Le Meridien promotes the arts Le Meridien hotels has announced a new programme to promote culture as part of the guest experience with its ‘Unlock Art' programme. The hotel group has partnered with six of the world's leading art institutions, including the Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts in San Francisco, The museum of Contemporary Arts in Shanghai, the Vienna Succession; the Nouveau Musee National de Monaco; Galleriiizu Contemporary Arts Centre in Kuala Lumpur and About Studio/About Café in Bangkok. Guests' key cards will be designed by artist Michael Lin, and will grant free access to the affiliated art organisations. The goal is for every hotel worldwide to have a partnership with a local progressive institution.
Shangri-La unveils new ‘face'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Memoirs of a Geisha. Ziyi was unveiled in London last week by Martin Waechter, executive director of the group who also opened an exclusive exhibition preview "From Mao to Now" focussing on contemporary Chinese art.
Middle Eastern investment boom set Middle East investors invested more than $3.5b (£1.76) in the international hotel sector last year and are on course to double that to more than $7b (£3.5b) in 2007. The figures, published by property agent Jones Lang LaSalle hotels at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai last weekend, also found the investment from the Middle East into the European hotel market had more than doubled between 2005 and 2006. The deals accounted for nearly 10% of total transaction values last year. JLL managing director of the Middle East and North Africa, Thierry Loue said: "The leading investors outside their home countries but with the MENA region are from the UAE, followed by Qatar and Kuwait." These investments, which are primarily in the hospitality sector and estimated to be in excess of $10b (£5b).
By Emily Manson
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