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Jordan launches extensive marketing plan for GCC

Jordan Tourism Board launches Arabic website, visitor's guide on sidelines of ‘The Arab Travel Market’.

AMMAN -The Jordan Tourism Board launched this week a marketing plan for the GCC under the slogan "Marhabakom" (welcome) which will continue until mid July with the aim of promoting Jordan as a tourist destination in the GCC. Jordan relies heavily on Arab visitors, who make up 60% of overnight visitors to the country. In 2006, the total number of overnight tourists from Arab states totaled 1.9 million while tourists from the Gulf States alone reached 576.000.

The campaign, coinciding with JTB's participation in the 2007 Arab Travel Market, which convenes in Dubai during May 1-4, will highlight Jordan's tourist products, including historic, entertainment and leisure sites and activities that cater for the entire Arab and Gulf family.

Minister of Tourism Osama Dabbas said his ministry and JTB are exerting continued efforts to translate King Abdulla's directives to focus on attracting Arab tourists into the Kingdom and to prepare an integrated work plan for this year's tourist season to include programs and packages designed to promote what the country has to offer. The Tourism industry constitutes one of the largest income generating sources for Jordan, making up 11.2 of the GDP.

The marketing plan will target tourists in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE and Oman, and will use TV promotional campaigns and print adv. to reach its target audience.

During its participation in the ATM, JTB will launch its Arabic language website, designed in such a way as to provide the potential visitor with all the needed information on Jordan, complete with directories, pictures and maps. Furthermore, JTB will launch a visitor's guide, also in the Arabic language, to include information on prime tourist sites in the Kingdom, as well as listings of shopping centers, entertainment facilities, restaurants, hotels, museums, in addition to festivals and other cultural activities taking place during the season.

JTB, the official body entrusted with promoting Jordan as a tourist destination, produces various publications and promotional material on Jordan that reaches countries across the world in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian and Arabic.

Deputy JTB Chairman and acting Managing Director Michael Nazzal said the new marketing plan was designed with the aim of attracting Arab tourists to certain sites and products that may be missed out during their visit to the Kingdom. He said a 30-second film and three 10-second segments were produced especially to highlight the various leisure and entertainment spots available for Jordan's visitors.

In another measure to promote Jordan in Arab and Gulf states, JTB Board held a meeting last week and decided to enhance the work of the Arab Marketing Department by recruiting additional highly qualified staff to lay down the groundwork for an effective marketing and promotional plan.

The Arab Travel Market, taking place at Dubai International Expo Center, is a leading tourism and travel exhibit that hosts top hotels and other market related participants on the Arab level. JTB booth, which extends over 180 square meters, is part of JTB strategy to promote Jordan's tourist products and enhance the Kingdom's position on the international tourism map.

The Ministry and JTB had earlier launched a promotional campaign under the slogan "smile you are in Jordan" which will last throughout the summer of 2007 targeting Arab and international tourists visiting the Kingdom. The campaign aims at reflecting Jordan's hospitality and traditions and the warmth of its people through the phrase "yah hala bil-deif" (visitors are warmly welcomed).

The tourism sector in Jordan is the largest export sector and the second employer of human resources, in addition to being the third producer of foreign currency.

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Cairo Amman Bank signs contract with Jordan Business Systems to implement the largest ATM network in Jordan

Cairo Amman Bank announced today it has signed an agreement with Jordan Business Systems (JBS) Corporation, a leading IT solutions provider to acquire 100 Diebold ATMs, which will provide the bank's customers with access to the largest ATM network in the Kingdom with total of 190 ATMs.

Jordan: Thursday, May 03 - 2007 at 15:34 PRESS RELEASE

Cairo Amman Bank seals partnership with Jordan Business Systems.

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» more Cairo Amman Bank (CAB) news
Jordan Business Systems (JBS) is the authorized distributors for Diebold ATMS in Jordan, Palestine and Iraq; who will also be providing 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week maintenance service for Cairo Amman Bank.

Mr. Khaled Al-Masri, CAB CEO and Chairman of the Board stated, "Our agreement with JBS will provide our customers with the ability to manage their money and access their accounts from locations across the Kingdom. This agreement is part of our strategy to continuously provide our customers with the best services and easiest method of managing their accounts. By the end of 2007, our ATM machines will increase to 190 and expand all over the country to cater equally to everyone in Jordan."

Mr. Emad Suwan, JBS General Manager, 'We wanted Cairo Amman Bank to leverage from the new features and functionalities of Diebold Opteva ATMs to help in maximizing its customers base and to capitalize on our 24x7 services and support
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Automating the Investment World Conference held at the Dead Sea

Special Systems (SSC) held their 'Automating the Investment World' conference at the Marriott Spa Hotel, Dead Sea on Saturday April 28th.
Jordan: 1 hour, 31 minutes ago PRESS RELEASE

Organized by Special Systems as they launch their new line of products and development plans.

The conference was attended by more than 200 local and regional participants from the financial sector. During this conference, Special Systems introduced its product lines, which includes: Complete solutions, tools and modules that will serve the needs of brokerage houses, investment banks and stock markets. The main focus of the event was introducing their breakthrough product OrderManager 2007™, a revolutionary online trading and e-brokerage automation system.

The conference also revealed the company's new research methodologies and fresh approach for developing and improving their products and solutions to adapt to the growing needs and rapid changes of the investment world. In addition, Special Systems also shared its future vision for online trading in the region and their leading role of developing technology.

During the conference Mr. Ala'a Abu Alaish, Sales Manager, announced the 3rd generation of Special Systems' renowned brokerage back-office solution, BrokerManager 2007™, the most widely used brokerage back office solution in the region, as well as its new online brokerage service-desk: BrokerNet 2.0 ™.

Mr. Tarek Koudsi, Development Manager at Special Systems, commented during his presentation of the OrderManager 2007™ by saying: 'Our breakthrough in this product is demonstrated by its many modules, attention to speed, efficiency, security and high scalability which will undoubtedly aid the various corporate needs in dealing with the most difficult and complex problems facing today's financial market'. Mr. Koudsi also highlighted how OrderManager 2007™ stands out, when compared to other products in the market, with it's many unique features as the core banking gateway, sophisticated charts and analysis, IPO readiness in addition to other fresh & leading components that maximizes efficiency, productivity & automation in investment firms.

Special Systems has demonstrated a strong presence in the market, both nationally and regionally within the Gulf area, since they started providing solutions for the investment sector in 1991. Over 200,000 investors are being served by the company's brokerage solutions and applications throughout Jordan and the region. In addition, over 30,000 investors have online access to their accounts and portfolios banks using Special Systems' online service desk solution BrokerNet 2.0™.

Special Systems acts as a strategic partner with their clients in maintaining and developing their business' and visions' through the Special Systems' unique solutions, tools, and modules.

Special Systems was established in 1978 as the first IT Company in Jordan and currently has operations in Jordan, Qatar, and UAE. The investments software-house has a unique and exceptional history in terms of its development and progress. Special Systems holds 55% brokerage market share in the Kingdom, the company also strongly believes in the power of technology & research, particularly in its progress and evolution to accommodate the ever growing market's needs, especially for the banking and investments sector.
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Aqaba Container Terminal arranges 'No-Smoking Day'​

In line with its consistent efforts to combat smoking, Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT) has organized a 'No-Smoking Day', which included medical check ups for its employees.
Jordan: Saturday, May 05 - 2007

The Company held the event in cooperation with Lina Creative and Development Group (LCD Group), Save the Children, Pfizer team, and Health Communication Partnership (HCP).

The event, which took place at ACT's headquarters, focused on spreading awareness about the negative effect of smoking on active and passive smokers.

Attending the event was ACT's senior executives, employees, and other relevant parties that contributed in organizing it, as well as LCD group anti-tobacco kids' team that conducted interviews with ACT's attendees.

'ACT pays great attention to its employees' health, therefore, we decided to organize such activities that raise our employees' awareness about the dangers of smoking on themselves, their families, community, and work environment,' ACT CEO Mr. Patricio Junior said.

The event included different activities, which started with speeches delivered by ACT, HCP and LCD. The event also had a booth were a medical team from The Red Cross - Aqaba did some basic tests for the attendees such as measuring their height, blood pressure, and weight.

'All rendered efforts for this event to succeed are highly appreciated and we hope that this event is a start for a healthy environment not only at ACT but also in Aqaba and the whole Kingdom as well,' Patricio ended
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JBS wins Amman ATM deal​
Jordan: Thursday, May 03 - 2007 at 16:10
Jordan-based Cairo Amman Bank has contracted Jordan Business Systems to supply it with 100 Diebold security ATMs. After installation, the bank will have a total of 190 ATMs. JBS is the authorised distributor for Diebold ATMs in Jordan, Palestine and Iraq.

Jordan National Shipping Lines holds its Ordinary General Assembly Meeting​
ordan National Shipping Lines Company has recently held its ordinary General Assembly meeting at its headquarters.
Jordan: Saturday, May 05 - 2007

During the event's proceedings, which was held on April 30th 2007, members of the Board of Directors discussed the company's financial results for the financial year ending December 31st 2006 and their plans for the year 2007.

Financial records issued by the firm revealed that Jordan National Shipping Lines Company recorded JD 1.62 million worth of unrealized losses. Investors' equities on the other hand were realized to be JD 13.44 million, and property rights were valued at JD 14.17 million.

Mr. Ahmad Armoush, Chairman of the Board at Jordan National Shipping Lines Company said that the company achieved notable profits during the first quarter of 2007. During this period, profit reached JD 1.2 million, a clear indication to more success for the rest of the year.

The meeting headed by Mr. Armoush, was also attended by members of the board, the management team and representatives of the Corporate Monitoring Authorities. Mr. Armoush stated during the meeting the Board of Directors' intention to reduce the size of its portfolio; losses incurred having been primarily due to the losses in share price in the market, which affected firm's stocks negatively. From another angle one of the firm's vessels required more than three months worth of maintenance; the thing which affected the company's profits for last year.

During the meeting's proceedings the firm's future plans were alluded to in detail. Mr. Armoush affirmed that the Jordan National Shipping Lines Company is planning to construct two new ships. Each ship is to hold a storage capacity of 53 thousand tons. The two new vessels are to be constructed in cooperation with a specialized German Firm in addition to Salam International Transport and Trading Company.

The company is also immersed in expanding its Real-Estate endeavors, as it is currently in the finishing stages of the construction of its headquarters in Aqaba, fully owned by Jordan National Shipping Lines. It is also in the process of completing building of its new location for 'Jordan Academy for Maritime Studies' in Amman. The Academy will continue to graduate specialized marine personnel and engineers in the shipping and related deciplines. Also in the real-estate arena, the firm is in the process of constructing a four star deluxe hotel 'Domina Aqaba' at one of the prime locations in the tourist area of Aqaba. The Construction is carried out by the company's affiliate, 'Jordan Maritime Complex for Real-Estate Investments' and the project is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2008.

Mr. Armoush further stated that the company is firmly on course for expanding its operations and that it is currently looking into the possibility of expanding its capital investments, and accepting new and strategic partnerships. That in turn brings it closer to its goal for expanding operations locally and regionally.

In closing Mr. Armoush said that Jordan National Shipping Lines Company currently forms partnerships with Lamnalco, an entity located in the UAE, and with the Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC), whereby it has concluded contract for the management of the Marine Services at the Port of Aqaba over a period of 15 years subject to extension for another term. The construction of 8 large equipment including trailers is in the process for use on port.
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Salvatore Ferragamo unveils its first retail shop in Amman​
During a reception and a social gathering that was held at the Ferragamo retail shop in Zara Expo, Salvatore Ferragamo a premium Italian luxury fashion brand for men launched its first retail shop in Amman on the 25th April 2007.
Jordan: Wednesday, May 02 - 2007

Salvatore Ferragamo is one of the leading designers, producers and distributors of men's fashion wear and luxury hand made shoes, pure leather goods, accessories, fragrances, eyewear, and ready to wear apparel for both men and women.

Being a symbol of consolidated craftsmanship and creative innovation, Salvatore Ferragamo is one of the world's most important and best known 'Made in Italy' luxury brands. Salvatore Ferragamo will today bring the latest and most elegant fashion trends to Jordanian fashion-admirers.

'We are pleased to announce the opening of our first Salvatore Ferragamo luxury men's retail monobrand store in Amman, and we promise Jordanian fashion aficionados that they can take home a stunning wardrobe style that suits every unique taste holding the original Salvatore Ferragamo brand name,'

said the Chairman Ferruccio Ferragamo.

Originally founded in 1927, and achieving fame as the 'shoemaker to the stars' in Hollywood, Salvatore Ferragamo opened his 'Hollywood boot shop' where famous names such as Mary Pickford, Rudolf Valantino, Audrey Hepurn, and Marilyn Monroe became Ferragamo's devoted customers.

Salvatore Ferragamo brings together top quality material and processes, imagination, color and design which all tell the unique story of craftsmanship and cultural sensibility. From design to production the entire process is carried out in Italy, everything labeled by Salvatore Ferragamo incorporating the famous Gancino logo is produced in Italy and comes straight from the parent company that controls the production operations ensuring top quality products prior to shipment to various markets across the Globe.

'The Salvatore Ferragamo Group's retail network consists of more than 450 retail shops across 55 countries around the world, and is wholly owned by the Ferragamo family with Wanda Ferragamo-widow of the founder- as its honorary chairman,' added Ferruccio Ferragamo.

Palazzo Spini Feroni in the city of Florence - Italy, has been the headquarters of Ferragamo since 1938, along with the flagship store, Palazzo Spini Feroni has also housed the Ferragamo museum which extends over four rooms and comprises a collection of over ten thousand models of shoes created by Salvatore Ferragamo over forty years from his twenties to his death in 1960.
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King Abdullah II opens ARAMEX's Unleashing Arab Innovation conference in Jordan​
His Majesty King Abdullah II on Monday inaugurated ARAMEX International's annual conference entitled 'Unleashing Arab Innovation' held in the Dead Sea, Jordan to celebrate the company's 25th anniversary.
Jordan: Tuesday, May 01 - 2007

Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah participated in the conference during which the King said that Jordan's future depends on our ability to create a knowledge-based economy.

"We've been working on education for a long time in this country, and we're proud, of course, that Jordan has one of the highest literacy rates in the region … and we're proud that boys and girls have the same opportunities for education and employment," said King Abdullah during the conference for which ARAMEX chose 'Unleashing Arab Innovation' as a theme. "But we know that that's not enough. Our world is too dynamic for any education system to be satisfied with yesterday's progress."

His Majesty added: "Today's students need to understand other people and cultures, and they need access to the latest knowledge."

For the success of Jordan's educational development efforts, King Abdullah said, "business and government also need to be working together to support and grow a healthy regional private sector".

Queen Rania moderated the 'Arab Women and the World' panel, the first of two organized by the conference, which highlighted the importance of role models and the role of women in the workforce in the Arab world.

"According to the Arab Human Development Report, Arab women's participation in the workforce is officially the lowest in the world at 33%, compared to a world average of 56%. This is, undoubtedly, one of the biggest challenges we, in the Arab world, are facing," said the Queen as she introduced the five panellists who have overcome such challenges.

Participating in the panel were five leading Arab women, each considered a pioneer in her field: Raghida Dergham, columnist and senior diplomatic correspondent for the London-based Al Hayat; Nancy A. Aossey, President and CEO of International Medical Corps (IMC); Roula Kamhawi, Regional President of Mars, Inc for the Middle East, Africa and India; Randa S. Ayoubi, Founder and CEO of Rubicon, a Jordanian software development company; and Soraya Salti, Senior Vice-president of INJAZ Jordan, Junior Achievement's first Arab program.

Her Majesty and the panellists addressed many of challenges Arab women face in having a more proactive role in the public sphere and emphasized the importance of education and family nurturing in helping them push the boundaries of their societies. They also discussed some of the unique qualities that women can bring to the table, including sensitivity, empathy, and their ability to form relationships.

Other speakers on the inaugural day of the conference, which brought together a host of visionary statesmen and stateswomen, entrepreneurs and prominent activists, were Sean Cleary, Chairman of Strategic Concepts (Pty) Ltd; Ali Ghandour, President of ARAM Trading and Technology; Arif Naqvi, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive officer, Abraaj Capital; Lebanese-born designer Nada Debs, Jordanian composer and pianist Zade Dirani; and Nadine Toukan from The Royal Film Commission.

The conference's other panel, was on the role and responsibility of the private sector in supporting sustainable development. The panel was moderated by professor Safwan Al Masri of Columbia University and included Samih Touqan, CEO of, Helmy Abouleish, Co-founder and Managing Director of SEKEM Group, Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, a UNESCO prize winner for children's literature, and Khaled A. Kalaldeh, Co-founder and CEO of KETAB.

Commenting on the significance of the conference, Fadi Ghandour, Founder and CEO of ARAMEX, said, 'We are here to celebrate Arab innovation and its determination to carve for itself a real presence in the Arab world's struggle to make a qualitative leap towards a stable and thriving environment. We hope that the attention and recognition this conference gives to our creative minds will set the best of examples for young Arab innovators waiting to happen.'

Ghandour added: 'When we established ARAMEX in 1982, we started out with two offices in Amman and New York. Today, our international network encompasses over 240 international offices and an ever expanding portfolio of transportation solutions. I am proud to say that, through the good and bad times, we supported our local communities and became an integral part of their social and economic cycles.'

Since its inception, ARAMEX has adopted a unique approach to human resources, focusing on nurturing local talents and building up indigenous competencies. Currently, over 50,000 clients benefit from the added value services ARAMEX offers across the world
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Coca-Cola finalizes the first phase of 'Schools e-com'​
Amman, Coca-Cola concluded the implementation of the first phase of the new 'Schools e-com' project launched by His Excellency Dr. Khalid Touqan and Muhannad Al-Turk, GM of Coca-Cola Jordan.
Jordan: Tuesday, May 01 - 2007

This phase included the installation of internet in all Coca-Cola's '' IT labs, and the implementation of four training workshops given to teachers on e-learning, especially e-math and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

'Schools e-com', which aims to promote e-learning in Jordan and to further modernize the educational system, is an extension of Coca-Cola's "" initiative launched under the patronage of her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah in 2001. Overall, 50 teachers from public schools, where Coca-Cola has the '' IT labs across the Kingdom, were trained to use e-learning tools in their classrooms. The training, which was carried out by the Curricula Department of the Ministry of Higher, received excellent feedback; the most remarkable, among Ibn Maktoom school teachers that have some visual imparities. Ibn Maktum students and the school principal expressed their gratitude for the and e-com project, confirming that it gave them the opportunity to develop their skills and connect with the outside world.

In a special meeting held last month, His Excellency Dr. Khaled Touqan, Jordan's Minister of Education listened to Ibn Maktoum's testimonial and was impressed that thirty three (33) visually impaired students have completed the ICDL (International Computer Driving License) course through the project. 'Coca-Cola has always supported the Ministry of Education's mandate, and we are pleased to build partnerships with the private sector that further develop the educational system in Jordan. Ibn Maktoom is a live example of modernization and technological advancement.''

'We are very thankful for The Ministry of Education's continuous support. H. E. Dr. Khaled Touqan and his team have been instrumental partners in the '' project. We are also very thankful for the Curricula Department, who lead the training, for all the time they have invested in this project.' said Muhanad al Turk, General Manager of The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Jordan. 'It gives me great pleasure to look back and notice all the difference this initiative has made in the educational system in Jordan''. He added.
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Kempinski expands in Jordan and beyond​
One of Jordan's most ambitious hotel developments, the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, opened its doors just over a year ago and AME Info caught up with its General Manager, and Kempinski Regional Director, Duncan O'Rourke, at last week's Arabian Travel Market in Dubai to discuss the property's progress since then. Mr O'Rourke also offered his own personal take on Jordan's tourism sector and revealed details of Kempinski's expansion plans in the Levant.
Jordan: Wednesday, May 09 - 2007

Mr O'Rourke joined Kempinski Hotels five years ago and prior to his move to Jordan worked firstly in Greece and then in London. He moved to the kingdom last year to launch the hotel's first phase.

New phases, new guests
'The hotel is opening in three distinct phases. Last year, we launched 114 villas plus a royal villa which is available for $14,000 a night. During the upcoming World Economic Forum later this month, we will open phase two which will include 201 additional rooms in the main building. Finally, at the end of the year, we will open the Anantara Spa which will be the largest in the Middle East.'

Since the hotel opened what sort of clientele has the hotel attracted and where are its guests coming from?

'Our market consists of 30 per cent European visitors, 20 per cent from Russia and the remaining 50 per cent from the Middle East, with up to 20 per cent of this segment being Jordanians, some coming back on holiday. I would also say there is an even split between our corporate and leisure visitors. Our MICE activities are also going extremely well and the Dead Sea is an excellent destination for this. Overall we are running at about 60 per cent capacity which for a newly established high-end luxury resort is very good.'

Kempinski Hotels also has an established property in the capital Amman and a third is currently being constructed in the Red Sea resort of Aqaba.

'Our Amman hotel opened a year before the Dead Sea property and it is strategically important for us being located downtown in the capital and right in the central business district. It is much more business oriented of course and has excellent meeting facilities.

'In Aqaba, we are presently developing a 200 room hotel with its own private beach and we are creating a very modern feel to the place, with really clean-lined architecture. This hotel will open during 2008. But there is nothing more immediately in the pipeline with regard to Jordan.'

Syrian projects
But Kempinski is not limiting its expansion plans to the kingdom and it is also currently developing two hotels in Lebanon and has also announced plans for two very contrasting hotels in Damascus.

'Our Syrian hotels will be very different from each other and this is typical of Kempinski's policy where no two properties are the same. One will be a refurbished khan, right in the middle of the old market, and will offer 60 rooms in a character property, while the other will be very modern in design and will appeal more to the business market. These should both open some time in 2009 or 2010.'

Mr O'Rourke is also hoping to subsequently offer guests package deals covering Kempinski's hotels in Syria and Jordan once they are completed.

'It takes only about three hours to drive from Damascus to Amman so it makes sense to look at this. You have Damascus, which is a stunning city to explore, and then nearby you will have Jordan with everything it too has to offer and our three hotels located there.'

Jordan looking good
Jordan's tourism sector has displayed a lot of resilience over the past 18 months having had to cope with several tragic incidents and regional unrest in neighbouring countries but Mr O'Rourke is very upbeat about the kingdom's prospects.

'The Jordanian people haven't wanted any of the problems that have occurred there. They are wonderful people and the country really is very safe. Press coverage of certain incidents has to an extent distorted things and of course this has repercussions for us.

'But the region is undoubtedly starting to pick up and the future is very bright for Jordan. It is a fantastic country and it is little wonder it is becoming more and more prominent with so much investment now taking place. You have great sites like Petra and Wadi Rum, while you can swim in the Red Sea and then just two hours later be floating in the Dead Sea. It is absolutely tremendous what Jordan has to offer.'
© 1996-2007 by AME Info FZ LLC / Emap Communications
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