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Wed 4 Apr 2007 06:00 PM

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Dead Sea's lofty plan

Three hotels and a convention centre join forces to boost the world's lowest point's profile.

At more than 400m below sea level, the Dead Sea may be low geographically, but for three hotels and a convention center there are high hopes riding on the area's increased recognition.

The King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Center, Marriott Jordan Valley Dead Sea Resort and Spa, Mövenpick Resort and Spa Dead Sea and Kempinski Hotel Ishtar have recently combined forces in a campaign called "Destination Dead Sea".

Supported by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan government, the campaign has recently produced a new brochure
Conventions: Only in Jordan

outlining the features of the region and the capability of the destination to hold big events.

The destination has already hosted events such as the World Economic Forum, meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations World Bank.

As convention center general manager Naif Zureikat explained, it made sense for the properties to appear together at exhibitions such as the Arabian Travel Market presenting the Dead Sea as a destination - under the slogan "Below sea level, above expectations" - rather than acting in competition.

"The three properties are not in competition, they complement each other," he said.

At a meeting of the Destination Dead Sea campaign leaders last week, Jordan Upper House of Parliament Senator and Tourism and Heritage Committee chairman Akel Biltaji said the brochure had received approval to be distributed internationally at Jordanian embassies.

"For MICE tourism, Jordan is relaxing, it is secure, it's away from the hustle and bustle, it has nice climactic conditions and spas, and there is also the spirituality," he said, referring to the Dead Sea's proximity to sites such as Mount Nebo.

"It's an oxymoron to say ‘dead' sea, because it has given birth to civilization."

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