All roads lead to Gulmarg
Hotels, Business Groups Plan Gala Events
ARIF SHAFI WANI
New Year Celebrations
Gulmarg, Dec 29: This hill resort is bracing for celebrations to welcome the New Year -2010 – with people from the Valley and outside opting for snow-clad destination where hotels have been spruced up and number of programmes are scheduled to attract visitors.
Unlike previous years, most of the hotels and some business groups of the Valley have drawn up go-getting plans to celebrate the New Year- but at a price, which they claim to be nominal and for the family. To lure tourists, the organizers have included mouth-watering dishes, dance programmes, lucky draws and other contests as part of the celebrations.
“Why should Kashmiris see New Year celebrations of other states and countries on TV only? We want they should be part of the celebrations. So we have decided to organize a comprehensive entertainment programme for them” said Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya, who owns Mumtaz Group of hotels and has branches in various tourist resorts of the Valley.
Chaya is organizing a gala evening with live music at his Hotel Grand Mumtaz in Srinagar.
“The programme is exclusively for couples and families. To make the evening memorable and interesting, we have kept special awards and complimentary stays at our resorts in Gulmarg and Pahalgam for the best dancing couple and the best-dressed old couple. The entry fees for our programme has been kept at nominal Rs 1800 per couple,” he added.
A local firm is organizing special ‘Star Night Live Show’ here. “We have seen that tourists visit Goa or Mumbai or other cities to celebrate the New Year. The aim of organizing a show at Gulmarg is to attract more tourists to the Valley and help in tourism promotion.
“We are inviting famous Bollywood Punjabi singers to mesmerize the audience. There is huge demand for tickets,” said Samir Zargar of 3A Entertainment Group. He said its sister concern had successfully organized a concert of famous Ghazal singer Jagjit Singh at SKICC here.
“We want to give something new to Kashmiris who don’t have means of entertainment,” Zargar said.
Besides live musical shows, another firm, Space communication plans to organize comic performances, classical performance and cracker shows in the premises of Gulmarg Gondola. The programme has been supported and sponsored by the Tourism department, Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Cable Car Corporation, NDTV, 92.7 FM beside hotel chains.
The chief executive officer of Space Communication, Amit Wanchoo said besides entertainment the event ‘Freak n Freeze’ would help the Cancer patients.
“We selected Gulmarg as snow there will attract large number of tourists. As part of our social responsibility we will be donating 20 percent of our revenue for chemotherapy of poor cancer patients. The event will serve dual purpose. It will entertain the guests and let them start the New Year happily and lend support to a noble cause,” Wanchoo said.
The director Tourism, Farooq Shah said it was encouraging to see private sector taking lead in organizing such events.
“We don’t plan any exclusive event to mark arrival of the New Year but will be lending support to endeavours which are aimed to promote tourism,” Shah said.
SPECIAL WAZWAN GALA
An exclusive Wazwan restaurant, Kareema will host a special Wazwan Gala here. The restaurant’s manager, Abrar Qadiri, said the package would include full Wazwan package for Rs 400 per person. The gala will be hosted at Hotel Poshwan. He said special serving arrangements for families had been made in the hotel. “Guests will also be served complimentary saffron blended Kehva,” he added.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 29 Dec 2009 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 29 Dec 2009 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 30 Dec 2009 00:00:00 IST
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