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The Serena Press Page is designed to keep you up-to-date on the latest news and events at the hotel. For more information, a press kit or to schedule a media visit, please contact our Public Relations Offices.
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Jul 2022

Expansion of Serena Hotels in Peshawar to promote tourism in Pakistan

Tourism Promotion Services (Pak) Limited has entered into a Business Sale Agreement with Pakistan Services Limited to acquire Pearl-Continental Hotel Peshawar, with the intent to promote the untapped potential for tourism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It will be Serena Hotels’ second property in KP province after the Swat Serena Hotel, increasing the total number of Serena Hotels in Pakistan to 9.

 

The addition of Serena Hotel in Peshawar, the oldest city of Pakistan with a rich cultural heritage, will not only help in extending the tourist circuit in KP province but will also allow regional connectivity for tourists and business travelers through its portfolio of hotels in Islamabad, Peshawar, Kabul and Dushanbe. The Serena Hotels has plans to further expand its portfolio to other Central Asian countries in the future.

 

 

 

Tourism Promotion Services (Pak) Limited has entered into a Business Sale Agreement with Pakistan Services Limited to acquire Pearl-Continental Hotel Peshawar, with the intent to promote the untapped potential for tourism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It will be Serena Hotels’ second property in KP province after the Swat Serena Hotel, increasing the total number of Serena Hotels in Pakistan to 9.

 

The addition of Serena Hotel in Peshawar, the oldest city of Pakistan with a rich cultural heritage, will not only help in extending the tourist circuit in KP province but will also allow regional connectivity for tourists and business travelers through its portfolio of hotels in Islamabad, Peshawar, Kabul and Dushanbe. The Serena Hotels has plans to further expand its portfolio to other Central Asian countries in the future.

 

Serena Hotels in Pakistan is playing a pivotal role in promoting tourism in underdeveloped areas of Pakistan with four properties in Gilgit-Baltistan including three Heritage properties. Two new Serena Hotels are under construction in Hunza and Sost in Gilgit-Baltistan. The properties will showcase the scenic areas, rich cultural heritage, local cuisine, and traditional hospitality of the region, while providing economic opportunities for the local community through skill development, employment, and enhancement of the value chain. As destination hotels, they will not only allow tourists to relax and enjoy the stunning views, but will also provide venues for corporate retreats, family reunions, weddings, and conferences.

 

The Company plans to invest in Peshawar Hotel for upgrading the guest rooms, restaurants, banquet hall, meeting rooms, health club, public areas, and service delivery in line with Serena Hotel’s standards.

 

Jul 2022

Serena Hotels hosts the 3rd Quetta Literary Festival

Serena Hotels under its Cultural Diplomacy initiative partnered with BUITEMS in achieving yet another milestone, the 3rd Quetta Literary Festival has proved to be the real hope in restoration of art and literature. The 3rd QLF was inaugurated by the GoC 41 Division Maj. General Salman Moin (HI Military) in the presence of Ex-Governor Balochistan Justice ® Amanullah Yasinzai. The collaborated efforts of Quetta Serena Hotel & BUITEMS continue to support traditional identities, literature, local languages, art, music, reading, and other activities by bringing in prominent thinkers, poets, political and economic experts, and emerging book authors.

 

This year's theme – Culture Yesterday & Today – featured renowned intellectuals in the different fields of art, writing, politics, environmental conservation, and academia.

Serena Hotels under its Cultural Diplomacy initiative partnered with BUITEMS in achieving yet another milestone, the 3rd Quetta Literary Festival has proved to be the real hope in restoration of art and literature. The 3rd QLF was inaugurated by the GoC 41 Division Maj. General Salman Moin (HI Military) in the presence of Ex-Governor Balochistan Justice ® Amanullah Yasinzai. The collaborated efforts of Quetta Serena Hotel & BUITEMS continue to support traditional identities, literature, local languages, art, music, reading, and other activities by bringing in prominent thinkers, poets, political and economic experts, and emerging book authors.

 

This year's theme – Culture Yesterday & Today – featured renowned intellectuals in the different fields of art, writing, politics, environmental conservation, and academia.

 

More than 45 different discussions were held during the two-day festival sponsored by Serena Hotels and some other International Agencies including European Union, and UNDP in this initiative of Balochistan University of Information Technology & Management Sciences (BUITEMS) and nine book launches on different topics including poetry in Urdu, Pashto, Balochi, Brahvi and Hazaragi languages were held at the festival.

 

The discussions covered the challenges faced in Balochistan such as the water crisis, issues of massive urbanization, Balochistan's history of colonialism, stories of courage and inventions based on real life and many more. Dialogues included Urdu, Brahvi, and Pashto literature, a standardised national curriculum, the role of educational institutions in encouraging local languages, and cultural tourism in the province.

 

More than 200 Authors, Moderators & Speakers participated in the various activities happening across the University in these two days. To name a few participants with international fame were Dr. Syeda Arifa Zehra, Amjad Islam Amjad, Anwar Maqsood, Ex-senator Javed Jabbar, Dr Kaiser Bengali, Dr Jaffar Rizvi, Dr Asim Sajjad, Dr Quratulain Bakhtiari, and many more who gave their valuable input during the discussions.

 

The BUITEMS Vice Chancellor Mr. Farooq Bazai was the chief guest at the closing ceremony of the event who presented a memento of appreciation to General Manager Quetta Serena Mr. Rashid Uddin for an everlasting partnership in the cause of QLF.

 

Serena Hotels’ Cultural Diplomacy initiatives staunchly support events like Quetta Literary Festival that promote education, dialogue, culture and highlight the soft image and importance of Balochistan in the world.

Jul 2022

Serena Hotels organises a Mango Festival

Serena Hotels organised a Mango Festival in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Office as a part of Pakistan’s 75-year anniversary celebrations

 

This was part of the series of activities and events being organized throughout the year to commemorate 75 years of Pakistan’s Independence – Pakistan’s Diamond jubilee.

 

Under the theme of #75thPayKuchKhaas, the event focused on projecting Pakistan’s culinary and agrarian richness linked to the production of more than 200 varieties of mangoes – the “king of fruits” that are exported all over the world.

 

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari graced the event as the Guest of Honour.

 

 

Serena Hotels organised a Mango Festival in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Office as a part of Pakistan’s 75-year anniversary celebrations

 

This was part of the series of activities and events being organized throughout the year to commemorate 75 years of Pakistan’s Independence – Pakistan’s Diamond jubilee.

 

Under the theme of #75thPayKuchKhaas, the event focused on projecting Pakistan’s culinary and agrarian richness linked to the production of more than 200 varieties of mangoes – the “king of fruits” that are exported all over the world.

 

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari graced the event as the Guest of Honour.

 

In his remarks, the Foreign Minister highlighted the significance of the festival as part of the events celebrating the 75th anniversary of Pakistan’s Independence.

 

The festival was held under Serena Hotels' #CulturalDiplomacy initiative which aims to highlight the vast variety and richness of Pakistani culture – including mangoes.

 

The event was attended by members of the Diplomatic Corps, Business Executives, Bureau Chiefs of Local and Foreign Publications. Embassies of China and UAE also set up stalls offering mango-based dishes from their own cuisine.

 

The guests were served different varieties of freshly cut mangoes, salads, milkshakes, lassi, chutneys, pickles, desserts, ice cream, and other savoury items that incorporated mangoes.

 

Guests appreciated the different mango varieties on display as well as the mango-based cuisine offered. This event showcased the potential of Pakistani mangoes as a popular fruit not only in Pakistan but in the international market as well.

 

Jun 2022

Serena Hotels Celebrates 50 Years of Behbud Association

Serena Hotels hosted a two-day Crafts Bazaar to acknowledge the trailblazing women of society and to provide support and representation to women social enterprise. The event was organized in the Kehkashan Hall to celebrate 50 years of Behbud Association Craftsman under the initiative of Cultural Diplomacy. Hand-crafted traditional apparel, table linens, reusable tote bags, fabric face masks and shawls and embroidered dupattas were displayed.

 

Wife of the Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan Mrs. Zlatomira Yurdakul was the Chief Guest at the occasion. She appreciated the efforts towards women empowerment and the preservation of traditional handicrafts in Pakistan.

 

The event was attended by prominent women of the society including journalists and members of the Diplomatic corps and their spouses.

Serena Hotels hosted a two-day Crafts Bazaar to acknowledge the trailblazing women of society and to provide support and representation to women social enterprise. The event was organized in the Kehkashan Hall to celebrate 50 years of Behbud Association Craftsman under the initiative of Cultural Diplomacy. Hand-crafted traditional apparel, table linens, reusable tote bags, fabric face masks and shawls and embroidered dupattas were displayed.

 

Wife of the Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan Mrs. Zlatomira Yurdakul was the Chief Guest at the occasion. She appreciated the efforts towards women empowerment and the preservation of traditional handicrafts in Pakistan.

 

The event was attended by prominent women of the society including journalists and members of the Diplomatic corps and their spouses.

Jun 2022

Expedition Indus Closing Ceremony

Expedition Indus, Pakistan’s first ever river-rafting voyage along the entire course of the Indus River in Pakistan, has culminated in the Arabian Sea.

 

As a part of Serena Hotels’ Adventure Diplomacy initiative – the memorable journey along the entire length of the Indus River comes to an end. Expedition Indus was a 45-day river-rafting journey that commenced from Hamzigond in the Kharmang district of Gilgit-Baltistan and ended at the Karachi Port.

 

Rafting over a distance of 2,300 kilometres in Pakistan out of the 3,180 kilometres of the entire Indus, the team led by Wajahat Malik consisted of ABM Faisal, Farman Ahmed, Sanif Jamal, Atif Amin, Sultan Karim, Afia Salam and Lt Commander Babar Nisar Khan. The team studied the ecological, environmental and socioeconomic impact of urban life on the water body that sustains all the life in Pakistan.

 

 

Expedition Indus, Pakistan’s first ever river-rafting voyage along the entire course of the Indus River in Pakistan, has culminated in the Arabian Sea.

 

As a part of Serena Hotels’ Adventure Diplomacy initiative – the memorable journey along the entire length of the Indus River comes to an end. Expedition Indus was a 45-day river-rafting journey that commenced from Hamzigond in the Kharmang district of Gilgit-Baltistan and ended at the Karachi Port.

 

Rafting over a distance of 2,300 kilometres in Pakistan out of the 3,180 kilometres of the entire Indus, the team led by Wajahat Malik consisted of ABM Faisal, Farman Ahmed, Sanif Jamal, Atif Amin, Sultan Karim, Afia Salam and Lt Commander Babar Nisar Khan. The team studied the ecological, environmental and socioeconomic impact of urban life on the water body that sustains all the life in Pakistan.

 

Wajahat Malik, an adventure travel filmmaker and leader of the expedition, documented the harsh realities about the river’s health, life around it and the climate-induced damages to the environment.

 

Serena Hotels Pakistan is committed to protecting the environment, through its numerous efforts towards conserving water, recycling and achieving energy efficiency including ISO certification. We believe in addressing climate change and highlighting the need for better practices to save the planet. This Expedition is yet another declaration of commitment to raising awareness for those hardest hit by climate change and global warming.

 

"We at Serena Hotels have always been a strong proponent for adventure sport, testing physical strength and passion," remarked Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels. “Supporting brave adventurers like Samina Baig, Sirbaz Khan, and now Wajahat Malik inspires and strengthens our Adventure Diplomacy Initiative and raises focus on the environmental crises the world is dealing with.”

May 2022

Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association and Serena Hotels hosted a Fashion Show – Connecting Through Colours

The Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association (PFOWA) and Serena Hotels jointly hosted a Fashion Show - Connecting Through Colours at the Islamabad Serena Hotel in collaboration with Pakistan Television and Half Apple Events.

 

The event was a multicultural get together with people from all backgrounds witnessing a spectacular fashion show. Attended by diplomats and their spouses, government dignitaries, corporate executives etc, the fashion show served to appreciate the different cultures, colours, and customs of the different regions and nations.

The Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association (PFOWA) and Serena Hotels jointly hosted a Fashion Show - Connecting Through Colours at the Islamabad Serena Hotel in collaboration with Pakistan Television and Half Apple Events.

 

The event was a multicultural get together with people from all backgrounds witnessing a spectacular fashion show. Attended by diplomats and their spouses, government dignitaries, corporate executives etc, the fashion show served to appreciate the different cultures, colours, and customs of the different regions and nations.

 

The event started off with a welcome note and brief introduction of the Cultural Diplomacy initiative of Serena Hotels by Mr. Aziz Boolani CEO, of Serena Hotels South & Central Asia. He mentioned that Serena Hotels is an extension of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Serena Hotels also project the image of the country through its hospitality, culture, interiors and impeccable services and brings all segments of the society on a single platform through various Diplomacy Initiatives but not limited to Cultural Diplomacy, Sports Diplomacy, Adventure Diplomacy, and Public Diplomacy initiatives.

 

He praised PFOWA for their unwavering support and active participation in a number of community initiatives including health, education, and skill development. He assured the management of PFOWA, Serena Hotel’s continuous support in their CSR activities as it goes well with Serena Hotel's mission also to serve the community.

 

The Foreign Secretary, Mr. Sohail Mahmood appreciated the collaboration efforts of PFOWA & Serena Hotels over the years. PFOWA, being a non-political social and charitable organisation, works to promote a better understanding of the social, cultural, and economical life of Pakistan. It regularly organises programs including exhibitions, cultural shows, art & craft bazaar and other social events.

 

The members and heads of various Diplomatic Missions participated in the catwalk while displaying their own cultural dresses. These Diplomats also walked on the ramp portraying Pakistani’s regional outfits. A colourful wedding ramp walk depicting different Wedding outfits worn on Mehndi, Baraat and Walima occasions in Pakistan were the key highlights of the show.

 

 

Apr 2022

Jashn e Qawwali to celebrate 20 years of Islamabad Serena Hotel

As the final event of its 20th anniversary celebrations, Islamabad Serena Hotel hosted a Jashn-i-Qawwali with the legendary Qawwal Imran Aziz Mian. The beautifully organised musical event began with Sufi melodies and ended with a lavish sehri.

 

 

Imran Aziz Mian said: “The word Qawwali derives from the Arabic word qaul which means to speak, to deliver, to give a message. Before it was called Qawwali, the name for such a gathering was a Mehfil-i-Samaa. Samaa, which is listening as a spiritual practice, has a much longer history, while this version of the Samaa, that is Qawwali, originates with Hazrat Amir Khusrau. I thank you all and the Serena Hotel which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. I’ll begin tonight’s recitation with Qawl.”

 

 

Speaking of his late father, the extraordinary Qawwal Aziz Mian, he said: “The title of Shehanshah-i-Qawwali was given to him by the Shah of Iran.”

 

Imran Aziz Mian performed many of the traditional favourites including Man Kunto Maula, Nabi Nabi Ya Nabi Nabi, Tajdar-i-Haram, Bhar Do Jholi Meri Ya Muhammad, and Jhoolay Jhoolay Laal Dam Mast Qalandar.

 

 

He also recited some of his father’s work, such as Mein Sharabi, Haye Kambakht Tu Ne Pi Hi Nahin and Teri Soorat. He also demonstrated his command over Persian by performing the Farsi Qasida Dam Hama Dam Ali Ali...

As the final event of its 20th anniversary celebrations, Islamabad Serena Hotel hosted a Jashn-i-Qawwali with the legendary Qawwal Imran Aziz Mian. The beautifully organised musical event began with Sufi melodies and ended with a lavish sehri.

 

 

Imran Aziz Mian said: “The word Qawwali derives from the Arabic word qaul which means to speak, to deliver, to give a message. Before it was called Qawwali, the name for such a gathering was a Mehfil-i-Samaa. Samaa, which is listening as a spiritual practice, has a much longer history, while this version of the Samaa, that is Qawwali, originates with Hazrat Amir Khusrau. I thank you all and the Serena Hotel which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. I’ll begin tonight’s recitation with Qawl.”

 

 

Speaking of his late father, the extraordinary Qawwal Aziz Mian, he said: “The title of Shehanshah-i-Qawwali was given to him by the Shah of Iran.”

 

Imran Aziz Mian performed many of the traditional favourites including Man Kunto Maula, Nabi Nabi Ya Nabi Nabi, Tajdar-i-Haram, Bhar Do Jholi Meri Ya Muhammad, and Jhoolay Jhoolay Laal Dam Mast Qalandar.

 

 

He also recited some of his father’s work, such as Mein Sharabi, Haye Kambakht Tu Ne Pi Hi Nahin and Teri Soorat. He also demonstrated his command over Persian by performing the Farsi Qasida Dam Hama Dam Ali Ali.

 

 

Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels, said: “We must promote our culture otherwise our young generation will never become familiar with our immensely rich heritage. Moreover, without encouragement, through platforms and by audience, this talent will not flourish.”

 

He said: “Like the performers and artists, the audience also matters.”

 

 

The event was attended by members of the diplomatic community, the corporate and development sectors, and people from various walks of life.

 

 

Imran Aziz Mian’s powerful voice enthralled the audience with the intensely moving devotional music, much in the style of his late father. Interestingly, the Qawwali party included two stringed instruments in addition to the more typical harmonium, lending a modern note to the age old refrains, of “Nigah-e-shauk ki hai inteha Madine mein, Gham-e-hayat na khauf-e-kazaa Madine mein, Namaz-e-ishq karenge ada Madine mein.”

 

 

The grandeur of the Sheesh Mahal, delicate foliage and suspended candle-like lights on the stage, traditional floor cushions and sheets for seating, combined to create an ambiance well-suited to both the Holy month of Ramazan and the devotional music of Qawwali.

 

 

Following the performance, an elaborate buffet of traditional and continental food was served with live stations for eggs, assorted breads and beverages, parathas, aaloo bhujia, chicken handi and halwa puri with other continental dishes.

 

 

 

Apr 2022

Annual Corporate Iftar Dinner 2022

The CEO of Serena Hotels Mr. Aziz Boolani and his spouse, Wiqar Boolani hosted the Annual Corporate Iftar Dinner last evening.

 

Held at the grand Sheesh Mahal banquet hall at the Islamabad Serena Hotel, the intricate setup was reminiscent of magnificence and luxury. The traditional architecture of the Hotel was glimmering with lights, bringing a new life to the regal interior.

 

The dinner was attended by government officials, ambassadors, bureaucrats, members of the armed forces, heads of international agencies, and corporate executives.

 

A variety of different cuisines was served, including but not limited to Pakistani, Middle Eastern, East Asian and Continental. An opulent canopy embedded with flowers covered the Aangan area of the Hotel, featuring live stations serving shawarma, sushi and live barbecue, right off the grill...

 

The CEO of Serena Hotels Mr. Aziz Boolani and his spouse, Wiqar Boolani hosted the Annual Corporate Iftar Dinner last evening.

 

Held at the grand Sheesh Mahal banquet hall at the Islamabad Serena Hotel, the intricate setup was reminiscent of magnificence and luxury. The traditional architecture of the Hotel was glimmering with lights, bringing a new life to the regal interior.

 

The dinner was attended by government officials, ambassadors, bureaucrats, members of the armed forces, heads of international agencies, and corporate executives.

 

A variety of different cuisines was served, including but not limited to Pakistani, Middle Eastern, East Asian and Continental. An opulent canopy embedded with flowers covered the Aangan area of the Hotel, featuring live stations serving shawarma, sushi and live barbecue, right off the grill.

 

The centre of the ballroom was dedicated to dessert, with a grand display of choices ranging from profiteroles, to tarts, to Pakistani mithai and more. For a healthy diet, there was a display of fresh salads and nutritious options as well.

 

The visitors enjoyed the iftar dinner in a tranquil setting with live folk music, while the evening highlighted memories of Serena's history of impeccable service and excellent standards.

 

Mar 2022

A decade of Satrang Art Gallery

Located in the heart of the Islamabad Serena Hotel, every month for the last ten years, the gallery has showcased the talent of numerous artists.

 

 

We at Satrang have worked with over 500 artists from all across the country – each representing a different part of the world around us, both seen and the unseen.

 

Satrang, while being home to the free-spirited artist, it has also addressed serious current events, through artistic means...

Located in the heart of the Islamabad Serena Hotel, every month for the last ten years, the gallery has showcased the talent of numerous artists.

 

 

We at Satrang have worked with over 500 artists from all across the country – each representing a different part of the world around us, both seen and the unseen.

 

Satrang, while being home to the free-spirited artist, it has also addressed serious current events, through artistic means. The gallery prides itself on displaying different genres of art including film, new media, performance, sculpture, photography, and paintings, and this current exhibition is an exception.

 

 

Ten years ago, with the unwavering support of Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels, and a strong vision of a gallery dedicated to emerging artists which celebrated their artistic prowess and individuality. He said it has been providing a platform to showcase their talent and support them in achieving greater visibility.

 

 

"A decade is a long and abundant time, Satrang has grown over the last 10 years, and so have each of us." The curator, Asma Rashid Khan remarked.

 

 

Satrang is now a leading gallery in Pakistan and we have been privileged to have worked with young graduates and connoisseurs of art as we have built strong bridges between artists and visitors.

 

 

Mar 2022

Serena Hotels – RGC Invitational Golf Tournament

Serena Hotels and Rawalpindi Golf Club (RGC) hosted the Annual Invitational Golf Tournament at Rawalpindi Golf Club on Saturday, under its Sports Diplomacy initiative, as a part of Islamabad Serena Hotels’ 20 year anniversary. The 18-hole tournament culminated with an awards ceremony in the afternoon.

 

More than 70 golf aficionados from the military high command, diplomatic corps, foreign dignitaries, corporate and business sectors, as well as women golfers, attended the tournament. Former Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan and Former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila graced the event with their presence.

 

Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels South & Central Asia, appreciated the golfers for taking part in the tournament. This match was arranged as a part of Islamabad Serena Hotels'  20th anniversary festivities, he said. He also expressed gratitude to the RGC and the attendees for their active engagement and excellent turnout...

 

 

 

Serena Hotels and Rawalpindi Golf Club (RGC) hosted the Annual Invitational Golf Tournament at Rawalpindi Golf Club on Saturday, under its Sports Diplomacy initiative, as a part of Islamabad Serena Hotels’ 20 year anniversary. The 18-hole tournament culminated with an awards ceremony in the afternoon.

 

More than 70 golf aficionados from the military high command, diplomatic corps, foreign dignitaries, corporate and business sectors, as well as women golfers, attended the tournament. Former Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan and Former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila graced the event with their presence.

 

Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels South & Central Asia, appreciated the golfers for taking part in the tournament. This match was arranged as a part of Islamabad Serena Hotels'  20th anniversary festivities, he said. He also expressed gratitude to the RGC and the attendees for their active engagement and excellent turnout.

 

He spoke about how the Serena Hotels' Sports Diplomacy Initiative had become an important part of the company's efforts to strengthen ties with communities by giving them a platform to interact with one another; while also improving teamwork, communication skills, and leadership, while fostering a healthy, active lifestyle.

 

The dignitaries and participants expressed their pleasure at the chance of competing in the pleasant environs of the Rawalpindi Golf Club on a bright sunny day.

 

Under its Sports and Adventure Diplomacy banners, Serena Hotels frequently organises and sponsors numerous athletic activities such as squash, tennis, hiking, polo, skiing, and many others to  provide a supportive environment for our nation’s talented sports enthusiasts to flourish and excel…

 

 

 

Mar 2022

Serena Hotels & AKRSP Tree Plantation at Jutal

As a socially responsible corporate organization, Serena Hotels is always taking initiatives in the areas of environmental and community development. Serena Hotels in collaboration with AKRSP, organized a tree plantation drive on March 31, 2022. The combined effort helped plant 15,000 trees in the district of Gilgit, Jutal. Both organizations have remained sensitive towards improving and preserving the environment in which they operate.

As a socially responsible corporate organization, Serena Hotels is always taking initiatives in the areas of environmental and community development. Serena Hotels in collaboration with AKRSP, organized a tree plantation drive on March 31, 2022. The combined effort helped plant 15,000 trees in the district of Gilgit, Jutal. Both organizations have remained sensitive towards improving and preserving the environment in which they operate.

 

In line with the Prime Minister’s Imran Khan’s “10 Billion Tree Plantation Tsunami Project” to make Pakistan greener, trees planted include Poplar, Willow, and Russian olive.

 

Responsible management of natural resources in Serena Hotels’ operations has been a part of our business ideology since our inception. As our company expands, developments and operations have been,  and continue to be guided by a dynamic ecological policy focusing on actions and projects related to climate change, water and energy conservation, air emissions, reducing and recycling waste to the maximum extent possible, conserve biodiversity, restore natural habitats and respect of local tradition, culture, and heritage

 

Chief Guest Sumair Ahmad, Secretary Forest and Wildlife of Government of Gilgit Baltistan graced the event with his presence along with other senior officials of Serena Hotels & AKRSP. Mr Sumair Ahmad said, “Deforestation & its impact on the climate is a real challenge for our nation. Together we all can make a positive impact.” 

 

Further to this, Serena Hotels will work on the restoration and plantation of a total of 600,000 trees in the northern areas and other parts of Pakistan in collaboration with WWF & AKRSP. Out of which 200,000 trees will be planted with AKRSP,  400,000 trees will be adopted through forest stewardship in collaboration with WWF and 200,000 trees will be on the Greenfield plantation with WWF.

 

Mar 2022

Serena celebrates 20 years with a Spring & Nowruz Festival

Serena Hotels celebrated a Nowruz and Spring Festival while marking the 20th Anniversary of Islamabad Serena Hotel. The program included cultural performances from across Pakistan, live music, displays of traditional artefacts, and a number of entertainment activities.

 

The Nowruz celebrating countries particularly Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan participated in the celebrations by displaying their cultural heritage and offered their traditional cuisine.

 

The festival was attended by the members of diplomatic corps, government, armed forces, international agencies, corporate sector, media, and a large number of guests from all walks of life...

Serena Hotels celebrated a Nowruz and Spring Festival while marking the 20th Anniversary of Islamabad Serena Hotel. The program included cultural performances from across Pakistan, live music, displays of traditional artefacts, and a number of entertainment activities.

 

The Nowruz celebrating countries particularly Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan participated in the celebrations by displaying their cultural heritage and offered their traditional cuisine.

 

The festival was attended by the members of diplomatic corps, government, armed forces, international agencies, corporate sector, media, and a large number of guests from all walks of life.

 

The Hotel's lush green lawns were exquisitely decorated with colourful fabrics and reed huts. A variety of lavish Pakistani, Continental, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines were served, where speciality Chefs showcased their skills while serving the guests. The mouth-watering desserts attracted the guests to experience Serena’s delicacies along with a variety of beverages.

 

An amusement corner was dedicated for kids with exciting activities including camel & horse riding, jumping castles, trampolines, puppet shows and street magic. Cotton candy, ice-cream, and juice stations were an additional treat for the children, making the festival a truly memorable family day under the blue skies.

 

Michel Galopin, the General Manager Islamabad Serena Hotel on the occasion said: “It has been a great pleasure to welcome you for the 20th anniversary of Islamabad Serena Hotel, and the celebration of Nowruz. I would like to thank all the guests for making this festival a huge success.”

 

Aziz Boolani, the CEO of Serena Hotels, said: “The two-decade journey would not have been possible without the support of our hardworking and dedicated associates. He offered a big thank you to the valued guests, government functionaries, local administration, law enforcement agencies and media for their support over these past 20 years.”

 

 

 

Mar 2022

Send-off Reception for Expedition Indus Journey

Serena Hotels' newest Adventure Diplomacy Initiative, Expedition Indus, will be the first-ever exploratory river rafting expedition covering the entire length of the Indus River, starting from North, leading all the way till the Arabian Sea.

 

Wajahat Malik is an adventure travel filmmaker who has initiated this expedition as Pakistan’s first ever full-length rafting expedition of the Indus River. At the send-off reception hosted by Serena Hotels, he announced his departure for the North of Pakistan in the upcoming week.

 

Wajahat Malik’s mission is being sponsored by Serena Hotels, under our Adventure Diplomacy Initiative which aims at fostering adventure sports in the country and providing a supportive environment for the nation’s talented sportspeople to flourish.

 

Serena is excited to be a part of this journey since the Expedition Indus will be a landmark expedition not only in terms of natural conservation, but it will also identifying sustainable tourism sites along the path of the river...

Serena Hotels' newest Adventure Diplomacy Initiative, Expedition Indus, will be the first-ever exploratory river rafting expedition covering the entire length of the Indus River, starting from North, leading all the way till the Arabian Sea.

 

Wajahat Malik is an adventure travel filmmaker who has initiated this expedition as Pakistan’s first ever full-length rafting expedition of the Indus River. At the send-off reception hosted by Serena Hotels, he announced his departure for the North of Pakistan in the upcoming week.

 

Wajahat Malik’s mission is being sponsored by Serena Hotels, under our Adventure Diplomacy Initiative which aims at fostering adventure sports in the country and providing a supportive environment for the nation’s talented sportspeople to flourish.

 

Serena is excited to be a part of this journey since the Expedition Indus will be a landmark expedition not only in terms of natural conservation, but it will also identifying sustainable tourism sites along the path of the river.

 

Mr. Aziz Boolani, the CEO of Serena Hotels, said: “We at Serena have always been a passionate advocate for adventure sport, testing human endurance and commitment. Supporting brave adventurists like Samina Baig, Sirbaz Khan and now Wajahat Malik, we are encouraged to further strengthen our Adventure Diplomacy Initiative.”

 

The Federal Minister and Adviser to Prime Minister of Pakistan for Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam Khan was the Chief Guest at the occasion.

 

Malik Amin Aslam announced that this year the Government of Pakistan will be initiating a "Living Rivers" programme to study the history and also mapping the health of the river, the life around it, whie also documenting the Indus.

 

The Indus is fed by mighty glaciers on the slopes of the Karakoram range, the Nanga Parbat massif, and the Kohistan highlands. Passing through rough terrain around the Northern and Western sides of the Nanga Parbat in gorges that reach depths of 17,000 ft; the river contours around the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province then enters the plains of Punjab and finally culminates in the Arabian Sea.

Mar 2022

1st National Blind Cricket Women's Championship

Sindh downed Punjab by six wickets in the inaugural 1st National Championship of Blind Women Cricket here at the Bhutto Cricket Ground G-7 on Sunday.

 

Sindh won the toss and decided to bowl first in the morning. Punjab Blind Women Cricket Team set the competitive total of 171 runs in the allotted 15 overs for the loss of two wickets. Tayyaba Fatima played a splendid innings of 84 runs. Nisha was their second-highest run-getter with 36 runs. Laila BiBi took 1 wicket for Sindh.

 

Sindh in reply chased down the target of 172 runs in 14.5 overs for the loss of four wickets. Kiran Rafiq was the pick of the batters as she played a superb innings of unbeaten 78 runs while Nimra Rafiq made 24 runs. Nisha Bax and Faryal claimed a wicket apiece. Kiran was also declared player of the match...

Sindh downed Punjab by six wickets in the inaugural 1st National Championship of Blind Women Cricket here at the Bhutto Cricket Ground G-7 on Sunday.

 

Sindh won the toss and decided to bowl first in the morning. Punjab Blind Women Cricket Team set the competitive total of 171 runs in the allotted 15 overs for the loss of two wickets. Tayyaba Fatima played a splendid innings of 84 runs. Nisha was their second-highest run-getter with 36 runs. Laila BiBi took 1 wicket for Sindh.

 

Sindh in reply chased down the target of 172 runs in 14.5 overs for the loss of four wickets. Kiran Rafiq was the pick of the batters as she played a superb innings of unbeaten 78 runs while Nimra Rafiq made 24 runs. Nisha Bax and Faryal claimed a wicket apiece. Kiran was also declared player of the match.

 

Player of the tournaments included B1: Anila Shahzadi (KPK Blind Women Cricket Team); B2: Nimra Rafiq (Sindh Blind Women Cricket Team); B3: Mehwish Rafiq (Sindh Blind Women Cricket Team). Kiran Rafiq (Islamabad Blind Women Cricket Team) was declared Best Wicket Keeper.

 

Four provincial teams Sindh, Punjab, Islamabad, and KPK participated in this event which was funded by the Australian High Commission (AHC) in Pakistan in collaboration with the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) from March 8 to 13.

 

The training builds on Australia’s support to PBCC in the formation of Pakistan’s first blind women cricket team in 2018, which played its first international Twenty20 game in 2020.

 

Speaking at the award-giving ceremony at the conclusion of the training, Australian High Commission’s (AHC) Chargé d’Affaires, Bryce Hutchesson shared that Australia’s support aims to provide more women and girls with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy sport, compete and demonstrate their ability.

 

“Sport can help reduce gender stereotypes and negative perceptions associated with people with disabilities. Australia and Pakistan share a passion for cricket, so we are happy to support the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council’s efforts to bring women and girls living with disabilities into the sport,” he said.

 

Coaches Masood Jan and Abdul Razzak, who coached the national blind men’s team, helped these players push their boundaries.

 

Meanwhile, Director Marketing PBCC, Bilal Satti said, “Cricket for the blind is a highly competitive game which enables people with visual impairment to become people of vision a vision of an accessible future full of exciting opportunities for all.”

Mar 2022

Networking Luncheon with Media Officials

A networking lunch with the senior journalists and bureau chiefs of the top news agencies was hosted in Islamabad, in connection with the 20 years celebrations of Islamabad Serena Hotel.

 

The senior manager of Marketing at Tourism Services Promotion (TPS) Hussain Odhwani in his opening remarks welcomed the guests. He said the event was only a small token of appreciation for the efforts of the media fraternity, which had helped in promoting tourism & hospitality in Pakistan.

 

Hussain also discussed the various initiatives that Serena Hotels has undertaken in the past 20 years in order to promote the culture, tradition, talent and the heritage of Pakistan...

A networking lunch with the senior journalists and bureau chiefs of the top news agencies was hosted in Islamabad, in connection with the 20 years celebrations of Islamabad Serena Hotel.

 

The senior manager of Marketing at Tourism Services Promotion (TPS) Hussain Odhwani in his opening remarks welcomed the guests. He said the event was only a small token of appreciation for the efforts of the media fraternity, which had helped in promoting tourism & hospitality in Pakistan.

 

Hussain also discussed the various initiatives that Serena Hotels has undertaken in the past 20 years in order to promote the culture, tradition, talent and the heritage of Pakistan.

 

These ventures include Adventure Diplomacy to promote different expeditions in Pakistan and abroad, such as mountaineering and skiing. A Public Diplomacy initiative to promote dialogue on critical issues, Cultural Diplomacy to revive and reconnect with the art of poetry, music, and literature, and lastly, a Sports Diplomacy initiative to discover the athletic potential in Pakistan.

 

He announced the company’s support for an upcoming river rafting expedition along the course of the Indus, by Wajahat Malik and his team. Falling under the Hotel’s Adventure Diplomacy banner, this would be first of its kind in the history of Pakistan.

 

He highlighted the Hotel's endeavours towards the economic development of underrepresented communities, especially in Gilgit-Baltistan, through development and support initiatives.

Mar 2022

Serena sponsors the 6th AHC-PCB Girls' Cricket Cup

The Australian High Commission (AHC) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) with the support of Serena Hotels yesterday hosted the 6th AHC-PCB Girls’ Cricket Cup at F-9 Cricket Ground, Islamabad.


Australia’s Chargé d’Affaires, Bryce Hutchesson congratulated the girls and the schools on their participation and welcomed the continued support of the PCB and Serena Hotels for the annual AHC-PCB Girls’ Cricket Cup. “The Australian High Commission has been sponsoring girls’ cricket in Pakistan since 2016 to promote gender equality through sport. We began with a single annual tournament in Islamabad but have since expanded to Lahore and Karachi,” Hutchesson said...

The Australian High Commission (AHC) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) with the support of Serena Hotels yesterday hosted the 6th AHC-PCB Girls’ Cricket Cup at F-9 Cricket Ground, Islamabad.


Australia’s Chargé d’Affaires, Bryce Hutchesson congratulated the girls and the schools on their participation and welcomed the continued support of the PCB and Serena Hotels for the annual AHC-PCB Girls’ Cricket Cup. “The Australian High Commission has been sponsoring girls’ cricket in Pakistan since 2016 to promote gender equality through sport. We began with a single annual tournament in Islamabad but have since expanded to Lahore and Karachi,” Hutchesson said.


“Our countries share a passion for cricket, so we’re very pleased to support this event. Cricket and other sports can help tear down barriers and stereotypes. Every time these girls make some runs, take a wicket or hold a catch, they are taking a step towards greater equality,” he said.


The girls attended a five-day coaching clinic in the lead-up to the competition conducted by PCB first class cricket coaches. Hutchesson added the High Commission was particularly happy to support the initiative during the Australian Cricket Team’s historic tour to Pakistan. “It’s an exciting time for cricket fans in both Australia and Pakistan. Cricket is one of the many bonds that bring our countries together,” he said.


The Head of Women Cricket at PCB, Tania Mallick said, “On the auspicious occasion of the International Women’s Day yesterday, with the Australian Cricket men’s team playing in Pakistan after decades – it is a privilege to collaborate with the AHC to organise this cricket event for underprivileged girls.”


“The Australian High Commission with the support of PCB have always played a vital role in promoting women cricket and investing in the empowerment of women in Pakistan. Such events can play an important role in promotion of women cricket. We look forward to further strengthening our relationship,” she added.


Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels, said, “Cricket is a passion in Pakistan. Under Serena Hotels Sports Diplomacy initiatives, we support, facilitate, and sponsor numerous sporting events and our commitments to sports diplomacy and women’s empowerment have found expression in the AHC-PCB Girls’ Cricket Cup.”


The AHC-PCB Girls’ Cup Islamabad involved teams from four schools including Mashal Model School Bari Imam, SOS Children’s Village H-11, Islamabad Model School for Girls – F-6/1 and Islamabad Model School for Girls I-9/1 Islamabad. This year’s competition was also supported by Malik Sports through the donation of cricket equipment.

Mar 2022

Serena Hotels celebrates, honours and applauds talented women on International Women's Day

Serena Hotels hosted a Networking Breakfast on Tuesday to celebrate International Women’s Day and honour, recognise and applaud the talented women. This year the Women’s Day celebration was also part of the Islamabad Serena Hotel’s 20 year anniversary celebrations.

 

Women from all walks of life including the guests, associates, entrepreneurs, and representatives of the civil society along with a large number of diplomats and their spouses joined the celebrations. Samina Alvi, the First Lady, was the chief guest...

 

Serena Hotels hosted a Networking Breakfast on Tuesday to celebrate International Women’s Day and honour, recognise and applaud the talented women. This year the Women’s Day celebration was also part of the Islamabad Serena Hotel’s 20 year anniversary celebrations.

 

Women from all walks of life including the guests, associates, entrepreneurs, and representatives of the civil society along with a large number of diplomats and their spouses joined the celebrations. Samina Alvi, the First Lady, was the chief guest.

 

On this occasion, various stalls featuring Pakistani handicrafts and traditional items, made by differently abled children, women artisans in underprivileged homes and other arts and crafts were displayed by women organisation represented by Indus Heritage, Andaaz, Mashal Association, Air Organics, Behbud Crafts, Care for Special Children Organisation, Pakistan Navy Women Association, Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association, the Aga Khan Economic Planning Board, and Chann Mahi Handicrafts.

 

The First Lady also visited various stalls and evinced interest in items displayed there. She also praised the work of artisans. The guests thoroughly enjoyed live music and an entertaining trivia session in a well decorated Sheesh Mahal.

 

Mar 2022

Two-day crafts exhibition held at Serena Hotel to showcase local talent

Handmade jewellery, block printed items and other handicrafts have been put on sale at a two-day festival, held to promote traditional crafts of Pakistan.

 

The objective of organising this festival was also to showcase the talent of local women so they could feel empowered, one of the organisers of the event said.

 

Celebrating 20 years of presence in the capital city, the festival has been organised by the management of Serena Hotels in collaboration with Nomad Gallery...

Handmade jewellery, block printed items and other handicrafts have been put on sale at a two-day festival, held to promote traditional crafts of Pakistan.

 

The objective of organising this festival was also to showcase the talent of local women so they could feel empowered, one of the organisers of the event said.

 

Celebrating 20 years of presence in the capital city, the festival has been organised by the management of Serena Hotels in collaboration with Nomad Gallery.

 

A significant number of citizens visited different stalls throughout the day. Pillow covers, items decorated with truck art, crockery and a variety of organic dry fruit and honey was also being sold.

 

Announced open by Maleeha Lodhi, who was Pakistan’s former representative to the United Nations, the festival is one of the events being organised by Serena Hotels to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

 

A guest said that she had visited similar events at the hotel before and it was where she preferred to purchase honey and sometimes dry fruit.

 

Apart from food items, another guest, also a regular to similar joint events held in the past particularly came for the truck art items. The two-day event continued for two days.

Feb 2022

Mehfil-i-Sukhan brings together big names in poetry

A Mehfil-i-Sukhan, a much missed traditional celebration of the art of poetry and recitation, was the highlight of the weekend at the Islamabad Serena Hotel.

 

The event marked the beginning of a slew of activities to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the hotel and was attended by a large number of dignitaries, including President Dr Arif Alvi and First Lady Begum Samina Alvi.

 

The stars of the evening were renowned poets from across the country including Anwar Masood, Iftikhar Arif, Kishwar Naheed, Khurshid Rizvi, Amjad Islam Amjad, Anwar Shaoor, Dr Pirzada Qasim, Yasmeen Hameed, Akhtar Usman, Abbas Tabish, Shaukat Fehmi, Nasira Zuberi, Wasi Shah, Ambreen Hasib Ambar, Fazil Jamili, Rahman Hafeez, Atfab Abrak, Ashfaq Nasir, Faisal Hashmi and Farjad Mehdi. After many years, Islamabad society had the opportunity to enjoy master poets, men and women, young and old, at a single gathering...

A Mehfil-i-Sukhan, a much missed traditional celebration of the art of poetry and recitation, was the highlight of the weekend at the Islamabad Serena Hotel.

 

The event marked the beginning of a slew of activities to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the hotel and was attended by a large number of dignitaries, including President Dr Arif Alvi and First Lady Begum Samina Alvi.

 

The stars of the evening were renowned poets from across the country including Anwar Masood, Iftikhar Arif, Kishwar Naheed, Khurshid Rizvi, Amjad Islam Amjad, Anwar Shaoor, Dr Pirzada Qasim, Yasmeen Hameed, Akhtar Usman, Abbas Tabish, Shaukat Fehmi, Nasira Zuberi, Wasi Shah, Ambreen Hasib Ambar, Fazil Jamili, Rahman Hafeez, Atfab Abrak, Ashfaq Nasir, Faisal Hashmi and Farjad Mehdi. After many years, Islamabad society had the opportunity to enjoy master poets, men and women, young and old, at a single gathering.

 

Shakeel Jazib welcomed all the guests and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, poetry is a vocation that enraptures everybody in every age in its enchantment, and mushaira is a tradition that has kept our culture alive and has kept our past connected to our present and future.”

 

As is custom, the host of a mushaira initiates the recitation with his own verses. Jazib began the evening with his poem, “Jab kabhi dil kay mazafaat mein aa jaata hun, Mein kharabay say kharabaat men aa jaata hun; Tu na dekhay to ajab habss may dum ghut-ta hay, Terray dekhay say mein barsaat may aajaata hun”.

 

Farjad Mehdi’s recitation included a beautiful poem, stating, “Sada-e-Kun ka peechah kartay kartay, Makaan say La-makaan tak aa gaya hun, Meray ajdad ki sunnat samajhna, Jo khud chal kar kamaan tak aa gaya hun”.

 

Faisal Hashmi recited his poem beginning, Mujhe intezaar tha sham say, “Mein bhara hua tha kalaam say, Meri apnay aap say guftugu, Koi dekhta dar-o-baam say”.

 

Dr Ashfaq Nasir won the hearts and applause of the audience with his couplet, “Ishq mein nay bhi kiya hai, meray ajdad nay bhi, Nasal dar nasal kiya hai to ye kaam aaya hai”.

 

Rahman Hafeez, an Islamabad-based poet, narrated, “Hum ko khushi taalaash to karwani chahiye, Ghar may he kho gaee hai to mil jaani chahiye.”

 

Anwar Masood is known for his mastery of humourous poetry and his unique use of everyday, commonplace phrases.

 

 

 

Iftikhar Arif is a prominent Urdu poet, scholar and literary personality, who is the former head of the Pakistan Academy of Letters, National Language Authority and the National Book Foundation, amongst numerous other accolades, awards and designations.

 

Kishwar Naheed is a feminist Urdu poet whose iconic poems trace the struggle for gender equality.

 

Dr Pirzada Qasim, a noted Pakistani scholar, poet, scientist and educationist, has served as vice chancellor of the Ziauddin University, Federal Urdu University and University of Karachi, and as the Chancellor of Nazeer Hussain University. Abbas Tabish is well known for the sensibility and relatability of his work, such as the famous “Ek muddat say meri maa nahin soi Taabish, Main nay aik baar kaha tha mujhe dar lagta hai.”

 

The distinctive styles, perspectives and lyricism of the poets was a rare treat to experience, bringing home how essential it is for the arts to have patrons.

Feb 2022

Serena Hotels and Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne launch Swiss hospitality executive education in Pakistan

Serena Hotels has entered into a mandate agreement with École hôtelière de Lausanne – EHL, the world’s best hotel management/hospitality business school in Switzerland, founded in 1893. With consistently high performance, EHL is ranked the best hotel management school by QS World University Rankings for 3 years in a row.

 

This partnership was announced at the inaugural ceremony of the hospitality management second module attended by the participants and the senior management of Serena Hotels – hosted at the Islamabad Serena Hotel.

 

The Proficiency Hospitality Management Certificate Program consist of 7 modules that aim to build and explore the capacity of local talent in the hospitality management field while keeping in view the country’s growth potential in the tourism and service industry, syncs well in line with government objective with a focus on hospitality management...

Serena Hotels has entered into a mandate agreement with École hôtelière de Lausanne – EHL, the world’s best hotel management/hospitality business school in Switzerland, founded in 1893. With consistently high performance, EHL is ranked the best hotel management school by QS World University Rankings for 3 years in a row.

 

This partnership was announced at the inaugural ceremony of the hospitality management second module attended by the participants and the senior management of Serena Hotels – hosted at the Islamabad Serena Hotel.

 

The Proficiency Hospitality Management Certificate Program consist of 7 modules that aim to build and explore the capacity of local talent in the hospitality management field while keeping in view the country’s growth potential in the tourism and service industry, syncs well in line with government objective with a focus on hospitality management.

 

The programme has been well received by key institution stakeholders in hospitality, banks, hospital and the education sector. It aims to enhance the capacity-building of senior to mid-level executives of Pakistan’s tourism and services sector.

 

The first module was focused on People Management and the second module is on E-Tourism and Customer Care. The certificate program is expected to complete by end of 2022.

 

Jochen De Peuter, Consultant at EHL, expressed his gratitude to the Serena Hotels’ management for holding the face to face on-premises training sessions.

 

Mr. Aziz Boolani CEO of Serena Hotels encouraged the participants to take full advantage of the certificate programme as Pakistan is the destination of opportunities, that can only be achieved with capacity building at the middle and senior levels. Serena Hotels Pakistan's collaboration with EHL is the right step to developing talents at the middle and senior levels.

Jan 2022

Distribution of Profits Among Local Communities

Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan (AKCS-P) and Tourism Promotion Services (Pakistan) Limited Owner and Operator of Serena Hotels held an event at Islamabad Serena Hotel to distribute the profits earned from the operations of Serena Shigar Fort and Serena Khaplu Palace with the communities of Shigar and Khaplu, and the Support Fund to Women Enterprise CIQAM from the revenue of Serena Altit Fort Residence for their partnership at Serena Altit Fort Residence.

 

The Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Embassy H.E. Per Albert ILsaas was the Chief Guest. Chairman Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan, Mr Akbar Ali Pesnani and Chief Executive Officer, Serena Hotels Mr Aziz Boolani also attended the event.

 

The Community representatives of Town Management Societies of Shigar,  Khaplu and Head of CIQAM Green Solutions Ms Aqeela Bano and officials from the Royal Norwegian Embassy and Serena Hotels also participated in the event...

Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan (AKCS-P) and Tourism Promotion Services (Pakistan) Limited Owner and Operator of Serena Hotels held an event at Islamabad Serena Hotel to distribute the profits earned from the operations of Serena Shigar Fort and Serena Khaplu Palace with the communities of Shigar and Khaplu, and the Support Fund to Women Enterprise CIQAM from the revenue of Serena Altit Fort Residence for their partnership at Serena Altit Fort Residence.

 

The Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Embassy H.E. Per Albert ILsaas was the Chief Guest. Chairman Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan, Mr Akbar Ali Pesnani and Chief Executive Officer, Serena Hotels Mr Aziz Boolani also attended the event.

 

The Community representatives of Town Management Societies of Shigar,  Khaplu and Head of CIQAM Green Solutions Ms Aqeela Bano and officials from the Royal Norwegian Embassy and Serena Hotels also participated in the event.

 

In his opening remarks Tausif Ahmad CEO Aga Khan Cultural Service welcomed the guests and said that it’s the moment to cherish the long relationship with the communities that restoration and reutilization of model got disrupted due to the pandemic, is being revived today. He said that the unique Khaplu Palace & Shigar Fort has brought cash returns for the community for its public welfare projects.

 

Mr Aziz Boolani said that Serena’s management of these projects are indeed an extension of its Corporate Social Responsibility which not only provides the jobs to the local community but has created a value chain for its operations, benefiting the locals in all possible ways.

 

Mr Akbar Ali Pesnani thanked the Royal Norwegian Embassy for their consistent support to AKCS-P for its interventions in Gilgit Baltistan and Punjab on various Heritage Restoration Projects. He reiterated AKCS-P’s commitment to communities in its areas of operations and shared some of the plans in various parts of Pakistan.

 

Community representatives thanked AKCS-P and Serena Hotels for their continues support to the local communities enabling them to improve their quality of life.

 

Later on, the mementos were distributed to all the stockholders in supporting restoration and reutilization of Khaplu, Shigar and Altit Fort.

Dec 2021

6th Serena Hotels National Ranking Tennis Tournament-2021

 

The Pakistan Tennis Federation has said that the Serena Hotels National Ranking Tennis Championships-2021 concluded at the PTF Complex, Islamabad

 

In Men’s Singles final, Aqeel Khan bt Muhammad Shoaib 6-2, 7-5 and won the 6th Serena Hotels National Ranking Tennis Tournament 2021

 

In boys 18&U Singles final, Hasheesh Kumar bt Abdullah Adnan 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 and won the 6th Serena Hotels National Ranking Tennis Tournament 2021...

The Pakistan Tennis Federation has said that the Serena Hotels National Ranking Tennis Championships-2021 concluded at the PTF Complex, Islamabad

 

In Men’s Singles final, Aqeel Khan bt Muhammad Shoaib 6-2, 7-5 and won the 6th Serena Hotels National Ranking Tennis Tournament 2021

 

In boys 18&U Singles final, Hasheesh Kumar bt Abdullah Adnan 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 and won the 6th Serena Hotels National Ranking Tennis Tournament 2021

 

In Ladies Singles final Ushna Suhail bt Sarah Mahboob 6-0, 6-1 and won the 6th Serena Hotels National Ranking Tennis Tournament 2021

 

Mr. Hussain Odhwani Senior Manager – Marketing & Communication, Serena Hotels graced the prize distribution ceremony as Chief Guest and Mr. Iftikhar Rashid SEVP-PTF as Guest of Honour.

 

Mr. Iftikhar Rashid, while addressing the participants, congratulated the winners and runners-up and all the players who participated in these events. He thanked the coaches and parents.

 

He also presented a brief resume of the achievements of Mr. Salim Saifullah Khan President-PTF, not only up-gradation of the PTF Infrastructure, but development of players by also establishing NTC and coaches’ education program. He also appraised the participants that because of these efforts the ITF / ATF has appointed Mr. Salim Saifullah Khan a Member of the Board of Directors of the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) and as Co-Chairman Finance Committee and Chair Officiating Committee of the ATF. He (Iftikhar Rashid) has been appointed to the Constitutional Committee of the ITF. He also congratulated Mr. Asim for his appointment to the ITF Coaches Commission 2022-2023.

 

Mr. Odhwani congratulated the organizers for the conduct of the event in such a befitting manner despite COVID-19 constraints and praised the coverage of the event by our print media.

 

Following are the results: Men’s Singles -Final: Aqeel Khan bt Muhammad Shoaib 6-2, 7-5

 

Boy’s 18&U Singles -Final: Hasheesh Kumar bt Abdullah Adnan 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 Ladies Singles -Final: UshnaSuhailbt Sarah Mahboob 6-0, 6-1.

 

Dec 2021

21st Asian Individual Squash Championship 2021

21st Asian Individual Squash Championship for Men & Women organized by Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) concluded today at Mushaf Squash Complex, Islamabad. The Men’s event comprised 32 players, whereas the Women’s event had a 16 players’ draw. Apart from Pakistan, a group of international players, officials and referees from Hong Kong, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, Qatar, Singapore & Sri Lanka participated in the tournament.

 

The Finals of Men & Women events were played today. Air Marshal Aamir Masood, Senior Vice President PSF, graced the closing ceremony as Chief Guest and awarded trophies & prize money amongst the finalists. Squash legends Mr Qamar Zaman and Mr Jansher Khan along with event sponsors also attended the prize distribution ceremony...

21st Asian Individual Squash Championship for Men & Women organized by Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) concluded today at Mushaf Squash Complex, Islamabad. The Men’s event comprised 32 players, whereas the Women’s event had a 16 players’ draw. Apart from Pakistan, a group of international players, officials and referees from Hong Kong, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, Qatar, Singapore & Sri Lanka participated in the tournament.

 

The Finals of Men & Women events were played today. Air Marshal Aamir Masood, Senior Vice President PSF, graced the closing ceremony as Chief Guest and awarded trophies & prize money amongst the finalists. Squash legends Mr Qamar Zaman and Mr Jansher Khan along with event sponsors also attended the prize distribution ceremony.

 

The Women’s Final was played between Tong Tsz Wing from Hong Kong and Rachel Mae Arnold from Malaysia wherein Tong Tsz Wing defeated Rachel Mae Arnold with a game score of 3-0 (11-8,13-11 and 11-5) in 34 minutes. The Men’s Final was played between Ng Eain Yow from Malaysia and Yip Tsz Fung from Hong Kong in which Ng Eain Yow clinched the Men’s title of 21st Asian Squash Championship. He defeated Yip Tsz Fung with a game score of 3-0 (11- 6, 13-11 and 11-9) in 40 minutes and won the championship finals.

 

Successful hosting of the mega event is reflective of Pakistan’s commitment to promotion of sports both in country and at international level.

Dec 2021

Serena Hotels sponsored Behbud Crafts Bazaar

Serena Hotels in collaboration with Behbud Association arranged two days Crafts Bazaar at Serena Hotel Court Bazaar. A number of business concerns participated in the Crafts bazaar and showcased their products.

 

Various stalls were established where traditional items from these areas were displayed. The diplomatic community particularly evinced interest in handcrafts and hand-made traditional dresses.

Serena Hotels in collaboration with Behbud Association arranged two days Crafts Bazaar at Serena Hotel Court Bazaar. A number of business concerns participated in the Crafts bazaar and showcased their products.

 

Various stalls were established where traditional items from these areas were displayed. The diplomatic community particularly evinced interest in handcrafts and hand-made traditional dresses.

Dec 2021

PAF win 30th CAS Challenge Cup Polo Tournament

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) won the 30th Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Challenge Cup Polo Tournament, which was played at the lush green Islamabad Polo Club.

 

PAF won the final match by defeating PAF Blues with five to four goals. Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force, was the chief guest on the occasion. The chief guest gave away prizes to the players and awarded the CAS Challenge Polo Cup to the winning team. The Air Chief congratulated the winners and appreciated the club management for successful conduct of the event to promote sports in Pakistan. He also emphasized upon the significance of sports for mental as well as physical health of the youth...

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) won the 30th Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Challenge Cup Polo Tournament, which was played at the lush green Islamabad Polo Club.

 

PAF won the final match by defeating PAF Blues with five to four goals. Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force, was the chief guest on the occasion. The chief guest gave away prizes to the players and awarded the CAS Challenge Polo Cup to the winning team. The Air Chief congratulated the winners and appreciated the club management for successful conduct of the event to promote sports in Pakistan. He also emphasized upon the significance of sports for mental as well as physical health of the youth.

 

The tournament commenced on November 29, 2021, where eight teams including PAF, PAF Blues, PAF Whites, Asean Kalabagh, Boquival, Buraq ASC, Hakuna Matata and PBG participated in the tournament. Diplomats, high ranking military, civil officials and polo enthusiasts witnessed the enthralling match. The CAS Challenge Cup Polo Tournament was introduced in 1985 and ever since it has been a regular feature in the PAF Sports Calendar.

Nov 2021

PFOWA Bazaar 2021

The Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association (PFOWA) held its annual charity bazaar in Islamabad today on Saturday, 27th November offering diplomats a venue to raise donations for underprivileged members of the society.

 

The bazaar was inaugurated by First Lady Samina Alvi which was held in the lawns of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), where diplomats’ families put up stalls to showcase their respective national and cultural diversity.

 

First Lady Samina Alvi inaugurated the bazaar held at the lawns of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), where families of diplomats set up stalls showcasing their respective national and cultural diversity.

 

The MoFA’s signature event was intended to raise funds for its low-income employees’ families in the fields of education, health, and social welfare...

The Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association (PFOWA) held its annual charity bazaar in Islamabad today on Saturday, 27th November offering diplomats a venue to raise donations for underprivileged members of the society.

 

The bazaar was inaugurated by First Lady Samina Alvi which was held in the lawns of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), where diplomats’ families put up stalls to showcase their respective national and cultural diversity.

 

First Lady Samina Alvi inaugurated the bazaar held at the lawns of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), where families of diplomats set up stalls showcasing their respective national and cultural diversity.

 

The MoFA’s signature event was intended to raise funds for its low-income employees’ families in the fields of education, health, and social welfare.

 

Stalls were set up by Embassies from a number of countries, including China, Turkey, Maldives, Belgium, Netherlands, Thailand, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, the European Union, and many more, as well as by educational institutions and private firms.

 

Samina Alvi reiterated her message, asking the women to take just five minutes to conduct a self-examination in order to detect breast cancer early.

 

Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood had previously stated that the bazaar has become a part of Islamabad’s social calendar, helping to fundraise.

 

PFOWA, he said, has effectively carried on the heritage of its founders through its pro-poor and welfare efforts as a vital pillar of the Foreign Office.

 

He stated that the Association actively participated in raising breast cancer awareness as well as assisting people in disaster-stricken areas.

 

The bazaar’s goal, according to PFOWA Patron Mehreen Qureshi, is to develop a better understanding of Pakistan and to fund charity activities.

 

She claimed that the display of various cultures and cuisines created a festive and joyful atmosphere. She stated that the funds earned through the bazaar would be used to help the poor, notably low-paid Foreign Office staff.

 

PFOWA President Mehvish Sohail stated the organization’s outreach effort helped provide education and health services in many places.

 

Because generosity was at the center of the activity, she believed the bazaar would help make a difference in other people’s lives.

 

Cultural performances by children and artists from other nations, including Indonesia, Kazakhstan, the Maldives, and others, were also featured during the event.

 

PFOWA, which was founded in 1947 on the recommendation of Begum Raana Liaquat Ali Khan by its first patron Shaista Ikramullah, is effectively carrying on the philanthropic heritage.

Nov 2021

Fundraiser for Pakistan Sweet Homes

On successful completion of 12 year journey of Pakistan Sweet Home Serena Hotels sponsored an event to celebrate the achievements of secondary students studying at PHS.

 

Mr. Abrar Ul Haq chairman PRCS, Mr. Aziz Boolani CEO Serena Hotels and Mr. Zamurrad khan (H-I) CEO Pakistan Sweet Home AFP paid his gratitude to the chief guests.

 

The president of Rawalpindi and Islamabad chamber of commerce and CDA employees Union General secretary Mr. Ch Yaseen also graced the occasion with their presence along with other guests from Business Community.

On successful completion of 12 year journey of Pakistan Sweet Home Serena Hotels sponsored an event to celebrate the achievements of secondary students studying at PHS.

 

Mr. Abrar Ul Haq chairman PRCS, Mr. Aziz Boolani CEO Serena Hotels and Mr. Zamurrad khan (H-I) CEO Pakistan Sweet Home AFP paid his gratitude to the chief guests.

 

The president of Rawalpindi and Islamabad chamber of commerce and CDA employees Union General secretary Mr. Ch Yaseen also graced the occasion with their presence along with other guests from Business Community.

Nov 2021

Vintage and Classic Cars Showcased at Serena Hotels

Vintage and Classic Cars Club of Pakistan (VCCCP), in collaboration with Serena Hotels, organized a car show titled “Heritage on wheels” with a large number of spectacular vintage cars on display on Tuesday afternoon at the Serena Business Complex lawn. Chairman of the Vintage and Classic Cars Club of Pakistan, Mohsin Ikram said that the Club was formed around 30 years ago to cater the car enthusiasts all over Pakistan and promote the hobby under the motto of safeguarding “heritage on wheels”. He said the purpose of the event was to showcase these beautiful vehicles to the public, and promote a soft image of Pakistan.

 

He appreciated the vintage car owners for their passion in maintaining these vehicles as cultural artefacts, and celebrated the fact that this year’s show included a mother who drove all the way from Karachi with her family. He extended warm thanks to CEO Serena Hotels Mr. Aziz Boolani for supporting the show under the banner of Serena Hotels’ Cultural Diplomacy. As many as...

Vintage and Classic Cars Club of Pakistan (VCCCP), in collaboration with Serena Hotels, organized a car show titled “Heritage on wheels” with a large number of spectacular vintage cars on display on Tuesday afternoon at the Serena Business Complex lawn. Chairman of the Vintage and Classic Cars Club of Pakistan, Mohsin Ikram said that the Club was formed around 30 years ago to cater the car enthusiasts all over Pakistan and promote the hobby under the motto of safeguarding “heritage on wheels”. He said the purpose of the event was to showcase these beautiful vehicles to the public, and promote a soft image of Pakistan.

 

He appreciated the vintage car owners for their passion in maintaining these vehicles as cultural artefacts, and celebrated the fact that this year’s show included a mother who drove all the way from Karachi with her family. He extended warm thanks to CEO Serena Hotels Mr. Aziz Boolani for supporting the show under the banner of Serena Hotels’ Cultural Diplomacy. As many as 35 vintage cars including from Karachi Lahore, and Islamabad were displayed at the show which was attended by a large number of car enthusiasts. The 1922 French-manufactured Amilcar was the oldest car in the show; others included the UK-built 1954 Austin Healey, 1955 TR, and USA made 1955 Ford Thunderbird.

 

Some of the cars have been driven over from Karachi as part of the 11th VCCCP Karachi to Khyber Classic Car Rally 2021, and will leave for Peshawar tomorrow for the last leg of the rally.

Nov 2021

Serena Hotels hosts high-profile reception to honor Pakistani Mountaineer Sirbaz Khan

Serena Hotels hosted a high-profile reception to honor Pakistani Mountaineer Sirbaz Khan, who has become the first Pakistani in history to summit 9 of the world’s highest 14 peaks measuring over 8000 m.

The mountaineering supernova has on a prolific climbing streak this year, having summited four peaks namely Mt. Daulagiri (8196 m), Mt. Everest (8,848 m), Gasherbrum II (8,035 m) and Mt. Annapurna (8,091 m) in quick succession. He has also summited Mt Lhotse, Manaslu, Nanga Parbat, K-2 and Broad Peak in the past.

Sirbaz is on a Mission14, a quest to become the first Pakistani mountaineer to summit all 14 highest peaks of the world.

 “It is a source of pride for the whole country that Sirbaz has raised the Pakistani flag on some of the highest peaks of the world. We wish him all the success on his Mission14 – he is an inspiration for the whole country."...

Serena Hotels hosted a high-profile reception to honor Pakistani Mountaineer Sirbaz Khan, who has become the first Pakistani in history to summit 9 of the world’s highest 14 peaks measuring over 8000 m.

The mountaineering supernova has on a prolific climbing streak this year, having summited four peaks namely Mt. Daulagiri (8196 m), Mt. Everest (8,848 m), Gasherbrum II (8,035 m) and Mt. Annapurna (8,091 m) in quick succession. He has also summited Mt Lhotse, Manaslu, Nanga Parbat, K-2 and Broad Peak in the past.

Sirbaz is on a Mission14, a quest to become the first Pakistani mountaineer to summit all 14 highest peaks of the world.

 “It is a source of pride for the whole country that Sirbaz has raised the Pakistani flag on some of the highest peaks of the world. We wish him all the success on his Mission14 – he is an inspiration for the whole country.”

“Making an international name in mountaineering will help uplift and bring development to the remote parts of the Northern Areas. I dedicate my success to the support of the whole team including the high and low altitude porters, cooks, helpers and everyone from mountaineering community,” said Sirbaz, as he thanked Serena Hotels for its support.

Serena Hotels has been supporting Sirbaz’s expeditions under its Adventure Diplomacy initiative, that aims to foster adventure sports in the country and provide a supportive environment for the nation’s talented sportspeople to flourish.

“Pakistan has tremendous talent, and Serena Hotels believes in giving this talented people a platform for recognition and support so they may unlock the potential,” said Mr. Aziz Boolani in his remarks on the occasion.

Mr. Boolani drew attention to the fact that the Northern Areas of Pakistan are blessed with some of the highest mountains of the world as well as beautiful Alpine terrain, that draws hundreds of mountaineers around the world, yet it is lamentable that Pakistan doesn’t have any training institute for mountain careers.

“Professional Sherpas and Mountain guides have to be flown in from neighbouring Nepal which triples the cost for the mountaineers while bringing no benefit to our locals,” he said. 

He said Pakistan needs to set up a mountain careers training institutes that are affiliated with international bodies. “Serena Hotels would like to explore the possibility of creating an Adventure Diplomacy Group, with Sirbaz at the forefront, to help Pakistan train internationally certified Mountaineering Guides with the support of stakeholders,” he said.

Oct 2021

Coffee table book ‘Embroidered Dreams’ launched

Serena Hotels hosted the unveiling of a coffee table book titled “Embroidered Dreams” by the Behbud Association in a stylish ceremony held at Islamabad Serena Hotel on Tuesday evening.

 

The event, graced by First Lady Samina Arif Alvi as Chief Guest, featured the unveiling of a stunning 10 ft high display of the launched book, and a crafts fashion show as well as book auction. Government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, foreign dignitaries, corporate and business sectors attended the launch.

 

The large format book tells the story – in compelling visual terms – of the remarkable journey of the Behbud Association, which is one of the largest and oldest non-profit organizations in Pakistan and has trained over 300,000 artisans spanning five generations...

 

 

Serena Hotels hosted the unveiling of a coffee table book titled “Embroidered Dreams” by the Behbud Association in a stylish ceremony held at Islamabad Serena Hotel on Tuesday evening.

 

The event, graced by First Lady Samina Arif Alvi as Chief Guest, featured the unveiling of a stunning 10 ft high display of the launched book, and a crafts fashion show as well as book auction. Government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, foreign dignitaries, corporate and business sectors attended the launch.

 

The large format book tells the story – in compelling visual terms – of the remarkable journey of the Behbud Association, which is one of the largest and oldest non-profit organizations in Pakistan and has trained over 300,000 artisans spanning five generations.

 

Written by Sonya Rehman, edited by Tamkeen Nadeem and designed by Shehzil Malik, the book features the textile and fashion design process and the intricacies of the age-old local craftsmanship of the traditional crafts/needlework from various regions of Pakistan including Ralli, Kantha, Chikankari, Block Printing, Smocking, Cutwork, Cross-stitch, Taarkashi, Phulkari, Crochet, Knitting etc.

 

Samina Arif Alvi appreciated Behbud Association’s impactful social work over the decades as an ethical and sustainable fashion brand and welfare entity. “This remarkable book shows the heroic struggle of the women who have kept local handicraft traditions alive while uplifting themselves and their communities out of poverty.”

 

Abida Malik, President of Behbud Association said, “Embroidering Dreams documents the struggles and hopes of the home-based workers, community leaders, artisans, teachers, doctors and volunteers, who make up Behbud. It is an important story that needs to be documented for the next generation to glean encouragement and creativity from. It is my hope that the women in this book, the ambassadors of fortitude who embrace the spirit of Behbud, embolden Pakistan’s daughters and give them the will-power to exceed their own expectations and reach beyond the stars.” She thanked CEO Serena Hotels Mr. Aziz Boolani and Ms. Androulla Kaminara, the Ambassador to Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan for their ongoing support in amplifying the socio-economic impact of the Behbud Association and for being the platinum sponsors for Embroidering Dreams.

 

CEO Serena Hotels South and Central Asia Mr. Aziz Boolani said, “This wonderful book makes a valuable contribution to the documentation, and hence the conservation, of traditional time-honoured crafts techniques from various regions of Pakistan. Serena Hotels believes in the preservation and showcasing of our valuable cultural heritage and support of artisans, especially women of underserved regions, hence we are proud to promote Behbud crafts using the platform of Serena Hotels.

 

Oct 2021

Women Urged to go for Regular Checkups for breast cancer

First lady Samina Arif Alvi has urged women to take time out for regular checkups, yearly mammograms, and self-check routine to catch the early onset of breast cancer.

 

She was speaking at an event titled ‘Breast Cancer Awareness – Early Detection Saves Lives’ through a video link.

 

The event was held at a local hotel in collaboration with Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC) to mark the October Breast Cancer Awareness Month or ‘Pinktober’.

 

The event was held as part of Raabta, a public diplomacy initiative of Serena Hotels, which aims to facilitate conversations and public discourse about important issues of national concern...

First lady Samina Arif Alvi has urged women to take time out for regular checkups, yearly mammograms, and self-check routine to catch the early onset of breast cancer.

 

She was speaking at an event titled ‘Breast Cancer Awareness – Early Detection Saves Lives’ through a video link.

 

The event was held at a local hotel in collaboration with Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC) to mark the October Breast Cancer Awareness Month or ‘Pinktober’.

 

The event was held as part of Raabta, a public diplomacy initiative of Serena Hotels, which aims to facilitate conversations and public discourse about important issues of national concern.

 

The discussion was moderated by broadcast journalist Sidra Iqbal and featured senior oncologist Dr Umme Kalsoom Awan, and several breast cancer survivors who came forward to share their experience and dispel misconceptions about the disease.

 

Samina Alvi appreciated the facilities established by the government for screening and early detection at public and private health facilities.

 

Co-founder and curator of Raabta, broadcast journalist Sidra Iqbal said in her opening remarks that Pakistan had one of the highest incidences of breast cancer in the world, with over 40,000 women diagnosed yearly.

 

She pointed out that if detected at early stages, a cancer patient had a much better chance of full recovery as opposed to late detection.

 

She said it was heartening to see the breast cancer awareness campaign spearheaded countrywide by Samina Arif Alvi over the past three years, with the cooperation of the government, healthcare workers and other stakeholders, which was leading to increased early-stage screenings and saving lives.

 

The breast cancer survivors on the panel spoke about the taboos, misconceptions and emotional upheaval faced by patients in our society and shared messages of hope and inspiration for fellow patients and their families.

 

Dr Umme Kalsoom shed light on the risk factors of breast cancer, some of which are modifiable, like exercise and healthy diet, and some that she termed non-modifiable, like genetics. She urged the women and men to adopt healthy lifestyles and undertake regular checkups.

Oct 2021

CAS-Serena Hotels International Squash Tournament

Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) in collaboration with Pakistan Air Force, Serena Hotels, and Combaxx Sports, organized Chief of the Air Staff-Serena Hotels & Combaxx Sports International Squash Championships for Men & Women at Mushaf Squash Complex, Islamabad between 11 – 15 October 2021.

 

Apart from Pakistan, a group of 22 foreign players from 10-countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Egypt, England, France, Hong Kong, Russia, Serbia, Spain & Switzerland) entered in Men & Women events.

 

The Finals of Men & Women events were played on 15 October 2021. Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force who is also the President of Pakistan Squash Federation, graced the closing ceremony as Chief Guest and awarded trophies and prizes money to the finalists..

Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) in collaboration with Pakistan Air Force, Serena Hotels, and Combaxx Sports, organized Chief of the Air Staff-Serena Hotels & Combaxx Sports International Squash Championships for Men & Women at Mushaf Squash Complex, Islamabad between 11 – 15 October 2021.

 

Apart from Pakistan, a group of 22 foreign players from 10-countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Egypt, England, France, Hong Kong, Russia, Serbia, Spain & Switzerland) entered in Men & Women events.

 

The Finals of Men & Women events were played on 15 October 2021. Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force who is also the President of Pakistan Squash Federation, graced the closing ceremony as Chief Guest and awarded trophies and prizes money to the finalists.

 

The Women Final was played between World No 69 Marie Stephan from France and World No 81 Salma Eltayeb from Egypt wherein Salma Eltayeb defeated Marie Stephan with a game score of 11-6,12-10,11-04 in 18 minutes. Whereas the Men Final was played between World No 59 Auguste Dussourd from France and World No 67 Moustafa El Sirty from Egypt in which Moustafa El Sirty defeated Auguste Dussourd with a game score of 09-11, 11-07, 11-06, 12-10 in 47 minutes and won the championship finals.

 

The successful hosting of the mega event signifies that Pakistan is a sports-loving and perfectly peaceful country to host international sports events.

Oct 2021

CAS-Serena Hotels International Squash Tournament Press Conference

Twenty-Two international players from across the world are taking part in the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) International Squash Championships for men and women is going to start from October 11th (Monday) here at the Mushaf Squash Complex Islamabad.

 

The five-day event is being organised by Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) in collaboration with Serena Hotels and Combaxx Sports with the men’s event has a prize money of $30,000 whereas the women’s competition carries $12,000.

 

Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) secretary Wing Commander Armghan Aziz along with CEO Combaxx Sports Omer Saeed and Serena Hotels, Senior Manager, Marketing and Communication, Hussain Odhwani during press conference said that the tournament is also being organised to provide opportunity to players from all across the country to challenge their mental and physical toughness...

 

Twenty-Two international players from across the world are taking part in the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) International Squash Championships for men and women is going to start from October 11th (Monday) here at the Mushaf Squash Complex Islamabad.

 

The five-day event is being organised by Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) in collaboration with Serena Hotels and Combaxx Sports with the men’s event has a prize money of $30,000 whereas the women’s competition carries $12,000.

Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) secretary Wing Commander Armghan Aziz along with CEO Combaxx Sports Omer Saeed and Serena Hotels, Senior Manager, Marketing and Communication, Hussain Odhwani during press conference said that the tournament is also being organised to provide opportunity to players from all across the country to challenge their mental and physical toughness.

 

“This tournament is a true manifestation of the PAF’s commitment in promoting sports both at national and international levels,” Armghan Aziz said, adding that besides Pakistan, world ranking Men & Women players from Austria, Czech Republic, Egypt, England, Espain, France, Hong Kong, Russia, Serbia and Switzerland are participating in these events.

 

He said that Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) has been putting wonderful efforts for the elevation of Squash in the country, adding that PSF intends to send a message across the world that we have every potential to conduct mega squash activities and to host top world players in an efficient manner.

 

“Serena Hotels & Combaxx Sports have very kindly joined hand with PSF and Pakistan Air Force for the national cause of promoting squash in the country and we heartily appreciate the sports diplomacy initiative as shared by Serena Hotel as their integral part to build stronger relations with communities”, he said.

 

Pakistan has a tradition of excellence in many sports, but competitive sports require the support of organizations through sponsorships and promotion. Earlier Pakistani squash players were the best in the world, and we hope to bring back the laurel soon. 

 

According to draws Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam will be top seed along with Karim El Hammamy (Egypt) and Auguste Dussourd (France) second and third seed respectively in men’s event while Nadia Pfister (Switzerland), Marie Stephan (France), Salma Eltayeb (Egypt) are the top three seeds in the women’s event. Both championship main round will be starting from October 11th while semifinals will be held on October 14th and final will be played on October 15th.

Sep 2021

14th CNS Golf Sponsored by Serena Hotels Sport Diplomacy

Lt Col Raja Asif Mehdi was leading in the Senior Amateur gross category with two over 74 on the opening day of the 14th Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Amateurs Golf Championship 2021 that started here at Margalla Greens Golf Club Thursday.

On the first day, senior and junior amateurs were seen in action. Col Shahid Warraich (77) was occupying runner-up position.

In the net category, Brig Khalid M Abbasi (67) and Byunng Dong Park (68) were the front runners.

Mahad Khan has been declared net winner with a score of 55 in the junior amateur category, whereas gross winner was Shayan Zia with score of 77. The main amateur category will get under way today (Friday).

Lt Col Raja Asif Mehdi was leading in the Senior Amateur gross category with two over 74 on the opening day of the 14th Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Amateurs Golf Championship 2021 that started here at Margalla Greens Golf Club Thursday.

On the first day, senior and junior amateurs were seen in action. Col Shahid Warraich (77) was occupying runner-up position.

In the net category, Brig Khalid M Abbasi (67) and Byunng Dong Park (68) were the front runners.

Mahad Khan has been declared net winner with a score of 55 in the junior amateur category, whereas gross winner was Shayan Zia with score of 77. The main amateur category will get under way today (Friday).

Sep 2021

RAABTA event on Celebrating Female Role Models of Pakistan

First lady Samina Arif Alvi has urged women to take time out for regular checkups, yearly mammograms, and self-check routine to catch the early onset of breast cancer.

 

She was speaking at an event titled ‘Breast Cancer Awareness – Early Detection Saves Lives’ through a video link.

 

The event was held at a local hotel in collaboration with Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC) to mark the October Breast Cancer Awareness Month or ‘Pinktober’.

 

The event was held as part of Raabta, a public diplomacy initiative of Serena Hotels, which aims to facilitate conversations and public discourse about important issues of national concern.

 

The discussion was moderated by broadcast journalist Sidra Iqbal and featured senior oncologist Dr Umme Kalsoom Awan, and several breast cancer survivors who came forward to share their experience and dispel misconceptions about the disease...

First lady Samina Arif Alvi has urged women to take time out for regular checkups, yearly mammograms, and self-check routine to catch the early onset of breast cancer.

 

She was speaking at an event titled ‘Breast Cancer Awareness – Early Detection Saves Lives’ through a video link.

 

The event was held at a local hotel in collaboration with Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC) to mark the October Breast Cancer Awareness Month or ‘Pinktober’.

 

The event was held as part of Raabta, a public diplomacy initiative of Serena Hotels, which aims to facilitate conversations and public discourse about important issues of national concern.

 

The discussion was moderated by broadcast journalist Sidra Iqbal and featured senior oncologist Dr Umme Kalsoom Awan, and several breast cancer survivors who came forward to share their experience and dispel misconceptions about the disease.

 

Samina Alvi appreciated the facilities established by the government for screening and early detection at public and private health facilities.

 

Co-founder and curator of Raabta, broadcast journalist Sidra Iqbal said in her opening remarks that Pakistan had one of the highest incidences of breast cancer in the world, with over 40,000 women diagnosed yearly.

 

She pointed out that if detected at early stages, a cancer patient had a much better chance of full recovery as opposed to late detection.

 

She said it was heartening to see the breast cancer awareness campaign spearheaded countrywide by Samina Arif Alvi over the past three years, with the cooperation of the government, healthcare workers and other stakeholders, which was leading to increased early-stage screenings and saving lives.

 

The breast cancer survivors on the panel spoke about the taboos, misconceptions and emotional upheaval faced by patients in our society and shared messages of hope and inspiration for fellow patients and their families.

 

Dr Umme Kalsoom shed light on the risk factors of breast cancer, some of which are modifiable, like exercise and healthy diet, and some that she termed non-modifiable, like genetics. She urged the women and men to adopt healthy lifestyles and undertake regular checkups.

 

Aug 2021

Serena-RGC Azadi Golf Tournament 2021

Serena Hotels and Rawalpindi Golf Club (RGC) hosted a three-day mega Golf tournament that culminated with an awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon.

 

The Serena-RGC Azadi Golf tournament drew more than 250Golf enthusiasts from Diplomatic Corps, Armed Forces, Government, Corporate and Business segments including women and teenager golfers.

 

Inspector General Arms and Colonel Commandant of the Punjab Regiment, Lieutenant General Majid Ehsan, Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military) participated in the tournament as well as graced the event as Chief Guest.

 

CEO Serena Hotels South and Central Asia Mr. Aziz Boolani thanked the participants for their participation in the pleasant overcast conditions. Over the years, Serena Hotels Sports Diplomacy Initiative has emerged as an integral part of the Company’s efforts to build stronger relations with communities and provide platform to engage with each other while improving the teamwork,communication skills and leadership along with promoting a healthier lifestyle...

Serena Hotels and Rawalpindi Golf Club (RGC) hosted a three-day mega Golf tournament that culminated with an awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon.

 

The Serena-RGC Azadi Golf tournament drew more than 250Golf enthusiasts from Diplomatic Corps, Armed Forces, Government, Corporate and Business segments including women and teenager golfers.

 

Inspector General Arms and Colonel Commandant of the Punjab Regiment, Lieutenant General Majid Ehsan, Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military) participated in the tournament as well as graced the event as Chief Guest.

 

CEO Serena Hotels South and Central Asia Mr. Aziz Boolani thanked the participants for their participation in the pleasant overcast conditions. Over the years, Serena Hotels Sports Diplomacy Initiative has emerged as an integral part of the Company’s efforts to build stronger relations with communities and provide platform to engage with each other while improving the teamwork,communication skills and leadership along with promoting a healthier lifestyle.

 

The winners in various categories were:

 

Government & Armed Forces: Brig AzharYasin (1st Gross), Major Gen. Syed Anis Akbar (1st Net)

 

Corporate: Mr. Alamgir Shah (1st Gross), Mr. Asghar Khan (1st Net)

 

Diplomat: Mr. Aamir Shaukat (1st Gross), Mr. Aizaz Ahmed Chaudry (1st Net)

 

Ladies: Ms. Tahir Nazir (1st Gross), Mrs. AVM Rizwan Riaz (1st Net)

 

Amateur: Mr. Tipu Raja (1st Gross), Mr. Ziyad Abbasi (1st Net)

 

Senior Amateur: Major Shuaib Uddin (1st Gross), Major Tahir Janjua (1st Net)

 

Juniors Male: Master ShaharyarSarfaraz (1st Gross), Master Umer Usman Ashraf (1st Net)

 

Juniors Female: Miss Daniya Irfan (1st Position)

 

Veteran: Lt. Col S M Saif (1st Gross), Major Gen. Abdul Razzaq (1st Net).

Aug 2021

Serena hosts Musical Grand Finale of Sarangi Season 5

A star-studded grand finale event was held on Friday evening at Serena Hotels to conclude the Season 5 of Serena Hotel’s Sarangi countrywide music talent hunt competition.

 

The event, held with full COVID-19 SOPs including social distancing and vaccination card checks, was attended by prominent members of the diplomatic corps, business community and Islamabad society gathered to listen to the musical performances and the announcement of winner.

 

First Lady Samina Alvi along with jury members Shehzad Roy and Sarmad Ghafoor as well as CEO Serena Hotels Aziz Boolani jointly announced the results. The judges declared the contest a tie between Ali Baloch from Islamabad and Ghayas Haider from Lahore.

 

A call for submissions had been given earlier this year through Serena Hotel’s social media platforms as a result of which 5 talented contestants, hailing from diverse backgrounds and different parts of the country, were shortlisted for the grand finale. The contestants also included Ayesha Afzal from Pakpattan, Adden Sohail from Faisalabad and Fida Mughal from Neelum Valley, Kashmir...

A star-studded grand finale event was held on Friday evening at Serena Hotels to conclude the Season 5 of Serena Hotel’s Sarangi countrywide music talent hunt competition.

 

The event, held with full COVID-19 SOPs including social distancing and vaccination card checks, was attended by prominent members of the diplomatic corps, business community and Islamabad society gathered to listen to the musical performances and the announcement of winner.

 

First Lady Samina Alvi along with jury members Shehzad Roy and Sarmad Ghafoor as well as CEO Serena Hotels Aziz Boolani jointly announced the results. The judges declared the contest a tie between Ali Baloch from Islamabad and Ghayas Haider from Lahore.

 

A call for submissions had been given earlier this year through Serena Hotel’s social media platforms as a result of which 5 talented contestants, hailing from diverse backgrounds and different parts of the country, were shortlisted for the grand finale. The contestants also included Ayesha Afzal from Pakpattan, Adden Sohail from Faisalabad and Fida Mughal from Neelum Valley, Kashmir.

 

This year’s Sarangi jury panel once again consisted of renowned figures of music industry including singers Shezad Roy and Zoe Viccaji and music producer Sarmad Ghafoor.

 

Sarangi is a cultural diplomacy initiative of Serena Hotels and aims to promote the arts and culture of Pakistan. Since its inception in 2017, the Sarangi initiative has given a large pool of promising musical talent from around the country a platform to be discovered, polished and become the nation’s rising star. Ayesha Rasheed from Lahore, who was the winner of Sarangi Season 4, also performed a powerful rendition of “Lambi Judai” on the occasion.

 

Shehzad Roy said, “I am blown away by the talent that is to be found all over Pakistan. It was a tough challenge for us judges to select only five people from the 50 shortlisted submissions, but we tried to do justice.”

 

“With the dearth of a proper music industry and opportunities for younger people, projects like Sarangi gives young musicians a platform to work towards and be heard on a larger platform. The final prize which is a song recording and music video is so apt and something I would have truly valued when I first started pursuing music,” said Zoe Viccaji via a video message.

 

CEO Serena Hotels South and Central Asia Aziz Boolani said: “Serena has promoted the arts and intercultural activities to inspire a culture of peace and hope. And we truly believe in giving recognition and platform to the emerging artists that need recognition. I am grateful to the judges and the guests for coming together to support this initiative and encourage the creative talent that Pakistan possesses.”

Jul 2021

Serena Hotels signed MoA with NUST to train female graduates

The Serena Hotels on Wednesday signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the National University of Science and Technology to induct the female graduates from the NUST Business School (NBS) into its management trainee programme.

 

CEO of the Serena Hotels South and Central Asia Aziz Boolani and NUST rector Engineer Javed Mahmood Bukhari attended the MoA signing ceremony along with the pro-rectors and NBS dean. The representatives of the business and hospitality sectors were also in attendance.

 

According to the MoA, the initiative is meant to bring together the expertise of the country's leading business school at NUST and Serena Hotels, a leading hospitality brand, to offer women...

The Serena Hotels on Wednesday signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the National University of Science and Technology to induct the female graduates from the NUST Business School (NBS) into its management trainee programme.

 

CEO of the Serena Hotels South and Central Asia Aziz Boolani and NUST rector Engineer Javed Mahmood Bukhari attended the MoA signing ceremony along with the pro-rectors and NBS dean. The representatives of the business and hospitality sectors were also in attendance.

 

According to the MoA, the initiative is meant to bring together the expertise of the country's leading business school at NUST and Serena Hotels, a leading hospitality brand, to offer women graduates of NBS a valuable training opportunity for hands-on experiential learning and training in the field of hospitality management in a structured and professional setting.

 

The one-year programme will provide management trainees with immersive learning to equip them with a holistic view of the business, as well as understanding the inter-relationships between different functional departments. The training is envisaged as an accelerated pathway that will help unlock their advancement to higher-level management positions in the industry.

 

Aziz Boolani said the number of female professionals in the hospitality sector is traditionally low.

 

He said as a leading hotel chain, Serena Hotels made every effort to encourage women in their professional development for assuming higher positions, including the leadership role.

Jul 2021

Sarangi Season 5 Jury Session

Serena Hotels just wrapped up the super charged jury session for the Serena Sarangi Star Music Competition Season 05. What an incredible pool of original talent we have in Pakistan. The judges and Serena management were swapped away with the creativity of the submissions received from across Pakistan.

The judges have made their decision and the top 05 finalists who will be competing live at the Grand Finale have been informed by the jury members. The entire jury session was covered by PTV World as a Media Partner.

The results will be posted on our official Facebook page tomorrow July 15, 2021. Stay Tuned!

Serena Hotels just wrapped up the super charged jury session for the Serena Sarangi Star Music Competition Season 05. What an incredible pool of original talent we have in Pakistan. The judges and Serena management were swapped away with the creativity of the submissions received from across Pakistan.

The judges have made their decision and the top 05 finalists who will be competing live at the Grand Finale have been informed by the jury members. The entire jury session was covered by PTV World as a Media Partner.

The results will be posted on our official Facebook page tomorrow July 15, 2021. Stay Tuned!

 

Jul 2021

World Sports Journalists Day 2021

Serena Hotels in collaboration with Rawalpindi-Islamabad Sports Journalists Association held a reception to honor sports journalists on World Sports Journalists Day, as part of Serena Hotels Sports Diplomacy Initiative.

 

The prominent journalists of print and electronic media from the twin cities were invited to an exclusive get together at Islamabad Serena Hotel, followed by a cake cutting ceremony. Farrukh Habib, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting along with Shahbaz Gill, Special Assistant to the PM were the Chief Guests on the occasion...

 

Serena Hotels in collaboration with Rawalpindi-Islamabad Sports Journalists Association held a reception to honor sports journalists on World Sports Journalists Day, as part of Serena Hotels Sports Diplomacy Initiative.

 

The prominent journalists of print and electronic media from the twin cities were invited to an exclusive get together at Islamabad Serena Hotel, followed by a cake cutting ceremony. Farrukh Habib, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting along with Shahbaz Gill, Special Assistant to the PM were the Chief Guests on the occasion

 

World Sports Journalists Day, observed globally on 2nd July every year, aims to acknowledge the contributions of sports journalists, especially their role in the development of sports culture and propagation of sport activities all over the world.

 

The Chief Guests as well as the Serena Hotels management praised the Pakistani sports journalists for their positive role in the propagation and coverage of local and international sports.

 

Jun 2021

Serena Hotels hosts reception for ascent of Mt Everest by Sirbaz Khan

Islamabad; Tazeen Akhtar / Asif Farooq; Serena Hotels Islamabad under its adventure diplomacy hosted a reception on 16th June 2021 in honor of Sirbaz Khan the mountaineer who scaled the tallest on earth Mount Everest in May 2021 this year. CEO Mr Aziz Bolani pledged on this occasion that Serena Hotels will continue supporting the Pakistani talent.

General Manager Serena Hotels Islamabad, Mr. Michel Andre Galopin, Mr. Hussain Odhwani and other officials of the hotels were also present.

Ambassadors of Indonesia, Norway, Canada, Poland, Morocco, Belgium and other countries were also invited. Large number of media representatives from press and tv channels covered the event.

                                                                   

The successful ascent of Mt. Everest by Pakistani Mountaineer Sirbaz Khan was feted at a high-profile reception by Serena Hotels on Wednesday evening. On 12th May 2021, Sirbaz had summitted the world’s tallest peak as part of “Mission 14”, his quest to become the first Pakistani to scale all 14 peaks over 8000 m around the world.

At the event, the phenomenal journey of Sirbaz Khan was highlighted and celebrated. Hailing from Hunza, he began climbing as a mountain guide and kitchen crew member with international climbing expeditions for over 11 years before becoming a professional mountaineer. He tends to use no supplemental oxygen, which is a further testament to his grit and talent...

Islamabad; Tazeen Akhtar / Asif Farooq; Serena Hotels Islamabad under its adventure diplomacy hosted a reception on 16th June 2021 in honor of Sirbaz Khan the mountaineer who scaled the tallest on earth Mount Everest in May 2021 this year. CEO Mr Aziz Bolani pledged on this occasion that Serena Hotels will continue supporting the Pakistani talent.

General Manager Serena Hotels Islamabad, Mr. Michel Andre Galopin, Mr. Hussain Odhwani and other officials of the hotels were also present.

Ambassadors of Indonesia, Norway, Canada, Poland, Morocco, Belgium and other countries were also invited. Large number of media representatives from press and tv channels covered the event.

                                                                   

The successful ascent of Mt. Everest by Pakistani Mountaineer Sirbaz Khan was feted at a high-profile reception by Serena Hotels on Wednesday evening. On 12th May 2021, Sirbaz had summitted the world’s tallest peak as part of “Mission 14”, his quest to become the first Pakistani to scale all 14 peaks over 8000 m around the world.

At the event, the phenomenal journey of Sirbaz Khan was highlighted and celebrated. Hailing from Hunza, he began climbing as a mountain guide and kitchen crew member with international climbing expeditions for over 11 years before becoming a professional mountaineer. He tends to use no supplemental oxygen, which is a further testament to his grit and talent.

 

Serena Hotels has been sponsoring Sirbaz on his expeditions under its Adventure Diplomacy community initiative that aims to encourage and support adventure sports in Pakistan. Under this banner, Serena Hotels regularly sponsors a number of adventure sports including high altitude marathons, jeep rallies, skiing and mountaineering activities.

 

“This feat is a source of great pride for Pakistan and for Serena Hotels. Pakistani mountaineers and sportspeople have tremendous potential, however in order to achieve their lofty ambitions they need a supportive environment, for which we all must play our role,” commented Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels South and Central Asia, speaking on the occasion that was attended by a number of dignitaries including senior members of the diplomatic corps, journalists and socialites.

 

Mr. Boolani urged the Government and private sector to step forward and support Pakistani talent.

 

“I am proud of raising Pakistan’s flag on top of the world, for which I thank Allah SWT. My aim is to keep inspiring our mountaineering community by becoming the first Pakistani to scale the 14 highest peaks of the world,” commented Sirbaz as he announced his departure for his next mission to climb Gasherbrum 1 and Gasherbrum II in Pakistan’s Karakoram mountain range.

 

“Making an international name in mountaineering will help uplift and bring development to the remote areas of the Northern Areas. I dedicate my success to the support of the whole team including the high and low altitude porters, cooks, helpers and everyone from mountaineering community,” said Sirbaz, as he thanked Serena Hotels and other sponsors for their support.

 

Sirbaz summited Mt. Everest just 26 days after becoming the first Pakistani along with Abdul Joshi to ascend Mt. Annapurna, the tenth highest peak in the world, also in Nepal. His previous summits include Lhotse (8,516m) and Manaslu (8,163m) in Nepal and K2, Nanga Parbat (8,126m) and Broad Peak (8,051m) in Pakistan. He has dedicated his Mission-14 to the memory of his mentor and companion, Muhammad Ali Sadpara, who perished during a climbing expedition to K-2 earlier this year.

Serena Hotels has been supporting Sirbaz Khan on his ‘Mission Summit 14’. This was his fourth consecutive successful summit after K2 (8,611m), Nanga Parbat (8,126m) and Mount Lhotse (8,516m).

 

CEO Aziz Boolani says ” We have been supporting talent to promote adventure tourism where needed and try to bring diverse experiences to our community through our various initiatives.”

 

Sirbaz Khan  achieved the milestone a day after the country’s youngest hiker Shehroze Kashif reached the summit but Sirbaz Khan has another feather in his cap by climbing another 8 thousander in Nepal before Everest. He is  the first Pakistani to conquer the Annapurna peak. Further Sirbaz Khan surmounted it without oxygen.

He was basically a kitchen worker when he entered into practical life. He also served as porter to other mountaineers. Finally he reached to conclusion that he should try his capabilities and luck in mountaineering and he made it.

 

On 17th June 2021, today, he is leaving Islamabad to another adventure, that is Gasherbrum, in his own native territory Gilgit Baltistan. It is a remote group of peaks situated at the northeastern end of the Baltoro Glacier in the Karakoram mountain range.

Jun 2021

Serena hotels sign MOU with WWF, AKRSP for climate mitigation

Serena Hotels have linked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Worldwide Fund for Nature–Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan), and the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) with the aim to further the common objectives of climate mitigation, climate adaptation, land degradation, food security, biodiversity conservation and enhancing community resilience in view of Pakistan’s needs, and to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

The MoU signing ceremony was held at the Islamabad Serena Hotel which was graced by the Federal Minister and Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan for Climate Change Mr. Malik Amin Aslam, heads of NGOs, media representatives and other stakeholders.

 

As a responsible corporate citizen, Serena Hotels has been carrying out several green initiatives like tracking and offsetting carbon emissions of our hotels, investing in renewables, and making...

Serena Hotels have linked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Worldwide Fund for Nature–Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan), and the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) with the aim to further the common objectives of climate mitigation, climate adaptation, land degradation, food security, biodiversity conservation and enhancing community resilience in view of Pakistan’s needs, and to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

The MoU signing ceremony was held at the Islamabad Serena Hotel which was graced by the Federal Minister and Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan for Climate Change Mr. Malik Amin Aslam, heads of NGOs, media representatives and other stakeholders.

 

As a responsible corporate citizen, Serena Hotels has been carrying out several green initiatives like tracking and offsetting carbon emissions of our hotels, investing in renewables, and making our buildings and operations green-friendly. Our aim is not only to mitigate the carbon emissions for our hotels but to become carbon negative. Hence, we have partnered with WWF-Pakistan and AKRSP for the effective implementation and widening of scope for our mission, and to link it with the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Pakistan (TBTTP) and Clean and Green Environment Movement (CGP) of Prime Minister Imran Khan,” said Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels South and Central Asia.

 

The aim of the MoU is to develop a collaborative framework of Serena Hotels with the implementing parties in the broad areas of habitat restoration through tree plantation and improving Pakistan’s forest cover across the country. The initiative will also support the protection of existing forests through implementation of a sustainable forest management plan, co-created with the local forest-dependent communities. It further aims to enhance community resilience, and improve food security by creating alternative livelihood opportunities, strengthening market linkages and establishing value chains for non-timber forest products.

 

Mr. Boolani said they are in discussions with the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) for developing a system for the monitoring and reporting of the afforestation program using aerial and satellite imagery. “The monitoring system will link the project with the Government’s web portal, the National Forest Management System (NFMS) and REDD+ to bring transparency to our initiatives and bring it into the fold of the national efforts,” he said.

 

CEO of WWF-Pakistan Mr. Hammad Ali Naqi and CEO AKRSP Mr. Jamiluddin also spoke on the occasion and highlighted their respective organisations unique contributions to the mitigation of climate change. They remarked that the recent Covid-19 pandemic has further highlighted the need for protecting vulnerable ecosystems. They underlined the importance of the private sector stepping forward and going beyond typical CSR activities to become leadership champions and provide stewardship by addressing the environmental footprint within their boundaries.

 

Speaking on the occasion, the Federal Minister for Climate Change, Mr. Malik Amin Aslam said that climate change is a reality that cannot be ignored anymore, as Pakistan was one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world. The Minister appreciated the step taken by Serena Hotels and its implementing partners for cementing the alliance towards a green and clean future, and assured the parties full support of the Government in its implementation. While acknowledged the efforts of AKRSP in Gilgit Baltistan and Chitral, and urged the WWF-Pakistan to come up with green certifications for the industry, so they may regulate their environmental imprint and set a positive example for others.

Mar 2021

Nowruz Celebrated at Serena Hotels

Serena Hotels held a colorful Nowruz celebration event with the collaboration of the diplomatic missions of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan under the banner of its Cultural Diplomacy community initiative.

Nowruz – which means ‘new day’ – is an ancient celebration of spring dating back to around 3000 years; today it celebrated by around 300 million people belonging to different faiths and ethnicities across the world. In 2010 the United Nations adopted a resolution to officially recognize the International Day of Nowruz. The event included beautiful cultural performances including cultural dances and musical performances as well as stalls by the participating countries featuring their local handicrafts and heritage products.

Wife of the President of Pakistan Mrs. Samina Arif Alvi was the Chief Guest at the event which was also graced by the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry for Religious Affairs and...

Serena Hotels held a colorful Nowruz celebration event with the collaboration of the diplomatic missions of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan under the banner of its Cultural Diplomacy community initiative.

Nowruz – which means ‘new day’ – is an ancient celebration of spring dating back to around 3000 years; today it celebrated by around 300 million people belonging to different faiths and ethnicities across the world. In 2010 the United Nations adopted a resolution to officially recognize the International Day of Nowruz. The event included beautiful cultural performances including cultural dances and musical performances as well as stalls by the participating countries featuring their local handicrafts and heritage products.

Wife of the President of Pakistan Mrs. Samina Arif Alvi was the Chief Guest at the event which was also graced by the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Aftab Jehangir, heads of missions of the participating countries, and a number of notable dignitaries from the diplomatic corps, corporate sector and the Government.

CEO Serena Hotels South and Central Asia Mr. Aziz Boolani thanked the First Lady and the collaborating countries as well as the attendees for their participation in the event.  

“At Serena Hotels, we believe in creating positive linkages that can bring value to the society, and our various Diplomacy initiatives follow this overarching mission. The Nowruz event at Serena Hotels has become a yearly feature and a unique platform for the Nowruz celebrating countries to come together to celebrate this UN-recognized festival collectively,” he said.

“Nowruz, a spring festival that has been celebrated across different regions since centuries, reminds us of what we have in common,” said  H.E. Atadjan Movlamov, Dean of Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of Turkmenistan, thanking the First Lady Mrs. Samina Arif Alvi for her participation. “Today’s event shows that Pakistan stands for peace, development and progress.”

Mar 2021

Serena Hotels Remains Open for Business

We would like to inform our esteemed clients that all our properties Nairobi Serena Hotel; Mombasa Serena Beach Hotel; Amboseli, Mara, Kilaguni Serena Lodges, Sweetwaters and Lake Elmenteita Camps; remain open for business.  Access to the properties within the zone that include: Nairobi, Nakuru, Kajiado, Kiambu and Machakos is as follows: -   Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp is accessible through the Naivasha – Nakuru Highway.  Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge is accessible through the Nairobi –Isinya-Imaroro-Mashuru –Isaara –Simba Cement road*. Access…

We would like to inform our esteemed clients that all our properties Nairobi Serena Hotel; Mombasa Serena Beach Hotel; Amboseli, Mara, Kilaguni Serena Lodges, Sweetwaters and Lake Elmenteita Camps; remain open for business.
 
Access to the properties within the zone that include: Nairobi, Nakuru, Kajiado, Kiambu and Machakos is as follows: -
  • Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp is accessible through the Naivasha – Nakuru Highway.
  • Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge is accessible through the Nairobi –Isinya-Imaroro-Mashuru –Isaara –Simba Cement road*.
 Access to properties outside the zone will be from counties not mentioned above.
 
 Travelers are required to observe the following precautionary measures:
  • Wear a mask in all public areas
  • Wash your hands/ sanitize
  • Maintain social distance while interacting with others
 Please click on this link to access our Covid-19 Safety Protocols.
 
Our reservation team is at your disposal to assist with all your queries regarding your stay and navigation to and fro these properties.
 
 
For more information, please contact:
Serena Hotels Sales Centre                                                                                 
Tel: +254 732 123 333            / +254 709 998 333    
E-Mail: reservations.kenya@serenahotels.com
Mar 2021

Serena Collects Women Empowerment initiatives under one platform on International Women’s Day

 Serena Hotels hosted a Women’s Day Breakfast and Crafts Bazaar to acknowledge the trailblazing women of society and to provide support and representation to women social enterprises.  The First Lady Mrs. Samina Arif Alvi was the Chief Guest at the occasion which was attended by prominent women leaders from politics, sports, healthcare and charities as well as other segments of society including journalists and members of the Diplomatic corps and their spouses.  An exhibition of social enterprises for women empowerment as well as organisations working…

Serena Hotels hosted a Women’s Day Breakfast and Crafts Bazaar to acknowledge the trailblazing women of society and to provide support and representation to women social enterprises.

The First Lady Mrs. Samina Arif Alvi was the Chief Guest at the occasion which was attended by prominent women leaders from politics, sports, healthcare and charities as well as other segments of society including journalists and members of the Diplomatic corps and their spouses.

An exhibition of social enterprises for women empowerment as well as organisations working to support persons with disabilities and social justice was set up which included a colourful crafts bazaar. The exhibitors included the Pakistan Foreign Office Women Association (PFOWA), Behbud Crafts, Indus Heritage Trust, Mashal Association, Andaaz, Rozan, Nomad Gallery, Care for Special Persons Foundation, Aga Khan Economic Planning Board for Pakistan and Pakistan Air Force Women’s Association (PAFWA).

CEO Serena Hotels South and Central Asia Mr. Aziz Boolani said that Serena Hotels is working to create a workplace where everyone can advance, and a culture of equality that unlocks human potential. “We are proud to be the first EDGE (Economic Dividends for Gender Equality) certified hospitality company in Pakistan. Today we celebrate the achievements of women and pledge to collectively create an inclusive world.” 

Mar 2021

Serena hotels and margalla greens host high-profile Golf tournament

Serena Hotels co-hosted an Invitational Golf Tournament with the cooperation of the administration of the Margalla Greens Golf Club (MGGC) at the Naval Complex in E-8 on Saturday morning.

 

It was a colorful event and featured the participation of a large number of senior diplomats, corporate heads and high-ranking officials from the Pakistan Armed Forces alongwith their spouses on a beautiful spring day.

 

Serena Hotels regularly organize and sponsor sporting events under the banner of Sports Diplomacy to provide a platform for sports lovers to network and build positive relationships while sharing the joy of sports.

CEO Serena Hotels South and Central Asia Mr. Aziz Boolani said that it was the endeavor of Serena Hotels to allow people to continue enjoying healthy activities whilst fully following the Covid-19 SOPs for their safety. He also thanked the MGGC and the participants for their participation and excellent turnout, especially the enthusiastic participation of a large number of female golfers.

 

The prizes were distributed amongst the winners by the Ambassadors and corporate heads and included the following winners in various categories:

H.E. Dato Mahmud Saidin (1st Net) and Sen. Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary (1st Gross) in Diplomatic Category, Mr. Taimur Abbasi (1st Net) and Mr. Imran Janjua (1st Gross) in Corporate Category, R. Adm. Imran Ahmed (1st Net) and Capt. Atif Sultan (1st Gross) in Armed Forces Category, Mrs. AM Amir Masood (1st Net) and Ms. Ami Qin (1st Gross) in Ladies Category. The subsidiary prizes included Col. Faisal Javed and Mrs. Farnaz Bajwa (Closest to Pin), Brig. Irfan Khan and Mrs. Tehmina Rashid (Longest Drive).

 

 

Jan 2021

Serena Hosts 35 Women Footballers from Chitral

ISLAMABAD, 26th January 2021 – Serena Hotels hosted 35 women footballers from the Chitral Women Sports Club (CWSC) who are currently visiting Islamabad for a sports camp and sporting exchange. Serena Hotels, under its Sports Diplomacy banner, propagates local sports and sponsors a number of initiatives to promote sportspeople in the country and propel them onto the international area. The CWSC was set up in 2018 by Karishma Ali, a remarkable young woman hailing from the remote region, who has represented Pakistan in international footballing…

ISLAMABAD, 26th January 2021 – Serena Hotels hosted 35 women footballers from the Chitral Women Sports Club (CWSC) who are currently visiting Islamabad for a sports camp and sporting exchange. Serena Hotels, under its Sports Diplomacy banner, propagates local sports and sponsors a number of initiatives to promote sportspeople in the country and propel them onto the international area.

The CWSC was set up in 2018 by Karishma Ali, a remarkable young woman hailing from the remote region, who has represented Pakistan in international footballing events and has won global accolades for her efforts to propagate women’s football in Chitral.

The 23-year-old said that the idea behind bringing these girls from Chitral to Islamabad was to provide them with opportunities to learn under guidance of professional coaches, and gain game exposure in a professional environment. They are being coached by coach Jose Alonso from Spain and Waleed Javed, an FA level 1 and AFC C licensed coach, who are training the girls for a seven-day camp at the Jinnah Sports Stadium in Islamabad.

“I see tremendous potential in these girls. I am sure that the learning and exposure that they are getting by interacting with the coaches and fellow footballers from Islamabad and Rawalpindi sports clubs will be a game-changer for them,” enthused Karishma.

 

Mr Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels South and Central Asia, said that he was delighted to see the girls display such passion and enthusiasm for the sport, despite the barriers to entry in traditional societies where they hail from. “Sports is a healthy pursuit and has the potential to be a harbinger of peace and social development, especially for remote areas like Chitral.”

 

“Serena has always taken the lead in supporting women’s empowerment through economic opportunities and sports ventures. We are ever ready to encourage such sportswomen in their quest to reach for the stars.”

Nov 2020

AMBOSELI SERENA SAFARI LODGE WINS GLOBAL BEST PRACTICE AWARD

Nairobi, Kenya, November 12th, 2020 Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge, Kenya has won the CSR Award 2020 at the ‘CINET Global Best Practices Awards’ that was organized online in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge won the award because of its outstanding focus on supporting the community, as well as for applying eco-friendly laundry practices through sustainable and efficient solar power in the Kenyan safari region.  The CINET awards function is a platform to highlight best practices in Professional Textile Care (PTC) and demonstrates…

Nairobi, Kenya, November 12th, 2020

Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge, Kenya has won the CSR Award 2020 at the ‘CINET Global Best Practices Awards’ that was organized online in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge won the award because of its outstanding focus on supporting the community, as well as for applying eco-friendly laundry practices through sustainable and efficient solar power in the Kenyan safari region.

The CINET awards function is a platform to highlight best practices in Professional Textile Care (PTC) and demonstrates the industry’s focus on a high standard of quality, new business models, innovation, and sustainability. The independent International Jury from 20 countries within the PTC industry appreciated Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge for their servicing concept focused on social responsibility.

Abdulkadir Rahim, Group Engineer, Serena Hotels, says, “We are humbled to receive the Global Best Practices Award. This award demonstrates how our journey and efforts to move from fossil-based energy to renewable energy sources and effective energy and wastewater management has evolved over the years.  Incorporating historic energy data insights into our business strategy is one of the key drivers that led us to transform our largest property into a fully solar powered lodge in July 2018, which has enhanced our environmental sustainability.”

As part of its day-to-day operations, Serena Hotels focus on innovative programs that respond to the needs of the environment, economy, and communities within which it operates. Kilaguni Serena, Amboseli Serena and Mara Serena, all built in the 1970s within National Parks/Game Reserves are not only a ‘one-of-a-kind getaways’, but a leading-edge example of how clean, renewable energy independence can be successfully achieved through the installation of off-grid Solar PV systems, even in such challenging safari locations. Lake Elmenteita and Sweetwaters Serena Camps have a grid-tied hybrid solar plants in place whilst four of our properties in East Africa have Solar Water Heating Systems in place.  

An enormous amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions has been avoided since installation of the five Serena solar power plants in a phased manner since July 2017. As an indication, without this investment, more than 200,000 trees would have to be planted in the next 10 years as CO2 compensation. The solar power plants complement the Serena East Africa reafforestation initiative that has taken place for over two decades which particularly aligns with the Sustainable Development Goal 13 Climate Action as set out by the United Nations Development Program.

Kathurima Mburugu, Lodge Manager at Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge says, “The in-house laundry plays an important role in the well-being of the guests and staff, since it resupplies clean and hygienic operational textile and staff uniforms. Our guests are predominantly nature lovers with a great affinity for the environment. My team and I are therefore committed to operating the laundry as well as the rest of the lodge in a sustainable manner.”

Amboseli Serena’s attention to the environment is unlimited. It uses biodegradable cleaning solutions and detergents for its laundry and other lodge operations. The Lodge is connected to waste water treatment ponds before the clean water is discharged into the environment via a reed swamp which even further purifies the water. This goes a long way in preserving  the natural environment which is part of Serena’s philosophy.

Notes to the Editor:

About Tourism Promotion Services (TPS), Serena Hotels

Serena Hotels offers quality accommodation in a collection of 24 up-market hotels, safari lodges, camps and resorts within 7 countries in the Eastern Africa region (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo and Mozambique) and 11 properties in Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan). These properties are strategically located to offer exciting circuits for guests in some of the most exquisite and prime locations in Eastern Africa and Asia. With a focus on product, service standards and guest satisfaction, Serena Hotels continues in its quest to be the hotel of choice for the discerning traveller providing guests with quality accommodation, conference and holiday solutions.

Serena takes pride in the level of personal care and warmth of welcome that it extends to its guests. Each Serena property is designed to complement its environment, while nurturing the landscape, culture and community that surrounds it. The Serena Group leads the industry in East African eco-awareness and eco-policy implementation.

About Global Best Practices Award

The Global Best Practices Award is an initiative of CINET, a Professional Textile Care Company founded 35 years ago and has a mission “To be a well-structured, strong and reputed international umbrella organization for the global professional textile care industry to both consumer and business-to-business applications”.

The Global Best Practices Award Program stimulates the implementation of best practice measures, service aspects, marketing and quality of the professional textile care industry and demonstrates its capabilities. For professional textile care (PTC) operations quality, service, innovation, and sustainability are the key issues to meet customer demands. By stimulating the best practices approach, CINET intends to contribute to a modern and sustainable textile care sector.

Winners of the Global Best Practices Award 2020 were announced at an award ceremony in Amsterdam, Netherlands on the 5th November 2020.

For press inquiries please contact Sharon Kibwage, Corporate Communications Executive: Sharon.Kibwage@serenahotels.com, 0734699277

Oct 2020

Serena Hosts High Profile Awareness Event on Breast Cancer

“A consolidated advocacy effort involving health care officials, the Government, the media and civil society can bring about the synergy that can reverse the breast cancer crisis in Pakistan.”    These remarks were expressed by the Mrs. Arif Alvi, wife of the President of Pakistan during her keynote address at a high-profile panel discussion on Breast Cancer Awareness hosted by Serena Hotels under the banner of Raabta Public Diplomacy initiative. Raabta is curated by broadcast journalist Sidra Iqbal and uses the convening power of Serena to bring…

“A consolidated advocacy effort involving health care officials, the Government, the media and civil society can bring about the synergy that can reverse the breast cancer crisis in Pakistan.”

These remarks were expressed by the Mrs. Arif Alvi, wife of the President of Pakistan during her keynote address at a high-profile panel discussion on Breast Cancer Awareness hosted by Serena Hotels under the banner of Raabta Public Diplomacy initiative. Raabta is curated by broadcast journalist Sidra Iqbal and uses the convening power of Serena to bring together thought leaders, policymakers, experts and the civil society together to advance debate and curate knowledge about important socio-economic topics.

The other experts on the panel included Dr. Ayesha Isani Majeed, Head of Radiology Department and Incharge Federal Breast Cancer Screening Center at Pakistan Institute for Medical Sciences (PIMS), and Dr. Abida K. Sattar, Head of Breast Surgery at Aga Khan University. Senator Aizaz Chaudary, Director of Institute of Strategic Studies also shared his experience as a male survivor of breast cancer.

With 1.3 million cases daily, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in women worldwide. Pakistan has the highest prevalence of breast cancer in Asia, with one out of nine women expected to be diagnosed with the disease at some point.

Mrs. Arif Alvi said that breast cancer is preventable and treatable if detected early, hence spreading information was the key to disease eradication. She said that she had requested support from parliamentarians and from the Federal Minister for Health Services Dr. Faisal Sultan to help initiate a door to door information campaign in every district, city, tehsil and village by utilizing the network of Lady Health Workers and NGO groups like the Green Star Clinics. She announced that a call center facility was also being set up for facilitation of public information.

Sidra Iqbal said that with 90,000 women being diagnosed with breast cancer every year and the high death rate from the disease, there was a dire need to break the cultural and traditional barriers to disease prevention and cure. She thanked the First Lady Mrs. Arif Alvi for taking up this important public information campaign due to which people have atleast started a conversation around this disease which is the first step towards its prevention.

Dr. Ayesha Isani Majeed stressed that yearly mammograms for women over 40 and regular breast self-examinations should become a part of women’s self-care routine. She informed that the Federal Breast Cancer Screening Center at PIMS is the first public sector facility in Islamabad which offers initial screening and detection, biopsy, ultrasound and mammography to patients under one ceiling, and was built to facilitate the growing demand of patients especially those unable to afford the costs of private hospitals. Dr. Isani also spoke of the need to create support groups for those suffering from the disease as the willpower to fight the disease played a major role in recovery.

Senator Aizaz Chaudhary said that there was a need to target men in awareness campaign by distributing pamphlets and informational material. Sharing his personal experience, he said he faced a delay in diagnosis due to the ignorance related to the prevalence of male breast cancer. Due to non-presence of breast tissue, it is even more likely for the cancer to spread to other areas hence it is very important to be diagnosed early to avoid the rapid spread of the cancer.

Dr. Arifa from Aga Khan Hospital said that the disease is often hereditary, and it has nothing to do with the character of a women as surmised by some ignorant segments. She urged measures for early detection, as it was the biggest weapon towards the eradication of the disease. Dr. Arifa shared that there is fertility treatment now available for young women who have been diagnosed with this and other cancers, to make sure there are viable fertility options via IVF for women whose fertility might be adversely affected by chemotherapy.

The panelists agreed that the “Be aware Be Safe” breast cancer awareness campaign spearheaded by Mrs. Arif Alvi especially the measures like the recorded public information messages on ringtones by the Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) was playing a positive role in bringing people into clinics for checkups and timely interventions.

The event was streamed live on Serena Hotels social media channels and is part of a series of multi-platform initiatives by Serena Hotels continuing all this month at its units countrywide to mark “Pinktober”. Serena Hotel units from all over the region including from Kabul, Gilgit, Quetta, Faisalabad and Swat joined the session live via video conferencing link to avail the information session and relay to their respective communities in order to give maximum exposure to the awareness campaign.

Sep 2020

Serena, RGC Invitational Golf Tournament

Serena Hotels and Rawalpindi Golf Club (RGC) hosted the Annual Invitational Golf Tournament at Rawalpindi Golf Club on Sunday as part of its Sports Diplomacy initiative, marking the welcome resumption of events after a long hiatus due to lockdown. Chief of Logistics Staff (CLS) Lt. Gen. Azhar Saleh Abbasi graced the event as Chief Guest. The tournament drew more than 80 golf enthusiasts from the military high command, diplomatic corps, foreign dignitaries, corporate and business sectors which included women golfers. CEO Serena Hotels South and…

Serena Hotels and Rawalpindi Golf Club (RGC) hosted the Annual Invitational Golf Tournament at Rawalpindi Golf Club on Sunday as part of its Sports Diplomacy initiative, marking the welcome resumption of events after a long hiatus due to lockdown. Chief of Logistics Staff (CLS) Lt. Gen. Azhar Saleh Abbasi graced the event as Chief Guest.

The tournament drew more than 80 golf enthusiasts from the military high command, diplomatic corps, foreign dignitaries, corporate and business sectors which included women golfers.

CEO Serena Hotels South and Central Asia Mr. Aziz Boolani said that this was the first event to be organized after the Covid-19 lockdown period, and many more were being planned. He also thanked the RGC and the participants for their enthusiastic participation and excellent turnout.

The dignitaries and participants expressed their pleasure at the chance of competing in pleasant environs of the Rawalpindi Golf Club where the organizers were fully compliant with COVID-19 protocols.

The winners in various categories were:

Maj. Gen. Tariq Qaddus and Maj. Haider Amjad (Ist Net), Maj. Gen. (r) Tariq Saleem Malik and Lt. Col. Tariq Yaqoob (1st Gross) in the Amateur Category, H.E. Dato Mahmud Saidin (1st Gross) and Mr. Aamir Shaukat (1st Net) in Diplomatic Category, Mrs. Tahira Nazir (1st Gross) and Mrs. Hussain Bano (1st Net) in Ladies Category, Mr. Aftab Ahmed (1st Gross) and Mr. Alamgir Shah (1st Net) in Corporate Category while the longest drive award went to Imran Janjua and closet to pin Mr. Haseeb Sultan. Mr. Aamir Shaukat was also awarded for a Hole in One.

Serena Hotels routinely organizes and sponsors sports activities like squash, tennis, hiking, polo, skiing etc. under its sports and adventure diplomacy banners to enhance well-being and enable sharing of the joys of sports.

Jul 2020

SERENA HOTELS COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS

 Serena Hotels has a long tradition of emphasizing cleanliness, safety and comfort in our guest rooms, public spaces and back of house operations as we understand that the health, safety and comfort of our guests, staff and partners remains of utmost importance.  This principle accompanies us in this period of the coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide pandemic and we want to assure our guests that as we re-open our properties during this period, we have added to our already rigorous cleaning and safety protocols, the appropriate recommendations and compliance…

Serena Hotels has a long tradition of emphasizing cleanliness, safety and comfort in our guest rooms, public spaces and back of house operations as we understand that the health, safety and comfort of our guests, staff and partners remains of utmost importance.

This principle accompanies us in this period of the coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide pandemic and we want to assure our guests that as we re-open our properties during this period, we have added to our already rigorous cleaning and safety protocols, the appropriate recommendations and compliance measures in line with the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization requirements to prevent the spread of this virus.

 Management engaged Polucon, a leading inspection, certification and pest control company for preparation and implementation of an in-depth training program on general hygiene, safety requirements and disinfection processes for the ‘front of house’ and ‘back of house’ areas for all Serena properties. This training process is being carried out at all Serena properties across the region.

The hygiene and safety measures that have been put in place at our properties are:

  •  Cleaning of Surface areas: We have added the appropriate cleaning and sanitization products for high-touch surface cleanliness in all public spaces with increased frequency and these include disinfectants and sanitizing sprayers that rapidly clean and disinfect the guest rooms, public areas, restaurants, function and banqueting areas.
  •  Equipment: Automated hand sanitizers, non-contact infrared thermometers, hand wash sinks in the appropriate touch points for guests and staff are in place. Other equipment that is to be added in due course to enhance the sanitizing measures already in place are: Ultraviolet disinfection wands for restaurant table tops and Spa equipment, Electrostatic disinfectant Spray machines for guest rooms, public areas and guest luggage and key card/keys sanitizing kits
  • Guest Interaction: To help alleviate the risk of transmission, clear   signage is availed in the public areas to remind guests to maintain social-distancing protocols. Floor markers have been put in appropriate areas and furniture has been re –arranged to allow more space for distancing in all guest areas.
  • Guest transport:  Guest transport vehicles for transfers, game drives and other guest activities mounted sanitizers and must be cleaned and sanitized after every trip.
  • Food safety: All food handlers have been trained on safe food preparation, preparation and service practices.  All suppliers have been advised of the new operating standards for purchasing and delivery that must be adhered to.
  • Food and Beverage Areas:  Furniture in the restaurants and bars have been re-configured in order to comply with the social distancing measures of 1.5metres between tables.

 The company has modified its operational practices for buffet service for the safety and well–being of our guests.

Two sittings for dinning may be arranged if necessary and clients shall be informed when making reservations, upon check in.

Guests can access restaurant menus through their phones. 

Payments: Cash free payment options are encouraged. Disinfectant wipes for credit/debit cards are available.

Staff: All staff must have the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment when on duty. Whilst on duty, staff are required to have their temperatures checked on daily basis by the nurse before reporting on duty and should any staff feel unwell they must stay away from work and report immediately to the Nurse. Staff are advised to have minimal interaction with guests and amongst themselves.

Property Certification: Properties have been inspected and certified as having complied with the required COVID-19 protocols by respective Health authorities.

For more information on Serena Hotels COVID-19 Safety Protocols, please click here.

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ON-SITE PCR TESTS

 

Nairobi Serena Hotel and Kampala Serena Hotel in partnership with accredited laboratories recommended by WHO are offering its guests on-site PCR tests. This service is also available for clients completing their safari before departure. The on-site PCR tests can be scheduled through the Concierge upon arrival after guests have received a briefing on all safety measures to be observed.

 

Costs

 

Nairobi Serena Hotel

Lancet Laboratories

1. Normal Testing at the hotel- KES 10,250/ USD 100 (24hours)

2. Normal Testing at the lab- KES 7,750/ USD 71 (24hours)

 

Kampala Serena Hotel

Test and Fly Laboratories

1. Emergency Testing - UGX 500,000 / USD 135.2 (6 hours)

2. General Testing - UGX 245,000 / USD 65 (12 hours)

 

Ruby Medical Centre

1. Express Testing - UGX 450,000 / USD 121.94 (12 hours)

2. Normal Testing - UGX 350,000 / USD 94.84 (48 hours)

 

Jul 2020

HBL, Serena Provide over 85,000 Complimentary Meals To Covid-19 Frontliners

Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and Serena Hotels have successfully concluded their almost 4 month-long joint initiative “Jazba-e-Khidmat” for delivering high-quality meals to frontline medical professionals in the COVID-19 designated hospitals in the cities where Serena Hotels are located. HBL and Serena had launched the joint initiative “Jazba e Khidmat” in early April to pay tribute to the medical professionals including doctors, paramedics and nurses who have been serving at the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic. The meal boxes have been delivered…

Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and Serena Hotels have successfully concluded their almost 4 month-long joint initiative “Jazba-e-Khidmat” for delivering high-quality meals to frontline medical professionals in the COVID-19 designated hospitals in the cities where Serena Hotels are located.

 

HBL and Serena had launched the joint initiative “Jazba e Khidmat” in early April to pay tribute to the medical professionals including doctors, paramedics and nurses who have been serving at the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic. The meal boxes have been delivered daily for lunch and dinner to more than 27 hospitals and health camps in the cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Swat, Quetta, Gilgit and Khaplu. At the conclusion of the initiative over 85,000 meal boxes have been delivered as a goodwill gesture to the medical frontliners until 30th July 2020.

 

CEO Serena Hotels Aziz Boolani thanked HBL for joining hands with Serena Hotels in this initiative, and also lauded the medical professionals for their unwavering duty in saving lives of the people during the pandemic. Furthermore, he thanked the Serena kitchen teams all over to the country and applauded their commitment of preparing the meals daily throughout the peak period of the Covid-19 crisis.

 

The idea behind Jazba-e-Khidmat was to recognize and salute the services of medical staff who are battling to keep the society safe during the pandemic by serving them quality nutritious meals. Federal Health Minister Zafar Mirza had announced the initiative in April and appreciated “the admirable thought by Serena Hotels and HBL for the medical workers”.

 

Being Pakistan’s largest bank and leading hotel chain respectively, HBL and Serena Hotels are playing their role as responsible corporate citizens, and have undertaken a range of positive initiatives in light of COVID-19 pandemic to support the Government and society.

Jun 2020

Serena’s Sarangi Season 4 Concludes

Despite COVID-19 challenges, Serena Hotels continue to use the digital platform in engaging the community through their various initiatives. It has recently concluded Season 4 of its nationwide music talent hunt platform “Sarangi”, whose theme this year was “Hamd-O-Naat”, with the jury announcing the winners of the competition online. Hamd is exclusive praise to Allah and Allah…

Despite COVID-19 challenges, Serena Hotels continue to use the digital platform in engaging the community through their various initiatives. It  has recently concluded Season 4 of its nationwide music talent hunt platform “Sarangi”, whose theme this year was “Hamd-O-Naat”, with the jury announcing the winners of the competition online.

 

Hamd is exclusive praise to Allah and Allah Alone whereas Naat is praises to the last Prophet Hazart Muhammad P.B.U.H.

 

Sarangi is one of Serena Hotels’ cultural diplomacy initiatives that aims to foster the rich cultural heritage of the country and promote arts and activities that inspire peace and hope. Over the years it has become a powerful platform that gives hitherto undiscovered musical talent from around the country the chance to step forward by sending a sample of their performance online, to be discovered and polished by the professionals in the music industry.

 

This year’s competition, which kicked off at the beginning of Ramadan, received more than 150 submissions from promising vocal talent in the art of Hamd and Naat from all over the country.

 

The end of season judging event for Serena Sarangi Competition is usually a star-studded affair, however due to Covid-19 the event had to be held in a limited setting with the participants showcasing their talent via video link. However, the quality of the competitors made up for this and the jury consisting of Sufi folk maestro Arieb Azhar, legendary Qawwal Asif Ali Santoo and leading music producer Sarmad Ghafoor, found it difficult to pick a single winner.

 

Osaid Alam, an FSc. from Punjab College of IT, was picked as one of the winners. Inspired by world renowned Naatkhwan Syed Zabeeb Masood Shah, Osaid started reciting Naats from a young age. He was mentored by his teacher Syed Manzoor Ul Konain Shah who helped him polish his talent and passion and won a number of Provincial and National Naat competitions to-date.

 

Another winner was Ayesha Rasheed, a doctorate student from University of Punjab who said her powerful vocals and Sufi singing style are inspired by Abida Shaheen. Ayesha has already won a number district and national level accolades since her young age for Sufi Singing and Kalaam, including Kalam e Iqbal competition held by Iqbal Academy and Unique Drama Festival Lahore.

 

The third winner was Ayesha Tariq, a 17-year-old second year student from Lahore passionate about Hamd-o-Naat and Sufi Ghazals.

 

“It would be unfair for us to single out one winner as three of the finalists were at par with their skills, hence we have decided to award all three as co-winners,” said Asif Ali Santoo, while extending warm congrats to the winners.

 

The winners received a certificate and cash prize which will be divided equally. They will also each receive a recording session on Serena Sarangi Nights, an online live music initiative by Serena Hotels which is broadcast around the world.

Jun 2020

HBL, Serena Extendes it’s Meals Offering to Frontliners

Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and Serena Hotels have pledged to continue providing high-quality meals to frontline medical professionals in the COVID-19 designated hospitals in seven cities where Serena Hotels are located. HBL and Serena had launched the joint initiative “Jazba e Khidmat” in early April to pay tribute to the medical professionals including doctors, paramedics and nurses actively playing a role in battling the COVID-19 pandemic. The meal boxes are delivered daily for lunch and dinner to almost 20 hospitals and health camps in the…

Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and Serena Hotels have pledged to continue providing high-quality meals to frontline medical professionals in the COVID-19 designated hospitals in seven cities where Serena Hotels are located.

 

HBL and Serena had launched the joint initiative “Jazba e Khidmat” in early April to pay tribute to the medical professionals including doctors, paramedics and nurses actively playing a role in battling the COVID-19 pandemic. The meal boxes are delivered daily for lunch and dinner to almost 20 hospitals and health camps in the cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Swat, Quetta, Gilgit and Khaplu. The extension of the initiative, which was decided upon in light of the continuation of the COVID-19 crisis, will lead to 80,000 meal boxes being delivered as a goodwill gesture to the frontliners till end of June.

 

The idea behind Jazba-e-Khidmat is to recognize and salute the services of medical staff who are battling to keep the society safe during the pandemic by serving them quality nutritious meal. Federal Health Minister Zafar Mirza, while announcing the initiative in April, stated that the Ministry appreciated “this admirable thought by Serena Hotels and HBL for the medical workers”.

 

Being Pakistan’s largest bank and leading hotel chain respectively, HBL and Serena Hotels are playing their role as responsible corporate citizens, and have undertaken a range of positive initiatives in light of COVID-19 pandemic to support the Government and society.

Jun 2020

DIAMOND TRUST BANK AND SERENA HOTELS PROVIDE FRONTLINE WORKERS WITH HOT MEALS

Nairobi, June 03, 2020 Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) and Serena Hotels will jointly provide 200 hot meals daily during the month of June 2020 for the frontline COVID-19 health workers at the government designated Kenyatta National Hospital and the Mbagathi District Hospital in Nairobi. Speaking after the handover of the first lunch packs at Kenyatta National Hospital, DTB Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Nasim Devji said, “the programme is part of the Bank’s commitment to the society during the COVID-19 pandemic”. “This…

Nairobi, June 03, 2020

Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) and Serena Hotels will jointly provide 200 hot meals daily during the month of June 2020 for the frontline COVID-19 health workers at the government designated Kenyatta National Hospital and the Mbagathi District Hospital in Nairobi.

 

Speaking after the handover of the first lunch packs at Kenyatta National Hospital, DTB Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Nasim Devji said, “the programme is part of the Bank’s commitment to the society during the COVID-19 pandemic”.

 

“This is a small way to appreciate the efforts of the frontline health workers who have committed themselves to help deal with this unprecedented time. We celebrate their dedication and commitment as they go about this daunting task,” said Ms Devji.

 

The meals will be prepared at Nairobi Serena Hotel and DTB’s contribution towards the joint initiative will come from the recently announced KShs. 100 million kitty approved by the DTB Board of Directors for interventions to cushion Kenyans against the effects of the pandemic.

 

Mahmud Jan Mohamed, Group Managing Director, Serena Hotels said, “at this time of crisis it is heart-warming and inspiring to hear of the incredible work that the brave front line workers are dedicated towards, with resilience to help and give dignity to the people with severe COVID-19. We as Kenyans couldn’t be prouder and truly appreciative of your amazing efforts…God Bless.”

 

Kenyatta National Hospital Chief Executive Officer Dr. Evanson Kamuri thanked DTB and Serena Hotels for the support.

 

“We welcome with a lot of appreciation the kind gesture from Serena Hotels and DTB to provide hot meals to our frontline workers. This will reduce our food cost, time spent on food preparation and the health workers will concentrate on providing healthcare for our patients,” said Dr. Kamuri.

 

About Diamond Trust Bank (DTB)

 

Diamond Trust Bank Kenya Limited (DTB) is a leading regional bank listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). An affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), DTB has operated in East Africa for more than 70 years.

 

DTB’s focus on the Small and Medium Enterprises sector and commitment to enhancing convenience for customers through innovative digital solutions has driven the Bank’s growth in recent years.

 

DTB has been ranked among the top 100 banks in the world and top 250 businesses in Africa.

 

For more information, please e-mail: mkt@dtbafrica.com

 

About Tourism Promotion Services (TPS), Serena Hotels

 

Serena Hotels offers quality accommodation in a collection of 24 up-market hotels, safari lodges, camps and resorts within 6 countries in the Eastern Africa region (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo and Mozambique) and 11 properties in Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan). These properties are strategically located to offer exciting circuits for guests in some of the most exquisite and prime locations in Eastern Africa and Asia. With a focus on product, service standards and guest satisfaction, Serena Hotels continues in its quest to be the hotel of choice for the discerning traveller providing guests with quality accommodation, conference and holiday solutions. Serena takes pride in the level of personal care and warmth of welcome that it extends to its guests. Each Serena property is designed to complement its environment, while nurturing the landscape, culture and community that surrounds it. The Serena Group leads the industry in environmental sustainability.

 

For more information, please e-mail: skibwage@serena.co.ke

Jun 2020

2019 TPSEAP Signed Financial Statements

Kindly click on the links below to download the documents: 2019 TPSEAP Signed Financial Statements High Court Order - Misc. Application No. E680 of 2020 TPS No Objection letter TPSEAP Abridged Financial Statements TPSEAP AGM Minutes- 25.06.2019 TPSEAP Notice of AGM TPSEAP Proxy Form

Jun 2020

HAPPY WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2020

Happy #WorldEnvironmentDay!   Almost overnight we saw a new scientific concept of "flattening the curve" embraced as necessary in curbing a global health crisis. We at Serena Hotels believe that the same kind of thinking and action could be used in addressing climate change - Flattening the curve of carbon emissions to ensure that we don't overload our natural systems needed to sustain life on earth. In a film created in partnership with the Aga Khan Development Network, here's how Serena Hotels does it...   (Click on any of the links below) …

Happy #WorldEnvironmentDay!

Almost overnight we saw a new scientific concept of "flattening the curve" embraced as necessary in curbing a global health crisis. We at Serena Hotels believe that the same kind of thinking and action could be used in addressing climate change - Flattening the curve of carbon emissions to ensure that we don't overload our natural systems needed to sustain life on earth. In a film created in partnership with the Aga Khan Development Network, here's how Serena Hotels does it... 

(Click on any of the links below)

Facebook | Youtube

Hope we are all #stayingsafe and #stayinghealthy

Apr 2020

HBL, Serena pledge 30,000 meals for frontline medics

HBL and Serena Hotels have joined hands to provides 30,000 mealboxes over a period of one monthin seven cities to medical professionals battling at the frontline of coronavirus pandemic. The collaboration, ‘Jazba-e-Khidmat’, is a joint initiative of HBL and Serena Hotels and aims to provide specially prepared mealboxes to the medical teams at the COVID-19 designated hospitals and health camps in seven cities: Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Swat, Quetta, Gilgit and Khaplu. The mealboxes will be provided twice a day to all the medical team members…

HBL and Serena Hotels have joined hands to provides 30,000 mealboxes over a period of one monthin seven cities to medical professionals battling at the frontline of coronavirus pandemic. The collaboration, ‘Jazba-e-Khidmat’, is a joint initiative of HBL and Serena Hotels and aims to provide specially prepared mealboxes to the medical teams at the COVID-19 designated hospitals and health camps in seven cities: Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Swat, Quetta, Gilgit and Khaplu. The mealboxes will be provided twice a day to all the medical team members in 20 hospitals countrywide for a month. Medical professionals are doing a tremendous service to society by battling on the frontlines against the Coronavirus pandemic. Efforts should be undertaken to ensure the health and safety of these medical professionals. Only then will they be able to save the society from this pandemic, a press release issue dby Serena Hotels said. “HBL, Pakistan’s largest bank and a responsible corporate citizen, is keenly aware of its duty to support Pakistan at this difficult time. The Bank enjoys presence in all those cities where Serena Hotels have presence in. The Bank’s role in financing these mealboxes is part of its larger effort to assist the society combat coronavirus. Serena Hotels, Pakistan’s leading Hotel chain, will provide quality mealboxes with nutritious food to keep the medical professionals energized,” it concluded.

Mar 2020

MESSAGE FROM GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR

TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF OPERATIONS UPTO 15 JUNE 2020    LODGES AND CAMPS IN KENYA AND TANZANIA       Never in the 40-year history of Serena Hotels has any event of this breadth and scale impacted the global hospitality industry, than COVID-19.    We have been following the COVID-19 situation very closely and its emerging impact on our business model and portfolio in Africa. It is…

TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF OPERATIONS UPTO 15 JUNE 2020

LODGES AND CAMPS IN KENYA AND TANZANIA

 

Never in the 40-year history of Serena Hotels has any event of this breadth and scale impacted the global hospitality industry, than COVID-19.

 

We have been following the COVID-19 situation very closely and its emerging impact on our business model and portfolio in Africa. It is indeed impossible today to calculate the human and financial impact that COVID-19 will have on the global hospitality industry.

 

In anticipation of reduced business levels during 2020 and in line with government directives and protocols, Management observe with priority that:

  • Taking care of our staff, their dependents and their quality of life to the extent possible is critical.
  • Liquidity risk management is key.

Read more .....

As we navigate this unprecedented crisis and build on the Company’s resilience and adaptability, whilst keeping destination Kenya and Tanzania in the minds of the business and leisure source markets, it is with a ‘heavy heart’ that we advise that the Serena Lodges and Camps below will temporarily cease operations until 15 June 2020:

Serena Lodges & Camp in Kenya

Serena Lodges & Camps in Tanzania

Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge

Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge

Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge

Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Mara Serena Safari Lodge

Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

Serena Mountain Lodge

Kirawira Serena Camp

Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp

Mbuzi Mawe Serena Camp

The above decision will be reviewed once the countries re-open their borders and market confidence returns; a situation that we are definitely looking forward to.

 

All other properties under the Serena Hotels portfolio remain in operation as they continue to observe the health and safety protocols in line with the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control. As announced last year, Serena Beach Resort & Spa is planned to temporarily close.

 

Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by this unprecedented event and our heartfelt gratitude and admiration is extended to the healthcare workers, local communities, and governments in Africa and globally working on the front line to contain this pandemic.

 

As we refine our business model to anticipate, connect and respond through these troubling times, Management expresses its appreciation to all our staff, customers, shareholders, various stakeholders and Board of Directors, for their continuous support, understanding, trust and confidence in Serena Hotels.

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

Mahmud Jan Mohamed

Managing Director, Serena Hotels Africa

 

Serena Hotels Helpline: Kenya: +254 732123000/333 0709998000/333; Tanzania: +255 786999035

E-Mail: Kenya: reservation.kenya@serenahotels.com; Tanzania: reservations@serena.co.tz

www.serenahotels.com

Mar 2020

IN THIS TOGETHER

Dear Guest/ Travel Partner, Serena Hotels is renowned for pioneering exceptional business and holiday experiences in Africa’s most exotic destinations across 24 properties in East Africa and Mozambique. The world currently is facing a global pandemic of Coronavirus, and it is unfortunate that the health and safety of the global traveler is compromised, causing apprehension about…

Dear Guest/ Travel Partner,

Serena Hotels is renowned for pioneering exceptional business and holiday experiences in Africa’s most exotic destinations across 24 properties in East Africa and Mozambique.

The world currently is facing a global pandemic of Coronavirus, and it is unfortunate that the health and safety of the global traveler is compromised, causing apprehension about travel in our minds.

Our thoughts go out to those who have been affected in whichever way and we applaud the sterling efforts all those who have been and continue to be on the front line in the battle to contain the spread of this virus.

Serena Hotels wishes to advise that the company is closely monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis and has taken the necessary steps to have precautionary measures put in place at all our properties. As you think of travel possibilities during this time, we want to emphasize that your safety as our client and that of our staff is a priority to us and whilst you may be considering to postpone your travel plans, we invite you to note the below:

When you book

Be advised that we are complying with all the hygiene precautions at all our properties as per the guidelines set by the World Health Organization and the government.

During your stay

Be assured that all precautions are being taken, including increased cleaning of all areas of the property, the restaurant and public areas, particularly high touch point areas, while our teams are following all recommended personal hygiene practices. In the restaurants, we are providing ample social distance between tables.

 

MANAGEMENT

SERENA HOTELS

Feb 2020

Serena Hotel Becomes First Pakistan Company to Obtain Global Gender Equality Certification

Serena Hotels, one of Pakistan’s leading hospitality companies, is now the first Company in Pakistan and the second hospitality company globally to obtain the Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) C ertification. As an EDGE certified company, Serena Hotels is now part of a group of almost 200 companies that are paving the way for gender equality in their workforce across…

Serena Hotels, one of Pakistan’s leading hospitality companies, is now the first Company in Pakistan and the second hospitality company globally to obtain the Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) Certification. As an EDGE certified company, Serena Hotels is now part of a group of almost 200 companies that are paving the way for gender equality in their workforce across five continents and representing 24 different industries.

 

EDGE is the leading global standard for gender equality, and the certification recognizes Serena Hotels’ global commitments to creating a workplace where men and women are respected and have equal opportunities to thrive and grow professionally.

 

Globally, women make up half of the workforce in the tourism sector but are overrepresented in low-rank jobs, often get underpaid and also carry out the bulk of unpaid work in small-scale family run tourism enterprises. In Pakistan these challenges are more severe as companies in the tourism sector operate in a culturally and legally conservative context for women. Social norms governing women’s roles in families, their access to public spaces and about what are considered ‘appropriate’ professions for women prevent women from accessing education, trainings and resources to get jobs or to grow in their professions. As the only EDGE certified company in Pakistan and one of the few in the tourism sector globally, Serena Hotels Pakistan is leading the way towards gender equality in the workplace for companies in Pakistan as well as in the tourism sector worldwide. 

 

“Women make up 12% of our overall workforce despite many social and cultural challenges,” said Aziz Boolani, Serena Hotels’ Chief Executive Officer. “As a leading hotel chain, Serena Hotels makes every effort to encourage women for their professional development for assuming higher positions including the leadership role.”

 

Additionally, a growing body of research now supports the strong links between gender equality in private sector organizations and increased profits, growth and innovation for companies that invest in closing gender gaps in their organization. 

 

As a responsible corporate body, Serena Hotels has consistently focused on sustainability in their business practices. In 2018, Serena Hotels was recognized as a top performer at the Employer of Choice for Gender Balance awards organized by the International Finance Corporation for companies in the Pakistan Business Council. Additionally, several of Serena Hotels’ initiatives focus on the empowerment of women through capacity building and employment. One such CSR initiative is the “Karighar” program launched by Serena Hotels, that makes an impact by providing entrepreneurship training to various segments of women to engender sustainable growth for their ventures and to improve their quality of life overall.  

 

The EDGE assessment and certification process follows a strict and methodologically rigorous process and focuses on five key workplace areas: recruitment and promotion, leadership development, equal pay, flexible work arrangements, and overall company culture. The assessment reviewed Serena Hotel’s company statistics, HR policies and practices, and included a survey of the over 1800 strong workforce. Following in-depth interviews and discussions, including with Serena Hotel’s HR professionals, Serena Hotels has developed a set of follow-up actions that will continue to promote gender parity in their workforce. 

Feb 2020

Serena hosts high-profile discussion on Pakistan’s Digital Economy

ISLAMABAD, 27 th February 2020 – A high-profile panel discussion on Pakistan’s digital future attended by prominent players in the local digital industry was hosted on Thursday evening by Serena hotels as part of its Public Diplomacy Initiative called “Raabta”. The event titled “Reimagine our Digital Future – Preparing to thrive or survive?” was hosted by Raabta curator and…

ISLAMABAD, 27th February 2020 – A high-profile panel discussion on Pakistan’s digital future attended by prominent players in the local digital industry was hosted on Thursday evening by Serena hotels as part of its Public Diplomacy Initiative called “Raabta”.

 

The event titled “Reimagine our Digital Future – Preparing to thrive or survive?” was hosted by Raabta curator and prominent journalist Sidra Iqbal. Raabta is a nonpartisan public initiative by Serena hotels to initiate dialogue aimed at creating awareness amongst diverse groups and networks on critical aspects of socially significant fields such as the economy, health and education. 

 

A lively and thought-provoking discussion was held about the challenges facing the local digital economy in face of its rapid expansion, and the challenges and opportunities this brings in terms of innovation, governance, job market, cyber risks, regulation and ease of doing business.

 

“The focus of today’s event is to discuss the potential benefits and costs arising from global digital technology changes and, importantly, anticipate public policy solutions to emerging problems that will shape the future of society and the economy for generations to come,” said Sidra Iqbal. “Change can come within a generation if managed properly, rather than waiting for millennia. We are asking if the policymakers going to be reactive to the digital revolution or take the bull by the horn and prepare an environment for the digital economy to thrive?”

 

The keynote speaker at the event was Chief of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “Digital Pakistan” initiative Tania Aidrus, who spoke about the 5 pillars that form the cornerstone of the Government’s digital policy which include access and connectivity, digital infrastructure, eGovernment and digital skilling. Tania said the response to the PM’s digital initiative was overwhelmingly good and it felt like a movement already.

 

Tania said a lot was happening in the digital arena but it’s important to keep an end view in sight and take a strategic approach. She said the efforts at provincial and federal level have to be synchronized to achieve the objectives on a broader scale. She said the internet is a democratizing force and digital allows equitable access to knowledge provided the affordability of digital infrastructure was enabled and commodities like the internet are not taxed as a luxury item. She made comparisons between 35% internet penetration in Pakistan to developing countries like Myanmar where it stands at 80% hence policymakers need to start making smartphones and internet access especially in rural areas more affordable and accessible. She further said the AI and the internet of things is improving decision making in multiple areas like affordable healthcare, distance learning and transportation.

 

The panel included prominent figures of the local digital landscape including GM of Careem Zeeshan Hasib Baig, MD Daraz.pk Ehsan Saya, CEO Foodpanda Nauman Sikandar Mirza, Chief Corporate and Enterprise Officer Jazz Ali Naseer, MD KPITB Dr. Shahbaz Khan and Chief Business Support Officer U Microfinance Bank Sharmeen Niaz.

 

GM of Careem Pakistan, Zeeshan Hasib Baig said that Careem had enabled 500,000 jobs which shows that going digital will not take away jobs as some fear, however it will change the way we work and make it more efficient so the focus can be on better quality leading to productivity gains. He said digital companies like Careem are improving livelihoods, moreover they are allowing females much better mobility for work and leisure.

 

Speaking of challenges facing the digital sector, he said the industry growth rates are encouraging but the will of execution needs to be there including from the bureaucracy and regulatory authorities. He said that decentralization of provinces brings its own challenges for countrywide businesses like Careem, so the Government needs to improve ease of doing business and regulatory policies.

 

Ali Naseer from Jazz said we need to change the lens of how we look at things and there needs to be a paradigm shift in our traditional processes to allow for digital to be effective lest we become redundant. “Whilst we have 3G/4G broadband license since 2014 but less than 40% of the population is connected on broadband currently which is a travesty. Out of the 76 million people who do use it, more than 96% do so on their cellphones. This number could have been 170 million plus if all registered cellphones were subscribed to the network but due to weaknesses in the licensing regime and internal challenges this has not happened.” He said if cost of handsets were reduced, especially the entry level smartphones then we could see a rapid expansion of mobile broadband networks. 

 

Nauman Sikander Mirza of food delivery service Foodpanda Pakistan said that Pakistan’s digital economy was in very early stages with no e-commerce companies operating in the country and very few government entities using automation. He lamented the dearth of restaurant outlets in the country but said he saw a great opportunity in home chefs who have the ability to become agents of change in the industry.

 

MD of online selling platform Daraz.pk Ehsan Saya spoke about digitization boosting the trade industry like never before despite the fact that the majority of the population is not accustomed to buying online. He said the e-commerce will pick up eventually when the Government improves regulation but also as companies like Daraz and Foodpanda and Careem are slowly winning the trust of the people through quality assurance and good service that will decrease the reluctance of customers to pay through credit cards.

 

The digital gurus mentioned the measures they had undertaken for quality assurance and training of skill-sets to match the demands of the growing sector.

CEO Serena Aziz Boolani thanked the esteemed panelists for making themselves available for the event and said, “At Serena we promote and support sports, adventure tourism, culture and dialogue through our various diplomacy initiatives. Raabta is our Public Diplomacy Initiative that uses the convening power of Serena to bring together experts, policy makers and the interested citizenry to inform and engage individuals and organizations in advancing debate and creating knowledge. The idea is to foster inclusive dialogue with the aspiration of building a sustainable future.”

Feb 2020

Serena brings Swiss hospitality executive education to Pakistan

Serena Hotels have partnered with one of the world’s leading hospitality management schools, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) Switzerland, to launch a premium hospitality executive education programme for the capacity building of senior to mid-level executives of Pakistan’s tourism and services sector. An exclusive gathering to launch the executive education programme was held…

Serena Hotels have partnered with one of the world’s leading hospitality management schools, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) Switzerland, to launch a premium hospitality executive education programme for the capacity building of senior to mid-level executives of Pakistan’s tourism and services sector.

 

An exclusive gathering to launch the executive education programme was held at Islamabad Serena Hotel, also attended by President Dr Arif Alvi. The event was attended by diplomats, government functionaries, corporate heads, academia and representatives from services sector including tourism industry.

 

The executive education programme ‘Proficiency of Hospitality Management’ will consist of seven modules starting February and ending in December 2020. The participants to the programme include representatives from diverse service sector organizations, like hospitality, healthcare, banking, customer services, government and academia.

 

Specialised faculty from the world-renowned Swiss hospitality school, the EHL Advisory Services, will deliver the course modules covering a comprehensive range of topics from people to revenue management, service operations, marketing communication, strategic hospitality and asset management – culminating in a globally accredited certificate ‘Proficiency of Hospitality Management’ for the participants.

 

President Arif Alvi appreciated Serena Hotels for enabling the initiative and making an effort to bridge the gap which exists in providing service excellence. “The data shows that tourism in places like the beautiful northern areas of Pakistan has welled into millions in past few years due to efforts of the government and improvement in the security situation. Pakistan is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and our hospitality industry needs to showcase this diversity and rich cultural heritage,” he said.

 

“We are delighted to take the first significant step in our partnership with Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland, by bringing international executive education grounded in cutting edge knowledge, experience and innovation to Pakistan. “These best practices will allow us to reach and exceed global standards of excellence in Pakistan,” said CEO Serena Hotels Aziz Boolani. Due to the country’s immense potential in tourism, these sectors have been identified as priority areas for youth engagement, investment and skill-building by the government of Pakistan, he said. “The versatility and timely implementation of this programme will expose managerial and executive professionals to world-class standards so that they can lead Pakistan’s traditional hospitality with a detailed and courteous approach required to promote government’s vision,” he said.

 

On the sidelines of the executive education programme, the Serena Hotels will also conduct specialised workshops on avant-garde and innovative topics in digital tourism, service leadership for hospitality, tourism and service sector in Pakistan, alongside the modules ranging from people management, entrepreneurship to specific audiences.

Feb 2020

Serena Hotels sponsored a fundraising event for DIL Foundation

In an effort to raise funds to provide a quality education for underprivileged children, Serena Hotels organised a fundraiser in collaboration with Developments in Literacy (DIL) for children living in remote areas of Pakistan. The fundraiser included a musical evening at Islamabad Serena Hotel on 15th February 2020. DIL is a not-for-profit NGO established in 1997 and is celebrating…

In an effort to raise funds to provide a quality education for underprivileged children, Serena Hotels organised a fundraiser in collaboration with Developments in Literacy (DIL) for children living in remote areas of Pakistan.

 

The fundraiser included a musical evening at Islamabad Serena Hotel on 15th February 2020. DIL is a not-for-profit NGO established in 1997 and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

 

The initiative has opened up a world of opportunity for 25,557 students (64% of whom are girls) at 134 campuses across Pakistan by developing an institution which inspires a love of learning and teaches the students skills necessary to live a stable life.

Feb 2020

Diplomats’ spouses launch cookbook

The Heads of Diplomatic Mission’s Spouses Group launched Culinary Diplomacy: Sharing Recipes, Building Bridgesin collaboration with Serena Hotels. Samina Arif Alvi was invited to the event as chief guest.The spouses of some 50 foreign envoys in Islamabad launched the cookbook, which uses 144 recipes from 50 countries across six continents to introduce culture through cuisine.…

The Heads of Diplomatic Mission’s Spouses Group launched Culinary Diplomacy: Sharing Recipes, Building Bridgesin collaboration with Serena Hotels.

 

Samina Arif Alvi was invited to the event as chief guest.The spouses of some 50 foreign envoys in Islamabad launched the cookbook, which uses 144 recipes from 50 countries across six continents to introduce culture through cuisine.

 

Ghada Ahmed, the spouse of the Egyptian ambassador, said: “This marks the culmination of my tenure of two years as President of the Spouses’ Group since March 2018 and also the end of mine and husband’s term in Pakistan, so this is my farewell to you all. The book that we are launching today is the jewel of the crown of our activities over the past two years.”

 

She added: “This project aims to promote our cultures among the Pakistani people by introducing our cuisines and the stories that lie behind the dishes we prepare every day. It also aims to generate revenues by the sale of the book that will all go to a charity organisation in Pakistan to improve the wellbeing of Pakistani individuals and give them better chances in life.”

 

Ms Alvi, who also wrote the foreword of the book, said: “It is an honour for me to take the responsibility to commit the proceeds from the sale of the book to a charitable cause. I am pleased to say that I will be committing the proceeds to Ehsaas, the government’s poverty alleviation programme to promote vocational training of the disabled.” Five books signed by Ms Alvi were auctioned during the event.

Feb 2020

Prize distribution ceremony for two international Ski events held at Serena Hotels

Prize distribution ceremony of 4th CAS Karakoram International Alpine Ski Cup, 3rd Malam Jabba International Alpine Ski Cup and 27th National Ski Championship was held at Serena Hotel Islamabad. President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi was the chief guest at the occasion. Air Marshal Ahmer Shehzad, Vice Chief of the Air Staff, who is also President Winter Sports Federation of Pakistan,…

Prize distribution ceremony of 4th CAS Karakoram International Alpine Ski Cup, 3rd Malam Jabba International Alpine Ski Cup and 27th National Ski Championship was held at Serena Hotel Islamabad.

 

President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi was the chief guest at the occasion. Air Marshal Ahmer Shehzad, Vice Chief of the Air Staff, who is also President Winter Sports Federation of Pakistan, was also present. Aziz Bolani, CEO Serena Hotels, ambassadors, high ranking defence & civil officials also attended the ceremony.

 

The President thanked the international players for their participation in these events and hoped that they would take along cherished memories of Pakistan’s magnificent beauty and traditional hospitality.

 

He urged the foreign players to act as the ambassadors of Pakistan and portray the true picture of this land of wonders in their respective countries. He lauded the efforts of Pakistan Air Force and Winter Sports Federation of Pakistan in the promotion of winter sports in the country and added that it would not only help in finding new talent but also promote tourism industry in the country.

 

The chief guest awarded souvenirs to the winning players. Total 36 International Skiers along with Pakistani skiers participated in both men and women categories of these events.

Feb 2020

Fundraising Dinner & Qawwali Night for Pakistan Sweet Home

Serena Hotels hosted a fundraising gala Dinner and Qawwali Night featuring a performance by renowned Qawwal Imran Aziz Mian.    All the proceeds from the event went towards Pakistan Sweet Home, a welfare Non-Profit registered Organization, striving to support the poor Little Angles who have lost their parents particularly in the wake of acts of terrorism, due to the onslaught of floods and other natural disasters/causes.  

Serena Hotels hosted a fundraising gala Dinner and Qawwali Night featuring a performance by renowned Qawwal Imran Aziz Mian.

 

All the proceeds from the event went towards Pakistan Sweet Home, a welfare Non-Profit registered Organization, striving to support the poor Little Angles who have lost their parents particularly in the wake of acts of terrorism, due to the onslaught of floods and other natural disasters/causes.

 

Feb 2020

Fundraising Dinner & Qawwali Night for Pakistan Sweet Home

Serena Hotels hosted a fundraising gala Dinner and Qawwali Night featuring a performance by renowned Qawwal Imran Aziz Mian.

All the proceeds from the event went towards Pakistan Sweet Home, a welfare Non-Profit registered Organization, striving to support the poor Little Angles who have lost their parents particularly in the wake of acts of terrorism,

Serena Hotels hosted a fundraising gala Dinner and Qawwali Night featuring a performance by renowned Qawwal Imran Aziz Mian.

All the proceeds from the event went towards Pakistan Sweet Home, a welfare Non-Profit registered Organization, striving to support the poor Little Angles who have lost their parents particularly in the wake of acts of terrorism, due to the onslaught of floods and other natural disasters/causes.

Jan 2020

Aqeel clinches singles title in Ranking Tennis

Pakistan’s longest serving No 1 Aqeel Khan took sweet revenge from his nemesis as he outplayed Muzammil Murtaza in men’s singles final to clinch the 5th Serena Hotels National Ranking Tennis Tournament trophy here at Senator Dilawar Abbas PTF Tennis Complex on Sunday. Serena Hotels Manager Marketing Hussain Odhwani graced the occasion as chief guest and Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) President Salim Saifullah Khan was the guest of honour while dignitaries, tennis lovers and parents also came in huge numbers to witness the quality tennis on…

Pakistan’s longest serving No 1 Aqeel Khan took sweet revenge from his nemesis as he outplayed Muzammil Murtaza in men’s singles final to clinch the 5th Serena Hotels National Ranking Tennis Tournament trophy here at Senator Dilawar Abbas PTF Tennis Complex on Sunday.

 

Serena Hotels Manager Marketing Hussain Odhwani graced the occasion as chief guest and Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) President Salim Saifullah Khan was the guest of honour while dignitaries, tennis lovers and parents also came in huge numbers to witness the quality tennis on offer.

 

Salim Saifullah appreciated the role of Serena Hotels in promotion of tennis in collaboration with the PTF and also lauded both the sponsors and the organisers for conducting such an excellent event. He also praised the role of media for promotion of sports in Pakistan and especially tennis and hoped that the joint efforts will continue to further uplift the game.

 

It was pried on stake for tennis king, Aqeel Khan, who had lost two back-to-back finals against No 2 Muzammil Murtaza, and in the end, Aqeel succeeded in proving the point that he is still by far the best in the country. In the first set, Aqeel looked more aggressive and composed than Muzammil and played superb shots, powerful hits and back hands to put immense pressure on his opponent, which helped him take the first set 6-3 in 32 minutes.

 

In the second set, Muzammil was looking more agile and determined but Aqeel was fully focussed on the task ahead. Both the players displayed world class tennis during the entire second set and matched fire-with-fire till the end as both managed to hold onto their respective serves. Muzammil had twice chances of breaking Aqeel in the 12th game, but Aqeel somehow managed to hold his serve to force the second set into the tie break, where he broke both Muzammil’s serve to win the second set 7-6 (4) to land the title. Soon after title triumph against Muzammil, Aqeel celebrated his victory like a lion and received a huge round of applause from the entire crowd.

 

In boys U-18 final, top seed and Davis Cupper Muhammad Shoaib simply outclassed Zalan Khan in straight sets, winning the final and title by 6-3, 6-2. Bilal Asim won the boys U-14 singles title after edging out Ahmed Nail in tough battle, which he won 6-4, 7-6(4). M Huzaifa Khan/Hamid Israr won the boys U-14 doubles title after beating Haider Ali Rizwan/Hussnain Ali Rizwan 4-1, 4-1. Hussnain Ali Rizwan (LGS Paragon) won the boys & girls U-12 title by beating Hamza Roman 2-4, 4-2, 4-2. Hamza Ali Rizwan (LGS Paragon) clinched the U-10 boys & girls singles title by beating Haniya Minhas 5-4(2), 4-2.

Dec 2019

Telenor Pakistan and Serena Hotels bring breakthrough hospitality solution

To ensure seamless connectivity for tourists and guests, Telenor Pakistan, in partnership with Serena Hotels Pakistan, has launched a revolutionary, first-of-its-kind digital platform. This solution, called ‘S TEL,’ will be a complimentary service for Serena Hotel guests allowing them to enjoy free international and local calls along with 4G internet and hotspot options, all packed in a dedicated smartphone placed in their rooms. S Tel was unveiled at an event held at Serena Hotel in Islamabad where management of both organizations was present…

To ensure seamless connectivity for tourists and guests, Telenor Pakistan, in partnership with Serena Hotels Pakistan, has launched a revolutionary, first-of-its-kind digital platform. This solution, called ‘S TEL,’ will be a complimentary service for Serena Hotel guests allowing them to enjoy free international and local calls along with 4G internet and hotspot options, all packed in a dedicated smartphone placed in their rooms. S Tel was unveiled at an event held at Serena Hotel in Islamabad where management of both organizations was present alongside their teams.

 

Telenor’s ‘S TEL’ works as seamlessly as it meets the connectivity challenges of travellers while on the move. Through this platform, the guests will be able to stay in touch with the hotel for their basic amenities and also connect with their friends and family around the world.

 

said Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO Telenor Pakistan and Head of Emerging Asia Cluster Telenor Group, while sharing his thoughts on the development.

 

“Telenor Pakistan’s ‘S TEL’ is an innovative breakthrough not only in Pakistan’s but the region’s hospitality industry. We pride in being industry leaders in introducing technological innovations and after our digital interventions on agriculture and social inclusion fronts, we are now aiming to transform businesses by providing them state of the art solutions that makes their processes more efficient. I’m pleased to partner with Serena Hotel for this solution and hopeful that this partnership will go a long way in setting new trends that are necessary to boost the tourism and hospitality industry in Pakistan.”

 

said Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels – South & Central Asia.

 

“We are ecstatic to have partnered with Telenor Pakistan for making this digital platform a reality. Being the country’s hospitality leaders, we want to deliver our guests a wholesome digital and connectivity experience that is hard to match. With ‘S Tel’ we have come closer to achieving our goal as it offers guests a robust connectivity solution that makes their stay comfortable, safe, and memorable. This feature-rich application not only makes roaming charges and connectivity issues a thing of the past for our guests, but also works to lift tourism in the country with features such as the city guide. We trust that our guests will further enjoy their experience at Islamabad Serena Hotel with ‘S TEL’ being at their disposal.”

 

As the guests check in to their room, the smartphone already has their basic details on ‘S TEL’ that can be accessed and used instantly. The smartphone is removable and the guest may take it with them to anywhere in the city. This means that the guests may place an order for their favourite meal or request for laundry pickup remotely, even before reaching back to the hotel. ‘S TEL’ also works as an absolute virtual local city guide which includes tourist attractions and sightseeing spots.

 

Both organizations have ensured that this platform keeps user privacy a priority. To keep the user data secure, the device operates in Kiosk mode only allowing guests to stay connected to their friends, family and hotel management. Upon check-out, it ensures privacy and protection of guest information by wiping all usage and communications data.

Dec 2019

Serena Huawei Pakistan International Squash Tournament 2019

Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) in collaboration with Serena Hotel and Huawei hosted the Serena Huawei Pakistan International Squash Tournament 2019 for Men & Women under the supervision of Professional Squash Association (PSA) from 15 - 19 December at the Mushaf Squash Complex, Islamabad. The 5-day long championship carried a total prize money of $32,000 of which $20,000 were reserved for Men and $12,000 were for women. World rank number 43 Youssef Ibrahim of Egypt and world number 51 Mohamed ElSherbini of Egypt were top seeds of the…

Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) in collaboration with Serena Hotel and Huawei hosted the Serena Huawei Pakistan International Squash Tournament 2019 for Men & Women under the supervision of Professional Squash Association (PSA) from 15 - 19 December at the Mushaf Squash Complex, Islamabad.  

 

The 5-day long championship carried a total prize money of $32,000 of which $20,000 were reserved for Men and $12,000 were for women. World rank number 43 Youssef Ibrahim of Egypt and world number 51 Mohamed ElSherbini of Egypt were top seeds of the mega tournament.  

 

Following were the renowned  player who got byes in the men's singles first round: (1) Youssef Ibrahim (EGY), (5)  Asim Khan (PAK), (8) Farhan Mehboob (PAK), (4)Mazen Gamal (EGY), (3) Tayyab Aslam (PAK), (7) Tsz Kwan Lau (HKG), (6) Rui Soares (POR) and (2) Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY)

 

Besides Pakistan, world ranking Men & women players from Austria, Egypt, Hong Kong, Jordan, England, Malaysia, Portugal and Germany participated in the mega event. 

 

Asim Khan, Farhan Mehboob, Tayyab Aslam, Israr Ahmed, Amaad Fareed, Farhan Zaman, Zeeshan Zeb and Noor Zaman were represented the hosts.

Dec 2019

MARA SERENA SAFARI LODGE LAUNCHES ITS SOLAR POWER PLANT

Serena Hotels in partnership with Mettle Solar OFGEN have transformed a third property, Mara Serena Safari Lodge in Kenya, into a fully solar powered property. The inauguration of the Mara Serena solar power plant demonstrates Serena Hotels commitment to be the ‘Full Scale Solar Pioneers’ in the East African hospitality sector.The solar power plant constructed by Mettle Solar OFGEN has an output of 640kWp with 1400kWh of storage utilising TESLA Lithium-ion batteries. This provides capacity to supply Mara Serena Safari Lodge’s total energy requirements...

 

Serena Hotels in partnership with Mettle Solar OFGEN have transformed a third property, Mara Serena Safari Lodge in Kenya, into a fully solar powered property. The inauguration of the Mara Serena solar power plant demonstrates Serena Hotels commitment to be the ‘Full Scale Solar Pioneers’ in the East African hospitality sector.

 

The solar power plant constructed by Mettle Solar OFGEN has an output of 640kWp with 1400kWh of storage utilising TESLA Lithium-ion batteries. This provides capacity to supply Mara Serena Safari Lodge’s total energy requirements.

 

Mr. Mahmud Jan Mohamed, Managing Director, Serena Hotels says, “This is an exciting and sustainable approach to addressing our energy needs, aligning our established dedication in environmental stewardship that has been in existence for over four decades.”

 

Mettle Solar OFGEN has implemented similar off-grid solar systems in other Serena properties including Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge (2017) and Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge (2018). Additionally, the firm commissioned two grid-tied hybrid solar systems in early 2018 at Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp and Sweetwaters Serena Camp. The approximate cumulative environmental impact of these initiatives is as follows:

  • Total installed capacity: 1,760kWp with 3,900kWh of storage.
  • Total green energy produced to date: 2,771 MWh.
  • CO2 avoided: 1,949 tons.
  • Trees that would need to be planted to extract the said CO2 within 10 years: 155,950 trees.

Kilaguni Serena, Amboseli Serena and now Mara Serena, all built in the 1970s within National Parks/Game Reserves are not only a ‘one-of-a-kind getaways’, but a leading-edge example of how clean, renewable energy independence can be successfully achieved through the installation of off-grid Solar PV systems, even in such challenging safari locations.

 

Mr. Francois Van Themaat, Managing Director, Mettle Solar OFGEN says, “We are proud to be part of this transformational sustainability project in the East African hospitality industry, particularly with Serena Hotels playing a leading role. The use of natural resources such a solar is being embraced as it is one of the most sustainable ways to preserve the ecosystem.”

 

All Serena’s programs are aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set out by the United Nation Development Program. The Solar Power Plant aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals - SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy; SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production; SDG 13: Climate Action; and SDG 15: Life on Land.

 

The demand from eco-travelers is growing and Serena continues to adapt its business best practices model to meet the ecological travel experiences and expectations of today’s guest.

 

Serena’s intention is to continue the implementation of these and other sustainability initiatives. These will be in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement as it continues to be part of transitioning Eastern African economies into low carbon economies.

Dec 2019

Serena-Huawei International Men & Women Squash Championship from Dec 15

Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) in collaboration with Pakistan Air Force & Serena Hotels would be organizing Serena Hotels-Huawei Pakistan International Squash Tournaments for Men & Women between 15-19 December, 2019 at Mushaf Squash Complex, Islamabad. Men event has a prize money of US$ 20,000/- whereas Women event has US$ 12,000/- as prize money. Besides Pakistan, a…

Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) in collaboration with Pakistan Air Force & Serena Hotels would be organizing Serena Hotels-Huawei Pakistan International Squash Tournaments for Men & Women between 15-19 December, 2019 at Mushaf Squash Complex, Islamabad. Men event has a prize money of US$ 20,000/- whereas Women event has US$ 12,000/- as prize money.  Besides Pakistan, a large number of international Men & Women squash players from Austria, Egypt, Germany, Hong Kong, Jordon, Malaysia, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and USA have confirmed their participation.  

 

Serena Hotels decided five years ago to reclaim the legacy of squash in Pakistan under its Sports Diplomacy Initiative. Sports Diplomacy is an integral part of Serena’s efforts to build stronger relations with communities. Sports are an important medium for bringing people together and participation in sports helps in improving leadership, teamwork, and communication skills along with promoting a healthier lifestyle and presenting a positive image of the country internationally. As part of their initiative they have been very graciously extending their tremendous sponsorship to Pakistan Squash Federation for the conduct of international Squash events. Their generous support to PSF has always been appreciated at all levels. 

It is gratifying to highlight that in addition to Serena Hotels and Pakistan Air Force, this time few co-sponsors have also joined hands with PSF like Huawei, MCB, Bank Al Habib, Murree Brewery & Sports Fever 360 (Digital Media Partner).

 

It is expected that with the presence of top world ranking players from various parts of the world, the squash enthusiasts would get an opportunity to witness some thrilling squash during their stay in Islamabad.

Dec 2019

Serena Hotels sponsored two-days crafts festival

Under the auspices of its Cultural Diplomacy programme, Serena Hotel, in collaboration with Nomad Gallery, held a two day Craft Festival which aimed to give economic empowerment to those who showcased their crafts. The event was held in the Bazaar Court and featured art and crafts from around Pakistan, in particular from the Northern Areas. This festival has become a yearly feature…

Under the auspices of its Cultural Diplomacy programme, Serena Hotel, in collaboration with Nomad Gallery, held a two day Craft Festival which aimed to give economic empowerment to those who showcased their crafts. The event was held in the Bazaar Court and featured art and crafts from around Pakistan, in particular from the Northern Areas. This festival has become a yearly feature and gives residents of the sister cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad an opportunity to not only see the beautiful craft items that are produced in Pakistan but also for them to buy gifts for this holiday season. You can pick up something really nice for a reasonable sum either to give or keep for yourself!

Though there are many craft shops in both cities, this festival showcased a few special items that are not generally found in the market - while the atmosphere of the venue had a great deal to do with its success as visitors got to view all the collectible items under one roof and that too in comfort - away from the hustle and bustle of the bazaar. It was also a pleasure to see women behind some counters - many of them artisans who proudly showcase their skills at this annual event to appreciative persons.

Besides items of wear like caftans and beautifully embroidered shawls, there was a variety of edible items - like honey and dried fruit from Hunza - to choose from. Indigenous home decoration items like door and wall hangings make an unusual gift and were much appreciated. It was an opportunity missed for those who could not make it as there was the added attraction of the seasons decorations like the Christmas tree and others like a reindeer drawn sled which have been put up by the hotel management in the main lobby - which luckily will still be there when the festival was over on Sunday.

Dec 2019

Serena Hotels sponsored 5th AHC-PCB Girls’ Cup 2019

Serena Hotels under its sports diplomacy initiative hosted 5th the Australian High Commission (AHC) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) at F-9 Cricket Ground, Islamabad on Saturday. Australia’s Acting High Commissioner to Pakistan, Mr Brek Batley, congratulated the schools on their participation and welcomed the continued support of the PCB and Serena Hotels for the annual AHC-PCB…

Serena Hotels under its sports diplomacy initiative hosted 5th the Australian High Commission (AHC) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) at F-9 Cricket Ground, Islamabad on Saturday. Australia’s Acting High Commissioner to Pakistan, Mr Brek Batley, congratulated the schools on their participation and welcomed the continued support of the PCB and Serena Hotels for the annual AHC-PCB Girls’ Cricket Cup. The AHC-PCB Girls’ Cup Islamabad involved teams from four schools: SOS Children’s Village H-11, Sky School System F-11/3, Islamabad Model School for Girls G-11/1 and Islamabad Model School for Girls I-9/1 Islamabad. This year’s competition was also supported by Malik Sports through the donation of cricket equipment and the Capital Development Authority which provided the ground facilities.

 

 

“The Australian High Commission has been sponsoring girls’ cricket in Pakistan since May 2016 to promote gender equality through sport. We began with a single annual tournament in Islamabad but expanded in Lahore and Karachi this year,” Mr Batley said. “Our countries share a passion for cricket, so we’re very pleased to support this event. Cricket and other sports can help tear down barriers and stereotypes. Every time these girls hit a boundary or make a catch, they are taking a step towards greater equality,” he said.

 

The girls attended a five-day coaching clinic in the lead-up to the competition conducted by PCB first class cricket coaches and the Manager of Pakistan Women’s Emerging Squad, Fizza Abid.

 

 

 

Mr Batley highlighted that Australia will host the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final on International Women’s Day. At the tournament, Australia will become the first cricketing nation to close the gender gap in prize money -Cricket Australia will top up any prize money won by the Australian team to ensure parity with men’s winnings.

Dec 2019

PAF blue wins polo tournament sponsored by Serena Hotels

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Blue won the 28th Chief of Air Staff Challenge Cup Polo Tournament, played here Islamabad Polo Club on Sunday.PAF Blue defeated Asean Kalabagh with four and half goals to three goals in the final. Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, Chief of the Air Staff PAF, who was the chief guest on the occasion gave away prizes amongst the players and awarded the CAS Challenge Polo Cup to the winning team.The first chakkar ended without any goal. However, Asean Kalabagh managed to take the lead in the 2nd chakkar, when…

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Blue won the 28th Chief of Air Staff Challenge Cup Polo Tournament, played here Islamabad Polo Club on Sunday.

PAF Blue defeated Asean Kalabagh with four and half goals to three goals in the final.

Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, Chief of the Air Staff PAF, who was the chief guest on the occasion gave away prizes amongst the players and awarded the CAS Challenge Polo Cup to the winning team.

The first chakkar ended without any goal. However, Asean Kalabagh managed to take the lead in the 2nd chakkar, when the National player Raja Sami scored two consecutive goals. Hamza Mawaz kept the match alive by scoring first goal for the PAF Blue. No team could score in the 3rd chakkar.

Haider Asad scored a goal for Asean Kalabagh in the 4th chakkar but PAF Blue came back in the match courtesy two goals by Hamza and one by Air Vice Marshal Amir Masood, earning them the coveted trophy.

Nov 2019

Serena Hotels sponsor Islamabad Arts Festival 2019

Serena Hotels has sponsored the first-ever Islamabad Art Festival 2019 (IAF-19), which will be held from 18th till 30th November 2019. The festival has been organized by a consortium of public and private educational institutions, art galleries, and artist associations from across Pakistan, including support from international embassies. Serena Hotels has been actively playing a role in flourishing the arts and culture of Pakistan. This event has been sponsored under the Cultural Diplomacy of the hotel that promotes art and artisans and brings....

Serena Hotels has sponsored the first-ever Islamabad Art Festival 2019 (IAF-19), which will be held from 18th till 30th November 2019. The festival has been organized by a consortium of public and private educational institutions, art galleries, and artist associations from across Pakistan, including support from international embassies. 

Serena Hotels has been actively playing a role in flourishing the arts and culture of Pakistan. This event has been sponsored under the Cultural Diplomacy of the hotel that promotes art and artisans and brings them to limelight.

Led by President and Chief Curator Jamal Shah, IAF-19 is a collaborative project, and will be hosted in several locations in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, including museums, art galleries, educational institutes, and public parks. The festival will be inaugurated on 18th November 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA), and will continue for a full 13 days, before an elaborate closing ceremony on 30th November 2019. The thematic focus of IAF-19 is a ‘Dialogue between Tradition and Modernity’. 

The festival is expected to engage an audience of at least 500,000 individuals from diverse backgrounds and ages. The participants of the festival will include over 200 individuals from 34 countries, and approximately 400 participants from across Pakistan. 

It is for the first time that expression of almost all forms of Art Forms will be showcased together. Painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, textile design, dance, music, film, puppet shows, theatre, fashion design, and performing arts from across the world will be available to satisfy the cultural aesthetic of people in general. Simultaneously, Literature from different lands is also being focused. An International Literary Conference is also being held in the ambit of the Festival. Discussant will comprise of prominent writers and Poets from about 20 Asian African Countries. They will assemble under the banner of a Three Day “International Writers Conference-Islamabad 2019. Their deliberations and Poetry Recital Sessions will engage literature and academia circles to promote understanding of the cultures and mores of people from different parts of the world. All these art forms are being presented in venues open and accessible to the public. 

Oct 2019

Breast Cancer Awareness Session at Quetta Serena Hotel (Pinktober)

Quetta Serena Hotel along with all its associates, committed to spread awareness against breast cancer, observed "Pinktober". The hotel’s staff wore pink badges (a symbolic observance of the month) whereas the entire property was lighted in pink.Also, the hotel conducted a Breast Cancer Awareness Session headed by Dr. Asma Yousafzai (a well-known researcher in the field of cancer studies) who shared her expertise with our female guests and associates on the subject imparting cognizance amongst them regarding symptoms, causes and prevention of....

Quetta Serena Hotel along with all its associates, committed to spread awareness against breast cancer, observed "Pinktober". The hotel’s staff wore pink badges (a symbolic observance of the month) whereas the entire property was lighted in pink.

Also, the hotel conducted a Breast Cancer Awareness Session headed by Dr. Asma Yousafzai (a well-known researcher in the field of cancer studies) who shared her expertise with our female guests and associates on the subject imparting cognizance amongst them regarding symptoms, causes and prevention of breast cancer. The participants were encouraged to share the information further within their families and friends circle so as to mitigate the ascending ration of the disease in Pakistan

Oct 2019

Faisalabad Serena Hotel holds awareness session for breast cancer

According to a research Breast Cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries. In low- and middle-income countries the incidence has been rising steadily in the last years due to increase in life expectancy, increased urbanization and adoption of western lifestyles.Unfortunately Pakistan alone has the highest rate of Breast cancer than any other Asian country and to spread its awareness, an annual campaign is organized in all parts of the country in the month of October which is why....

According to a research Breast Cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries. In low- and middle-income countries the incidence has been rising steadily in the last years due to increase in life expectancy, increased urbanization and adoption of western lifestyles.

Unfortunately Pakistan alone has the highest rate of Breast cancer than any other Asian country and to spread its awareness, an annual campaign is organized in all parts of the country in the month of October which is why it is called PINKTOBER to educate women for its early identification, signs and symptoms associated.

Faisalabad Serena Hotel organized various activities to spread consciousness in all the associates. An exclusive awareness session was conducted by Dr. Sumera Ehsan Dar explaining the intricacies of the disease and prevention with her thought-provoking presentation & practical session for the female associates, every associate adorned Pink Ribbons to commemorate the cause and front façade of the building was lit up in Pink.

Oct 2019

Trail 6 trek attracts dozens

Dozens of people from the diplomatic community, government, armed forces, corporate sector and other walks of life participated in a morning trek on Trial 6 of the Margalla Hills.

The trek organised by the Serena Hotels under its Adventure Diplomacy Initiative ended on sumptuous breakfast at the plateau overlooking the Talhar Valley, considered one of the most beautiful and eye-catching locations in the Margallas. It combined a gentle picturesque amble for the first 1.5 kilometers with a more challenging incline towards the end.

Noted among....

Dozens of people from the diplomatic community, government, armed forces, corporate sector and other walks of life participated in a morning trek on Trial 6 of the Margalla Hills.

The trek organised by the Serena Hotels under its Adventure Diplomacy Initiative ended on sumptuous breakfast at the plateau overlooking the Talhar Valley, considered one of the most beautiful and eye-catching locations in the Margallas. It combined a gentle picturesque amble for the first 1.5 kilometers with a more challenging incline towards the end.

Noted among trekkers were the representatives of the embassies and missions of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Norway, Palestine, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Yemen.

The chief guest on the occasion was renowned mountaineer Colonel (r) M. Sher Khan, who was the first Pakistani to climb the daunting Rakaposhi (7,788 metres) and Nanga Parbat (8,126 metres).

The participants said the beautiful scenic vistas and flora provided them with ample opportunities to test their photographic skills and enjoy the views.

The organisers said the Adventure Diplomacy encouraged human engagement with nature while testing physical prowess and was part of Serena Hotels initiatives to expand and enhance how people come together to share experiences.

Oct 2019

Serena bags four awards at the prestigious World Travel Awards ceremony in Vietnam

Serena Hotels wins four awards at the star-studded World Travel Awards (WTA) Asia & Oceania Gala Ceremony 2019 in Vietnam. The elite of the travel industry assembled at the pristine island of Phu Quoc to find out who amongst them had been crowned best of the best.Islamabad Serena Hotel took home the title of ‘Pakistan’s Leading Hotel’ and ‘Pakistan’s Leading Presidential Suite’ whereas Kabul Serena Hotel won ‘Afghanistan’s Leading Hotel’ and Dushanbe Serena Hotel won ’Tajikistan’s Leading Hotel’ award. CEO Serena Hotels, Mr. Aziz Boolani....

Serena Hotels wins four awards at the star-studded World Travel Awards (WTA) Asia & Oceania Gala Ceremony 2019 in Vietnam. The elite of the travel industry assembled at the pristine island of Phu Quoc to find out who amongst them had been crowned best of the best.

Islamabad Serena Hotel took home the title of ‘Pakistan’s Leading Hotel’ and ‘Pakistan’s Leading Presidential Suite’ whereas Kabul Serena Hotel won ‘Afghanistan’s Leading Hotel’ and Dushanbe Serena Hotel won ’Tajikistan’s Leading Hotel’ award. 

CEO Serena Hotels, Mr. Aziz Boolani said at the occasion, “Hotels without it’s employees are nothing. It is because of the hard work of our associates who ensure they exceed our guest’s expectations that we have been able to win these awards. Therefore, I dedicate this award to all the associates at Serena Hotels.”

Graham Cooke, Founder, WTA, said: “It has been an honour to host WTA at the Vinpearl Convention Center Phu Quoc. This fabulous addition to the Vinpearl Phu Quoc integrated complex has proven a gracious host of what has been a spectacular evening of travel triumph, and a highlight of our 26th Grand Tour. We have had the privilege of recognising many of the leading hotels, airlines and hospitality providers from across Asia and Oceania and my congratulations to each of them.”

Oct 2019

ALL SERENA HOTEL’S CAMPS, LODGES & RESORT IN KENYA ARE GOLD-ECO RATED

Four of seven properties within the Serena Hotels Kenya portfolio attained Gold-Eco Rating Certification after undergoing re-assessments of its Eco Tourism Kenya Certification that expired this year.The in-depth biennial eco-audits this year resulted in Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp retaining its Gold Eco-Rating Certification, whilst Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge, Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge and Serena Mountain Lodge moved from Silver to Gold Eco-Rating Certification.Currently, the above mentioned properties including, Mombasa Serena Beach Resort....

Four of seven properties within the Serena Hotels Kenya portfolio attained Gold-Eco Rating Certification after undergoing re-assessments of its Eco Tourism Kenya Certification that expired this year.

The in-depth biennial eco-audits this year resulted in Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp retaining its Gold Eco-Rating Certification, whilst Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge, Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge and Serena Mountain Lodge moved from Silver to Gold Eco-Rating Certification.

Currently, the above mentioned properties including, Mombasa Serena Beach Resort & Spa, Mara Serena Safari Lodge, and Sweetwaters Serena Camp all stand in the ‘league’ of holding a Gold Eco-Rated Certification from Eco-Tourism Kenya. The Eco-Tourism Kenya Certification program is recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council since 2016 and is at the same level with other international standards across the globe.

Mr. Mahmud Jan Mohamed, Managing Director, Serena Hotels, says, “It is an honor to have our Kenyan properties achieve this Top Eco-Rating. The distinctive efforts that continue to focus on the areas that Serena Hotels can have the greatest impact: creating economic opportunity, community outreach, environmental conservation and improvement, preservation of culture, employee well-being and health and safety. This creates stewardship and shared value between our business and the eco-system within which we operate.”

The Eco Tourism Kenya Certification places emphasis on standards for running sustainable travel and tourism businesses. The Gold Certification represents the highest level of standard that can be attained by a business as a result of outstanding compliance to adhere to ecotourism principles such as: preservation of essential ecological processes, protection of both human heritage and biodiversity, resource use efficiency and reducing waste.

Grace Nderitu, CEO Eco Tourism Kenya, says, “We applaud Serena Hotels for meeting eco-tourism standards to achieve the Gold Certification Rating. This certification is a true testament of how Serena Hotels is making remarkable continuous improvements to uphold sustainable tourism business practices.”

To access details on the property initiatives that resulted to the Gold Eco-Rating, click on the emblem“

located at the end of the respective Serena Hotels property page on our website: www.serenahotels.com.

Oct 2019

Faisalabad Serena Hotel launched Italian Fiesta at Rakaposhi Courtyard

Eating a balanced diet is an essential part of good nutrition, improved health and a lower risk of chronic diseases. Italian food mainly focuses on fresh vegetables, olive oil, and grains which makes it an excellent part of a balanced, healthy diet.Faisalabad Serena Hotel launched Italian Fiesta at Rakaposhi Courtyard with full zeal. The festival offers authentic Italian cuisine serving thin crust pizzas, rich creamy pastas, Italian subs & sandwiches with many delicious and authentic ingredients for everyone’s palate in the most economical....

Eating a balanced diet is an essential part of good nutrition, improved health and a lower risk of chronic diseases. Italian food mainly focuses on fresh vegetables, olive oil, and grains which makes it an excellent part of a balanced, healthy diet.

Faisalabad Serena Hotel launched Italian Fiesta at Rakaposhi Courtyard with full zeal. The festival offers authentic Italian cuisine serving thin crust pizzas, rich creamy pastas, Italian subs & sandwiches with many delicious and authentic ingredients for everyone’s palate in the most economical prices for all the guests to enjoy pleasant evenings with their friends & families in an alluring ambiance with Italian symphonies.

The evening was graced with the presence of Ms. Qurut-ul-ain President of Faisalabad Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mr. & Mrs. Abdul Rauf Rufi and people from different walks of life. The whole festival was widely covered by the electronic media & press.

Oct 2019

Raabta brings experts to explore regional stability for economic prosperity

Islamabad, October 4th, 2019: Serena Hotels hosted a panel discussion, under the umbrella of Raabta, a public diplomacy initiative, on ‘Enterprising Peace – Regional Stability for Economic Prosperity’. The panel of experts, curated by Ms. Sidra Iqbal, a prominent broadcast journalist, featured Mr. Syed Shabbar Zaidi, Chairman FBR, Dr. Prof. Khalida Ghous, human rights and international relations activist, Fahd Hussain, Executive Editor for Express Tribune, Ambassador Ali Sarwar Naqvi, Executive Director of the Center for International Strategic....

Islamabad, October 4th, 2019: Serena Hotels hosted a panel discussion, under the umbrella of Raabta, a public diplomacy initiative, on ‘Enterprising Peace – Regional Stability for Economic Prosperity’. The panel of experts, curated by Ms. Sidra Iqbal, a prominent broadcast journalist, featured Mr. Syed Shabbar Zaidi, Chairman FBR, Dr. Prof. Khalida Ghous, human rights and international relations activist, Fahd Hussain, Executive Editor for Express Tribune, Ambassador Ali Sarwar Naqvi, Executive Director of the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS), and Mr. Illango Patchamuthu, World Bank’s country director for Pakistan.

The discussion revolved around regions and states that are not necessarily in overt conflict, but that are institutionally and economically weak and vulnerable to international threats and instability.

Syed Shabbar Zaidi said, “The first thing we have to establish in Pakistan is consistency and stability in our system and policies. In the last 20 years, $6 billion per year have been transferred out of Pakistan and this figure is reported in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The investment percentage in Pakistan is one of the lowest in the region. Since, at least, 1990s there has been a serious outflow of the real investment from Pakistan. Why? It is due to economic instability. A good economist will not invest unless he thinks 50 years ahead.” When asked about the impact of the Indian conflict with Pakistan on the confidence of businessmen, Mr. Zaidi retorted, “The Indian threat is strength for Pakistan as it unites them, but the issue of disparity within Pakistan is a bigger threat to us.”

Dr. Professor Khalida Ghous said that Islamophobia is seen through the lens of religion alone, whereas other interrelated issues like immigration and assimilation play a role too. She further remarked, “Radicalization is multifaceted. It is present in the largest democracy – the Indian society, and the secular American society as well. Post 9/11 and due to the marginalization of the Muslim minority communities and the type of legislation, the economic migrants were unable to be integrated into the Western society.”

Fahd Hussain remarked that one fundamental weakness of Pakistan, in this time of global connectivity and global narratives, is that we are allowing other people to craft our story for us. He said, “The state of Pakistan has failed to appreciate the impact that a global story can have. We have not built the infrastructure through which we can tell our story. That infrastructure, in other words, is a strategic communication policy system.”

Ambassador Naqvi said, ”The global politics, in the 21st century, has seen a very striking transformation. All the old patterns and links of global politics have been blurred.” He gave the example of how China being a strong friend of Pakistan has thriving trade relationships with India; similarly, how Russia being decades old ally of India is reaching out to Pakistan. In that context, external peace is very important but there is no connectivity in this region.

Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels, said, “Raabta is the culmination of the value that Serena Hotels brings to the society. The convening power of Serena allows us to bring together experts, policy makers and the interested citizenry to inform and engage individuals and organizations in advancing debate, create knowledge and develop a wider appreciation of complexity of all socio-economic subjects.”

Oct 2019

LAKE ELMENTEITA SERENA CAMP AND AMBOSELI SERENA SAFARI LODGE WIN AT THE KENYA ECO-WARRIOR AWARDS

Serena Hotel’s Gold Level Eco-Certified properties, Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp and Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge won two awards under the “Social Impact” category during the 2019 Gala Dinner of the Eco-Warrior Awards.  The Eco-Warrior Award is an annual fete hosted by Eco-Tourism Kenya to recognize tourism industry players’ that embrace sustainable business practices in their day-to-day operations.This year marks the 14th edition of Eco-Warrior Awards themed, “Tourism, Jobs and the Green Economy – A Better Future for All” in line with the

Serena Hotel’s Gold Level Eco-Certified properties, Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp and Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge won two awards under the “Social Impact” category during the 2019 Gala Dinner of the Eco-Warrior Awards.  The Eco-Warrior Award is an annual fete hosted by Eco-Tourism Kenya to recognize tourism industry players’ that embrace sustainable business practices in their day-to-day operations.

This year marks the 14th edition of Eco-Warrior Awards themed, “Tourism, Jobs and the Green Economy – A Better Future for All” in line with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) global theme.

Grace Nderitu, CEO Eco-Tourism Kenya says, “The Eco-Warrior Awards are an indicator of the strides the industry has made in achieving sustainable tourism business practices. We understand that the protection of our natural resources, environment and people is a key factor in the growth of the industry.”

Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp (LESC) took the lead whilst Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge (ASSL) took the 1st Runners up position under the Social Impact category. Similar, to other Serena properties, these properties continue to give priority to the local communities living around its areas of operation so as to ensure economic independence with the end goal to better navigate uncertainty and thrive towards a sustainable livelihood in the future.

Mahmud Jan Mohamed, Managing Director of Serena Hotels says, “As pioneers and active players in the tourism industry, Serena Hotels is aware of the significant contribution it has in the economy of Kenya. Providing educational, entrepreneurial and health support is crucial not only for improving the quality of life for the communities, but also provides an enabling environment for sustainable business practices.”

Serena Hotels has endeavoured to bring best practices in social, cultural, environmental and economic development to an alluring yet fragile area in Kenya. The company’s sustainability programs respond to the needs of the environment, economy and the communities while aligning towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations Development Programme.

The win by LESC and ASSL was a consolidation of various sustainable initiatives in a more focused and sustainable manner under the “Adopt a School” concept. This concept introduced sustainable programs within neighbouring community schools with a focus on having a holistic positive impact on a child.

The various initiatives under the program that we believe act as a catalyst for positive economic, social and cultural change include;

  • Tree planting with a focus on fruit and herb trees to enhance food security and nutrition - since 1991, ASSL has planted 1.6 million trees.
  • Community & schools’ health outreach programs that include free consultations (over 600 consultations per annum) at our staff clinic and subsidized medication.
  • Physical infrastructure and educational aids.
  • Training opportunities such as internships to the local youth.
  • Literacy/Reading for children program - 7 children libraries with about 2,482 beneficiaries per annum at both LESC and ASSL.
  • Environmental conservation clubs talks, litter collection, lunch and game drives for high performing students, Christmas gifts and party.
  • A unique initiative, carried out by LESC is the ‘Soap for Hope’ Project. This is where guest soap that would otherwise be discarded is recycled and sanitized into fresh soap bars with the aim of improving hygiene standards whilst repurposing soap that was headed for the landfill. To date 97 kg of guest soap has been recycled by Kiboko Primary (120 students).

Mr. Jan Mohamed, adds, “We believe Tourism is the strongest driver of prosperity and our initiatives have had a multiplier effect for poverty reduction in the areas we are located within. Every company would like employees who are prepared to adopt in the modern workplace, but this requires investing long before adulthood. Building an ecosystem that supports education in the early years is a critical place to begin the formation of a skilled workforce. By investing in the community activities and offering fresh opportunities, we can support the future prospects of our communities and country.”

Sep 2019

Italian ‘Compagnia SoleLuna’ performs in Capital

 The Embassy of the Republic of Italy in Pakistan and Serena Hotels collaborated to host a fundraising gala dinner (Rhythms & Passion of Southern Italy) on Friday, September 20, 2019 at the Sheesh Mahal, Islamabad Serena Hotel.The Gala event featured a performance by an internationally acclaimed Italian Folk Rock Ensemble “Compagnia SoleLuna.” The famed Neapolitan Folk Rock Group has an extensive repertoire of Southern Italian popular music and dance, centered on the “Pizzica”, the “Taranta” and the Neapolitan “Tammurriata” that epitomize

 The Embassy of the Republic of Italy in Pakistan and Serena Hotels collaborated to host a fundraising gala dinner (Rhythms & Passion of Southern Italy) on Friday, September 20, 2019 at the Sheesh Mahal, Islamabad Serena Hotel.

The Gala event featured a performance by an internationally acclaimed Italian Folk Rock Ensemble “Compagnia SoleLuna.” The famed Neapolitan Folk Rock Group has an extensive repertoire of Southern Italian popular music and dance, centered on the “Pizzica”, the “Taranta” and the Neapolitan “Tammurriata” that epitomize the fire, the rhythms and contemporary vision.  

Serena Hotels and the Italian Embassy were able to raise Eight Million, Ten Thousand Rupees from the proceedings from the black-tie event, which went towards Shifa Foundation that is creating awareness for the early detection of an autistic child, their proper handling, care and cure. The event was graced by the presence of a well-known Italian specialist in Autism, Prof. Filippo Muratori. He is currently the Professor of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry at the University of Pisa.

A live auction was held during the event where 3 paintings were displayed which were made by autistic children from Oasis School, Lahore. Guests made generous bids and all three paintings were sold within a few minutes. A lottery draw was held after the auction which gave away authentic Italian made gift items, a return air ticket from Islamabad to Rome and various other gift vouchers.

Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels, said, “We are delighted to welcome the Italian performers to Pakistan. Serena Hotels is privileged to be able to host events that strengthen the cultural exchange between Pakistan and Spain while at the same time supporting a cause dear to our hearts – providing support for autism.”

He added that Serena is a platform that provides the space and opportunity for cultural exchanges by bringing unique and unusual talent to Islamabad and will continue to do so in the future.

Ambassador of Italy in Pakistan, H.E Stefano Pontecarvo thanked all the guests for their contribution towards generating funds towards the cause and added, “Autism in children coming from under-privileged families often goes undetected. These donations will ensure the correct steps are taken to raise awareness about the condition and to encourage behavioral therapy in those affected.”

Sep 2019

The Award ceremony for Highest Altitude Marathon concludes at Serena

23rd September 2019: An award ceremony was held for the Serena Hotels sponsored Highest Altitude Road Marathon Khunjerab Pakistan 2019. The chief guest on the occasion was Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan HI (M).A total of 154 athletes, including 39 international runners from 17 countries, participated in the race, which was held in three categories, ultra marathon (50km), marathon (42km) and half-marathon (21km). A brief video compilation of the key moments of the high-altitude marathon was shown to the audience, and athletes shared with

23rd September 2019: An award ceremony was held for the Serena Hotels sponsored Highest Altitude Road Marathon Khunjerab Pakistan 2019. The chief guest on the occasion was Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan HI (M).

A total of 154 athletes, including 39 international runners from 17 countries, participated in the race, which was held in three categories, ultra marathon (50km), marathon (42km) and half-marathon (21km). A brief video compilation of the key moments of the high-altitude marathon was shown to the audience, and athletes shared with the audience the key moments and memorable anecdotes from the marathon.

It was a momentous occasion in the history of Pakistan as 154 ecstatic long-distance runners from across the world enthusiastically ran on the descending Karakoram Highway, starting from the magnificent Khunjerab Top and ending at Sost, a small town in the majestic pass.

Serena Hotels sponsored the event as part of its Adventure Diplomacy initiative that encourages human engagement with nature in ways that test physical prowess, endurance and commitment.

Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan HI (M) said, “It gives me great pleasure to be among world-renowned athletes from all over the globe. I convey my gratitude to the international athletes who have participated in this event which took place in one of the most beautiful landscapes anywhere in the world. I hope you have enjoyed the picturesque northern areas of Pakistan and have enjoyed the warm hospitality of our people”. He also applauded Serena Hotel’s efforts and continued support to Pakistan Air Force in different sports events such as ski, squash and marathons and ensured Serena and PAF partnership in future as well for such healthy sports activities.

The Air Chief presented medals and trophies to the first, second and third place male and female winners for all categories. In 50 km race, Mohammad Siyar from Pak Army clinched the first position, whereas Aslam Khan from GB Scouts remained the runner-up. The third position was clinched by Mohammad Iqbal.

In the 42 km race, army’s athletics team dominated, bagging the first three coveted positions. Umair Haider secured first position and Mohammad Faheem and Sohail Tanveer clinched the second and third spots, respectively.

In 21 km race, Mirza Aslam Baig remained the first, Abdul Muheet and Musawwar ur Rehman won the second and third positions, respectively.

Sep 2019

Quetta Serena Hotel Celebrates World Wellness Weekend

On this World Wellness Weekend, Quetta Serena Hotel organized a trekking activity with the immense support and collaboration of People’s Primary Health Care Initiative (Baluchistan) and 41 Div. Serena associates, PPHI’s top management and our esteemed members of Maisha Health Club were among the participants. It was the team work that paid off when all of them successfully managed to hike as high as 8000 feet without letting their exhaustion overshadow their morale.

Mr. Rashid Uddin General Manager Quetta Serena Hotel genuinely expressed his

On this World Wellness Weekend, Quetta Serena Hotel organized a trekking activity with the immense support and collaboration of People’s Primary Health Care Initiative (Baluchistan) and 41 Div. Serena associates, PPHI’s top management and our esteemed members of Maisha Health Club were among the participants. It was the team work that paid off when all of them successfully managed to hike as high as 8000 feet without letting their exhaustion overshadow their morale.

Mr. Rashid Uddin General Manager Quetta Serena Hotel genuinely expressed his gratitude to all the collaborators for their alliance and assistance and showed his admiration for such an impeccable opportunity, never available before, to the residents of Quetta to foster their mental and physical well-being.

Last but not the least, the activity not only aligned us internationally to dedicate this weekend to our wellness but it also helped exceedingly in depicting the true, safe and secure picture of Quetta: A city where you can very well have every opportunity to stay fit

Aug 2019

Serena concludes Season 3 of Sarangi Music Competition

Serena Hotels concluded the Sarangi Music Competition, Season 3 this Thursday, 29th 2019. The star-studded ceremony was held at the Sheesh Mahal hall of the hotel where various members of the diplomatic corps, business community and Islamabad society gathered to hear the shortlisted contestants.

Sarangi, which was launched in October 2017 is a part of Serena Hotel’s Cultural Diplomacy Initiative which aims to protect and promote the cultural heritage of Pakistan by encouraging young talents and giving them an opportunity to become the nation’s....

Serena Hotels concluded the Sarangi Music Competition, Season 3 this Thursday, 29th 2019. The star-studded ceremony was held at the Sheesh Mahal hall of the hotel where various members of the diplomatic corps, business community and Islamabad society gathered to hear the shortlisted contestants.

Sarangi, which was launched in October 2017 is a part of Serena Hotel’s Cultural Diplomacy Initiative which aims to protect and promote the cultural heritage of Pakistan by encouraging young talents and giving them an opportunity to become the nation’s rising star. Through engaging social media, the music competition, over the years, has received tremendous response from across the country and an incredible pool of talented singers and musicians has been identified, and given opportunities.

The jury panel consisted of renowned figures of music industry, Zoe Viccaji, Asif Ali Santoo and Sarmad Ghafoor. All four of the shortlisted contestants, Humail Rajpoot, Najum Saleem, Samia Gohar and Atif Sunny gave short performances which the judges assessed. Coming from diverse backgrounds, from different parts of the country, their experiences and training were reflected in their styles as they performed in front of more than 500 people.

As a special treat, Asif Ali Santoo also performed a few couplets from Tere Bina Nahi Lagda Dil Mera Dholna, Jaaniya Haaniya while the results were compiled.

Zoe Viccaji and Sarmad Ghafoor made the much-awaited announcement sharing that it was a very close decision. The decision was so close that Humail and Samia were both declared winners of the third season of Sarangi. Humail won the recording of a song and its music video while Samia was awarded a full scholarship for her Bachelor’s degree in Musicology.

Mr Santoo said: “I am blown away by the quality of submission received from all over Pakistan. It was a tough challenge for us judges to shortlist only four people from 160 submissions, but we tried to do justice.”

“With the dearth of a proper music industry and opportunities for younger people, projects like Sarangi gives young musicians a platform to work towards and be heard on a larger platform. The final prize which is a song recording and music video is so apt and something I would have truly valued when I first started pursuing music,” Ms. Viccaji said.

Serena Hotels CEO Aziz Boolani, speaking at the occasion, said: “Serena has promoted the arts and intercultural activities to inspire a culture of peace and hope. And we truly believe in giving recognition and platform to the emerging artists that need recognition. We have used our social media to introduce these competitions and have received tremendous response from all over Pakistan. Tonight, we not only celebrate the winners but also the incredible creative talent that Pakistan possesses”.

Aug 2019

Azadi Golf with Serena & Islamabad Club

Serena Hotels under its Sports Diplomacy Initiative hosted the “Azadi Golf Tournament 2019” in collaboration with the Islamabad Club at their Golf Course. The exclusive match drew members of the diplomatic corps, dignitaries, corporate sector and businessmen who participated with great enthusiasm.Over the years, Sports Diplomacy has emerged as an integral part of Serena’s efforts to build stronger relations with communities while encouraging diverse groups to participate in sports, thereby improving leadership, teamwork, and communication skills...

Serena Hotels under its Sports Diplomacy Initiative hosted the “Azadi Golf Tournament 2019” in collaboration with the Islamabad Club at their Golf Course. The exclusive match drew members of the diplomatic corps, dignitaries, corporate sector and businessmen who participated with great enthusiasm.

Over the years, Sports Diplomacy has emerged as an integral part of Serena’s efforts to build stronger relations with communities while encouraging diverse groups to participate in sports, thereby improving leadership, teamwork, and communication skills along with promoting a healthier lifestyle.

Serena Hotels CEO Aziz Boolani said, “We use sports to provide a platform to our foreign diplomats and friends, serving and retired bureaucrats and ourselves to establish links with other professionals and peers. This is an opportunity to develop friendships and demonstrate our abilities and interests in different sports.”

The tournament consisted of three categories along with special prizes for the longest drive and closest to pin. The winners were awarded trophies by CEO Serena Hotels Mr. Aziz Boolani and President Islamabad Club Golf Course, Mr. Jawad Paul.

AMATEUR CATEGORY:

3RD NET = Lt Gen Azhar Saleh Abbasi
2ND NET = Rashid Ibrahim
1ST NET = Shahid Habib


LADIES CATEGORY:

2ND NET = Alima Amjad
1ST NET = Zeenat Ayesha

JUNIOR CATEGORY:

1ST GROSS = Shazmina Khan

SPECIAL PRICE:

Longest drive = Syed Amir Gillani
Closest to pin = Jawad Paul

Aug 2019

Szilard SUHAJDA as the First Hungarian Climber reached K2 Summit without supplemental oxygen and Sherpa support

Szilard SUHAJDA succeeded the Hungarian K2 Expedition last week by reaching the second highest peak in the world, the 8611 meters high K2. After three successful acclimatization rounds, Szilard and David started the attempt to conquer the peak last Sunday. At the end, David did not climb to the top due to his health problem, but he was supporting Szilard on radio from the base camp. David decision was extraordinary; he sacrificed his ambitions for the success of the expedition!

Szilard made it; he defeated the "King of the Mountains" which has....

Szilard SUHAJDA succeeded the Hungarian K2 Expedition last week by reaching the second highest peak in the world, the 8611 meters high K2. After three successful acclimatization rounds, Szilard and David started the attempt to conquer the peak last Sunday. At the end, David did not climb to the top due to his health problem, but he was supporting Szilard on radio from the base camp. David decision was extraordinary; he sacrificed his ambitions for the success of the expedition!

Szilard made it; he defeated the "King of the Mountains" which has never been climbed by any Hungarian climber. Szilard is the first Hungarian mountaineer, who reached the Summit of K2 without extra oxygen and Sherpa support. This was announced at a Press Conference hosted by Serena Hotels under its Adventure Diplomacy Initiative.

“I am delightedly announcing the success of the 2019 Hungarian K2 Expedition. I am here at the peak of K2. It's amazing, the sky is clear, I can see everything, the view from the ridge is beautiful. Next time, I hope that we will stand together at a nice peak” - said Szilard to David from the Summit last Thursday.

Last week, it was still questionable whether David and Szilard had any opportunity to attempt the climb, because the Sherpa climbers reported about very deep snow close to the peak. According to the reports, 120 climbers (75 international and 45 Sherpa in ten teams) were on K2 during this period with Sherpa, and few of them could make it!

Despite of the deep snow on the peak, the two Hungarian mountaineers did not give up. Together with another group of mountaineers, they set out for camp 2 at 6,700 meters on Monday and then slept the other night in camp 3, on 7300 meters. In camp 3, David had health problems, therefore he decided to turn back for the expedition’s success, and support Szilard from the base camp. „I am really proud of my decision. I could not have lived together with the fact, that it would have been my fault if the Hungarian K2 Expedition had failed. I am happy about Szilard’s and the expedition’s success” – said David.

The further aim of them is to achieve the 14 mountains above 8000 meters. After climbing K2, only two "eight thousand" mountains, Sisapangma, and Everest are missing from there bucket list. Climbing successfully an ’eight thousand’ high Summit by Hungarian mountaineer happened in 2016 last time, when David Klein was the first Hungarian climber the peak of the most dangerous Annapurna.

Last time when a Hungarian climber reached an ‘eight thousand’ high Summit, was David when he climbed the most dangerous Annapurna Summit in 2016.

The Hungarian Embassy is very proud of the Szilard’s and David’s achievement!

Jul 2019

Serena Mountain Lodge mentioned as one of the Real-Life Locations That Inspired the New Lion King Movie

Article by Andrew Sessa

Date: 29th July 2019

Conde Nast Traveler

Disney’s new Lion King remake has, unsurprisingly, been a box office hit—it’s been the top movie in

Article by Andrew Sessa

Date: 29th July 2019

Conde Nast Traveler

Disney’s new Lion King remake has, unsurprisingly, been a box office hit—it’s been the top movie in the U.S. the last two weekends running, with more than $360 million in ticket sales since it opened on July 18. Director Jon Favreau’s retelling of the 1994 animated classic uses cutting-edge CGI to bring the characters to life, not least among them Mufasa (once again voiced by James Earl Jones), Simba (Donald Glover), and Nala (none other than the Queen Bey herself).

The job of recreating the film’s African wilderness fell largely to production designer James Chinlund, whose past credits include Planet of the Apes and Avengers movies. Favreau had gone on safari a few months before meeting with Disney execs about the film, and after getting the go-ahead on the project, he sent thirteen key members of his production team, Chinlund included, on a two-week safari to Kenya. They brought along more than 2,200 pounds of camera equipment—that’s a literal ton, in case you were wondering—and shot more than 12 terabytes of images. We caught up with Chinlund to hear about the African locales that inspired specific Lion King scenes. Read more .....

 

Jul 2019

Kampala Serena Hotel named as one of the 7 Luxurious Hotels Loved by Loyalty

Article by Selina Julien, CNN CNN Travel From the British Windsors to the Aga Khan to Monaco's House of Grimaldi, privacy and discretion is paramount for royals when traveling. First-class hospitality, personalized service and luxury amenities are also essential, so it takes a truly remarkable hotel to capture their hearts. With far-flung and glamorous destinations from Grenada to Gstaad on their radar, and private jets at their disposable, the world is their oyster. Travel in the royals' regal footsteps with seven of their favorite places....

Article by Selina Julien, CNN

CNN Travel

From the British Windsors to the Aga Khan to Monaco's House of Grimaldi, privacy and discretion is paramount for royals when traveling. First-class hospitality, personalized service and luxury amenities are also essential, so it takes a truly remarkable hotel to capture their hearts. With far-flung and glamorous destinations from Grenada to Gstaad on their radar, and private jets at their disposable, the world is their oyster. Travel in the royals' regal footsteps with seven of their favorite places to stayRead more .......

Jul 2019

Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge recognized on the Travel + Leisure “Top 100 Hotels in the World”.

Article by Sarah Bruning

Travel + Leisure readers explore far and wide, and the hotels that impress them reflect not only their high standards but also their ever-expanding sense of curiosity and adventure. This year’s list of the top 100 hotels in the world reflects 33 countries and all continents except Antarctica. The honorees include sweeping Western ranches in the United States, intimate African safari lodges,

Article by Sarah Bruning

Travel + Leisure readers explore far and wide, and the hotels that impress them reflect not only their high standards but also their ever-expanding sense of curiosity and adventure. This year’s list of the top 100 hotels in the world reflects 33 countries and all continents except Antarctica. The honorees include sweeping Western ranches in the United States, intimate African safari lodges, and palatial estates in Italy. Still, a handful of qualities unite them all: superlative service, outstanding surroundings, and luxurious amenities.

Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge was not left out as it was recognized by Travel + Leisure as one of the “Top 100 Hotels in the World”. Read more .....

Jul 2019

Faisalabad Serena Hotel Summer Camp Finale 2019

In the modern era of gadgets & technology kids have less outdoor activities in their vacations and swimming classes is an ideal opportunity for them to develop a skill. Faisalabad Serena Hotel keeping its tradition arranged one-month summer camp for the kids from 4 to 12 years old where they learned swimming under the instructions of our trained instructors. Along with swimming different activities were organized for the kids including Music Lessons, Table Manners, Art classes & healthy eating sessions.On the final day different competitions...

In the modern era of gadgets & technology kids have less outdoor activities in their vacations and swimming classes is an ideal opportunity for them to develop a skill. 

Faisalabad Serena Hotel keeping its tradition arranged one-month summer camp for the kids from 4 to 12 years old where they learned swimming under the instructions of our trained instructors. Along with swimming different activities were organized for the kids including Music Lessons, Table Manners, Art classes & healthy eating sessions.

On the final day different competitions were arranged for the kids where they showcased their swimming skills and won medals & prizes and the highlight of the event was bumper prize of bicycles through balloting. The kids & parents enjoyed the whole activity thoroughly which was witnessed & widely covered by the electronic media & press.

Jun 2019

Serena sponsors Tourism Conference in Hunza

Serena Hotels is sponsoring a three-day International Conference on Mountaineering, Eco-Tourism and Hospitality in Hunza, starting from 27th June 2019. The conference is being organized by Karakoram International University and the government of Gilgit-Baltistan. This event is being sponsored under the Public Diplomacy initiative of Serena Hotels that aims to develop an inclusive and informed discourse on timely subjects and creates a culture of understanding through informed and diverse opinions.

International and national keynote speakers will....

Serena Hotels is sponsoring a three-day International Conference on Mountaineering, Eco-Tourism and Hospitality in Hunza, starting from 27th June 2019. The conference is being organized by Karakoram International University and the government of Gilgit-Baltistan. This event is being sponsored under the Public Diplomacy initiative of Serena Hotels that aims to develop an inclusive and informed discourse on timely subjects and creates a culture of understanding through informed and diverse opinions.

International and national keynote speakers will address the conference with technical and thematic sessions on ground. CPEC and Eco-Tourism workshops will be the main focus while there will be Travel, Tourism and Hospitality exhibitions with an excursion tour to Khunjerab Pass.

The inauguration ceremony for the event will take place on the morning of 27th June 2019. The President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi is expected to grace the closing ceremony.

The conference will provide a platform for the academicians, researchers and practitioners of mountaineering, eco-tourism and hospitality to share their views and experiences in their relevant fields. It will figure out opportunities and challenges in promoting sustainable mountaineering, eco-tourism and hospitality. It will also identify profitable eco-tourism projects that would benefit the local communities and will bring the natural heritage and culture of Pakistan to the limelight.

There will be traditional handicrafts stalls to promote the arts and crafts of the local area throughout the event. The conference will end on a report that will be compiled with the suggestions and findings from the conference, and will be circulated to the federal and provincial governments, along with tourism companies and hotels.

Jun 2019

Najib Ullah from WAPDA secures 1st position in Serena sponsored Tour De Khunjrab

Islamabad, July 1st, 2019: Serena Hotels sponsored one of the world’s highest altitude cycling competition, Tour De Khunjrab which took place in Gilgit-Baltistan from June 27 to June 30th 2019. More than 100 Pakistani and international cyclists took part in it. Two international teams from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka were also a part of the event along with 11 local teams from Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Punjab, Sindh.

The cyclists began the race at about 4,500 feet [1,400 metres] in Gilgit to Rakaposhi,....

Islamabad, July 1st, 2019: Serena Hotels sponsored one of the world’s highest altitude cycling competition, Tour De Khunjrab which took place in Gilgit-Baltistan from June 27 to June 30th 2019. More than 100 Pakistani and international cyclists took part in it. Two international teams from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka were also a part of the event along with 11 local teams from Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Punjab, Sindh.

The cyclists began the race at about 4,500 feet [1,400 metres] in Gilgit to Rakaposhi, then proceeded from Rakposhi to Hunza, and then finally from Sost to Khunjrab at a record high altitude of 15,500 feet [5,000 metres] above sea level.  The Winner of the event was Najib Ullah from WAPDA whose record time was 8:41:39.

The closing ceremony of the event took place in Gilgit Serena Hotel which was graced by the President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi, Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan, Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehman, Governor of Gilgit-Baltistan Raja Jalal Hussain Maqpoon, Chief Secretary of Gilgit Baltistan, Mr. Khurram Agha along with a large number of local people and audience from different cities of Pakistan. The dinner was followed by a cultural evening at Altit Fort. The President of Pakistan, the government of Gilgit-Baltistan and the management of Tour De Khunjrab applauded Serena Hotels efforts in promoting tourism in Pakistan through its sports diplomacy initiative.

The event was sponsored under the Sports Diplomacy initiative for Serena Hotels. Over the years, Sports Diplomacy of the hotel has emerged as an integral part of Serena’s efforts to build stronger relations with communities while encouraging diverse groups to participate in sports, thereby improving leadership, teamwork, and communication skills along with promoting a healthier lifestyle.

Jun 2019

SERENA HOTELS TANZANIA INTRODUCES NEW HEALING EARTH SPA CONCEPT

Serena Hotels Tanzania announces the introduction of new Healing Earth Spa concept offered across all their entire spa offering in Tanzania. The Healing Earth Spa concept was officially introduced on June 1st 2019 exclusively customized for Tanzania properties with the/an aim of giving guests authentic holistic spa treatments with products that are sourced from Africa’s rich natural resources.

Healing Earth is a premium African spa brand that offers natural, organic products, therapies and spa concepts to discerning clients all over the world....

Serena Hotels Tanzania announces the introduction of new Healing Earth Spa concept offered across all their entire spa offering in Tanzania. The Healing Earth Spa concept was officially introduced on June 1st 2019 exclusively customized for Tanzania properties with the/an aim of giving guests authentic holistic spa treatments with products that are sourced from Africa’s rich natural resources.

Healing Earth is a premium African spa brand that offers natural, organic products, therapies and spa concepts to discerning clients all over the world. Created by spa veteran, Elisabeth Brandt, Healing Earth specializes in developing unique and bespoke protocols to suit the guests’ needs. Mr. Mugo Maringa, Country Director, Serena Hotels Tanzania, says, “We are excited to introduce a new wellness concept for our guests. Guests will not only enjoy innovative spa treatments but they can also be rest assured with the knowledge that we are using natural products that are ecofriendly.” Healing Earth developed a powerful spa concept for Serena Tanzania taking into consideration each property’s needs as well as the brand’s ethos to protect the people, environment and wildlife
in which it operates. Additionally, a thoughtfully crafted transformative spa menu was developed to offer the highest level of personalization. All the Healing Earth products are free from synthetic fragrances, colorants, petro chemicals, preservatives and parabens.

Healing Earth Founder and CEO, Elisabeth Brandt, adds, “It is an honour to collaborate with a truly African brand such as Serena Hotels. This is another way to show and share the richness of our continent with the rest of the world. Our products have been harnessed with ingredients that evoke natural healing powers of all the senses to ensure guests have a holistic experience.” Staff were trained on Healing Earth product knowledge and techniques, personal development and best practise to ensure they share in the same vision. The training took place at Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge during which exceptional therapists from various properties were recognized
in a beautiful certification ceremony.

Lucy Kuibita, Group Spa Manager, Serena Hotels says, “The use of purely natural products and training our staff on new treatment techniques is a step change in ensuring we continue to deliver consistent memorable spa experience to our guests”.

The Spa menu includes Serena signature spa rituals using different Healing Earth product families such as Marula & Neroli- Relaxing Journey, Mongongo Nut-Detoxifying journey, Coffee& Cinnamon- Uplifting Journey, Spirit of UTU-Togetherness Journey, High performance facials using Pinotage grape and Tri-enzyme range among others.

The Healing Earth concept is expected to be rolled out in Serena Kenya properties by the year 2020.

Jun 2019

SERENA HOTELS REMAINS AN AUTHENTICALLY TRUE AFRICAN BRAND

6th June 2019, Nairobi, Kenya… Serena Hotels is grateful to its patrons for once again voting in its favourite Serena properties as winners in the below categories, at the 26th World Travel Awards at the Africa and Indian Ocean Gala held on 1st June in Mauritius:

Mozambique's Leading Hotel 2019: Polana Serena Hotel

Mozambique's Leading Hotel Suite 2019: Presidential Suite at Polana Serena Hotel

Rwanda's Leading Hotel 2019: Kigali Serena Hotel

Uganda's Leading Hotel 2019: Kampala Serena Hotel

Uganda's Leading Hotel Suite 2019:

6th June 2019, Nairobi, Kenya… Serena Hotels is grateful to its patrons for once again voting in its favourite Serena properties as winners in the below categories, at the 26th World Travel Awards at the Africa and Indian Ocean Gala held on 1st June in Mauritius:

Mozambique's Leading Hotel 2019: Polana Serena Hotel

Mozambique's Leading Hotel Suite 2019: Presidential Suite at Polana Serena Hotel

Rwanda's Leading Hotel 2019: Kigali Serena Hotel

Uganda's Leading Hotel 2019: Kampala Serena Hotel

Uganda's Leading Hotel Suite 2019: Presidential Suite at Lake Victoria Serena Resort & Spa

 

Serena Africa continues to curate and create unique, one-of-a-kind signature experiences at various properties in the five African countries where the leading African hospitality brand has presence.

 

“Complemented by exceptional service, modern amenities and uncompromising comfort, the elegant and harmonious interior and exterior spaces, reflect a blend of the rich culture, heritage and traditions inspired from our exotic locations. Our guests thus gain immediate experience of and connection with the history, culture and lifestyle of what is today recognized as the ‘Pan-African Style’” says Mr. Mahmud Jan Mohamed, Managing Director, Serena Hotels.

 

He continues, “Over the last four decades, Serena Hotels has risen to the challenge of promoting sustainable and responsible tourism in under-served regions which is an intrinsic part of our operations. We are grateful that our guests recognise and participate in many of our sustainable initiatives.”

 

Kigali Serena Hotel for instance supports the Sustainable Growers Non-Profit Program that helps transform women coffee growers into professional suppliers of specialty coffee. Every cup served at Kigali Serena Hotel contributes to helping over 30,000 Rwandan women farmers advance their expertise. Serena Hotels, thanks loyal guests, valued business partners and committed staff without whom winning the awards would not be possible.

Jun 2019

Serena hosts a Soulful Qawwali Night

Serena Hotels hosted a soulful Qawwali Night featuring world renowned Qawal Asif Ali Santoo on Friday 31st May 2019 at Islamabad Serena Hotel. Asif Ali was born into a family of a Legendary Qawwal Santoo Khan whom the Maestro of Qawwali, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan himself honoured as the Ganda Band Shagird (official Student) of Ustaad Nusrat Sahib.

The event was hosted under the Cultural Diplomacy Initiative of Serena Hotels that aims to promote cultural plurality amongst Pakistani community. A large number of people gathered from the diplomatic....

Serena Hotels hosted a soulful Qawwali Night featuring world renowned Qawal Asif Ali Santoo on Friday 31st May 2019 at Islamabad Serena Hotel. Asif Ali was born into a family of a Legendary Qawwal Santoo Khan whom the Maestro of Qawwali, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan himself honoured as the Ganda Band Shagird (official Student) of Ustaad Nusrat Sahib.

The event was hosted under the Cultural Diplomacy Initiative of Serena Hotels that aims to promote cultural plurality amongst Pakistani community. A large number of people gathered from the diplomatic community, officials from the Armed Forces, Media personnel and residents of the twin cities. Asif Ali Santoo performed Sufi Kalam amidst cheer and applause all night. A lavish Sehri was served later for all the attendees.

Sufis have played a significant role in dissemination of the divine message of Islam, and Qawwali is one such medium of Sufi devotional music which Pakistan has truly kept alive.

May 2019

Quetta Serena Hotel Hosts Iftar Dinner at SOS Village

Quetta Serena Hotel working on its ideology to serve the society, hosted an Iftar for the children and youth of SOS Village. In order to give them a sense of belonging, General Manager Quetta Serena Hotel Mr. Rashid Uddin along with other members of management shared their time with the children and joined them on Iftar. The evening echoed with their giggles and brightened with their joy. Their affection and attention was heartwarming. The cheer and merriness on their faces, their playfulness and everlasting smiles was an acknowledgement for the....

Quetta Serena Hotel working on its ideology to serve the society, hosted an Iftar for the children and youth of SOS Village. In order to give them a sense of belonging, General Manager Quetta Serena Hotel Mr. Rashid Uddin along with other members of management shared their time with the children and joined them on Iftar. The evening echoed with their giggles and brightened with their joy. Their affection and attention was heartwarming. The cheer and merriness on their faces, their playfulness and everlasting smiles was an acknowledgement for the Hotel’s management.


We were extremely obliged for having this life time privilege and vow to continue adding more joy into their life as much as we can.

May 2019

Pakistan's Sirbaz makes history at World's 4th highest peak without Oxygen

May 28, 2019: Serena Hotels held a press conference on 28th May 2019 to celebrate Sirbaz Khan, who become the first Pakistani to successfully climb the summit of the fourth world’s highest mountain – Mount Lhotse (8516 m) without using supplementary oxygen. He completed his summit on the 14th of May at 9:47 am. There were 12 climbers in total in the team, but this is the first time a Pakistani climber has been able to do this. Sirbaz along with his team was the first to summit Lhotse this year and by fixing ropes on the mountain they opened it....

May 28, 2019: Serena Hotels held a press conference on 28th May 2019 to celebrate Sirbaz Khan, who become the first Pakistani to successfully climb the summit of the fourth world’s highest mountain – Mount Lhotse (8516 m) without using supplementary oxygen. He completed his summit on the 14th of May at 9:47 am. There were 12 climbers in total in the team, but this is the first time a Pakistani climber has been able to do this. Sirbaz along with his team was the first to summit Lhotse this year and by fixing ropes on the mountain they opened it for all other climbers.

Serena Hotels sponsored the expedition under its Adventure Diplomacy Initiative that aims to encourage human engagement with nature in ways that test physical prowess, endurance and commitment, mountain activities being a core part of these activities. This initiative kicked off when Serena founded the Adventure Diplomacy Group (ADG), consisting of 7 diplomatic missions to support the Pakistani mountaineer siblings, Samina and Mirza Ali Baig. Samina is the first Pakistani as well as the first Muslim women to summit the highest peaks in all seven continents.

Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels said, “It is a great privilege for us to support Sirbaz Khan on his expedition. At Serena Hotels, we have been supporting talent to promote Adventure Tourism where needed and try to bring diverse experiences to our community through our various initiatives.”

May 2019

NAIROBI SERENA HOTEL UNVEILS NEW PAN-ASIAN RESTAURANT

Nairobi Serena Hotel is bringing a taste of Asia to the heart of the city with its new Pan-Asian restaurant- Herbs & Spices. The restaurant will go by the name ‘H&S’ and is located on the ground floor of the newly refurbished northern wing of the hotel and will be the fourth dining outlet at Nairobi Serena Hotel.

H&S will serve a diverse all day dining menu influenced by Pan-Asian cultures across the world providing guests with expertly crafted cuisine that will be taking them on a culinary journey through South East Asia. Distinct....

Nairobi Serena Hotel is bringing a taste of Asia to the heart of the city with its new Pan-Asian restaurant- Herbs & Spices. The restaurant will go by the name ‘H&S’ and is located on the ground floor of the newly refurbished northern wing of the hotel and will be the fourth dining outlet at Nairobi Serena Hotel.

H&S will serve a diverse all day dining menu influenced by Pan-Asian cultures across the world providing guests with expertly crafted cuisine that will be taking them on a culinary journey through South East Asia. Distinct cooking
techniques and ingredients will be used to bring out the rich flavours of the dishes with speciality ingredients.

Mr. Daniel Kang’u, General Manager, Nairobi Serena Hotel says, “We are delighted to bring a new dining experience to guests looking for an exotic culinary offering. Everything from the menu to the service at H&S is going to be delivered in an innovative authentic way, redefining the scene of Pan-Asian restaurants in Kenya.” The overall design scheme is contemporary yet simplistic with the interiors featuring natural colour palettes and rustic wooden finish while the furniture is functional and comfortable to create a cosy feel. The centrepiece of the restaurant features a mural wall composition of sundry herbs and spices reminiscent of various Asia sub continents of origin.

With 68 covers, the restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating options; the outdoor seating has a retractable canopy to shelter diners in case of harsh weather condition. The menu has been skilfully curated by Chef de Cuisine, Chef Wayan based in Islamabad Serena Hotel, Wild Rice, Pan-Asian Restaurant working closely with Chef Jackson to see to its implementation. The fusion of Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese and Korean dishes will feature on the menu and will include traditional composition of flavours. Japanese Whiskies, Craft Gin as well as a variety of cocktails will be available at the H&S bar strategically poised at the terrace of the restaurant. Mellow background music will be played as guests dine to create a relaxed ambience subtle enough not to distract them from the food itself. Excellent service and hospitality is expected to be part of the gastronomic experience at H&S similar to the standards upheld at all Serena Hotels entities.


“The opening of H&S is timely, as Nairobi continues to make its mark as one of the top foodies’ hot spots in Africa. Our aim is to continuously build our restaurants’ brand; not just by offering delectable food but also good energy to our loyal and new customers,” says Mr. Kang’u. H&S intends to appeal to urbane young professionals, business and leisure guests looking for a thematic dining experience in Nairobi. It opens every day except Mondays, between 11:00am to midnight starting with lunch running through to dinner service.


For dining reservations please contact: Email: nairobi@serena.co.ke | Tel: +254 20 2822000/31/38

May 2019

Mr. & Mrs Aziz Boolani host a grand Iftar at Serena Hotel

Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels and his wife Wiqar Boolani hosted a grand Iftar Dinner this Wednesday, 15th May 2019. Parliamentarians, Ambassadors, Government Officials, Members of the Armed Forces, Media Representatives, Heads of the International Agencies and Corporate Executives were present along with the friends and well wishers of Serena.

The Sheesh Mahal banquet hall appeared to be a testament of Arabian night, with Ramadan decorations, glittered with moonlit light surrounded with white drapes and Bedouin tents in the foyer area....

Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels and his wife Wiqar Boolani hosted a grand Iftar Dinner this Wednesday, 15th May 2019. Parliamentarians, Ambassadors, Government Officials, Members of the Armed Forces, Media Representatives, Heads of the International Agencies and Corporate Executives were present along with the friends and well wishers of Serena.

The Sheesh Mahal banquet hall appeared to be a testament of Arabian night, with Ramadan decorations, glittered with moonlit light surrounded with white drapes and Bedouin tents in the foyer area of hotel.

There was a wide variety of cuisine for the guests to choose from, with live food corner showcasing food from each restaurant of hotel. A diverse healthy corner was catered for guests who were conscious about their health. The Pakistani sweets corner attracted a large number of guests.

The management of the hotel was busy tending to the guests and ensuring a smooth flow to the event while the hosts stayed at the entrance of the hall to welcome each guest personally.

The guests enjoyed the iftar dinner in a serene environment with the traditional live music while the evening reflected anecdotes of Serena’s legacy of immaculate service and feasts that were not only gastronomical but also visual.

May 2019

Asean BN clinch 6th Serena Hotels POLO Cup 2019

The final match of the most prestigious 6th Serena Hotels Polo Cup 2019 was held at the Islamabad Club Polo Ground before diplomats, government officials and business people, who gathered to celebrate the Game of Kings. The 05 days tournament began with preliminary matches between the competing teams. The final match was played between Asean BN (Red) and Shahtaj/Rizvis. An incredibly fast game, featuring an incredible alliance between human and horse, polo has gained great popularity in recent years as the game has become more accessible for non-players. The Serena Hotels Polo Cup is an annual event organized by the Serena Hotels under its very active Sports Diplomacy Initiative, which aims to promote sports and sportsmanship in Pakistan. Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels, said, “We are proud to be associated with numerous sports initiatives which promote wellbeing and inclusion through healthy activities. Sports impact a plethora of public arenas, coincide with community values, and reaffirm key social values for athletes especially but also the spectators.” Serena Hotels Polo Cup Trophy 2019 was given to team Asean BN during the prize distribution ceremony. The chief guest of the event was H.E. Stefano Pontecorvo, Ambassador of Italy to Pakistan.

The final match of the most prestigious 6th Serena Hotels Polo Cup 2019 was held at the Islamabad Club Polo Ground before diplomats, government officials and business people, who gathered to celebrate the Game of Kings.

The 05 days tournament began with preliminary matches between the competing teams. The final match was played between Asean BN (Red) and Shahtaj/Rizvis.

An incredibly fast game, featuring an incredible alliance between human and horse, polo has gained great popularity in recent years as the game has become more accessible for non-players.

The Serena Hotels Polo Cup is an annual event organized by the Serena Hotels under its very active Sports Diplomacy Initiative, which aims to promote sports and sportsmanship in Pakistan.

Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels, said, “We are proud to be associated with numerous sports initiatives which promote wellbeing and inclusion through healthy activities. Sports impact a plethora of public arenas, coincide with community values, and reaffirm key social values for athletes especially but also the spectators.”

Serena Hotels Polo Cup Trophy 2019 was given to team Asean BN during the prize distribution ceremony. The chief guest of the event was H.E. Stefano Pontecorvo, Ambassador of Italy to Pakistan.

Apr 2019

Faisalabad Serena Hotel celebrates International Earth Day 2019

International Earth Day is an annual event celebrated every year on April 22nd to validate support for environmental protection & there is no better way to nourish our climate than to plant trees because they are the largest & longest living organisms on earth & are important to our environment to avoid obsolescence of several species.

To commemorate International Earth Day Faisalabad Serena Hotel planted several fruit & flowers bearing tree saplings in Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development & Management Company. The activity

International Earth Day is an annual event celebrated every year on April 22nd to validate support for environmental protection & there is no better way to nourish our climate than to plant trees because they are the largest & longest living organisms on earth & are important to our environment to avoid obsolescence of several species.

To commemorate International Earth Day Faisalabad Serena Hotel planted several fruit & flowers bearing tree saplings in Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development & Management Company. The activity was hurled by Resident Manager Mr. Qamar Uz Zaman & the management of Faisalabad Serena Hotel. This whole affair was covered by all the leading media groups and promoted on social Media.

Apr 2019

PAF-PSF-Serena Holds International Tournaments 2019

Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) in collaboration with Pakistan Air Force and Serena Hotels would be organizing a series international squash tournaments (Serena Hotels - Chief of the Air Staff International Squash Tournament for Men with US$ 30,000/- prize money, Serena Hotel Pakistan International Squash Tournament for Women with US$ 10,000/- from 01 – 05 Apr, 19 followed by Serena Hotels - Huawei International for Men) with US$ 20,000/- prize money at Mushaf Squash Complex, Islamabad from 06 – 10 April, 2019.  Besides Pakistan, a large number of international Men & Women squash players from Egypt, Iran, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Spain, Czech Republic, Ireland, South Korea, Switzerland, South Africa, Belgium, Germany, Scotland & Zimbabwe have confirmed their participation.  

Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) in collaboration with Pakistan Air Force and Serena Hotels would be organizing a series international squash tournaments (Serena Hotels - Chief of the Air Staff International Squash Tournament for Men with US$ 30,000/- prize money, Serena Hotel Pakistan International Squash Tournament for Women with US$ 10,000/- from 01 – 05 Apr, 19 followed by Serena Hotels - Huawei International for Men) with US$ 20,000/- prize money at Mushaf Squash Complex, Islamabad from 06 – 10 April, 2019.  Besides Pakistan, a large number of international Men & Women squash players from Egypt, Iran, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Spain, Czech Republic, Ireland, South Korea, Switzerland, South Africa, Belgium, Germany, Scotland & Zimbabwe have confirmed their participation.  

 

Serena Hotels as part of their Sports Diplomacy Initiative, has been very graciously extending their tremendous sponsorship to Pakistan Squash Federation for the conduct of international Squashevents. Their generous support to PSF has always been appreciated at all levels. 

 

It is gratifying to highlight that in addition to Serena Hotels and Pakistan Air Force, this time few co-sponsors have also joined hands with PSF like Huawei, Condor, J. & Sports Fever 360 (Digital Media Partner).

 

It is expected that with the presence of top world ranking players form various parts of the world the squash enthusiasts would get an opportunity to witness some thrilling squash during their stay in Islamabad.

Apr 2019

Serena Hotels in collaboration with Pakistan Television (PTV) organized a ceremony to celebrate Baisakhi

Serena Hotels, under its Cultural Diplomacy Initiative in collaboration with Pakistan Television (PTV) organized a ceremony to celebrate Baisakhi, a religious and cultural festival in Sikhism. President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi was the Chief Guest on the occasion while a huge number of people from Sikh pilgrims coming from across Pakistan, India and other countries, besides diplomats and senior officers from the Evacuee Trust Property Board attended as well.

 

 

Serena Hotels, under its Cultural Diplomacy Initiative in collaboration with Pakistan Television (PTV) organized a ceremony to celebrate Baisakhi, a religious and cultural festival in Sikhism. President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi was the Chief Guest on the occasion while a huge number of people from Sikh pilgrims coming from across Pakistan, India and other countries, besides diplomats and senior officers from the Evacuee Trust Property Board attended as well.

 

Addressing the ceremony, President Alvi said, “Pakistan wanted cordial ties with all the countries and faiths and always desired peace in the region. Having sacrificed a lot during the war against terrorism, Pakistan has learnt the value of peace. Pakistan is now a peaceful and secure country and would continue its efforts for regional peace.”

 

President Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Sardar Tara Sing said by building Kartarpur Corridor, Pakistan had fulfilled the longstanding desire of the Sikh community. He said both Sikhism and Islam had centuries old bonds and hoped that this relation would continue in the future.

 

PTV World Head Mirza Masood said PTV was committed to bring change and intended to do more for all the communities living in Pakistan. He thanked Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels for the great support in hosting the event.

 

At the event, two documentaries on Baisakhi festival and Kartarpur Corridor were screened followed by live Sufi music performance by Saieen Zahoor.

Apr 2019

Serena Hotels celebrates World Press Freedom Day with Media

Serena Hotels celebrated the Press Freedom Day in Islamabad. The bureau chiefs of all prominent print and electronic media were invited to an exclusive get together at Islamabad Serena Hotel, followed by a cake cutting ceremony.

 

Serena Hotels celebrated the Press Freedom Day in Islamabad. The bureau chiefs of all prominent print and electronic media were invited to an exclusive get together at Islamabad Serena Hotel, followed by a cake cutting ceremony.

 

World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993. Since then, 3rdMayis celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.This year’s theme “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation” discusses current challenges faced by media in elections, along with the media’s potential in supporting peace and reconciliation processes.

 

Serena Hotels management praised the Pakistani media for their positive role in the times of conflict.

 

Apr 2019

Crafts bazaar at Islamabad Serena Hotel draws huge interest

ISLAMABAD, APR 20 (DNA) – Nomad Art Gallery in collaboration with Serena Hotels arranged Crafts Bazaar at Serena Hotel Court Bazaar. Over 28 business concerns especially from Northern Areas of Pakistan, participated in the Crafts bazaar.

ISLAMABAD, APR 20 (DNA) – Nomad Art Gallery in collaboration with Serena Hotels arranged Crafts Bazaar at Serena Hotel Court Bazaar. Over 28 business concerns especially from Northern Areas of Pakistan, participated in the Crafts bazaar.

 

Various stalls were established where traditional items from these areas were displayed.

 

The diplomatic community particularly evinced interest in handcrafts and hand-made traditional dresses.

 

Apart from traditional dresses, artificial jewelry; home-made honey; dry fruits and other stuff also remained centre of attraction.

 

Ambassador of Italy Stefano Pontecorvo together with CEO Serena Hotels Central and East Asia Aziz Boolani and Nageen Hayat of Nomad Art Gallery inaugurated the Crafts bazaar.

Apr 2019

Quetta Serena Hotel: World Earth Day Celebration

Quetta Serena Hotel celebrated World Earth Day by conducting a tree plantation drive at SOS village. The purpose of the drive was to impart awareness regarding environmental degradation and role of trees in its sustenance through their active participation.

Quetta Serena Hotel celebrated World Earth Day by conducting a tree plantation drive at SOS village. The purpose of the drive was to impart awareness regarding environmental degradation and role of trees in its sustenance through their active participation. Meanwhile, the hotel’s management also distributed lunch boxes amongst the children to add more in their cheer and donated crockery and chairs as a gesture of cooperation. The children equally contributed in the drive and promoted hotel’s campaign “Adopt a Tree” by pledging that each one of them will look after the tree they have planted. Mr. Aurangzaib Director SOS village offered his gratitude to Quetta Serena Hotel whilst, the happiness on the faces of deprived children was heartwarming which strengthened the management’s urge to extend continuous support for the philanthropic organization in the future as well.

World Earth Day Press Release.docx

Apr 2019

IFWA Charity Bazaar 2019

Islamabad Foreign Women’s Association (IFWA), with the support of Serena Hotels is hosting an annual Charity Bazaar on Saturday, 27th April 2019 at Sheesh Mahal, Islamabad Serena Hotel, from 1000 hrs to 1800 hrs. IFWA was established in 1995 by women of the diplomatic and expatriate communities living in Islamabad. Its principle aims were to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by underprivileged and disadvantaged women, and also their children, and to raise funds for their benefit.

The proceedings from the Charity Bazaar this year will go towards two beneficiaries, The Pehli Kiran Schools and CFSP Foundation. The Pehli Kiran Schools provide an education for out-of-school children, particularly girls, from the lowest income families, focusing on marginalised and migratory communities. The PKS was set up to offer education in movable classrooms, for the often migratory and displaced children living on the edges of Islamabad. These schools run in two half-day sessions to allow more children to attend, as demand has outgrown the existing capacity.

Care for Special Persons Foundation (CFSP Foundation) was set up by parents of special needs children and a group of professionals in this field. The CFSP runs a centre for education and training, clinical assessment of special children, counselling for parents, transport services and more.

Serena Hotels is sponsoring the IFWA Charity Bazaar 2019 under it’s Cultural Diplomacy initiative that aims to advance the cause of art and culture with the goal to build the foundations for a better future.

Islamabad Foreign Women’s Association (IFWA), with the support of Serena Hotels is hosting an annual Charity Bazaar on Saturday, 27th April 2019 at Sheesh Mahal, Islamabad Serena Hotel, from 1000 hrs to 1800 hrs. IFWA was established in 1995 by women of the diplomatic and expatriate communities living in Islamabad. Its principle aims were to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by underprivileged and disadvantaged women, and also their children, and to raise funds for their benefit.

The proceedings from the Charity Bazaar this year will go towards two beneficiaries, The Pehli Kiran Schools and CFSP Foundation. The Pehli Kiran Schools provide an education for out-of-school children, particularly girls, from the lowest income families, focusing on marginalised and migratory communities. The PKS was set up to offer education in movable classrooms, for the often migratory and displaced children living on the edges of Islamabad. These schools run in two half-day sessions to allow more children to attend, as demand has outgrown the existing capacity.

Care for Special Persons Foundation (CFSP Foundation) was set up by parents of special needs children and a group of professionals in this field. The CFSP runs a centre for education and training, clinical assessment of special children, counselling for parents, transport services and more.

Serena Hotels is sponsoring the IFWA Charity Bazaar 2019 under it’s Cultural Diplomacy initiative that aims to advance the cause of art and culture with the goal to build the foundations for a better future.

Apr 2019

Spanish Flamenco-Jazz Band La Bejazz performs in Capital

ISLAMABAD, MAY 14 (DNA) -The Embassy of Spain and Serena Hotels collaborated to host a fundraising gala dinner featuring a performance by renowned Spanish Band, La Bejazz.

The proceeds of the evening amounted to five million rupees and were donated to the Aga Khan University and Hospital to finance children’s heart surgeries.

La Bejazz is a group of musicians from the south of Spain, who perform an extraordinary fusion of two distinct musical styles, Jazz and Flamenco. Their performances are masterful, harmonious and balanced where the fantastic worlds of Jazz and Flamenco commune.

Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels, said, “We are delighted to welcome the Flamenco-Jazz Band La Bejazz, to perform their spellbinding music for your entertainment.

Serena Hotels is privileged to be able to host events that strengthen the cultural exchange between Pakistan and Spain while at the same time supporting a cause dear to our hearts – providing healthcare to the less fortunate.”

He added that Serena is a platform that provides the space and opportunity for cultural exchanges by bringing unique and unusual talent to Islamabad.

 

There is a universal passion for music, art and sports across different ages and types of people which transcends linguistic and sociocultural differences and brings people together. Art and culture build the strongest and most interesting bridges linking people and countries. 

Carlos Morales, Ambassador of Spain said,” The Embassy of Spain is honoured to welcome in Pakistan La Bejazz, one of the leading flamenco-jazz bands.

Tonight’s gala in Islamabad, is a showcase of how contemporary Spanish music, evolving from the classical roots into the 21st century, can be a bridge between cultures and how performing arts can help promoting and supporting the most valuable causes.

This fundraising event is our contribution, together with the Serena Hotel, to the commitment of the Embassy of Spain and the Spanish Government to support health initiatives in favour of those in need, such as the impressive work of the Aga Khan University Hospital with children with congenital heart disease.”

Under its cultural diplomacy banner, Serena has promoted the arts and intercultural activities to inspire anethos of peace and hope and engaging with foreign missions able to raise funds to support worthy causes.

ISLAMABAD, MAY 14 (DNA) -The Embassy of Spain and Serena Hotels collaborated to host a fundraising gala dinner featuring a performance by renowned Spanish Band, La Bejazz.

The proceeds of the evening amounted to five million rupees and were donated to the Aga Khan University and Hospital to finance children’s heart surgeries.

La Bejazz is a group of musicians from the south of Spain, who perform an extraordinary fusion of two distinct musical styles, Jazz and Flamenco. Their performances are masterful, harmonious and balanced where the fantastic worlds of Jazz and Flamenco commune.

Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels, said, “We are delighted to welcome the Flamenco-Jazz Band La Bejazz, to perform their spellbinding music for your entertainment.

Serena Hotels is privileged to be able to host events that strengthen the cultural exchange between Pakistan and Spain while at the same time supporting a cause dear to our hearts – providing healthcare to the less fortunate.”

He added that Serena is a platform that provides the space and opportunity for cultural exchanges by bringing unique and unusual talent to Islamabad.

 

There is a universal passion for music, art and sports across different ages and types of people which transcends linguistic and sociocultural differences and brings people together. Art and culture build the strongest and most interesting bridges linking people and countries. 

Carlos Morales, Ambassador of Spain said,” The Embassy of Spain is honoured to welcome in Pakistan La Bejazz, one of the leading flamenco-jazz bands.

Tonight’s gala in Islamabad, is a showcase of how contemporary Spanish music, evolving from the classical roots into the 21st century, can be a bridge between cultures and how performing arts can help promoting and supporting the most valuable causes.

This fundraising event is our contribution, together with the Serena Hotel, to the commitment of the Embassy of Spain and the Spanish Government to support health initiatives in favour of those in need, such as the impressive work of the Aga Khan University Hospital with children with congenital heart disease.”

Under its cultural diplomacy banner, Serena has promoted the arts and intercultural activities to inspire anethos of peace and hope and engaging with foreign missions able to raise funds to support worthy causes.

Mar 2019

6th Serena Hotels Invitational Golf Championship, 2019

The Serena Hotels hosted the 6thSerena Hotels Invitational Golf Championship, 2019. It was played by 112 golfers in four different categories. The 3rdNet trophy from Corporate category was given to Mr. Shahid Habib, the 2ndNet trophy went to Mr. Muhammad Zia, and the 1stNet trophy went to Mr. Mustansar Ali Khan. For the combined Diplomatic/Government/Armed Forces/International Agencies category, the winner was Wing Commandor Zahid Qureshi, whereas the 2ndNet and 3rdNet was awarded to Mr. George Rhind and Col Riaz respectively. Mrs Yani Rhind won the 2ndNet for the lady’s category and Mrs Priya Ilango was declared as winner. There was also a special category for Aga Khan Youth & Sports Board for Pakistan and the winner was again Mr. Mustansar Ali Khan for 1stNet and Mr. Saleem Shalwani won the 2ndNet prize. Mr. Riffat Ejaz Noor won the Longest Drive Hole 18, whereas the closest to Pin Hole 5 was won by Mr. Nadeem Azam and Closest To Pin Hole 12 was won by Mr. Zia Khan.

The Serena Hotels hosted the 6thSerena Hotels Invitational Golf Championship, 2019. It was played by 112 golfers in four different categories. The 3rdNet trophy from Corporate category was given to Mr. Shahid Habib, the 2ndNet trophy went to Mr. Muhammad Zia, and the 1stNet trophy went to Mr. Mustansar Ali Khan. For the combined Diplomatic/Government/Armed Forces/International Agencies category, the winner was Wing Commandor Zahid Qureshi, whereas the 2ndNet and 3rdNet was awarded to Mr. George Rhind and Col Riaz respectively. Mrs Yani Rhind won the 2ndNet for the lady’s category and Mrs Priya Ilango was declared as winner. There was also a special category for Aga Khan Youth & Sports Board for Pakistan and the winner was again Mr. Mustansar Ali Khan for 1stNet and Mr. Saleem Shalwani won the 2ndNet prize. Mr. Riffat Ejaz Noor won the Longest Drive Hole 18, whereas the closest to Pin Hole 5 was won by Mr. Nadeem Azam and Closest To Pin Hole 12 was won by Mr. Zia Khan.

There was also a Hole-in-One Bumper Prize of brand-new Suzuki car. The holes selected for this prize were number 3 and 12, but unfortunately no one qualified for it.

Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels, said at the occasion, “I would like to congratulate the winners of the 6thSerena Hotels Invitational Golf Championship, 2019We encourage sports as it provides a platform to our communities and friends to participate in healthy activities that establish links with other professionals and peers. This is an opportunity to develop friendships and demonstrate our abilities and interests in different sports.”

The Serena Hotels Sports Diplomacy Initiative encourages and promotes healthy activities through interaction amongst various segments of the society to enhance social wellbeing and cultural development. 

Mar 2019

International Women’s Day Celebration at Quetta Serena Hotel

Quetta Serena Hotel celebrated International women’s Day with great zeal and enthusiasm with its guests at Ziarat coffee shop and welcomed rousing female identities of Balochistan on a cup of tea who shared their lfe journey with us in an interactive session. To name a few,Ms Rukhsana Jabeen Vice Chancellor Sardar Bahadur khan Women University,Ms Naima Bilal pioneer of Human library and Feminist Literature, Ms Misbah Rathor first civilian flight surgeon of Pakistan, Ms Shazia Batool CEO of Breaking Barrier Women and Ms Zargoona Wadood Province coordinator of National Forum of Women with Disabilities inspired all of us by their accounts of accomplishment and how they rose triumphant despite difficulty.

Quetta Serena Hotel celebrated International women’s Day with great zeal and enthusiasm with its guests at Ziarat coffee shop and welcomed rousing female identities of Balochistan on a cup of tea who shared their lfe journey with us in an interactive session. To name a few,Ms Rukhsana Jabeen Vice Chancellor Sardar Bahadur khan Women University,Ms Naima Bilal pioneer of Human library and Feminist Literature, Ms Misbah Rathor first civilian flight surgeon of Pakistan, Ms Shazia Batool CEO of Breaking Barrier Women and Ms Zargoona Wadood Province coordinator of National Forum of Women with Disabilities inspired all of us by their accounts of accomplishment and how they rose triumphant despite difficulty.

Moreover, the female associates of Quetta Serena Hotel were honored by the General Manager and Executive Assistant Manager with a thank giving note followed by a cake cutting ceremony in which they acknowledged the importance and integrity of woman and pledged to assure gender balance and equal opportunities for the associates working in Quetta Serena Hotel
 

Mar 2019

International Women’s Day at Serena Hotels

Islamabad, March 8, 2019: Serena Hotels hosted a breakfast morning to celebrate International Women’s Day and to honour the women from all walks of life. Huge numbers of women from the twin cities showed up, comprising of diplomatic community, international agencies, Serena associates, Serena Business Complex partners, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and friends of Serena. The hosts greeted the guests under a clear blue sky as ladies enjoyed various quiz and pop up games, winning prizes from Serena. Musicians played soulful melodies while a beautiful cake was cut towards the end of the ceremony, re-iterating the celebration of Women’s Day.

Islamabad, March 8, 2019: Serena Hotels hosted a breakfast morning to celebrate International Women’s Day and to honour the women from all walks of life. Huge numbers of women from the twin cities showed up, comprising of diplomatic community, international agencies, Serena associates, Serena Business Complex partners, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and friends of Serena. The hosts greeted the guests under a clear blue sky as ladies enjoyed various quiz and pop up games, winning prizes from Serena. Musicians played soulful melodies while a beautiful cake was cut towards the end of the ceremony, re-iterating the celebration of Women’s Day.

The Chief Guest for the occasion was the First Lady, Madam Samina Arif Alvi, while Miss Kashmala Tariq, The Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplaces also graced the occasion.

The objective of the International Women's Day is to celebrate the struggle for women's rights in the economic, social, political, and cultural domain, to reaffirm women's solidarity in the struggle for peace and to show what women have achieved. The theme for IWD 2019 was Balance for Better, and acknowledged the growing global movement of advocacy, inclusion and support surrounding gender parity, and encouraged people to continue the vocal fight for balance.

The First Lady said at the occasion, “Women are very powerful and need to be given an environment where they can rise together and explore their skills. We must salute the women in our lives, because each one of us is playing a very important part for society at a whole”.

Ms. Kashmala Tariq was also very enthusiastic regarding women’s rights and said, “Women are no less than men, and is our right to be provided equal opportunities to come forward and do our part. We need a conducive environment to progress and rise. Let’s not be silent anymore and stand up for our rights”. 

Mar 2019

President Alvi graces Serena Hotels grand Nowruz celebration

Nowruz is a great chance for recollection of lots of great memories. Memories of relationship between man and nature, which is renewed each year. Serena Hotels hosted a grand Nowruz celebration under it’s Cultural Diplomacy Initiative on March 24th 2019.

Nowruz is a great chance for recollection of lots of great memories. Memories of relationship between man and nature, which is renewed each year. Serena Hotels hosted a grand Nowruz celebration under it’s Cultural Diplomacy Initiative on March 24th 2019.

Nine countries of the region with predominant Muslim population joined hands with Pakistan in enjoying the celebrations of the day. Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and United Nations established their stalls while some institutions from Pakistan including Pakistan National Council of the Arts and Pakistan Air Force Women Association set up their stalls that attracted the guests.

President Dr. Arif Alvi inaugurated the celebrations and enjoyed the day visiting the various stalls. He said that the Central Asian states gave a message of peace and that he saw a bright future for Central Asia.

Children, ladies and young visitors enjoyed the day thoroughly. The stalls offered delicacies. There were a variety of cultural performances from each participating country that enthralled the audiences till late evening and exposed them to the sights and sounds of faraway lands, all united under one celebration.

Mar 2019

Faisalabad Serena hotel celebrated International Women’s Day

Faisalabad Serena hotel celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8, 2019.The event was organized for all the female associates working in the hotel. The ceremony started with the stirring stories of Pakistani women making the country proud in different fields.

Faisalabad Serena hotel celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8, 2019.The event was organized for all the female associates working in the hotel. The ceremony started with the stirring stories of Pakistani women making the country proud in different fields.

Serena Hotels CEO Mr. Boolani’s motivational message about Gender Balance & providing equal opportunity to females was conveyed to all the associates who are putting their continuous efforts to make this organization a huge success. To pay homage to all the young associates their mothers were invited in front of whom their daughter’s professional journey was unveiled that received great appreciation from the audience & management. 

The participants were indulged in games like pop quiz, singing competition & other fun filled activities. The evening concluded with Cake Cutting Ceremony. This whole affair was covered by all the leading media groups and promoted on social Media.

Mar 2019

Gilgit Serena Hotels: International Women’s Day 2019

Gilgit’s Serena Hotel had organized a seminar to pay tribute to women from all walk of life. Number of women from different organizations, Government, NGOs, Bankers, Social Mobilizers, Hotel Staff, Karighar staff, Trainees participated to make this event successful. The first female leading ladies participated in this event and delivered #IWD2019 message to all the women present. Certificate for the most powerful women of Gilgit-Baltistan were distributed and the Happy Women’s Day cake was cut towards the end of the ceremony.

 

Gilgit’s Serena Hotel had organized a seminar to pay tribute to women from all walk of life. Number of women from different organizations, Government, NGOs, Bankers, Social Mobilizers, Hotel Staff, Karighar staff, Trainees participated to make this event successful. The first female leading ladies participated in this event and delivered #IWD2019 message to all the women present. Certificate for the most powerful women of Gilgit-Baltistan were distributed and the Happy Women’s Day cake was cut towards the end of the ceremony.

 #BalanceforBetter theme for year 2019 which acknowledges the growing global movement of building a gender-balanced world, but based on North Region, Gilgit Serena Hotel chose the theme as Women Empowerment, which means increasing strength of a women Economically, Socially, physiologically and through education

Serena Hotel is always working to empower the communities, Karighar is Serena Hotels CSR project which is dedicated towards women empowerment in the north region of Pakistan, in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Women play an important part in the betterment of family, or organization in making society a better place. So, create a change to change the future, and educate, and empower a girl to change the world.

 

Mar 2019

Serena Hotel Celebrated World Water Day 2019

Gilgit Serena Hotels celebrated World Water Day 2019, with New Era Public (NEPS) HussainAbad colony Jutial Gilgit. Theme of the year is “Leaving no one behind”.

Gilgit Serena Hotels celebrated World Water Day 2019, with New Era Public (NEPS) HussainAbad colony Jutial Gilgit. Theme of the year is “Leaving no one behind”.

The main objective of the Day celebration in a school was to give them the awareness and highlight the importance of water and water resources in our daily life and how we can preserve it.

There are Around 2.1 billion people living without safe water at home, across the globe ,80% of the people who have to use unsafe and unprotected water sources live in the rural areas,

In Gilgit-Baltistan rivers, glaciers and snow are the main resources, the world largest glaciers, named by  Baifo, Baltoro and Batura are also located but almost all drinking water systems are contaminated with organic and inorganic pollutants., The main source of water pollution in this region is domestic and commercial waste, so many waste from homes and restaurants also enter the river directly, and water pumps lift the river water from the river on several locations.

Based on theme and WWD2019, Students of NEPS performed different type of activities, like egg painting, drawing on chart and  presentation, delivered messages of the day through their activities.

Principal of New Era Public School has specially thanked to the Serena Hotels for choosing their school for such type of activities and creating awareness in students. The students were awarded by gift for the best messages, performance and activity done by them.

To save water and saving lives, no matter who we are where we are and access to clean water is our right, it’s a day for taking action and create the awareness against the reason why so many people are left behind, we need to be  responsible citizens and humenbeing, if we will save water and be responsible today we will help to ensure a water supply adequately for future generations, Saving water means saving upcoming lives and generations.

Mar 2019

Nature based solutions for forest and water conservation – Celebrations of International Forest Day and World Water Day

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change, Federal Flood Commission, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Serena Hotels., celebrated the World Water Day and the International Day of Forests as a combined event, at the Serena Hotel in Islamabad on March 22, 2019. The theme for the days, this year were Water for all – leaving no one behind” and “Forests and Education” respectively.

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change, Federal Flood Commission, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Serena Hotels., celebrated the World Water Day and the International Day of Forests as a combined event, at the Serena Hotel in Islamabad on March 22, 2019. The theme for the days, this year were Water for all – leaving no one behind” and “Forests and Education” respectively.

The celebrations were attended by the senior representatives of the federal and provincial government departments, international development partners, United Nation Agencies, Diplomatic Missions, Government ministries academia, the private sector, as well as the media and environment experts. All the speakers appreciated IUCN in taking lead to organize and convene the partners and participants together at this important and informative event to share technical information and exchange of ideas and initiaves.  

In his remarks the Chief Guest, H.E. Mr. Malik Amin Aslam, Advisor to Prime Minister on Climate Change, Government of Pakistan showed concern over the decreasing forest cover in Pakistan and shared the programmes and projects initiated by the government in addressing this.  He added that Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government made commendable efforts to increase the forest cover in province from 22% to 26 %.  The efforts for afforestation were rejuvenated through the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Initiative which also engaged the communities while bringing the partners on board to turn it into great success of forest conservation and revival of ecosystems. While sharing efforts in various parts of the country, he added that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has stopped cutting trees for timber to conserve the existing forest. Punjab province is trying to recover the lost forest cover on priority basis. The federal and provincial governments are pushing the land mafia back to save the cultivable land and forest cover. Government is transforming the recovered land in Punjab into the forest plantations with high political will. Most recent example is the plantation exercise carried out on 2500 acres of recovered land in Balloki. On the state of water quality he quoted recent reports that reflect deterioration and the dwindling ground water reserves and polluted aquifers. Solid waste and sewage management are high priority areas for the Ministry of Climate Change. The ministry is considering for direct interventions of solid waste management in Islamabad and Gwadar.

While appreciating IUCN’s efforts over the years, he emphasized on the nature based solutions to revive the ecosystems. He also appreciated the convening power of IUCN to bring all the key stakeholders together through this join event of International Forest Day and World Water Day.  

Syed Nazar Hussain Shah, Secretary Forest, Environment and Wildlife Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, laid emphasis on the need to arrange such events as they create awareness for all stakeholders and most importantly, generate understanding amongst the common people in the remotest of villages. He emphasized on the law enforcement by the Government on the land and timber mafia  that has caused absolute degradation of all ecosystems. He highlighted that the landmark Billion Tree Project has increased the forest cover significantly in just 3 years. Ten people lost their lives for the noble cause of forest conservation which led to the community taking ownership of the forests. He informed that one lac five hundred and 43 acres of land is recovered from timber and land grabbing mafia by the department and used for planned plantation.

Secretary Public Health, government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mr. Behramand Khan launched the report on Technical Studies of Water Resources in FATA. The report has been developed with the funding of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in Pakistan under their project titled “Step Up for Institutionalization of Environmental Governance in FATA”. Key findings of the report reflect the essential issues of water quality, inequitable water resource and water resource management. If these are addressed, the quality of life can be improved in the province. He highlighted that population explosion is a big issue in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that is causing a decrease in per capita water availability. Industrial pollution is another contributor for environmental degradation. Need is to enforce National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQs). Report reflects that chemical pollution is minimal in FATA but the ground water is depleting. Huge resources are required to divert the available surface for to use. The focus must be building policies, plans, regulations and ensuring their implementation so that the dream of water for all should be full-filled and no one is left behind. 

While discussing National Water Policy and its implementation, Mr. Ahmed Kamal, Chairman Federal Flood Commission (FFC), Ministry of Water Resources, Government of Pakistan appreciated the refined irrigation practices. Ministry of Water Resources has issued orders for the development of a National Implementation Cell for National Water Policy which is presently under the Federal Flood Commission as a secretariat. To establish national harmony National Water Council will notify the civil society organizations as its members to make useful contributions towards the management of water resources and this will be operational by April 2019.

Mr. Farrukh Toirov, Deputy FAO Representative Pakistan expressed the importance to educate ourselves about the importance of natural resources, in particular, forests and water. Fully aligned with the development priorities of the government of Pakistan, we look forward to seeing an increasing number of Pakistani men, women and youth using natural resources more wisely with time, to support sustainable agriculture development and to be a critical part of our joint efforts for a hunger and malnutrition- free Pakistan.

Mr. Ahsan Tayyab expressed his remarks on behalf of Ms. Xiaohong Yang, Country Head, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Pakistan and highlighted the active role of ADB in water sector by providing 3.74 Billion dollars through loan and technical assistance. ADB is planning investment proposals for building new dams in Balochistan. The future priority of ADB is the implementation of National Water Policy and to continue a dialogue with government and development partners for betterment of Pakistan.

While sharing his remarks, Mr. Patphamuthu Illangovan, Country Director, The World Bank, stressed upon the importance of forest cover to result in good water catchment. Pakistan can improve water productivity by translating good policies into actions. He congratulated the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Initiative.

Mr. Neil Buhne, UN Resident Coordinator Pakistan stressed on SDG 6 that deals with water, SDG 15 that focuses on life on land, fundamentally targets the forests.  SDG 13 which is Climate, SDG 10 focuses on inequality and access. He congratulated the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for taking the afforestation initiative that became an example for rest of the country. He shared the statistics of child mortality in Pakistan which is 53,300 children die every year because of water borne diseases. United Nations in Pakistan is helping government of Pakistan to achieve its sustainability goals. He acknowledged the great partnership between UN and IUCN over many years in Pakistan. He also highlighted that all the great initiatives in the sector have been piloted by IUCN. 

H.E. Ms. Margaret Adamson, High Commissioner of Australia shared the experience of Australia in Water Management. There is a wide array of partners and bodies who are aware of these critical issues of forest and water conservation. Forest management is very critical and provides reliable flow of quality water. Forest protection is more about the oxygen which trees provide and serves as the carbon sink. Sustainability of agricultural productivity is required in which Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is a trendsetter. Pakistan is sending a very positive image to establish a better trajectory for its forest cover leading to a sustainable future for Pakistan. She appreciated the National Water Policy as a landmark policy for Pakistan. She highlighted that globally 2.1 billion people are still living without access to safe water and 4.1 billion people live without access to appropriate sanitation facilities. 

H.E. Mr. Thomas Kolly, The Ambassador of Switzerland in Pakistan as Guest of Honor addressed the water resource as being the most vital for life. The need for clean, affordable and accessible water for all is most essential. For this purpose Swiss government is increasing its funding to Pakistan through SDC, which already has a presence in Pakistan for the last 50 years. He thanked IUCN for taking this initiative and bringing all the key stakeholders together on one platform.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Cheema re-emphasized the key points from the technical studies conducted on Water governance and Sustainable Forest Management by IUCN in FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region. He appreciated the achievements through the modest financial support of SDC in this regards. 

While facilitating the event, Ms. Fauzia Bilqis Malik, Manager IUCN Islamabad Office shared about the Pakistan Water Gateway that IUCN had initiated to share the available knowledge on water. She also shared that IUCN Pakistan look forward to lunch a platform on water where all the agencies can connect and share their experiences at provincial and federal level. 

Mr. Aziz Boolani, Chief Executive Officer, South & Central Asia, Tourism Promotion Services Ltd., Serena Hotels presented a vote of thanks and reflected upon the commitment of Serena Hotels about their environmentally sustainable business. He also congratulated the speakers for enlightening the audience about the key topics. He shared that through the long term MoU between Serena Hotels and IUCN, they look forward to continue taking joint initiatives. 

Mar 2019

Faisalabad Serena Hotel collaborated with G.C University to celebrate Worlds’ Forest Day

Trees are fundamental life forms and provide for the continuity of the world’s biodiversity which is necessary for economic development, diversity of life forms, human livelihood, and environmental adaptive responses.

In accordance with International World Forest Day Faisalabad Serena Hotel collaborated with GC. University Faisalabad and as per the theme this year "Forests & Education" a huge number of plants was handed out to GC. University for their new campus in order to provide Greener & Cleaner environment for their students.

Dr. Nasir Vice Chancellor G.C University, Qamar-uz-Zaman Resident Manager Faisalabad Serena Hotel with all management sown Anatolia & Pomegranate plants and inaugurated the campaign. The event was covered widely by the local media and press.

 

 

Feb 2019

Serena hosts Serena Hotels-CAS Karakoram International Alpine Ski Cup Medal Award Ceremony

Islamabad, February 3rd, 2019: Serena Hotels hosted a star-studded medal award ceremony for the 3rd Serena Hotels-CAS Karakoram International Alpine Ski Cup 2019 at Islamabad Serena Hotel.

Islamabad, February 3rd, 2019: Serena Hotels hosted a star-studded medal award ceremony for the 3rd Serena Hotels-CAS Karakoram International Alpine Ski Cup 2019 at Islamabad Serena Hotel.

The event wassponsored as a part of Serena’sAdventure Diplomacy initiative that encourages human engagement with nature in ways that test physical prowess, endurance and commitment.

 A brief video compilation of the key moments of the Ski cup was shown, and importance of winter sports in Pakistan was also highlighted. Naltar, the stunning valley in Gilgit Baltistan (GB) district situated at over 11,300 feet above sea level, was the location for Ski cup where white sheets of perfect snow amongst scenic views proved to be an ideal playground for ski enthusiasts.

40 Skiers from 13 countries including Pakistan, Greece, Afghanistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Belgium, Morocco, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, and Tajikistan participated in this grand event. Competing in the FIS races against the highly ranked skiers of the world offered an excellent opportunity to Pakistani athletes to showcase their talent at international level and learn from their competitors’ experience. 

CEO Serena Hotels, Mr. Aziz Boolani said at the event, ‘I was touched by the glimpses of the event that we all saw. This country provides beautiful spaces, scenic views and hospitable people, and we must appreciate the immense contribution of the PAF in taking this initiative to project the right image of Pakistan.Holding these kind of events in future as well would lend a new lease of life to the tourism industry of Pakistan and open doors for the revival of international sports in the country.’ He also commended on the positive female participation in the Ski cup and urged on the importance of right mentorship and coaching to produce a higher percentage of skillful skiers next year.

The Chief Guest for the event was Air Chief Marshall Mujhaid Anwar Khan whereas a large number of ambassadors, dignitaries, local and international guests also attended. Gilgit Baltistan Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman and Provincial Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for Tourism, Culture, Sports, Archaeology and Youth Affairs, Atif Khan also graced the event. Air Marshall Mujahid Anwar Khan presented medals and trophies to the winners and participants of the Ski Cup and commented, ‘It gives me great pleasure to be among world-renowned skiers from all over the globe. The participation of men and women of all age brackets, from around the globe and our local stars made this event even more significant. I am grateful to each one of the skier who has participated in this event which took place in one of the most beautiful landscapes anywhere in the world. I hope you have enjoyed the picturesque northern areas of Pakistan and will carry fond memories of your stay with us.’

Serena Hotels in collaboration with Winter Sports Federation of Pakistan and Pakistan Air Force is earnestly working for the promotion of winter sports in the country and holding such events would not only boost the tourism opportunities in the splendid mountains and valleys of Pakistan but also project a positive image of the country in the comity of nations.

Feb 2019

Sri Lankan food festival held at Serena

The High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, HE Noordeen Mohamed Shaheid inaugurated a two days Sri Lankan Food Festival with a press conference held at the Islamabad Serena Hotel. Two extraordinary star chefs were invited from Sri Lanka to re-create the extraordinary flavours of Sri Lanka in Islamabad.

The High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, HE Noordeen Mohamed Shaheid inaugurated a two days Sri Lankan Food Festival with a press conference held at the Islamabad Serena Hotel. Two extraordinary star chefs were invited from Sri Lanka to re-create the extraordinary flavours of Sri Lanka in Islamabad.

 HE Noordeen Mohamed Shaheid, said, “There is a saying the way to a man’s heart is through the stomach. I believe food can help bring the people of two countries together. This is the philosophy that has encouraged us to arrange this festival with Serena”. 

 The line-up of chefs for the Festival is star studded, as Serena Hotel welcomes Mr. RanaweeraSenior Chef De Partiewhohas versatile experience by working in many star graded hotels in Sri Lanka as well as abroad. His expertise is in Sri Lankan Cookery and he is very well acknowledged by the guests who frequently patronize the hotels which he has worked in. He has alsoParticipated at the “Sri Lankan Food Festival” organized by the Consulate General of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lankain Karachi, Pakistan in February 2018 and Mr. Rajpakse Gedara Sumanasena,Commiss who  has also participated in the “Sri Lankan Food Festival” organized by the Consulate General of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lankain Karachi, Pakistan in February 2018.

 Mr. Michel Galopin, General Manager of Islamabad Serena Hotel, said “We are delighted to be able to bring internationally flavoured delights to Pakistan. Familiarity with other cultures, cuisines and characteristics is a way to experience the rest of the world and Islamabad Serena Hotel is delighted to welcome master chefs from Sri Lanka to bring authentic Sri Lankan cuisine to our guest”. 

 

Sri Lankan cuisine is mix of historical and cultural factor and influenced from different regions including South India, Indonesian and Dutch Cuisines. Some of the Staples of Sri Lankan cuisine is rice, coconut and spices.Some basic ingredients and cooking techniques make Sri Lankan dishes hearty and spicy, particularly real cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, curry leaves and chili peppers. All these ingredients are quite same and mostly used in Pakistani cuisine as well, so I am sure that the guests will also love the Sri Lankan cuisine.

Feb 2019

Serena hosts Sarangi Musical evening in Islamabad

Serena Hotels hosted a wonderful evening of musical melodies at the Nazara Hall as part of the Serena Sarangi Music Initiative. IFRA The Band and Ans Rehmani sang urdu melodies grasping the audience with their soulful performances. Sarangi is part of the Serena Hotels Cultural Diplomacy Initiative which aims to preserve and promote the musical heritage of Pakistan.

Serena Hotels hosted a wonderful evening of musical melodies at the Nazara Hall as part of the Serena Sarangi Music Initiative. IFRA The Band and Ans Rehmani sang urdu melodies grasping the audience with their soulful performances. Sarangi is part of the Serena Hotels Cultural Diplomacy Initiative which aims to preserve and promote the musical heritage of Pakistan.

An annual online competition over the past two years has given young performers and amateur bands from across the country a platform to share their talent. IFRA The Band from Faisalabad and Ans Rehmani from Rahim Yar Khan were the winners of Serena Sarangi Star Season 01 and 02 respectively. Both returned to Islamabad for a special performance to enthrall the local audience.

Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels, said, “Serena continues to actively work on community support programmes, such as Sarangi that provides a platform to young and talented musicians to engage with wider audiences”.

The evening was well attended by the music lovers, corporate and diplomatic community and other prominent personalities.

Feb 2019

Satrang Art Gallery - An Ode to Heaven

An Ode to Heaven

Satrang Gallery and SerenArts is an initiative of Serena Hotels which is dedicated to supporting and promoting the artists and artisans of Pakistan.

Director Statement:

Satrang Gallery is delighted to be starting off our new year with Ode to Heaven, a solo exhibition by the acclaimed artist Imrana Tanveer.

Imrana selects iconic and recognizable classic imagery from Western and Eastern art historical and political tropes, and then weaves the imagery into existence. Constructing artworks in this manner, the artist highlights the innumerable and frequently unrelated strands and layers of experiences which come together to form the fabric of reality and life itself.

Asma Rashid Khan 

Founder Director 

Satrang Gallery

An Ode to Heaven

Satrang Gallery and SerenArts is an initiative of Serena Hotels which is dedicated to supporting and promoting the artists and artisans of Pakistan.

Director Statement:

Satrang Gallery is delighted to be starting off our new year with Ode to Heaven, a solo exhibition by the acclaimed artist Imrana Tanveer.

Imrana selects iconic and recognizable classic imagery from Western and Eastern art historical and political tropes, and then weaves the imagery into existence. Constructing artworks in this manner, the artist highlights the innumerable and frequently unrelated strands and layers of experiences which come together to form the fabric of reality and life itself.

Asma Rashid Khan 

Founder Director 

Satrang Gallery

 

Curator Statement:

Imrana’s art practice draws from her extensive training as a textile artist and weaver, and the rich visual culture by which she is surrounded as a practicing contemporary artist. Her socially and politically aware artwork has been informed by the often-unstable climate within which she lives and works in Karachi, it is highly attune to local happenings as well as international events and policies.

 

Zahra Khan 

Curator Satrang 

Gallery

 

Artist Statements: 

 

Belonging to a country that is under the shadows of brutal war and civilian outburst has affected everyone on individual and collective scale. The impasse of supporting these wars and massacres in the name of religion, terrorism or nation and then whining over the split milk is quite an irony. It is kind of impossible to divorce oneself from the ongoing situation here; therefore, my work is hybrid form of imagination and realities.

 

My work speaks about, defines and shapes the Glocal (Global and Local) landscape and things inspired form the visuals, icons, culture and series of fortunate (unfortunate) events which is very well informed with the presence of colliding activities in our socio-political arena, the glorious events and happenings around us on daily basis from political dialogues to bizarre talks. It interrogates and enlightens the world we develop and live in by constructing, deconstructing and reconstructing it again and again i.e. the transmutations in form of weaves. What else can we do with all these silly manifestations of chaos and tension but reshape them into beauty, hope and wit: into possibilities that move us toward some semblance of a restored humanity.

 

Artist Biography

Imrana Tanveer (b. 1985) is a Visual Artist based in Karachi. Tanveer holds degrees from the National College of Arts, Lahore, and Textile Institute of Pakistan, Karachi. Her work incorporates weaving and textiles, and appropriates iconic images from both Western and Pakistani art and culture to address social and political issues. She has been awarded the gallery exhibition prize and is one of the 30 finalists of Sovereign Asian Art Prize ’17. She is also the winner of IEAA 2016 awards exhibition in Brussels, Belgium. She has been shortlisted and featured in Golden 15 award category of reputed International Emerging Artist Award hosted by Sabrina Armani Gallery, Dubai in May 2014. Islamic Art Magazine featured Tanveer 1st solo show in top 10 solo and retrospective exhibitions of 2013. Her work is part of renowned collections of British High Commission office Islamabad, Amin Gulgee Gallery Karachi, Ierimonti Gallery USA, AAN collection to name few.

 

She is currently holding the post of Art Director at Morpheme Studios and lives and works in Karachi, Pakistan.

Feb 2019

Serena Hotels sponsored seventh annual LLF

The seventh annual Lahore Literary Festival (LLF) will kick off on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, at the Alhamra Arts Center, Mall Road with over 160 delegates from Pakistan and abroad in 75 sessions over three days.

Concluding on Sunday, Feb. 24, the three-day event will commence with an opening ceremony on Friday at 3 p.m., which will be followed by a keynote address on the life and legacy of Faiz Ahmed Faiz by acclaimed Urdu poet Zehra Nigah..

The seventh annual Lahore Literary Festival (LLF) will kick off on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, at the Alhamra Arts Center, Mall Road with over 160 delegates from Pakistan and abroad in 75 sessions over three days.

Concluding on Sunday, Feb. 24, the three-day event will commence with an opening ceremony on Friday at 3 p.m., which will be followed by a keynote address on the life and legacy of Faiz Ahmed Faiz by acclaimed Urdu poet Zehra Nigah.

The first day will also feature five parallel sessions, from 5 to 6 p.m., covering a diverse array of topics such as the future of global democracy to Pakistan’s water concerns, a celebration of Urdu poetry, Pakistan’s digital archives project and two book launches. The participants for the first day include historian Ayesha Jalal, journalist and author Ahmed Rashid, technocat and former lawmaker Shamsul Mulk, water and law policy expert Erum Sattar, Urdu playwright and poet Asghar Nadeem Syed, Balochistan Archives director Dr. Hafeez Jamali, Alexander John Malik, the former Bishop of Lahore, and many more.

The second day of #LLF2019, commencing at 11 a.m. on Feb. 23, will feature five hour-long parallel sessions throughout the day, ending at 7 p.m. As in years past, Saturday’s sessions will celebrate regional languages alongside sessions in Urdu and English. A session on literature and Sufism in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa will commemorate the life of poet Hamza Shinwari.

The day kicks off with sessions on inequality with the UNDP, Punjabi lok geet, the art of Lahore-based Farida Batool, and a discussion on journalist Nasim Zehra’s explosive book on the fallout from the Kargil War. It will also feature sessions with journalist Sanam Maher on her book on the life of Qandeel Baloch; Ahmed Rashid in conversation with historian Eugene Rogan and book launches by Kamin Mohammadi, Zulfiqar Kalhoro, Anissa Helou, Jamal Mahjoub, Harriet Sandys, Iftikhar Salahuddin, Mirza Waheed, Sabyn Javeri, Soniah Kamal, H.M. Naqvi, and Leila Aboulela.

Actors Iqra Aziz and Atiqa Odho will discuss the perceived misogyny of Pakistani drama serials, while historian Ayesha Jalal will discourse on Kashmir alongside Anam Zakaria, who recently published a book with interviews from residents of Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Award-winning essayist Pankaj Mishra will discuss his book, The Age of Anger, with author Mohsin Hamid. Royal Library Curator Emily Hannam and noted literary historian Francesca Orsini will discuss the Padshanama, a manuscript of some of the most famous Mughal paintings ever created. The day will conclude with a film screening of director Umar Riaz’s Some Lover to Some Beloved and a performance by Spanish guitarist Raul Viela.

The third and final day of LLF 2019 will feature book launches by Sarvat Hasin, Zarrar Said, Omar Khan, Shadab Zeesht Hashmi, Aisha Farooqui, Ayesha Baqir, Lalage Snow, Tahmina Aziz Ayub, Isambard Wilkinson, Ayesha Khan, Maheen Usmani, and Harris Khalique. It will include sessions on Pakistani drama serial Chaand Gharain, with actor and producer Sarmad Khoosat, and Harvard University’s Spiro Pollalis on city planning in light of the master plan of Islamabad drawn up by Greek architect Constantinos Doxiades. Historian Ayesha Jalal will discuss the life and legacy of Saadat Hasan Manto with artist Salima Hashmi. Suraiya Multanikar and Rahat Multanikar will celebrate folk songs and ghazals from southern Punjab, while Christopher Merrill of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and author Mirza Waheed will be part of a session on the poetry of Agha Shahid Ali. The event will conclude with a performance by activist and director Sheema Kermani.

LLF is a celebratory exploration of Pakistan’s literary arts. The festival features artists, writers, and opinion leaders from across the world in thoughtful discussions on a variety of topics du jour. Founded by Razi Ahmed in 2012, LLF aims to reclaim Lahore’s cultural significance and influence. LLF is a not-for-profit organization incorporated under the laws of Pakistan.

LLF is grateful to the Alhamra Arts Center, Serena Hotels, Dawn Media Group, the European Union, the British Council, the University of Bradford, Packages Limited, the U.S. Consulate, UNDP Pakistan, Destinations magazine, the Shahid Hussain Foundation, official bookseller Liberty Books and PTCL for their support in organizing this year’s edition.

Feb 2019

Faisalabad Serena Hotel celebrated Chinese New Year 2019 by organizing a Chinese Food Festival

Faisalabad Serena Hotel celebrated Chinese New Year 2019 by organizing a Chinese Food Festival from 5th February -16 th February. The festival was arranged at Xuelian restaurant which is known for offering authentic chinese food. The aim was to provide a memorable experience with perfect food, ambiance & cross culture experience to the guests. The evening was graced & inaugurated by Sheikh Rasheed Federal Minister of Railways, Ch. Asif Iqbal Commissioner Faisalabad, Saqib Ahmed General Manager Faisalabad Serena Hotel & Chinese dignitaries.…

Faisalabad Serena Hotel celebrated Chinese New Year 2019 by organizing a Chinese Food Festival from 5th February -16 th February. The festival was arranged at Xuelian restaurant which is known for offering authentic chinese food. The aim was to provide a memorable experience with perfect food, ambiance & cross culture experience to the guests. The evening was graced &…

Faisalabad Serena Hotel celebrated Chinese New Year 2019 by organizing a Chinese Food Festival from 5th February -16 th February. The festival…

Faisalabad Serena Hotel celebrated Chinese New Year 2019 by organizing a Chinese Food Festival from 5th February -16thFebruary. The festival was arranged at Xuelian restaurant which is known for offering authentic chinese food. The aim was to provide a memorable experience with perfect food, ambiance & cross culture experience to the guests.

The evening was graced & inaugurated by Sheikh Rasheed Federal Minister of Railways, Ch. Asif Iqbal Commissioner Faisalabad, Saqib Ahmed General Manager Faisalabad Serena Hotel & Chinese dignitaries.

Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed spoke to media on the occasion and briefed about the importance of Pakistan & China relationship, how the alliance of both the countries is beneficial to each other and he further wished for a prosperous & flourishing rapport.

Faisalabad Serena Hotel celebrated Chinese New Year 2019 by organizing a Chinese Food Festival from 5th February -16 th February. The festival was arranged at Xuelian restaurant which is known for offering authentic chinese food. The aim was to provide a memorable experience with perfect food, ambiance & cross culture experience to the guests. The evening was graced & inaugurated by Sheikh Rasheed Federal Minister of Railways, Ch. Asif Iqbal Commissioner Faisalabad, Saqib Ahmed General Manager Faisalabad Serena Hotel & Chinese dignitaries.…

Faisalabad Serena Hotel celebrated Chinese New Year 2019 by organizing a Chinese Food Festival from 5th February -16 th February. The festival was arranged at Xuelian restaurant which is known for offering authentic chinese food. The aim was to provide a memorable experience with perfect food, ambiance & cross culture experience to the guests. The evening was graced &…

Faisalabad Serena Hotel celebrated Chinese New Year 2019 by organizing a Chinese Food Festival from 5th February -16 th February. The festival…

Faisalabad Serena Hotel celebrated Chinese New Year 2019 by organizing a Chinese Food Festival from 5th February -16thFebruary. The festival was arranged at Xuelian restaurant which is known for offering authentic chinese food. The aim was to provide a memorable experience with perfect food, ambiance & cross culture experience to the guests.

The evening was graced & inaugurated by Sheikh Rasheed Federal Minister of Railways, Ch. Asif Iqbal Commissioner Faisalabad, Saqib Ahmed General Manager Faisalabad Serena Hotel & Chinese dignitaries.

Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed spoke to media on the occasion and briefed about the importance of Pakistan & China relationship, how the alliance of both the countries is beneficial to each other and he further wished for a prosperous & flourishing rapport.

Jan 2019

Update on Nairobi Serena Hotel Refurbishment

Nairobi Serena Hotel is pleased to announce the completion of the phase one of its ongoing refurbishment. The refurbishment program is in line with Serena Hotels commitment of continuous improvement of its product and is aligned to respond to global trends and needs of leisure and corporate clientele. The five-star hotel is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World and is well known for preserving the rich Pan-African inspired culture expressed through its interiors and unique décor accents.

Nairobi Serena Hotel is pleased to announce the completion of the phase one of its ongoing refurbishment. The refurbishment program is in line with Serena Hotels commitment of continuous improvement of its product and is aligned to respond to global trends and needs of leisure and corporate clientele. The five-star hotel is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World and is well known for preserving the rich Pan-African inspired culture expressed through its interiors and unique décor accents.

 

The new facilities on the hotel’s north wing includes, 95 fully upgraded guest rooms, Hotel reception and lobby, state-of-the-art conference Centre, New executive lounge and the parking silo. The rooms feature double glazed acoustic windows, enhanced fire, security and safety systems in compliance with international standards. New high-speed lifts, energy efficient mood lighting and modern air conditioning systems have also been installed.

 

The second phase (south wing) of the hotel’s refurbishment commenced in September 2018 and is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2019 when the full room inventory of 199 rooms-across a wide range of room types will be in operation. During construction, works will take place from 0800H to 1700H on weekdays and 0900H to 1300H on Saturdays, with no activity scheduled for Sundays

 

This phase of refurbishment has incorporated the Hotel swimming pool renovation. The work is anticipated to take 4 – 6 weeks and over this period the pool will remain closed till 08th February 2019. Please note during this period we have made alternative arrangements for all our guests who would like to swim, details are provided at the Front desk.

 

We would like to assure all our guests, suppliers and stakeholders that disruption as a result of the expansion and refurbishment will be managed efficiently and sensitively to ensure that the products and services still meet our guests’ comfort and expectations during their visit to Nairobi Serena Hotel.

 

We would like to sincerely thank you for your continued support and loyalty to Serena Hotels over the years. In the event of any queries or concerns please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

 

Daniel Kang’u

General Manager

Jan 2019

UNHCR and Dushanbe Serena Hotel launched a joint apprenticeship programme

On January the 16th, the Representation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Dushanbe Serena Hotel officially signed a Letter of Understanding (LoU) aiming at expanding skills training opportunities in the area of hospitality and basic tourism sector, for both refugees and local Tajik youth.  

The Letter of Understanding establishes a framework for running a joint Programme that offers apprenticeship and training opportunities that aim at supporting both refugees and Tajik youth, in enhancing their professional knowledge, skills and employment opportunities in the hospitality industry and basic tourism sector, increasing their competitiveness both in local and global labour markets.

On January the 16th, the Representation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Dushanbe Serena Hotel officially signed a Letter of Understanding (LoU) aiming at expanding skills training opportunities in the area of hospitality and basic tourism sector, for both refugees and local Tajik youth.  

The Letter of Understanding establishes a framework for running a joint Programme that offers apprenticeship and training opportunities that aim at supporting both refugees and Tajik youth, in enhancing their professional knowledge, skills and employment opportunities in the hospitality industry and basic tourism sector, increasing their competitiveness both in local and global labour markets.

Within the scope of the Apprenticeship Programme, the Dushanbe Serena Hotel will provide professional learning programme for selected apprentices on core aspects of the hospitality industry. The participants to the Programme will be selected based on their knowledge, skills, and capacity for working in the hospitality sector. The programme will run twice per year, while the apprentices will receive classroom and on-the-job training, rotating in different departments to gain a full understanding of hotel operations. Upon completion, apprentices will be receiving an accredited certificate.

The Apprenticeship Programme represents the result of UNHCR’s outreach to the Dushanbe Serena Hotel in seeking to diversify its livelihoods interventions for refugees under the Hotel’s social corporate responsibility. The UNHCR Representation in Tajikistan and Dushanbe Serena Hotel brought in Government partner the Adult Education Center (under the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Employment) to accredit and ensure sustainability of the programme, and NGO partner Refugees, Children and Vulnerable Citizens (RCVC) to support the operationalization of the programme. It is also believed that the Programme will contribute to the peaceful co-existence and social cohesion between refugees and host communities.

Commenting on the newly established partnership with Dushanbe Serena Hotel, Mr. Vito Trani explained that, “Nowadays it is imperative that we build new partnerships given the global trend of reduced donor support for humanitarian operations. Also, by further deepening cooperation with the private sector, as is the case with the Dushanbe Serena Hotel, we are taking another constructive step towards improving the lives of our beneficiaries. The training opportunities that refugees and members of the Tajik host community receive through such partnerships will enhance their capacity to generate a sustainable livelihood while also fostering long-term self-reliance”.

On the occasion of the signing of the LOU, Mr. Philippe Ducler, the General Manager of the Dushanbe Serena Hotel stated that: “By signing the letter of understanding between Dushanbe Serena Hotel and the UNHCR Representation in Tajikistan we are announcing the start of implementation of exciting and much needed program of internship at our Hotel. The program was designed to fill in the gap in professional skills’ availability in the sphere of hospitality and Dushanbe Serena Hotel, with its extensive experience in training and development, has offered its facilities for on-job training. We are grateful to the UNHCR and Ministry of Labor of the Republic of Tajikistan for giving us this opportunity to make our own substantial contribution into the development of human resources of the country.“

Tajikistan currently hosts the largest number of refugees in the Central Asian region; some 3000 refugees and asylum seekers arrived primarily from neighbouring Afghanistan reside in Tajikistan. At the same time, above 34,000 persons at risk of statelessness have been identified in targeted districts since the launch of the joint UNHCR and Government national project to address statelessness in the country.

 

NOTES

 

UNITED NATIONATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES 

The UNHCRin the world is saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. From 1993, the UNHCR in Tajikistan works with the Government of Tajikistan and inter-agency partners in three primary areas: protection and local integration of refugees, leading emergency preparedness for potential of cross-border flows from neighboring countries; and addressing the issue of statelessness in Tajikistan. 

 

DUSHANBE SERENA HOTEL - Tourism Promotion Services (TPS), an affiliate of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), seeks to develop tourism potential in an underserved areas of the world, such as Tajikistan. Operating under the “SERENA” brand name, TPS hotels enjoy an established reputation for the highest standards of comfort, service and product, with over 34 properties in nine countries in Africa and Asia. Each Serena property is carefully built to harmonize with local culture and heritage and to reflect the architectural styles of the region so that it promotes awareness of these elements amongst travelers. Serena Hotels strive to contribute to local economies through human resource training and development, the reinvigoration of artisans and craft industries, and through sensitive conservation or development of the surrounding areas.

Jan 2019

PCB-AHC Girls Cup 2019: Empowering girls through cricket

The Australian High Commission (AHC) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) with the support of Serena Hotels today hosted the 4th AHC-PCB Girls’ Cricket Cup at the Murghzar Cricket Ground, Islamabad.  

 

The Australian High Commission (AHC) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) with the support of Serena Hotels today hosted the 4th AHC-PCB Girls’ Cricket Cup at the Murghzar Cricket Ground, Islamabad.  

 

The AHC-PCB Girls’ Cup 2019 involved teams from four schools: Special Education School for Girls with Hearing Impairment H-9; Mashal Model School Bari Imam; Pakistan Sweet Homes H-9/4 and Islamabad Model School for Girls I-9/1 Islamabad 

 

The girls attended a five-day coaching clinic in the lead-up to the competition conducted by first class women cricketers and PCB coach Farrukh Hayat.  

 

Australia’s Acting High Commissioner to Pakistan, Brek Batley congratulated the schools on their participation and welcomed the continued support of the PCB and Serena Hotels for the annual PCB-AHC Girls’ Cricket Cup. He also presented an autographed bat of Australian Cricket Team to the best player of the tournament. 

 

“Sharing a passion with Pakistan for cricket, the Australian High Commission was pleased to again join with the PCB and Serena Hotels to host this initiative to empower girls through cricket and promote gender equality through sport,” Mr Batley said.   

 

“We were particularly pleased to have the participation of women first class players who helped to build confidence, foster team spirit and encourage the girls to push beyond their boundaries,” he said.   

 

Mr Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels, said, “Cricket is a passion in Pakistan and as a sport it embodies all the best attributes of any game – encouraging teamwork, discipline, hard work and strategic thinking. Under Serena Hotels Sports Diplomacy initiatives we support, facilitate and sponsor numerous sporting events and our commitments to sports diplomacy and women’s empowerment have found expression in the PCB-AHC Girls’ Cricket Cup. This tournament provides a wonderful vehicle for promoting and highlighting the importance of gender equality in sport.”    

 

This year’s competition was also supported by Malik Sports, the Canadian High Commission in Islamabad and the Islamabad Region Cricket Association which provided cricket equipment, shoes and the ground facilities respectively. 

 

 

Jan 2019

Press Conference for 19th Junior Asian Team Squash Championship 2019

To honour the winners of the Asian Junior Squash Team Championship, a prize distribution ceremony was held at Serena Hotels Islamabad here Wednesday. Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force, who is also President of the Pakistan Squash Federation, awarded cash prizes to the players, who won gold medal in the recently concluded championship at Pattaya (Thailand). The Pakistan team comprising Farhan Hashmi, Abbas Zeb, Haris Qasim and Hamza Khan performed exceptionally well in the championship, earning Pakistan the coveted title after six years.

ind the success. He said the PSF had requested the Professional Squash Association to allot more junior tournaments to Pakistan and that international tournaments last year had helped players improve their rankings. The PSF vice-president also revealed that Pakistan will host the Asian Senior Championship in 2021.

To honour the winners of the Asian Junior Squash Team Championship, a prize distribution ceremony was held at Serena Hotels Islamabad here Wednesday. Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force, who is also President of the Pakistan Squash Federation, awarded cash prizes to the players, who won gold medal in the recently concluded championship at Pattaya (Thailand). The Pakistan team comprising Farhan Hashmi, Abbas Zeb, Haris Qasim and Hamza Khan performed exceptionally well in the championship, earning Pakistan the coveted title after six years.

Addressing at the occasion, the Air Chief said: We are proud of our young players who brought laurels to the country by winning the prestigious championship.” He added that the last two years remained great for the Pakistan squash as the country won a total of 58 medals including 27 gold, 13 silver and 18 bronze medals at national and international levels. He appreciated the hard work put in by the coaching staff for providing international standard training and coaching facilities to the young players. He also lauded the efforts of the Pakistan Squash Federation officials in making concerted efforts for bringing back the lost glory in the game
of squash.

PSF senior vice-president Air Marshal Shahid Akhtar Alvi also lauded the country’s junior squash side for their triumph in Thailand. Alvi said the win was deserved as the junior players had been consistent with their performances since last year and that the Pakistan juniors were considered among the best in the world. Alvi was full of appreciation for the local coaches, national federation and associations and believed they were a major force behind the success. He said the PSF had requested the Professional Squash Association to allot more junior tournaments to Pakistan and that international tournaments last year had helped players improve their rankings. The PSF vice-president also revealed that Pakistan will host the Asian Senior Championship in 2021.

Jan 2019

Serena Hotels sponsored 41st National Kabaddi Championship in Faisalabad

Under the banner of Sports Diplomacy Serena Hotels sponsored 41st National Kabaddi Championship in Faisalabad, in collaboration with Commissioner Office, Pakistan Kabaddi Federation and Government of Punjab at Iqbal stadium from 3rd January 2019 to 7th January. 

Under the banner of Sports Diplomacy Serena Hotels sponsored 41st National Kabaddi Championship in Faisalabad, in collaboration with Commissioner Office, Pakistan Kabaddi Federation and Government of Punjab at Iqbal stadium from 3rd January 2019 to 7th January. 

The teams from neighboring countries Iran and India competed in the championship. The local teams included PAF, WAPDA, Army, SNGPL, HEC, Police, Pakistan Railway, POF WAH, Islamabad, Punjab, KPK, Sindh, and Balochistan.

Pakistan Green won against India, and Pakistan White won the game against Iran. Among local teams; PAF, WAPDA, SNGPL, and Pakistan Army scored their trophies.

On the final day, a live musical gathering was organized to celebrate this championship and to bid farewell to the competing teams. Arif Lohar performed at the closing ceremony in the presence of the chief guests Chaudhary Akram (Advisor to CM Punjab), Farrukh Habib (MNA), Asif Iqbal (Commissioner Faisalabad), Saif ullah Dogar (Deputy Commissioner) and Saqib Ahmed (General Manager Faisalabad Serena Hotel) along with other dignitaries.

 

Dec 2018

ZANZIBAR SERENA HOTEL PARTNERS WITH ZANZIBAR OUTREACH PROGRAM TO OFFER EAR SURGERY

18th December 2018, Zanzibar…Zanzibar Serena Hotel partnered with the Zanzibar Outreach Program to offer complimentary ear surgery to at least 30 children with hearing problems. The surgeries were conducted at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital in Zanzibar between 8th- 12th December and marks 9 years since the partnership began in 2009. The ear surgeries are aimed at creating awareness for hearing problems within the ear, nose and throat anatomy. Since inception, over 462 people have benefited from the ear surgery camp. The surgeries were conducted by ENT specialists’…

18th December 2018, Zanzibar…Zanzibar Serena Hotel partnered with the Zanzibar Outreach Program to offer complimentary ear surgery to at least 30 children with hearing problems. The surgeries were conducted at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital in Zanzibar between 8th- 12th December and marks 9 years since the partnership began in 2009.

The ear surgeries are aimed at creating awareness for hearing problems within the ear, nose and throat anatomy. Since inception, over 462 people have benefited from the ear surgery camp. The surgeries were conducted by ENT specialists’ doctors from Zanzibar Outreach Program comprising of Dr. Harish Rupani, Head of Delegation of Volunteer Doctors, Dr. Naufal Kassam, Head of ENT at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital and Dr. Jandu, ENT Volunteer Specialist. Over the last 9 years, the visiting ENT Specialists have been accommodated at Zanzibar Serena Hotel on complimentary basis.

Dr. Harish Rupani, ENT Specialist Surgeon, Zanzibar Outreach Program says, “We strongly advocate for parents to bring their young ones for screening and treatment. A large number of hearing impairment is often diagnosed in childhood and is caused by a number of factors ranging from birth complications, genetic abnormalities, ear infections, medication, damaging levels of noise among others. Detection and treatment of hearing impairment during an early age results in significant better outcomes than intervention in adulthood.”

The World Health Organization estimates that over 360 million people worldwide live with hearing loss. Out of the total 318 million are adults while 32 million are children, 80% of who are low and middle income earners. This makes hearing impairment one of the most common disability in the world.

Wilfred Shirima, General Manager, Zanzibar Serena Hotel says, “We are committed to working with our partners to help create awareness of hearing impairment and reduce the number of children suffering from these cases. This initiative supports our efforts in promoting social growth as hearing loss in children exposes them to high risks of delayed childhood development.”

The success of this initiative has been made possible by the long-term relationship that Serena Hotels has with the ENT specialists developed over the 9-year period. The clinic is primarily for children but the general public can also be attended to. Three adults between the age of 28-35 years and twenty-five children between 9-14 years were treated. During this exercise, the parents and children were enlightened on precautionary measures to prevent hearing loss.

As part of its day-to-day operations, Serena Hotels focus on programs that respond to the needs of the environment, economy and communities within which it operates. All Serena’s programs are aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set out by the United Nation Development Program. Zanzibar Serena Hotel ear surgery initiative particularly aligns to “SDG 3 Good Health and Wellbeing” and “SDG 17 – Partnership to achieve the Goal”. Zanzibar Serena Hotel and Zanzibar Outreach Program intend to carry out the Ear Surgery Camp annually.

Dec 2018

Vintage and Classic Cars Club of Pakistan arranged a car show titled "Heritage on wheels" in Islamabad at the Serena Hotel

Senator Dr Shahzad Waseem who inaugurated the show whilst speaking to APP remarked that it was a wonderful event as it was a source of amusement for the public.

He said it would portray a soft image of Pakistan before the international community.

 

Senator Dr Shahzad Waseem who inaugurated the show whilst speaking to APP remarked that it was a wonderful event as it was a source of amusement for the public.

He said it would portray a soft image of Pakistan before the international community.

“I have also chipped in three of my vintage 1964 models in the car show,” said Waseem.

The senator said vintage cars were a source of inspiration and that they remind us of our past.

Chairman of the Vintage and Classic Cars Club of Pakistan, Mohsin Ikram, said that the main purpose of the event was to create awareness among the people about the importance of vintage and classic cars.

As many as 60 vintage including 15 cars from Karachi, 12 from Lahore, and 20 from Islamabad were brought to the show, he said. The 1922 French-manufactured Amilcar, UK-built TR cars and German-made IGB cars were also showcased.

Ikram said a rally of cars came from Karachi to Islamabad and will also go to Peshawar's Islamia College.

The show witnessed a huge gathering of people of which some were from Switzerland, China, and Ireland.

A 1954 TR car owner Shahzab said, “I have kept this car since my childhood as I am fond of vintage cars”.

Earlier in November, around 60 vintage cars were exhibited in a classic car show arranged by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa tourism department which was held at the Peshawar Services Club. Senior Minister for Tourism, Culture, and Sports Mohammad Atif Khan had also participated in the event as chief guest.

The bevy of vehicles had started from the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi and moved through various cities including Sukkur, Bahawalpur, Lahore and Islamabad, finally culminating its journey in Peshawar.

Dec 2018

ITF Future and National Ranking Tennis Championship

Japan’s Rio Noguchi squeezed into the final of the Serena Hotels ITF Men’s Pro-Circuit (Futures) Tennis Tournament 2018 after ousting British Alexis Canter in semifinals played here at Senator Dilawar Abbas PTF Complex on Friday.ftab beat Abdullah Adnan 6-3, 7-5; Ahmed Kamil edged out Abdullah 6-2, 7-5 and Uzair Khan overwhelmed Hamza Roman 6-2, 6-2. In boys singles U-14 quarterfinals, Sami Zeb outpaced Bilal Asim 6-1, 6-2; Uzair routed Hamza 6-2, 6-2; Abdul Hanan toppled Huzaima 6-1, 6-3 and Huzaifa Khan trounced Kashan 6-1, 6-2.

Japan’s Rio Noguchi squeezed into the final of the Serena Hotels ITF Men’s Pro-Circuit (Futures) Tennis Tournament 2018 after ousting British Alexis Canter in semifinals played here at Senator Dilawar Abbas PTF Complex on Friday.

Top seed Korean Cheong-Eui KIM got walkover against Ti Chen in the second semi-final. In the first semifinal, Noguchi won the first set 6-4, but lost the second 3-6, before winning the third set 6-3 to book berth in the final against top seed Korean Cheong-Eui KIM. In the men’s doubles semifinals, Darko Jandric/Shonigmatjon Shofayziyev beat Anton Chekhov/Kai Wehnelt 2-1, winning 4-6, 6-4, 10-5 while in the second semifinal, Cheong-Eui KIM/Rio Noguchi beat Alexander Pavlioutchenkov/Vladimir Polyakov 2-1, winning the encounter by 4-6, 6-1, 10-4.

SARA, SARAH REACH LADIES TENNIS FINAL:

Sara Mansoor will face Sarah Mahboob Khan in ladies singles final of the National Ranking Tennis Championships 2018 here at PTF Tennis Complex today (Saturday). In ladies singles semifinals, Sara Mansoor proved too hot for Hania Navaid as she thrashed her opponent by 6-2, 6-1. Experienced Sarah Mahboob also played superbly against Esha Jawad and outclassed her by 6-2, 6-2.

In boys singles Under-18 quarterfinals, Nauman Aftab beat Abdullah Adnan 6-3, 7-5; Ahmed Kamil edged out Abdullah 6-2, 7-5 and Uzair Khan overwhelmed Hamza Roman 6-2, 6-2. In boys singles U-14 quarterfinals, Sami Zeb outpaced Bilal Asim 6-1, 6-2; Uzair routed Hamza 6-2, 6-2; Abdul Hanan toppled Huzaima 6-1, 6-3 and Huzaifa Khan trounced Kashan 6-1, 6-2.

Dec 2018

Raabta dialogue on Opportunities and Challenges at Serena

Serena Hotels hosted an evening of dialogue and discussion, under Raabta, a Public Diplomacy Initiative, on ‘The Dynamic Global Economy, Fostering the Pakistan Advantage'. The panel of experts, moderated by Sidra Iqbal,  included Zohair Khaliq, Member of the Prime Minister’s Task Force on IT and Communications, Melinda Good, Manager Operations at World Bank Pakistan, Sarim Sheikh, President and CEO of GE Pakistan, and Hasaan Khawar, international development and public policy professional.

Serena Hotels hosted an evening of dialogue and discussion, under Raabta, a Public Diplomacy Initiative, on ‘The Dynamic Global Economy, Fostering the Pakistan Advantage'. The panel of experts, moderated by Sidra Iqbal,  included Zohair Khaliq, Member of the Prime Minister’s Task Force on IT and Communications, Melinda Good, Manager Operations at World Bank Pakistan, Sarim Sheikh, President and CEO of GE Pakistan, and Hasaan Khawar, international development and public policy professional.

Melinda Good said, “We’ve been looking at two trajectories for the country between now and its hundredth birthday, which is 29 years from now. One is the business as usual which has the country growing at about 5% as it has done historically and the population growing at 2.4%, a rate which is the highest in the region. That means more people are dividing the pie. The other trajectory is the optimistic one, where on its hundredth birthday, growth has accelerated, the difficult reforms have been done, and you’ve been able to invest in health and education, more women have joined the work force and these will moderate the population and Pakistan is in the upper middle income status. So what we need to talk about are the key reforms that need to be made which I think are looking at competitiveness and improving the investment climate, increasing the fiscal space, inclusiveness and human capital investment.”

Zohair Khaliq said, “There is going to be a huge demographic shift from the traditional economies of the West to the more emerging economies. According to an HSBC report, Pakistan is going to be one of the five fastest growing economies of the world; Of course this depends on a lot of things and we can’t do business as usual. I think the government should focus on four things. We have to all start paying taxes, the tax to GDP ratio is shocking. Our population growth rate is unsustainable. We are desperately short of energy and will be in the future – the immediate answer is solar energy. Finally, everything we do should be underpinned by technology”.

Sarim Sheikh said, “In 2011, I chose to move back to Pakistan because I strongly believe that Pakistan has immense unrealised potential. What I would like to say to everybody is that there is no need to panic; there is a huge opportunity to address the issues. The global demand versus Pakistan’s own current account and fiscal deficit are in a bad state and you could end up in a stagflationary environment. There is also the changing future of work globally many jobs will disappear because of automation, digitization and artificial intelligence. We have to think about these things for the near and medium term”.

Hasaan Khawar said, “I want to talk about opportunities and challenges. Pakistan is the fifth largest country in the world but its neighbours are the world’s largest country and the world’s second largest country. The three of us account for 1/3rdof the world’s population. If this is not an opportunity I don’t know what an opportunity looks like. The problem is that you can take flight from Islamabad in any direction for three hours and everything would change – the air quality, the perception of safety, the expectations of service delivery and that is what matters”   

Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels, said, “Raabta is the culmination of the value that Serena Hotels brings to the society. The convening power of Serena allows us to bring together experts, policy makers and the interested citizenry to inform and engage individuals and organizations in advancing debate, create knowledge and develop a wider appreciation of complexity of socio-economic subjects”.

2018 started as an all-time cyclical high for not only in the developed countries but in the developing ones as well and the good times economically are when economies must plan for the cyclical lows.

Dec 2018

Serena Hotels inaugurates the 4th Mountain Film Festival

Serena Hotels hosted the inaugural ceremony of the 4thedition of the Pakistan International Mountain Film Festival (PIMFF) in Kehkeshan Hall, Islamabad Serena Hotel.

Serena Hotels hosted the inaugural ceremony of the 4thedition of the Pakistan International Mountain Film Festival (PIMFF) in Kehkeshan Hall, Islamabad Serena Hotel.

The chief guest on the occasion was renowned mountaineer, Colonel (Retd.) M. Sher Khan who holds the distinction of being the first Pakistani to have climbed Rakaposhi (7,788 metres) and Nanga Parbat (8,126 metres), along with numerous other peaks. Mr. Wajahat Malik, founder of PIMFF welcomed the guests to the ceremony and screening of The Frozen Road.

Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels, said, “It is a great privilege for us to inaugurate the Pakistan International Mountain Film Festival 2018 which will continue for two days. We bring diverse experiences to our friends and community thereby adding value. Serena Hotel’s Adventure Diplomacy Initiative encourage human engagement with Nature in ways that test physical prowess, endurance and commitment, mountain activities being a core part of these activities. 

The Frozen Road, one of the most extraordinary films in the programme, depicts an incredible month-long expedition through Canada’s remote and frozen Yukon Territory to the Arctic Sea. Ben Page began the three-year bike trip in 2014 and chronicles a single month in the riveting film.

PIMFF screens short films, documentaries, features and animations related to mountain adventure sports, nature, environment, climate change, mountain tourism, mountain cultures and communities.

Dec 2018

Serena hosts fundraising match for Dam Fund

Serena Hotels hosted a cricket match between PCB XI and Parliamentarians XI to raise funds for Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams Fund. The match was held at the Shalimar Cricket Ground and drew dignitaries, businessmen and diplomats in support of the teams and the cause. 

 

Serena Hotels hosted a cricket match between PCB XI and Parliamentarians XI to raise funds for Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams Fund. The match was held at the Shalimar Cricket Ground and drew dignitaries, businessmen and diplomats in support of the teams and the cause. 

The match was organized by Shalimar Tennis Club in collaboration with Serena Hotels under its Sports Diplomacy Initiative. Mr. Fawad Chaudhry was the Chief Guest at the occasion.

Mr. Fawad Chaudhry, Mr. Ali Zaidi, Mr. Zulfi Bukhari, Mr. Shehryar Afridi, Mr. Khurram Shahzad, Mr. Ali Nawaz Awan, Mr. Sadaqat Abbasi, Mr. Rashid Shafiq, Mr. Farrukh Altaf, Mr. Murad Saeed, Mr. Junaid Akbar, Mr. Ali Khan, Mr. Mansoor Hayat, Mr. Bilal Ejaz, and Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, were few of the prominent parliamentarians who participated in the match.

Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels, said, “Serena Hotels is delighted to be able to support a cause that is pivotally important for every household and every citizen of Pakistan. Pakistan is one of the top ten countries globally to be affected by climate change and as we get increasingly water scarce it is important for every responsible citizen to do his part. This has been a wonderful opportunity to combine our support to sustainable water resources with the Sports Diplomacy Initiative.”

Parliamentarian XI won the match with 14 runs after an exciting inning, but the true winners were the people of Pakistan who need long term water sources across the country.

Dec 2018

Serena Hotels Margalla Mountain Marathon

Serena Hotels - Margalla Mountain Marathon and 5.5K run drew crowds of nature lover as people welcomed a day in the scenic hills that epitomize Islamabad.
 

Serena Hotels - Margalla Mountain Marathon and 5.5K run drew crowds of nature lover as people welcomed a day in the scenic hills that epitomize Islamabad.

With approximately 150 participants in the marathon and more than 150 runners in the 5.5K, the activity appealed to a wide cross-section of society. The Margalla Hills National Park carries great significance for people of Islamabad and Rawalpindi as it is the repository of indigenous flora and fauna, an escape from the traffic and chaos of city life and a source of clean air and water.

Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels, said, “Preserving the environment is a cause that is very important to Serena Hotels. Responsible natural resource management has always been one of our top priorities and we have inculcated ecologically sustainable policies within the Hotel but raising awareness and encouraging our friends and communities to do the same is also essential”.

Serena Hotels has sponsored the Marathon as part of its adventure diplomacy initiative. Earlier this year Serena Hotels hosted the first Pakistan Karakorum Marathon, organised by the Pakistan Air Force that drew international record holders and prize winners to Naltar, a stunning valley in Gilgit District situated at over 8,000 feet above sea level.

The 21.55 kilometre route for the marathon began at Trail 5 to Faisal Mosque, Chak Chabbi, Talhar Ridge and back to Trail-5 while the route for 5.5K started at the Trail 5 Parking to Trail 3-B, to the exercise point above the umbrella and back to Trail 5. 

Participants were given certificates and medals and the top three runners in both categories received cash awards.
 

Nov 2018

KILAGUNI SERENA SAFARI LODGE LAUNCHES ITS SOLAR POWER PLANT

27 November 2018, Tsavo West National Park, Kenya:

Serena Hotels and Mettle Solar OFGEN have officially opened “Kenya’s First Fully Solar powered Lodge”.

Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge located in Tsavo West National Park implemented a fully-fledged solar power plant to provide for its entire power requirements and enhance environmental sustainability.

 

27 November 2018, Tsavo West National Park, Kenya:

Serena Hotels and Mettle Solar OFGEN have officially opened “Kenya’s First Fully Solar powered Lodge”.

Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge located in Tsavo West National Park implemented a fully-fledged solar power plant to provide for its entire power requirements and enhance environmental sustainability.

The solar power plant is installed under a lease arrangement and produces 307kWp utilizing SMA Solar offgrid technology with 670kWh of usable lead acid battery storage, with the capacity to supply Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge’s total energy requirements during normal weather conditions. During adverse weather, additional energy needs are met using synchronised diesel generators which were previously the main source of energy before the commissioning of the solar plant in July 2017.

Mr. Francois Van Themaat, Managing Director, Mettle Solar OFGEN says, “This is among one of our first projects in the hospitality industry. It is a big win for Kenya to get a ground breaking project like this, up and running. This took the effort of our researchers, engineers, suppliers and the Government of Kenya and we look forward to working with Serena Hotels for more ground-breaking projects.”

Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge, in October 2018 won the Special Award; “Extraordinary Business Case and CSR”, at the official Global Best Practice Awards 2018 ceremony in Milan, Italy. Kilaguni Serena won this award for using eco-friendly practices in providing professional textile care through sustainable and energy efficient laundry services as a result of the Solar Power Plant. Incorporating historic energy data insights to our business strategy is one of the key drivers that enabled our journey from the use of fossil based energy to renewable and effective energy sources such as the installation of the solar power plant.

Mr. Mahmud Jan Mohamed, Managing Director, Serena Hotels says, “The Company continues to focus on innovative programs that respond to the needs of the environment, economy and communities within which it operates – the fundamental tenets of Sustainability”. He further added, “The demand from eco-travelers is growing and Serena continues to adapt its business best practices model to meet the ecological travel experiences and expectations of today’s guest. The hotel sector is energy-intensive and despite being remotely located in the park; we have successfully managed to use a clean-renewable source of energy to fully run the lodge operations.”

The off-grid solar system by Mettle Solar OFGEN has been implemented in two properties; Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge that has the very first Tesla Inverter/Battery System in Kenya and the largest battery system in East Africa, while Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge’s solar plant is recognized as Kenya’s largest Solar PV System on tracker. Additionally, the firms commissioned two hybrid projects in early February 2018 at Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp and Sweetwaters Serena Camp. The main engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) work was performed by SPS Kenya. In the years to come, these systems will enable Serena Hotels to make major strides in decreasing its operational costs and carbon foot print thus contributing to a healthier environment now and for our next generations.

Mr. Thorsten Ronge, Managing Director, SMA Solar Technology South Africa says, “The projects focus on secure and environmentally friendly energy supply is testament to SMA’s vision of ‘generating energy where it is needed’. We are proud that our Sunny Island battery inverters, which have been shipped to the world for nearly twenty years to generate clean and reliable electricity in remote locations, form the heart and brain of Kilaguni’s off-grid solar installation. SMA congratulates Serena Hotels and Mettle Solar OFGEN on this extraordinary project and solar powering the historic safari lodge.”

All Serena’s programs are aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set out by the United Nation Development Program. Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge solar power plant particularly aligns to “SDG 13 Climate Action” - with the aim of fighting climate change and its effects to the environment.

According to the solar power plant data records, 467 tons of carbon dioxide has been avoided since the last 15 months of installation. To extract this carbon dioxide from the environment naturally within 10 years 37,399 trees need to be planted. The solar power plants complement the Serena East Africa tree planting initiative that has taken place for over two decades.

Nov 2018

International Squash League in Balochistan sponsored by Serena Hotels

Serena Hotels under its Sports Diplomacy Initiative is pleased to sponsor the first ever International Squash League in Balochistan. The opening ceremony of the tournament was held on November 02, 2018 at Quetta Serena Hotel.
The tournament kicked off on November 03 and will continue till November 07.

 

Serena Hotels under its Sports Diplomacy Initiative is pleased to sponsor the first ever International Squash League in Balochistan. The opening ceremony of the tournament was held on November 02, 2018 at Quetta Serena Hotel.
The tournament kicked off on November 03 and will continue till November 07.


Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan has applauded the holding of Balochistan International Squash League in Quetta, saying the provincial government is also preparing to organise national games in near future.

Nov 2018

Faisalabad Serena Hotel 31st Anniversery Celebrations

Faisalabad Serena Hotel is renowned for the world class hospitality since 1987.The hotel comprises of well-designed luxury rooms, lush green gardens and courtyards along with a wide choice of restaurants offering National & International Delicacies.

Faisalabad Serena Hotel is renowned for the world class hospitality since 1987.The hotel comprises of well-designed luxury rooms, lush green gardens and courtyards along with a wide choice of restaurants offering National & International Delicacies.

Enduring the legacy of the best hospitality services in the city Faisalabad Serena Hotel on 28th November,2018 celebrated its 31st Anniversary. Cake Cutting ceremony was arranged on the day which was graced by General Manager Mr. Saqib Ahmed along with EAM Mr. Irfan Majeed & Director Projects Mr. Kabir Malik and the management of Faisalabad Serena Hotel.

The celebrations continued from 28thNovember-30thNovember. The exterior façade of the building was lit up to add in the festivities and an amazing discount of 31% was offered in all restaurants for the guests that lasted till 30th November 2018.

Nov 2018

Heritage Fair at Serena Business Complex

Heritage fair organized at Islamabad Serena Hotel on Saturday drew huge interest of all and sundry, which was evident from participation of people hailing from various walks of life. The heritage fair, was organized to help local industries promote their products as well look for prospective collaborators and business partners from other countries also. The exhibitors displayed the hand-made products including shawls; carpets; fancy dresses with embroidery work and many other items depicting the heritage of Pakistan.

Heritage fair organized at Islamabad Serena Hotel on Saturday drew huge interest of all and sundry, which was evident from participation of people hailing from various walks of life. The heritage fair, was organized to help local industries promote their products as well look for prospective collaborators and business partners from other countries also. The exhibitors displayed the hand-made products including shawls; carpets; fancy dresses with embroidery work and many other items depicting the heritage of Pakistan.

The heritage fair is a regular feature of the hotel organized every year in order to encourage and promote indigenous items. The exhibiters while talking to media on the occasion thanked the hotel management for providing them with free space and hoped they will continue extending this cooperation even the coming days. The exhibitors seemed quite happy with the response of the people. Some of them were able to attract potentials buyers for their products.

 

Nov 2018

TURKISH FOOD FESTIVAL: Serena Hotels, Turkish Arilnes hold lucky draw

Serena Hotels hosted a Lucky Draw Ceremony following an eight-day Turkish Food Festival to announce the winner of two return tickets for Istanbul with a two-night stay at the Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul. The Embassy of Turkey has also arranged a waiver on the Turkish Visa application service charges from Gerry’s International and access to Executive Lounge.

Serena Hotels hosted a Lucky Draw Ceremony following an eight-day Turkish Food Festival to announce the winner of two return tickets for Istanbul with a two-night stay at the Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul. The Embassy of Turkey has also arranged a waiver on the Turkish Visa application service charges from Gerry’s International and access to Executive Lounge.

Mr. Selim Ecirli, General Manager, and Mr. Muhammad Umer Khan, Sales Manager Islamabad and North Pakistan, from Turkish Airlines represented the sponsor of the airline tickets.

Mr. Michel A. Galopin, General Manager of Islamabad Serena Hotel, drew the winning coupon from the ballot box and announced the fortunate recipient who enjoyed a lavish spread of Turkish cuisine, and won a fabulous luxury vacation at the only Ottoman imperial palace and hotel on the Bosphorus, Çırağan Palace Kempinski. The Hotel is unique in its splendid style, superb location, fascinating view and superb hospitality.

The event was covered live on Facebook and the call to the delighted winner was recorded. Ms. Shaista Jabeen and Athar Javed from Islamabad was overjoyed to receive the trip and said that he/she has always wanted to visit Istanbul. He/she expressed his/her immense gratitude to Serena Hotels, the Embassy of Turkey, Turkish Airlines and Gerry’s International for the lucky draw.

Nov 2018

Sarangi showcases Sajjad Haider at Serena

Serena Hotels hosted a wonderful evening of musical nostalgia at the Nazara Hall as part of the Sarangi Music Initiative. Sajjad Haider revisited timeless melodies in Urdu reminding the audience of bygone eras.

Serena Hotels hosted a wonderful evening of musical nostalgia at the Nazara Hall as part of the Sarangi Music Initiative. Sajjad Haider revisited timeless melodies in Urdu reminding the audience of bygone eras.

Sarangi is part of the Serena’s Cultural Diplomacy Initiative which aims to preserve and promote the musical heritage of Pakistan. An annual competition over the past two years has given young performers and amateur bands from across the country a platform to share their talent. Sajjad Haider from Faisalabad was one of the top three finalists of Sarangi Season 02 and returned to Islamabad Serena Hotel to entertain the audience with an outstanding live performance.

Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels, said, “Serena continue to work actively on community support programmes by showcasing the immense talent of Pakistani artists to the before diverse and discerning audiences”.

The evening was well attended by the music lovers, corporate and diplomatic community and other prominent personalities.