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Insiders Predict Strong Growth for Middle East Timeshare Industry.

Insiders Predict Strong Growth for Middle East Timeshare Industry.

Ever get the urge to travel to Dubai? Thanks to Interval International, you just might get your chance.

According to this recent article, industry analysts are bringing more and more attention to the Middle East’s timeshare industry. Political changes, plus the involvement of a major timeshare exchange company, may spell revitalization for the region’s resorts. Interval International, the second-largest timeshare exchange company in the world , has opened talks with legislators from several countries in the region. Their goal is to establish legislation that provides consumer protection as well as growth opportunities for legitimate timeshare businesses (and hopefully to make life difficult for dishonest timeshare businesses). II has opened a sales office in Dubai, and is making its presence known through seminars and conferences in the area.

Most Americans, when asked if they would like to buy timeshare in the Middle East, would react with incredulity. This region’s image has been tarnshed by years of conflict and certain countries -like Lebanon- are still cleaning up the deadly detritus of war. How could a place like this translate into an appealing vacation spot? Furthermore, how could this part of the world successfully support a timeshare industry of its own?

It may sound far-fetched, but the concept of timeshare in the Middle East is predicted to become more popular in coming years. Consider Lebanon in the early 1970s, before the Lebanese Civil War. Lebanon’s Mediterranean coast was once considered a chic travel destination by Europeans and residents of bordering countries. Recently, with radical political reform sweeping through Lebanon, the groundwork has been laid for rebuilding of infrastructure on a massive scale. Despite Lebanon’s challenges, some say the future looks bright for this country in transition.

Earlier this year, a non-profit group called Time4Sharing finished planting over 3,000 trees on a significant acreage of land designated as a children’s park. Time4Sharing, an organization composed of timeshare professionals all over the world who donate their time for worthy causes, accomplished this project for the comparatively small sum of $50,000 (about the same cost as a red week in Hawaii bought directly from a resort). This park was constructed in an area that, devastated by war and riddled with land mines, was formerly considered uninhabitable.

Dubai, long considered a playground for wealthy sheikhs and jet-set Europeans, is now receiving some attention from Americans and other adventurous types from all over the globe. Recognizing the potential of this area, Kerzner International is developing a huge resort on Dubai. Similar to Kerzner’s colossal Atlantis complex on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, Atlantis Dubai is scheduled to open in 2007 and will feature an aquarium, a water park, and countless other attractions. The cost of developing this resort is estimated at 1.1 billion dollars.

Anyone willing to make this kind of investment would have to be extremely confident about the long-term returns.

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Emily Weakens Over Mexico, Hurricane Warning Remains in Effect. Meanwhile, Good News From Cozumel.

Emily Weakens Over Mexico, Hurricane Warning Remains in Effect. Meanwhile, Good News From Cozumel.

Northeast Mexico and Southern Texas get heavy rains and high winds, but the worst is over. Cozumel reports a swift comeback, which bodes well for other Mexican resort areas.

Hurricane Emily reached Texas and eastern Mexico earlier today, bringing with it high winds and heavy rainfall. Reports differ as to how strong the winds actually are at this point, but Emily was definitely a Category 3 hurricane- meaning winds from 111 mph to 130 mph – when she made landfall over Mexico early this morning. This area remains under a hurricane warning, until this storm finally weakens over land. Emily is expected to lose momentum over land and weaken by later today.

Good news for anyone who owns timeshare in Mexico – the resort town of Cozumel, which sustained a direct hit from this hurricane, is undergoing a rapid recovery. As of today, most resorts are open for business, and most anticipate that hurricane-related repairs will be completed by July 25. The roads are clear, and downtown shops are open. The only resort in Cozumel that remains closed for repairs is the Iberostar Cozumel Hotel. Anyone who has reservations at this hotel should contact the resort directly for further information. On Monday, the Cozumel airport reopened. Yesterday, ferry services resumed operations. By all accounts, everyone in Cozumel survived this storm, and things are returning to normal at a rapid pace.

Considering that Cozumel is one of the resort towns hit hardest by Emily, this news is encouraging for people who own property on the Riviera Maya. Still, if you think your home resort might be affected, you are strongly encouraged to contact your resort immediately.

Caymans Escape Brunt of Emily, Yucatan Timeshare Resorts Less Fortunate

Caymans Escape Brunt of Emily, Yucatan Timeshare Resorts Less Fortunate

Residents of the Cayman Islands and timeshare resorts there report minimal damage from Hurricane Emily, while Mexico’s Riviera Maya is hit hard.

Timeshare owners everywhere are following the course of Hurricane Emily, which is expected to hit the coastline of Central Mexico by the end of this week. Not only is this an issue of importance those who own timeshare in Mexico  at the beautiful timeshare resorts there, but it is also a matter of life and death to thousands of local residents in the path of this hurricane.

Early on Sunday, the Cayman Islands were the next group of islands in the path of Hurricane Emily. Fortunately, the storm was far enough offshore as to cause less damage than expected. Flooding, downed power lines, and fallen trees were common in many areas, but local authorities are confident that life will return to normal within the next few days. This comes as good news in an area that was mauled by Hurricane Ivan last year, which caused over 100 deaths and untold property damage.

Hurricane Emily is passing over the Yucatan Penninsula, and the initial reports indicate massive power outages across the Riviera Maya coastline. Many local schools served as makeshift shelters from the storm, housing tourists and local families while Emily raged outside. More than 60,000 tourists were evacuated from places like Tulum, Cozumel, and Playa del Carmen. The most dangerous part of the storm hit Cozumel directly. Cozumel sustained a severe battering from the pounding seas and high winds, which were able to break billboards and concrete utility poles in many areas. In Playa del Carmen, flooding was the major problem, with streets knee-deep in water. Cancun, already concerned over the erosion of its beaches, reported that Emily caused significant erosion damage to waterfront property. Though the number of resorts in this area has grown by leaps and bounds during the past decade, emergency facilities have been able to keep pace with the new demand. Adequate fresh water and food was provided to evacuees, and a system of busses was able to carry tourists to safety.

Belize reported high seas and some stormy conditions, but seems to have been largely unaffected by Emily. A hurricane watch is in effect for the southern Gulf Coast of Texas and a wide section of Mexico’s Gulf Coast. Emily should be over the warm waters of the Gulf tomorrow, and she is likely to increase in force.

If you are an owner at timeshare resorts in any areas which may have been affected by this hurricane, you are strongly advised to contact your home resort or management company as soon as possible.

Timeshare Owners Wary. Hurricane Emily on course for Jamaica, Cayman Islands, and Mexico’s Yucatan Penninsula

Timeshare Owners Wary. Hurricane Emily on course for Jamaica, Cayman Islands, and Mexico’s Yucatan Penninsula

Hurricane Emily will hit Jamaica in the next 24 hours; a hurricane warning is in effect for the entire island. Meanwhile, Grenada assesses storm damage. Timeshare owners are wary of storm.

Hurricane Emily’s course is predicted to take it past the island nation of Jamaica within the next 24 hours. A hurricane warning remains in effect for the entire island. A hurricane watch is also in effect for the Cayman Islands. With winds gusting as high as 135 miles per hour, Emily is the second major hurricane to hit this area of the world in the past two weeks and has timeshare owners on edge.

On the Cayman Islands, timeshare owners and residents alike eye the storm’s approach nervously. With the hospitality, travel, and tourism industries forming the formidable backbone of these islands’ infrastructure, a holiday paradise like this can ill afford a brush with Emily.

Mexican authorities have advised people staying on or near the Yucatan penninsula to prepare for hurricane conditions. The storm is expected to collide with the Mexican coast sometime next week. This region encompasses the highly-publicized “Riviera Maya” area of Mexico, with miles of coastline and innumerable resorts catering to the vacationing public.

Grenada is starting to pick up the pieces left after this latest hurricane, but the damage is significant. Flooding in low-lying areas has left many people homeless on an island still recovering from previous storms. A meeting of Grenada’s National Emergency Advisory Council (NEAC) was held yesterday at 4:00 p.m. local time. In attendance were all the District Disaster Coordinators and key stakeholders. A detailed Damage Assessment Report was submitted for each district, but there are no official figures yet as to how bad the damage actually is. So far, these reports have determined that one fatality resulted, when a man in St. Patrick North was killed when his home was destroyed by a mudslide.

Year-round Residents Face Greater Challenges than do Timeshare Owners

Analysts predict that the tourism industry in these areas will be hit hardest by this storm, but agriculture will be devastated as well. This problem can be expected to worsen, especially in Jamaica. In the trail of Hurricane Ivan, last year the price of most foodstuffs jumped sharply in response to massive crop damage from flooding and high winds. Jamaica is still trying to recover from Ivan as well as more recent hurricanes. With another potentially deadly storm poised offshore, the >prognosis looks grim.

The year-round inhabitants of these islands will of course be hardest hit by this disaster, but seasonal residents can expect considerable property damages as a result. Those who own timeshares in this part of the world can do little but watch and wait, hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

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