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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 ISSUE 10

Essential reading for hotel operators, owners, developers and investors

wasl Asset Management

Creating a new niche

zChocolat

The VIP guest experience gets sweeter

Maldives

A paradise awaits

LUXURY THAT IS

SUSTAINABLE Balancing profitability and the environment

Top hotel Wellness A dedicated look at the regional wellness industry


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Top hotel Middle East is published in association with Signature Media LLC & Freizeit-Verlag Landsberg Gmbh.

Profitability and the environment SIGNATURE MEDIA FZ LLE P. O. Box 49784, Dubai, UAE Tel: 04 3978847/3795678 Email: info@signaturemediame.com Exclusive Sales Agent Signature Media LLC P.O. Box 49784, Dubai, UAE Publisher: Jason Verhoven jason@signaturemediame.com Director: Deepak Chandiramani Deepak@signaturemediame.com Managing Editor: Munawar Shariff munawar@signaturemediame.com Art Director: B Raveendran ravi@signaturemediame.com Production Manager: Roy Varghese Roy@signaturemediame.com

Printed by United Printing Press (UPP) – Abu Dhabi Distributed by Tawseel Distribution & Logistics – Dubai

FREIZEIT-VERLAG LANDSBERG GMBH Johann-Arnold-Straße 32b+c, D-86899 Landsberg am Lech Postbox 101255, D-86882 Landsberg am Lech Telephone +49 (0)8191- 947 160 Fax +49 (0)8191- 947 16-66 www.tophotel.de Managing Directors: Thomas Karsch, Eckhard Lenz Contributor’s opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or editor and while every precaution has been taken to ensure that the information contained in this handbook is accurate and timely, no liability is accepted by them for errors or omissions, however caused. Articles and information contained in this publication are the copyright of Signature Media FZ LLE & SIGNATURE MEDIA LLC and cannot be reproduced in any form without written permission.

The green construction industry has grown significantly in the Middle East in recent years. Today, we see significant strides being taken in the region to promote energy-efficiency in the built environment; and the hospitality industry is mirroring this trend. In the UAE, the government’s vision for a Green Economy has meant major efforts are being undertaken to educate staff and guests; implement energy efficiency and water saving strategies; collect data and share best practices; take part in CSR activities with local communities, etc Special is the emphasis the region is placing on saving water and reducing energy consumption. Special instructions are given to members of staff to ensure, for example, that there are no leakages, and that HVAC is set to a certain temperature, among others. The type of equipment to be installed, and strategies to be implemented, are also critical, such as setting up water sensors in bathrooms and motion sensors for lighting, as well as ensuring that landscaping and watering takes place on early or late hours to prevent water evaporation. For new hotels in construction, the projects need to comply with the local code and regulations in place regarding new constructions and green standards. This impacts the design, materials, equipment and structure of the building to be turned into a hotel, and therefore impacts the future property’s performance in terms of thermal insulation and passive lighting, among other sustainability considerations. The road to progress in incorporating sustainability into operational practices and being profitable is indeed quick in the country and region. Changing tracks, our regular column by the experts at www.tophotelprojects.com is an interesting read as it has all the latest information on which hotel chain is opening what number of properties where and with how much investments. See page 36. Hope you enjoy the issue!

Munawar Shariff Managing Editor munawar@signaturemediame.com

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 3


CONTENTS

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 ISSUE 10

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06 TOP HOTEL UNDERCOVER Plush beach property - The Ajman Saray

Starwood’s third Luxury Collection hotel in the country, the Ajman Saray, is a gem on the emirate’s coastline

10 NEWS All the latest from hotels in the region 18 OWNERINTERVIEW Creating a new niche

Hesham Al Qassim, CEO, wasl Asset Management Group, tells ThME what goes on behind the scenes when planning a new property

22 THE VIP GUEST EXPERIENCE GETS SWEETER

Enhancing the guest experience is every hotelier’s agenda. Here’s where zChocolat comes in

24 COVER

Luxury that is sustainable

A look at how hotels can provide guests with all the expected luxuries, and still protect the environment

32 DESTINATION REPORT

Maldives – A paradise awaits

With many carefully planned initiatives and projects, Maldives is all set to become a preferred destination for Middle Eastern travellers 4 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

36 TOPHOTELPROJECTS.COM The hunger for luxury

Tophotelprojects looks at some of the major international hospitality industry investments and developments

41 CHEF INTERVIEW

Food - an art of expression

Chef Avinash Mohan, Executive Chef at The Address Dubai Marina tells ThME about why he became a chef and how his cooking reflects his style

46 HOTELS BY DAY: A NEW

OPPORTUNITY FOR TRAVELLERS AND HOTELS

A new company envisions booking otherwise vacant hotel rooms in efficient blocks of time during the daylight hours

52 GLOBAL SPA AND

62 PRODUCT REVIEW

Refresh and rejuvenate

Here is another beautiful collection of exceptional products to take you through the festive season and into the New Year

65 SPA REVIEW

Instant radiance

The Works Spa in Dubai Media City is a cute little salon and spa tucked away in the business district which provides much needed beauty and spa services in the area

68 COMMUNITY

Giving something back

Hilton Worldwide celebrates sustainability this year with the ‘Soap for Hope’ initiative for their annual Global Month of Service

WELLNESS TRENDS FORECAST

ThME looks at the hottest trends that will define the industry over the next year

60 SPA REVIEW

Whiter and brighter

Very suited to reduce the look of discoloration, uneven skin tone, age spots and overall dull skin, Elemis has just launched its White Brightening Even Tone facial

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TOP HOTEL UNDERCOVER

Plush beach property -

The Ajman Saray Starwood’s third Luxury Collection hotel in the country, the Ajman Saray, is a gem on the emirate’s coastline. With 205 rooms, a Royal Suite, six meeting rooms, a ballroom, five restaurants, 17 spa treatment rooms, fitness centre, children’s club, outdoor pool and private beach the property is loaded when it comes to providing the complete package to its guests

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About Top hotel Undercover Building on the legacy established by our big brother publication - Top hotel - in Germany, Top hotel Middle East sets out to highlight all that is great and good about the fivestar properties in the Middle East, as well as the things that such prestigious properties should really do better. Top hotel has built its reputation on fair and balanced assessment of five-star hotels in Europe and beyond; we now pledge to carry on that tradition in the Middle East. We hope that by highlighting the good and the bad, we can help to raise standards across the region and recognise the properties that have clearly got it right.


TOP HOTEL UNDERCOVER

RESERVATION A call to the hotel was redirected to the reservations department. The gentleman on the other end promptly gave me room rates (they were exactly the same as those being offered on many online hotel booking portals). He also gave me the option of booking through him right away or through their website depending on my convenience. Smooth and quick. Evaluation: Good

CHECK-IN I reached the property around 3pm and was met at the entrance by a valet who took care of my bags. Check-in was smooth enough, the person at the check-in counter informed me of all the facilities and amenities available to guests with opening and closing timings, he offered to send my bags up to the room, but I decided to take them up myself. A request for a late check-out the following day was honoured even though the hotel was expecting a lot of guests to arrive being the start of the weekend. I was even upgraded to a sea-view room, which was definitely a plus. A view of the pool and private beach from the balcony is no comparison to a city view room. Evaluation: Good

ROOM 412 Open for slightly more than a year - on April 6, 2014 - the hotel still has a very newly

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 7


TOP HOTEL UNDERCOVER

opened feel. The elevator opened up to a spacious and airy corridor with multiple seating options for guests to lounge in outside of their rooms. Getting inside the assigned room, I noticed it was a bit differently organised than your usual hotel room. The difference being a separate bathroom and a separate bath and shower area. Nothing in the room felt crammed, everything was well-spaced out and the room had everything, a table where the tea coffee machines were with the fridge in a closet below. An ample study table, a console for the television, a separate seating area and a large balcony with, again, multiple seating options. Evaluation: Good

THE BATHROOM The bathroom was of a good size with the tub on the right and the shower area on the left. The mirror frames were very beautiful ‌ silver with a very old world charm to them somehow. The vanity with double wash basins and the charming mirror on top of it was in the front. The wall by the tub was also a huge mirror which gave the bathroom a more spacious feel. Guest amenities were by Elemis. Evaluation: Good

BREAKFAST BUFFET AT VISTA This all-day dining restaurant had a wide variety of breakfast buffet options. The morning was quite full, with families sitting indoors as well as outdoors. Coming back to the buffet, there was a wide array of all breakfast dishes, cakes, breads,

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TOP HOTEL UNDERCOVER

muffins, doughnuts; waffles, pancakes and eggs on order; hot and cold continental, hot chicken soup, Indian, Middle Eastern breakfast items, juices, salads, condiments. Service was quick and prompt with the Chef even taking a special order for a food intolerance! Evaluation: Excellent

CHECK OUT: 10.50AM Very smooth and quick. The check-in area was buzzing with people checking out and in. The hotel was also providing its patrons top and efficient service with all departments working seamlessly to ensure none of the guests felt rushed or unattended. I was even handed a surprise dessert while I waited - an ice cream. Also, once check-out was done a packet of freshly-baked extremely soft yet crisp butter cookies were handed to all departing guests. A nice touch indeed! Evaluation: Good

The Ajman Saray, Ajman Reservation: Good

Top hotel ratings 0-20 - Un-satisfactory 21-40 - Poor 41-60 - Satisfactory 61-80 - Good 81-100 - Excellent

Check-in: Good Room 412: Good Bath: Good Floor service: Good Landscaping: Good Breakfast buffet: Excellent

Top hotel Undercover opinion:

61-80 Good

Fitness: Good Corridors, elevators, stairs: Good

Total: 80%

Housekeeping: Good Check out: Good 0

20

40

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100

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RAK tourism development recognises UNWTO World Tourism Dday RAS AL KHAIMAH Tourism Development Authority, in collaboration with the National Council of Tourism and Antiquities (NCTA), hosted an official conference under the theme of ‘1 Billion Tourists, 1 Billion Opportunities’in recognition of United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) World Tourism Day. Held on Al Marjan Island, the half-day conference was attended by His Highness

Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah and more than 300 delegates from the UAE trade, tourism and hospitality industry. The event was opened by Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and featured industry speakers such as Alfonso del Corral, Head of Dubai

Operations, Safe Hotel Alliance; Rhea Saran, Editor-in-Chief, Condé Nast Traveler Middle East; Sean James, Author and Adventurer; and Urs Binggeli, Senior Expert of McKinsey & Company, who discussed the economic benefits of one billion tourists, the keys to sustainable job development, recent global tourism trends and effective strategies for destination management.

Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi; Sheikh Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi; Ismail Alhammadi (NCTA); Saeed Alsamahi (Fujairah Tourism Board); Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAK TDA; Abdulla Saleh Al Hammadi (National Council of Tourism & Antiquities)

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Coral Beirut Al Hamra hotel launches Residence special package for corporate meetings Inn debuts IN ORDER to promote its business facilities, Coral Beirut Al Hamra Hotel has created a special package for corporate meetings this season. Centrally located close to Hariri International Airport in the business hub of Lebanon’s

in the UAE

capital, the four-star hotel is the perfect venue for meetings, conferences and banquets. Launching the package, Hartmut Grauel, General Manager of Coral Beirut Al Hamra Hotel, said,“Our facilities can accommodate both large

Hartmut Grauel

corporate functions as well as small gatherings. With a choice of flexible meeting spaces, equipped with the latest technology and exceptional service, we ensure world-class business events.” Enjoy a special rate of USD 28 (AED 102.84) + 10 per cent VAT per person, and avail one person free of charge on a group of 10. The price includes: • Nine hours use of a function room • A personal aide in attendance throughout the meeting • Two coffee breaks and lunch • Free flow of coffee and tea during the meeting • Free use of Wi-Fi internet services during meetings

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, Inc maintains the pace of its regional development plans by announcing the signing of Residence Inn by Marriott Al Jaddaf, marking the hotel group’s first property from the Residence Inn brand portfolio in the UAE. Due to be completed in 2019, the Residence Inn by Marriott Al Jaddaf will be comprised of a total of 135 units. The newly signed property is owned by Bahrain-based International Trading and Investment Company WLL (ITICO), an existing partner of Marriott International that currently owns two other properties – Residence Inn by Marriott Manama Juffair and Marriott Executive Apartments Manama. ITICO has also recently signed its third property in Bahrain with Marriott International, Residence Inn by Marriott Manama Seef. The Residence Inn by Marriott brand has almost 700 properties globally and prides itself in offering a contemporary residence with all the essential amenities as well as the elements of a modern home. Marriott International currently operates 14 hotels in UAE, spanning six brands including Marriott Hotels, Courtyard by Marriott, Marriott Executive Apartments, JW Marriott, Autograph Collection and The Ritz-Carlton.

Meliá Hotels International gets closer to China AIMING TO BECOME the first choice for Chinese tourists travelling to Europe, Meliá Hotels International’s Chairman, Gabriel Escarrer Juliá, the Vice Chairman and CEO, and other members of the senior executive team began the second of their annual tours in Asia. The trip will also take them to Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand.

The Asia-Pacific region is strategically important for the company, and it has quadrupled its portfolio in the region over the past few years. The focus is mainly on the strong growth potential of the market and the traditional oriental values of service and hospitality. Meliá already has two hotels in China, with a pipeline of six hotels set to open in China by 2017.

Meliá recently announced a partnership with leading Chinese online tour operator, CTrip, and is also taking further steps to attract and earn the loyalty of Chinese travellers. Meliá has also launched its official Wechat and Wibo pages and the company is engaging with Asian customers through key social channels in China, as well as Facebook in Indonesia.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 11


Hala Abu Dhabi named ‘World’s Best Halal Tour Operator’ at World Halal Travel Awards 2015 HALA ABU DHABI, the professional conference organiser and destination management company of Etihad Airways, was named ‘World’s Best Halal Tour Operator’ at the inaugural World Halal Travel Awards 2015. The awards celebrate best practice, service and distinction in travel and tourism brands within the international Halal tourism sector, with winners announced during a gala reception in Abu Dhabi in October. With an international attendance of industry leaders, the awards were part of a three-day event held in Abu Dhabi, The World Halal Travel Summit & Exhibition, exclusively supported by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture

Authority. The World Halal Travel Awards collected ballots from 42,000 travel professionals in 53 countries around the world in 2015. Hala Abu Dhabi recently launched a new product ‘Islamic City Stopover’, offering a range of four to five star hotels in Abu Dhabi, which cater especially to the needs of Muslim guests when traveling for Hajj or Umrah. All hotels serve Halal foods and non-alcoholic drinks, and offer prayer facilities. The programme also includes a city tour to discover the history and culture of Abu Dhabi, with a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Ladiesonly tours are available, which are conducted by licensed female Hala Guest Guides.

Rosemont Hotel and Residences in Dubai to join Curio Collection HILTON WORLDWIDE has reached an agreement with Royal International to open its first hotel under the Curio – A Collection by Hilton brand in the UAE. Due to begin welcoming guests in 2018, the grand two-tower Rosemont Hotel and Residences, a 450-guestroom and 280-serviced apartment property, which will be developed on Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road, will offer travellers local discoveries and authentic travel experiences indicative of the Curio brand. Launched in June 2014, the Curio collection is a global set of remarkable upscale and luxury hotels hand-picked for their unique character and personality; each one a part of the city they call home. By partnering with Hilton, these one-of-a-kind hotels benefit from the proven track record and quality synonymous with Hilton without redefining the individualistic spirit of the hotel. In line with the ethos of the brand, the UAE’s first Curio hotel will aim to capture the personality of the local urban landscape with its offering designed to reflect the needs of travellers to Dubai. Owned by Royal International and managed by Hilton Worldwide, The Rosemont Hotel and Residences will enjoy a prime location, opposite Dubai Internet City. Source: www.hotelnewsresource.com

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From left to right: (Etihad Airways) Christopher Hunter, Head of Etihad Holidays and Hala Abu Dhabi; and Mohammed Al Bulooki, Vice President UAE Commercial; flanked by two female Hala Guest Guides, with the World’s Best Halal Tour Operator Award in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Carlson Rezidor announces the Hormuz Grand, Quorvus Collection, in Oman CARLSON REZIDOR has announced a new member of the luxury Quorvus Collection: the existing Hormuz Grand Hotel in Muscat (Oman). The property, with 231 guest rooms, will join the collection in late 2015. Quorvus Collection is a new generation of expertly curated luxury hotels inspired by the lifestyle and sensibilities of the contemporary global traveller. “The Middle East is a core market for Quorvus Collection. We already

have one member in the region – the Symphony Style Hotel Kuwait – and will further expand our network of carefully selected properties together with our partners,” said Elie Younes, Executive VP & Chief Development Officer of Rezidor. The Hormuz Grand features 231 elegant rooms and suites, and offers two restaurants, modern conference rooms, a pool, an outstanding spa managed by ISpa (Thailand), and a gym. Source: www.hotelnewsresource.com


Dubai Hotels Report 0.3 per cent Occupancy Drop for September 2015

Starwood Preferred Guest and Emirates NBD introduce new hospitality card STARWOOD PREFERRED Guest (SPG), the award-winning loyalty programme from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc, and Emirates NBD, a leading bank in the Middle East, launched the ‘Emirates NBD Starwood Preferred Guest® World MasterCard’. The Emirates NBD Starwood Preferred Guest® World MasterCard will offer UAE consumers incredible rewards, including the ability to earn instant SPG Gold status that normally requires approximately 25 nights per annum and up to 50,000 bonus Starpoints - 25,000 Starpoints on activation – and another 25,000 Starpoints upon reaching a determined

threshold in the first three months. Cardholders in the UAE can redeem points across Starwood’s 1,200 properties and over 1,000 restaurants in over 100 countries across the company’s 10 internationally renowned brands. The ‘Emirates NBD Starwood Preferred Guest World MasterCard’ offers one Starpoint per US Dollar on domestic and international spends and two Starpoints per US dollar at all SPG participating hotels; renewal bonuses that include free nights at select SPG properties and automatic SPG Gold status, and up to 30 per cent discounts at restaurants and spas across Starwood hotels globally.

STR GLOBAL’S preliminary September 2015 data for Dubai, United Arab Emirates, indicates slight decreases in several key performance metrics. Based on daily data from September, Dubai reported: • A 0.3 per cent decrease in occupancy to 76.1 per cent • A 2.6 per cent decrease in average daily rate to AED 645.61 (USD 175.77) • A three per cent decrease in revenue per available room to AED 491.08 (USD 133.70) • An increases in supply (+ 5.4 per cent) and demand (+5.1 per cent). Despite the decrease for the month, ADR in the market eclipsed AED 800 (USD 217.81) for each day from September 23 - 25. Overall, the shift of Eid alAdha from October 2014 to September 2015 led to an 11.7 per cent year-over-year increase in ADR during the week of September 20 – 26. Supply growth in Dubai remains significant, and demand improved from August. Through the first eight months of 2015, supply growth (+6.3 per cent) outweighed demand growth (+5.2 per cent) in the market. Source: www.hotelnewsresource.com

Inaugural Middle East Association Congress to Converge at Abu Dhabi LEADING REGIONAL and international association leaders and experts are set to converge in Abu Dhabi for the inaugural edition of Middle East Association Congress (MEAC), which will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) on April 5th and 6th, 2016. Organised by CIMGlobal, the organiser of many major association congresses in the South Asian region and supported by ADNEC and Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau (Abu Dhabi – CB), MEAC, held under the slogan ‘Creating opportunities, Associations and beyond’, will host a number of panel sessions, education seminars and networking opportunities. The MEAC is expected to be attended by senior association leaders who are members of the American Society of Association Executives and from Europe. These leaders will join the regional Middle Eastern association community to network and collaborate.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 13


New Assistant Director of Sales joins Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel Dubai PARK REGIS Kris Kin Hotel Dubai has appointed Mohamed Farooq as the new assistant director of sales. With over 14 years of strong experience in the hospitality industry, Mohamed has extensive knowledge of the UAE market, having moved to the country in 1998. His most recent posting was at Copthorne Hotel Sharjah where he held the position of assistant director of sales from April 2013 During the course of his career, Mohamed has been associated with Mohamed Farooq various successful hotel groups, including Sharjah National Hotels (Hotel Holiday International, Marbella Resort and Oceanic Hotel) and ABJAR International Hotels Group (Ramada Dubai, Ramada Jumeirah Hotel and Holiday Inn Express Hotel. In his role at the Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel Dubai, Mohamed will support the director of sales in driving new source markets while developing and strengthening relations with existing partners and key accounts.

Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel Dubai

Travel Agents see opportunities in NDC THE INTERNATIONAL Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the results of a joint study with select members of the World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA). Travel agents look forward to the opportunities New Distribution Capability (NDC) will bring and seek more information about the initiative. NDC is a travel industrysupported programme launched by IATA. Its goal is the development and market adoption of a new, XML-based data transmission

14 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

standard that is intended to enhance communications between airlines and travel agents. The study was conducted by Atmosphere Research Group and T2 Impact, and showed that: • On average 76 per cent of travel agencies book airline ancillary products and services, with most using airline websites to do so • Agents are concerned about the loss of productivity associated with moving back and forth between their standard screen displays and airline websites in order to book ancillary options

• Agents recognise that airline websites offer the most complete selection of airline product and service options, and they believe they are at a competitive disadvantage owing to this disparity • A majority of agents believe NDC can help them be more competitive and customerfocused and will make selling airline ancillary products more efficient • Travel agents expect to be compensated for selling ancillary products and services

NDC Innovation Fund to Invest in the Executive Travel App THE INTERNATIONAL Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the first investment by the NDC Innovation Fund, a strategic investment fund supporting innovation in airline distribution using the New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard. The NDC Innovation Fund is a partnership between IATA and Travel Capitalist Ventures (TCV), a leading travelfocused investment firm. The Fund has agreed to invest in ETA, Inc. ETA, which stands for Executive Travel App, is a Silicon Valley-based start-up company developing a mobile application to support seamless travel shopping, buying and management for the USD 120 billion (AED 440754000000) self-managed travel market. As part of the investment, ETA has committed to supporting the delivery of rich NDCbased content via its mobile platform. ETA is chaired by Jeffrey Katz, who was the founding Chairman, President and CEO of Orbitz and who also previously served as CEO of Swissair, as well as in senior executive positions at American Airlines and Sabre Holdings.“This investment is an opportunity to demonstrate that the NDC standard is unleashing innovation and creativity across the spectrum of travel planning,”said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.


Abu Dhabi Airports ties up with Abu Dhabi Motors to deliver Premier Travel Experience at its VIP Terminal A LIMITED EDITION Rolls Royce Phantom and a fleet of five BMW 7 Series sedans have been delivered to Abu Dhabi International Airport’s VIP terminal, to chauffer passengers between the luxury terminal and their flights in true style. The cars, provided by Abu Dhabi Motors, the official BMW Group importer in the capital, further complement the prestigious facilities available to passengers using the terminal. Daniel Cappell, Acting Chief Commercial Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports said,“Since its launch earlier this year, the VIP Terminal has offered our most discerning guests an unrivalled luxury travel experience. The addition of the BMW 7 Series and a special limited edition Rolls Royce Phantom are emblematic of the very highest standards of

amenities we offer our VIP travellers.” Arno Husselmann, General Manager of Abu Dhabi Motors, commented: “The iconic Rolls Royce Phantom, and BMW 7 Series offer maximum comfort to passengers, and we believe those traveling via the VIP Terminal will appreciate the contemporary

luxury and high quality details throughout the vehicles.” The VIP Terminal is conveniently located and directly adjacent to the commercial terminals at Abu Dhabi Airport making this service available for all passengers regardless to their class of travel.

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IMG Worlds of Adventure selects bestin-class Smart Theme Park Technology IMG WORLDS of Adventure, the world’s largest indoor theme park, set to open in early 2016, has announced its selection of a myriad of state-of-the-art software and smart technology to build the innovative and interactive modern theme park. Choosing the best-in-class IT systems, from international blue chip companies, the park’s internal infrastructure focuses on interconnectivity and interoperable systems and - through the internet of things - has created a streamlined electronic system, ensuring the best possible user experience. Over 20 companies are involved in providing the internal and external framework for IMG Worlds of Adventure including Bose, Avaya, Pelco and Cisco, to build a robust infrastructure, with Microsoft supplying the Enterprise Resourcing Planning and Customer Relationship Management software, and many more to provide wellintegrated solutions to run business processes in a paperless environment.

IMG Worlds of Adventure has chosen to implement a range of smart technology solutions to create a fully integrated theme park that uses intelligent technology to improve the quality of both the guest experience and the efficiency of the park.

Through this, IMG Worlds of Adventure is supporting the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into a ‘Smart City’.

New VP Sales & Marketing and Revenue Director to drive Time Hotels’ renewed strategic focus UAE-FOUNDED hospitality company, TIME Hotels Management, has announced the appointment of a new vice president of sales and marketing with seasoned international hotelier, Roddy Gordon, taking over the role from outgoing incumbent, Tommy Ressopoulos, who retires at the end of October. British national Gordon has almost three decades’ experience in sales and marketing on three continents, and is a recognised specialist in strategic revenue activation with a track record of Roddy Gordon Dushan Gunarathna successful sales leadership in changing global markets. reservations background to the TIME Also joining the team as director of corporate leadership, as well as in-depth revenue is Dushan Gunarathna, who knowledge of the region. brings e-commerce expertise and a solid His professional career has taken him

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around the world with Hyatt International, and to the UAE with Atlantis, Rosewood Abu Dhabi and Tamani Hotels & Resorts. He also has extensive experience in hotel pre-openings, launching high profile properties in key gateway destinations such as Seoul, Dubai and Abu Dhabi; as well as a track record in defining and implanting successful sales and marketing strategies for leading and upcoming brands. TIME Hotels continues on its ambitious growth path with a total of nine operational hotels, hotel apartments and residences and expects three additional hotels to be up and running in 2016 and their first TIME Express property to be opened in 2017.


‘Invest in Halal’ says HMH CEO Laurent A Voivenel

THE WORLD Halal Travel Summit & Exhibition (WHTS15), a three-day trade show exclusively supported by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, saw the participation of HMH - Hospitality Management Holdings, which commands 33 per cent share of the MENA region’s Halal-friendly segment. As a pioneer in creating the region’s first international Halal-friendly chain of hotels and one of the strongest players in the field, HMH CEO Laurent A. Voivenel, stated,“Halal tourism market holds enormous potential for hotel investors and developers. Given the business

opportunity and demand Halal-friendly hotels will continue to claim bigger market share globally. By 2030, Muslims will make up more than a quarter of the global population rising from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.2 billion and 30 per cent of this population will seek Halal options”. As a travel segment, Halal Tourism equals roughly 10 per cent of the entire travel economy. The segment is forecast to continue to grow to an amazing 150 million visitors by 2020. According to Laurent dry hotels are equally popular with Western or non-Muslim travellers.

InterContinental Dubai Marina to open Urban Lounge and Urban Shisha Lounge INTERCONTINENTAL DUBAI Marina has announced a two week countdown to the opening of Urban Lounge and Urban Shisha Lounge, two stunning new outdoor lifestyle destinations, in the contemporary setting of the new luxury hotel. With the cool winter weather approaching, Dubai’s residents and visitors will be able to chill outdoors in the elegant, yet understated and cool new poolside Urban Lounge and Urban Shisha Lounge, opening on November 6th, 2015. Both alfresco venues will offer a chilled out vibe for Dubai’s trend setters and will play host to a number of seasonal events fusing fashion, music and entertainment.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 17


OWNER’S INTERVIEW

w e n a g n i t Crea Hesham Al Qassim, CEO, wasl Asset Management Group, tells ThME what goes on behind the scenes when planning a new property, and how every hotel contributes to the future of the hospitality industry in Dubai 18 NOVEMER/DECEMBER 2015

How has wasl Hospitality evolved as a company since it began operations?

wasl hospitality commenced its operations in mid2007, inheriting six hotels, with one under construction; The Westin at Dubai Marina. Since then, wasl hospitality has become very active in catering to the differing needs of Dubai and its tourists. In 2011 and 2012, a research conducted by the company identified a gap in quality mid-range hotels. We planned to fill this by introducing new offerings for this sector, and consequently signed agreements

with top hotel chains such as Starwood, Hyatt and Hilton. These partnerships resulted in wasl doubling its portfolio in less than seven years since its inception. In 2014, we opened the first-ofits-kind Hyatt Place in Deira, and the following year, launched a second Hyatt Place in Baniyas, which increased the company’s portfolio to 13 hotels and 5,000 rooms. This year, two mid-range Hilton Garden Inn hotels in al Minna and Murqabbat will open - also the first of their kind - raising wasl’s portfolio to 15 hotels with 5,500 rooms. wasl’s portfolio of hotels and resorts is a collection of exclusive properties. What is the company’s vision, and how is that aligned with the country’s tourism promotion strategies?

wasl is expanding its hospitality vertical in the lead up to Expo 2020. Based on the results from our studies, which were conducted before the announcement of Dubai winning the right to host the Expo 2020, we realised that this was an area of the market that was undersupplied. This led us to introduce the Hyatt Place hotels, as mentioned before, with two more that opened last month, and one scheduled for next year, adding approximately another 1,000 rooms to the market.


GM INTERVIEW

Top: Lars-Erik Forsbergh, President of Volvo Trucks for the Middle East, speaking at the launch of the new Volvo Trucks range Left: The new FH in action on Yas Marina Circuit during the launch of the new Volvo Trucks range

Hyatt Place Dubai Al Rigga

NOVEMER/DECEMBER 2015 19


OWNER’S INTERVIEW

Hyatt Place Dubai Baniyas

Hyatt Place Dubai Baniyas

Hyatt Place Dubai Baniyas

How is wasl preparing for the impact that Expo 2020 is expected to have on the hospitality industry?

wasl plays the role of the Dubai government’s investment arm, and caters to the growth and future of the city. One of our main functions is to identify the needs of the market and to work towards providing the necessary projects that fulfil these needs. This is something we undertake in the residential property market, the retail market, the hospitality market, and the industrial market across the entire emirate. Following the win of the Expo 2020 bid, we announced that we will be building an extra 15 hotels from now until 2020, two of which are five-star, and the rest mid-range. By 2020, we aim to have more than 10,000 rooms in the wasl Hospitality portfolio. 20 NOVEMER/DECEMBER 2015

We planned to fill this gap by introducing new offerings for this sector, and consequently signed agreements with top hotel chains such as Starwood, Hyatt and Hilton.

As an investment company, what are your biggest priorities when new properties are being considered?

What criteria do you take into account when you select an Operator or Management company?

Our main priority is to provide diversified hospitality offerings in Dubai that will cater to the different segments of residents and tourists. In doing so, we are committed to providing value-for-money hospitality, while maintaining the highest quality and standards that are synonymous with Dubai. Throughout this process, we take into account the location, and prioritise according to need. An example is the first-of-its-kind Hampton by Hilton, which is located adjacent to Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 2. In identifying a specific need for business travellers to have a convenient, high-quality hotel close to the airport, we created the largest Hampton by Hilton in the world.

Our selection criteria are based on two main factors: technical and commercial. From the technical standpoint, thorough research of the area surrounding the plot is our starting point. We identify the potential market segment of the location, which existing brands already have a presence there, the number of hotels in the locality, their average star rating, and so forth. This enables us to compile a list of potential operators who will be able to fill a gap in that specific market location. From a commercial standpoint, we believe in growing partnerships with our operators, and therefore expect competitive offers that value our long-term approach in developing the hospitality industry in Dubai.


GM INTERVIEW

The management company’s role in the development of a new hotel is to confirm the design is in compliance with the brand’s design and technical guidelines. In terms of brand guidelines, the proposed design should not stray from the brand image and the guest experience should be consistent with what is expected across the hotel’s brand’s portfolio.

Hyatt Place Dubai Al Rigga

At what stage in hotel development do you bring the management company on board, and what are the benefits of this strategy?

The management company is brought into the development process after the pre-concept and visioning phase is completed. The benefit of this strategy is that the vision of the project is set out by the stakeholders, thus aligning it with their objectives, and not a specific operator, who might change in the future. The management company is brought in to add value to the concept phase by leveraging their expertise on space planning and site arrangement, which will impact the hotel’s operation and efficiency. If the management company is involved from the development phase, what role does it play in the development/design of the hotel?

What challenges have you experienced so far in terms of relationships with the management company?

There are a number of different challenges we face. There are divergent synergies within management companies’ respective operations, which can impact on the bottom line. This can be overcome by having companies partner to take advantage of shared or cluster services, which increases their buying power. Hotel operations are becoming much more complex due to increasing pressure on RevPar and F&B, so operators need to look at innovative approaches rather than managing their hotels in the traditional way. Guest expectation is another issue. As we all know, guest expectation in the UAE and Middle East is higher than it is elsewhere in the world, which puts additional pressure on profitability. It is very important to maintain a high guest satisfaction index and better ranking on social media by providing a consistent and quality service, not just by complimentary offerings. Today, all hotel operators are well equipped with the latest technology, so operators need to evaluate the technology performance to ensure that cost efficiencies are received by way of reduced human resource. With business levels becoming more competitive day by day, regional brand support is key to being successful in such a competitive market, particularly in providing support for strategic planning. What are the current challenges/ trends in the hotel investment landscape in UAE and the Middle East?

In recent years there has been a

In identifying a specific need for business travellers to have a convenient, high-quality hotel close to the airport, we created the largest Hampton by Hilton in the world.

significant growth in three and four -star hotel rooms, and this growing supply of midmarket inventory has put pressure on five-star hotels, with intensifying competition. The UAE and Middle East have become areas of attraction for tourists from growing economies, such as India and China - something that is supporting the midmarket inventory. Compounding the issue for fivestar hotels is the fact that tourists from stabilised markets such as Europe are more and more price-sensitive, and demanding lower room rates, while, at the same time, previously highyielding markets such as Russia are currently impacted due to internal economic problems. The result of all these factors is that the region’s hospitality market has seen steady demand, but at much lower rates, resulting in decreased profitability. With these recent market trends, the Return on Investment expectations needs to be reviewed. Considering the growth in room inventory and planned room inventory, there is possibility of hotel oversupply, which would further reduce RevPar in the coming years, and negatively impact on profitability. Also, we are witnessing an oversupply of F&B offerings in the open market. In recent years, the UAE has seen huge growth in standalone restaurants, which are in direct competition with F&B venues in hotels. Finally, we have seen a growth of companies that cause disruption to the industry, such as OTA’s and Air-BnB. As an investment company, what are your biggest priorities when new properties are being considered?

The owners’ Share of Profit motive is important, but equally important is the image the property brings to the country as a whole. The location of the property is also one of the main driving factors, while market conditions, both globally and locally, obviously have to be considered. The demand for the class and the type of accommodation being offered must be clearly assessed. In light of today’s varying costs for construction, the timing of when building should commence is another vital imperative. NOVEMER/DECEMBER 2015 21


INDUSTRY NEWS

The VIP guest experience gets

sweeter Enhancing the guest experience is every hotelier’s agenda. Here’s where zChocolat comes in. ThME spoke to JeanPhilippe Khodara, President, zChocolat, about offering that sweet, premium experience to guests

22 NOVEMER/DECEMBER 2015

A

s a guest, it’s the little things that make a hotel stay pleasurable. The chocolate on the pillow at turndown, for one, is one of the most iconic moments, made even more special if the sweet delight is from a brand like zChocolat. “There are three things that make us different,” says Jean-Philippe Khodara, President, zChocolat,“First is the ‘Made in France’ - all chocolates are made in France, the world capital of culinary savoir-faire, meaning that the quality cannot be compared to anything readily available in the UAE. Second, the personalised touch - the in-suite gifts for VIP guests are customised with their names. And finally, the hotel branding, which is placed inside or/and outside the box. When the guests take the box home, they can use it for cuff-links, jewellery, etc. With zChocolat, you can be sure

that the guest will never forget this personalised experience.” zChocolat offers their clients the choice from their entire range of products, in addition to their gift services. They launched their hospitality business in September, and are currently in discussions with a number of hotel chains in the country to place their products. “At zChocolat, we are very flexible. Because we have our own packing and customisation facility, we are able to accommodate all requests. With sufficient volumes (>500 gifts/year), we can fashion exclusive packaging/ containers for our chocolates, with new materials and shapes. We can even take it a step further by creating new recipes exclusively for customers, using local ingredients like dates or a wide variety of spices. These are proprietary creations that we cannot share publicly, but that we have in our portfolio,” says Khodara.


One of their unique service offerings is fast, real-time turnaround times. Customised orders received before noon GMT are shipped on the same day, and can be delivered to the Middle East in one or two working days. “Basically, hospitality clients can either deliver gifts onsite upon arrival, during their stay, or even have gifts delivered to their VIP guest’s home upon their return. In this case, we ship directly to their homes from our logistics facility in Europe,” explains Khodara. In order to make their offering even more attractive, Khodara plans to empower hotels to customise their VIP gifts directly onsite, by providing the right equipment and training for quicker turn-around time and lastminute gifts.

zChocolat has been retailing online for the past 15 years, but is currently working on the idea of a franchise store with local investors in Dubai, and hopes to have one open here next year.“The opportunity for business here is enormous. I believe that if we are successful in retailing zChocolates online, we should be many times more successful in the real world with retail stores. The GCC is our highest growth region in the world right now, and the potential is limitless. We are looking at a master-franchise agreement with many retail locations throughout the region. It would be difficult for me to disclose numbers though. As for the B2B sales, the market is huge, given the number of luxury hotels in this part of the world, and the existing offering, which remains very conventional,” he concludes.

NOVEMER/DECEMBER 2015 23


COVER STORY - SUSTAINABLE BUILDING

Luxury that is

sustainable mpsey, a C t u o egm Amelie Z Champion of d n a r e b m e Board M g Council in d il u B n e re Emirates G ogramme, r P y t i l a t i p GBC) Hos s e t a r i m (E war Shariff a n u M ’s E M h T spoke to about how hotels can provide guests with all the expected luxuries, and still protect the environment

T

he green construction industry has grown significantly in the Middle East in recent years. Today, we see significant strides being taken in the region to promote energy-efficiency in the built environment; and the hospitality industry is mirroring this trend. “Hotels in the UAE and the Middle East region are demonstrating a strong commitment towards

24 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015


COVER STORY - SUSTAINABLE BUILDING

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 25


COVER STORY - SUSTAINABLE BUILDING

reducing their carbon footprint and engaging in sustainability related programmes to reduce their energy and water consumption,”says Amelie Zegmout Campsey, Board Member and Champion of Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC) Hospitality Programme. In addition, new constructions need to comply with the local green building regulations, specifications and codes, which oblige the properties to already set the bar high in terms of sustainability achievements.“For many, the image of a luxury four or five-star rated hotel still seems to conflict with the concept of sustainable operations or resource conservation measures, in an area of the world where the environment is fragile and resources strained. However, in line with the UAE’s vision for a Green Economy, major efforts have been undertaken to educate staff and guests; implement energy efficiency and water saving strategies; collect data and share best practices; take part in CSR activities with local communities, etc,”she explains. This, added to the demand for green-certified hotels by ecoresponsible guests, is incentivising the hotels to join green programmes and eco-labels, which reinforce the need for them to consider all the above mentioned aspects in their daily operations.

26 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

In Abu Dhabi, for example, waste management is a critical topic, and hotels need to fulfil stringent criteria, leading to greening not only their operations, but also the Emirate itself.

“On the other hand, the growing demand for benchmarking shows that the properties understand the need to save energy and water (beyond only economical purposes) and better position themselves against the competition,”muses Campsey. Properties in the UAE are generally mandated at corporate level to implement a certain number of programmes on a daily basis. For example, everything related to changing towels and linens. They also have corporate KPIs to report on; for instance, on water and energy management, and they need to submit daily data in a centralised system, which can benchmark the hotel against its own targets, and those set at a global level.“As such then, there is no difference when compared with other hotels in the world,”she says. However, the emphasis in the region is placed on saving water and reducing energy consumption. Special instructions are given to members of staff to ensure, for example, that there

are no leakages, and that HVAC is set to a certain temperature, among others. The type of equipment to be installed, and strategies to be implemented, are also critical, such as setting up water sensors in bathrooms and motion sensors for lighting, as well as ensuring that landscaping and watering takes place on early or late hours to prevent water evaporation. “As one unique context, many properties are also responsible for their staff’s accommodation, for which they cover utility bills. Therefore, members of staff are strongly encouraged to implement, at home, the best practices learned at work,”she adds. According to Campsey, most of the large hotel groups, if not all, operating in the UAE already have sustainability policies in place, as they are aware of the importance of being more sustainable.“They have now integrated sustainability within their operations, strategies, and thus, through their environmental and CSR policies, instructions and trainings to staff, as well as internal and external communications,”she explains. “Through the management of the Green Key Programme, EmiratesGBC has been mainly working with the Starwood and Rezidor chains, which both showcase the highest green standards and commitments towards sustainability,”she informs. For new hotels in construction, the projects need to comply with the local code and regulations in place regarding new constructions and green standards. This impacts the design, materials, equipment and structure of the building to be turned into a hotel, and therefore impacts the future property’s performance in terms of thermal insulation and passive lighting, among other sustainability considerations. In addition, hotel classifications and licences that include environmental criteria will mandate the hotels to comply if they want their operating licence to be renewed.“This is already the case in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and is in progress in the other Emirates. In Abu Dhabi, for example, waste management is a critical topic, and hotels need to fulfil stringent criteria, leading to greening not only their operations, but also the Emirate itself. In Dubai, we can highlight the Dubai


COVER STORY - SUSTAINABLE BUILDING

Green Tourism Awards as an example of the recognition of green hospitality by the governmental agencies,”says Campsey. A pertinent question to be asked here is this: what are green materials/ green construction, and how do we ensure that ‘green’ is implemented at all steps? “I would pose the question the other way around; are the consultants, architects, designers and contractors well aware of green standards, and does the local market provide relevant materials and/or equipment?” questions Campsey. The answer is simple. It is important that all the stakeholders focus on continuously enhancing the education 28 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

EmiratesGBC has developed a hospitality programme in 2013, with the objective of engaging its members and the hospitality industry to share knowledge within the sector.

and training of the workforce to familiarise them with green building standards. They must constantly challenge their own operations and the standards they set, such as ISO, and regularly assess their projects for genuine green design, construction and life-cycle assessment of materials. There are specified lists of preferred products and materials at the corporate level, and at the operations stage, including refurbishment. For example, the choice of cleaning products and chemicals, paper and disposables and electronic assets. “Amongst some of the challenges that we have identified is the fact that it is not common for architects and

contractors to work directly with the hotel chain or group from the early stages of the project. In addition, we have the owners’ misconception that building and operating green is more expensive. Green rating systems such as LEED, and green regulations and codes are encouraging local sourcing of materials to reduce the emission related to transportation,”she says. In the UAE, with the Expo 2020 having sustainability as a key pillar of the event, the hospitality sector is placing a strong focus on becoming greener to align with the country and local vision and strategies. There is also a stronger interest in eco-tourism and eco-resorts in the region.“Al Maha


COVER STORY - SUSTAINABLE BUILDING

For many, the image of a luxury four or five-star rated hotel still seems to conflict with the concept of sustainable operations or resource conservation measures, in an area of the world where the environment is fragile and resources strained.

the hospitality sector, and are working on developing training modules tailored to hotels, among other activities. They are also developing a benchmarking platform for energy and water for hotels. “Additionally, EmiratesGBC serves as the Green Key National Operator in the UAE. Recognised by the World Tourism Organisation and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the non-profit and independent programme is the largest global eco-label relating to accommodation. It offers clear guidelines to hotels for ensuring that a certain level of sustainability is being met, and provides guests with the assurance that they are choosing an accommodation/venue that has a commitment to green practices,” assures Campsey. As the official operator, EmiratesGBC organises the current certifications and memberships, including the management of applications, renewals, review of documentation, audits, and communications.“As part of our commitment to ‘greening’ the hospitality industry, we have also included a subcategory within the EmiratesGBC Annual Awards’‘Green Building of the Year’ category to recognise the ‘Green Hotel’ of the Year,” she concludes.

A little about Amelie – A Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa, or Banyan Tree Al Wadi, for example, combine luxury with water and energy savings measures and protection of biodiversity; and are using these as their selling point,” explains Campsey. Between the hotel owner and operator, the requirements are generally two fold.“There are corporate, or global targets, which the hotel needs to comply with in terms of energy and water consumption, waste management and usual business KPIs. However, owners are also required to ensure that the property runs profitably in the long term, which might conflict with the above points, as owners are

often not inclined to invest in major retrofit projects, even though they can lead to long-term savings,”she states. For both roles, emphasis needs to be placed on education and awareness of the short and long-term benefits of building and operating green, both on the property’s economic performance, as it provides reduced utility and maintenance costs, and on its carbon footprint. EmiratesGBC has developed a hospitality programme in 2013, with the objective of engaging its members and the hospitality industry to share knowledge within the sector. Within this programme, they host regular seminars and workshops dedicated to

Amelie Zegmout Campsey joined the Legrand organisation in 2002. Currently, she has been appointed by Legrand Group as the General Manager for the Gulf Region, in which she enjoys a wide business network and thorough knowledge of the regional construction industry. Campsey has a true passion for developing and promoting sustainable practices, where she is a board member of the Emirates Green Building Council, in charge of developing the hospitality programme. She is also a board member of the nonfor-profit organisations, Insaan Group, and Senses Residential and Day Care Center for Special Needs. She was the former President of Rotary Club of Jumeirah, and has been awarded by the committee for her outstanding contributions and efforts in community and international works. Campsey holds a Bachelor’s degree and MBA from the American University of Sharjah, and is currently enrolled in the Executive MBA programme of London Business School. She also completed a module in Sustainable Development at the Harvard Extension School. You can reach her at amelie. zegmout@legrand.ae NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 29


‫كذلك أن نوعية املعدات املستخدمة‬ ‫واالستراتيجيات التي يتم تنفيذها‬ ‫تعتبر بالغة األهمية‪ ،‬مثل استخدام‬ ‫حساسات لقياس درجة حرارة املياه‬ ‫في احلمامات‪ ،‬وأجهزة استشعار‬ ‫احلركة لتشغيل اإلضاءة‪ ،‬وضمان أن‬ ‫ري املساحات اخلضراء يتم في ساعة‬ ‫مبكرة أو متأخرة ملنع املياه من التبخر‬ ‫السريع‪.‬‬ ‫وهنا تضيف اميلي قائلة‪:‬‬ ‫«العديد من املنشآت الفندقية‬ ‫تتولى أيضا توفير أماكن لسكن‬ ‫موظفيها‪ ،‬وتتحمل عنهم فواتير‬ ‫املياه والكهرباء‪ .‬لذلك‪ ،‬يتم تشجيع‬

‫العاملني بقوة على تطبيق أفضل‬ ‫املمارسات في مكان عملهم وفي‬ ‫مكان سكنهم على حد سواء‪».‬‬ ‫وفقا الميلي‪ ،‬لدى معظم‬ ‫مجموعات الفنادق الكبيرة‪ ،‬التي‬ ‫تعمل في دولة اإلمارات العربية‬ ‫املتحدة‪ ،‬إن لم يكن كلها‪ ،‬بالفعل‬ ‫سياسات استدامة مطبقة وقيد‬ ‫التنفيذ‪ ،‬ذلك ألنهم يدركون أهمية‬ ‫االستدامة‪ ،‬وهي تعبر عن ذلك‬ ‫قائلة‪« :‬لدى الفنادق اآلن منظومات‬ ‫متكاملة لتحقيق االستدامة في‬ ‫عملياتها واستراتيجياتها‪ ،‬من خالل‬ ‫سياساتها البيئية ومن خالل املسؤولية‬

‫االجتماعية للشركات‪ ،‬ومن خالل‬ ‫التعليمات وبرامج تدريب املوظفني‪،‬‬ ‫فضال عن املراسالت وطرق التواصل‬ ‫الداخلية واخلارجية‪».‬‬ ‫هذا ويجب على مشاريع الفنادق‬ ‫قيد اإلنشاء حاليا االمتثال للقوانني‬ ‫واللوائح واملعايير اخلضراء احمللية‪.‬‬ ‫ثم ختمت اميلي حديثها قائلة‪:‬‬ ‫«من خالل إدارة برنامج املفتاح‬ ‫األخضر‪ ،‬يعمل مجلس اإلمارات‬ ‫لألبنية اخلضراء بشكل رئيسي مع‬ ‫سالسل ستاروود و ريزيدور‪ ،‬لتسليط‬ ‫الضوء على أعلى املعايير اخلضراء‬ ‫وااللتزامات جتاه االستدامة»‪.‬‬ ‫‪30 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015‬‬


‫‪COVER STORY - SUSTAINABLE BUILDING‬‬

‫الرفاهية املستدامة‬

‫حتدثت اميلي زيجموت كامبسي‪ ،‬عضو مجلس اإلدارة في مجلس‬ ‫اإلمارات لألبنية اخلضراء‪ ،‬إلى احملررة منور شريف حول كيفية بناء‬ ‫فنادق تقدم لنزالئها جميع الكماليات املتوقعة‪ ،‬وحتقق متطلبات‬ ‫حماية البيئة في الوقت ذاته‪.‬‬ ‫حققت صناعة البناء اخلضراء منوا‬ ‫ملحوظا مبعدالت كبيرة في منطقة‬ ‫الشرق األوسط في السنوات األخيرة‪.‬‬ ‫اليوم نرى خطوات هامة يجري‬ ‫اتخاذها في املنطقة لتعزيز كفاءة‬ ‫استخدام الطاقة في صناعة البناء‬ ‫والتشييد؛ وصناعة الضيافة تسير‬ ‫بدورها في هذا االجتاه‪.‬‬ ‫«الفنادق في دولة اإلمارات العربية‬ ‫املتحدة ومنطقة الشرق األوسط‬ ‫تبدي التزاما قويا بالعمل على احلد‬ ‫من انبعاثات الكربون‪ ،‬وباملشاركة‬ ‫الفعالة في برامج االستدامة للحد من‬ ‫استهالك الطاقة واملياه‪ - ».‬اميلي‬ ‫زيجموت كامبسي‪ ،‬عضو مجلس‬ ‫اإلدارة في مجلس اإلمارات لألبنية‬ ‫اخلضراء‪.‬‬ ‫باإلضافة إلى ذلك‪ ،‬حتتاج صناعة‬ ‫تشييد املباني احلديثة لالمتثال للوائح‬ ‫ومواصفات وقوانني البناء األخضر‬ ‫احمللية‪ ،‬والتي تلزم املنشآت بتخطي‬ ‫التوقعات في مجال االستدامة‪.‬‬ ‫لتوضيح هذه النقطة‪ ،‬قالت اميلي‪:‬‬ ‫«بالنسبة للكثيرين‪ ،‬تتعارض صورة‬ ‫مبنى الفندق الفاخر ذي األربع أو‬ ‫اخلمس جنوم مع مفهوم العمليات‬ ‫املستدامة أو تدابير احلفاظ على‬ ‫املوارد‪ ،‬يأتي ذلك في منطقة من‬ ‫العالم حيث البيئة هشة واملوارد‬ ‫محدودة‪ .‬ومع ذلك‪ ،‬ومتاشيا مع‬ ‫رؤية دولة اإلمارات العربية املتحدة‬ ‫لالقتصاد األخضر‪ ،‬هناك جهود كبيرة‬ ‫تبذل لتوعية املوظفني والنزالء‪ ،‬ولرفع‬ ‫‪NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 31‬‬

‫كفاءة استخدام الطاقة واستراتيجيات‬ ‫توفير املياه‪ ،‬وجلمع البيانات وتبادل‬ ‫أفضل املمارسات‪ ،‬وللمشاركة‬ ‫في أنشطة املسؤولية االجتماعية‬ ‫للشركات مع املجتمعات احمللية‬ ‫وغيرها‪».‬‬ ‫يعمل كل ما سبق‪ ،‬مضافا‬ ‫إليه الطلب على الفنادق اخلضراء‬ ‫املعتمدة من قبل نزالء مهتمني‬ ‫بالبيئة‪ ،‬على حتفيز الفنادق لالنضمام‬ ‫إلى البرامج اخلضراء واحلصول على‬ ‫العالمات البيئية القياسية‪ ،‬وهو ما‬ ‫يعزز احلاجة لنظر قطاع الفنادق في‬ ‫جميع اجلوانب املذكورة أعاله في‬ ‫عملياتها اليومية‪.‬‬ ‫تستطرد اميلي كامبسي قائلة‪:‬‬ ‫«من ناحية أخرى‪ ،‬فإن الطلب‬ ‫املتزايد على وسائل القياس يبني‬ ‫أن شركات الفنادق تتفهم احلاجة‬ ‫لتوفير الطاقة واملياه (ألسباب تتخطي‬ ‫األغراض االقتصادية) ولتأمني وضع‬ ‫أفضل لهم ملواجهة املنافسة‪».‬‬ ‫يتعني على املنشآت الفندقية في‬ ‫دولة اإلمارات العربية املتحدة بشكل‬ ‫عام تنفيذ عدد معني من البرامج على‬ ‫أساس يومي مثل‪ :‬كل ما له عالقة‬ ‫بتغيير املناشف والبياضات‪ ،‬وضع‬ ‫واستخدام مؤشرات أداء رئيسية‬ ‫(كي بي آي) للشركات لتقدمي‬ ‫تقاريرها عن أدائها في مجال إدارة‬ ‫املياه والطاقة‪ ،‬احلاجة لتقدمي تقارير‬ ‫أداء وبيانات يومية من نظام بيانات‬ ‫مركزي والتي ميكن االعتماد عليها‬

‫لقياس أداء الفندق نحو حتقيقه‬ ‫األهداف اخلاصة به‪ ،‬ومقارنتها بتلك‬ ‫على الصعيد العاملي‪« .‬ساعتها‪ ،‬لن‬ ‫جتد هناك فرقا باملقارنة مع الفنادق‬ ‫األخرى في العالم»‪ ،‬كما تقول‬ ‫اميلي‪.‬‬ ‫ومع ذلك‪ ،‬يأتي التركيز في‬ ‫املنطقة منصبا باألكثر على توفير‬ ‫املياه واحلد من استهالك الطاقة‪.‬‬ ‫يتم إعطاء تعليمات خاصة للعاملني‬ ‫لضمان‪ ،‬على سبيل املثال‪ ،‬أنه ال‬ ‫توجد أي تسربات ولضبط مستويات‬ ‫التهوية والتدفئة والتبريد عند درجة‬ ‫حرارة معينة‪ ،‬وغيرها‪ .‬ال شك‬


DESTINATION REPORT

A paradise awaits With many carefully planned initiatives and projects, Maldives is all set to become a preferred destination for Middle Eastern travellers, says Ibrahim Asim, Director, Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation. 32 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

W

ith a population of 341,256, the economy of Maldives stands at US$ four billion. The tourism industry contributes about 28 per cent of the GDP in the Maldives. Due to its geographical structure, the Maldives are heavily dependent on fishing and tourism.“There has been a growth in tourists by 7.1 per cent in 2014, and other sectors, such as communication and construction, have also contributed significantly to the economy. So contribution to the GDP from the tourism sector currently stands at 28 per cent,�confirms Ibrahim Asim, Director, Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation.


DESTINATION REPORT

Tourism, and related transport and communication, remain key contributors to economic growth of the Maldives, with over 1,363,930 tourist arrivals recorded in 2014. From January-February 2015, the number of tourist arrivals to the Maldives were 120,468, an eight per cent increase from the number of arrivals within the

same period in 2014. The GCC region is responsible for two per cent of the total tourist arrivals in the country. “We have only recently opened our Tourism office in Dubai, with the aim of encouraging tourists from Middle East region. With its luxurious resorts and serene environment, Maldives has proven itself an ideal destination for a

Passenger arrivals by type of international carriers

Ibrahim Asim

family holiday. In view of promoting ‘Destination Maldives’, we have set up the promotional office to create awareness about the place, and encourage the number of visitors from here,”says Asim. In order to attract tourists from this region, a lot of tourism operators offer packages at special rates, available only to residents from the GCC. The tourism office has also conducted road shows in countries like Oman, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar, giving them the opportunity to interact with local agents, as well as the public, to generate destination awareness. “We have also launched our new campaign Visit Maldives Year 2016, coinciding with the Maldives’ 50th anniversary of independence. The NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 33


Visit Maldives Year 2016 campaign aims to attract 1.5 million visitors in 2016, with a significant increase in tourism receipts. The campaign also aims for pro-active promotion, and to strengthen the position of brand Maldives as an exclusive tourist destination that showcases diverse tourism products, resulting in better solidarity, harmony and wellbeing for the people of Maldives. The Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation, the marketing arm of the Maldives Ministry of Tourism, is closely working with industry partners to attract the number of tourists. Some of the planned activities include participation in 34 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

Arabian Travel Mart, planned road shows and various promotional initiatives,� he informs. At the moment, the Maldives receives a total of 37,201 tourists from the Middle East, with about 7,007 visitors from the UAE. By the end of 2016, they hope to double the number. It may take about five hours, give or take, to get there, and Asim is confident that is an added bonus for travellers. “Maldives can cater to everyone: couples, families, and friends who would like to relax and get the best that life has to offer. GCC travellers are popular visitors in the Maldives due to its close proximity, and we are


DESTINATION REPORT

proud to say that the Maldives are one destination that takes Halal tourism seriously. A lot of hotels and facilities in the Maldives are ready to welcome our Muslim guests and give them Halal option and Muslim friendly services and facilities,” he asserts. With the expected increase in the flow of tourism, the construction sector in the Maldives is also shaping up and bolstering the economy. Reflecting the need for infrastructure to support growing economy, President Yameen has outlined ‘Laamu’.“This is an integrated resort development project for guest house islands, which consists of management offices, staff quarters,

sports and recreation zones, emergency services, a hospital, three plots for water sports centres, three plots for dive schools, six plots for specialty restaurants, three plots for spa and wellness centres, and 20 plots for guest shops. The project also includes four beach resort hotels, which are land and sea-based villas, and are proclaimed as the leading hospitality assets within the project,” explains Asim. With a 28 per cent contribution, tourism is the leading generator to the Maldivian economy. A gradual increase in awareness of the Maldivian tourism market in the global scenario has increased the demand for more involvement within this sector. The

current total for bed capacity of the Maldives is currently approximately 29,949, categorised into four major establishments – Resorts/Marinas, Hotels, Guest Houses and Safari Vessels. The capacities of each establishment vary depending on the location and demand. The current occupancy rate for resorts at the Maldives is 77.5 per cent, with a hotel occupancy rate of 38.6 per cent.“We are very optimistic about the projects we have in the pipeline. For 2016, we have planned to add about 127 rooms, with a bed capacity of 30,216. Our projected number of rooms for 2017 is 127, with a bed capacity of 30,850,”he concludes. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 35


luxury The hunger for

Tophotelprojects looks at some of the major international hospitality industry investments and developments

36 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015


WWW.TOPHOTELPROJECTS.COM

MARKET SNAPSHOTS Hotel chains mega merger Hotel groups in the hospitality industry are in for revolutionary mega-mergers. Jin Jiang Hotels, a Chinese company, has made a bid to buy Starwood, a US hotel group. The result would be a hotel giant that would boast 2,688 properties worldwide. Jin Jiang Hotels just recently took over the

Chinese competitor Plateno Hotels. This was followed by the takeover of the European Louvre Hotels Group in spring, sold by Starwood Capital Group. The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is also looking for growth by taking over the exclusive FRHI-Hotel Group (Fairmont, Raffles, Swissotel), the result of which would be a group of up to 5,000 hotels.

Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels – 1,566 Hotels (235,461 rooms) – five new constructions Starwood Hotels & Resorts – 1,122 Hotels (354,225 Zimmer – 557 new constructions InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) – 4,840 Hotels (710,295 rooms) – 434 new constructions FRHI Fairmont Raffles Hotels International – 116 Hotels (44,000 rooms) – 65 new constructions

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 37


New luxury hotels demanded worldwide Hotel construction is flourishing worldwide with more than 5,000 new hotels underway. The aggressive expansions by leading international hotel companies are an answer to the significantly higher demands of their target customers, who want more.This pressure is leading to more new hotels coming up in key markets. Marriott International is shifting its focus to luxury hotels, while in Macau, the first ‘only suites’ property by Ritz-Carlton opened in May. With the inauguration of a JW Marriott Hotel (228 rooms) in Zhejiang Anji at the Yangtze River delta, the number of high-endproperties under this marquee went up to 11. In Washington DC, JW Marriott Hotel (750 rooms) recently opened its doors, and another JW Marriot resort (266 rooms) opened in Venice. With its legendary hotel brand RitzCarlton, Marriott is also expanding, in Cairo, for example, where the famous 431-room property will re-open. In Budapest, we will have another Ritz-Carlton with 192 rooms in a prime location, close to the St Stephan Cathedral; while in Jeddah, a 224room Ritz-Carlton will open its doors this summer. Starwood is also promoting its top hotel brands: In 2016, a St Regis resort (77 private villas) will open in the Maldives (Vommuli Island). St Regis hotels also recently opened in Moscow, Mumbai, and Dubai. The former Conrad Hotel in Chicago (Hilton group) will re-open as an exquisite Luxury Collection hotel. The first Luxury Collection hotel by Starwood is also underway in Kyoto, Japan.

Top 10 hotel chains with their expansions Peninsula Hotels: One new building project in London Mandarin Oriental Hotels: 14 new building projects in Beijing, Maldives, Milano, Istanbul, Dubai, Moscow and Marrakech One&Only Hotels: Five new building projects in Jeddah, Bahrain and Sanya Ritz Carlton: 34 new building projects in Muscat, Marrakech, Nanjing, Chongqing, Hainan, Macau and Mumbai Aman Resorts: Eight new building projects in Shanghai and Libreville 38 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

St Regis: 19 new building projects in Istanbul, Napa Valley, Jakarta, Nanjing, Dubai and Cairo Oberoi Hotels: Three new building projects in Casablanca and Marrakech Four Seasons Hotels: 34 new building projects in Agadir, Bangalore, Bahrain, Boston, Goa, Kuwait City, New Delhi and Kuala-Lumpur Shangri-La Hotels: 17 new building projects in Colombo, Hangzhou, Nanchang and Shaoxing

Gold rush in Iran – Tourism boom expected The nuclear agreement and the loosening of the sanctions have raised expectations for tourism in Iran, likened to the gold rush. As a travel destination, Iran offers plenty of cultural experiences, and more and more travellers can now enjoy this. The hotel market requires significant

extensions and new buildings. The capital, Tehran, currently has only 96 hotels - in comparison, Dubai has 657 properties. According to www. tophotelprojects.com, only five new hotels are in the pipeline, all by the Rotana hotel chain. However, this might change soon. Last year, only 4.8 million tourists travelled to Iran. According to surveys by TRI Consulting, the occupancy rate of top hotels in Tehran was at 79 per cent, with an average room rate of USD 108 (AED 396.70) and a Revpar (revenue per available room) of USD 85 (AED 312.22). Hotel experts are now predicting an increase of business travel. Modern hotel concepts are in great demand, especially in the higher segments. Nowadays, half of all overnight stays in Tehran are generated by business travellers. The majority of inbound overnight stays in Iran were


WWW.TOPHOTELPROJECTS.COM

: ts in China otel projec rown – Sanya/ h t s e rg la ty C The anya Beau

otel S spring 2016 Moringa H s – opening om ro ening 0 00 6, 0 rooms – op Hainan – Macau – 2,00 – e c la a P Wynn ong – gdao/Shand early 2016 Hotel – Qin za la P m a Pacific Dre TBA s – opening 0 rooms – 1,500 room ainan – 1,30 /H ya an S – sort Atlantis Re zhou/ mn 2017 tu au g esort – Hui in en op nliao Bay R u X 2016 u o n h m iz tu u ening au Pullman H 0 rooms – op 00 1, – g on Guiangd

Hotel Construction Projects in the Middle East

United Arab Emirates – 162 hotels with 60,757 rooms Oman – 34 with 6,640 rooms Qatar – 45 with 13,035 rooms Saudi Arabia – 119 with 46,753 rooms

Projects in the UAE (selection)

Movenpick Hotel Al Reem – Abu Dhabi – 713 rooms – end of 2016 500 Movenpick Hotel Yas Island – Abu Dhabi – rooms - TBA 2018 Bespoke Hotel – Dubai – 1,400 rooms – early i– Duba – ham Wynd by Tryp , Hotel al Sky Centr 2017 of ning begin – rooms 672 i– The Westin Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road – Duba 2015 ber 1,009 rooms – Decem

Projects in Saudi Arabia (select ion)

motivated by religious reasons. But these days, more and more Western tourists, who are interested in the culture, are visiting the country to see its 17 Unesco World Heritage Sites. The international hospitality and tourism consulting company Horwath HTL is predicting a tourism boom in Iran as the ‘next big thing’. A new passenger train, which will shuttle between Budapest and Tehran starting this autumn, promises a truly luxurious journey to the jewels of Persia. The ‘Golden Eagle Luxury Trains’ will show the panoramas of the Orient and Occident in 15 days for about Euros 13,000 (AED 52,795.84) per person.

Olympic winter games promotes tourism in China The Olympic Winter Games 2022 will take place in Peking, in the new winter sports area in Chongli, promoting

tourism and several new hotel projects. Currently, there are 676 new top hotels and luxury resorts, with about 205,000 rooms, in the pipeline. A new, highspeed rail network will connect to the winter sports centre Chongli in the Hebei province in the North West of the capital. Spectators, athletes and journalists can be there in only 50 minutes. By car, it takes three to four hours for the 200-kilometre stretch. The area also needs new roads and hotels. Currently, a 200-room hotel by Starwood – Element – is being readied to open in autumn 2017. About 19 new properties with 3,800 rooms are currently being built in Beijing - among them are several luxury hotels such as a Bulgari Hotel (120 rooms) and two properties by Mandarin Oriental Hotels (74 and 241 rooms).

JW Marriott Hotel – Makkah – 639 – beginning of 2016 Copthorne by Millennium – Makkah – 790 – early 2016 Holiday Inn - Makkah Al Aziziah – 1,238 – end of 2016 Coral Al Hotel – Madina – 400 – end of 2015 Abraj Kudai Towers - Makkah – 10,000 – Early 2019

About Tophotelprojects Tophotelprojects.com is the leading data provider for hotel projects data worldwide. The database contains more than 5,000 hotel construction projects, with detailed information and contact data for the supplying industry. The multilingual team of Tophotelprojects gathers project data and detailed information from around the globe, directly from developers, hotel operators, architects and interior designers. Learn more: www. tophotelprojects.com

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 39


UNWIND

Y A D O T E IB

R C S SUB

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 ISSUE 10

Essential reading for hotel operators, owners, developers and investors

wasl Asset Management

Creating a new niche

zChocolat

The VIP guest experience gets sweeter

Maldives

A paradise awaits

PLEASE FILL IN ALL FIELDS IN BLOCK CAPITALS Name: Company Name: Position: PO Box: City: Country:

LUXURY THAT IS

Telephone:

SUSTAINABLE

Mobile:

Balancing profitability and the environment

E-mail:

Top hotel Wellness A dedicated look at the regional wellness industry

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P. O. Box 49784, Dubai, UAE, Tel: 04 3978847/3795678 Email: info@signaturemediame.com

11/8/15 18:01


CHEF INTERVIEW

Food n o i s s e r p x e an art of

Chef Avinash Mohan, Executive Chef at The Address Dubai Marina tells ThME about why he became a chef and how his cooking reflects his style. Passionate as he is about his craft, he feels it is the best form of self expression

How and when did you join The Address Dubai Marina?

I joined The Address Dubai Marina in September 2014 to head its Culinary Operations. After a very rewarding year at the hotel, we have now introduced an exceptional range of culinary experiences, including an all-day dining concept known as ‘Culinary Interactions’ at Mazina. It is innovative and interactive. What are your responsibilities in a typical working day?

I have vast expertise working in luxury five star hotel chains across East Africa. At The Address Dubai Marina, I’m responsible for the day-to-day culinary operations, and managing a team of chefs. I also have to come up with innovative dining concepts to suit the needs of all guests. My typical day starts at 8.00 am, with a visit to all the kitchens and restaurants. This is followed by meetings with the

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 41


CHEF INTERVIEW

management team over breakfast, and then with my own team of chefs. In my meeting with my chefs, we discuss the operational aspects of each day, in addition to planning ahead for upcoming events, festivals and special occasions. Right after that, we spend time making purchase orders and decisions. A considerable amount of time after that goes into cooking, until lunch, and the busiest periods are over. Late afternoons are dedicated to planning menus for events, or meeting guests for events and weddings, followed by a session of replying to emails. The second phase of cooking comes after 7.00 pm in the evening, for two to three hours, and this happens all over again the next day. What kind of research do you put in when creating new menus, or new food concepts at the hotel?

I believe that it is very important to strive and give every customer a memorable experience on every visit to the hotel. This means that each dish has to be thought of in such a manner that it must cater to each customer’s taste. A great example is the recent launch at Mazina. It is known as ‘Culinary Interactions’ - an interactive dining concept where guests can choose from seven different cuisines, offering dishes from all over the world at the same venue. Each dish is created to be perfectly authentic, in keeping with what the diner would like to eat. We add a human touch to everything we do. We bring in a fun element too, so that guests have a good time here. The chefs interact directly with the guests to understand their preferences. We try to meet the guest expectations with the chefs’ talent. This is not an easy process. I do a lot of research about what is new in the market, and study our guest preferences. I try to gain an understanding of future trends. I read a lot of books and research online. This is the only way we can stay ahead of the game. Finally, it is important to be creative. I encourage my team to 42 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

come up with innovative concepts. I strongly believe that many minds are better than one when it comes to new ideas. How are guest’s demands changing with the rise of intolerances such as gluten/celiac, or people eliminating food groups from their diets, such as vegans, and how do you adapt to these? What is the status of the health food market in the country and region?

We take into consideration guest

preferences. There is an increase in demand for dishes prepared without gluten and animal products. Local organic food is also gaining momentum. In fact, a guest recently asked me if we would serve vegan food for festive fare. More people are making healthy and eco-conscious food choices. Our fundamental priority is to ensure that our guests are satisfied and it is our responsibility to meet their preferences. And that is what we strive for every day. In fact, we already have a dedicated menu of healthy cuisine,


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 43


CHEF INTERVIEW

including a wide selection of fresh juices, at Kambaa. Mazina offers one of the most popular brunches in the city. How long have you been cooking professionally?

My passion for cooking started at a very young age, when my grandfather would allow me to experiment with food and cook with him. This 44 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

childhood experience is one of many that led me to slowly develop a great liking for the culinary arts. I joined a cooking school at the age of 17, in New Delhi, and began my cooking career then. It is now almost 18 years that I have been cooking professionally. This profession has taken me around the world, from Asia to Europe to Africa, and now the Middle East.

What is your style of cooking?

I would call my cooking style as instinctive, and taking into consideration the emotions of the diner. I let my creativity take its own course while cooking. It is an intuitive process, and it builds over time, with interaction with guests and understanding what works and what does not. I cook dishes in my


CHEF INTERVIEW

Rapid fire On your day off, which restaurant do you like eating at? I do not have one particular choice. I try something new every weekend because I also want to know what is happening in the market. But I make it a point to cook at least one meal at home. It is very relaxing for me after five days of professional cooking. Is there another chef you admire? I am a big admirer of two chefs. First is my wife Smitha, who is a great cook. I admire how she adds that ‘secret ingredient’ called ‘love’ into every dish she prepares. She is not a professional chef, but I derive my inspiration to create new dishes from her. I also admire Chef Daniel Humm. I love his fun-filled approach to fine dining European food. His cuisine is focused on locallysourced ingredients, with an emphasis on simplicity, purity and seasonal flavours. What is your advice for someone who wants to /become a chef? Listen to your intuition; know by instinct, and from your heart whether you like this profession or not. Once you have decided on the career choice, make sure you learn something new every day. The more you learn about food, the more you unravel culinary secrets that you may have never realised before. Be passionate about your profession, and be creative. That is what drives good chefs. There is a lot of work, but, at the end, your efforts will be rewarded. Describe the best meal you have eaten. It was a real special one by my wife. It was the first year of our marriage. She had never cooked before our marriage, and one day, she cooked a three-course meal for me, and to top it all, garnished it aesthetically. She made an amazing pan-seared fish with coriander and fresh fennel crust, with a spicy salsa to go with it. It was just delicious. For dessert, she made a panna cotta with jackfruit and black pepper, which I ate for the first time in my life. I was spellbound. Your all-time favourite comfort food would be? I’m a village kid from tropical mountain area in Kerala in South India, and have a river running by our home. So anything from the farm, fresh and lightly cooked, or plain fish, freshly caught from the river and grilled with fresh spices, is comfort food for me, and nothing can take its place. In Dubai, it could just be some delicious red apple with walnuts, sprinkled with salt and black pepper.

mind and feel the flavours even before I start the process of cooking. Intuitive cooking calls for experience. You must master the use of the ingredients, and once you get the flair, you can add your own twists to the dishes. It is all about passion. I like to be innovative in my own way, and I

often combine flavours – working outside my world – to create new dishes. I strive to achieve a balance between the five flavours – sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami – to ensure that there is perfect harmony. I keep the focus intact, but I attempt to have one spice elevating itself over the others. Again, this is all intuitive.

What’s your favourite spice? I have many favourites: black pepper, thyme, fennel, rosemary, lemon zest, tarragon, vanilla, cinnamon, chilies, cumin, cardamom and mustard, to name a few. You will find all of them in my kitchen cabinet. Why did you become a chef? The good memories of cooking with my grandfather; watching my mother cook, etc. And finally, when I joined catering school, I found cooking to be most interesting because of the limitless scope it offers for culinary adventure and creativity. It’s an art of expressing yourself to the world. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 45


ANALYSIS

Hotels by day:

A new opportunity for travellers and hotels A new company envisions booking otherwise vacant hotel rooms in efficient blocks of time during the daylight hours, generating convenience for travellers and profits for hoteliers. Kirsten Z. Smiley, Associate, HVS, reports

46 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

A

nyone who has faced the prospect of an international flight with an eight-hour layover in New York or San Francisco knows how valuable it is to rest in a hotel room versus a bench in an airport lobby, groggily awaiting a connecting flight. In most cases, however, that short hotel stay comes at the full overnight rate or in less-thandesirable accommodations. Launched in February of 2015, HotelsByDay. com (HBD) aims to change the model, providing convenience and efficient pricing for short-term hotel guests and greater returns for hoteliers.


ANALYSIS

More efficient, more stable pricing for day-only hotel stays Unlike services such as Expedia or Priceline, HBD allows guests to book a hotel room from as early as 7.00 am, with check-out available between 11.00 am and 6.00 pm. Rental periods, determined by individual hotel operators, generally range from four to nine hours. Guests can book for a morning or afternoon rest between flights or business meetings, or through the early evening, allowing for a change from business to cocktail attire.

From a consumer standpoint, a major incentive is price. Day rates at participating hotels can be discounted as much as 40 per cent from a hotel’s rack rate. For example, a stay at the Hampton Inn Chicago O’Hare from 9.00 am to 3 pm costs USD 69 (AED 253.42) through HBD, while a regular (ie, overnight) booking costs USD 199 (AED 730.88) before tax. Day rates are also less likely to fluctuate, whereas regular room rates tend to spike 20 per cent or 30 per cent when booked on (or a day before) the check-in day.

A new distinction in the field of daytime hotel stays HBD Co-founder Yannis Moati comes from a 12 year background in tour operations, and his team has a broad range of hospitality expertise. HBD staff ranges from HR specialists, who launched Kayak and Jetsetter, to the business architects of two top online hotel technology firms. Since its launch early this year, Hotels By Day has facilitated hundreds of bookings and secured 100 participating hotels in more than ten major US cities. The NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 47


Most day-time stays are booked for late mornings and afternoons at downtown hotels.

Currently, Most HBD Partner Properties are Independent Hotels

Rental Period

Branded vs. Independent Hotels

Location

Chain Scale Summary

participation through HBD should provide far more consistency and transparency with respect to daytime hotel stays, which previously existed only on a one-off, local basis, varying from property to property, and often subject to the vagaries of negotiation. HBD is aware that its product offering could conjure crass associations with cheap hourly motels. The company’s approach, however, stands in sharp relief from this lowrated, high-turnover model. Again, this hinges on consistency, ease of use and access, and presentation, all of which the company built into its website from the ground up. HotelsByDay. com offers a clean, sleek design and a user-friendly interface. Mobile apps are also available via the App Store or Google Play, a sign of HBD’s targeting of millennial travellers. In order to further set HBD apart from traditional hourly motels, Moati set the minimum rental period at four hours. However, hotel managers have 48 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

Rental periods, determined by individual hotel operators, generally range from four to nine hours

the flexibility to adjust their rental period and room rates anytime.

The target market and demand patterns for day stays Commercial travellers have sought a service like Hotels By Day for years. Long layovers or gaps of time between meetings provide an opportunity to rest or work, provided one has appropriate accommodations. A comfortable bed, a shower, Wi-Fi access, and a place to change clothes are among the top needs of business travellers with several hours on their hands, and these are exactly the features hotels provide. Companies can host small meetings or presentations in hotel rooms or suites without the expense of booking an overnight stay or superfluous conference space. HBD also targets leisure travellers who need a room to freshen up before exploring the city. HBD’s niche on the market stands it apart from traditional OTAs,

featuring a model that helps hoteliers maximise revenue without detracting from, or competing with, their own reservations systems. HBD is more similar to other servicers in the shared economy, such as Airbnb, Zipcar, and Uber, all of which capitalise on otherwise idle resources. Moati notes that approximately 30 per cent of hotel room inventory sits empty during the day; most people check out before 12.00 pm or check in after 3.00 pm. Hence,“there is always unused [mid-day] inventory somewhere in [a given] city,”says Moati. Unlike Airbnb, however, HBD actually brings business back to the hotel industry. According to Moati, 70 per cent of HBD bookings are for rental periods between 11.00 am and 5.00 pm, while demand for early mornings and evenings is weaker. Around 70 per cent of the bookings are for hotels in the Downtown/CBD areas, with 30 per cent for airport hotels; this split makes it clear that red-eye travellers


ANALYSIS

income growth at onsite restaurants and other revenue-generating departments at the hotel. The highly discounted day rates would, however, lower overall average rate. Hoteliers should gain a detailed analysis of their hotel’s RevPAR levels to determine if selling day stays will help with their revenue goals. Another aspect to consider is how a service like HBD will affect operational expenses. Besides increased housekeeping costs, participating hotels are also responsible for a booking commission, which would increase room expenses. From an operations standpoint, hoteliers may need to consider adopting new housekeeping practices to accommodate the day stays. A dedicated housekeeper could be used to turn over the day-stay rooms, but again, the cost vs returns must be taken into consideration. There is also some concern over how daytime stays could affect overnight bookings at a given hotel. While hoteliers can profit from booking otherwise unused daytime inventory, they might also fail to deliver early check-in requests from regular hotel guests, especially loyal members. Furthermore, the demand for daytime rooms could be difficult to forecast, given the limited historical data. are not the only demand generators for intraday hotel stays. Notably, one third of the bookings are same-day reservations, a strong indication that intraday stays are a viable option for business travellers with a fluid schedule.

HBD’s scope and expansion As of May of 2015, HBD had 97 hotels in 16 cities participating in the programme. Eight of these 16 cities rank among the top 25 USmarkets. The others either feature a major international airport (as in, for example, Baltimore and Charlotte), or are well-known leisure destinations like Palm Springs and Fort Lauderdale. According to Moati, New York City and Miami are HBD’s most successful cities, and the company is in the midst of expanding in Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Boston. Of the 97 hotels, approximately 45 per cent are branded properties, while 55 per cent are independent. Moati

says Hotels By Day is creating greater potential to team with major hotel brands. Among the branded hotels currently partnering with HBD, 70 per cent are upper-midscale through upper-upscale hotels, while most of the independent hotels are boutiques. Again, the quality and diversity of product offerings differentiates HBD from traditional hourly hotels.

How HotelsByDay impacts hotel valuations and operations HotelsByDay has the potential to boost hotel revenue, which in turn could increase a hotel’s value over the long term. Both operators and appraisers, however, should keep in mind how the HBD model will affect occupancy and average rate levels. If the number of available room nights remains unchanged, the addition of intraday stays to the total occupied room nights brings occupancy up. Furthermore, increased demand capture should stimulate

Among the branded hotels currently partnering with HBD, 70 per cent are upper-midscale through upperupscale hotels, while most of the independent hotels are boutiques

Looking forward The HBD team continues to expand the company’s inventory of participating hotels, while maintaining the upscale quality of the hotel rooms on offer. This means HBD only accepts hotels that meet certain requirements, such as strong peer ratings on TripAdvisor, a solid record of service quality, and proximity to demand generators. The company’s increasing collaboration with upscale hotel brands, which exercise their own high standards of quality, is at the heart of HBD’s strategy to increase availability of hotel rooms through the service. From an operational perspective, hoteliers should pay close attention to how the use of HotelsByDay could affect their sales, their hotel’s revenue, and ultimately the value of the property itself. At present, however, HBD has broad appeal as a niche service that puts idle hotel rooms to profitable use. -Kirsten Z. Smiley, Associate, HVS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 49


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Wellness industry Trends to watch

ESPA

Natural beauty

Limited editions

For the festive season


WELLNESS TRENDS

Global Spa and Wellness

Trends Forecast ThME looks at the hottest trends that will define the industry over the next year

Forest Bathing – Mindfulness Meets nature The term ‘forest bathing’ has nothing to do with water, and is more than just a poetic way of describing a ‘walk in the woods’, something humans have, of course, been doing for five million years (if never less so than today). The Japanese government coined the term in 1982, a translation of ‘shinrin-yoku’, which literally means ‘taking in the forest atmosphere’. This Japanese concept revolves around a deceptively simple practice: quietly walking and exploring, with a mind deliberately intent on – and all senses keenly open to – every sound, scent, colour and ‘feel’ of the forest, in all its buzzing bio-diversity. With forest bathing (and the increasingly expertled ‘forest therapy’, or shinrin-ryoho), mindfulness meets nature, and the goal is to ‘bathe’ every physical cell and your entire psyche in the forest’s essence. No power hiking needed here; you just wander slowly, breathe deeply and mindfully, and stop and experience whatever catches your soul – whether drinking in the fragrance of that little wildflower, or really feeling the texture of that birch bark. Poetic? Pleasurable? Yes. But it’s the science behind the practice that’s now taking forest bathing global, as a growing mountain of evidence indicates there’s strong medicine for human bodies and brains that a forest uniquely dispenses. 52 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

Wellness Traditions from the Islamic world – Beyond Hammams and Argan Oil It’s puzzling that the world has been unable to see just how much the wellness traditions of the wide Islamic world offer–with 1,000+ years of sophisticated, nature-based traditional medical systems and countless beauty solutions and body treatments. And this is a vast ‘wellness’ map that stretches from Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to North African nations like Morocco and Egypt, to Sub-Saharan countries like Nigeria and Sudan to Central Asian states like Turkey or Kazakhstan and Southeast Asian nations like Indonesia and Malaysia. Arabic medicine is a sophisticated, 1,000+ old written tradition that has had wide impact on Islamic cultures. The Persian philosopher Avicenna’s (980-1037 AD) central work, The Canon of Medicine, has been called the single most influential text in the history of medicine. Avicenna’s still-relevant thinking on personalised healing through diet, medicinal plants, exercise, sleep, hydration and body manipulation – and his humoral system focused on how hot/ cold, wet/ dry continuums and imbalances play a role in health and aging – has had a profound influence on health practices across Islamic cultures. Islamic wellness traditions place the highest possible value on Nature and its beneficence, and have evolved a complex understanding of how the human body specifically responds to natural ingredients (reverence for nature is why many Islamic flags are green).


WELLNESS TRENDS

Industrial Revolution: Blue Collar Wellness Conduct an online search for the words corporate, employee or workplace wellness, and you’ll be rewarded with millions of results. Due to skyrocketing global health care costs, ageing populations and record levels of preventable disease, programmes promising cost-savings, less absenteeism and a more productive workforce are big business. According to a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research & Educational Trust, 98 per cent of large employers with 200+ workers and 73 per cent of smaller firms offer at least one wellness

programme. Seventy four per cent of employers offering health benefits have programmes that include weight loss, gym membership discounts or onsite exercise facilities, biometric screening, smoking cessation, personal health coaching, classes in nutrition or healthy living, etc. And 36 per cent of large firms offering both health benefits and a wellness programme offer a financial incentive or reward to participate,

such as premium contributions, smaller deductibles, gift cards or cash. But despite these impressive numbers, most wellness programmes focus on a few activities – measurement and screenings, and occasional lecture and gym discounts. The lack of wellness offerings or subsidised health insurance for contract and part-time workers, who often have blue-collar jobs, increases the problem. It can be challenging to reach those who work outside of traditional office settings and requires creativity to successfully deliver programmes to workers in manufacturing plants or warehouses, truck drivers, labourers, etc.

Wellness homes, Communities & Cities –w 360° Healthy Living, 365 days a year Back in 2007 Spafinder named ‘spa real estate’ a top trend, after tracking the rise of a new breed of residence that essentially lets people live at a luxury spa. The concept was pioneered by high-profile destination spas, like Canyon Ranch Living, which launched in Miami Beach in 2007, and Miraval Living, which planned to open in New York City around 2008. And the first wave also saw destination spas like Red Mountain Resort & Spa (Utah) and Terme di Saturnia (Italy), and numerous hotel/resort spas, add condos and villas. Fuelled by the early 2000’s economic boom, by 2007, over 250 global spa real estate options were listed at www.spafinder.com. Then the recession hit, and many of these projects (on the drawing board or newly launched), crashed right along with the economy. Now, with both the economy and stress levels on the rise, we’re seeing the wellness living market roar back, but with more comprehensive concepts of what a Euromaster-planned healthy home, community or city could be. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 53


Hyper-personalised beauty – MadeFor-Me will matter more Skinny Jeans. Army Brat. It List. These are the gutsy names of new eye shadow colours from some of the world’s biggest cosmetics brands. But as much as big companies have ratcheted up the attitude with their make-up branding, their attempt to connect with consumers’ sense of self will have to compete with the emerging – and fastest-growing trend in beauty: hyperpersonalisation. In every corner of beauty care – from make-up to skincare to fragrance at home and in the spa – we’ll have an increasing opportunity to control and customise our beautifying and self-care experience.

My Fitness. My Tribe. My life. Super-social Fitness In this report, we are stepping back to recognise a colossal socio-cultural evolution within the fitness boom that has been taking shape for more than a decade–and shows no sign of stopping. The new and lasting trend is the deep impact of fitness on an individual’s identity and his or her community, and how fitness studios have become the important ‘third place’ for the pursuit of health, happiness and social connection,

Spa on arrival (and En route) – The New Travel Ritual It used to be that while traveling for business or pleasure, spa treatments were a luxurious add-on, something fitted in between a meeting and dinner,

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with lifestyle implications reaching far beyond the workout itself. Given the unprecedented hours people work, and their paradoxically disconnected lives spent in front of screens, fitness studios and classes are becoming the place where increasingly rare human interaction takes place. And loyalty to instructors and relationships with classmates are fulfilling basic human needs to connect. For today’s fitness fanatics, the beating heart of their social circle – their fitness ‘tribe’ – is in many ways, a life-definer.

or perhaps an afternoon treat during a visit to a new city. Now, however, spa treatments and other wellness offerings are being prioritised both en route and on arrival – either to get a head start on relaxation or to kick-start productivity by

shaking off travel fatigue. For growing numbers of travellers, a workout or spa experience is becoming the final entry on the travel itinerary – an indispensable post-flight ritual. We’ve seen this trend play out over the last few years across

airports worldwide. First-class lounges have long been offering spa and beauty treatments to help mitigate the discomfort and stress of travel; and for the rest of us, express spas have become de rigueur in departure terminals.


WELLNESS TRENDS

Gut reactions – The science of digestion “Listen to your gut…”Though this is a phrase typically uttered when it comes to following your instincts, it is also one of the hottest trends for 2015, and could be some of the best advice for your overall wellbeing. The concept of optimal gut health (keeping our digestive systems healthy) will not be a new one to some reading this – our guts have been a focus of many health and wellness professionals for some time now. However, look for ‘gut reactions’ to grow even bigger and more credible in 2015 and beyond as the thirst for knowledge about the gut’s environmental system (technically termed the microbiome) picks up more steam. There will be a huge focus on the science of the gut, and proving that, by altering the make up of our guts, we can take our health and wellness to a new level, improving our immunity and resilience, fighting off serious diseases, reducing our chances for obesity and even facilitating a happy and healthy mind. All of this represents a great opportunity for spa and wellness

businesses. We are predicting that cultivating gut health (not to mention the microbiomes in other parts of our bodies – like the skin, the mouth, and even the vagina) will become a mainstream wellness endeavour and there will be significant opportunities

Beyond the Stars – Luxury redefined Some say it was an awestruck journalist, trying to convey the level of luxury offered by the newly opened Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai in 1998, who first described it as a ‘seven-star’ property. With luxury re-imagined in post-recession leisure travel, we have seen an ever-increasing

number of properties whose designs, locations, services and experiences defy superlatives sufficient to describe them. And for those luxe, over-the-top hotels, spas and wellness retreats, five stars just aren’t enough and traditional criteria used by the ratings organisations like accommodations, location, dining and service are possibly too limited now that more is at play. We predict a social shift that relies less on star rankings (albeit credible, and often audited data points) as the only measure of quality. Curated recommendations, reviews by astute travel editors and the proliferation of online consumer reviews on websites from Yelp to

for spa and wellness businesses to be a part of this revolution by providing treatments and services or partnering with experts in microbiome health. The ‘R’ word of choice in the spa industry is no longer ‘renew’, it’s ‘resilience’ – and it looks like our guts might hold the key.

Trip Advisor are creating new definitions of luxury. And with this shift, the luxury travel industry will be challenged to top itself with even more spectacular offerings and experiences. We see a future where five-star becomes the new baseline, as consumers redefine the stars in their eyes. -www.spafinder.com NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 55


BRAND FOCUS - ESPA

Glowing, healthy skin 56 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015


BRAND FOCUS - ESPA

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Susan Harmsworth, Founder and Chairperson, ESPA, tells Munawar Shariff why natural products are the best products for your skin. Here’s a look at her journey spanning more than four decades in the wellness and beauty industry

s the Founder and Chairwoman of ESPA, a global spa and skincare brand with over 20 years’ experience in building award-winning spas in five continents, as well as pioneering a collection of natural spa products and treatments, Susan Harmsworth ensures she stays involved in everything, from start to finish. Since founding the company in 1993, she works from the word go – from conceptualising new spas and managing relationships with property owners, to new product development and representing the face of the company. “My passion has always been to be involved with women’s health, spa design and natural skincare products. My career started in the 1960s in health and beauty journalism, evolving into spa as I travelled and lived internationally, creating spas, spa education programmes, and finally, developing my own extensive, naturally-advanced skincare and body care collection in the early 1990s,”she says. Harmsworth has devoted over 45 years of her professional life to the spa and wellness industry, and has received an MBE from Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain in 2010 for her services to the spa and beauty industry.“I’m also proud to sit on the board of the Global Spa and Wellness Summit,” she smiles, adding,“On a NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 57


BRAND FOCUS - ESPA

personal front, I am a mother of two sons and grandmother to six. I’m fortunate enough to have worked with both of my sons now for over 20 years – we share the same goals and know we can wholly trust each other.” When Harmsworth moved to Toronto, early on in her career, she was introduced to the therapy traditions of the Eastern European community, and developed a deeper interest in spa therapies.“I opened my first business there – a salon – when I was 25, back when the spa industry didn’t exist, and this early experience gave me the vision of combining health and beauty, mind and body, natural and scientific,” she says. “Even by 1993, when I created ESPA, the word ‘spa’ still didn’t exist. Hotels didn’t have five star spas, and no other brand combined fitness, clinical aromatherapy, and natural skincare products,” she adds. With the increasing need for relaxation and escapism to counter rising levels of stress, Harmsworth saw a real opportunity to resolve this issue by uniting the best European and American treatment philosophies and taking them into the 21st century with state-of-theart treatments and products. Yet, she was unhappy with the skincare 58 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

brands around that time, and felt they simply weren’t effective enough for her spa treatments.“Good, natural and therapeutic products just didn’t exist, so I used my extensive spa and product experience to create my own highly effective skincare line,” she explains. Furthermore, to ensure the quality and results were nothing other than exceptional and longlasting, they decided to make all their products at their UK factory.“Every ESPA formulation blends natural, sustainable, ethically-sourced ingredients, in combination with the latest skincare technology, to create the finest, natural, results driven skincare,” she ays proudly. ESPA has a global partnership with Ritz-Carlton, one that is close to Harmsworth’s heart.“Ritz-Carlton have been a highly valued client of ESPA for the last 15 years, and our newest collaboration plans extend this further, so coming to this region was a great opportunity for me to meet the team here and also launch four new products to this market – Optimal Skin ProCleanser, Skin Radiance Intensive Serum, Optimal Skin ProDefence and Naturally Radiant Tinted Moisturiser,” she informs. The spa industry in this region is also growing, and they have projects currently under construction

in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Dubai. While Harmsworth believes that the 100 per cent natural fragrances in their products are loved worldwide, she notices that people in the UAE in particular adore the rose aromas that are used across a lot of their product range. However delving deeper into the clientele, the sheer range of cultures living here means that the skin types go right across the spectrum, from very dry to very oily. “But for all of these skin types, we’ve found the biggest concern of our customers in this region is dehydrated skin. The climatic conditions they face each day – going from high heat and humidity levels outside to cold, air-conditioned interiors – play havoc with the balance of humidity in skin, and hence, oily or dry, dehydration remains an issue. So the products, treatments and advice we offer must effectively overcome and manage this for all the different skin types. Women in this region also tend to wear more make-up than UK females, which can worsen dehydration problems if the skin isn’t properly cleansed and all make-up removed,” she explains. Which is why she encourages clients to listen to the advice of their therapist and buy the recommended products.“If they visit our spa, they will receive an in-depth consultation and skin analysis with our SkinVision lamp, alongside professional, tailored product and application advice, to best achieve the skincare and body results they desire at home,” she says. Why, you might ask, would this be your brand of choice? For one, the ‘E’ within ESPA represents ‘Education’. Harmsworth believes that advanced staff training across all levels in a spa is vital to its success, and this commitment – along with the development of their own training academy and education programme – is a core differentiator for them. “I’m so proud that we train over 4,000 therapists each year, continuously working to raise skills and standards in the spa industry,” she smiles. Another factor that makes ESPA stand apart is the wealth of skincare expertise they have. With over two decades of experience behind them, they today perform 3.5 million treatments each year across 60


BRAND FOCUS - ESPA

countries. The insight and feedback they receive from their global network of therapists is absolutely instrumental in ensuring that integrity and knowledge of skin remains at the core of all the products and treatments they create. Most importantly, however, the difference lies in their formulations. “We have an incredible team of formulations specialists, researching and applying the very latest natural and scientific advances, and creating all our own formulations in our UK factory. These formulations are then tested through our global network of therapists to ensure they work as effectively as possible for our customers,” she says. A must-try, at the Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi, is the all-new Advanced Radiance Facial. This must-have treatment offers both exceptional results, and a wonderfully relaxing experience, by blending the modern

technology of a deeply cleansing and refining Clarisonic Brush with the holistic, soothing benefits of Rose Quartz Crystals. Of course, no visit to Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi would be complete without experiencing the stunning Hammam and unsurpassed skill of their Moroccan Hammam therapists.“I would personally recommend the Indulgence Hammam, a 90-minute, deeply cleansing, revitalising and authentic Hammam experience, designed to offer complete rejuvenation,” she smiles. And don’t forget to take home the bestselling Optimal Skin ProSerum, an advanced serum-oil blend that works for all skin types and ages, combining the strengthening properties of a face treatment oil with nourishing properties of a serum to instantly brighten and even skin tone, enhance firmness and elasticity, and protect skin against premature ageing.

Long term skin care When I met Susan Harmsworth in Abu Dhabi recently, she came across as an energetic, positive, woman with none of the visible stress that comes for extensive travelling. She looked much younger than what she actually claimed to be (70!). As shocked as the entire room was, the next minute she was bombarded with questions about her well maintained skin and daily beauty routine. Here, then, are her expert tips to keep skin looking radiant: Each morning, I use our Hydrating Floral Spafresh, followed by LifeStage Net8 Serum, Optimal Skin ProSerum, Lift and Firm Intensive Eye Serum, Lift and Firm Eye Moisturiser, Regenerating Moisture Complex, Naturally Radiant Tinted Moisturiser and Optimal Skin ProDefence. It’s a rather extensive routine that layers advanced serums and moisturisers from our collection, but it provides the hydration, nourishment and protection my skin needs throughout the day. I have recently turned 70 years old, and believe that your beauty routine should evolve with your stage of life. Those who are younger, of course, don’t require this level of layering, though should still absolutely commit to an effective daily cleanse, tone, treat and moisturise routine, as it will reap rewards in the years to come. During the night, skin repairs and regenerates itself, so for three nights a week I apply nothing following my evening cleanse. On the other nights, I apply our Regenerating Face Treatment Oil after cleansing with Hydrating Cleansing Milk. Exfoliating skin to remove dulling dead skin cells and stimulate new cell turnover is also very important to maintaining a radiant and healthy-looking complexion, so I exfoliate on three evenings a week with our award-winning Optimal Skin ProCleanser. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 59


SPA REVIEW - SENSASIA SPA

Very suited to reduce the look of discoloration, uneven skin tone, age spots and overall dull skin, Elemis has just launched its White Brightening Even Tone facial to rejuvenate skin which needs a visible boost

Whiter and brighter Elemis White Brightening Treatment at Sensasia Spa The Sensasia Spa in the Village Mall, Jumeirah is a tranquility haven right in the middle of the city.You can actually

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smell your way to it. The smell calms you instantly, urging you to forget where you came from or what’s on your agenda for the rest of the day and instead focus on the complete relaxation at hand.


SPA REVIEW - SENSASIA SPA

The lady at reception welcomed me with a refreshing towel and a cool drink and after a few minutes handed me a questionnaire to fill out about my concerns and lifestyle in

order to tailor the experience to my preferences. Soon after my therapist came to meet me and escorted me inside the spa. Showed me my locker and waited while I changed and met

her to proceed with the treatment. The consultation began with a quick foot soak. The therapist was thorough in explaining each step of the treatment as well as advising me on my skin concerns and recommending the kinds of products for my skin type and how optimally to use them. The treatment began with a fabulously relaxing 30-minute back massage. It has to be said here that the therapist was exceptionally good at her job, because by the time she was done with my back, the many knots around my shoulders had disappeared. The facial began with a thorough cleansing of the face using the Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm followed by the White Brightening Even Tone Cleanser. This was followed by the application of the White Brightening toner. She then applied the TriEnzyme Resurfacing Gel mask. This was followed by a scalp massage while the mask did its work on the skin. After the mask, the therapist again toned the face with the same toner and then applied the facial oil from the same range. The movements of the hands on the face is of great importance in this step of the facial. The therapist used her hands in light movements over the face and neck in order to not overstimulate the skin. So as to not produce melanin. After this step the oil was removed and toner applied. After this, the therapist applied the serum from the same range and followed it with the application of the peel off mask from the same range. Once the mask was on the face, the therapist applied the cleanser, toner, oil and the ProRadiance Hand and Nail Cream to both hands upto the elbows. She then removed the peel off mask and applied toner, followed by the serum, moisturiser - the Pro-Collagen Marine cream - and Liquid Layer SPF and eye cream. The result was instantly visible in brighter, cleaner skin. My face almost looked thinner, too! The effect of dead skin cells having been removed perhaps. It was a fabulous facial and is recommended to be done as often as needed to maintain bright, younglooking skin. Time: 60 minutes Verdict: Fantastic! NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 61


and rejuvenate DAVINES ABSOLUTE BEAUTIFYING SHAMPOO, 280ML, AED 95: The fragrance is unforgettable of this shampoo. It cleanses hair leaving it soft, shiny and voluminous. Amazonian Roucou oil gives a restructuring effect to the hair, leaving it extremely clean and refreshingly fragrant.

Here is another beautiful collection of exceptional products to tak you through the festive season and into the New Year

ELEMIS CELLULAR RECOVERY SKIN BLISS CAPSULES 60 CAPSULES AED 517: These are the most deliciously fragrant and extremely effective moisturising capsules. Green lavender for night and pink rose for day will become your most effective skin partner. Plus they are extremely hygienic and great for travel too.

DAVINES ABSOLUTE BEAUTIFYING POTION, AED 149 FOR 135ML: This nourishing oil has multiple uses, it adds shine, softness, protects hair against heat, detangles, controls frizz, adds weight to the hair without making the hair look oily.

DAVINES ABSOLUTE BEAUTIFYING CONDITIONER, 250ML AED 100: A very effective detangler and protector for all over hair conditioning. Gives a smooth, sleek feel to freshly washed hair. The fragrance is another plus. 62 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

MURAD AGE DIFFUSING SERUM AED 390: Nongreasy, gives a matte look post application. Leaves skin soft, hydrated and a reduction in pore size gives an overall tighter look. Preferable to use at night.

JUNE JACOBS AGE DEFYING COPPER SERUM: This is a powerful serum. Containing minerals such as copper and zinc, the effect on the skin is wonderful. Instantly smooth, even getting rid of a few acne sightings. The hyaluronic acid content helps with the skin texture and overall tone of the complexion.


PRODUCT REVIEWS

JUNE JACOBS PERFECT PUMPKIN PEELING ENZYME MASQUE: The pumpkin in this mask dissolves dead skin cells, improving skin texture. A few applications will visibly improve tone and skin hydration levels.

JUNE JACOBS INTENSIVE AGE DEFYING HYDRATING MASQUE: A few minutes with this mask on the face is equal to perhaps a lot of restful night’s sleep. That’s how it makes the skin look. Rested, moisturised, fresh, clean pores, and extremely soft to the touch.

JUNE JACOBS AGE DEFYING COPPER COMPLEX: Takes away the look of dry, tired skin immediately by effectively renewing cell production. This is evident as skin appears, brighter and supple. Use with the serum is a powerful combination.

JUNE JACOBS LIP RENEWAL SPF: Hydrating and plumping, lips are nourished and nurtured while you use this lip balm. A perfect companion.

BLISS FIRM, BABY, FIRM MOISTURISING GEL CREAM 250ML, AED 286: Lighter texture in the gel form, but intense hydration, improving skin elasticity, firmness and moisture levels. A thorough cleansing of the face means the cream gets absorbed sooner.

BLISS FIRM, BABY, FIRM TOTAL EYE SYSTEM 30ML AED 331: This is a dual sided eye serum a lighter, almost transparent tightening fluid for the upper lid and a creamier hydrating one for the lower undereye area. Very effective and immediately moisturising.

ELEMIS PRO COLLAGEN QUARTZ LIFT SERUM 30ML AED 857: This is a miracle serum. Enough cannot be said or written about the fabulous effects of this. A little goes a long way, so while it is expensive, it will last a long time and you will be addicted before the bottle is over!

DERMALOGICA SHEER TINT SPF 20 BROAD SPECTRUM AED 230: Fluid, glides on the skin, reduces pore size, looks natural. Everything that you’d want in a light-weight tint. Plus the fact that this gives a fresh, dewy look to the complexion makes this tint a must-have year round. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 63


PRODUCT REVIEWS

FESTIVE SPECIAL

Exclusively for the festive season

CLARINS OMBRE MATTE CREAM TO POWDER MATTE EYESHADOW IN COBALT BLUE, ULTRA VIOLET AND CARBON: Fabulous, longlasting and a superb pigment, stays on all day CLARINS LONG LASTING EYE PENCIL IN TRUE VIOLET: Beautiful eyes even more enhanced by this deep colour

ELEMIS BRIGHT START COLLECTION AED 497 CONTAINS: White Brightening Even Tone Cleanser 185ml Full size: Makes the skin clean, matt and target pigmentation and uneven skin tone. White Brightening Even Tone Lotion 28ml: Used after cleanser this toner preps the skin for max skin whitening results White Brightening Even Tone Serum 30ml Full size: Skin is luminous, bright, clear. While using these products try and stay out of the sun and always use a spf.

CLARINS LONG WEARING EYE BROW PENCIL IN LIGHT BROWN: A perfect companion to your daily beauty routine

CLARINS SATIN FINISH AGE-DEFYING LIPSTICK IN PAPRIKA: A smooth, velvety finish and a beautiful shade of deep red.

THIERRY MUGLER OUD MAJESTUEUX: An exquisite blend of the finest oud, a beautiful amalgamation of Arabian Oud with Mugler’s distinct use of warm spices such as saffron, cardamom and jasmine flowers.

ELEMIS PERFECT MAN COLLECTION AED 413 CONTAINS: Ice Cool Foaming Gel 100ml: Effective, creates the perfect surface to get a smooth shave. New Pro-Collagen Marine Cream for Men 30ml Full size: Exceptional moisturising, lock in the hydration for long term supple skin Pro-Collagen Hydra-Gel Eye Masks 2 sachets: Eyes are rested, hydrated. A perfect pick-me-up before a special occasion. Aching Muscle Super Soak 125ml: Effectively sucks out all the aches and pains. Rejuvenates at the end of a long work day or week.

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GUERLAIN L’OR RADIANCE CONCENTRATE WITH PURE GOLD MAKE-UP BASE: The gold flecks disappear into the skin, hydrating and plumping for smooth make-up application. Luxury at your finger tips and on your face! GUERLAIN PARURE GOLD FOUNDATION: Perfect, clear, unblemished skin is achieved. This foundation makes the face a perfect neutral base for a beautifully made-up look.


PRODUCT REVIEWS

Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale The atmosphere and surrounding of modern life takes a huge toll on our skin. Radiation from the sun, pollution in the atmosphere, chemicals in our food, all of these collectively take a toll on how our skin is able to deal with these aggressors.

The NIght Detox Night is the perfect time to detoxify. At night, when the skin is at rest, it rejuvenates itself to adequately replenish and regenerate, ready to face a new day. For the first time since its creation in 2006, Guerlain has come up with a specific nighttime product. The Night Detoxifying Essence delivers an incredibly effective and highly desirable, twofold action to purify skin and encourage its regeneration when confronted with a polluted atmosphere that smothers its youthfulness. The two steps in this process is first purification followed by regeneration. In 24 hours, Gold Orchid Technology doubles the expression of genes for energy production, triples the expression of genes for energy location and recreates the mitochondrial network subject to oxidative stress … for a double effect: on the surface and at the heart of the skin. From the surface to the heart of the skin, the cells are detoxified, as if they had been “cleansed” of all traces of pollution; they can breathe. The skin’s energy is released, its production maximised, and its regenerative power reactivated.

Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Mask

This mask offers an utterly addictive sensory pleasure, this extraordinary bath of energy delivers a fast and effective solution to counter the visible signs of ageing. It is the the epitome of age-defying skin revitalisation. Under the softness of the brush, the mask’s creamy texture envelops the face, giving a deep feeling of relaxation and replenishment. This mask is a perfect balance between nutrition and hydration for skin that is restructured, softened and incredibly comfortable. In just 10 minutes, the skin’s vitality is boosted. This mask is a perfect addition to a festive beauty routine. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 65


SPA REVIEW - THE WORKS SPA, DUBAI MEDIA CITY

Instant radiance The Works Spa in Dubai Media City is a cute little salon and spa tucked away in the business district which provides much needed beauty and spa services in the area. The Instant Radiance Oxygen Facial gave just that – instant radiance!

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Bliss Instant Radiance Oxygen Facial at The Works Spa A spa in the Media City is definitely a surprise. And a very good one. For all those who work in the area relaxation is only a few minutes away. The Works opened doors in the beginning of August this year and is already very popular. It provides all the services of a regular salon as well as spa treatments. They have a dedicated parking area for customers, as everyone is familiar with the nightmare that is finding parking over there. Over to the facial. As I went into the spa, I was met by my therapist who

handed me a questionnaire to fill out about my skin concerns and lifestyle. After that we went inot the treatment room. The therapist explained all the many steps of the hour-long treatment and we began. First up was a thorough facial cleanse with the Bliss Clog Dissolving Milk Cleanser. This was followed by the Daily Detoxifying Toner. She then scrubbed the skin using Bliss Micromagic. What is unique about this scrub is that it’s a mild micro dermabrasion exfoliating treatment, which has volcanic pumice to exfoliate dead skin cells and de-clogged pores. After this she used Bliss Incredi-Peel Pad which is a pad dipped in Alpha Hydroxy Acid. The skin tingles slightly when it is applied. It is imperative to apply sunscreen after using this. After the AHA, the therapist applied


SPA REVIEW - THE WORKS SPA, DUBAI MEDIA CITY

Instant Energising Eye Mask and the Triple-Oxygen Instant Energising Face Mask. This came with a unique feeling of the oxygen lifting dirt from the skin in a soft and continuous bubbling feeling on the face. This is extremely hydrating for the skin. While the mask was on the therapist massaged the hands and arms using the Bliss Lemon and Sage Body Butter. Finally once the mask was removed she applied the Bliss Triple-oxygen Energising cream and the Triple-Oxygen Eye Gel. The treatment was immensely relaxing and resulted in lighter and hydrated skin. Considering the fact that there was quite a lot of poking and prodding the skin for extractions, my face wasn’t at all puffy or red. The skin looked even toned, light and moisturised. Time: 60 minutes Verdict: Excellent

a thick layer of the moisturising cream - the Bliss Triple Oxygen Energising Cream - to the face and covered the entire face with a hot towel leaving only the nose open. She massaged

the scalp while the hot towel was on the face. This was in order to facilitate extraction. After extraction came the application of the Triple-Oxygen

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COMMUNITY

Hilton Worldwide Team Members celebrate Global Month of Service with Soap for Hope

Rudi Jagersbacher, President, Hilton Worldwide MEA takes part in soap recycling as part of the company’s Soap for Hope initiative during Global Month of Service

Soap for hope

A

s part of the company’s commitment to repurposing used goods for community needs, Hilton Worldwide participated in an event focused on Soap for Hope, a soap recycling initiative developed by Diversey. The participation marked the celebration of Hilton Worldwide’s annual Global Month of Service, and saw more than 100 volunteers from the company’s seven hotels and offices in Dubai participating, with Diversey, a provider of cleaning and hygiene products to the institutional marketplace, at the helm of the event. The team members joined children from Al Garhoud National Charity School to receive training on soap recycling, producing a remarkable 200 bars of soap. This was, however, just a drop in 68 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

Hilton Worldwide celebrates sustainability this year with the ‘Soap for Hope’ initiative for their annual Global Month of Service. ThME checks out how the initiative has grown over the years.

the ocean – it is a contribution to the ongoing efforts led by Hilton Worldwide’s UAE hotels, which have partnered with Diversey to create more than 27,500 new bars of soap since June 2014. Since 2011, more than 700 Hilton Worldwide properties globally have processed more than one million bars of soap through the company’s global partnership with Diversey and Clean the World, and initiatives such as Soap for Hope. Said Rudi Jagersbacher, President, Hilton Worldwide Middle East & Africa, “Global Month of Service is a great opportunity for us to join together to make a real difference in our local communities, and this year, we are celebrating our regional success across MEA, where we have helped produce more

than 400,000 bars of recycled soap! To see our team members, and local community members, actively take part in this challenge is inspiring, as we seek to empower visitors to Travel with Purpose – by living sustainably and strengthening local communities around the world.” Since its inaugural service celebration in 2012, Hilton volunteers have provided support to more than 6,700 projects worldwide, contributing more than 300,000 hours of community service. Last year, in just one week, Hilton hosted more than 3,500 projects in 86 countries, volunteering more than 150,000 hours. The company aims to complete 3,750 projects across its global footprint. “Soap for Hope demonstrates the massive potential that simple recycling can have in creating shared value for society, with Hilton Worldwide showcasing the importance it places on contributing to communities by encouraging teams around the world to embrace Soap for Hope. It is a pleasure to join this year’s Global Month of Service activity in Dubai to see this commitment come to life,” commented Varun Asser and Rosario Fernandes, who manage the sustainability arm of Diversey in the UAE. Global Month of Service is Hilton Worldwide’s largest annual community service initiative and mobilises hundreds of thousands of team members from every region to engage in numerous volunteer events and activities happening around the world. Volunteers offer their time to support a wide range of projects, including conserving natural resources, mentoring and training young people, creating amenity care packages for communities in need, collecting surplus food and distributing to underserved communities, and aiding local communities devastated by disaster. Team members are encouraged to share their personal stories of hospitality and community service. Throughout the month, photos, videos and stories will be posted on Hilton’s internet and social media outlets.


VingCard Allure

The “no lock on the door� solution. With its unique design and exceptional features, hotel locking solutions are brought to a new level. By moving hardware from the guestroom doors to the walls, you are left with a sleek and minimalistic environment where the Allure by VingCard is part of the interior design. VingCard Allure lock is compatible with Visionline, hence providing the same features and functionalities as any other online electronic lock by VingCard.

ASSA ABLOY Hospitality ASSA ABLOY Hospitality UAE Rep Office Dubai | Dubai, UAE | POB 125748 Phone: 00971 50 2400845 mea.hospitality@assaabloy.com | www.assaabloyhospitality.com

The global leader in door opening solutions


Top Hotel November December 2015 Issue  

Top Hotel Middle East is a bi-monthly business journal for senior level hoteliers, hotel owners, hotel investors and investment companies, a...

Top Hotel November December 2015 Issue  

Top Hotel Middle East is a bi-monthly business journal for senior level hoteliers, hotel owners, hotel investors and investment companies, a...

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