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www.ismaili.net :: View topic - Serena Hotels receives ecotourism award and other news
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Serena Hotels receives ecotourism award and other news
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Renovation restores Polana Serena’s world-class status

Posted Thursday, December 23 2010 at 00:00

Extensive renovations have been completed on the Polana Serena Hotel in Mozambique, which was officially opened last week.

The hotel was acquired by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) in 2002 and has undergone extensive works to restore it to its former status as the regional “Grand Dame.”

“World-class travel facilities can be crucial components of what we call ‘an enabling environment,’ a setting in which additional development initiatives can take root and thrive,” said His Highness the Aga Khan, Founder and Chairman of AKFED, during the official inauguration.

AKFED owns and manages 25 properties in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Mozambique, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan under the Serena brand name.

The newly refurbished hotel is situated in Maputo, Mozambique’s capital city, on a four-hectare property boasting 142 rooms.

Built in 1922, it has a rich historical and cultural history.

It has three restaurants offering various dining options and the Serena Maisha Health Spa.

During the opening ceremony, the hotel’s investment in a grey water recycling system, which produces reusable water for the hotel, was recognised.

AKFED’s investment is part of the work of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Mozambique in the agriculture, health and education sectors, mainly in Cabo Delgado Province.

Other AKDN agencies and entities in the country are involved in microfinance under the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, Professional Development for teachers, tourism under AKFED, and industrial enterprises such as the Moztex garment factory.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The video of the opening ceremony:

http://www.akdn.org/videos_detail.asp?VideoId=114

Tourism: a feature of social change - Address by His Excellency Armando Emilio Guebuza, President of the Republic of Mozambique, at the inauguration ceremony of Polana Serena Hotel - Maputo

16 December 2010


Please also see: Speech in Portuguese, Press Release and Video of the Inauguration

Your Highness the Aga Khan
Your Excellencies
The Minister of Tourism
The Members of the Council of Ministers
The Vice-Ministers
The Governor of the City of Maputo
The Chairman of Maputo Municipal Council
The Heads of Diplomatic and Consular Missions
The Representatives of Regional and International Organizations
The Representatives of the Entrepreneurial Community
Ladies and Gentlemen

We are before a work with an outstanding presence, a magnificent architecture and such comfortable interiors that we are all impressed and charmed. European in its conception, of African constitution and raised to enrich the landscape of this Pearl of the Indian Ocean and of the bay that is its veranda, the Polana Serena Hotel fills the imagination of its beholders and, deservingly and most proudly, claims for an outstanding place among the best hotels in Africa and among the most famous ones around the world.

Some 88 years after its first opening and some 20 months after the beginning of its restoration works, the Polana Serena starts a new phase of its history, ready to cope with the challenges of the dynamic, increasingly competitive and demanding Mozambican hotel industry.

We wish, therefore, to thank Your Highness the Aga Khan, the Serena Group, the management and workers of the Polana Serena Hotel, for this decision to carry out significant works in order to keep this property suitable for the most demanding guests who may visit this Pearl of the Indian Ocean.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Tourism plays a fundamental part in promoting the social and economic development of our Beloved Motherland, generating jobs and income. Indeed,

* We have cases of communities that have worked to build and manage community tourism enterprises;
* We have cases of fellow citizens who could not afford a regular income and who are nowadays regular or seasonal staff in tourism resorts,
- Working in construction or in the maintenance of equipments;
- As gardeners or plumbers;
- As cooks or waiters;
- As tourism guides or assisting in activities such as diving and fishing in high water.

The cascading outcome of the increase of their income has allowed these families increased access to goods and services, which could not be afforded before, due to the lack of financial resources.

They can have a better home and a means of transport, their children can pursue their studies – they have a better life. If before they were dependent on subsistence farming or fishing, today they have an activity that increases their income.

We have conditions to attract and diversify tourism activities in Mozambique, and therefore to make sure that more fellow citizens may find a source of income and take a more active part in the struggle against poverty and in favour of our wellbeing:

* We have conditions for improving the sun and beach tourism along our extensive coast line, with the many havens of its islands and its idyllic bays.
* With the increased number of flights and the improved capacity both for accommodation and events, we have significantly improved the conditions to propel business tourism;
* To the tourist, we also offer the chance, rare in the world, to connect the hunting tourism to the sun and beach tourism;
* Cultural tourism has been growing due to the increased understanding of our skills, our historic, cultural and artistic heritage and of our culinary. Today there are many local festivals attracting more and more national and foreign tourists;
* To the geographic details fit for adventure, add the idyllic landscapes to be found by all those who look for beauty, peacefulness and harmony with Nature.

These are just a few among the many pages of our tourism which, together with the traditional hospitality of the Mozambican people, always with a fresh smile, make this country one of the most privileged destinations of the worldwide tourism.

This is a fact evidenced by the arrivals to Mozambique. Our country has to change this tourism potential into a valuable contribution towards the social and economic development of our Beloved Motherland. And regarding these features, the Polana Serena Hotel is acknowledged and applauded. We are pleased to see that other tourism initiatives do their part, exploring such potentials and opportunities and contributing, therefore, to achieve the Tourism Development Strategic Plan.

The development of tourism structures is an important step towards the exploration of our tourism potential but it may be not enough to ensure the competitiveness at the local and international levels.

Therefore, we have been increasing access, building more roads and connecting different national administrative units to the national electricity network.

We have also been expanding information and communication technologies, including the radio, television and fixed and mobile telecommunications. In our investments list we have included the construction of sanitary units with high technology in order to respond to complex emergencies.

Within the scope of tourism in Mozambique, I am also pleased to say that the Law of Civil Aviation, enforced as from the 1st of January 2010, has enabled the increase of flights from and to different parts of Mozambique. Today we have more flights connecting different cities in the country and to foreign destinations.

We are also pleased to understand how the transforming force of tourism brings change and improves the quality of life of our wonderful people. Tourism is, therefore, an important tool in the struggle against poverty, both in rural and urban areas.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We reiterate our appreciation to His Highness the Aga Khan and the Serena Group for the restoration, and while retaining its original features, of the Polana Hotel, a splendid architectural work in our capital city. To all those who gave their valuable contribution to the making of this project, the contractors, the supervisors, the workers, we express our gratitude and encouragement that you may get involved in other similar efforts, which might reaffirm the status of this Pearl of the Indian Ocean within the sector of high quality international tourism.

To end, we wish to invite the Serena Group and other national and foreigner entrepreneurs to invest in the Areas of Touristic Interest, this meaning those areas that have been selected for tourism development.

Seven of these areas have been identified in the provinces of Inhambane, Nampula, Niassa and Cabo Delgado. We wish to invite you to build more hotels and resorts, to further multiply the worldwide tourism references provided by the Polana Hotel.

Thank you very much.

http://www.akdn.org/speeches_detail.asp?id=1042&idlng=0
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tourism Promotion Services (TPS) participates in seminar on ‘reforms in forest laws’

Seminar on ‘reforms in forest laws’ held

ISLAMABAD: Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Tuesday organised a seminar “Legal & Institutional Reforms in Forest Laws for accepting Forest Carbon as Commodity.”

Speakers at the seminar pointed out that there needs to be a “comprehensive definition” of what comes into the category of forests, and that how to balance livelihood of dependent people with deforestation. They also said that there needs to be a mechanism for REDD.

Reflecting on post flood scenario, speakers said that there is no estimate of destroyed forests in those areas and there has been no census since 2004 to have an assessment for the natural disaster’s impact. They stressed community ownership of the issue of deforestation and Ministry of Environment should nominate a focal body that could take charge of dealing with the concerns and create awareness for technical issues. They also stressed legal and institutional reforms, public/private partnership should be fostered in this regard and there needs to be a dismantlement of Development Sector Mafia and more focus on corporate social responsibility.

Moin Uddin, Director Corporate Strategy, Tourism Promotion Services (TPS) gave an overview of their organisation and said that it is a subsidiary company of Agha Khan Foundation and Serena Hotels operate under their banner. staff report

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\02\16\story_16-2-2011_pg5_15
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shafqat Amanat Ali’s new song: “Yahaan-This place” (Beautiful Baltistan)

In coordination with Aga Khan Cultural Services Pakistan, Serena Hotels. Note acknowledgments at the source.

Producer: Zarminae Ansari

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQd9KYDm734
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nairobi Serena Hotel will have translated copies of the Holy Qur'an placed in all its rooms.

Serena Hotel to have Holy Quran in hotel rooms. Nairobi Serena Hotel will have translated copies of the Holy Qur’an placed in all its rooms.

A total of 203 copies of the Qur’an were on Tuesday donated to the international hotel chain by Ummah Foundation.

In many hotels, the standard practice has been to have copies of the Bible being placed in hotel rooms but this will be the first time that a major international hotel in the country is having translated copies of the Holy Quran (English text) placed in the rooms.

The managing director Mahmud Jan Mohammed praised the move saying that it will go to great length in cultivating understanding of Islam among its visitors from diverse backgrounds. “This will help in making people enlightened and will play an excellent role in pro­moting mutual relation and understanding of Muslims,” he said dur­ing the hand over ceremony.

Apart from Nairobi Serena Hotel, Jan Mohammed said the copies of the Holy Qur’an will also be placed in all the hotel rooms of all Serena Hotels in the East African region as well as those in Af­ghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Syria.

Speaking at the event, Tourism minister Najib Balala lauded the move noting that it is an opportunity to foster better understanding and clear misconceptions about Muslims and Islam.

He said with the global village, it is important to promote avenues for mutual understanding which will foster cohesiveness and tol­erance among people. “ We cannot afford to live in isolation, we should instead promote understanding among one another as this will promote co-existence,” he said.

On his part, the Ummah Foundation chairman Abdullatif Essajee commended the Serena Hotel for taking the initiative to partner with the Foundation to bring about mutual understanding in the society. He underscored the importance of the project which he said will build bridges of understanding among Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

The chairman said the Nairobi Serena Hotel has a special place among Kenyans as it was the venue which brought about peace in the country after the post-election violence and the availability of the Holy Qur’an in the hotel rooms will further promote the message of peace, tolerance and mutual understanding. “Islam means peace and teaches us to be peaceful and to live in mutual harmony with all humanity,” he said.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gilgit Serena Hotel: Tree Plantation for Better Environment

March 12, 2011 by ismailimail Leave a Comment

Reported by Asghar Khan

Tree Plantation for Better Environment

Trees and plants are the prime source of environmental purification and beautification. Gilgit Serena Hotel under its SEED Program celebrated the “Spring Tree Plantation for better Environment” at the Special Children Education Complex Gilgit. Mr. Rashid Ud Ding General Manager Gilgit Serena Hotel with their senior managers, Mr. Ahmed Baig Director of Special Education, Teachers, Special students along with their parents, devoted their time to planting saplings and beautification of the complex and planted 100 fruits / non fruit trees within the premises of Special Education Complex Gilgit. Mr. Shamsher Khan (Deputy Director Bait-Ul-Mal Gilgit) was the Chief Guest of the event. The Bait-Ul-Mal looks after the affairs of Special Education Complex in Gilgit. This is the second years of Gilgit Serena Hotel organizing such activities for the Special Children at their complex.

Special Education Complex Gilgit is working under the Ministry of Social Welfare and Education (Directorate General Special Education Islamabad) since 1988. Under National Education policy it was just only for deaf and blind students in early years, now under the Federal Government supervision this Institution extended its services for all kind of special children from all over Gilgit Baltistan region. Its main objectives are mainly social development through which the potentialities of people (particularly of those who belong to down-trodden and vulnerable segments of society) are stimulated to promote their effective participation in the process of social change for improvement of quality of life. Social welfare as a process of social development provides tools and the skills for instilling confidence in a person to cope with the pressure of disorders and disruptions caused by the forces of social change.

http://ismailimail.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/gilgit-serena-hotel-tree-plantation-for-better-environment/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Ismailimail+%28Ismailimail%29
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Herati music concert at the Kabul Serena

Held on March 16, 2011, this grand event was attended by AKDN Country Representative Aly Mawji and US Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl W. Eikenberry among others. Full US Embassy photo set at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kabulpublicdiplomacy/sets/72157626159559495/with/5534163229/
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Showcases breathtaking beauty of Gilgit-Baltistan

Ishrat Hyatt
Thursday, March 17, 2011

[Showcases breathtaking beauty of Gilgit-Baltistan]
Islamabad

In order to motivate expatriates and others living in Islamabad to visit one of Pakistan’s most beautiful locations and with a view to promoting tourism to the Gilgit-Baltistan area in general, the CEO, Serena Hotels (South and Central Asia) Aziz Boolani and Mrs Wiqar-un-Nisa Boolani hosted a dinner at the Nazara Lounge of the Serena.

The event was attended by many ambassadors and high commissioners along with their spouses as well as prominent members of Pakistani society. A video titled ‘Yahaan’ (here) which has been dedicated to the beauty of Gilgit-Baltistan — labeled as Pakistan’s ‘best kept secrets’ — with vocals by Shafqat Amanat Ali, was screened on the occasion. It showcases the breathtaking beauty of the area, both natural and man made as well as the lifestyle of the people and its main purpose is to promote tourism to give a much needed boost to the economy.

Addressing the gathering the host thanked his guests for accepting his invitation then went on to say a few words about the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) which has been doing tremendous work in the area. Apart from renovating four historic edifices — Khaplu and Shigar palaces and Altit and Baltit forts and imparting high class education to girls and boys, the AKDN has undertaken sustainable development projects like rehabilitation of settlements etc. He thanked the ambassador of Norway, Robert Kvile for his country’s support for the cultural assets of Pakistan, a support which is rights based and is seen as an integral part of overall development but focusing on two main areas — strengthening performing and visual arts and preservation of heritage.

He also praised the producer of the video, Zarmine Ansari ‘for the inspired idea of promoting the heritage properties through the video/song’ and all the others who were involved in the project including director Soheb Akhtar.

In his response Ambassador Kvile said he was happy to be part of the process of preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of Pakistan and though he had been a little hesitant when the idea was floated, he was soon won over by its concept and the message it will send out. He too said words of praise for Zarmine and thanked her and all the rest of those involved in the production of the video.

Dinner was a fine dining experience served to perfection with good food and in a relaxed atmosphere, with the video screened continuously in muted voice mode, which led it to be part of the conversation. And the icing on the cake so to say was that each guest was presented a copy of this beautiful production to view at leisure at home — or tempt their friends to visit GB!

Shafqat Amanat Ali, who is from the 7th generation of the sub-continental classical music tradition of the Patiala Gharana, was the ‘obvious choice’ to sing ‘Yahaan’ One of Pakistans best known vocalists classically trained Shafqat known as the ‘Rockstar Ustad’ has a diverse fan following that transcends age and is loved at home as well as the Pakistani diaspora. A true lover of nature he also fell in love with GB. His words ‘Ek baar jo aye, dil yahaan reh jayay, jana chahay na phir yahaan say (he who comes here once leaves his heart behind and never wants to leave from here.) are reiterated in every guest book of GB.

Zarmine Ansari is a graduate of the Aga Khan programme for Islamic Architecture at MIT with a love of nature and passion for promoting Pakistan.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=36562&Cat=6&dt=3/17/2011
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Islamabad hotel responds to local heritage and crafts through contemporary design language

The Serena Hotel represents the ideology of the client, The Agha Khan, who has been an exponent of local heritage and enrichment of the local crafts through new design challenges and opportunities.

The Serena hotel buildings in Asia and Africa have been able to reflect the sensibilities of their respective locations and have been sympathetic to historical and cultural aspects through their unique expressions.

The hotel in Islamabad posed a tall challenge since the capital city is a fairly young development. In order to extract a connection to historical and cultural content, the circle had to be enlarged to absorb the culture and expression of surrounding areas instead of the capital itself.

The Islamabad Serena emerges as a hotel covering the heritage of the sub-continent and the Islamic idioms of design. However, none of the features follow any particular period. The language is innovative and eventually contemporary, taking its cues from the spirit of regional architecture.

The hotel responds to the design brief in providing a layout that addresses security concerns while it enables the guests and visitors to enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and the roof garden above the banquet hall area.

Another important achievement is that of using local resources, materials and labour. The marble flooring, light fittings, chandeliers and artwork are the proud products of local artisans.

Various blocks and zones of the project operate independently such as the office block, banquet halls, restaurants and exhibition spaces. Despite this separation of various levels and terraces of the hotel, the architectural language manages to provide a sense of unity amongst all the spaces, and the architectural detailing provides a strong sense of harmony and character.

The capacity of the hotel is more than 500 rooms with two large banquet halls and five specialty restaurants. The approximate area of the hotel is 600,000 sq ft and the office building covers another 250,000 sq ft.

http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=16602
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It’s Climate Change and Tourism for Serena Hotels: 13,000 More Seedlings towards Mau Conservation.

May 5th 2011:“…True to the Serena Hotels Eco Policy, we are determined to set a benchmark for responsible tourism in the communities in which we operate...” These were the undisputed words of Serena Hotels Managing Director Mahmud Jan Mohamed who has vowed to rise up to the challenge of planting 10Million trees over the coming years in recognition of the 2011 United Nations International Year of the Forests through the Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Fund for Environment (PSAKFE). This is just but a drop in the ocean, considering the 100Million trees planted by The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Asia and Africa over the last 25 years.

Friday6th May 2011 saw Serena Hotels’ Management, Staff and other Stakeholders, together with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) converge at Nderit Forest in Mau for the tree launch. As one of the stakeholders in the Mau, Serena Hotels, Lodges and Resorts is very proud of the Mara Serena Safari Lodge which today draws its water supply from the Mara River besides the wildlife (the Great Migration) that is of great interest to its guests.

Serena Hotels has requested for a Block in the Western Mau Forest where it expects to be allocated about 100 hectares with a possibility of extension. Meanwhile, it will be working in partnership with African Wildlife Fund (AWF) which has been allocated 4,000 hectares. It is on the AWF Block (In Nderit Forest) that Serena Hotels planted the 13,000 seedlings on 6th May, 2011.

AKDN uttermost aim is to plant enough trees (including those planted in Serena Hotel Lodges in East Africa) and claim for Carbon Credit, later.The over 2 million trees Serena has planted at its Lodges, schools and government forests have been enumerated in the UNEP’s ‘The Billion Tree Campaign’.In the world today however, sustainable tourism entails striving to be carbon neutral. This means balancing carbon dioxide (Co2) emissions that are produced from tourism-related activities like air travel, auto travel, heating, electricity,etc with equivalent carbon reduction activities elsewhere (offsets).

Carbon offsetting has roots in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that calls on polluting nations to reduce their greenhouse gases (GHG) emission levels and sets out fines for developed countries that exceed emission targets. By ratifying the agreement, the developing countries like Kenya having no GHG emission reduction obligations can participate in GHG reduction through clean development mechanism (CDM) projects.

Statistics show that registered CDM projects worldwide is disappointingly low with none in Kenya, 20 in Africa and only 708 the whole world. Clearly, rather than wait to have registered carbon sequestration projects, there is need for tourism in East Africa to take action to minimize its carbon footprint. To that end therefore, Serena Hotels is working towards being fully carbon neutral by offsetting its carbon through community support and carbon reduction projects. In addition to this, Serena has introduced programs that offer guests the opportunity to offset carbon emissions by allowing them to contribute to community projects which aim at reducing GHG such as the reforestation.

Serena guests and property locals take up the responsibility of offsetting their carbon footprints every time they visit the facilities by planting at least five trees. Currently, this practice is at all Serena Lodges in Kenya. Amboseli Serena, being the pioneer in tree planting project from 1991, has a total of about one million trees that have taken root.

http://www.serenahotels.com/it%E2%80%99s-climate-change-and-tourism-for-serena-hotels-13-000-more-seedlings-towards-mau-conservation-,pressRelease_viewItem_59-en.html
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:08 pm    Post subject: Serena Dushanbe Reply with quote

From Heritage correspondent:

Tentative date for SOFT opening of Serena Dushanbe is 9 September 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serena Hotel gears up for Sh4bn upgrade as it unveils new camp

http://www.nation.co.ke/business/news/-/1006/1200772/-/view/printVersion/-/15n7rdrz/-/index.html



FREDRICK ONYANGO| NATION His Highness Prince Amyn Aga Khan and Tourism Minister Najib Balala seen through a lamp post as they go through the executive suite after opening the Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp on Wednesday. The camp is owned by Serena Group of Hotels.


By PAUL WAFULA, pwafula@ke.nationmedia.com

Posted Wednesday, July 13 2011 at 19:46

TPS Serena has announced a Sh4 billion plan to upgrade the Nairobi Serena hotel as competition intensifies in Kenya’s hospitality industry The revamp will see the hotel chain establish a separate wing adjacent to the Nairobi hotel that will have a 300-seat conference centre, a car park, 40 new rooms and refurbished public areas. The annex will be built on a piece of land that is currently used as a car park by hotel guests.

“If we do not reinvest in improving our properties, then they will become boring especially for repeat customers,” said the TPS Eastern Africa Group managing director, Mr Mahmud Janmohamed.” The expansion will start in December and take three years to complete.

Mr Janmohamed was speaking at the opening of the Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp in Naivasha, its 24th property in the six countries it operates in. TPS Serena’s hotels and lodges are located in Kenya, Rwanda, Zanzibar, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique.

The Sh360 million camp has 24 luxury tents and a furnished suite named Flamingo for travellers seeking privacy and comfort in a natural setting.

Located within a private ranch - the Soysambu Conservancy - 28 Kilometres from Nakuru town and a kilometre from an airstrip, the facility will host tourists visiting Lake Elmenteita. The Lake is the only breeding ground for the white Pelican in East Africa.

Lake Nakuru national park, the Kariandusi pre-historic site and the Kikopey hot springs are other tourist attractions within reach from the camp.

Unlike hotels and lodges that offer a mix of business and pleasure, luxury camps offer an exclusive experience in the wild. It is set on 25 acres within the 40,000 hectare ranch that is home to three species of giraffes. The location will help it tap into the shift in preferences by visitors towards environmental tourism.

The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) is the principal shareholder in TPS Eastern Africa Ltd, which runs the Serena hotel chain.

His Highness Prince Amyn Aga Khan, chairman of the AKFED Executive Committee, called on the government to ensure that the relevant infrastructure is installed to support further investments in the country. “We in the Serena Group, are proud and grateful that we have been able to play a leading role in the growth and development of this country.

Prince Amyn said the main aim of investing in Elmentaita Serena Camp was to strengthen the hotel chain’s western Kenya Safari circuit and link it with the Masai Mara Serena Lodge.

“Places like this sanctuary can contribute significantly to the national economy while educating future generations of both citizens and foreigners. Serena will continue to do all that it can to promote and assist in conservation efforts,” he said.

The tourism ministry has invited private investors to provide diversity by setting up accommodation facilities outside the main beach and game segments of the sector.

“Such investments will be critical to ensure that we reinvent our products to meet the changing needs of our tourists,” said Tourism Minister Najib Balala. There is a deficit of 25,000 beds in the country during the peak season.

The shortfall has attracted new entrants such as Ole Serani, Sankara and Crowne Plaza in the past two years, which have seen Nairobi’s bed capacity grow by of 2,000 rooms.

Mr Balala projects that arrivals will increase by at least 20 per cent this year to cross the two million mark.

Latest tourism figures show that the number of tourists to Kenya in the first four months of the year grew 16.1 per cent to 390,148 from 336,179 recorded in the same period a year earlier, with players upbeat that the growth will continue to the end of the year.

“We expect at least between 5 to 10 per cent growth in our business this year, said Karl Hala, the East and Central Africa Director of Operations Intercontinental Hotels. “Kenya is also benefiting from the recent events in the Middle East and North Africa,” he said

*****
(eTN) - Serena’s latest addition to their growing collection in East Africa, the Soysambu-based Elmenteita Serena on the shores of Lake Elmenteita, was yesterday officially opened by the Minister of Tourism Hon. Najib Balala in the presence of His Highness Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Serena’s Group Managing Director Mahmud Jan Mohamed, and other officials.

http://www.eturbonews.com/23998/elmenteita-serena-officially-opened
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://wolfganghthome.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/kenya-hospitality-news-update-elementaita-serena-officially-opened-nairobi-serena-to-be-expanded/

Kenya hospitality news update – Elementaita Serena officially opened, Nairobi Serena to be expanded

Posted July 14, 2011 by Wolfgang's East Africa and Indian Ocean Tourism reports

ELEMENTAITA SERENA OFFICIALLY OPENED, NAIROBI SERENA TO GET EXPANDED

Serena’s latest addition to their growing collection in East Africa, the Soysambu based Elementaita Serena on the shores of Lake Elementaita, was yesterday officially opened by the Minister of Tourism Hon. Najib Balala in the presence of His Highness Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Serena’s Group Managing Director Mahmud Jan Mohamed and other officials.

The 24 tent development closes a gap for Serena in their safari circuit, connecting the Mara Serena Lodge with their Samburu Serena Lodge, or for that matter Sweetwaters Camp or the Mountain Lodge. Safari itineraries prefer a stopover along the Rift Valley lakes when either heading to or coming from the Masai Mara Game Reserve and the absence of a Serena property along the lakes had left that market to the competition, until now that is.

Since the property was already reviewed a few weeks ago here, the topic can move to the Nairobi Serena flagship hotel of the group in Kenya, which is due for a major upgrade and expansion.

Starting later this year the hotel will see another 60 room wing added in one section of the present ‘upper’ car park, while the present hotel is due to get another floor added on top, before eventually, on a ‘wing by wing’ basis, turning three present rooms into two, similar to the ‘Garden Suites’, giving the faithful Serena guests a truly luxury environment to stay in.

It was also revealed during the opening of the Elementaita Serena that the car park opposite the hotel will in another phase of expansion be turned into a dedicated 300 seat conference centre with an underground car park, adding another much in demand facility to the Nairobi Serena to cement its leading market position.

In a related development it was also learned that construction on a new lodge in Rwanda, on a site near the Parc de Volcanoes, is also due to commence soon, adding a third Serena property after the Kigali Serena Hotel and the Lake Kivu Serena Resort.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 10103

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TPS Serena Hotels and Staff Donate Sh. 3.0 Million to the ‘Kenyans for Kenya’ Initiative.

Serena Donation to the Kenyans for Kenya Initiative


TPS Serena Hotels and members of staff have today contributed a total of Sh. 3.0 Million towards the Kenyans for Kenya’ Initiative to alleviate the suffering of Kenyans affectedwith starvation and the drought. Speaking at his Tourism Promotion Services (TPS) office, which is an affiliate company of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), TPS Serena Hotels Managing Director, Mahmud Janmohamed commended the Serena staff for this noble initiative and expressed his sincere hope and beliefthat this donation, together with those from other willing Kenyans will go a long way in addressing intervention measures to ease the humanitarian crisis in northern Kenya.

Kenyanstaffs from the Serena Properties in Kenya, TPS Head Office and Central Stores have in various creative wayscontributed to the ‘Kenyans for Kenya’ Initiative over the last one week which amongst others include the foregoing of meals and transport allowances and by contributing cash. The handover ceremony will take place at 11.00am on Friday 5th August at the Nairobi Serena Hotel. Present at the handover ceremony will be the Management and Staff representatives includingMonica Owuoche and Weldon Ronoh who initiated the fundraising campaign towards helpingour fellow Kenyans challenged by the drought.

Later on Friday 5th August, TPSSerena Hotels’ members of staff will attend thepublic announcement at the Nairobi Serena Hotel where other Organizations in Kenya will congregate to join the fund with their pledges towards the same initiative, ‘Kenyans for Kenya’.

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 10103

PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hotel gives Sh13m food assistance to school
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 21:25

By The Citizen Reporter
Arusha.

As part of its corporate social responsibility, the Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge has made a donation worth Sh13.6 million to Kilimamoja secondary school in Karatu district. The support handed over the weekend to the school administration, will be used in feeding hundreds of students in the school and building a two-in-one teachers house with a capacity to host three families.

"Manyara Serena Safari Lodge is not just a hotel, it is a community in which each of us strives to reach our potential and help others to reach theirs hence building a lifetime relationships" the Lodge Manager, Mustafa Mbinga said.

He said that it was against that background that his hotel decided to help the students so that they can study comfortably and reach their potential. Receiving the support, the chairman of the Kilimamoja village, Mr Israel David commended the Manyara Serena Safari Lodge management for relieving them with the responsibility of feeding their children at school.

“This support is a big relief to the parents this time around when they are grappling with the serious food shortage as they normally contribute food for the school” Mr David explained. For her part, the Kilimamoja secondary school’s Headmistress, Mrs Mboya said the food guarantee will be a major incentive for her students to attend classes.

“No more excuse for absenteeism because the food is now available, thanks to Manyara Serena Safari Lodge for its support” Mrs Mboya explained.Serena’s portfolio currently comprises a collection of luxury hotels, resorts and safari lodges in some of the most exquisite locations in Tanzania, Zanzibar, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Mozambique.

It owns and manages other properties in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan as part of its mandate to contribute to economic growth in an environmentally and culturally sensitive manner. It is also an affiliate of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED).

http://thecitizen.co.tz/business/-/16016-hotel-gives-sh13m-food-assistance-to-school
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