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Sun 15 Apr 2007 04:46 PM

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Air Arabia broadens its horizons

Low-cost carrier signs agreement with Rotana Hotels to manage new 300-room Sharjah hotel.

Air Arabia has signed a management agreement with Rotana Hotels to manage a new property that the carrier is building at Sharjah International Airport.

The Sharjah-based low-cost carrier has revealed plans to construct a 300-room property at the existing airport, branded as Centro by Rotana, Sharjah Airport; Rotana's latest addition to its product portfolio.

"The decision to set up this 300-room hotel at Sharjah Airport comes as part of Air Arabia's strategy to grow ancillary revenues," explained Adel Ali, CEO of Air Arabia.

The property will comprise standard rooms and suites, targeted at business and leisure passengers visiting Sharjah and stopover passengers passing through Sharjah en-route to other destinations.

Facilities at the mid-range property will include a full casual-style dining area, in-room wireless internet connectivity, gymnasium, swimming pool and business facilities such as private meeting rooms and business centres.

"The construction of this new hotel is a key component in the growth of Sharjah Airport and will further enhance the range of facilities and services offered here, including a new state-of-the-art terminal and ground-handling services," said Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia.

Passenger traffic at Sharjah Airport increased more than 36% last year, and the facility handled more than 3 million passengers.

Following the completion of an AED350 million expansion project, the airport will be capable of handling up to 8 million passengers a year.

Air Arabia currently provides a portfolio of more 20,000 hotels in more than 3300 cities across the globe.

"The essence of Rotana Hotels is the diversity of its products and genuine Arabian hospitality," said Nasser Al Nowais, chairman, Rotana Hotels.

"We are extremely pleased to partner with Air Arabia and are confident that the new hotel will further improve the hospitality experience at Sharjah Airport."

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