x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Trek in the Zagros Mountains or relax in London or Kenya.

Mahali Mzuri and its wildlife. Jack Brockway / Virgin Limited Edition
Mahali Mzuri and its wildlife. Jack Brockway / Virgin Limited Edition

New accommodation site proves popular

Kippsy, a new collaborative online platform that launched three months ago, has reported an increase in bookings and enquiries from visitors to London from the Middle East, Russia and China.

The website offers London property owners the chance to rent out their unused spaces to guests who want the “comfort and flexibility” of staying in self-contained, centrally located apartments.

The British Commercial Association says that there has been a 36 per cent increase in sales this year thanks to the contribution of Arab tourism in London, estimated to be worth £1.3 billion (Dh7.68bn) per year.

In a speech at the British Hospitality and Tourism Summit in June, the British member of parliament Maria Miller said: “We’re seeing big shifts in where our international visitors are coming from. While our immediate European neighbours and the USA remain the source of greatest number of visitors, it should perhaps come as no surprise that in 2011 the highest spending tourists were from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, China and Russia.”

Adventure trekking to northern Iraq

The adventure travel specialist Another World Adventures is taking bookings for a new trekking experience into the remote region of the Zagros Mountains in northern Iraq. The Zagros Mountains cover the borders of Iraq, Iran and Turkey, and stand at more than 3,000 metres.

The aim of this expedition is to meet local people, trek in the mountains and climb Mount Halgurd (3,607 metres).

The mountain does not require any technical experience, and the skills required on the mountain will be taught on the lower slopes. This includes use of ice axe and crampons.

The trip takes place from April 12 to 20, 2014 and costs $2,250 (Dh8,264) for the nine days, excluding flights to and from Erbil. The maximum group size is 12. For more information, visit www.anotherworldadventures.com.

Richard Branson opens safari camp in Kenya

Sir Richard Branson opened his sixth Virgin resort this week. The Mahali Mzuri safari camp in Kenya is the British entrepreneur’s latest addition to the Virgin Limited Edition portfolio, and is his third property in Africa.

Mahali Mzuri is situated in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy in the Masai Mara, about 240 kilometres west of Nairobi. Mahali Mzuri consists of 12 sleeper tents and can cater for a maximum of 24 guests at any one time. Rates start from US$590 (Dh2,167) per person, per night, based on double occupancy, inclusive of all meals, drinks, daily game drives, as well and access to the conservancy.

Branson said: “I’m pleased to add my voice to supporters of the tourism industry in Kenya and we see this opening as a symbol of our confidence in its long-term future.”

For more info, visit www.virginlimitededition.com.

rbehan@thenational.ae

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