Tag Archive for: North Africa

Residents of northwestern Algeria were recently pleasantly surprised to see snow laying atop the Sahara desert sand when they awoke.

In a region that usually features hot weather, snow is very uncommon. This is the third time in 37 years that the area has received snow. The last snowfall on the Sahara was in 2016, and before that, in 1979, in the town of Ain Sefra.

In summertime, the region can experience temperatures exceeding 37 degrees Celsius, however, when it cools down, the low can reach -0.5 degrees.

The snowfall may have been caused by the recent cold weather in the eastern United States, which could have crossed the Atlantic, passed Morocco, and resulted in the desert being covered in a white blanket.

The snow reached depths of up to 16 inches, and began to melt after a few hours, as temperatures rose in the area.

Last week, a powerful blizzard, Winter Storm Grayson, passed through the East Coast of the U.S., dumping snow in locations that rarely receive wintry precipitation, such as Florida and Georgia, and produced snowfall accumulations of over 60cm in Mid-Atlantic region, which includes New York, Virginia, and Washington D.C. The storm, which started on January 2nd, and dissipated on January 6th, resulted in the cancellation of hundreds of flights, and the loss of power to 300,000 people.

Watch a video of the snow from someone in the area at the time here:

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Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4]. Image source: [1].

MINOR Hotels sees further growth potential in Africa, with a target of 50 hotels on the continent in the next five years, says Sir Richard Hawkins, regional director Hotel Operations Africa of Minor Hotels.

The multibillion-rand plan will treble the group’s current footprint with high-end hotels planned for Cape Town and Johannesburg; Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria; and Ndola in Zambia. The group’s tactic is to negotiate management deals with hotels of 150 bedrooms or so, with the possibility of taking equity at a later point. No fixed budget has been allocated, but with each management deal likely to cost about R225 million, the potential investment is in excess of R11bn.

Minor Hotels is keen to establish a presence in South Africa through business hotels in Johannesburg, business and leisure hotels in Cape Town, and leisure hotels in the Western Cape. Three of the group’s brands are currently present on the continent – Anantara, AVANI and Elewana Collection. The boutique PER AQUUM brand will make its first appearance in the region in 2017, when the luxury hotel Essque Zalu Zanzibar on the north-east coast is rebranded. In North Africa, two new Anantara resorts are under development – Anantara Al Houara Tangier Resort in Morocco and the Anantara Tozeur Resort in Tunisia.