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Mice Asia Net : January 2009
egypt at a Many Egyptian hotels and resorts also offer exceptional meetings facilities. In Cairo, planners can choose from the JW Marriott Mirage City, InterContinental City Stars, Semiramis InterContinental, Four Season at Nile Plaza, oberoi Mena House, the Grand Hyatt, and the Nile Hilton, to name a few. Further afield, Alexandria is home to the Alexandria Hilton, Montazah Sheraton, El Salamlek Palace Hotel, and the Four Seasos Hotel at San Stefano. In the Sinai, there is the Jolie Ville Congress Centre, the Egypt Hall at the Savoy, the Garden reef resort, and many more. Desert discoveries A must-do for groups to Egypt is exploration of Egypt’s deserts. Sinai, the so-called “white desert” located to the west of the Nile river, or journeys into the Eastern Desert can be undertaken in the comfort of a 4WD, on foot, horseback, bike or camel, with tours departing from major hotels. Guided tours can take in sites including Cleopatra’s baths, the hot water springs at bahariya, Dakhla, and the medieval village of El-Qasr. Hiking to Saint Catherine’s Monastery, climbing Mount Moses at night, trekking in the Sinai Mountains, or experiencing a balloon flight over the Valley of Kings (Luxor) are also group options that should all be considered. Health and wellbeing Like almost everywhere in the world, it seems that Egypt also offers a great selection of health and wellbeing options for visitors, with the destination now clearly focusing on this segment of the market. Perhaps what makes these treatments such a bonus for visitors is that they can be utilised following a healthy climb in, up and around the pyramids, or into an archeological site. Walking is great fun and good exercise, and a nice massage following would be just the ticket. the other important consideration for MICE groups is that Egypt is considered a relatively safe destination. As Mr Khalil explains, their ongoing focus is to “introduce ourselves as a peaceful and safe destination, including for the business market.” And that has to be a good thing. ABOVE: Giza pyramid, Cairo. Photo courtesy of GARDEL Bertrand hemis. The Egyptian National Tourist Authority. 50 mice.net Getting there Cairo International Airport is Egypt’s busiest and the primary hub for EgyptAir which joined the Star Alliance group in July 2008. In 2007 the airport handled more than 125,000 aircraft departures and serviced 12.6 million passengers. Flights to Egypt and Cairo are available from everywhere in Asia. When to travel Anytime is a good time to visit Egypt, however, the busy season is between December and April. This is when there are more people and more cruises, with prices reflecting this peak season. Weather Egypt really has just two seasons: winter from November to April, and summer from May to October. Temperatures vary greatly depending on where you are. In the inland desert areas, for example, summer temperatures may range from seven degrees C at night to 43 degrees C during the day. Egypt receives less than 100 millimetres of rainfall annually – great news for those outdoor events. Visa requirements A 30-day visa can be obtained on arrival providing the purpose of your trip is travel related. Alternatively, it’s a good idea to purchase a visa before you arrive. Your PCO or planner should be able to assist here. Key contacts Ibrahim Khalil Embassy of Egypt Egyptology & Tourist Promotion Office (Tokyo) +81 3 3589 0653 firstname.lastname@example.org www.egypt.travel Emeco Travel +20 2 2574 4536 email@example.com www.emeco.travel glance