Breaking Travel News caught up with Emad Aziz, Chairman of the Savoy Sharm el Sheikh at London’s World Travel Market to discuss the latest developments at the hotel. BTN: You recently picked up two accolades at this year’s World Travel Awards, including Egypt’s Leading Resort and Middle East’s Leading Villa, can you tell us more about this?
AZIZ: We were very proud to receive the Egypt’s Leading Resort award for the second time. But we were astonished and extremely pleased to receive another award—the Leading Holiday Villa for the Middle East accolade, competing against some properties with very high standards in Dubai, as well as other destinations.
BTN: How is the development of the villas coming along?
AZIZ: The Villas are already well developed and we finished them a few months ago. We have beautiful swimming pools and Jacuzzis for all the Villas. The furniture is really outstanding and each of them are different, some are very modern, some are classical, some Moroccan, others African. And we have Villa Queen Cleopatra which is like a temple, both inside and out. The different villas cater for different types of people.
BTN: Can you tell us about the development of the city centre, outside of the resort?
AZIZ: We have started to build new shops, which will include well-known names, Egyptian and European. We will have shops, as well as restaurants, cafés and bars. We will also have activities like bowling, ice skating, and there will be an English pub, which will be built in the Tudor style like they had in the UK during Shakespeare’s time. We also have Culturama. It is a joint venture with Smart Village in Cairo to show our guests the ancient, medieval and modern Egyptian civilization. It is like a CD cinema, all the shows will begin in 2007.
BTN: With these developments do you expect to attract new clientele?
AZIZ: Absolutely—this is the whole aim—we are doing very well attracting customers at the moment because our guests come for the Savoy. But with new facilities and attractions, the hotel can boast nearly a quarter of a million square metres of facilities, I feel we will attract new guests.
BTN: How are your occupancy levels? And tourism in Sharm el Sheikh?
AZIZ: We were running on full occupancy from the beginning of October and we were full until November 21 and we are hoping it will continue at this level. We still give a very good service to our clients. We are doing very well and all of Sharm el Sheikh is doing well.
BTN: What are your goals and priorities for the next twelve months?
AZIZ: We want to keep our standards high. We have more responsibility on our shoulders. We have been twice voted Egypt’s Leading Resort by the World Travel Awards. This is good in one way, but it also adds a responsibility to maintain that standard. We have plans, for our Italian restaurant which is fast becoming a top attraction and for our nightclub, Caligula is definitely a must visit for people coming to Sharm el Sheikh.
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