international flights operated by Airbus A330-200 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft features recliner seats, fully flat beds with personal LCD TVs and in-seat power.

Première class in domestic flights offers recliner seats with larger leg room in 2-2 configuration.

Economy class on long-haul aircraft has a 32 inches (810 mm) seat pitch with a footrest and the cabin is configured in 2-4-2 on the Airbus A330-200 and 3-4-3 on the Boeing 777-300ER.

Economy seats on the Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 have a personal 10.6 inches (270 mm) touchscreen LCD TV. Domestic flights operated by Boeing 737 aircraft have Première and Economy classes and the ATR 72–500 have an all-economy class configuration.

Economy class on Boeing 737 have a 30 inches (760 mm) seat pitch with personal LCD behind each seat. Being a Full Service Airline, meals are served on all classes of travel.

Jet Airways has a Panasonic eFX flight entertainment system on board the Boeing 737 aircraft and Panasonic eX2 entertainment system on board the Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 aircraft.

The system, known as JetScreen, offers on-demand programming and operates via an individual touchscreen monitor on each seat.

In 2012, the airline introduced a feature called eXport on their Airbus A330s, which allows passengers to plug-in their personal Apple devices.

In February 2016, Jet Airways announced the introduction of an in-flight entertainment service for streaming of entertainment content directly to Wi-Fi enabled personal devices of the passengers.

1 July 2007, Jet Airways Flight 3307, an ATR 72-212A (registered VT-JCE), flying on the Bhopal-Indore route was involved in an accident caused by bad weather.

There were no fatalities amongst the 45 passengers and four crew but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair and written off.

3 March 2016, Jet Airways Flight 354, a Boeing 737-900 (registered VT- JGD) flying on the New Delhi-Mumbai route, had a main landing gear collapse while landing at Mumbai, leading to a shut down of the main runway and traffic being shifted to secondary runway.

Out of 127 passengers, no injuries were reported.

27 December 2016, Jet Airways flight 2374, a Boeing 737-85R (registered VT-JBG) on route to Mumbai from Goa skidded off the runway while preparing for takeoff. 15 of the 161 passengers and crew on board suffered injuries during evacuation.

22 January 2017, 168 people on board a Jet Airways flight operated by a Boeing 737–838 (registered VT-JTD) from Mumbai had a narrow escape after the tail of the aircraft hit the runway on landing at the Dhaka International airport, prompting the airline to remove the pilots from duty.

Asmin Tariq, a contractor working for the airline as a security agent at Heathrow airport was implicated in the foiled terror plot on 10 August 2006 to blow up several transatlantic airliners belonging to three different US airlines.

Subsequently, the Governments of UK and Singapore inquired security-related information from the Ministry of External Affairs on Jet Airways, clearance was further delayed to fly to the US.

The US State Department gave the go ahead for the airline to fly to the US on 15 November 2006.

In August 2014, two pilots of Jet Airways were suspended after a plane carrying 280 passengers dropped 5,000 feet (1,500 m) mid-air en route from Mumbai to Brussels.

On 2 December 2016, Jet Airways flight 9W7083 from Bhopal to Mumbai was held up by a large group of passengers headed for a marriage in Mumbai.

There were allegations from other passengers that the wedding party was politically connected and attempted to coerce the cabin crew to disembark passengers, so that additional members of their party could be accommodated.

The airline claimed it was a technical glitch in their booking system which led to overbooking.

One Supreme Court lawyer alleged that his elderly mother was harassed by members of staff and she collapsed and suffered a laceration on her chin.

Among others, a member of staff in-charge at the airport was reported to have told him to go do whatever he could.

In 2016, the airline was implicated in the Gupta family controversy in South Africa when it was alleged by former African National Congress MP Vytjie Mentor that members of the business family had offered her the position of Minister of Public Enterprises.

This on behalf of President Jacob Zuma, if she agreed to arrange for South African Airways to drop their India route so that Jet Airways could acquire it instead.

Tourism Observer

KENYA: IHG Takes Over Hotel Lazizi Premiere, Renamed Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport Hotel

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has taken over the management of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport-based Hotel Lazizi Premiere which is set to rebrand to Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport Hotel this week.

IHG confirmed it was taking over management of the four-star hotel, owned by Kiran Patel, from Mumbai-based hotelier Sarovar.

The hotel sits on a 1.5-acre plot. It features three conference rooms targeting business meetings, as well as a rooftop pool, spa, gym, coffee shop, bar, and café where guests can rest as they wait for their flights.

During its opening last year, Lazizi employed 165 staff, with Satya Roychowdhur, an ex-Carlson Rezidor executive, as the general manager.

It is one of the two hotels at JKIA, with the other being Four Points run by Sheraton Nairobi Airport Hotel, a 172-room property under the Marriott International umbrella.

The two hotels are targeting the passenger traffic at the airport as Kenya entrenches its status as a regional transport hub.

International arrivals and departures in Kenya most through JKIA reached 2.8 million last year, according to the Economic Survey 2018.

International travellers are the main target for airport hotels.

Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport Hotel will be the second under the Crowne Plaza brand in Kenya.


The Lazizi Premiere is the only official hotel located at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, designed to offer a luxurious and elegant experience with unmatched security within the most protected zone in Nairobi.

The hotel offers 144 spacious, adaptable, contemporarily designed rooms, with a large ergonomic working area consisting of suites, interconnecting rooms, double and twin rooms, convenient for business, family and leisure travelers.

With its convenient location, less than 3 minutes from the terminals, the hotel caters to transiting international and domestic passengers adding tranquility and comfort to your travel experience.

No traffic, no delays and no hold ups thus guaranteeing seamless transition to your flight on time, every time.

Tailored to meet every guest's needs, the hotel also has facilities for pre or post flight passengers with day rooms.

Specializing in relaxation and rejuvenation, personal fulfillment is also guaranteed at the Euphoria Spa, a roof top deck with an infinity pool as well as an equipped gym for the fitness enthusiasts.

The hotel features a contemporary café with a round the clock menu offering local and global cuisine, a coffee shop that offers the best handpicked flavors and a unique culinary experience.

A bar with an amazing range of exotic cocktails, international wines, draught beer, mock tails and starters for every mood.

A conference center is provided with 3 varied meeting rooms, a state of the art business center and a shop stocked with essential items and Kenyan artifacts.

Complimentary Luxury Airport Pick up & Drop off is provided upon Request within JKIA (Jomo Kenyatta International Airport) to Hotel.

Tourism Observer

TAJIKISTAN: Dushanbe, Despite Alcohol And Prostitutes, Tajikistan Is A Muslim Country.

Dushanbe is the capital and largest city of Tajikistan. Dushanbe means Monday in the Tajik language. It was named this way because it grew from a village that originally had a popular market on Mondays. As of 2016, Dushanbe had a population of 802,700.

Historically a small village, Dushanbe was made the capital of the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1924.

Until 1929, the city was known in Russian as Dyushambe, and from 1929 to 1961 as Stalinabad.

Climate: The best time of the year to visit Dushanbe is April and October. Winters are chilly, but not very cold owned to the mountains that protect the city from freezing winds originating in Siberia.

Temperatures range from -2°C (28°F) to 8°C (46°F) and the record low is -26.6°C (-15.9°F). Snow is common during this part of the year. In sharp contrast, summers are hot and temperatures range from 18°C (64°F) to 36°C (96°F) and the record high is 45°C (113°F).

For Westerners there are only a few ways to fly into Dushanbe. It is possible to transit Moscow - Domodedovo Airport, which has daily flights to Dushanbe.

There are several airlines that fly from Moscow, Tajik Air, Somon Air, Domodedovo Airlines and Sibirian S7 to Dushanbe. S7 or it's share code flies to most European countries and you could check in your luggage up to Dushanbe.

Otherwise you will require a transit visa to collect your luggage and check it in again. If you have no checked luggage, you could walk stright to transit area. There is also twice a week a flight from Istanbul - Ataturk on Turkish Airlines.

TA also flies to most of the major cities in Europe and your luggage will be checked up to Dushanbe. If you use a different airline and have checked in luggage you need a transit visa because the airlines will not transfer it for you.

For that reason you have to collect the luggage yourself and check it in for your final flight. In order to collect it you have to pass passport control for which you need a visa, many countries get it upon arrival and free.

These policies are subject to change without a notice. Check with your airlines to find out whether they currently transfer luggage.

The city is served by Dushanbe International Airport which as of April 2015, had regularly scheduled flights to major cities in Russia, Central Asia, as well as Delhi, Dubai, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Kabul, and Urumqi amongst others.

Tajikistan's principal railways are in the southern region and connect Dushanbe with the industrial areas of the Gissar and Vakhsh valleys and with Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Russia.

The Dushanbe trolleybus system operates public buses in the city. Automobiles are the main form of transportation in the country and as of 2014 many highway and tunnel construction projects are underway or have recently been completed.

Major projects include rehabilitation of the Dushanbe – Chanak (Uzbek border), Dushanbe – Kulma (Chinese border), Kurgan-Tube – Nizhny Pyanj (Afghan border) highways and construction of tunnels under the mountain passes of Anzob, Shakhristan, Shar-Shar and Chormazak.

Tajik Air has its head office on the grounds of Dushanbe Airport in Dushanbe. Somon Air has its head office in Dushanbe.

FlyDubai flies to Dushanbe from Dubai's DXB Terminal 2.

China Southern Airlines also flies into Dushanbe from Urumqi.

Most of the European and North American nationals can apply for a visa upon arrival in Dushanbe. The airport is very small and the immigration is just right before the passport control.

Make sure to bring 2 passport photos, and know the person's address in which you are staying. Don't lose your beeline travel slip which you will get at the immigration office.

The luggage x-ray machines are very poor and they pay little attention to the screens.

Watch the kids when you leave the airport they will offer to take your bag to the car and start to pull it off you, though not with intentions of stealing, just wanting to help and gain a tip.

Rail services to Dushanbe are limited. International connections are available only from Moscow via Volgograd, Atyrau and Termez.

Trains depart from the Moskva Kazanskaya rail terminal each Monday, Wednesday and Sunday at 12:08 PM, arriving 4:16 PM four nights later. Tickets costs from 9000 RUB for a second class sleeper.

There are no international bus services. If you are planning to go to a different town, there are terminals or vaghzal in Tajik where you can either find a shared taxi or a minibus.

Khorog or Pamir, the terminal is close to the airport, ask for povorot aeroporta terminal Pamira. There are usually 4X4 vehicles that will go to Pamirs.

The roads are not in a good shape, hence make sure you look for a nicer vehicle for a 10 to 14 hours drive to reach Khorog. Prices vary depending on a season.

Khujand and the rest of Sugd, the terminal is at the end of Rudaki Street towards Varzob Valley. Take a 3 taxi and ask the driver to drop you to the Vaghzale Khujand close to Vodonasos or Cemzavod.

It is the end of the Trolleybus line. The price should be 100 TJS per person. The trip takes about 5 hours from Dushanbe.

Qurghonteppa. Take a taxi or Marshrutka from Sadbarg/Poytakht hotel or any other marshrutkas going towards Korvon Bazaar to the Sakhovat Bazaar.

There's a big intersection with crosswalks and many, many cars where the vaghzal is, but you can also ask someone for the vaghzale Qurghonteppa.

The price shouldn't be more than 15 TJS per person. The drive takes a little over and hour from Dushanbe, and the road is in comparatively good condition. When you get there, ask if you can be dropped off at the bazaar for a more central location than the vaghzal.

Dushanbe, Afghan Border (Sherkhon Bandar) private SUVs go to the border on daily bases from Sakhovat Market. You will have to go early in the morning 05:00 to check for a shared car. Best is to go there a day before and arrange for the next day travel.

The easiest way to get around the city is to use the system of shared taxis, marshrutkas and trolley buses, which run on a standard set of routes, but which can be difficult to figure out at first.

The #3 taxi is especially useful as it runs all the way up and down Rudaki from Vodonosos in the North to the Train Station. These taxis Just hop in, pay 3 somoni, and get off wherever you wish.

The #8 taxi there is also a mashrutka route runs from the airport, down Rudaki, turns on Somoni, and can go as far as the US Embassy; you should take this if you need to go to Karabolo or 82 microregion.

Minibuses can be crowded, stop more frequently, and cost 1 somoni or 2 if it's a longer route if you pay only 1 and the price is two, someone will let you know, while shared taxis are much quicker and cost 3 somoni.

Which one you take will depend on where you want to go and how quickly.

The #67 and #4 mashrutkas run up and down Tursonzoda from Karamova in the North to Green/Zilione Bazaar and the South end of it's route.

The #25 mashrutka is a very long line, running from University of Central Asia/Merve, past Ashan the Dushanbe mall, then across Rudaki, past Tank, Textil, the Sim-Sim factory, and Cirq, through Profsaiyus, the 82 Microregion, and to Zarafshon.

The #33 mashrutka runs from the airport to Sadbarg to Korvon Bazaar

Electric trolley busses can be crowded, also stop frequently, yet run on nicely pre-defined routes. No confusion here. They cost 1 somoni and you can hop on and aff at any street side bus stop.

The #1 Trolleybus runs North and South on Rudaki road. If you're staying in the city center, this route is ideal. The #1 medium sized non-electric bus does not always keep the same route as the #1 trolley bus. Look for the electric lines to be sure you're getting on the right one.

The #8 Trolleybus runs North and South on Southern Rudaki but turns West on Somoni Rd and heads out towards the #8 taxi and mashrutka routes.

Regular buses can be a bit hard to navigate, but are perfectly safe. They cost 1 somoni and you can hop on and off at any street side bus stop.

Important transportation language there are many variations you will hear, but these should be okay:

'hamin-jo ba maan koned' - stop right here

'yagon-jo maan koned' - stop somewhere near here

'svetafor' - stoplight so, 'svetafor ba maan koned' will let you off before an intersection.

'peshikhod' - crosswalk

'gozashta' - past, you can say before or as you pass an intersection or roundabout to be let off just afterwards

combine to get exactly where you need to go.

Since 2015 in Dushanbe operates bicycle rental service.

Rent a Bike, 3 Loik Sherali street, Operation Mercy building. 8:00AM - 8:00PM. It offers modern and reliable town/mountain bicycles of different sizes, kids bikes 5-8 also available.

All bicycles are in good technical state. You can rent a bike for sightseeing Dushanbe and the surrounding area as well as for a long trip. Bicycle tour & excursion with professional guide available upon request.

Prices from the price-list are negotiable, safety payment using credit cards available. Additional information on their website and in the Facebook community. $5-$15.

Dushanbe can be very interesting. There's not a ton of tourist attractions, but there is much to explore, and you'll easily stay busy if you're willing to see more than just the few museums and statues.

Massive Statue of Somoni: This statue commemorates the one for whom the currency is named, and is located very centrally on Rudaki beside Kohe Joma movie theater and in front of the massive National Library. Apparently, the crown is 10 kilograms of tajik gold.

Fort Hissar, a 15 minute drive out of town. Rebuilt 13th century fort and madrassa. It is a must-see and includes small museums of ancient Tajik culture.

Entrance fees are 1 to 3 somoni. Take a #8 taxi and tell you driver you need to go to vaghzale Hissor, or ride towards the end of the route when you see a large area full of cars.

From there you catch a marshrutka or minibus or taxi to Hissar village. You’ll be let off near the bazaar and can ask the taxi drivers there or your original driver to take you to the kale.This should be 2 or 3 som more.

The new park on Rudaki Avenue has a huge statue of Rudaki, a new government palace, and enough fountains to drain the whole of Dushanbe. Go at night to see the lights.

Gurminj Musical Instrument Museum: This small museum located a block east of Rudaki near the Iranian Embassy has an interesting variety of Central Asian musical instruments.

That alone is worth a peek if you like instruments, but better still is to go when a musical or cultural event is being held, or hope to catch the folk musicians who practice there and can demo many of the instruments in the collection.

Museum of Antiquities on the street directly across from Opera Ballet. It is quite old fashioned and includes a number of exhibits that detail the country's history.

It is great for historians of contemporary Tajikistan and the current President, but only if they speak Russian or Tajik, as there are very few English signs.

The museum is very poorly funded, there is a man who follows you to turn off the lights after you are finished with an exhibit room but charming and contains a number of interesting artifacts highlighting the syncretistic character of Tajik culture throughout the millennia.

The huge 14m long statue of a reclining Buddha on the second floor validates a visit on its own merits. The Museum of Ethnography, which displays traditional Tajik dress and costume, is next door costs less and is certainly worth a visit.

Rohat Chaikhona. Old traditional teahouse located near central Dushanbe on Rudaki. Better to go for the interesting architecture, not the food.

The streets are lined with old and tall trees and benches, so in the evenings a stroll along Rudaki is quite pleasant.

Rudaki Park also features numerous fountains lit by coloured lights, and the Botanical Gardens behind the Chinese Embassy, somewhat north along Rudaki is the best place to escape the dust and noise of the traffic for peace and quiet

The nightlife is not of a western standard, but fun is easily found or made. Peoples Bar, located on Turnsonzoda just down from Poytakht supermarket, is the only nightclub foreigners go to, and is usually busy on the weekends with locals as well.

Men pay a cover fee, but women are free. There are several other nightclubs, but they have a reputation for being very shady.

The Cotton Club, a speakeasy style joint located at Opera-Ballet beside the Vaksh hotel, offers live jazz music and good hamburgers, but in a less than desirable atmosphere.

Public Pub, at the corner of Rudaki and Bukhoro at Dompichat/Twin Towers, remains the staple Irish pub in the city.

Beside Public is Bundes Bar, a popular, modern, and stylish German-themed bar always filled with locals and foreigners alike. Tons of hookah lounges are easily found walking anywhere near the city center, if you’re into that.

Galaxy, north just off on Rudaki near the ‘Sha-re Dushanbe’ shopping center, turn right, downstairs near the Imon International office, offers some English and of course, Russian karaoke and vodka.

Victory Park. Hike to the top for a seasonal restaurant with topchaans offering views of the city. The gondola dates from Soviet days, and has not operated for several years.

There's a Soviet memorial commemorating WWII. At the roundabout near Merve, follow the road at the top of the circle.
The Opera Ballet regularly has free or cheap concerts sponsored by embassies and traveling companies, though not always of the best quality.

The theater is lovely and full of Soviet splendor, worth going inside to see, and makes for an enjoyable atmosphere regardless of the entertainment.

Mayakovsky Theatre for pretty good Russian plays, at the intersection with Tsum on Rudaki. Though its now closed.

Zilioni Bazaar is the biggest bazaar in downtown Dushanbe and has a huge variety of foods very cheap by Western standards, including dried fruit, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, meats, and bread, as well as an odd assortment of tools and household products.

It is possible to see the entire bazaar in an hour or two. An easy walk from Opera Ballet or Sadbarg.

Korvon Bazaar About a 30 minute ride from downtown, the main and very large goods market in town, Marshruktas with Корвон signs on their dashboards will get you there for 2 somoni, and leave from near Sadbarg.

You can take a #33 marshrutka as well, or taxis for 3 somoni that leave from the same area, just across from the Poytakht hotel . Korvon has a massive indoor clothing and shoes section as well as a smaller food section.

It is also the place to go to find rugs, although most of the rugs come from Turkey, not Tajikistan. Get lost here.

Sadbarg, more shopping, centrally located in downtown Dushanbe. Lots of clothes, make up, and housewares. A little more expensive, but more convenient, than Korvon for those short on time or weary of the chaos of the latter.

Sakhovat, while you’re near Korvon, explore the surrounding neighborhood. Filled with lots of Soviet-style apartment blocks, it’s a much more affordable alternative to the city center for many of Dushanbe’s residents.

There’s nothing to see really, but it provides a different feeling from the tree-lined streets and metal fences near Opera Ballet.

Watch a Tajik film in one of the theaters. You probably won’t understand anything, but some of the modern movies are quite enjoyable.

Buy fabric at Korvon or Sadbarg and have a Tajik dress made. You will spend less than 100 somoni for the whole process less than $20, and you can also have western-style clothing tailored just to you as well.

You’ll need 3 meters for a dress with pants. Once you have fabric, take it to the doozandas at the top of Sadbarg. They’ll measure you and give you a price and a time to pick up your clothes, usually just a few days afterwards.

For men, consider buying a Tajik hat with different styles depending on the region it’s from. In Dushanbe it’s easy to find both Kulobi hats and Khujandi hats or a chopaan like a thick robe for winter.

In summer, the fruit is absolutely delicious. Definitely try the cherries, apricots, and watermelons from the bazaar.

In gift shops around time or in Tsum, look for a suzani or embroidered national fabric that can be hung on the wall for decoration, a nice souvenir, price will depend but be prepared to spend at least 300 somoni.

Traditional Tajik fabric, or atlas can be purchased at Korvon or Sadbarg and made into dresses, scarves, pillow anything you can imagine. Pick the color and print you like best.

Where to eat in Dushanbe

Cafe Merve, Excellent turkish owned Restaurant: Kebab, Pizza, salads, french fries, cakes, coffee and delicious breakfast of feta with olives. Yet loved by local people. It is on Rudaki 92.

Delhi Darbar, The most well-known and possibly the best vegetarian food in all of Tajikistan of three local Indian restaurants serves excellent butter chicken and spinach.

It also offers private family rooms. It is on Rudaki near the Pedagogical Institute.

Merve, Happening, casual Turkish cafeteria always packed with students and young locals. Have several choices in mind, as they never ever have everything on the menu, no matter how basic.

It also serves an authentic Turkish breakfast. It is on Rudaki next to Orima supermarket.

Salsa, The only Ecuadorian restaurant for hundreds of miles. It is a reasonable imitation of Latin cuisine and popular with Europeans. It is located just off the north end of Rudaki near Starry Night or Zvezdnaya Noch billiards.

Tiflis, One of two Georgian restaurants in the city with some of the best meat dishes in the city and a substantial wine list.

It is located behind the opera-ballet, across the park. As of August 2013, is in a state of disrepair and appeared to be closed for the long term.

Georgia Cafe, the other Georgian restaurant, located about a block north of the Opera Square on Rudaki Avenue. It has simple and tasty dishes, good cheap house wine, and a nice friendly atmosphere.

Be sure to either book or come early, as the seats go fast.

La Grande Dame, The only French Restaurant in town. It serves great steaks and other food at a hefty price. It is, however, popular with consultants with hefty per diems.

The place offers a good taste of the West for those missing their homes. On the corner of Bukhoro and Shevchenko.

Kellers, Ismail Somoni #6. A nice, well-hidden restaurant that serves European and National style food although the lines between the two are often blurred. Also, the home made beer (3 som.) is well worth trying.

It is on the left side of Somoni street near Rudaki end, at the side of a block of flats.

The Steakhouse. Despite the name, Steakhouse is one of the only places in Dushanbe to get sushi. Other meals include steaks, pasta, and other American style cuisine. Live entertainment nightly. Try the mojito.

Segafredo, Rudaki Ave Near the corner of Rudaki Ave and Ismoil Somoni Ave, across from Hotel Tajikistan. Western food, sandwiches, soups, chicken dishes. Great place to get coffee or a snack, one of the only places in Tajikistan to get Iced Coffee?.

When even moderately busy the service is very slow so its wise to order drinks as soon as you are shown to your table. Try the salmon, its surprisingly good and fresh. Downside are smokers. You will see many foreigners here.

Salaam Namaste, 81, Rudaki str. Indian restaurant, good service. Visited by foreigners and locals alike.

World of Chocolate - The Escalator Cafe, Rudaki Street 113. More commonly known as the escalator cafe, this cafe and restaurant is located on the ground floor of Rudaki Plaza.

It's a convenient stop for a reasonably priced bite to eat. They have satisfactory coffee options, above average ice cream and chocolate fountains from which anything can be garnished, try the chocolate covered waffle, or have your double chocolate scoop topped with even more chocolate.

More recently they have enlisted the help of western food consultants to create new and improved sandwich options. Try the Banh-mi and Mediterranean sandwiches. They will remind you of what a sandwich should be.

Longcheng Restaurant (Dragon City), Near Somoni Statue. This restaurant caters to the ever-growing PRC presence in Tajikistan and Dushanbe in particular. The restaurant offers standard, fairly authentic if not outstanding Sichuan dishes.

There's a karaoke in case you want to sing off the calories. From the statue, proceed on Rudaki towards the Opera House. Take a right at the first traffic light.

You'll see the building, a shopping center, on the right about 200m ahead. At present, there is a red banner with the name of the restaurant in Chinese characters. It's on the 3rd floor.

Chatr Cafe, Nosiri Khisrav St. 11, Dushanbe 734000, Just West of Trolly bus station and Russian school off of Rudaki Street. 9:00-8:00PM. One of the best places in town to get excellent desserts and has good cafe American food too.

Public Pub. This establishment opened in November 2012 and quickly established its presence in the city. It's the go to location for a relaxing beer and burger in the afternoon, or a more hearty meal as the evening progresses.

It has the best burger in Dushanbe for about $5, although the French fries are a little weak. It has Guinness for 38 somoni, but the local draught beer is a mere 12 somoni for half a liter.

The biggest negative about this place is that it has only one toilet. It's located immediately to the north of Dushanbe Plaza, also known as the Twin Towers, corner of Rudaki and Bokhtar.

Irish Pub. This so called Irish pub sometimes serves Guinness in a can, but you will find little Irish charm in this establishment considering this is Central Asia.

Unfortunately the enterprising owners of this restaurant have discovered that foreigners are willing to pay absurd amounts for a Guinness, and now one can costs 40 somoni, or close to $8 other beers cost around 12-15 somoni.

To find it, go to the Gurminj museum, head south to the corner and turn left.

Bundes Bar. Just up the street from Public Pub is a new hip establishment that has outdoor seating in the summer and a fairly large indoor area. It seems to be a popular place for locals and tourists.

Where to sleep in Dushanbe

Serena Hotel, Rudaki 14. Medium-sized 5-star hotel convenient for the airport, government offices, and attractions. The hotel mixes modern and traditional styling, and regularly hosts exhibitions and performances by local artists.

Serena Hotel was built in 2011 by the Aga Khan, the Imam of the Nizari Ismailis. Bar and restaurant on the lobby floor and rooftop pool. Services include a sauna.

Serena Hotel is ranked second of 18 hotels in TripAdvisor's rankings, a surprise since the Hotel Serena's services were impeccable, the style of the Serena is unmatched and the rates lower than at the Hyatt.

Gastnitsa Vakhsh, Rudaki 24, Just next to the opera. checkout: 12:00. A nice, clean and very centrally located hotel. The staff might try to sell you to more expensive room first but ask for the more economical options.

All rooms have a bathroom and a tv while some of the rooms have nice balconies toward the square in front of the Opera. Some English and German is spoken at the reception sometimes.

Latifa Hostel, Rahmon Nabiev, 2. proezd, dom 23 from the center take marshrutka 2 or 19 in direction to 1. Sovetsky. Get off at Korea Avto from the airport marshrutka it's nr 7. waymarkers on the street, once you got off.

Registered hostel with 18 beds. Shower and toilet are shared. Communal outdoor and indoor area. Free Wi-Fi. 6-8 US$.

Hyatt Regency Dushanbe, Prospekt Ismoili Somoni 26/1 in City Park, near Lake Komsomol. A 5 star hotel with 202 rooms and suites. Amenities: floor-to-ceiling windows, sitting area, heated bath floor, iPod docking station.

Wireless internet and free access to pool and health club. Regency Club Lounge for free continental breakfast and evening cocktails. US $242.

Atlas B&B, 63, Mirzo Rizo. Very good Tajik Guesthouse US$ 80.

Yeti Hostel, 34/1 Gafurova str. Opposite to Saodat trading center at 82 district. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Located in the heart of the sleeping area of Dushanbe, 7km west from the center.

Nearby attractions include waterpark, trading center, and a great number of cafes and restaurants. Hostel has 3 rooms with 8 bunk beds total. 24/7 front desk, free WiFi is provided. Rooms are instantly cleaned and maintained well. USD 15.

Hotel Tajikistan, Shotemur 22.

Hotel Mercury, Leo Tolstoy 9.

Green House Hostel, 98a Khusravi Dekhlavi street. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. All rooms have air conditioning, some have flat-screen TV with satellite channels.

Shared bathroom facilities, large communal lounge area, and a leafy garden with outdoor furniture, really used as a Jeeps and dusty motorbykes parking lot. Free breakfast. The city centre is 5 km away.

Both the Dushanbe Railway Station and Dushanbe Airport can be reached in less than 10 minutes by car. Green House Hotel can arrange shuttle services at an additional cost. $15.

Sheraton Dushanbe Hotel, 48 Aini Street. Located in the city center and only a five-minute drive from the airport, the Sheraton Dushanbe offers 148 tastefully decorated rooms and suites.

Dining outlets include an all-day-dining Mediterranean restaurant and a Pan Asian restaurant.

Rohat. checkin: 12; checkout: 12. Rohat Hotel is quite central, across the road from the Opera & Ballet Theater. Good mattresses; Kettle for tea or coffee in the room, free tea bags, coffee powder and bottles of mineral water provided daily.

Safe box, aircom and good Wi-Fi in the room, self-service substantial breakfast, discounts for long stays/off-season. Helpful English speaking staff. US 60.

In general, Dushanbe is safe but robberies and street crime do sometimes occur even in broad daylight although this is rare. The police force can sometimes seem a little ineffective.

Avoid attracting police attention, as the law enforcement officials are primarily concerned with augmenting their small income. People tend to be private and conservative but with a little effort they can be incredibly welcoming and genuine.

Never drink the water from the tap, nor use the water to brush your teeth. Always wash fresh produce, especially when bought from the local bazaar.

Some melons though incredibly fresh and sweet, can be irrigated and fertilized with manure, so sometimes washing them will not help.

All foreigners from developed countries will get sick at least once while in Tajikistan, but this can be delayed by avoiding unwashed/unpeeled fruits and vegetables. Be especially wary of this in restaurants.

Embassy of Uzbekistan, the embassy is no longer behind Hotel Avesto but in a new location: take Sanoi Street to the west from Rudaki just south of the Medical Institute.

Sanoi Street is between the MedInstitute and the Tajik Matlubot, one block south of the Chinese embassy. Walk until the bend where you see soldiers guarding the building.

Visas to Uzbekistan can be obtained here. You need to bring a passport size photo, a copy of your passport and maybe a copy of your Tajik visa in addition to your passport. Some nationalities including Finnish, need to bring an invitation.

The visa is issued on the same day you submitted your application so that the processing takes, depending on how busy it is at the embassy, about an hour. The staff is neither friendly nor helpful. Limited English, but one staff speaks basic German. 65 USD.

There are many drivers for hire who will take you to lakes and mountains nearby. Varzob River also has some vacation areas with raised platforms above the narrow river, which is quite refreshing on a hot day.

Be aware that the drivers will most likely not speak English, so a working knowledge of Russian or Tajik is advisable, as are haggling skills.

The city center is still profoundly marked by the discreet charm of its sleepy, dilapidated neighborhoods, so typical of post-Soviet southern republics.

The hammer and sickle may be removed, but buildings are still adorned with Soviet mosaics representing confused projects for a bright future that never got to grow as big as the trees in front of them.

The cable car’s broken, but Victory Park still overhangs the city, the victory being celebrated now unclear to most.

Tajik Cuisine
Tajik Dastarkhan
Tajik cuisine is a traditional cuisine of Tajikistan, and has much in common with Russian, Afghan, and Uzbek cuisines.

Plov (pilaf) also called osh, is the national dish in Tajikistan, as in other countries in the region. Green tea is the national drink.

Palav or osh, generically known as plov (pilaf), is a rice dish made with shredded yellow turnip or carrot, and pieces of meat, all fried together in vegetable oil or mutton fat in a special qazan - a wok-shaped cauldron over an open flame.

The meat is cubed, the carrots are chopped finely into long strips, and the rice is colored yellow or orange by the frying carrots and the oil.

The dish is eaten communally from a single large plate placed at the center of the table, often in with one's hands in the traditional way.

Another traditional dish that is still eaten with hands from a communal plate is qurutob, whose name describes the preparation method: qurut dried balls of salty cheese is dissolved in water and the liquid is poured over strips of а thin flaky flatbread or more accurately, fatir made with butter or tallow for flakiness.

Before serving the dish is topped with onions fried in oil until golden and other fried vegetables. No meat is added. Qurotob is considered the national dish.

Meals are almost always served with non, flatbread found throughout Central Asia. If a Tajik has food but not non, he will say he is out of food.

If non is dropped on the ground, people will put it up on a high ledge for beggars or birds. Legend holds that one is not supposed to put non upside down because this will bring bad luck.

The same holds true if anything is put on top of the non, unless it is another piece of non.

Traditional Tajik soups include mainly meat and vegetable soups such as shurbo and piti, and meat soups with noodles such as laghmon and ugro.

Other dishes shared regionally, either as fast food or as an appetizer, include manti - steamed meat dumplings, tushbera - pelmeni, sambusa a triangular pastry with either a meat and onion stuffing or a pumpkin and onion stuffing, baked in a tandoor oven.

Belyash - deep-fried cakes made of yeast dough and filled with minced meat, similar to pirozhki.

Soviet cuisine both influenced and was in turn influenced by Tajik cuisine.
Dairy dishes, usually served as part of the spread of appetizers in a Tajik meal and scooped with pieces of flatbread, include chaka a sour milk preparation, thick yogurt, and kaymak a high-fat clotted cream.

Qurut balls may be served as a snack or an accompaniment to cold beverages. Although not a traditional Tajik drink, kefir, a drinking yogurt, is often served with breakfast.

In the summer, Tajikistan abounds in produce and fruit, its grapes and melons were famous throughout the former Soviet Union. The bazaar also sell pomegranates, apricots, plums, peaches, apples, pears, figs, and persimmons.

Tea generally accompanies every meal and is frequently offered between meals as a gesture of hospitality to guests and visitors.

It is served hot in a china pot with a lid, and is drunk without sugar from small saucer-less cups without handles - piala.

Because of the universal popularity of tea-drinking, the choykhona or teahouse, is the most common gathering place in Tajikistan, and is similar to the Western-style coffee house.

Tourism Observer

Tourism Observer: KUWAIT: Philippines Ambassador Expelled From Kuwai...

Tourism Observer: KUWAIT: Philippines Ambassador Expelled From Kuwai...: The Philippines has demanded an explanation for Kuwait's decision to expel its ambassador amid a dispute over the treatment of domestic ...

Sunday 29 April 2018

UAE: Nakheel’s Hospitality Project Has 17 Hotels And Serviced Apartment Developments

Nakheel’s growing hospitality project portfolio comprises 17 hotels and serviced apartment developments with nearly 6,000 rooms and hotel apartments between them at various locations in Dubai, including Palm Jumeirah, Deira Islands, Ibn Battuta Mall, Jumeirah Village Triangle, Dragon and City.

Premier Inn Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall and ibis Styles Dragon City are currently open and operational.

Premier Inn Dubai Ibn Battuta

Premier Inn Dubai Ibn Battuta offers 372 guestrooms complete with modern conveniences, including climate control, coffee/tea makers, wifi, an in-room safe and cable TV.

The hotel is directly connected to Ibn Battuta Mall and its 400 shops, restaurants and entertainment outlets and is also linked to the Dubai Metro station.

The hotel is located close to the beach and a water park and offers easy access to Dubai’s business and leisure districts.

Ibis Styles Dragon Mart Dubai

ibis Styles Dragon Mart Dubai features 250 guest rooms with modern facilities and is directly connected to Dragon Mart 2, which has shops and restaurants as well as a cinema complex.

Ibis Styles Dragon Mart also provides a restaurant serving international cuisine, a conference room, a business center, free shuttle bus service as well as a play area for children.

The hotel is just a 15-minute drive from Dubai International Airport and offers easy access to the city’s shopping and leisure destinations.

Upcoming hotels

Nakheel is also developing more hotels which are at various stages of construction and development.

RIU Resort – Deira Islands

A joint venture with RIU Hotels and Resorts will deliver an 800-room beachfront resort and water park at Deira Islands.

The resort will also feature seven F&B outlets, three swimming pools, a fitness complex and children’s club.

The resort will be RIU’s first in the Middle East and one of Dubai’s biggest in terms of hotel rooms.

Centara Resort – Deira Islands

A joint venture with Centara Hotels and Resorts will deliver a 600-room beachfront resort and water park.

The first Centara establishment in the UAE will also include multiple restaurants including alfresco rooftop dining options, a kids’ club, spa and fitness centre, as well as business facilities.

Premier Inn Dragon City

Premier Inn Dragon City is the second hotel at Dragon City and will feature 295 guestrooms as well as an all-day restaurant, coffee shop and gym.

AVANI Ibn Battuta Mall

The upcoming 15-storey, 360-room AVANI Ibn Battuta Dubai is the second hotel at Ibn Battuta Mall.

The hotel will feature an all-day dining restaurant, pool, gym and car park for 135 vehicles.

It will be located next to the recently-opened link connecting the mall to the Dubai Metro.

DoubleTree by Hilton Al Khail Avenue

A new, 256-room hotel at Jumeirah Village Triangle managed under the DoubleTree by Hilton brand will be directly linked to Al Khail Avenue.

The hotel will also include an all-day restaurant, coffee shop, lounge, outdoor terrace, pool deck, gymnasium and car park, as well as a leisure club.

St. Regis Dubai – The Palm

St Regis Dubai - The Palm will offer 289 guest rooms and suites, occupying the first 18 floors of The Palm Tower on Palm Jumeirah.

The hotel will feature premium dining and leisure facilities including one of the world’s highest infinity pools on the 50th floor, a 51st floor restaurant and a viewing deck on the 52nd floor.


From waterfront restaurants to casual dining experiences, Nakheel offers a diverse collection of dining venues serving a variety of international cuisines.

Barrel 12

Barrel 12 at Palm Views East and Jumeirah Islands Club is an urban sports bistro serving British classics with a modern and fresh twist. Enjoy a delectable meal on the outdoor terrace with spectacular views.

Watch live international sporting events on seven large TV screens or have fun with friends at the pool table.

Breeze Beach Grill

Breeze Beach Grill at Club Vista Mare on Palm Jumeirah offers a casual dining experience with stunning views.

The beach grill concept includes a raw bar and deli-counter and offers healthy bites, seafood and grilled meals.

The Glasshouse

Located at Jumeirah Islands Club with an upcoming branch at Al Furjan, The Glasshouse features a casual cafe as well as a modern restaurant and lounge, serving International cuisine in a family-friendly atmosphere.

Enjoy relaxed alfresco dining by the pool or dine in the formal atmosphere of the indoor restaurant.

The Clubhouse

The Clubhouse is a contemporary restaurant at Jebel Ali Recreation Club, serving international cuisine in a family-friendly atmosphere.

The restaurant features comfortable lounge areas, a glass fronted kitchen and a spacious outdoor terrace with barbeque area.

Customers can also enjoy live music at the restaurant.

Il Faro Trattoria and Lounge

Il Faro Trattoria and Lounge situated at Azure Residences on Palm Jumeirah, offers an authentic Italian dining experience with spectacular 360-degree views.

The Ship’s Wheel

Located at Jebel Ali Recreation Club, The Ship’s Wheel serves up international cuisine in a laidback atmosphere along with live sports telecasts, quiz nights, pool tables, dart boards and daily specials.

Seafood Kitchen

Seafood Kitchen located at Jebel Ali Recreation Club is inspired by the fish markets of Asia, serving freshly caught fish, shell fish and exotic fruits.

Dishes incorporate a wide array of aromatic spices, transporting the senses to the streets of Bangkok and Shanghai.


Sun& Mediterranean Lounge at Palm Views West on Palm Jumeirah, brings together fresh ingredients to create unique interpretations of traditional Mediterranean favourites.

Sun& offers a tranquil setting and boasts stunning sunset views of the Palm Jumeirah west marina from both inside the restaurant and outside on the terrace.

Nakheel’s clubs and clubhouses offer relaxed family-friendly environments to unwind and socialise. The heart of each community, these leisure destinations are equipped with modern amenities and state-of-the-art fitness equipment.

Jebel Ali Recreation Club

Jebel Ali Recreation Club, located in Jebel Ali Village, is one of the oldest casual clubs in Dubai and features a swimming pool, gym, tennis and squash courts, as well as a lounge, The Ship’s Wheel and a restaurant, The Clubhouse.

The club was recently renovated to form part of a 500,000 square foot dining destination that features Seafood Kitchen which is now open and two upcoming restaurants, all with indoor and outdoor dining space, as well as a four-screen dine-in movie complex from Reel Cinemas.

Jumeirah Islands Club

Workout, dine and unwind at Jumeirah Islands Club in Jumeirah Islands.

The relaxed atmosphere of the club offers a gym and aerobics studio, children’s play area, sauna and swimming pool with sun deck.

The club also offers two dining destinations - Barrel 12 and The Glasshouse.

Al Furjan Club

Located in Al Furjan, the club features a fully-equipped gym, an aerobics studio, a multi-purpose sports court, a 25-metre swimming pool as well as The Glasshouse – a casual café and restaurant.

Masakin Clubhouse

Masakin Clubhouse in Masakin Al Furjan, features a gym with changing facilities and lockers, swimming pool with year-round temperature control and sun loungers.

Palm Views Marina Club East and West

Palm Views Marina Club is a high-end fitness club featuring a pool and gym, situated at the waterside Palm Views residential and leisure project at Palm Jumeirah’s East and West marinas.

Azure Beach Club

The beach club at Azure Residences on Palm Jumeirah offers a sea-facing infinity pool, a rooftop gym with panoramic views as well as access to the beach next to Il Faro, the restaurant at the jetty with 360-degree views.

Upcoming Clubs

Jumeirah Village Circle Club
A pool, sports and restaurant complex located at the rooftop of The Circle Mall, Jumeirah Village Circle Club will feature a 300-seater restaurant, a swimming pool and sundeck, two tennis courts, a gymnasium and landscaped gardens.

Jumeirah Park Leisure Centre

Jumeirah Park Leisure is a health, fitness and wellbeing complex in Jumeirah Park, featuring a 50-metre, Olympic-size swimming pool, a 16,000 sq ft gym and a spa.

The new complex combines unrivalled sports, fitness and wellbeing facilities with a range of dining and entertainment amenities, including a nursery, restaurants, cafes and shops.

Warsan Clubhouse

The upcoming Warsan Clubhouse will be an integral part of Warsan Village, a gated community with direct access to Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Road.

The community clubhouse will feature a restaurant, state-of-the-art gymnasium, steam and sauna facilities, swimming pool, tennis court, playground area as well as ample parking.

Nad Al Sheba Club

A new community club with a range of facilities located in the Nad Al Sheba Villas community.

Tourism Observer

UAE: Nakheel clubhouse Project Comprises Olympic Size Pool

Developer is calling for construction proposals for the clubhouse and retail centre in Jumeirah Park.

Master developer Nakheel has revealed plans to build a new health, fitness and leisure hub.

The hub featuring an Olympic-size pool, and a giant gym and spa at Jumeirah Park.

The developer is calling for construction proposals for the clubhouse and retail centre, which will combine sports facilities with a range of restaurants, cafes and shops to create a health and wellbeing-focused destination at the heart of the Jumeirah Park community.

Set to open in 2019, the project will also have dedicated facilities for children, including a nursery and kids’ pool.

Shops will include a supermarket, health and beauty outlets and everyday convenience stores. There will also be a car park.

The Jumeirah Park Clubhouse is the latest and largest in Nakheel’s growing collection of community clubs across Dubai, complementing existing and upcoming clubs at Jumeirah Islands, Jebel Ali, Al Furjan, Warsan Village and Jumeirah Village Circle.

Spanning more than 380 hectares with a current population of over 17,000, Jumeirah Park features nearly 3,000 villas.

It is also home to Jumeirah Park Pavilion, Nakheel’s first community retail centre, which opened in 2014.

Tourism Observer

UAE: Nakheel To Kick Off $160 Million Resort Project On Deira Islands

Nakheel is bringing in a hotel operator from Austria for its latest project on Deira Islands.

The project is a $160 million (Dh587.2 million), 600-room beachfront resort.

For Vienna House, the largest independent hotel chain in Austria, this is its first exposure in the Middle East markets.

Our ongoing strategy is to bring new, highly reputable hospitality brands and concepts to Dubai as part of our commitment to supporting the government in realising its tourism vision, said Ali Rashid Lootah, Nakheel’s Chairman.

Vienna House at Deira Islands will be a shining example of how this strategy is coming to fruition.

This follows a letter of intent signing in Bangkok, which is where the Vienna House’s parent company, U City, is based.

The planned Vienna House partnership is Nakheel’s third hospitality joint venture at Deira Islands.

The developer already has 1,400 rooms under way through JVs with Spain’s RIU Hotels and Resorts and Thailand’s Centara Hotels and Resorts.

In total, Nakheel has more than 3,600 keys at Deira Islands through existing or upcoming joint ventures or hotel management agreements.

The brand Vienna House is about the joy of travelling, adventure and discovery, said Rupert Simoner, CEO of Vienna International Hotelmanagement AG.

Vienna House Deira Beach will offer quality leisure experiences that are designed to offer guests authentic moments and memories.

There is nothing comparable in Dubai at present.

Vienna House currently has more than 30 hotels across nine countries.

Tourism Observer

UAE: Visitors To Abu Dhabi Hotels Increase Very Steadily

The number of hotel guests staying in the emirate’s 163 hotels and hotel apartments in March reached 464,960, representing an increase of 12.3 per cent compared to the same month last year.

This is according to figures released by the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).

The total number of hotel guests in the first three months of the year was 1,289,537, with key international markets registering impressive percentage gains.

During the month, the numbers of visitors from leading international source market China increased by 15.4 per cent to number 40,800.

Indian guest numbers rose 32 per cent to number 35,200 while UK figures increased 24 per cent to reach 28,000.

Other key markets, notably the United States and Germany, also registered double-digit increases, with the US up 29 per cent to 19,300 and Germany rising 36 per cent to 18,800 guests.

These figures follow a record-breaking 2017 when just shy of five million visitors stayed in Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain Region and Al Dhafra’s range of accommodation.

UAE-based guests also increased in March to 134,631, a rise from March 2017’s total of 130,125.

All three regions registered hotel guest rises with Al Dhafra leading the way with a 22.7 per cent rise, followed by Abu Dhabi city with a 12.8 per cent rise and Al Ain with a 5.3 per cent rise.

The first quarter of this year has seen China maintain its position as leading international hotel guest supplier, with more than 127,000 Chinese staying in the emirate, an increase of 31 per cent compared to the same period in 2017.

Indian visitor numbers have surged past 100,000 and showed a 30 per cent increase while the UK registered a 25 per cent increase.

The US registered a 24 per cent increase while Germany was up 27 per cent.

Saif Saeed Gobash, undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said, Our progress in attracting more people to explore the emirate as a visitor destination is a testament to our continuous investment into Abu Dhabi’s diverse range of attractions and year-round programme of events.

Our targeted marketing investment in key source markets is being rewarded with impressive double-digit growth as our global awareness grows and we develop into a must visit destination built on unique experiences and rich cultural heritage.

We have an ambitious target of attracting 8.5 million guests a year by 2021, which will provide a significant boost to the economy and support our drive for economic diversification.

Tourism Observer