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Tue 22 May 2007 03:11 PM

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Jordan's Dead Sea comes to life

Jordan's Dead Sea coast has become a popular choice for conference organisers

The Dead Sea has stepped out of the shadows of political unrest in the past few years to offer unique experiences for conference organisers.

Located one hour's drive away from Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, the area includes three hotels on the Dead Sea's shore: the 260-room Jordan Valley Marriott Resort and Spa, the 340-room Mövenpick Resort and Spa Dead Sea and the 318-room Kempinski Hotel Ishtar.

The hotels are next door to the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre, capable of hosting 4000 people.

General manager Naif Zureikat said the level of inquiries and bookings for this year had increased by 25% after the centre's first year of operation.

We believe Jordan is becoming year after year the most attractive market to MICE.

The centre has focussed its attention on hosting big events such as the World Economic Forum and meetings of the International Monetary Fund.

"We believe Jordan is becoming year after year the most attractive market to MICE business, due to many reasons such as location, security and a very competitive price structure," he said.

"We are receiving all kind of event reservations such as MICE, government, corporate, car launches and all other kinds of events."

Zureikat said the only challenge the destination faced was putting the centre within reach of meeting planners after joining ICCA.

In order to raise the profile of the area, the convention centre has combined efforts with the three hotels and the Jordanian government in a campaign called ‘Destination Dead Sea'. Using the tagline ‘below sea levels, above expectations', the campaign has produced a brochure
Conventions: Only in Jordan

outlining the attractions of the Dead Sea region.

Included in the brochure is practical information regarding visas, travel times, climate and currency, as well as sightseeing highlights from neighbouring areas such as Petra, Mount Nebo, Madaba, Bethany, and the hot springs of Hammamat Ma'in.s

Conventions: Only in Jordan

also includes details of all three hotels, and floor plans and facility specifications of the convention centre.

While the three hotels and the convention centre extend their united front to appearing together at trade exhibitions such as the Arabian Travel Market to raise their profile, there are also more resorts and hotels under development in the area.

One of these is Emaar's first project in Jordan, the Samarah Golf and Beach Resort, being built next to the conference centre.

"The 1600 Dunum community will include residences, apartments and villas, two hotels, a golf course, and 17,000m² of retail elements and entertainment," Zureikat explained. "It is a mixed use, master planned project, [which] will appeal to the upwardly mobile."

The new resort is scheduled for completion in five years.

The Dead Sea

Access:

Queen Alia International Airport is five hours flying time from most European cities, and eight hours from Asia.

Low:

More than 400m below sea level, the area has an enriched oxygen level and the sea itself is up to ten times saltier than normal seawater.

Highlights:

Nearby attractions include Bethany, Petra, Mount Nebo and the historical site of Jesus' baptism.

Facilities:

Jordan

Valley

Marriott Resort and Spa:

• 216 rooms;

• Accommodates up to 1000 guests, includes four meeting rooms and a ballroom catering up to 400 for banquets and 600 for receptions.

Mövenpick Resort and Spa Dead Sea:

• 340 rooms;

• Three conference rooms, five breakout rooms for up to 1000 people, amphitheatre for 500 people and auditorium for up to 198 people.

Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea:

• 318 rooms;

• Ballroom for 600 people, auditorium for 200 people, six meeting rooms;

King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre:

• 25 meeting halls and breakout rooms;

• Accommodate up to 4000 people;

• Total build up area 24,000m².

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