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New Era Newspaper Monday February 12, 2018

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8 ENTERTAINMENT Monday, February 12 2018 | NEW ERA Avani upgrades its hotel Selma Ikela Windhoek The Avani Windhoek Hotel and Casino upgraded its facility by bringing a new grand entrance, lobby, café and hotel reception alongside Independence Avenue. This was unveiled on Thursday evening. This means guests can now enter the hotel from the main street. The new lobby features a deli called Pantry at Avani, and business facilities. According to hotel general manager Rudie Putter, the hotel formerly known as Kalahari Sands Hotel was built in 1976 and since then, the arrival experience of their guests has not been so great because they had to walk through the entire mall to get to the hotel. “So when the opportunity presented itself so that we can bring the hotel reception, lobby and main entrance of the hotel to the main street of the city (Independence Avenue) - we just had to do it. It also presented us with the opportunity to bring in one of the café and restaurant concepts of the Avani brand and that is the pantry which is about honest food which focuses on Better access... Avani Hotel, formerly known as Kalahari Sands upgraded its facility by bring the main entrance along Independence Avenue. Photo: Selma Ikela healthy salads which you can grab and go or either sit and eat. We have really good coffee, fresh pastry and a really fresh menu,” said Putter who added the pantry prices are in line with competitive coffee shops in the area. In addition to all this, they also offer sushi. “Many people are mistaken and think it’s a lounge for hotel guests but it is open to the public,” Putter said about the new facility. This is the first phase of three segments of the facelift to the hotel which cost N million. “Tonight is our launch, we opened to the public our new facility. You can see we created an area where a bus arrives and guests disembark from the bus into the hotel. We handle the luggage here and check-in is here as well as group desk check-in is right here. It is a short walk through the passage, you get into the elevator and you are in the hotel. It is no longer walking through the entire mall,” said Putter. Putter said the second phase which is underway will be a complete revamp and relaunch of the buffet restaurant on the first floor and building a brand new gym faciltiy for hotel guests. The second phase also includes adding two banqueting venues on the old lobby and executive office block where one venue will accommodate 180 people and the other 54. Putter said they hope the restaurant will be done in approximately two months and the banqueting venue will be complete towards end of July. The final phase will see the complete reconstruction of all facilities at the rooftop and will feature a grand ballroom, new signature rooftop restaurants and a rooftop bar alongside a new swimming pool and pool deck. Putter added that the complex landlord is also revamping the complex and will add on 84 more parking bays. “ We just want to invite the public and say we created this in reaction to what the public has asked us for over the last few years. Come and support and be part of the Avani family,” said Putter. Four local artists to perform at Love, Music and Romance red carpet event Windhoek Staff Reporter The Love, Music and Romance Red Carpet Event will be taking place at the Warehouse Theatre here on Wednesday, February 14 at 20h00. Four of Namibia’s award winning artists and one breathtaking poet will be gracing the stage. Vocalists Ann Singer, Monique English, Micheal Pulse and Jaleel, will be joined by poet Espereranca, sharing her beautiful poetry from her latest Ann Singer album. Jaleel will also use this evening to launch his new album entitled 'Moments'. Organisers encouraged music lovers to attend in numbers, and enjoy what is said to be an unforgettable evening of love, music and romance with their favourite songs. Advance tickets (N) for the event are available at airtime city kiosks, and online at 1758 IT DOESN’T TAKE 2 HOURS 30 MINUTES TO PERFORM SWAN LAKE IT TAKES 20 YEARS Margot Fonteyn is regarded as one of the greatest ballerinas of all time. By the time she was twenty years old, she had performed Swan Lake as the prima ballerina. For her it was a lifetime of sore feet, straight backs and lifted chins. Sticking to a goal, day in and day out. At Allan Gray we value this kind of commitment. It’s the same philosophy we apply to investing and it has worked well for our clients for 43 years. Call Allan Gray on (061) 22 11 03 or your financial adviser, or visit

NEW ERA | Stocks’ drop brings scrutiny of complex low-volatility bets Page 10 Development finance travels north-eastern highway Page 11 INSIDE USINESS This news is your business Namdeb needs buyer for Elizabeth Bay mine Staff Reporter Windhoek Namdeb Holdings Ltd has confirmed that it is seeking a buyer for its Elizabeth Bay mine operations to secure the longterm future of the mine. Namdeb, which is a 50/50 joint venture between the government and the De Beers Group, commissioned the mine in 1991 that in 2017 produced around 200,000 carats. The Elizabeth Bay mine is located along the southern coast near Lüderitz and employs about 160 people. The mine has contributed significantly over the years to the local economy of Lüderitz, particularly in providing high quality jobs for the community. Following the 2009 economic downturn the mine was put on care and maintenance. In 2011, operations were restarted through the implementation of the Elizabeth Bay optimisation project, which at the time projected a four-year life of mine to 2014. However, continuous innovation ensured that the mine has continued to operate well beyond Still yield-worthy… A Namdeb employee inspects diamondiferous gravel at the Elizabeth Bay mine near Lüderitz. Photo: Namdeb this time, with a current life of mine extending to 2019. Following a recent review, it was concluded that the best way to secure a longer future for the mine, beyond the current projected 2019, is to find a more suitable low-cost operator that could allow the mine to continue to contribute to Namibia and Lüderitz through continued employment and economic activities. “Elizabeth Bay mine continues to play an important role in the development of Namibia’s diamond industry, so we have not taken this decision lightly. We are constantly reviewing new mining opportunities. As this mine nears the end of its current life, we are focused on finding a buyer that can sustain operations beyond 2019, protect jobs and contribute sustainably to the Namibian economy,” said Namdeb’s chief executive officer Riaan Burger. Recent reports indicated that Namdeb would gradually cease land-based operations, starting with Elizabeth Bay mine end of this year, Daberas at the end of 2019, Sendelingsdrift in 2020 and the main one, Southern Coastal, in 2022. Diamonds generate about 20 percent of Namibia’s foreign export earnings. While Namdeb’s onshore diamond production continues to dwindle, the offshore operations are doing extremely well, with new marine vessels playing a major role in ensuring the profitability and sustainability of the company’s marine mining activities. During the first half of 2017 the group’s global rough diamond production increased by 21 percent to 16.1 million carats, which was in line with the higher production forecast for 2017. The half-year diamond production for 2016 stood at 13.3 million carats. De Beers is a member of the Anglo-American plc group which was established in 1888 and is the world’s leading diamond company with expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds. Together with its joint venture partners, De Beers employs more than 20,000 people across the diamond pipeline and is the world’s largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. Staff Reporter Windhoek Avani unveils phase one of Nm development Avani Windhoek Hotel & Casino has unveiled the first phase of its N million modernisation project. The redevelopment includes a new grand entrance and Porte Cochere able to accommodate passenger vehicles and busses for self-drive guests and tour groups, as well as allow pedestrian access to the hotel that is located on one of the busiest streets in town. The new lobby also features Pantry at Avani and uplifted guest and business facilities. The second phase of the enhancement project is currently underway and includes an overhaul of the hotel’s Dunes restaurant and the introduction of new gym facilities with Avanifit concept and conference rooms. The final phase will see the complete reconstruction of all facilities at rooftop level and will feature a Grand Ballroom, a new signature rooftop restaurant and a rooftop bar alongside a new swimming pool and pool deck. “Avani Windhoek Hotel & Casino has been an icon to the city, with a strategic location in one of the city’s most popular shopping centres and the refurbishment has been designed to deliver the Avani concept of living spaces for our guests,” explains Rudie Putter, general manager of Avani Windhoek Hotel & Casino. “This first phase of our redevelopment means that guests can now enjoy the convenience of entering the hotel from the main street, while larger groups or frequent travellers are now also welcomed at their own entrance and reception area, easing the congestion for other guests in the main lobby during busy periods,” he added. The new lobby area was designed by DLH, a Namibian interior design company, and includes the new Pantry at Avani. This on-the-go café offers fresh, quick bites for guests on the move, whether they are looking for a healthy snack enroute to a meeting, or comfort food after a long day of work. With fine, freshly made coffee, a selection of soft drinks, wines and cocktails completes the menu, offering guests a quick alternative to the hotel’s other dining option, which was designed for a more relaxing, indulgent experience. In addition, Pantry at Avani is perfectly located alongside the new business lounge and is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology starting from Apple iMac, a wireless colour printer and high-speed internet access. The hotel will be rolling out upgraded high-speed Wi-Fi throughout the hotel during the second phase of the renovation, to ensure guests can stay connected. “This project extends far beyond a structural and décor makeover of the hotel, as we have invested significantly in training and upskilling our 100% Namibian staff,” explains Putter. “Training programmes included website content management that’s accessible on any mobile device and internationally recognised sales training courses hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa.” Supported by Avani Hotels & Resorts, which has properties in countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and in Europe, the massive redevelopment of Avani Windhoek Hotel & Casino has been implemented by Aveng Construction Namibia, with all contractors and sub-contractors on site being of Namibian origin. “I started my career at this property in 1994, and returned to the hotel in 2010, and I’m really proud of the work that the design and construction teams have done so far,” says Putter. “We’re all looking forward to the finished result, and to welcoming our local and international guests to our revitalised hotel, in the heart of exciting Windhoek.” Work in progress… Avani Windhoek Hotel & Casino in the heart of Windhoek’s central business district has unveiled the first phase of its modernisation project. Photo: Contributed

New Era

New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167