Polana Serena Hotel receives the “Made in Mozambique” Seal of Honour
The Polana Serena Hotel recently received the “Made in Mozambique” seal. This insignia recognises the Polana Serena Hotel’s commitment to revitalisation and empowerment in the provision of good service and quality products. Says Merali: “We are confident that this stamp will add value to our services and verify us in the market as a hotel which provides services that are truly Mozambican and of an international standard.”
Beautifully located on one of the most sought-after avenues in the heart of Maputo, The Polana Serena Hotel has always boasted having a reputation of being one of the best hotel’s in the world. Having achieved this new ‘green’ certification is just another accolade which affirms this status as the hotel continues to keep abreast of the ever-changing trends in the market.
Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Tajikistan to open Dushanbe Serena
Mawlana Hazar Imam with AKDN Resident Representative Munir Merali and His Excellency Hamrokhon Zarifi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who received Hazar Imam on behalf of the Government of Tajikistan. Photo: Gary Otte
Dushanbe, 30 October 2011 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Tajikistan today for the inauguration of the Dushanbe Serena Hotel. Prince Rahim and Prince Amyn had arrived earlier, and will also participate in the opening ceremony.
At the airport, His Excellency Hamrokhon Zarifi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, received Mawlana Hazar Imam on behalf of the Government of Tajikistan. Aga Khan Development Network Resident Representative Munir Merali and leaders of the Jamat also welcomed Hazar Imam to the country.
Mawlana Hazar Imam is welcomed to Tajikistan by LIF Member Dr Sharofat Mamadambarova and ITREC Chairman Dr Mamadsho Ilolov, as AKDN Resident Representative Munir Merali looks on. Photo: Gary Otte
Mawlana Hazar Imam has described the new five-star Serena Hotel as part of “a long-term commitment to a process of tourism development that can have deep and lasting benefits for Central Asia.” In addition to setting quality benchmarks, generating urban renewal and contributing to Tajikistan’s economic development, the Dushanbe hotel has already made important strides in human resource development through its comprehensive employee training programme.
While in Tajikistan, Mawlana Hazar Imam is also expected to review the progress of other AKDN projects in the region.
Prince Amyn and Prince Rahim are greeted by staff at the Dushanbe Serena Hotel. They are accompanied by Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels (South and Central Asia) and Hotel General Manager David Scully. Photo: Michail Romanyuk
Tajik Culture and Tradition Featured in Modern Hotel
Please also see: Photographs, Dushanbe Serena Hotel Website
Dushanbe, 1 November 2011 -- His Excellency Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, and His Highness the Aga Khan, founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), today inaugurated the Dushanbe Serena Hotel.
The ceremony, which was held in the hotel’s Millat banquet room, was attended by Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Executive Director of AKFED, Prince Rahim Aga Khan, eldest son of His Highness the Aga Khan and dignitaries from the government, development and tourism sectors.
“The opening of the Dushanbe Serena Hotel in the centre of the capital, the architectural designs of which unite our cultural heritage with the modern aspects of design, is a remarkable achievement,” said President Rahmon, expressing his gratitude to His Highness the Aga Khan, agencies of the AKDN and “all the architects, designers, engineers and all those who were involved and participated actively in construction of this modern structure.”
The Aga Khan said that he hoped that the hotel would be “a welcoming haven" for the “traders, bankers, developers and business executives, government officials and diplomats, the leaders of civil society, travellers, vacationers, artists and writers, people from many backgrounds and from the farthest reaches of our world”. Evoking the history of the Silk Route, he remarked that “all of them will learn, as they visit, about the exciting potential of this country and this region, and some of them will wish even to settle here in some way. Is this not exactly what happened at the time of the Silk Route?”
Located at the heart of the country’s capital on Rudaki drive, the hotel is part of the broader work of the AKDN, which includes a range of non-profit development activities throughout Tajikistan, from microfinance banks to a campus of the University of Central Asia, and selected commercial investments, including the Serena hotel and a hydroelectricity project, Pamir Energy, which are designed to create the infrastructure for economic development.
The hotel, which cost $58m to build, employed over 300 Tajik nationals at the peak of its construction period. It currently employs close to 200 staff, ninety-three percent of whom are Tajik and indirectly supports some 300 people. The Tajik government, Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG) and the International Finance Corporation partnered with the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) in the construction of the Dushanbe Serena.
Also addressing guests at the ceremony, Prince Amyn underlined the intention “to position the Dushanbe Serena as the flagship hotel property in this country, combining Tajik design with traditional Tajik warmth and hospitality, providing the highest levels and quality of service to international or foreign visitors and tourists as also to the citizens of Tajikistan themselves.”
Placing emphasis on research which had been carried out on the country’s artistic idioms, and cultural expressions in an effort to “escape the foreign architectural idiom that characterizes so much of the architectural landscape currently admired elsewhere,” he remarked, “my hope is that from the etching on the glass of this building to the intricate paintings on the walls and the designs and decor throughout the hotel right down to the uniforms of our staff we will have showcased Tajik motifs and colours and this country’s culture in a true and authentic form. We have been greatly assisted by the collaboration of many talented, hardworking local artists. Their enthusiasm and creativity have inspired us. They are a credit to this country.”
The hotel combines contemporary architecture with Tajikistan’s rich traditional cultural heritage. The signature inspiration is the Choekhanna – the traditional Tea Pavilion with its high slender column structure, vibrantly hand-painted ceilings and historic carved masharabiyya wooden doors. The Choekhanna opens to a view of the garden, with a central water channel in the tradition of a char bagh. Each of the hotel’s interior spaces is a reminder of the country’s rich cultural tradition. Local crafts such as carved plaster, or Ganj, Ikat or Abr textile patterns, suzani needlework in silk textile, wall paintings by local artists, carpets with colourful floral motifs and vibrant hand-painted ceilings are designed to create the warmth of Tajik hospitality.
Designed by renowned Canadian architects and interior design firm Le Groupe Arcop, the Dushanbe Serena Hotel offers 85 luxury rooms and suites as well as 10 long-stay serviced apartments and 10 office spaces, and incorporates conference and shopping facilities, restaurants, state of the art gymnasium, spa and swimming pool on the rooftop.
Serena Hotels builds hotel capacity in underserved regions. It has built hotels in East Africa and Pakistan and more recently in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. As part of AKFED’s development ethos, Serena is both a commercial enterprise and a development project. The hotels are designed to be engines of economic growth through local employment and the development of human resources, sourcing and the generation of tax revenues. From its beginnings, Serena has also stressed cultural and environmental sensitivity, for which it has received a number of prizes. Its current portfolio comprises 34 hotels, resorts and safari lodges in ten countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Syria (under development), Zanzibar, Rwanda and Uganda.
Please also see: Remarks by His Highness the Aga Khan (Russian, Tajik), Speech by Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Press Release (English, Russian, Tajik), Photographs, Architecture, Dushanbe Serena Hotel Website
Your Excellency, President Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan
Your Excellency, Davlatali Saidov, Chairman of the State Committee on Investment
and Management of State Property
Ladies and Gentlemen
I would like to begin my comments this morning by thanking His Excellency the President for the support he has given this institution and having told us that it will remain fully occupied for the next two years! And I should warn our financing agencies that I will use that excuse to negotiate even harder than before for good terms for our future projects in Tajikistan!
We join today at a special ceremony of inauguration and dedication - and I am so pleased that we can share this moment together with all of you.
It is a time for thinking and talking about the exciting future, as we launch a new facility that will be central to the growth of this community and this country in the days and years to come.
But I am also thinking today about the past - both the near past and the more distant past which are tied so intimately with today’s ceremony - and with all the good things which we hope will come from it.
The spirit of our project, after all, reaches all the way back to the days of the ancient Silk Route - when this region was a key connecting point between people from many different cultures, languages and ethnicities - coming from opposite ends of the world as it was known at that time. And these travellers lived in some of the most magnificent caravanserai ever built and they constructed some of the world's most beautiful monuments: Samarkand, Khiva, Bokhara are iconic names. If we were using 21st century language to describe what was happening back then, we might have seen this place as one of the very first links in early processes of “globalization”, although there existed at that time, no credit cards with which to pay for the Syrian, Turkish and other caravanserai.
It is in this context that many of us see a new future for Dushanbe and Tajikistan as important players again on the global stage.
As that process develops, we hope that the new beautiful Serena Hotel will reflect both the spirit of this country's ancient past and be a welcoming haven with professional staff for the global players of the coming century - as they flow in increasing numbers to this lovely and exciting part of the world. Just think of who may be coming here - traders, bankers, developers and business executives, government officials and diplomats, the leaders of civil society, travellers, vacationers, artists and writers, people from many backgrounds and from the farthest reaches of our world. All of them will learn, as they visit, about the exciting potential of this country and this region, and some of them will wish even to settle here in some way. Is this not exactly what happened at the time of the Silk Route?
Thinking of the past, I recollect the important dates of Tajik history. Twenty years ago, independence; sixteen years ago, an agreement between the Aga Khan Development Network and the government of Tajikistan in order to contribute to the development of this country. That agreement has enabled us to share as partners in the work of developing Tajikistan and improving the quality of life of the people of this country. We focused not only on building this hotel, but we worked on rural development, health and education at different levels, the production of energy and including the University of Central Asia and the Ismaili Centre here in Dushanbe.
What is the purpose? The purpose is to bring multiple-sector support to the development process of the countries in which we work in.
On a day like this, we look to the future and we seek to set out benchmarks and goals to achieve and in doing that we work with partners and I want to take this occasion - and i can see our partners in the audience- to thank them for enabling our work In Tajikistan.
I also want to salute especially the architects and designers, the contractors, the project managers and all those workers who gave of their skills and energies to realize this project. I am pleased that my brother - and yes he is my brother-- who has worked so closely with all of these people, is joining me in expressing these thanks - speaking as well for the parent organization under which the Serena Group operates, the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development.
I hope that those of you who do decide occasionally to stay here, will find that what we have tried to achieve, will inshallah, be achieved.
Speech by Prince Amyn Aga Khan for the official opening of Dushanbe Serena Hotel, 1st November 2011
Please also see: Remarks by His Highness the Aga Khan (English, Russian, Tajik), Press Release (English, Russian, Tajik), Photographs, Architecture, Dushanbe Serena Hotel Website
Your Excellency, President Rahmon,
Chairman of the State Committee on Investment and Management of State
Ladies and Gentlemen
It gives me the greatest pleasure to see the Dushanbe Serena officially opened today. Part of the hotel was, of course, unofficially available for clients during the recent anniversary of independence, although work was still progressing on the hotel and the building and its facilities were partly incomplete. The purpose then, as it is now, is that this hotel should offer to the country a receptive facility for investors and international visitors of all levels interested in Tajikistan and both capable and willing to support and take part in this country’s development. The Dushanbe Serena aims to strengthen Tajikistan’s infrastructure and to promote trade, tourism and investment to and within this country.
As an up-market facility, where service will be an essential element of success, it is also a purveyor of an enhanced quantity of jobs and professional opportunities to the people of this country. The Dushanbe Serena is what is known as a mixed-use building consisting of hotel rooms and the best modern hotel facilities, but also of apartments and office space.
Designing the Dushanbe Serena has not been an easy exercise, demanding that a building of so-called modern size and shape still respect Serena’s policy of high-lighting traditional design, a traditional aesthetic. We are all the children of mixed historical pasts, some of which pasts we like more, some less. It is like one’s parents or family: we like some more than others. But it is in its totality our heritage, it informs our present and acceptance of all of it is necessary to guide our future. The challenge for Serena was therefore to escape the bland artificial so-called international but essentially foreign architectural idiom that characterizes so much of the architectural landscape currently admired elsewhere, architecture where innovation has become synonymous with excess or extravagance. We have therefore undertaken considerable research into this country’s artistic idioms, its cultural expressions. My hope is that from the etching on the glass of this building to the intricate paintings on the walls and the designs and decor throughout the hotel right down to the uniforms of our staff we will have showcased Tajik motifs and colours and this country’s culture in a true and authentic form. We have been greatly assisted (and I want to thank them here) by the collaboration of many talented, hardworking local artists. Their enthusiasm and creativity have inspired us. They are a credit to this country.
The total cost of this project has been over US$58 million. This is excessive by normal standards since it has made the cost per room higher than the average tariffs we can expect to achieve. Non-availability of materials and of skilled labour, transportation costs have all contributed to this high end cost. Included in this figure are, of course, the some US$4.6 million that the company has paid to the Government treasury in direct and indirect taxes along with other levies such as customs duties. For this project to earn back so massive an investment will be a lengthy process at best. This project is thus essentially a development project rather than a purely commercial venture or opportunity and it must be seen and recognized as such. I would like here to thank most warmly our partners and lenders, International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Deutsche Investitions and Entwicklungsgesellschaft MBH (DEG), the German development agency. AKFED is happy indeed that DEG agreed to join us as an equity partner, and it is particularly satisfying that DEG decided to continue with us, despite the fact that there has been an unexpected and significant cost overruns.
During construction, approximately 300 skilled and semi-skilled manpower were employed, of which over 80% were Tajik nationals. Moreover, efforts were consistently made to develop the skills of the local manpower employed so as to minimize the dependency on expatriate skilled manpower, and the availability of this trained local manpower should now benefit future construction projects in this country.
In the same line of thought, the hotel has at present some 190 employees, of which over 90% are Tajik nationals in many cases trained by us. I want to congratulate these young men and women, who bring to their work an enthusiasm, a desire to continue learning and to perform at the highest level which is admirable and which augurs well for this hotel as a landmark of quality and professionalism in Dushanbe. Serena will, of course, focus on the continuing training and development of our young and talented staff. With increased experience and the enhancement of their skills they can expect to be given higher responsibilities, thus improving their families’ income and living standards.
Our intention is to position the Dushanbe Serena as the flagship hotel property in this country, combining Tajik design with the traditional Tajik warmth and hospitality, providing the highest levels and quality of service to international or foreign visitors and tourists as also to the citizens of Tajikistan themselves. We will maximize the use of indigenous produce, working with local farmers and suppliers to reduce reliance on imported goods. My hope is that the citizens of Dushanbe and Tajik visitors to this city will make of the Dushanbe Serena Hotel their natural meeting point, to enjoy the facilities of this hotel, to relax and simply to meet each other for a pleasant moment or to further their business interests. The hotel has 85 guest rooms including Presidential and Executive suites, six restaurants of different types, meeting rooms, a banquet hall, a fully-equipped business centre and a health club that includes a spa, state-of-the-art gym equipment, treatment rooms and a roof-top swimming pool with a view over the city to the mountains beyond, not to mention large and attractive gardens.
Like all Serenas, this hotel observes strict standards of environmental friendliness, both in terms of the product but also in terms of energy conservation, recycling of effluents and hard and soft landscaping. We pride ourselves that all Serenas (and we now have 34 in operation internationally and three more in progress) go beyond existing environmental laws, regulations and minimum requirements and in fact, through new techniques and approaches, set new benchmarks. Like all Serenas, this hotel will also engage in a programme of corporate social responsibility, assisting and working with various local village organizations, technical and educational institutions and civic groups, civil society.
Finally, I should like to end these words with an acknowledgement of the support and contribution made by Mr Ramesh Khosla of Arcop, our architect, and his assistant, Anca Haganu, BATT Construction, our contractors, and Planning and Construction Management, our Project Management. It is thanks to them that we are able today to celebrate the completion and commissioning of the Dushanbe Serena before you. My heartfelt thanks go to this team. Working and creating with you has been a joy.
Thank you – Tashakoor.
Last edited by kmaherali on Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:05 am, edited 1 time in total
Serena chain acquires Tanzania's leading business and tourist-class hotel
By Apolinari Tairo, eTN Tanzania | Nov 06, 2011
TANZANIA (eTN) - East Africa's leading hotel chain, Serena Hotels, has taken over the business of the Movenpick Royal Palm Hotel Dar es Salaam.
Once operating as Movenpick Royal Palm Hotel Dar es Salaam, the 230-room facility will soon be operating under a business brand name of Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel.
Reports from Serena Hotels’ head office in Nairobi Kenya said that the flourishing and leading Serena chain had acquired the total business of the Movenpick Hotel in Tanzania's capital city of Dar es Salaam, but no more details were made available yet.
Located at the heart of the business district in the city center of Dar es Salaam, the hotel is one of the most popular accommodation and meeting place for corporate business and social events.
Movepick Royal Palm Hotel opened its business doors late in 1995, once operating under franchise of Sheraton Dar es Salaam Hotel, before changing its business to Royal Palm Hotel under Legacy Hotels of South Africa, and later the Swiss franchise, the Movenpick.
The hotel offers nightlife recreations, dining, business, shopping, and cultural diversions, while located a ten minute’s drive from Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) and within walking distance of the city center.
Acquisition of Movepick Hotel brings to 10 Serena luxury hotels, lodges, and camps in Tanzania. The Serena chain entered Tanzania in mid-1996 when former Tanzania President Mr. Benjamin Mkapa and His Highness The Aga Khan cut a ribbon to open two lodges and a hotel in northern Tanzania wildlife parks, the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge, Serengeti Serena Lodge, and Lake Manyara Serena Hotel.
The total number of lodges other than Ngorongoro, Serengeti, and Lake Manyara facilities currently under ownership and management of Serena portfolio in Tanzania are the Arusha Mountain Village (46 room), located at the foot of the wooded slopes of Mount Meru outside the tourist city of Arusha in Northern Tanzania, and Zanzibar Serena Inn (51 rooms) on the island of Zanzibar.
Other facilities under the Serena chain are Mivumo River Lodge in Selous Game Reserve, Kirawira Tented Camp, and Mbuzi Mawe Tented Camps in Western Serengeti and Selous Luxury Camp in Selous Game Reserve.
Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge shines at Ecotourism Awards 2011
Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge has been crowned Eco Tourism Enterprise of the year 2011. The announcement was made during the Annual Eco Tourism Awards Gala Dinner held on Friday 25th November 2011 by Ecotourism Kenya. The Ecotourism Awards seeks to reward individuals and corporates who have excelled in promoting sustainable tourism through business and best practices, and through involvement with the local communities around the areas in which they operate.
Islamabad Serena Hotel completes 10 years of hospitality excellence
Islamabad Serena Hotel celebrated its 10th anniversary on Sunday, 11th March, 2012, at the lush green and spacious gardens of the hotel. With a cake cutting ceremony, followed by the General Manager’s and CEO’s speech, the event was well attended by government officials, diplomats, heads of international agencies, representatives from the private and corporate sector, NGO’s, and the media. Majority of the guests attended the festivity with their spouses.
The entertaining 10-year anniversary celebration comprising of folk dance performances, puppet shows, piano recital, display of traditional artifacts, and other enjoyable activities was a great success. The festive outdoor atmosphere was enhanced by mouth-watering treats containing large array of BBQ items in addition to local and international cuisines. It was interesting to see the traditional items like Makai ki roti, Gola Ganda, Shawarmas, Faluda, Jalebis, and a lot more! It was a food-lovers dream.
General Manager Peter Hill orchestrated the celebration with the help of his smart and dedicated team members. “Serena Hotels in Pakistan have come a long way. From the commissioning of a small hotel in the northern areas of Pakistan to this flagship property – the journey has been long but rewarding” remarked
Aziz Boolani in his opening address.
A highlight of the afternoon was the display of miniature art by the local artists at the Satrang Gallery; an initiative of Serena Hotels Pakistan to encourage and promote talented artists in their pursuit of excellence.
Opened on March 11, 2002, the Islamabad Serena Hotel now has 387 guestrooms and suites, 8 restaurants, elaborate conference and events center, a fully equipped spa & health club, meeting rooms, and two temperature controlled swimming pools.
The Serena collection of luxury resorts, safari lodges, and hotels spans across some of the most evocative, exotic, and enchanting destinations in the world. The Serena properties enjoy an established reputation for the highest standards of comfort, service, and product. From its beginnings, Serena has stressed on cultural and environmental sensitivity, for which it has received a number of awards. Its current portfolio comprises 35 hotels, resorts and safari lodges in nine countries – Afghanistan, Kenya, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zanzibar.
Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge Honoured In The 2012 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Hotel Awards
LONDON, U.K. – 18 January 2012 - TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP), the world’s largest travel website, today reveals Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge was chosen as the overall winner in the Top 25 Bargain Hotels in Africa by TripAdvisor in its 2012 Travellers’ Choice® awards.
Now in its tenth year, the annual TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards honour the world’s best hotels, earning their distinction from those who know them best – real travellers. Unlike any other hotel honours, TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice winners are based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from travellers around the world.
“With the help of millions of travellers around the globe, TripAdvisor is thrilled to recognise the world’s most outstanding hotels for the tenth year of the Travellers’ Choice Awards,” said Christine Petersen, president, TripAdvisor for Business. “From the best bargain hotels to best luxury hotels, remarkable service, value and quality are the hallmarks of our Travellers’ Choice winners.”
As TripAdvisor has continued its growth globally, featuring sites in 30 countries and in 21 languages, the Travellers’ Choice Hotels awards now highlight a broader range of spectacular properties across the globe.
Room number seven at the Serenegeti Serena Safari Lodge had the rare chance to host a visitor, a special one. A leopard cub, estimated to be about four months old was found alone, huddled in a corner at midday over the weekend of April 21st.
The Lodge is lucky enough to share its compound with an adult “resident” Leopard, but it was unclear as to whether the cub had been abandoned, or whether the mother was out hunting. The park authorities were informed and a veterinarian came to assess the situation. On his suggestion, the cub was left alone, but always under the watchful eye of concerned staff members.
A good number of the clients who were in house were given a chance to peek at the cub through the window of room seven, under the watchful eye of the Serena staff, who were also careful not to stress the cub with all of the attention.
Fortunately the mother returned that evening at about 7:45pm and after a happy reunion, both Mum and cub headed off back into the bush.
Serena Hotels’ staff and Aga Khan Junior School Mark World Earth Week
Serena Hotels’ staff together with children from the Aga Khan Junior School in Nairobi embarked on a tree planting mission to mark the world earth week.
About thirty Serena members of staff from Tourism Promotion Services, Staff at Central Stores and Nairobi Serena Hotel together with an estimated 100pupils from the academy all together planted 1,500 seedlings at the University of Nairobi’s Lower Kabete Campus on Friday 27th April 2012.
More than 1Billion people around the world come together annually to mark the World Earth Week and to help elevate the importance of environmental issues around the world.
To support their efforts, Serena Hotels has over the years continued to support a wide- reaching reforestation program in the areas in which it operates. This program is dedicated towards reversing the tide of ecological destruction and most importantly to conserve the environment and air around us.
Our activities also spread to the Nderit Forest in Mau, our lodges in Kenya and Tanzania, and Nairobi City Park. We work closely with the Kenya Wildlife Service in terms of animal rescue and support. Today, our lodges, guests and communities have planted over 10Million trees through this program that has seen tremendous change in the eco system of the regions.
More photos from the tree planting initiatives are available on our Facebook page
Serena Hotels Staff Donate towards Rwanda Genocide Commemoration.
As Rwanda Commemorated 18 years since the genocide, members of staff from the TPS Serena Hotels East Africa joined the Nation in remembering and honoring the lives lost, and the resilience of those who survived the Genocide.
This year, a total of RWF 2.78 Million (USD 5,000) was made towards the 18th Genocide Commemoration in Rwanda. The donation, which took place in April was made to the “Abahumurizanya”, a genocide orphans Association that Kigali Serena Hotel supports and to the “FARG Umudugudu Group” in Rugerero Sector, Rubavu District that Lake Kivu Serena Hotel supports.
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 “East Africa Serena Family” for demonstrating the truly East African spirit for this noble initiative and expressed his sincere hope and belief that this donation, together with those from other willing donors will go a long way in addressing the humanitarian challenges that the survivors still face today so as to move towards a better and peaceful life.
The handover ceremony took place at the Kigali Serena Hotel. Present at the handover ceremony was Charles Muia, Country Manager, Serena Hotels Rwanda, and the Hotel Management and Staff.
Serena Hotels Staff and Management hope to do this even better next year, and to continue supporting these families.
Zanzibar and Zanzibar Serena Inn, a journey through history.
Zanzibar consists of a series of small tropical islands off the coast of Tanzania in the southern waters of the Indian Ocean. There are in fact two main islands – Unguja (commonly known simply as ‘Zanzibar’) and Pemba. Now part of the United Republic of Tanzania, Zanzibar was once a separate state and has a long trading history with the Arab world. The country has lured traders, adventurers, explorers – and now discerning tourists – to its shores for centuries.
Zanzibar’s history begins when the island became a base for Arab traders voyaging between Arabia, India, and Africa. Although the island had few resources of interest to the traders, it offered a good location from which to make contact and trade with towns on the East African coast.
"This is how to do it" ...briefing session by the local community leader
Serena Hotels went all green and surpassed the 3million mark in the number of tree seedlings planted at the Hombe forest in Mt. Kenya National Park and across other Serena properties, significantly planting 10,000 tree seedlings in a single day at Hombe Forest alone.
The tree planting initiative which took place on World Environment Day blended with this year’s theme ‘Green Economy: Does it include you?’ saw staff from Serena Mountain Lodge spend a day at the Hombe Forest together with the local community on an afforestation exercise. They were joined by students from the Aga Khan Academy in Nairobi and staff from Air Uganda, Jubilee Insurance and Property Development & Management Service (PDM). The initiative also had friends from the social media fraternity, who took time off to plant trees at the forest as well as interact and share conservation stories.
Students from the Aga Khan Academy in Nairobi join in the tree-planting.
A similar activity was carried out across all Serena Hotels, Lodges and Resorts in East Africa and Mozambique with a target of planting a further 1,000 tree seedling at all 25 properties. This collectively brought the number of trees planted by Serena Hotels all over East Africa so far to 3 million trees, and will see the team
The World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated every year on 5th June to raise global awareness of the need to take positive environmental action and is run by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
Check out more photos of the tree planting on our Facebook page.
This entry was posted in Communication, CSR and tagged Aga Khan Academy, Air Uganda, Hombe forest, Jubilee Insurance, Mt. Kenya National Park, Property Development & Management Service (PDM), Serena Hotels, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), World Environment Day. Bookmark the permalink.
Serena Hotels wins 2012 “Best Hospitality, Travel and Tourism in Africa” Award.
Serena Hotels is this year’s winner of the coveted “Best Hospitality, Travel and Tourism in Africa” Award. The exclusive African Business Awards was held on 7 June 2012, at Grosvenor House in London.
“Recognition for excellence is an honor in itself, and challenge to continue giving nothing but the best service and product and we are grateful at the challenge this recognition bestows on us” - Mahmud Janmohamed, Managing Director Serena Hotels.
This Award and recognition comes under a new category for 2012 and Serena Hotels is very proud to have won it. The other companies nominated were Hilton Worldwide and Sarova Hotels, Resorts & Game Lodges, Kenya.
Now in its fifth year, the African Business Awards is the key annual event for the African Business World and is much sort after by Africa’s leading companies and entrepreneurs. Organized by African Business Magazine (ABM), and the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC), the African Business Awards has become a platform to celebrate excellence and best practices in African business and recognizes those who have driven Africa’s rapidly transforming economy- under which Serena Hotels was seen to have undoubtedly contributed.
“Recognition for excellence is an honor in itself, and challenge to continue giving nothing but the best service and product and we are grateful at the challenge this recognition bestows on us”, said Mahmud Janmohamed- the Managing Director Serena Hotels.
The Serena Hotels spans some of the most evocative, exotic and enchanting destinations in the world. With a portfolio of 25 Hotels, Luxury Camps, Safari Lodges and Resorts located in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Mozambique, and Managing properties in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan, the Serena Hotels service profile guarantees unprecedented luxury, extensive amenities and unrivalled warmth and personal attention. The focus has been on product quality, high service standards and guest satisfaction and with this combination, Serena Hotels will definitely continue in its quest to be the Hotel of choice for any discerning traveller.
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