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may/june 2016 Issue 13

Essential reading for hotel operators, owners, developers and investors

Guest data =

digital

gold

Affordable hotels

In the country and region?

Mitsumi’s

Growth plans

RAK Ceramics

Keeping up with demand

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.

Affordable hotels in the Middle East? 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: Tamara Eger ravi@signaturemediame.com Production Manager: Roy Varghese Roy@signaturemediame.com

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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

The next 12 months seem to be heading towards highly fluctuating oil prices and currency rates add to that a huge number of hotel rooms that are currently being readied will become available. All of these factors point to more economical hotel options for the traveler to the Middle East region. How accurate this is remains to be seen. Dubai hotels are the fourth most expensive in the world, behind only San Francisco, Geneva and Milan as per Bloomberg Business Week’s 2015 edition of the World Hotel Index. However, in 2014, Dubai was second on the list, meaning it has become more affordable. Average daily rate in the emirate has fallen 6.4 per cent from US$ 273 (AED 1,002.72) to US$ 255 (AED 936.60), according to the index, and this trend is likely to continue as the authorities look to double room numbers by 2020 from 2012 numbers. Beyond the UAE, Qatar must look to ramp up its mid-market supply in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and to attract more MICE visitors, which is part of the country’s strategic vision for 2030. In Oman, where the marketing strategy of the tourism board still mostly caters to high-end families, the upcoming Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre will drive the need for more midscale hotel supply to accommodate diverse inbound markets. (More on this on Page 38.)

Munawar Shariff Managing Editor munawar@signaturemediame.com

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. may/june 2016 3


Contents

march/april 2016 Issue 12

32

24 06 Top hotel Undercover 38A more affordable

Fujairah’s oldest hotel needs a refurb!

The Hilton Fujairah Resort is somewhere around the 40 years mark and it’s time for a refurb!

10 News All the latest from hotels in the region 20 Owner Interview

24 Cover

Digital gold

How guest data can be used in many ways to bring back the customer

28 Food cost control Here’s a concise list of things to think

about to effectively manage food cost

30 GM Interview

As markets mature, midscale inventory grows, and global economic challenges persist, the notoriously pricey Middle East will become more affordable

46 Tophotelprojects.com

Taking it to the next level

Jagat Shah, CEO, Mitsumi Group, talks about growth plans for the conglomerate

hotel experience in the Middle East?

Continuing to make history

A chat with Kamal Rijhwani, Executive Assistant Manager, Radisson Blu Resort, Sharjah

Tourism boom

Tophotelprojects.com rounds up the scene in hotel investments worldwide and reports on the boom in tourism internationally. Which means more hotels on the horizon

50 Restaurant review

The Collective

Grand Hyatt, Dubai iconic hotel’s very popular Market Cafe has recently opened in a new avatar as The Collective

52 An afternoon at Mahec Mahec, one of Dubai’s top Indian restaurants has recently been relaunched under new management

56 Tailor made luxury Sophia Kremser, Intl Training Director,

Guerlain Spa defines a luxury wellness experience in the world of Guerlain

34 Laying it all out 62 Spa review Abdallah Massaad, Group CEO of RAK Ceramics, talks about keeping up with new hotels’ requirements

4 may/june 2016

A haven in the centre of town

The Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights’ Nysa Spa is a beautiful haven of relaxation

50 64 Unique and uplifting Cleopatra Spa at Wafi is perhaps the

oldest and one of the best spas in the emirate

65 Spa review

Immediately visible results

The Elemis Pro Collagen Quartz Lift Facial is an exceptional treatment

66 Spa Products review

The eyes have it

Here’s a look at products that keep the delicate eye area looking its best and then some

68 Community

Luxury with responsibility

Jumeirah Creekside Hotel has earned the Green Globe certification for the second year in a row

56


ASSA ABLOY Hospitality

Electronic Safe Infinity II

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II Safe and Visionline, hence providing the same features and The global leader in door opening solutions


Top hotel Undercover

Fujairah’s oldest hotel needs a refurb!

The Hilton Fujairah Resort is somewhere around the 40 years mark. The Check-In staff informed me that the hotel was older than him and is more than 40 years old, however some research suggests it might be 38 years old. In any case, it’s an older property and staying here wasn’t the best experience

6 may/June 2016

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

Staying and reviewing this property got me thinking about the hotels’ rating system, this hotel is rated as a five star property, however this almost 40 years old hotel is in need of an urgent upgrade. Both in terms of the physical architecture and rooms refurbishments to a shot in the arm of its staff’s service levels. As well as F&B and facilities, in short all around upgrades are in order. The five stars are misleading as well as the price point, this property was more expensive than other newer five star hotels in the emirate. There are only a handful. A lot of constructive criticism is up ahead. So while it still goes under the five star category nothing inside warrants it to be a five star hotel, from staff service to F&B options to facilities. It qualifies to be more of a three-star hotel.

Reservation I called the hotel number and was transferred to the reservation department. This is a centrla reservation department located outside the UAE. The person at the other end was helpful however was inadequately informed about Hilton properties. I began the conversation clearly stating I intended to reserve a room

may/june 2016 7


Top hotel Undercover

for a night in the Hilton Fujairah Hotel in the UAE. He however had no idea about the property and asked me multiple time where exactly it was and to spell it out for him. Having gone through this exercise of explaining myself repeatedly I gave up and decided to book it through the OTA. Did that in a minute. The call had taken almost 10 minutes and I had got no further than providing the address and the name of the property I wanted to book at. Evaluation: Poor

Check-in I arrived at the hotel entrance and waited for the valet to give me a ticket, no one came. I got out of the car and still no sign of a valet, I was about to go inside to call for someone when a valet came outside and gave me a ticket and took my bags in. The entrance and reception area were spacious and bright with no one in sight in terms of guests, there was one staff member at the check-in desk. He was on a call, but gestured me to have a seat. A welcome drink was brought out with cold towel. The gentleman then assisted in checking me in. He advised me about the F&B options, as well as breakfast timings and offered to join me into their loyalty programme so that I could benefit from free wifi in the room. As generally, wifi was only available for free in the public areas. I enquired about the age of the property and was told it was around 40 years old. The hotel did look very old and straight out of the heritage books of the emirate. Evaluation: Good

Room 210 The elevators were tiny and slow. The corridor that the elevator opened into was bright and airy. The entrance to all the room was odd. There was a high step that you had to take getting in and out of the room, something which a lot of us are very likely to miss and probably fall. The room wasn’t the best. It had a smell overhanging in it. A smell I was unable to shake off and the shape of the room wasn’t the regular square, it seemed to be corner room which it wasn’t and had an odd poky shape. The tiny passage leading into the room and the shape of the room gave it a claustrophobic feel. The bathroom was considerably spacious, with the wash basin on the right as you entered and the shower area facing the entrance and the wc on the left. The bed covers weren’t made in the way one expects from a hotel. Also, the red velvet bed skirt had seen better days. It was dusty and dirty around the corners and the hem. Evaluation: Satisfactory.

Breakfast buffet at Al Ghorfa Restaurant The breakfast buffet was alright, with a cereal station, fresh juices, some arabic hot food options such as foul and baleela, eggs, pancakes, some fried rice and spring rolls, in the chafing dishes, there was no live cooking station, muffins, breads, fresh fruits and vegetables and yoghurt. Will feed the hungry but not what you expect from a five star hotel buffet breakfast! Evaluation: Satisfactory

Check-out 11.25am Smooth and swift as expected. I was warmly greeted asked about my stay and wished a pleasant journey home.

8 may/June 2016


Top hotel Undercover

Evaluation: Satisfactory.

Hilton, Fujeirah Reservation: Poor

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

Check-in: Good Room 210: Satisfactory Bath: Satisfactory Floor service: Satisfactory Landscaping: Satisfactory Breakfast buffet: Satisfactory

Top hotel Undercover opinion:

41- 60 Satisfactory

Fitness: Satisfactory Corridors, elevators, stairs: Poor

Total: 41%

Housekeeping: Satisfactory Check out: Satisfactory 0

20

40

60

80

100

may/june 2016 9


It’s business as usual for Marriott International Marriott International has revealed details of the United Arab Emirate’s first Renaissance Hotel. Set to open at the end of 2016, the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai will be a 298-room luxury hotel aimed at business and leisure travellers who seek both authentic and unexpected experiences. Details of the brand’s UAE debut come as the travel company plans to open an additional four hotels in the country throughout 2016. Amongst the 2016 openings is Abu Dhabi’s first Marriott Hotel, the 315room five-star Marriott Hotel Down-

town Abu Dhabi, as well as the 64-suite Marriott Executive Apartments Downtown Abu Dhabi. Further strengthening Marriott International’s luxury lifestyle offering, scheduled 2016 openings also include the 86-room La Ville Hotel City Walk Dubai, Autograph Collection, the 68-suite La Ville Apartments City Walk, Dubai and 500-room Lapita Hotel, Autograph Collection, all set to open by the fourth quarter of this year. Following the concept Business Unusual, Renaissance Hotels focus on helping their discerning guests to make the most of their trip whether it be for business or leisure.

Courtyard by Marriott World Trade Center, Abu Dhabi Exterior Marriott Travels - In Abu Dhabi

Marriott Travels With summer fast approaching, Marriott International is inviting travellers the world over to discover the Middle East and Africa with the launch of #MarriottTravels. Starting April, and available at any one of over 50 regional properties for stays between May 15th and September 17th, 2016, #MarriottTravels gives travellers from over 20 countries three nights for the price of two, and up to 50 per cent off on hotel dining. In addition to free nights and dining discounts, those taking advantage of the offer will also enjoy complimentary breakfast, free dining for children and 30 per cent off their next booking. For a full list of participating hotels and booking, visit http://deals.marriott.com/ marriotttravels or call 800 Marriott.

Mariott

10 may/june 2016


Emaar Hospitality Group marks expansion with 35 new hotels and serviced residences in UAE and global markets Emaar Hospitality Group has shared its expansion plan, highlighted by 35 new hotels and serviced residences to open under its three flagship brands – The Address Hotels + Resorts, Vida Hotels and Resorts and Rove Hotels - in Dubai, the UAE and key international markets. The landmark expansion by the home-grown Dubai hospitality provider was unveiled on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM 2016). Chris Newman, Corporate Director of Operations at Emaar Hospitality Group, said that the highprofile expansion of the company includes the opening of new properties in Dubai, as well as new management contracts to operate hotels and serviced residences in Fujairah in the UAE, and Saudi Arabia. Emaar has also signed management contracts for upcoming hotels and serviced residences projects in Bahrain, Turkey and Egypt. The new openings will take the total number of new hotel rooms being added by Emaar Hospitality Group in the UAE to 3,835 and the number of new serviced residences to 4,249. Internationally, Emaar will add to its portfolio 707 hotel rooms and 833 serviced residences.

Vida Jeddah Gate

Rove Satwa

Viceroy Hotel Group to open secluded Cove Resort and Residences in Istanbul Tucked away in Turkey’s Marmara Sea lies the newly announced Viceroy Princes’ Islands Istanbul, a modern resort located on the island of Büyükada. Upon completion in summer 2016, Viceroy Hotel Group will open the doors to its first property in Turkey, inviting guests to experience an ancient era of Ottoman royalty. Viceroy Princes’ Islands Istanbul boasts a total of 77 luxury guest rooms, suites and serviced residences, a traditional and restored Ottoman Grand Mansion, and a ‘Yali’ seafront mansion, extensive gardens and a private cove. Travellers seeking a more spirited island getaway from life’s demands can unwind with memorable amenities, including award winning ESPA spa and wellness centre, complete with indoor pool and a modern take on the Turkish bath house. The resort’s registered cultural heritage Grand Mansion has also been fully restored to its former grandeur by local artisan craftsmen. Viceroy Princes’ Islands Istanbul is exclusively accessed through the resort’s private pier. With no motor vehicles on the island, guests are encouraged to celebrate their curiosity and roam by bicycle, phaeton (horse carriage) or foot, making for a truly serene escape from the bustle of daily life.

Gyula Harangi appointed as Executive Chef for Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments, Bur Dubai

Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments, Bur Dubai, has appointed Chef Gyula Harangi as its new executive chef. Born in Hungary, Gyula has always been passionate towards food. He comes with over 25 years of industry experience in Budapest, Lisbon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Prior to joining Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Bur Dubai, Gyula has worked in Mövenpick Hotel Kuwait and Mövenpick Hotel Deira, as well as in several hotel groups, such as Hilton, Kempinski and Corinthia as executive chef.

The Address Fujairah Resort + Spa (hotel & residences)

may/june 2016 11


Dubai’s hotel industry represents 12 per cent of Empower’s portfolio Empower has revealed that Dubai’s hotel industry represents 12 per cent of its total portfolio. This figure is expected to rise further, given the volume of hotels that are in the pipeline to support Dubai’s plan to welcome 20 million tourists by 2020, which will provide further opportunities to adopt district cooling technologies in the hotel industry. The company called hotels operat-

ing in the region to focus on their core hospitality business instead of investing in developing in-house conventional chilling systems as outsourcing district cooling services is the best option for hotels and large buildings. District cooling systems can help save up to 50 per cent of total power consumption compared to conventional systems, while saving chiller-space at large buildings and hotels.

Orange County California painted with a big, bold ‘F’ for tourists this summer Orange County Visitors Association (OCVA) in California has gone all out to entice more visitors to experience the fun of a Southern California summer by expanding its value-added discounts and vouchers programme, exclusive for visitors from the Middle East. The expanded benefits were launched in conjunction with the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), and is available to visitors through the OC & ME card, which is provided free to visitors from the Middle East staying at an OC hotel or resort booked by an IATA registered Middle East travel agent

signed up to the OC&ME campaign. In addition to the exclusive benefits that the OC&ME card already offers, such as complimentary VIP personal shopper experiences, gifts with purchase, and discount vouchers at the OC’S premier retails destinations of South Coast Plaza, Fashion Island and Irvine Spectrum, the OC&ME card will now also offer an extended offering of value at South Coast Plaza, which has increased its discounts to 20 per

Empower CEO Ahmad Bin Shafar

cent, and expanded the number of retail partners, within South Coast Plaza, where the card is accepted. Additionally, travel agents booking car hire for their clients staying in OC hotels and resorts through leading car rental broker Flexible Autos, will provide Middle Eastern visitors with complimentary additional free driver service, which means the cost of registering a second person to drive the hired vehicle is waivered and provided for free. The expanded OC&ME benefits take effect immediately and are valid until December 31st, 2016.

OC Huntington Beach

OC Costa Mesa 12 may/june 2016

OC Laguna Beach Art A Fair

OC Laguna Beach Art A Fair


IHG expecting 40 per cent + growth by 2021 The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is expecting to record more than 40 per cent growth across the Middle East in the next three to five years, with 25 new hotels in the pipeline. Currently, the group operates 78 hotels in GCC, Levant, and Egypt alone, following a well-rounded 2015, when it added five new hotels to its books, including the world’s largest Holiday Inn® in Saudi Arabia with 5,154 rooms. The company is placing a special focus

on midmarket hotels, with many GCC States addressing the lack of affordable options for low-budget and family travellers. Of the 25 properties on the horizon, 11 are in development in the UAE: three InterContinental®, three Crowne Plaza® (its main business property), one Holiday Inn®, two Staybridge Suites®, and two Hotel Indigo® hotels. Saudi Arabia has the second largest pipeline, with one InterContinental, one Crowne Plaza, three Staybridge Suites and one Hotel Indigo.

Excellent functionality and quality for the best in personal hygiene It is hard to imagine something that contributes more to our well-being than personal hygiene. This is why GROHE makes products that help users maintain the very highest standards in this respect. The new Tempesta-F Trigger Spray 30 (Shattaf) is designed and engineered to be a best-in-class device when it comes to targeted cleaning. The trigger control on the back of the shower head allows activating and suspending the spray action as desired. This latest addition to the globally popular range of Tempesta showers combines a modern look with innovative technologies and reliable quality.

Pascal GauvinCOO IMEA - IHG

Al Khoory Hotels to open 1,100 three and four-star rooms by 2019 As the Dubai hotel market becomes ever more competitive, a new wave of affordable properties, such as the Dubaibased three and four star Al Khoory Hotels, is giving targeted groups of visitors the facilities they want, coupled with exceptional value. In addition to existing properties such as the Al Khoory Hotel Apartments in Al Barsha and Al Khoory Executive Hotel in Al Wasl, which are predominantly aimed at both leisure and business travellers; Al Khoory

Hotels launched their latest mid-market proposition at ATM, starting with the 227room Al Khoory Atrium Hotel Al Barsha, which is set to open in July 2016. They also talked about plans to open the 69-room Al Khoory Inn Bur Dubai by 2017, the 370-room Al Khoory Plaza Hotel Diera, as well as the 99room Al Khoory Central Hotel, and 159-room Al Khoory Courtyard Hotel – both set to open in Al

Quoz in 2019. The company is also poised to implement regional expansion plans in Oman, including one property in Muscat and two in Sohar.

may/june 2016 13


Oman Tourism announces strategy to double international visitor numbers by 2040 The Ministry of Tourism, Oman, plans to more than double the number of international visitors the Sultanate attracts over the next two decades as part of its new national 2040 Tourism Strategy. By 2040 the country wants to attract over five million international visitors to this unique tourism destination in the Gulf, in addition to the same-day visitors and domestic tourists, making the tourism business one of the most significant in the Sultanate,

generating over six per cent of annual GDP. The Ministry has also revealed that its growth strategy for the tourism sector is going to be based upon an innovative ‘cluster’ approach that will create a series of unique tourism experiences in different areas of Oman, reflecting local culture and heritage. Under the new strategy the tourism sector is predicted to employ over 500,000 people, with an estimated 75 per cent of those being Omani nationals.

Diving in Oman

Maldives to invest in future of tourism Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation returned this year to Arabian Travel Market 2016 with a focus on increasing its tourism popularity and future plans to invest in the country’s infrastructure. “As a year round holiday destination, the Maldives has established itself as a premier destination for luxury travel,”said Hon Moosa Zameer, Minister of Tourism of Maldives, adding,“Tourism in any destination flourishes with investment in infrastructure facilities for its tourists. Our investment plans include expansion of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, with further investments in pipeline to increase the bed capacity. Much attention is also being paid to sustainable tourism and renewable energy in the Maldives. The Green Resort Award is again being used as a means of inspiring the providers of tourism facilities to commit to a greener lifestyle.” The ME remains one of the emerging markets for Maldives with a total share of 3.4 per cent.

14 may/june 2016

Salim Al Mamari, Director General of Tourism Promotion, Oman

Kerzner International announces departure of its CEO Kerzner International Holdings Limited has announced that Alan Leibman will step down as Chief Executive Officer, a position he has held since 2012. His Excellency Mohammed Al Shaibani, Executive Director and CEO of Investment Corporation of Dubai, and Chairman of Kerzner International Holdings, said,“On behalf of the Board and all my colleagues, I would like to express my thanks to Alan for his commitment and hard work, and our appreciation of his dynamic leadership and untiring management while at the helm at Kerzner.”Commented Leibman,“I am incredibly proud of all that has been accomplished at Kerzner International over the last 23 years. I am honoured to have worked with an amazing team that would always rise to meet every challenge, an incredibly supportive Board of Directors, and world-class partners.”


Dusit plans to double its portfolio Dusit International asserted its position as one of Asia’s leading hospitality groups at ATM, in the presence of newly appointed COO Lim Boon Kwee, senior executives from Dusit’s corporate office, as well as representatives from its Middle Eastern and international properties. With 29 properties in operation across four brands in four continents, the group is in a growth phase that will see the number of Dusit properties reach 70 within the next four to five years. Over 40 projects are confirmed in the pipeline, including in the GCC region, South East Asia, China, subSaharan Africa and more. Recent openings include the Dusit Thani Guam (July 2015), the tallest building on the island, and the newest build on the US territory since 1999. Last year also saw the launch of the Dusit Thani Krabi Beach Resort, located on a secluded stretch of beautiful Klong Muang Beach on the west coast of Thailand. Scheduled to open in July 2016 is the dusitD2 Kenz Dubai, an upscale hotel from the company’s chic and contemporary brand and the first D2 to launch in the UAE.

David Harb appointed Executive Assistant Manager of Grand Hyatt Dubai Hyatt Hotels Corporations has named David Harb as Executive Assistant Manager of Grand Hyatt Dubai, promoting him from his previous position of Executive Assistant Manager F&B of Hyatt Regency Dubai. David will report directly to the General Manager, Fathi Khogaly, and will be in charge of hotel’s general operations. David, a graduate in Hospitality Management, started his career with Hyatt in 2002, when he joined Hyatt Regency New Orleans in Louisiana as Assistant F&B Manager. He was also the Director of Food and Beverage at the Hyatt Lodge in Chicago, where he served for two years before being named Area Director of Food and Beverage for Grand Hyatt Seattle and Hyatt @ Olive 8. In 2012, David joined Hyatt Regency Dubai as Director of Food and Beverage and in February 2016 he was appointed Executive Assistant Manager Food and Beverage.

UAE’s Best Concierge revealed at 63rd Les Clefs D’or Uich International Congress Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing presented the ‘UAE Concierge of the Year’ award to Harsha Mannapperuma, a concierge at Jumeirah Emirates Towers, during the closing ceremony gala of the 63rd Les Clefs d’Or UICH International Congress. Selected from over 147 nominees from 49 participating Dubaibased hotels, Mannapperuma accepted the coveted award from Ibrahim Yaqoot, Executive Director, Corporate Support Division at Dubai Tourism, during the event held at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai.

The decision-making process was a long one, with contestants marked on their performance during mystery shopping sessions, in addition to an extensive quiz to test their knowledge. After passing the preliminary stages, finalists had to prepare a presentation for an independent jury of international concierge experts. Winners of the competition’s other categories include: Edmund Jao from The Address Dubai Mall for First Class Customer Care; Brian Tevez from Jumeirah Mina A’salam for Outstanding Knowledge of Culture &

Heritage; Ela Lanzanas from Fairmont Dubai for Outstanding Knowledge of Attractions & Events; and Loek Marlonov from Jumeirah Beach Hotel for Outstanding Knowledge of Shopping in Dubai. The winners list was rounded up by Special Jury Award winner Maria Christina Espiritu from Atlantis, the Palm, Outstanding Emirati Concierge Harib Ali Mohamed from Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and Best Head Concierge Felix Owino from Jumeirah Emirates Towers, with the team from Jumeirah Mina A’salam bagging the Best Concierge Team award.

may/june 2016 15


Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts gears up for 2022 Football World Cup Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts will operate its third property in Doha - a strategic move that will capitalise on Qatar’s status as a world-class sports hub and host of the 2022 Football World Cup. The upscale 139-room Mövenpick Hotel Al Aziziyah Doha, located in the city’s internationallyrenowned Aspire Zone, also known as Doha Sports City, opened its doors on May 1st, 2016, taking over the luxurious Victorianstyle building currently occupied by Grand Heritage Hotel Doha. Mövenpick Hotel Al Aziziyah Doha will not only be well-placed to host top-ranking international sports teams, with Aspire playing a critical role in the run up to the World Cup, but will also cater to corporate groups staging events at the nearby Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), now considered a regional hub for meetings and events. The group has also revealed plans to open its first hotel and apartment property in Jeddah in 2017 in a bid to meet strong demand

Mövenpick Hotel Al Aziziyah Doha

for branded extended-stay accommodation in Saudi Arabia’s booming seaport city. The Swiss hospitality firm has signed an agreement with prominent real estate and investment company, Hadia Abdul Latif Jameel Group, to manage the 164-unit Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Al Tahlia Jeddah, which will command a sought-after location on Hail Street, close to Jeddah’s major com-

mercial, financial, consular and shopping districts. With the modern-day corporate traveller in mind, the property, part of a high-profile mixed-use development, features predominantly suites, an all-day-dining outlet, a casual fine-food Indian restaurant, a gym with two spa treatment rooms, and four meeting rooms.

From left: Living Room of Royal Suite, Hotel Lobby, Victoria Tea Lounge.

AHIC provides a platform for Emirati youth The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) had a special addition this year - a very special forum, supported by the Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation the Dubai Government Department responsible for Emirati youths who have lost one or both parents. AHIC teamed up with Ròya International’s founder Ahmed Ramdan, the Glion Institute of Higher Education (GIHE) and Les Roches International School of Hotel Management (LRB) to encourage and

16 may/june 2016

nurture Emirati talent in the hospitality industry. Choosing his career at a time shortly after the UAE had just been formed, Ahmed Ramdan, bucked the trend for young Emiratis seeking professions in engineering, law or medicine and decided to embark on a career in hospitality when there were only four major hotels in Dubai. He eventually formed his own company, Ròya International, which is now one of the most recognised hospitality advisory

firms in the GCC. He said,“Here in the UAE, particularly Dubai, the importance of hospitality is clear and growing. The hotel and tourism sector plus the airline industry account for a very significant percentage of our GDP.” The forum had a tailored programme of activities and talks to engage the young Emiratis, and raise awareness of the varied hospitality management careers that are available, including information on career training paths and scholarships.


Discover the charm of an exclusive urban resort at The Address Boulevard Dubai All of 72 storeys, and at an impressive height of 368 metres, The Address Boulevard Dubai is set to welcome its first guests later this year. Emaar Hospitality Group is expanding the portfolio of The Address Hotels + Resorts with the new property. The exclusive urban resort will also wear the pride of being the second tallest building in the 500-acre neighbourhood, next only to Burj Khalifa, the global icon. It will also be the 33rd tallest building in the world. A curvilinear tower, another fantastic celebration of the architectural elegance that defines every Address property, will be another proud declaration of Emaar Hospitality Group’s distinctive competency in managing mixed-use developments. The tower will be home to The Address Boulevard Dubai hotel, and The Address Residences Boulevard Dubai, a premium collection of branded serviced residences.

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Famed St Regis brand makes its debut in Malaysia St Regis Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Inc, is setting new standards of luxury and service in Malaysia, with the debut of two new hotels in the increasingly popular South East Asian destination. The brand’s first Malaysian location, on the idyllic Langkawi islands, accepted its first guests in April, while a destination in the heart of the capital, dynamic Kuala Lumpur, opened on May 1st. Malaysia’s appeal as a destination for international tourism has increased significantly in recent years, arrivals in the country rising from around 15.7 million in 2004 to almost 27.5 million in 2014, according to government tourism statistics. With its arrival in two of the country’s most desirable destinations, The St. Regis name will redefine luxury in Malaysia.

Kuzu Group appoints Jumeirah Group to operate luxury hotel and private residences Turkey’s Kuzu Group has appointed the Jumeirah Group to operate a mixed-use development in the Ataköy district of Istanbul, Turkey. The USD 450 million (AED 1652827500) Sea Pearl development, which is anticipated to open in 2019, will include a luxury 202-room Jumeirah hotel and 62 private residences managed under the Jumeirah brand. The developer, Kuzu Group, is wellestablished in Turkey, and has already completed a number of highend developments, with a special focus on large-scale residential projects. The 202 key hotel and 62 residential units located within the Sea Pearl Ataköy development are scheduled to open by 2019.

18 may/june 2016


Ministry of Tourism to showcase Oman as MICE destination at IMEX Frankfurt The Ministry of Tourism, Oman, represented by Her Excellency, the Undersecretary Maitha Al Mahrouqi, participated in IMEX 2016, one of the leading trade fairs for the MICE sector globally, held in Frankfurt, Germany. The exhibition provided the Ministry with a platform to showcase the Sultanate

as an ideal MICE destination, and talk about the important services offered, in addition to promoting the upcoming projects in the sector. The highlight of the participation was the establishment of the Oman Convention Bureau, to spearhead all MICE-related activities

Qatar Airways showcased unique airline experience at ATM Qatar Airways brought its unique offering to the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), showcasing the award-winning service and hospitality that the airline is renowned for, making memorable experiences for passengers world-wide. At its stateof-the-art exhibition stand, Qatar Airways gave visitors a premier experience in its A380 First Class cabin, which takes luxury travel to new heights. The cabin, featuring ultra-wide seats, privacy dividers and the flexibility to convert the space into a fully flat bed or extend a table to invite a guest to dine with them, provides travellers a haven of tranquillity and relaxation while cruising at Mach 0.85 for

and products in the tourism sector. Under the leadership of Khalid Al Zadjali, Director of the Oman Convention Bureau, the organisation will work as a specialised team to enhance the sector, regulate the processes, and maintain a healthy atmosphere that supports all organisations working in the sector to host events.

UAE becomes the global leader in Smart Hospitality UAE hotels are among the global leaders in Smart Hospitality solutions, as Dubai and Abu Dhabi are set to top 110,000 hotel rooms in 2017, according to the experts at ATM. Driven by new tourism and hospitality offerings, and government initiatives such as Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 and Dubai Plan 2021, the number of combined hotel rooms in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are set to grow by nearly 30 per cent from 87,800 in 2015 to 113,100 by 2017, according to a recent report by JLL MENA. Dubai’s tourists are set to nearly double from 14.2 million in 2015 to 25 million in 2020. Enhancing the guest experience, UAE hotels are deploying a wide range of Smart Hospitality solutions, including in-room climate control and broadcast, back-end operations such as check-in kiosks and loyalty programs, and physical and

cyber security. Using Smart Hospitality solutions, hotels can also enhance their operational efficiency, drive return visits, and support new business with a range of mobile-based solutions.

Savita Bhaskar CEO Condo Portega

may/june 2016 19


Owner Interview

Taking it to the 20 May/june 2016


Owner INTERVIEW

Jagat Shah, CEO, Mitsumi Group, talks to TH about growth plans for the conglomerate, and the industries that are expected to be most lucrative in the next few years

How has Mitsumi evolved as a company since it began operations? In 1996, we formed Mitsumi Group in Nairobi, Kenya, to bring appropriate and affordable technologies to Africa and the Middle East. Now, 20 years on, we are a leading group, having diversified into several businesses, including IT, hospitality, real estate, textiles, trading and construction in Africa, United Arab Emirates, and India. Mitsumi Group is a conglomerate that operates in 10 countries, with a workforce of over 300 employees. Owning Africa’s largest IT, CE and Telco Distribution Company, Mitsumi Distribution FZCO, with the annual turnover of USD 480 million (AED 1763016000) in 2015. Mitsumi truly values its customers, and strives to provide an exceptional experience every time. Mitsumi operates across the globe with branches in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, India and United Arab Emirates. What is the company’s vision for the next few years? In the next few years, IT Distribution and Hospitality will be Mitsumi’s core business entities. The Mitsumi group is planning to open five luxurious hotels in Kenya and Dubai. We will share the exciting news shortly. In IT distribution, Mitsumi group will streamline its IT vendors, and in hospitality and real estate, as I said, we will may/june 2016 21


Owner Interview

Restaurant

Jagat Shah, CEO, Mitsumi Group

have five hotels. We just built a stateof-the-art 12-floor office building, MITSUMI Business Park, in the heart of Nairobi. We intend to invest heavily in these areas, with the aim to be the best in class in hospitality, IT distribution, and real estate. How is Dubai’s hosting of Expo 2020 going to impact the hospitality industry in the country? The impact on Dubai’s hospitality industry is likely to be significant. The Dubai government has calculated that up to 45,000 additional hotel rooms, added to the existing 82,000 room supply, will be required to accommodate the large number of non-UAE visitors. According to the Expo 2020 MarketView report by CBRE Global Research and Consulting, hotel supply in Dubai has reached close to 60,000 keys, with over 23,000 hotel apart22 May/june 2016

Room

We intend to invest heavily in these areas, with the aim to be the best in class in hospitality, IT distribution, and real estate

ments also operational. Dubai Expo 2020 is projected to attract 25 million visitors over a period of six months, with more than 70 per cent of these coming from outside the UAE. While Dubai already has a number of hotels, very few are close to the Dubai Expo 2020 site, and currently, few focus on the important mid-range sector. An array of hotel construction projects are, therefore, expected to be launched, near or close to the Dubai Expo 2020 site, as well as in other parts of the city, which, once completed, will double the number of available hotel rooms in Dubai. The total investment in hotel capacity required by 2020 is estimated to be USD 7.2 billion (AED 264 billion). Mitsumi group planning to open its first luxury hotel in Dubai before Expo 2020. On what criteria will you select an

operator or management company? Selecting the right hotel management company is one of the most important decisions a hotel owner can make. The financial implications are significant and wide-ranging. The selection process is a complex equation, as there are numerous factors that should be considered to ensure the right fit. When it comes to management agreements, brands have a lot of power to unilaterally impose changes in standards that all system hotels must meet. Mitsumi will be looking for a brand, and we will consider the following points before making the choice: * How many hotels does the company currently operate * Does the management company operate competing hotels in the same zone? * Length of agreement


Owner INTERVIEW

Golden Tulip Westlands Nairobi

* Procedures for extending or terminating contract * Contract terms in event of the hotel’s sale * Is the base fee to be applied? * Loyalty programmes At what stage in hotel development do you bring the management company on board and what are the benefits of this strategy? Golden Tulip, a well-known, reputed international brand in the hospitality industry, is self-content with operations, marketing and a technical team. Thus, understanding their expertise, we engaged them from inception, in order to ensure there are no faults as far as fire and safety measures are concerned. Plumbing and electrical furnishing have been compiled considering the international traveller’s need. Golden Tulip, being an international brand, has their own specification for

the hotels being developed under their banner. Engaging them from the beginning really helped us to develop the hotel with minimum cost under the expert guidance of their technical team. Louvre Hotels Group is a major player in the global hotel industry, with over 1,150 hotels for a total capacity of more than 100,000 guest rooms in 50 countries. It operates a complete portfolio of six brands, ranging from one to five stars: Première Classe, Campanile, Kyriad, Tulip Inn, Golden Tulip and Royal Tulip. Louvre Hotels Group is owned by Jin Jiang International Holdings Co Ltd, one of China’s leading travel and tourism conglomerates. They have a very strong marketing network and strong operations team, rendering tough training to the staff for the comfort of the guests.

According to the Expo 2020 MarketView report by CBRE Global Research and Consulting, hotel supply in Dubai has reached close to 60,000 keys, with over 23,000 hotel apartments also operational

If the management company is involved from the development phase, what role does it play in the development/design of the hotel? The technical team of Golden Tulip, having been involved from the development phase, helped us to develop our hotel as per their specifications with minimum stresses. All associated contractors and technical teams were channelled very professionally, and they also supported us in the procurement of electrical, plumbing and construction materials. Golden Tulip is organised with their prerequisites and their concepts are very precise, thus we didn’t have to waste our time looking for suppliers for the kitchen equipment, laundry equipment, housekeeping materials, etc. They contributed in setting up all the outlets of our hotel as well, which can now compete with any international hotel. may/june 2016 23


coveR story

The Beginning of a NEW JOURNEY HORECA Trade, the leading foodservice partner in the UAE, has joined hands with Perrier! - The French natural sparkling mineral water Famous for its elegantly-shaped green bottle, Perrier is the ultimate refreshment to quench all thirsts. It is in fact an extraordinary addition to HORECA Trade’s beverage portfolio. Raise a glass to natural refreshment!

800 3210 | telesales@horecatrade.ae | www.horecatrade.com 24 May/june 2016


Digital gold All hotels have a lot of information about guests that stay with them … this data can be used in many ways to bring back the customer. Why is this information not being used to brign optimum value to hotels? Mansi Bhatnagar, Managing Director at HVS Marketing Communications (HVS MC) opines

L

et’s start with a story. It is about a man who inherits a copious reserve of gold right beside his house. He sometimes finds some gold dust scattered above the ground. So, this man does a strange thing – he collects the gold dust, sells it and earns enough money to buy a few small luxuries, like a new TV, for which he feels extremely lucky! You must think that this man is blind! However, if you knew him, you would probably pity him or laugh at him. If there is gold dust that’s surfacing from the ground, one can only imagine the amount of riches under! All he needs to do is mine it, and become the richest man with an un-

limited source of wealth! But, would you ever fathom that this person could be you? What if I were to tell you that you may very well be the blind one; that you may be the man who looks at the gold dust and is simply happy to gain profit, however little, from it? As hoteliers, we probably have more data today about our guests than Amazon did when they were trying to become the giants that they are at present. If only we hoteliers had the foresight to mine this massive amount of data and use it smartly for revenue generation – we would be the Amazon of the hospitality industry. In fact, after the spouse and Google, we are probably the third to

As hoteliers, we probably have more data today about our guests than Amazon did when they were trying to become the giants that they are at present. If only we hoteliers had the foresight to mine this massive amount of data and use it smartly for revenue generation

May/june 2016 25


coveR story

really know our guests. Sometimes, we even know more about their eccentricities that the other two might be aware of. Still not convinced? Consider this – What is it about a customer that we, as hoteliers, don’t know? We know what he is called, where he lives, how old he is, how often he travels, what he likes to eat and when, what he likes to drink, how he likes his coffee, if he needs an alarm to wake him up, what kind of bed he likes, his favourite mode of transport, whether he gets upsold easily (this last one can come in so handy, isn’t it?). The list can go on and on… Just sprinkle basic data enrichment and connect social information to what we already know, and all of a sudden we’ve opened a whole new Pandora ’s Box (the good variety!)… from then on there is literally no limit. Now maybe we agree, maybe we give a small nod, but the next obvious 26 May/june 2016

question remains – how and where to start? Every story has a beginning, so let’s just start from there! Study your data first. Some obvious insights will pop out. Mostly it will be guests who came once but never booked again, repeat frequency, channel loyalty, F&B visits, etc. These are obvious commonalities that will be easily visible to any hotelier. The upsell, crosssell and repeat revenue is all hidden in this data, so let’s continue with this. Next, bring in your brand and communication. Make it a story that connects with the guest, speaks their language and not that of the hotel. Ask yourself, what will make the customer inter-

Study your data first. Some obvious insights will pop out. Mostly it will be guests who came once but never booked again, repeat frequency, channel loyalty, F&B visits, etc. These are obvious commonalities that will be easily visible to any hotelier

ested in my hotel, my brand. What’s in it for him? Go beyond plain discounts. Anyone can outbid a discount. Sell the experience that is in store for guest and leverage your unique positioning. Then use the magic of digital by adding a touch of personalisation in all guest interfacing communication. Start with the name. Did you know that 99 per cent of email communication is not personalised? Be the one per cent that stands out! Now, comes the magic of marketing and communication automation. Marketing works only if it integrated. Silos in communication is so 2015! In 2016, communication needs to be consistent, seamless, real time and highly personalised across platforms – offline and online. Marketing automation takes the whole process of continuous communication across various mediums in its various flows and puts it in an algorithm (IF this, then THAT) that runs it automatically. And the best thing about automation


cover story

is that you don’t need a large marketing team either! The best campaigns can be handled by one capable person in the corporate office working with a competent digital agency. So, invest in good brains within your team and ensure that the agency understand the hospitality industry and can give a strategic, consistent marketing integrated support across channels of communication. All of this will take barely a quarter of the dedicated effort. See the revenue, which is the whole aim, jump up by a few percentage points. Reap the benefits for the rest of the year and beyond – Pure profit! The good news is that this is just the beginning. And what you have in-

vested in above, is all that you need to scale up to your ambition of becoming the Amazon of hospitality. What’s next? Create a customer life cycle model and map out the various guest touch points. Start connecting the dots and create more. After that, start in depth personalisation across all touch points including offline. Enable technology including IoT (internet of things) with your ground staff, connect them to a grid and prompt them to say different things to different guests. We love being recognised and pampered. I am hoping that you now get the idea of how we can start mining the hospitality gold quarry. -www.hvs.com

Now, comes the magic of marketing and communication automation. Marketing works only if it integrated. Silos in communication is so 2015! In 2016, communication needs to be consistent, seamless, real time and highly personalised across platforms – offline and online

May/june 2016 27


F&B

Food

cost control

28 May/june 2016


F&B

Peter Dukas, former Florida State University hotel school Professor and author of How to Operate a Restaurant, provides a concise list of things to think about to effectively manage food cost. Kirby D. Payne, President, HVS Asset Management who studied at FSU says this list is comprehensive, concise and relevant even today

A

fter I returned from Viet Nam in 1971 I completed my senior year of college at the hotel school of Florida State University. The Chair of the department was Peter Dukas who taught a class on food & beverage management which used a text book he had authored called,“How To Operate A Restaurant”. Long ago, I loaned the book out and never got it back so I can’t quote him exactly. Professor Dukas used to love to make us memorise lists. Through the prism of over 44 years, I still remember his favourite list, seven steps to food cost control. Over the years I have used that mental checklist and adapted from it but it remains applicable today. 1. ORDERING – The first step is to order right. This means having detailed recipes, preparing purchasing specifications, doing comparative shopping based on those specifications, and comparing quality, price and service, etc. Oh yes, and don’t order too early in order to avoid spoilage, wasted storage space and lost interest on your money. Don’t order too late, so premium costs and delivery charges accrue. Professor Dukas also stressed that standing orders were a bad habit. 2. RECEIVING – The fundamentals are obvious: count; weigh; inspect for condition and quality; verify against the purchase order; keep the receiving area clean and uncluttered; limit access to the receiving area; train the person receiving and make him or her responsible. Get credit memos from the delivery driver.

3. STORING – Is the method and place of storage for the various items appropriate for the item? Is it secure from pilferage? Are the shelves strong enough for the product, allowing air circulation and are they easy to clean? Are all items stored at a temperature appropriate for that product? Are items dated (with year, in some cases) and priced? Is the storage area orderly and clean? Consider labeling shelves noting stocking quantities. 4. ISSUING – What process is issuing based on? Who has access or authority to issue or take things from the secured store rooms and walk-ins? Are issues being made in appropriate quantities and at appropriate times? Is there a rationale behind the volume or par stocks and are these reviewed periodically? Are issues being accounted for? Is a perpetual inventory or sign out sheet designed specifically for your operation or a particular store room in use? 5. PREPARATION – Apologies are necessary to any omissions in this category because it has been a long time since I worked in a kitchen regularly. Phrases that come to mind include: trim properly; use trimmings for stock pots and other recipes if possible. Proper tools, sharp knives, clean and neat working area, work space that make sense for the preparation to eliminate wasted time and steps, enforcing a policy of following recipes, and having photos of finished products available and used regularly are also critical. Enough said, as I suspect my readers know a lot more than I do about this!

Are the shelves strong enough for the product, allowing air circulation and are they easy to clean? Are all items stored at a temperature appropriate for that product? Are items dated (with year, in some cases) and priced?

6. COOKING – Various considerations here, again my readers know more than I. Proper temperatures, proper cooking times, following recipes carefully, using photographs of finished products, correct size, material, and type of utensils and cookware, clean work area. 7. SERVING – Serving is not only about portion control, it is also about decisions made regarding portion size and presentation. With a buffet, it is obvious. Proper serving utensils, proper holding/serving equipment, right presentation order, plate sizes, etc. The discipline needed for these elements isn’t easy to enforce, especially in tight labor markets. Dining room service should be easy to control using good kitchen supervisors, trained cooks, photographs for both cooks and servers, etc. Watch what comes back from bused tables to see if portions are proper. Marketing decisions may drive large portions but if the patrons are not eating it or taking it home, the portion size or the recipe should be reconsidered. Proper china for each item served is important for both presentation and portion control. Work hard on your cost controls and be consistent about them. Two other elements of controlling food cost cover all seven categories: tools and training. Give your staff the ability, knowledge, resources, and confidence to do their jobs properly and to your specifications. Inconsistency and failure to enforce procedures will drive costs skyward. Failure here is truly throwing money away. -www.hvs.com may/june 2016 29


GM Interview

Continuing to make

history TH talks to Kamal Rijhwani, Executive Assistant Manager, Radisson Blu Resort, Sharjah, about what it takes to keep a property at the top for 35 years and counting

30 May/june 2016


GM INTERVIEW

The Radisson Blu Resort, Sharjah, is quite an iconic property, with a long history. However, with so many newer properties coming up, how has the hotel managed to capture maximum business? Radisson Blu Resort, Sharjah, has been an international chain as a fivestar resort on the beach since almost 35 years. The resort itself is a landmark in Sharjah. Competition is a part of the game, the one with the best strategy wins. We believe we have enjoyed the taste of being the only five-star resort on the beach in Sharjah for quite some time, and competition, ie, newer properties, have given us the boost to keep on providing the ultimate experience to our guests. The investment in hospitality in Sharjah is a sign of growth for the Emirate. This has changed the overall outlook / approach of inbound tourism in Sharjah. Radisson Blu Resort, Sharjah, is focusing on constantly providing a five-star service to our guests. This is accomplished by meeting the requests of the guests, fulfilling their needs, providing varied options in F&B, tactical offers, and adapting to technological advances. MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) have also been a driving force for us. With 10 state-of-the-art meeting rooms, including two ballrooms, we are in a strong position. Our focus has been to drive business from GCC and Asia, mainly from India. We are expecting the growth of the sector to be driven by initiatives taken by the Government, such as expansion of the airline routes by Air Arabia. Further to this, continuous efforts will be made to tap into markets such as other Middle East markets, Europe East and North, India, and China for the leisure market. may/june 2016 31


GM Interview

Palm meeting room

four restaurants serving International cuisines.

What is the difference in the experience for the business guest and the leisure guest at the hotel? Experiences vary for both business and leisure travellers. Business travellers mostly desire high speed internet and state-of-the-art business centres. Leisure travellers, on the other hand, want to be pampered with a spa, beach, pools, fitness centres, and lots more. In our resort, the difference is minimal. We have all the services and facilities that can provide maximum satisfaction to both our guests. We provide complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, business centre services, 24-hour room service, One Touch App, state-of-the-art fitness centre (a mixed gym and a ladies-only centre), four temperature-controlled pools, private beach, floodlit tennis courts, spa, sauna and 32 May/june 2016

We are expecting the growth of the sector to be driven by initiatives taken by the Government, such as expansion of the airline routes by Air Arabia

How much are your F&B outlets contributing to the overall earnings? What are the new initiatives in place when it comes to promoting a different experience at The Radisson Blu, Sharjah, whether for business or otherwise? Radisson Blu Resort, Sharjah, has three restaurants in-house and one outsourced. The main restaurant, Café at the Falls, serves buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with à la carte menus for lunch and dinner. The Chillout Café, which is popular amongst the residents, is open 24 hours, and is a perfect spot to work while indulging in a delicious cup of coffee. The Calypso, a pool bar, offers an international à la carte menu, and is a perfect spot to unwind. With our restaurants offering different cuisines, the F&B contributes approximately 25 per cent of the revenue. The figure varies as per the occupancy. We have also recently introduced two exciting theme nights - on Thursday, the chef has given a fresh perspective to seafood, and Fridays sees the introduction of classic Indian dishes. How much of the hotel’s earning are through meetings, conferences and events? This (Mar-Apr) is a busy time for the industry – how is the property poised to stay on top of the competition? The property has two ballrooms and eight wide-ranging conference rooms – making the resort well-equipped to

host any event, from formal business meetings to galas, seminars, press conferences, birthdays, weddings and more. The hotel’s two ballrooms can jointly host up to 800 guests in a private venue that features separate entrances and foyers with a private elevator. Also, the outdoor palm garden with picture perfect sea views can accommodate up to 1,000 guests. With 10 meeting rooms, we offer flexible facilities to the customer, which is vital. Further, keeping up with technology plays a major role. Our One Touch app fulfils this requirement of providing all the event information on the client’s finger tips. Last year, the meeting rooms contributed to approximately 19 per cent of the earnings. Tell us a little about weddings. Is that something the resort focusses on? At the Radisson Blu Resort, Sharjah, we promise the bride and groom a romantic story, which they can share with their loved ones. From our side, we let the family relax with a promise that we will provide them with utmost support and care. Being a 35-year-old property, we have years of experience in assisting brides and grooms with a tailor-made menu, decorations, flowers, custom wedding cakes, sound and light, and entertainment. We offer two magnificent ballrooms, a wide variety of menu items to choose from, two parking areas for your guests with two separate entrances, a complimentary wedding


GM INTERVIEW

Habiba Ballroom

Mubarakia Ballroom Arabian Suite

cake, a staff of highly-trained and experienced personnel to serve, and a bridal suite for one evening. How have occupancy rates in your hotel changed from the time the hotel opened? What is the optimal occupancy percentage at the hotel in which the guest experience is not compromised? We have held a good percentage of the market share since we were the only five-star resort on the beach. The previous year was challenging, but we still maintained our optimal occupancy rate of 70 – 80 per cent all year round, regardless of a reduction in AHR. How have you managed to cut the fat in terms of spending without altering the guest experience from the time the property opened till date? It is important for us to reduce costs and eliminate waste, which benefits the society, planet, and enhances customer experience. Taking responsibility for the environment and local community has

been an important part of the broader commitment of the Rezidor Hotel Group to sustainable development for many years. We, Radisson Blu Resort in Sharjah, emphasise on using energy efficient light bulbs everywhere; recycling aluminium cans, bottles and paper. Our kitchen maintains an orchard that provides tomatoes, mangoes, papayas, oranges, lemons, curry leaves, sugar cane, and winter herbs, such as rosemary, basil and chives. The resort uses grey-water recycling tanks to irrigate its gardens and capture backwash water from the swimming pools, which is collected and used for washing the resort’s vehicles. Lastly, we encourage guests to participate with us by conserving water and limit the use of chemical detergents by rehanging the towels on the rack to reuse. Tell us about your team. What are challenges you face in terms of the people that work with you in making the hotel a success every day? The team can eit her make or break a

We have also recently introduced two exciting theme nights - on Thursday, the chef has given a fresh perspective to seafood, and Fridays sees the introduction of classic Indian dishes

company. However, we have been fortunate to have an incredible team with us. Our team includes experienced people who have been with the hotel since the opening, and a young team of highly talented people to support the leadership team. This clearly emphasises that we do not focus only on hiring, but also give importance on training and motivating employees, as they are the ones providing an ultimate experience for our guests. How is the hotel being promoted in other parts of the world? Internationally, which market do you think is your biggest target audience? The main promotional tool used by us is participating in international exhibitions, road shows, sales missions, and working alongside travel agencies. Russia has been our biggest target audience; however, we are diversifying now to tap into the GCC, Europe, East and North, India and China. may/june 2016 33


Supplier focus

• Atlantis • The Pal Hotel • Fairmont Sheraton Hotel • M • Al Manazell Hot Hotels • The Addres • Sky Central Hotel Rotana Hotel • Saa Ajman One Ho

Laying it

all out

New hotels mean new requirements for tiles, bath ware and kitchen equipment. TH talks to Abdallah Massaad, Group CEO of RAK Ceramics, about keeping up with this demand

Bijou Bar Radisson Blu Heathrow London 34 May/june 2016


Supplier focus

lm • Burj Al Arab • Emirates Palace • Grand Hyatt • Hilton Hotels • Media Rotana • Ibis • Bvlgari Hotel tel • Marina Arcade Hotel • Rove ss Boulevard Hotel • Oceana Hotel el • Marina Arcade Hotel Saadiyat adiyat Resort • Hard Rock Hotel • otel • Radisson Blu Heathrow

W

ith increased tourism, the hospitality sector is growing steadily across the UAE, and the demand for tiles, bath ware and kitchen equipment are growing alongside this. Real estate consultancy JLL predicts that the number of hotel rooms in Abu Dhabi will increase by 260 per cent from 2015 to 2016, and by 252 per cent in Dubai due to megaevents such as Expo 2020. Meanwhile, in Ras Al Khaimah, the RAK Tourism Authority anticipates that 20,000 hotel rooms will need to be added by 2025 to accommodate leisure and business travellers.“These projections are encouraging, and a sign that demand for our products in tiles, sanitary ware and faucets will only increase,” smiles Abdallah Massaad, Group CEO of RAK Ceramics. With increased tourism, the hospi-

tality sector is growing steadily across the UAE, and the demand for tiles, bath ware and kitchen equipment are growing alongside this. Real estate consultancy JLL predicts that the number of hotel rooms in Abu Dhabi will increase by 260 per cent from 2015 to 2016, and by 252 per cent in Dubai due to mega-events such as Expo 2020. Meanwhile, in Ras Al Khaimah, the RAK Tourism Authority anticipates that 20,000 hotel rooms will need to be added by 2025 to accommodate leisure and business travellers.“These projections are encouraging, and a sign that demand for our products in tiles, sanitary ware and faucets will only increase,” smiles Abdallah Massaad, Group CEO of RAK Ceramics. The UAE has gained recognition as both a business and tourism destination worldwide. In the process, the hospitality industry has grown tremendously, both in terms of size,

and in the wide choice available for travellers, ranging from budget and mid-range stays, to luxury underwater suites. Upcoming mega-events such as Expo 2020 will drive sustained growth in the hospitality sector, and in turn, support the growth of tiles, bath ware and kitchen equipment. In Dubai alone, hotel rooms are expected to reach 100,000 by 2020, up from 67,100 in 2015. But the demand is not just for quantity – quality also counts.“Nature inspired designs that combine simplicity with luxury have become increasingly popular in the hospitality industry. The most sought-after tiles in our collections resemble natural stone, marble or wood, and appeal to architects and designers looking to create bathrooms that are tranquil and serene spaces, intended to promote relaxation. Larger tiles with a glossy finish make spaces feel larger, providing a feeling of may/June 2016 35


Supplier focus

RAK Ceramics Factories

luxury, while wood-effect tiles provide an intimate, rustic ambiance. RAK Ceramic ranges, such as Alca Stone and Lakari Collection, offer customers a selection of large and glossy marble tiles in muted tones of white, gray and other light tones to create a sophisticated look,” he says. RAK Ceramics’ Wood Art Collection is an exquisite range of tiles with the look and feel of real wood, but without the maintenance. It is available in a wide range of designs and colours, and these highly durable tiles are almost impossible to stain or scratch, are fire-resistant, termite-resistant, water resistant, and very easy to maintain, making them ideal for use in the hospitality industry. “We’re also seeing increased demand for extra large slabs, which make spaces appear bigger and brighter. RAK Ceramics was the first manufacturer in the GCC to introduce Maximus Mega Slab. This giant sized 135x305 cms slab can be used on walls, floors and façades, or to create kitchen or bathroom surfaces. The large size of Maximus reduces the need for grout lines, giving a seamless look to spaces. 36 May/june 2016

The most sought-after tiles in our collections resemble natural stone, marble or wood, and appeal to architects and designers looking to create bathrooms that are tranquil and serene spaces, intended to promote relaxation

Abdallah Massaad, Group CEO, RAK Ceramics


Supplier focus

Maximus Mega Slab is RAK Ceramics’ most versatile product yet, and is opening up new markets for us, replacing traditional granite and stone,”he explains proudly. RAK Ceramics is known for its wide product range, and their ability to produce bespoke ranges for both small and large scale projects, enabling their clients to bring their ideas to life. “Technology and innovation are at the heart of our philosophy, and we have continuously led the way in terms of product innovation. Our manufacturing plants are equipped with stateof-the-art technology, allowing us to produce high quality pieces with a consistently impeccable finish. This continuous investment into new technologies also means that we are able to consistently produce our products on a large scale,” statws Massaad. The Middle East region, specifically the GCC, is known for having one of the fastest hotel growth rates in the world. And since building materials are an essential part of construction, RAK Ceramics is there to capitalise on this opportunity. RAK Ceramics is already a preferred partner for several luxury five-star international hospitality chains. Some of their current projects include:

Bijou Bar Radisson Blu Heathrow London

Mercer Street Hotel London, Lobby

Waldorf Astoria RAK Bathroom Interior

Mercer Street Hotel London, Dining

Dubai: • Al Manazell Hotel • Rove Hotels (three Buildings) • The Address Boulevard Hotel • Oceana Hotel • Sky Central Hotel • Marina Arcade Hotel • Bvlgari Hotel

Abu Dhabi • Saadiyat Resort • Saadiyat Rotana Hotel • Hard Rock Hotel

Northern Emirates: • Ajman One Hotel and Furnished Apartments Additionally, RAK Ceramics has a range of projects within the retail, healthcare and aviation space, including: • Warf Retail – Blue Water Island • Habtoor City • Habtoor Polo Club • Dubai Airports New Concourse • Sheikh Zayed Military Hospital Sharjah “In the Gulf region, where the pace of infrastructural development is high, architects and interior designers are under pressure to source materials for

Our manufacturing plants are equipped with state-of-theart technology, allowing us to produce high quality pieces with a consistently impeccable finish

multiple projects at once, often on limited budgets. As a result, they are required to find quality products at reasonable prices, and must be able to tap into strong aftersales services. These challenges differ from those of architects and interior designers in markets such as the United States and the UK, where construction projects may be fewer and farther between, and creatives have the luxury of more time and less pressure on the purse strings. RAK Ceramics understands these pressures, and was designed to cater to both the premium and mass-market segments in the Gulf region and around the world,” explains Massaad. RAK Ceramics has 25 years of ceramics’ expertise, and their products feature in some of the most iconic buildings in the world. Some of their most prominent hospitality projects include Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai; The Burj Al Arab, Dubai; Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi; The Fairmont, Dubai; The Grand Hyatt, Dubai, as well as Hilton Hotels (Dubai, Chad and Sri Lanka), Sheraton Hotel, The Media Rotana, and The Ibis (Dubai). may/June 2016 37


Hospitality Industry report

A more affordable hotel experience in the Middle East?

38 May/june 2016


Hospitality Industry report

As markets mature, midscale inventory grows, and global economic challenges persist, the notoriously pricey Middle East will become more affordable. This is according to a report entitled Insignia Trendlines, Spotlight on the Travel Industry, UAE and the Middle East by Insignia. Here is an excerpt

T

he more mature destinations of the Middle East, such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, are set to become more affordable over the next 12 months as oil prices, currency fluctuations, and burgeoning hotel supply put pressure on everything from hotel rates to air ticket prices. The consumer today is a lot more price sensitive, and also has high expectations on service and quality of food. This will force operators to either live up to the consumers’ standard, or simply go out of business. The scene has changed dramatically in the last five years or so, where consumers now have more choices than ever before. According to Bloomberg Business Week’s 2015 edition of World Hotel Index, Dubai hotels are the fourth most expensive in the world, behind only San Francisco, Geneva and Milan. However, in 2014, Dubai was second on the list, meaning it has become more affordable. Average daily rate in the emirate has fallen 6.4 per cent from US$ 273 (AED 1,002.72) to US$ 255 (AED 936.60), according to the index, and this trend is likely to continue as the authorities look to double room numbers by 2020 from 2012 numbers, while the geopolitical and economic woes of last year linger on. may/june 2016 39


Hospitality Industry report

With the high spending Russians out of the race, authorities are targeting new markets such as India and China. However, these visitors are often price-sensitive, and cannot fill the void left by the Russians in terms of spend. Meanwhile, some hoteliers are focusing on volume, so charter flights coming into Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Salalah, for example, are opportunities to fill rooms. The downside

Tourists in front of Burj al Khalifa

40 May/june 2016

Boutique hotels with 40-50 rooms or less will offer something different, but land prices should be considered. Projects in more economical areas like Deira, or within mixed-use developments will be more likely to achieve a good ROI

again, however, is that these passengers tend to be price-sensitive.

Government incentives‌ This, and the saturation of the five-star segment in Dubai has resulted in a midmarket development boom, and this is set to continue over the next three to four years, attracting visitors from all segments. Mid-market hotels are an opportunity to reduce overheads, since generally speaking, three and four-star properties are capital light to develop, with fewer F&B facilities and minimalist interiors. They

are also simple to operate and clean, and their concepts are generally easily understood from a consumer perspective. Additionally, staff numbers tend to be lower, while technology can be leveraged to provide an efficient, seamless guest experience. And while Dubai is on the threestar cusp, the market is unlikely to be a suitable environment for two-star or backpacker accommodation in the foreseeable future, since this is not a viable commercial model, given the high price of land. This year, hotel supply in Dubai will


Hospitality Industry report

increase by 20 per cent And many of the oncoming properties will be in the mid-market segment, as those looking to take advantage of the Dubai government’s incentive; a reduction in the pre-approval process, and an exemption from the 10 per cent Dubai Municipality fee, must be operational by 2017 in order to do so. An increase in the number of three and four-star properties in Dubai will put pressure on rates, as will hotels with key numbers in excess of 500, such as the 588-key Ibis One Central, which is to be part of Dubai World Trade Centre District when it opens this year. Hotels with more than 500 keys often have to offer discounts to increase occupancy, meaning competitors are forced to lower rates to compete. Those with 250–300 rooms, on the other hand, are more easily absorbed by the market and can maintain rates. Despite

the oncoming mid-market supply, it is unclear whether Dubai’s hotel market will truly diversify in the foreseeable future, given that most of the three and four-star supply that exists already is not what consumers would expect in other markets. Case in point is Ramada Downtown Dubai, which has services and standards more akin to a five-star hotel in London or New York. The introduction of high-end mid-market hotels, such as Emaar’s new Rove brand, will continue to set the bar high for incoming mid-market brands in the industry. One factor, which goes some way to explaining this, is that in Dubai, and the wider Middle East, hotels tend to be owned by private investors, who view their hotels as assets for life, and continue to reinvest in them. This is unlikely to change in the near future, and so to secure rates that would be

Independent hotels may increase in popularity as management contracts run out. However, operators must be savvy about filling rooms as the market softens. Brands still offer the best ROI because of distribution systems and marketing budgets

Serafina may/june 2016 41


Hospitality Industry report

expected from three and four-star brands elsewhere, consumers will be required to book for off-peak periods. That said, a 20 per cent increase in supply will inevitably affect yield management, and this in turn, will result in lower prices. Additionally, with most of the expensive real estate in Dubai now saturated, investors will have to look further afield to more economical areas such as Deira and Dubai South, which should also impact rates. Beyond the UAE, Qatar must look to ramp up its mid-market supply in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and to attract more MICE visitors, which is part of the country’s strategic vision for 2030. In Oman, where the marketing strategy of the tourism board still mostly caters to high-end families, the upcoming Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre will drive

View of luxurious 5 stars Hotel Atlantis

42 May/june 2016

the need for more midscale hotel supply to accommodate diverse inbound markets. Brands like Dhiaffa’s Atana and Millennium and Copthorne’s Studio M are already looking to fill the gap. In terms of F&B, restaurants are also competing for the same piece of the cake, and this is fortunate for consumers, who are looking for variety, value and affordability. To maintain market share, F&B providers should aim to be reasonable in terms of value, and focus on volume rather than resorting to two-for-one promotions, which usually result in quality being compromised.

Five-star luxury has had its day With many locations in the region now filled with five-star cookie cutter hotels, it is time for independent, boutique, lifestyle and peer-to-peer accommodation to carve out their places in the

market. Fortune favours the bold. The reason everyone knows Dream Downtown in New York (even those who have never been), is because of its glass-bottom pool, which floats directly above the lobby, offering one-of-a-kind views for both swimmers and arriving guests. While the Middle East has a number of memorable hotels, such as Dubai’s Burj Al Arab and Atlantis The Palm; Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi; Oman’s luxury eco-retreat Alila Jabal Akhdar; the buzzing W Doha; ART Rotana Hotel and Resort in Bahrain; and Makkah’s famous Clock Royal Tower, A Fairmont Hotel, many of the Middle East’s five-stars — as is the case globally — are nothing to write home about. And the key to being memorable is not necessarily a particularly good set of standard


Hospitality Industry report

operating procedures. Hoteliers must get creative with interiors, and use design and architecture to define their products in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Years ago in Thailand, Bill Heinecke de-flagged a Marriott hotel to create the Anantara brand. The Middle East, Dubai and Abu Dhabi in particular, is now approaching the same market cycle. Owners are gaining confidence in their own hospitality expertise, and with numerous operating contracts meeting their ends, some are choosing to operate under their own brands. An example of one such company is Dubai’s Juma Al Majid Group, which in the last quarter of 2015 took over the operations of Taj Palace Hotel in Deira under its own brand, Jood Hospitality.

The Grand Lobby of 5 stars Hotel Atlantis. Chihuly’s sculpture

The company is working with local consultancy Ròya International to ensure a smooth transition for the newly flagged Jood Palace Dubai. Meanwhile, Radisson Royal Hotel, which opened in Dubai in 2011, will now be operated as Nassima Royal Hotel by its owner, Kuwaiti construction firm Acico. With bank loans no longer dependent on an affiliation with an international operator, and distribution systems offset to some extent by the ubiquity of online travel agents and review sites such as TripAdvisor, brands are now better equipped than ever to go independent. Additionally, social media allows companies to gain visibility on a smaller marketing budget, and is perfect for communi-

cating a home-grown brand story. Added to this is an abundance of expat hotelier expertise in the region. However, until there is an excess of talent, working in an environment where they are willing to take the risk of starting up a new venture, it’s unlikely that independent hotels will appear en masse. Operators should have a legitimate reason for launching their own operating brands, and this should go beyond the need to cut costs by ridding themselves of hefty operator fees. There is no gap in the market for another cookie cutter hotel; the opportunity is purely for those passionate hoteliers who have a viable and engaging brand proposition, and those with heart and soul will undoubtedly stand out against the rest. While independent hotels may have been a significant opportunity between the 2007 and 2013 boom, a priority for hoteliers in this year’s flat market is to fill rooms, which will be augmented by brand power. Independent hotels risk losing 20-30 per cent of their profit on commissions to OTAs, and without a central structure, they have to run with higher staff numbers. So, ultimately, while they save on one side, they lose out on the other. A happy medium are the numerous independent international brand collections, like Marriott’s Autograph Collection, which took over operations of Dubai legacy hotel, Habtoor Grand Beach Resort and Spa last year. Hilton’s Curio Collection will debut in 2018 with The Rosemont Hotel and Residences. Franchise is another hybrid model between independent and fully operated hotels. Franchising is not new to Dubai though. The first franchised hotel in the emirate was Ramada Dubai, which opened almost 30 years ago. However, it is a model that is still relatively underserved in the Middle East. Franchising looks set to pick up over the next few years as operators start to feel brand protection in the more mature markets, such as Dubai. In response to this, the region will see white label companies emerge, boasting the expertise and systems to operate big brands. Already companies such as Abjar Hotels International,

Franchising may increase in popularity as the market matures and operators become confident of brand protection. White label companies are likely to emerge to support this trend

may/june 2016 43


Hospitality Industry report

Madinat Jumeirah hotel

Wasl Hospitality, Dur Hospitality and Meraas Holding, which in Q4 of 2015 launched its hospitality arm, Meraas Hotels and Resorts, have the infrastructure to operate brands. However, there are still very few third-party operators in the region on the scale of the UK’s Kew Green or US company, Interstate. Aleph Hospitality, headed up by ex-Wyndham senior executive Bani Haddad, is set to tap into the gap in the market when it launches in the coming weeks, and Thai-based Onyx Hospitality Group sees its white label Mosaic Collection brand as an opportunity for the region. Other companies are expected to follow suit over the next five years. Lifestyle branded hotels are still few and far between in the Middle East. Starwood’s lifestyle offering, W Doha, which has been a huge success, has been around in the region since 2009, but even the big–branded lifestyle offerings haven’t really caught on until now. Dubai’s first W branded hotel, W Dubai Al Habtoor City, will open early this year, and a number of others will follow in 2017. These include Morgans Hotel Group’s Delano apartments (part of the mixed-use); The 8 Project on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah; Venu Bluewaters Island Hotel, the first property under Jumeirah Group’s new lifestyle offering; and Vivanta by Taj. Hilton is also exploring opportunities for its Canopy brand in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, and Bahrain, and The Rezidor Group is scoping out locations for its Radisson Red brand. The affordable cousin of the lifestyle 44 May/june 2016

hotel is the hotel/hostel hybrid model, appearing in the US and Europe, with brands such as Freehand in Miami and Chicago, and Generator, a collection of hostels across nine European cities. These offer the privacy of a hotel, but the social element of a hostel, with lounges, bars and kitchen areas. And most importantly, for younger travellers, they tend to be economical and centrally located, with ubiquitous, free Wi-Fi. CityHub in Amsterdam is another example of this model, with technology as a central aspect of its concept. Meanwhile, elements of the lifestyle model are expected to creep in at all levels, with living room style lobbies, flexible check-in areas, grab-and-go F&B, and mobile-based communication between staff and guests. Developers and operators are looking for vacuums in the Middle East’s competitive accommodation market, and one of these is the boutique hotel segment. Luxury London boutique serviced apartment operator, Cheval Residences is making inroads into the region, and told Insignia it would consider bringing a product like London’s 16-key Cheval Hyde Park Gate to Dubai. In Qatar in January 2016, Amlak Hospitality Group launched Al Shaqab

Interiors and architecture will be key to differentiation as brand identity becomes diluted in a saturated market. Versatile brand standards offered by hotel collections such as Marriott’s Autograph and Hilton’s Curio can achieve this

hotel, a 70-key wellness boutique hotel, focused on equestrian facilities and training. There is also space in the region for products such as Canadian brand St Martins Hotels and Resorts, or Australia’s QT Hotels and Resorts, according to Naim Maadad, CEO of a Dubai consultancy, Gates Hospitality.

Boutique operators looking to enter Dubai face the barrier of price point The cost of land in the key locations of Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai and Palm Jumeirah is high, so those looking to enter the market will keep price point elevated, and the target market high-end. The best return on investment (ROI) could be achieved in mixed-use developments, where the boutique hotel brings the style and identity, and the residential component is the main profit driver. The key draw of quirky boutique hotels is a sense of belonging, and while many travellers are price sensitive in 2016, there are plenty to whom money is a secondary consideration if they feel they really belong in a place. Similarly, the F&B market requires something original and unique, with location, concept, service and pricing being the key considerations for success. Dubai will soon pass the stage of relying on brands or talent with an endorsement. Guests and travellers are now looking for a venue where they can meet the owner, and enjoy a local, home-grown experience. -An excerpt from Insignia’s Trendline Report


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www.tophotelprojects.com

Tourism

boom Tophotelprojects.com rounds up the scene in hotel investments worldwide and reports on the boom in tourism internationally. Which means more hotels on the horizon

46 May/june 2016


www.tophotelprojects.com

JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square

Dubai Creek Tower

Jumeirah Creekside Hotel

Renaissance New York Midtown - Living Digital Hotel

New superlative in Dubai - 119 new hotels in the pipeline Before World Expo 2020, another record-breaking tower is about to be built next to the 800 metre high Burj Khalifa. According to tophotelprojects.com, currently, 119 top hotels with 37,000 rooms are being built in Dubai. The new, even higher, skyscraper will be built by Emaar Properties in the old ‘Dubai Creek Harbour‘ quarter, and will feature a boutique hotel, rotating balconies, a viewing platform, and hanging gardens like the legend of Babylon. The new property is expected to be finished in just four years. The height on the new property, The Tower, is not yet set. Meanwhile, in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the world’s highest skyscraper is being built in Jeddah – the ‘Jeddah Tower‘, formerly called ‘Kindgom Tower‘. The tower will be 1,007 metres high, and will include a luxury hotel by Four Seasons and apartments. Smart technology for new hotel concepts - Useful tools and applications to increase comfort More than 5,500 hotel projects with over 1.2 million rooms are currently in the pipeline worldwide. New technology is an important part in new projects. Here are some new trends: Tablet computers – printed documents have been replaced by digital ones. The guest can read newspapers, stream videos, and control the air conditioner by using the in-room tablet. Service robots – a new towel, a bath robe at the pool, or another soft drink in the spa is no problem for the android. Further, robots are already in use in the kitchen and the basement, for logistics and in storage. Entertainment in F&B outlets – embedded touchscreens in bars and on tables are offering fun with games, short video clips, and simplifying the re-order of food and beverage. Interactive smart TV as information tool – innovative screens in the lobby can be controlled by fingertip or foot kick. The digital lifestyle concierge supports the guests with valuable tips and advice for new hot spots in the area and must-do’s for sightseeing.

The new, even higher, skyscraper will be built by Emaar Properties in the old ‘Dubai Creek Harbour‘ quarter, and will feature a boutique hotel, rotating balconies, a viewing platform, and hanging gardens like the legend of Babylon

VR goggles to discover new destinations – with brilliant 3D footage, hotel guests can discover their next travel destinations, along with tasting the local food and beverages.

Most powerful hotel brand worldwide In terms of hotel brand expansion, Hilton Worldwide is leading. This data has been revealed by a tophotelprojects.com.com ranking. By expanding their presence, Hilton Worldwide is trying to get ahead of IHG. With currently over 686,000 rooms, the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is the largest hotel group so far, but they have significantly reduced their expansion speed. Its budget brand, Express by Holiday Inn, is only on the 10th place. Starwood Hotels is still targeted by Marriott International, but the Chinese Anbang Insurance Group also shows strong interest in a takeover of the group. A final decision about the hotel group’s future should be taken soon. With its ‘Generation Y‘ brand aloft, Starwood has tried to increase its international presence strongly. Carlson Rezidor is focusing on its master brand Radisson Blu, however, further hotel projects for the group’s young brands, Radisson Red and Swissotel, are planned.

may/june 2016 47


www.tophotelprojects.com

Ranking of the hotel brands with the most hotel construction projects hotel brand

projects / rooms

hotels / rooms in operation

Hampton by Hilton

148 projects / 19,799 rooms

2,092 hotels / 207,138 rooms

Hilton Hotels & Resorts

143 projects / 44,405 rooms

565 hotels / 203,797 rooms

Hilton Garden Inn 126 projects / 22,687 rooms

659 hotels / 91,492 rooms

Top 10 hotel groups - Master of expansion The hospitality and tourism industry is meeting in Berlin, and CEO’s and partners of the leading hotel companies are exchanging ideas. Tophotelprojects.com has put together the hotel groups with the most hotel projects worldwide.

Ranking of the hotel groups with the most hotel construction projects hotel group/ brand

projects / rooms

number of exhisting hotels

Doubletree by Hilton

110 projects / 27,402 rooms

442 hotels / 107,965 rooms

Hilton Worldwide 710 Projects / 147,985 rooms

4,525 existing hotels

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts

94 projects / 26,541 rooms

446 hotels / 156,432 rooms

475 Projects / 116,997 rooms

1,222 existing hotels

Four Points by Sheraton

87 projects / 21,611 rooms

210 hotels / 36,764 rooms

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts

82 projects / 17,641 rooms

389 hotels / 91,759 rooms

465 Projects / Marriott International, Inc. 101,646 rooms

4,200 existing hotels

aloft Hotels

80 projects / 14,297 rooms

104 hotels / 17,357 rooms

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC

343 Projects / 75,910 rooms

5,032 existing hotels

Marriott Hotels & Resorts

78 projects / 26.633 rooms

526 hotels / 187,277 rooms

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group

171 Projects / 33,396 rooms

1,370 existing hotels

Express by Holiday Inn

77 projects / 12.822 rooms

2,425 hotels / 236,406 rooms

Hyatt Hotels Corporation

170 Projects / 39,631 rooms

638 existing hotels

AccorHotels

161 Projects / 34,922 rooms

3,873 existing hotels

Wyndham Hotel Group

80 Projects / 16,939 rooms

7,812 existing hotels

The Ascott Limited

74 Projects / 14,502 rooms – 208 existing hotels

526 hotels / 187,277 rooms

Fairmont – Raffles Hotels International (FRHI)

46 Projects / 16,008 rooms(FRHI)

115 existing hotels

More hotel projects for increasing tourism and travels worldwide Tourism is, and will remain a growing industry worldwide. According to the World Tourism Organisation, UNWTO, the number of arrivals increased by more than four per cent in the past year. Industry observers are expecting an even higher rate this year. But more guests also mean that also more and modern hotel rooms are needed. Tophotelprojects.com is noticing a continuous hotel boom in almost every region worldwide. Overview of the international hotel projects by region: • North, Central and South America – 1,695 hotel projects – 352,190 rooms • Europe – 1,520 hotel projects – 253,453 rooms • Asia/Pacific – 1,536 hotel projects – 409,120 rooms • Middle East - 525 hotel projects – 149,915 rooms • Africa - 323 hotel projects – 77,784 rooms Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the development of destinations: environmental protection in the construction of hotels and resorts, increased use of energy-saving heating and building technology, regional foods, and the careful handling of employees and residents - all that is gaining increasing attention. The World Tourism Organisation has therefore convened a summit on sustainable development in tourism in May in Beijing.

48 May/june 2016

The digital lifestyle concierge supports the guests with valuable tips and advice for new hot spots in the area and must-do’s for sightseeing


www.tophotelprojects.com

Jumeirah Emirates Towers - Deluxe room

InterContinental London - The O2, Sky Bar

Eastin Grand Hotel Phayathai,Bangkok

Tourism in Thailand needs new hotels and resorts Tourism is booming worldwide - and especially in Thailand. The tourism revenue is growing in the Southeast Asian country annually by more than six per cent. This also attracts new investments. According to tophotelprojects.com, currently, 74 new hotels and resorts with a total of more than 15,200 rooms are in the pipeline for Thailand. The InterContinental Hotels Group relies on the holiday destination of Phuket, and is developing a resort with 454 rooms. The resort will include 75 private apartments and 13 hillside villas, as well as gardens. The opening is planned for 2019 - the group already operates 19 properties in Thailand. Another major project is the Grand Hotel Eastin Grand Phayathai in the capital Bangkok, a luxury hotel with 569 rooms (opening should be end of 2019). Also in the capital, a new business hotel with 442 rooms, the Grande Centre Point Hotel, will open its doors at the end of this year. The number of tourists in Thailand grew by around three per cent. It has been estimated that this number will increase by another 17 per cent within the next ten years. Currently, Chinese guests are, with 25 per cent, the largest group of tourists in Thailand.

With its ‘Generation Y‘ brand aloft, Starwood has tried to increase its international presence strongly

London experiences tourism and hotel boom The Empire lives: The British capital attracts an increasing number of international tourists. According to tophotelprojects.com, currently, 56 top hotels with more than 12,000 rooms are being built London. The number of overnight stays continues to rise, after a slight slump after the Olympic year 2012. With nearly 17 million visitors annually, London as an European city destination continues to be ahead of Paris, Rome, Prague and Berlin. The InterContinental Hotels Group has invested in the location at the hub Heathrow: Two properties by the brands Holiday Inn (433 rooms) and Staybridge Suites (190 rooms) are being developed as franchise operations, and the opening is scheduled for 2018. Starwood Hotels, which now belongs to the Marriott group, is preparing the inauguration of another

aloft hotel (2018). Recently, the InterContinental O2, a new top hotel with 453 rooms over 18 floors, opened close to the event arena bearing the same name. It is considered to be a new highlight in the hotel market in London, as several rooms and the skyline bar offer panoramic views of the River Thames and the city’s skyline. A newly opened business hotel is the DoubleTree by Hilton London Excel (260) in a trendy location near the city airport at the Royal Victoria Dock.

Hotel Construction Projects in the Middle East United Arab Emirates – 76 with 21,344 rooms Oman – 17 with 3,765 rooms Qatar – 32 with 9,097 rooms Saudi Arabia – 76 with 31,554 rooms

About

www.tophotelprojects.com tophotelprojects.com is the leading data provider for hotel projects data worldwide. The databases contains more than 5,500 hotel construction projects with detailed information and contact data for the supplying industry. The multi-langual team of tophotelprojects.com gather projects data and detail information around the globe directly from developers, hotel operators, architects and interior designers. Learn more: tophotelprojects.com

may/june 2016 49


restaurant review

e

Th

Collective

Grand Hyatt, Dubai iconic hotel’s very popular Market Cafe has recently opened in a new avatar as The Collective. While change is always good, The Collective has very big shoes to fill as bettering the wholesome, all round culinary experience that was The Market Cafe will take time 50 May/june 2016


restaurant review

T

he Collective is recently opened in place of the Market Cafe at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Dubai. After an intensive renovation, the restaurant interiors are very well researched and reminiscent of the specific culinary areas they aim to represent. The four culinary areas represented in the restaurant are the Levantine region, Bombay Cafe - a typical Parsi eatery you might find in Mumbai, an urban, upscale bakery and a Grill bar serving all versions and variations of anything you’d like grilled with sides and accompaniments. There’s also a drinks area and a dessert station. Khan, who is well experienced in the restaurant business, says that operators have to proceed with caution.“Unless you get your food and service offering right, ambience and location will not be enough to

sustain you,” he advises. The day Top hotel was there for the review was a weekend and the restaurant seemed quite empty. However, the seating areas in the restaurant are many and diners sit in different spots and hence are unable to see other diners. There are many comfortable nooks that evoke a lot of interest in terms of design such as the wall made of real books at the rear corner of the eatery by the outdoor seating area. That is unique and worth a look. There’s also an area for larger groups or big families to sit together and feel disconnected from the rest of the crowd. Again a unique feature. The food is fresh and prepared in front of you. We really liked the Tawa Keema Pav from the Bombay Cafe which was served with bread the way it is eaten in Mumbai, the Burger from the Grill Bar was also very good,

juicy, grilled right The four culinary succulent, and with interesting condiareas represented ments. The Cheese Kabab from the Levantine section in the restaurant was quite unique with melted are the Levantine cheese oozing out of the kabab everytime you cut a bit of it region, Bombay with your fork. Desserts were good, howCafe - a typical ever, just the usual variety of Parsi eatery you cakes, cookies and flans. We expected regional goodies as might find in well as desserts representing Mumbai, an urban, the four region being reprein the restaurant would upscale bakery and sented be a good bet. So while the overall experia Grill bar ence was good it did not compare to a typical outing we were used to coming to the Market Cafe. But since it’s still only just opened, it would be good to check on it at a later date to see how it’s coming into its own.

may/june 2016 51


restaurant review

Santosh Kumar Shaw, Restuarant Manager

An afternoon

at Mahec

Mahec, one of Dubai’s top Indian restaurants has recently been relaunched under new management and after a refurb. The restaurant is beautiful to look at and even better is the food on the menu

52 May/june 2016


restaurant review

M

ahec at the Le Royal Meridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre is quite the gem of the area when it comes to going out for good Indian food. The newly refurbished restaurant is very well and properly done up with three separate seating areas - dining, lounge and outdoor. Seating capacity is for 180 persons. The decor is colonial style and wooden flooring, tasteful furniture and chandeliers to complete the look. Top hotel Middle East visited on a Saturday afternoon and hence there were a few other groups having lunch. Weeknights and weekends are packed at this popular eatery. That’s mainly because of the exceptional food. Chef Asif Khan who has been trained by a Michelin star chef is

responsible for the fabulous food on offer. He and his team add a twist to certain Indian favourites as well as offer items that remain true to their authentic taste. When we went we were seated and presented with a menu, we selected a few things which appealed to us then Chef Khan arrived and offered to send us a selection of his signature dishes so we could try a little bit of everything on the menu. And well what can be said here is that from the drinks to the starters, mains and desserts everything was exceptional. Special mentions are - Murg pakora, Dhania Murg, Bombay pudding, Biryani, Dal tarka. Chef Khan prepared a few special items as well that weren’t a part of the menu. We were extremely well taken care of and can’t wait to return.

The newly refurbished restaurant is very well and properly done up with three separate seating areas - dining, lounge and outdoor. Seating capacity is for 180 persons

Chef Asif

may/june 2016 53


Guerlain Spa

Nysa Spa

Cleopatra Spa


Wellness with Guerlain

T ailor made

luxury

One&Only The Palm - Spa Moment 56 May/june 2016


Wellness with Guerlain

Munawar Shariff spoke to Sophia Kremser, Intl Training Director, Guerlain Spa about what defines a luxury wellness experience in the world of Guerlain and how therapists are trained to provide an exceptional experience that one expects from the brand How long have you been associated with Guerlain? I’ve worked with them for 25 years now. The first Guerlain spa opened in 1998. Before that, we had the Institute on the Champs Elysee, which is still our flagship. Our first spa was in the US, followed by Mauritius. Today, we have 35 spas all over the world - 20 spas and 15 aesthetic salons in Japan, and more than 200 points of sales all over the world. The majority of our spas are in France and Japan. Guerlain does not want to be everywhere - we are very selective about where we want to have a presence. We only want to be in iconic, emblematic locations, such as this one, the One and Only the Palm in Dubai. We are actually in every iconic place. And where we are, as a spa, we are not the most iconic element of that location. We prefer to be very unique, very intimate, very exclusive. Why did Guerlain take so long to branch out into wellness?

One&Only, The Palm - Spa Courtyard Pavillion

We have about 77 years of experience in this area. We opened the spa to be able to demonstrate to our customer our expertise, our experience, our skin care, and fragrance lines from a closer, more accessible perspective. Our spa is a great way for the brand to show its customers the very disciplined and exceptional way we deliver the very best to our clients. How we have put our 77 years of experience to display to the customer, that the way we manage wellness at Guerlain is truly unique. We take the wellness of our clients very seriously, and that is what we want to showcase when they visit the Guerlain Spa. Tell us a little about the training that the therapists go through to be able to provide this experience to the guests. Our training method is derived from our human nature and our human tradition. We want to completely understand the needs of our customer, to be able to give them exactly what they are looking for in a wellness treatment. We take immense care in

understanding our client, and in order to get those answers, we have to first train our therapists to be able to ask the right questions. To train the therapist to be able to gauge the current needs of the client, we take them through a rigorous, nine-month training programme. We believe that, at the end of the day, a wellness experience should be more than just giving a facial or a massage. The most important is to understand who the customer is, what is his or her need and not just perform a massage or facial in the right way. And even as the therapist is working at our Spa, the training for them is ongoing, as each spa has a spa trainer, which is a key position for Guerlain. Before opening any Guerlain spa, there is an intensive, one-month training given to existing therapists of the spa to acquaint them in the Guerlain manner. From then, it is an ongoing training routine. We train them to do an assessment of the needs, not only of the skin, but beyond that, of their health, lifestyle, etc. We also may/june 2016 57


Wellness with Guerlain

One&Only, The Palm - Spa Pool

consider the property where the spa is located – is it in a resort or a city spa, as different sets of people visit different locations. Each therapist has a one-to-one training with a trainer at first, and ongoing training throughout her tenure at Guerlain. What is the recruitment process for a therapist? We have a different approach at Guerlain. During the interview, we ask them to work on different kinds of people, we test their hands, we test them on how they understand what the client is telling them, how they 58 May/june 2016

We only want to be in iconic, emblematic locations, such as this one, the One and Only the Palm in Dubai

assimilate the information, and devise a solution to the needs of the client, and how they understand instructions. If an already existing spa is being converted to a Guerlain spa, then we work with the already existing team, and try to assess what level each therapist is at. When recruiting a new therapist, we look for people who have experience in luxury and management, who know how to handle a customer that expects a certain level of service. Some of the therapists may not have

too much education, but they have the experience and know how, so we work with them to bring them up to the mark, which we feel enhances their loyalty towards us. They feel that they are valued, because they realise that we give them time to enhance their skills, and continuously train them to grow. What’s the typical career span of a therapist with Guerlain? From recruitment to starting work, the process usually takes about a month, although they will not be proficient in the whole menu in that one month.


Wellness with Guerlain

Guerlain Spa Main Lobby, One&Only The Palm, Dubai

We also consider the property where the spa is located – is it in a resort or a city spa, as different sets of people visit different locations Maybe just some specific face or body treatments. Each therapist has a mentor, who works with them and encourages them to try and improve their comfort levels in different treatments, and hence improve their skillset. As humans, we need to acquire the ability to understand and answer the needs of a client, which is why our training procedure is very detailed and demanding. But, as a company, we ensure that we do everything we can for a therapist to stay with us. At this spa, for example, we trained the existing staff prior to it becoming a Guerlain spa.

It has been a couple of months since the spa opened, and Jessica, our spa manager, is an experienced trainer, who trains the therapists herself, and then we have trainers visiting from France, who test them from time to time. Training is provided as per the needs of the therapist, because every one of them has a different level of expertise and experience. It’s just a matter of time till they are completely trained. Each year, every trainer has to go to France to be tested on their knowhow, and a trainer from my core team goes to each place to work with the trainers

to quality check the girls, and then annually, all the therapists who have completed a year with us are invited to France, where they are treated to exceptional experiences by Guerlain. It’s a new dimension to their jobs, because if they are not treated well, how can they treat the customer really well? How big is your core team? I have two trainers who are travelling all over the world – they are from Champs Elysee, and are like my children by now, and I want the best for them.

Does Guerlain have a training institute that gives certifications to therapists? We don’t have training institute yet. In 1939, when we opened the first institute, there was a dermatologist, who was the manager. She created the first Guerlain’s 90-minute signature treatment. At the time, where Guerlain was located, the Champs Elysee area was a very up market place, still is, and the people who came for the treatments, fragrances and skin care belonged to a high class society. Since there was no system of regular spas and therapists at the time, the doctor had to select girls from the same strata of society to be able to cater to the clients, as they may/june 2016 59


Wellness with Guerlain

One&Only The Palm Spa - Cloister Pavillion

Guerlain Spa Treatment Room

need to be able to get through to the ladies, allowing them to be comfortable about disclosing their needs and wants. So she had a training institute where she trained these girls. At that time, she ran a five-year Diploma certification course. We have a database with all the diploma holders, and are following them, as well as other therapists who are trained by Guerlain, for whom it is compulsory to have a refresher training every three years in order to keep their certification. Is there a protocol followed in each treatment? 60 May/june 2016

Guerlain Spa Desert D’Orient Treatment Room

We do not believe in following a protocol. Every client has a different need, so we cannot limit the potential of our therapist by insisting on a protocol. Once she has understood the need of the client, she can set about answering to the requirements of the client in the most effective way, in the time that she has. We at Guerlain ensure that our therapist will be trained to be able to speak with the client with full knowledge of all the products and treatments in the most professional manner. Each therapist who is recruited at Guerlain comes with experience, and

Since there was no system of regular spas and therapists at the time, the doctor had to select girls from the same strata of society to be able to cater to the clients


Wellness with Guerlain

Guerlain Spa Treatment Room, One&Only The Palm

she may have a different background. Plus, there are more than 300 movements when it comes to massages, and they combine their knowledge to give the most optimum treatment to the client. Hence it would be very frustrating and limiting to the potential of the therapist if she were forced to follow a protocol. We feel that no matter what condition or problem the client brings to us – lifestyle, health, nutrition, or fitness - we want them to leave feeling better about themselves. Once they feel better on the inside, they will see it on their face, and on their skin.

Abeille Royale Expert Treatment, Guerlain Spa, One & Only, The Palm

This 90 minute treatment is a complete relaxing and rejuvenating journey into an experience that leaves you rested, renewed and energised. The spa in itself is a complete different take on luxury and exclusivity. From its design, to its concept - it’s an entire experience into the Guerlain brand. The spa has all of it fragrance, makeup and skin care collections on display at its very haute and aesthetically decorated reception. The products are also available for purchase. Each treatment room is like your very own private suite with powder rooms. outdoor shower and relaxation area, indoor relaxation area as well as the treatment area. Once your treatment is over the therapist will also touch up your face with Guerlain makeup if you are heading out for meetings or appointments. The Abeille Royale Expert treatment began with a foot scrub and massage, where the therapist asked me about all of my health concerns and lifestyle habits and explained the treatment procedure. The Abeille Royale line from Guerlain uses all the goodness of honey in the entirety of the range and hence caters to all levels of skin concerns. The skin is cleansed, exfoliated and massaged before and along with the application of the mask. Once the mask was on the therapist applied Guerlain’s luxurious body cream all over the arms and feet massaging it in and followed it with a soothing and relaxing head massage. Needless to say, I was fast asleep despite the gentle massage movements on me by the therapist. The treatment was over before you know it as it was one of those treatments you don’t want to end. Verdict: Excellent!

may/june 2016 61


Spa review

Double treatment room

A haven in the centre of town

The Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights’ Nysa Spa is a beautiful haven of relaxation in the middle of the city to relax and unwind. Top hotel Middle East checked out the spa’s male treatments on offer in time for summer

62 May/june 2016

Plunge pools


Spa review

The unique aspect of this modern urban spa is the fact that all the treatments can be customised as per preference in order to experience exactly what you need. Be it the preference for the use of specific oils for the massage or the duration or the technique Hammam

Single treatment room

Regency massage at the Nysa Spa, Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights

The Nysa Spa is a great spa to relax and unwind right in the centre of Dubai. The interiors of the facility are excellent and include features inside the spa plunge pools, hammam, heated loungers in the relaxation area, ice fountain and experience showers. The treatments on offer are quite comprehensive and enticing to try. The unique aspect of this modern urban spa is the fact that all the treatments can be customised as per preference in order to experience exactly what you need. Be it the preference for the use of specific oils for the massage or the duration or the technique. The Regency massage is quite a unique experience as it combines a multitude of massage techniques of the clients’ choice aided with an essential oil fusion of choice to have a personalised and familiar experience. The 90 minute treatment began with a thorough consultation. The massage itself was fantastic and very relaxing with the therapist’s hand movements gentle enough to lull this reviewer to sleep. Besides the treatment this spa has a plethora of facilities such as the Water temple which has three vitality pools for rest and relaxation. The only disadvantage is the large area the spa seems to be spread out in, its a long walk from the relaxation area to the treatment rooms. Verdict: Very

good!

Gym

march/april 2016 63


Spa review

With extra gentle movements and strokes the entire massage dealt with alleviating the conditions that happen in the body which lead to a sluggish blood circulation leading to retention of fluids and swelling

Unique and uplifting Elemis Pregnancy Cleopatra Spa at Wafi is perhaps the oldest spa in the emirate. And being the oldest has meant they are still the best at their trade. Top hotel Middle East checked out one of their specialised treatments for expectant mothers

massage, Cleopatra Spa, Wafi A pregnancy massage is not just for relaxation but for also treating symptoms of water retention and swelling and a sluggish circulation. The Pregnancy massage at the Cleopatra Spa, Wafi, ticks all the boxes. While making the reservation for the appointment, the person at reception provided information that the massage would only be appropriate for the expectant mother who was into the third month of her pregnancy. Once at the spa, after a thorough consultation involving all aspects of the health and lifestyle the treatment began. With extra gentle movements and strokes the entire massage dealt with alleviating the conditions that happen in the body which lead to a sluggish blood circulation leading to retention of fluids and swelling. The result of the massage is for increasing the comfort levels of the motherto-be as well as enhancing circulation around the stomach which means channels of nutrition to the unborn child are also improved. The therapist’s movements also impact the discomfort in the back hence improving the overall comfort level and well being of the expectant mother. So while the regular spa experience at the Cleopatra spa has always been relaxing and special this time around the experience was extra special thanks to the gentleness of the staff and therapist. Verdict: Excellent!

64 May/june 2016


Spa review

Immediately visible results The Elemis Pro Collagen Quartz Lift Facial is an exceptional treatment to achieve moisturised and firmer skin within the time duration of the facial. Especially recommended for skin that are dehydrated, tired and in need of an instant boost

Mandara Spa Entrance

Couple Treatment Room

The Elemis Pro Collagen Quartz Lift Facial, Mandara Spa, H Hotel After a consultation, the treatment began with a foot reflexology ritual. The face was then cleansed and toned. A warm facial compress was then applied to prep it for the very thorough massage. This facial is all about the face massage and the effects are clearly visible as soon as it is over. Massage techniques used are for lifting and draining especially targetted is the eye area and the contouring around it. This massage is followed by an exfoliation, after which the therapist applied the Quartz Lift Serum and a setting mask over it. During the time the serum and mask were on the face, the therapist massaged the scalp. The serum and mask were removed and followed by the application of Pro Collagen Quartz Lift Mask. After this second mask was removed, the therapist applied the serum, lifting neck and bust cream, the award winning Pro Collagen Marine Cream and eye and lip care creams. The face looked relaxed, clean, lifted. Just what you want to look like every day of your life! The Mandara Spa at the H Hotel is a beauty retreat with marble walls and flooring, exceptionally luxurious ambience and surroundings. It is huge more than 8,000 sq feet with multiple treatment rooms, separate facilities for men and women and the usual steam, sauna and experience showers.

The Mandara Spa at the H Hotel is a beauty retreat with marble walls and flooring, exceptionally luxurious ambience and surroundings. It is huge more than 8,000 sq feet with multiple treatment rooms, separate facilities for men and women

Verdict: Excellent!

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Spa product reviews

The Eyes have it Here’s a look at products that keep the delicate eye area looking its best and then some. Of course, we have other products as well, but the focus is on the eye this issue

Clarins Skin Smoothing Eye Mask: This eye mask is intensely hydrating and makes the eye area look fresh, line free and dark circles look lighter. You could use this mask either along with your face mask once a week or even leave it overnight when you feel your eye area deserves some extra TLC.

Bliss Hot Salt Scrub AED175: This scrub does exactly what it says it will do. Super soft, nourished skin and the fresh minty fragrance leaves you feeling invigorated and energised. The ultimate at home spa experience for sure.

Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Eye Balm 10ml, AED287: Refreshing to use on tired eyes, this balm has a wonderful mix of ingredients that help restore elasticity, hydration and freshness to the delicate skin around the eyes. You could even mix with your concealer to enhance hydration. 66 May/june 2016

Elemis Pro-Collagen Neck & Decollete Balm 50ml, AED413: This neck and decollete cream improves the elasticity and hydration to this quite-neglected part of the body. Elemis has fantastic products that provide really great results and this is exactly what is expected from the brand. A winner!

June Jacobs Intensive Age Defying Peel Pads: Once you use these peel pads, nothing else is going to match up to you home beauty routine to smooth, soft, squeaky clean, shiny skin that looks as if it has just stepped out of a spa treatment. This is a keeper.


Spa product reviews

Bliss The Youth As We Know It Cleanser, AED138.50: This is a hydrating cleansing cream which dissolves make-up and reduces the evaporation of water this helps bind moisture, stimulate renewal of skin and improve skin tone.

Bliss The Youth As We Know It anti-ageing moisture cream, 50 ml, AED340.75: This is a hardworking cream works on multiple aspects of the face at once. It helps with hydration, reduction of fine lines, exfoliates and oxygenates.

Elemis White Brightening Dark Spot Corrector, 3.5ml, AED294: This stuff really works. Used over a twoweek period also helped reduce the appearance of dark spots due to acne and sun exposure. You will want this to never get over.

june Jacobs Lemon Sugar Body Polish: This is a fantastic body polisher as it not only removes all traces of bumps and accumulated dead skin, but the fact that it’s got an oil base ensures that once you wash off all the rough sugar beads your skin is left moisturised leaving no need for an additional layer of body cream post shower. Effective and time saving!

June Jacobs Revitalising Eye Gel: This eye gel with its metal applicator rejuvenates the eye area improving elasticity, reducing puffiness and increasing hydration. The eye area looks brighter and line free.

The Youth As We Know It antiageing night cream, 50ml, AED364: This is a light cream which gets absorbed into the skin instantly. The results on the face overnight are quite wonderful with soft, supple skin that looks and feel amazing.

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Community

Luxury with reasponsibility Jumeirah Creekside Hotel has earned the Green Globe certification for the second year in a row

W

hile you are enjoying the luxury offered at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, you can rest assured that the hotel is doing their bit to make the world a more sustainable place. A stylish five-star property located in the heart of Dubai, overlooking the historical Dubai Creek, the hotel offers a unique perspective on Middle Eastern Contemporary Art, with over 400 contemporary artworks exhibited throughout the property. But they also work hard to make sure that their offerings don’t come at the cost of the environment, and they have not just recognised, but also rewarded for their efforts. The hotel has been recertified by Green Globe for the second year in a row, and achieved an outstanding compliance score of 87 per cent. Charles E M Clark, General Manager of Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, said,“We are proud to be a Green Globe certified hotel for the second year running. This is a true testament to all of our ethical and ecologically-friendly practices and achievements. Our team will continue reducing the property’s impact on the environment and contributing to making our world a sustainable place.” In line with its commitment to sustainability, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel is dedicated to improving its environmental footprint with its new Go Green Meeting package. The package offers guests eco-friendly alternatives such as travelling using green transportation (shuttle service or public transportation), paperless meeting options, reusable table decorations in place of fresh flower arrangements, and includes a choice of healthy coffee break or lunch options that cater for all dietary requirements, including vegan and diabetic friendly menus. Jumeirah Creekside Hotel has created its own unique community development programme in Dubai. The hotel recognises the importance of education, and strongly believes that all members of society can contribute to one’s knowledge. Jumeirah Creekside Hotel proudly supports many initiatives that have a firm foundation in promoting and providing education within the communities they work closely with, and this is the motivation behind launching Maseera. Maseera, meaning journey in Arabic, is an educationbased engagement programme that aims to take members of the community on a journey of education, leading to careers in hospitality. It offers vocational training enabling people to transition into financially sustainable futures that will allow them to develop and later contribute to society. Another key project to reduce overall paper wastage within the hotel involved the implementation of IPads and IPods for check-lists used during daily operations in place of the original paper-based format. Furthermore, all printers within the hotel are set to print automatically on both sides of paper, and coloured ink is seldom used.

The package offers guests eco-friendly alternatives such as travelling using green transportation, paperless meeting options, reusable table decorations in place of fresh flower arrangements, and includes a choice of healthy coffee break or lunch options that cater for all dietary requirements

68 May/june 2016


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TOP HOTEL MAY JUNE 2016 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 MAY JUNE 2016 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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