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Essential reading for hotel operators, owners, developers and investors

Progress in continuum

Andreas MattmĂźller, COO MĂśvenpick Hotels on strategy and vision

Experiential travel

The changing face of the traveller


TOURISM Investing to enhance the experience of all tourists

Top hotel Wellness A dedicated look at the regional wellness industry

Picture perfect by fabric library

A huge range, all stocked and serviced

Silkland Trading LLC PO Box 8044, Dubai, UAE Between 3rd & 4th interchange, Sheikh Zayed Road Tel:+971 4 3233237/38; 3233237*202, url:

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

The hospitality investment landscape SIGNATURE MEDIA FZ LLE P. O. Box 49784, Dubai, UAE Tel: 04 3978847/3795678 Email: Exclusive Sales Agent Signature Media LLC P.O. Box 49784, Dubai, UAE Publisher: Jason Verhoven Director: Deepak Chandiramani Managing Editor: Munawar Shariff Art Director: B Raveendran Production Manager: Roy Varghese

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

FREIZEIT-VERLAG LANDSBERG GMBH Johann-Arnold-Straße 32b+c, D-86899 Landsberg am Lech Postbox 101255, D-86882 Landsberg am Lech Telephone +49 (0)8191- 947 160 Fax +49 (0)8191- 947 16-66

Speaking to four large global hospitality brands about their views on the regional hospitality landscape, their plans for expanding their respective brand portfolio makes for an interesting read on page 20. Everyone is gearing up to cater to the budget tourist in a big way. As the hospitality market matures in the country and region, the demand for standard, budget accommodation is far outweighing supply currently. Government initiatives are boosting this segment of the market in a big way and we can expect a raft of openings across the board starting 2017. Continuing to talk about the new age traveller, millennials as they are most-often called are creating a new segment of travel - experiential travel. Where the traveller is most concerned about having an authentic experience when visiting any new country. They like to see the world as the people who are residents live and see their place. Like a camp in the middle of the desert in Africa or India, to give travellers an idea of how it is like to live in a desert environment. It’s on page 30. We take a look at a supplier perspective in our feature titled Fabrics and furnishings. Silkland Trading has been operating in the country and region from many years now, and have gained ample experience in managing the changing nuances of the furnishings and fabrics market. Hope you enjoy the issue. See you in May!

Munawar Shariff Managing Editor

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. 2 MARCH/APRIL 2015

Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek is prepping itself for a first quarter 2015 opening. In close proximity to the Grand Hyatt, this new hotel is all set to be the new star on central Dubai’s horizon. More details in the next issue.




22 04 TOP HOTEL UNDERCOVER True blue hoteliers

Fujairah Rotana Resort and Spa, Al Aqah, Fujairah is an exclusive beach facing property


All the latest from hotels in the region

16 OPERATOR INTERVIEW Progress in continuum

Andreas Mattmüller, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East and Asia for Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts shares the vision and strategy for the hospitality brand


Developing all levels of tourism

When it comes to the growth of the hospitality sector in the Middle East, there is a consensus that it’s the mid-level segment that is going to be the next big thing


Here’s a look at the changing face of trends in luxury leisure travel


A day at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort


38 FOCUS ON … international hotel investments

More than 2,400 international hotel openings in 2015

41 SUPPLIER PERSPECTIVE Fabrics and furnishings

Manish Doshi, Managing Director at Silkland Trading, is upbeat about the growing market for textiles



Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), discusses his vision to create a more sustainability-conscious hospitality industry


Getting under your skin

A chat with Dr. Erich Schulte, Founder of QMS Medicosmetics


Lynille Steffenhagen, Director, Training and Aesthetics – June Jacobs Spa Collection, talks about reversing the inevitable aging process


The magic touch

Elemis’s newest range of facials under their latest technology BioTec

62 PRODUCTS SHOWCASE All over skin health

All aspects of skin care


Top designers at Wedding fair


A forum for restaurateurs


Time spruces up its surroundings


Diamond-like skin clarity

Natura Bisse’s revolutionary skin treatment the Diamond Whitening System

62 MARCH/APRIL 2015 3


About Top hotel Undercover

True blue hoteliers Fujairah Rotana Resort and Spa, Al Aqah, Fujairah is an exclusive beach facing property with the Hajar mountains on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other - in simple words very quaint and pristine. Add to the fact that the nearest city location is a 15-20 minute drive away, this hotel is one where you can really get away from it all


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.


RESERVATION Once I found out the prices online, I called the hotel reservations to check their prices for the night in question. I was told of a rate higher than that on the independant website. I asked them then that I would rather book online as that rate was more economical, the reservation agent then offered an even better daily rate which with breakfast and taxes was a deal for the time of year. He went on to inform me of all the terms and conditions as well as check-in and check-out times plus the best room available on the rate with a view of the Indian ocean. Expertly handled! I was sent an email confirmation immediately after. Evaluation: Good

CHECK-IN 4.45pm We were received at the entrance by the valet who handed us a card with our baggage details on it to be handed over to his colleague at check-in. There was a lot of activity in the reception area with



other guests checking in and out. We were attended to soon enough and given room details, breakfast details as well as locations and timings of other F&B outlets, the spa and recreations areas. Evaluation: Good

ROOM 1427 The room was spacious, opening into a passage with the bathroom on the right and the closets on the left. Right after the closets was a small nook which had the tea and coffee making facility with a tiny kettle and a few bottled nuts and chocolates placed above that which constituted as a part of the mini bar. There was a fridge at the bottom of the nook which had soft drinks and made up the rest of the mini bar refreshments. Right after this on the right was a door going into the adjoining room for families that wanted to avail of the facility. Still on the right after the door was a large long table that was both a study area as well as had the television on the extreme end of it. Opposite this was the king bed. After the tv table was a small seating area with a chair and table and a floor lamp. This led to the balcony which again had a seating for two with a glass table to enjoy the magnificent view of the pool, ocean and the hotel at large. Being on the highest floor (the fourth) the view was as far as the eyes could see into the distance. The bathroom was quite small with a small counter and shower area. There were basic amenities and a magnifying mirror. The water closet had a minor leak which was seeping onto the bathroom floor. When I asked housekeeping to look at it, the gentleman said there was no leak. However there clearly was a leak but a towel on the floor was a quick fix solution as we were there for only a night. Although at the time of booking I was told that wifi was available, when I called the front desk to check how I could connect I was informed that it wasn’t free. This was quite unappealing. Evaluation: Satisfactory

THE ROYAL HASNAH TREATMENT AT ZEN THE SPA The treatment was a 75 minute Moroccan Hammam treatment which began with 15-20 minutes in the wet steam room. The therapist came in when the time was up and asked if she should start the treatment in that room itself. The steam room had marble seats all around but there was no



place to actually relax for the soap application or scrub to be done comfortably, so I requested to go to another room for the actual soap application and scrub. They had a Vichy shower room which was used for this purpose if the guest wanted it, as was the case this time. The therapist mentioned that the best area for the soap application to get optimum results of the hammam soap and scrub was in the wet steam area. However the lack of a proper place for the guest to relax seemed quite odd. The treatment began with a soap application, rinse and then the scrub using the special mitt. This was followed by the application of a clay mask and final rinse. The treatment lasted longer than 75 minutes and was expertly done by the Balinese therapist. However the surroundings of the spa did not exude a luxurious feel and was quite small. However on second thought, considering the location of the property and the customer footfall the size and decor seemed appropriate. Evaluation: Satisfactory

BREAKFAST AT MOZAIQUE The restaurant was bustling with activity and guests when we arrived at 9am. Somehow pool and ocean facing view evoked a feeling of being somewhere in the US on the west coast. The service was prompt with multiple live stations for eggs as well as fresh waffles and pancakes. Fruits, breads, danish pastries, a live Levantine breakfast station added

soon and would probably have to buy another one. However a phone call to discuss my options with the hotel quickly resolved my issue. The lost and found department told me that my charger had been found and that there was a bus that came to the Dubai airport Bustan Rotana a few times a week and that they would send my charger with the driver to the Concierge at the Bustan Rotana Dubai. Soon enough the Concierge called saying I could come and pick up my charger from them whenever was convenient! Truly happy at the service.

to the variety on offer. Service was prompt and the food was very good. Evaluation: Good

CHECK-OUT 12 noon The bill was settled quickly and efficiently and while we checked out the valet brought our car and loaded our luggage. He even explained accurately the way to get onto the road taking us to Dubai. I’d like to add here that I realised much after I arrived at my destination that I had forgotten my phone charger in the hotel room. I thought being so far away from Dubai, I wasn’t going to be going back to Fujairah anytime

Fujairah Rotana Resort and Spa, Al Aqah, Fujairah Reservation: Good

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

Check-in: Good Room 1427: Satisfactory Bath: Unsatisfactory Floor service: Satisfactory Landscaping: Good Breakfast buffet: Good

Top hotel Undercover opinion:

61-80 Good

Fitness: Good Corridors, elevators, stairs: Good

Total: 80%

Housekeeping: Good Check out: Good 0







Starwood Preferred Guest and Uber rev up rewards STARWOOD HOTELS & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and Uber are putting travellers on the fast track to valuable rewards with the announcement of an exciting new strategic partnership that will give Starwood Preferred Guest®

(SPG®) members who ride with Uber the opportunity to earn coveted Starpoints during any Uber ride, anywhere worldwide. After linking existing SPG and Uber accounts at and completing one qualifying stay in the calendar year at any

Starwood hotel worldwide, SPG members using Uber can simply sit back and enjoy the ride—during their stay or every day—while watching their points rack up. All SPG members will earn one Starpoint for every US $1 spent on Uber rides—with

bonus earning awarded while in-stay. The global partnership is available in every market where Uber operates, including throughout the United States, China, Brazil, and across Europe. For more information and full details on the partnership, please see

Numbers stack up for UAE tourism sector as 2020 approaches ARABIAN TRAVEL Market’s 2015 roadshow series returned to familiar home ground as the Reed Travel Exhibitions team hosted the UAE leg of its eight city tour in Dubai. A number of exhibitors attended the open forum event, which saw ATM representatives share the latest updates on this year’s line-up of specialist events and seminar series’, and invite participating industry players to discuss how to capitalise on market and PR opportunities in the build up to and during ATM. The number of confirmed UAE exhibitors at ATM 2015, which includes individual UAE emirate pavilions, currently tallies 152 companies with 19 new exhibitors, including Dubai Parks & Resorts, Getabed, Holiday Store Travel,


as the preferred regional destination for leisure as well as business tourism. “With the UAE securing highly visible ‘mega events’ such as the upcoming World Expo2020, the sector is developing rapidly and this

R Hotels Group and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. According to the Q3 2014 Alpen Capital GCC Hospitality Industry Report, in the last 10 years, the UAE has emerged

presents numerous opportunities for the Dubai DTCM to realise its forecast of 16.5 to 18 million leisure and three to four million business visitors by the end of the decade,”said Nadege Noblet, Exhibition Manager of Arabian Travel Market.

Khaled Youssef’s work showcased at Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts LE MÉRIDIEN HOTELS & Resorts in the UAE announced the showcase of a photography exhibition by Syrian-born French photographer and poet Khaled Youssef. Running throughout the month of March, the exhibition will take place across participating Le Méridien hotels in the UAE. The Paris-born brand commissioned Khaled Youssef to photograph selected perspectives in the UAE through the glistening lens of a bubble for this bespoke exhibition, titled ‘Sparkling: traveling through the lens of a bubble’. The work was commissioned in celebration of the launch of Le Méridien brand’s global beverage programme ‘Le Méridien Sparkling’, as well as to celebrate the weekend brunch tradition in the UAE. The photographs will be showcased at six Le Méridien hotels and resorts across the country. Guests are invited to visit participating Le Méridien hotels and also unlock their appetite at the ‘Sparkling’ infused brunches across the UAE.

Meliá Hotels partner with PressReader to deliver news THE WORLD’S most desirable travel amenity is now available to guests staying at 15 Meliá Hotels in nine different countries. PressReader, the largest

digital source of full-content newspapers and magazines in the world, is now available to Meliá guests in the Bahamas, Brazil, Cape Verde, China, Dominican Republic, Mexico,

Spain, United Arab Emirates and Venzuela. PressReader is available in over 800,000 hotel rooms globally, and more than 100 hotels in Brazil have

partnered with PressReader in the past month alone. The new agreement with Meliá adds more than 7,000 rooms to PressReader’s extensive hospitality offering.


Air Arabia adds Nepal to Ras Al Khaimah destination list AIR ARABIA has announced Kathmandu as the latest destination to be served from the recently launched RAK hub. The low-cost carrier will fly twice weekly to Kathmandu, the 10th destination that travellers can now access from the Northern Emirates. Air Arabia will operate its Kathmandu service on Wednesdays and Sundays, departing RAK at 14.10 and arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport at 19.40. Flights will depart Kathmandu at 20.20 and land in RAK at 23.35. Adel A. Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia, said: “In just nine months, we have reached the milestone of ten exciting destinations to which our customers can fly using RAK Airport. We look forward to adding more routes in the future from our second hub in the UAE as the emirate’s travel and tourism sector continue to enjoy significant growth.”

Irhal mobile app launched for Muslim tourists IRHAL - AN ARABIC/ENGLISH mobile app has been launched for Muslim travellers. The app not only guides users to tourist attractions and shopping places in 90 cities around the world, but also lists the nearest Halal restaurant and mosque. Prayer timings and a compass showing the direction of Makkah are also included in the app, which can be downloaded free from the Apple or Android store by searching for the word, ‘Irhal’. Said Dr Irfan Ahmad, CEO and Founder of,“We launched the website several years ago, and in 2014, we received over 1 million unique visitors. But our users wanted to have the information on their smartphones so we developed the Irhal App.”With more than 70 per cent mobile penetration and a lack of Arabic mobile content, Irhal aims to become the must-have resource for all Muslim travellers. The Irhal App recently won the Best Islamic Economy Startup prize given by Dubai Silicon Oasis.


Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group unveils two new Saudi properties CARLSON REZIDOR has announced the opening of two hotels in Saudi Arabia, increasing its presence in the Kingdom to twenty five hotels and more than 4,900 rooms in operation and under development. Portfolio additions in Saudi Arabia include, Radisson Blu Resort Jizan (150 rooms) and Park Inn by Radisson Hotel Dammam (90 rooms). Situated along the Red Sea coastline, the Radisson Blu Resort Jizan’s tranquil beachfront location is conveniently close to urban attractions. The property and includes two outdoor pools, a wellness centre and conference facilities suitable for corporate meetings, weddings and social events. The Park Inn by Radisson Hotel Damman is centrally located on the city’s Corniche Road, and comprises two meeting rooms, an all-day dining restaurant, a lounge, as well as a wellness centre with spa and gym. With the highest pipeline of properties in the Middle East region, Saudi Arabia represents a key growth market for Carlson Rezidor. The group currently operates nine hotels in the Kingdom, including the new

additions, with a plan to operate more than 20 properties across the country within the next three years. The new properties will expand Rezidor’s existing portfolio in the region, which currently includes 32 hotels under the Radisson Blu, Park Inn by Radisson and Quorvus Collection brands, with a focused expansion of the group’s newly launched lifestyle select Radisson Red brand.

Oracle Launches Oracle Hospitality ORACLE, BUILDING on the strong foundation MICROS established serving the hotel and food and beverage industries, has launched Oracle Hospitality Global Business Unit to accelerate the development of innovative cloud, mobile, and guest experience technology. The launch of Oracle Hospitality combines the deep domain expertise of MICROS, acquired by Oracle in 2014, with the power of Oracle’s

scale and innovation, to help customers succeed in an environment that has been fundamentally changed by the rise of social, mobile, and cloud technologies. Oracle’s platform for the hospitality industry offers comprehensive and integrated software, modern cloud offerings, and hardware solutions for hotels, casinos, table and quickservice restaurants, sports and entertainment venues, and cruise

operations from small independents to large global chains. Guests now expect the delivery of personalised experiences through the entire guest journey, both on and off property. By offering comprehensive, integrated systems that serve guests during every interaction, businesses can inspire loyalty, surpass guest expectations, and remain competitive in a rapidly evolving industry.


Starwood debuts Aloft and Element brands in the UAE

Top (Left to Right): Neil George, Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Middle East and AFIO; Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Europe, Africa and Middle East; Mustafa Al Hashimi, CEO, wasl Hospitality & Leisure; Guido de Wilde, Senior Vice President, Regional Director, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Middle East; and Elias Hayek, Vice President, Legal, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Europe, Africa and Middle East. Bottom (Left to Right): HE Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim; HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum; and Frits van Paasschen, CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

STARWOOD HOTELS & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has announced an agreement with wasl hospitality & leisure LLC, a subsidiary of wasl Asset Management Group, to debut the Aloft and Elements brands in Dubai. Scheduled to open in 2018, Aloft Dubai Raffa and Element Dubai Raffa will bolster Starwood’s presence in Dubai – the city with the second largest concentration of hotels for the company after New York City.


With the debut of both brands in 2018, Dubai will soon be home to all nine of Starwood’s brands. “With the Dubai government promoting mid-scale hotel development ahead of the Dubai World Expo 2020, we believe the timing is right to widen the reach of our signature Aloft and Element experiences, which are revolutionising the hospitality industry by delivering a modern, urbanstyle experience at an affordable price,” said

Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. Aloft Dubai Raffa and Element Dubai Raffa will be built simultaneously and operate as a unique complex offering 165 and 96 rooms, respectively, upon opening in early 2018. Located near Dubai Maritime City — the new development at Port Rashid — the hotels will be conveniently located close to Sheikh Zayed Road and the heart of Dubai’s traditional commercial centre.

Dubai’s cruise tourism business hits new high

ACCORDING TO DUBAI Cruise Tourism, the cruise season saw its busiest month so far in January 2015. The cruise terminals in Mina Rashid welcomed over 30 ship calls, bringing over 150,000 cruise tourists to the emirate in just one month, including 26 hub ship calls from four cruise lines. Mina Rashid also accommodated five cruise ships at the

same time on two occasions in January – a first in the terminal’s history – as well as welcoming Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, the largest cruise ship to call in the GCC. Hamad bin Mejren, Executive Director, Dubai Tourism, said: “In 2014, Dubai received 358,000 passengers from 94 cruise ship calls, and the forecast for 2015 stands

at 425,000 cruise tourists from 115 ship calls. With the total figure for January 2015 alone at 150,000 visitors, we’re confident that our 2015 target is achievable. The new terminal has enabled us to welcome even more ships than we’ve been able to in the past, and this will have a significant impact on our cruise visitor figures.”

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts appoints new VP for Development IN A MOVE that structurally prioritises future expansion and brand consolidation, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts announced the appointment of Amir Lababedi as Vice President for Development, Middle East and South Asia. Amir graduated from the University of Surrey with a

degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, and holds a master’s degree in Global Banking and Finance from the European Business School in London. His 20 years’ experience in the industry covers investment advisory services to many of the world’s leading hotel

investment stakeholders. The role of Vice President for Development is a new position created by Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts as part of its continuing efforts to grow in the region and solidify its position as a leading international hotel operator.


Les Clefs d’Or honour for Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel Dubai PARK REGIS Kris Kin Hotel Dubai’s Head of Concierge Girendra Ghimirea has been admitted into the Les Clefs d’Or United Arab Emirates. He was accorded the honoured status by none other than the General Secretary of the Internationale des Concierges d’Hôtels at a glittering function in Dubai. The Les Clefs d’Or UAE is a strong network of concierge members representing all seven emirates. The organisation strives to excel in delivering training and providing updates on the latest hospitality developments in the UAE to its network. The group members share common interests and goals - to assist international travellers and tourists with their professional expertise, excellent communication skills, as well as their knowledge of local culture and tradition.

Armani Hotel Dubai wins ‘World’s Leading Landmark Hotel’ WTA 2014 ARMANI HOTEL Dubai located in Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building by Emaar Properties PJSC, won the title of ‘World’s Leading Landmark Hotel’ at the 2014 World Travel Awards. Spencer H Wadama, GM, Armani Hotel Dubai, said,“The WTA honour is a true testament to the exceptional lifestyle experience that Armani Hotel Dubai offers. Having redefined the concepts of ultraluxury hospitality and set new benchmarks, the property is today the first choice for discerning guests from around the world. The award further underlines Armani Hotel Dubai as the pride of the city’s hospitality industry.” Armani Hotel Dubai brings to life a charming new take on lifestyle offerings in hospitality with its renowned Stay with Armani philosophy - guaranteeing an experience like no other. Every aspect of the hotel’s design and service offerings has been designed and planned by Giorgio Armani - from the bespoke furnishings to restaurant menus and in-room amenities.


Armani Hotel Dubai is located in the heart of Downtown Dubai, and is within walking distance of The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment

destination, and some of Dubai’s most compelling tourist attractions, including The Dubai Fountain, the world’s tallest performing fountain.





Andreas Mattmüller, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East and Asia for Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts shares the vision and strategy for the hospitality brand moving forward, with accelerated growth plans on the horizon


in continuum

What is your current growth strategy? How many projects are you handling currently in the region and how many are going to happen in this year? We continue to grow in the Middle East and our strategy for 2020 is to have 42 hotels operating in the region. The next openings are Mövenpick Hotel Riyadh and our third hotel in Jeddah, Mövenpick Hotel City Star Jeddah, which will both open during the second quarter of 2015,

taking our portfolio in Saudi Arabia to a total of 11 properties. Also recently, we signed a management agreement for Mövenpick Hotel Apartments Downtown Dubai, our seventh Dubai property, set to open in 2017. We currently operate 29 properties in the region, which includes a varied portfolio in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Jordan, as well as good reach across the GCC and Arabian Peninsula. Although our development plan continues to incorporate expansion in these countries, we are also very much focused on growing in the other destinations within this dynamic region. Amongst the new territories prioritised for future development in the Middle East are Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah and Muscat, as well as the Dubai World Central airport

Dead Sea




Dead Sea

district. Primary and secondary cities in Saudi Arabia including Jubail, remain high on our radar, as well as other locations in the UAE, Oman and Qatar. How does Mövenpick aim to capitalise on all the hospitality incentives and initiatives being outlined for Dubai’s hosting of Expo 2020? We currently operate six hotels in Dubai and with our strong presence in the city, we will be aligning ourselves with the initiatives proposed by the government, working hand in hand in order to provide visitors with an amazing experience. What is your opinion on the hospitality landscape in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and the MENA region? Owing to good political stability in the UAE, we foresee excellent performances of the hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as well as in other GCC countries. Give us a brief overview of the region from the recession in 2009 till date. 18 MARCH/APRIL 2015

The next openings are Mövenpick Hotel Riyadh and our third hotel in Jeddah, Mövenpick Hotel City Star Jeddah, which will both open during the second quarter of 2015, taking our portfolio in Saudi Arabia to a total of 11 properties

During the recession, occupancy rates reduced somewhat, however within one year, we could see improvements again. The market has softened slightly in the second part of 2014 as a result of additional inventory in markets such as Dubai. Actually, the political landscape in the Middle East has impacted some other hotels in the region more than the recession, particularly in countries bordering Syria and Iraq. What plans does Mövenpick have for the Middle East region? We will continue to develop hotels under a single brand, as we developed a very strong DNA for Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts. We have no plans to dilute the brand into other segments, other than upscale and upper scale. We also believe that Africa, especially North Africa but also the eastern and western regions of the continent, presents great opportunities for growth. We presently have several proposals under negotiation. We are also contemplating to introduce new innovative restaurant concepts that address the ever-

changing demands of our customers in this area. The ongoing development of our brand promise “Natural Enjoyment” is also a focus area, as we aim to provide quality service and create great stories for our guests to take away with them. Ultimately however, our plan is to continue growing at a sustainable pace. Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts has always believed in organic growth and I’m very proud that we’ve managed to consolidate our developments to maintain a balanced portfolio distribution. We would like to solidify our position as a leading international hotel operator. In the Middle East Brand Ranking Index conducted in 2013 by BDRC, an independent research consultancy firm, Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts ranked second in terms of Brand Recognition, a significant achievement for our international company. How are relationships with owners/ investors managed? We see ourselves and our owners as strong business partners. It is our aim to always align with the vision of our investors. Sharing the vision allows



Ibn Battuta

us to achieve our common objectives and goals in terms of financial returns, quality of service, guest satisfaction and employee fulfilment. Do regional investors/owners of family businesses want a to be more involved in your management style? How is the owner /investor of the Middle East different? We always aim to bring trust into our relationships with owners. We build trust by ensuring total transparency and honesty, sharing key information and knowing when to inform them about key issues. This way, we are also being very entrepreneurial about our business as there is no negative interference, only close and positive cooperation. We are working for the same goals and we inform our owners of key developments as it is their investment after all. How are you as an experienced and highly successful management company able to stay on top of forecasted trends, in keeping the guests engaged and satisfied and having the edge over the competition?

We focus on the value-profit chain and create a company culture that is based on our values. We prioritise great leadership by our general managers and ensure our employees are motivated and well trained, which reflects positively as we consistently provide positive guest experience. One of our key distinctions is our brand promise of “Natural Enjoyment”, which is about delivering a relaxed, uncomplicated experience that makes our guests happy. This allows our guests to be themselves, have fun and feel completely at ease, with service elements that bring a smile to people’s faces. Focus to go the extra mile for our guests. Profitability invariably follows and as a result, we experience a high number of repeat guests at our hotels. What is your take on all the new players in the market? Everyone is welcome. Having so many brands and restaurant concepts represented in markets like Dubai helps to promote the destination, which benefits all of us in the end.

Ibn Battuta

Dead Sea MARCH/APRIL 2015 19


Developing all levels of When it comes to the growth of the hospitality sector in the Middle East, there is a consensus that it’s the mid-level segment that is going to be the next big thing. ThME talks to four prominent hotel brands to get their perspective, and plan of action to meet this demand.

Accor – Christophe Landais, Chief Operating Officer Accor Hotel Services Middle East The hospitality industry in the Middle East region has the most dynamic growth, with a pipeline representing 40 per cent of the existing supply. The 20 MARCH/APRIL 2015

development of the infrastructure and the other government initiatives are supporting this expansion in most countries. Iconic projects like Mall of the world and other new projects around the future canal in Dubai, or the mega infrastructure projects in Holy cities in KSA, are expected to generate a number of new opportunities.

Hotels thus need to have a strategy in place to maximise the business potential this growth will bring. Says Christophe Landais, Chief Operating Officer, Accor Hotel Services Middle East,“Accor Hotel Services operates under management agreements only on behalf of hospitality investors, and has reached a committed network


Christophe Landais, Chief Operating Officer, Accor Hotel

of more than 100 hotels with 69 in operation and 40 in the pipeline. Our target is to operate in the Middle East 30,000 rooms by 2020. With the upcoming Expo 2020 and FIFA 2022, UAE and Qatar will attract many tourists and it will grow Accor Middle East’s opportunities at the same time. We currently have, under construction,

1,000 rooms in Qatar and 1,400 for UAE, and expect more to come.” While industry insiders insist on the lack of a clean, hygienic, basic place to stay for under US $100 (AED 367) in Dubai, Landais says we might soon see this dream fulfilled.“Accor has developed a unique network of 1,700 hotels in the economy segment

ACCOR Exterior - Sofitel Dubai Downtown

worldwide with our different Ibis concepts. We have also established a solid leadership in the Middle East with a network of 30 hotels (14 in operation and 16 in development). Thanks to our know-how in the economy segment, we are in the perfect position to propose a product that can be built for a cost below of US $100,000 (AED 367294) per key, and offer to the guest for below US $100.” In many ways, admits Landais, this is key for future development of tourism – to be able to attract new guests with good quality products at an affordable price. However, he cautions, room rates also respond to market demand, therefore during peak seasons, rates could go over the US $100 mark.“Of course, there are always alternatives like Serviced Apartments and lifestyle / Boutique hotel concepts that are becoming quite popular lately,”he says. Accor is developing more and more properties in the region in three- to four-star category. They currently have 50 hotels in that category, representing 10,600 rooms and 34 hotels are committed (7,150 rooms). The hotels are located close to business districts, shopping centres, malls, convention centres, metro stations, etc, in the main cities of the region. Accor is also introducing new brands such as Adagio for Service Apartment and Ibis Styles. In the near future, they expect to develop Ibis Budget, with a proposed price below US $80 (AED 294). On the upscale segment, they plan to introduce lifestyle brands with So Sofitel and MGallery, while continuing to develop Majlis Grand Mercure. Most of the investments made by Accor are in the UAE and KSA, in addition to Qatar, Oman and Kuwait. Landais also hints on new opportunities in Egypt. With sustainability being the key to the future, investors and owners have to be more cautious.“More and more sustainable practices are integrated into the project by investors, designers and constructors. This a trend, and it could only increase, for two main reasons. First, corporations respond to a customer’s perspective, and end users today demand for increased sustainable operations, and second, from an economic view, it makes it a better plan in the long terms from both a top and bottom line standpoint,”he says. MARCH/APRIL 2015 21


Hospitality Management Holdings (HMH) – Laurent A Voivenel, CEO, HMH HMH – Hospitality Management Holdings is a fully-integrated global hotel services provider. They offer hotel owners and developers a broad spectrum of comprehensive management solutions with five distinct, yet complementary, hotel brands, catering to varied market segments from budget to luxury. Though HMH owning company owns five hotels out of the 17 operational properties in their portfolio, their primary focus is to manage hotels on behalf of owners. “When developers consider our hotel management company for their asset, they know HMH will deliver. Today, 22 MARCH/APRIL 2015

we are present in some of the Middle East’s fastest-growing markets with very promising development prospects. Moving forward, we wish to grow the path according to our strategic plan that is sustainable in a physical sense. The GCC, with a special focus on the UAE and KSA, is central to our expansion strategy. We definitely want to capitalise on the opportunity presented by Dubai Expo 2020 and Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 as the cities head at breakneck speed into the future,”says Laurent A Voivenel, CEO, HMH. By 2020, HMH aims to have a hotel in every GCC country, while doubling their portfolio in the UAE. They are expanding their presence in Dubai, Muscat, Madina, Beirut, Khartoum and Port Sudan, with

five new hotels opening in quick succession that will boost the existing HMH portfolio by 25 per cent. They have also expressed a strong interest in the booming Asian markets such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia and China. Says Voivenel,“Investor appetite has increased over the last few years, underpinned by strong trading performance and tourism demand growth in the region. Typical investors here are from local families and local real estate investment groups from the region. There is an interest from foreign investors too, but on a much smaller scale. Generally speaking, foreign investors like to acquire properties rather than developing properties on their own.”There is considerable


of new tourism and family attractions and enhancement of infrastructure are all fuelling the demand for mid-market hotels,”he explains. Tourism authorities in the region realise that this is the destination’s shortcoming, and are, therefore, pushing the development of mid-market hotels. In Qatar, 45,000 new rooms are required to meet FIFA World Cup demand, while in Dubai, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) estimates a need for 85,000 new rooms by 2020. Therefore, multi-billion worth of projects are being rolled out. “We are witnessing a gradual change since the market has been completely steered to upscale and upper-upscale/ luxury segment. We all know there is a near saturation in the market when it comes to luxury hotels. The market does not need any more luxury hotels at this point. Over supply of rooms in this segment is putting a tremendous pressure on rates that in turn is affecting ROI.


cross border investment into the UAE market from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait. Russian investors have slowed down a bit, however, interest from Indian and Chinese investors and developers remains strong, he adds. The six key cities in the region Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Muscat and Riyadh represent over 124,000 hotel rooms in development pipeline, with most of this new supply only added in recent years. The scale of opportunity in the region for mid-market/budget hotels is unprecedented, according to Voivenel. “Expanding airline networks, especially low-cost carriers, increased airport capacity, growing middle class, emerging source markets, addition

Laurent A

However, the same is not the case with Voivenel, CEO, mid-market hotels. Given the demand, HMH investors can expect double digit ROI (10 to 12 per cent every year) with the right product and the right location,”predicts Voivenel. Therefore, operators are now looking at how they can attract the market of tomorrow, ie, the middle class.“This is why at HMH we have three brands out of five targeting the middle class, because the middle class that today represents 2.5 billion will by 2025 represent 5 billion around the world,”states Voivenel. Under the HMH portfolio, ECOS Hotels is a ‘no frills’ B&B brand that ties together a unique economical and ecological concept. It is a smart choice for investors offering strong investment opportunity because of

lower construction and operating costs, and quick and high return on investment. If Dubai is to draw 20 million visitors annually by 2020 it will need to diversify its hospitality offering in order to widen its appeal to growing middle class worldwide. So there is an urgency to accelerate the development of mid-market hotels in order to reach the right mix of accommodation available in the market. “Investors must broaden their horizon and consider budget hotels like ECOS Hotels as the hotel market gets stronger. It is fast growing and highly competitive segment that will reap rich dividends. We expect to see more announcements for mid-market hotels in 2015,”he says. In terms of demand, Voivenel admits that the future belongs to emerging source markets such as India, China and Africa, who have a rapidly expanding middle class. Growth of low cost carriers has opened this segment. Guests are increasingly looking for value for money - they seek to have better experiences at affordable rates. Hoteliers must offer products that offer ‘non-typical’ or unusual design and experiences at a midmarket price point to capture this market. “At HMH, we have five distinctive brands serving a broad mix of clientele, from budget to luxury in 14 major cities across the MENA region. These include The Ajman Palace Hotel (luxury five-star), Coral Hotels & Resorts (four-five star that represents 75 per cent of our portfolio), Corp Hotels (three-four star), EWA Hotel Apartments (serviced residences in twothree star category) and ECOS Hotels (budget brand to be introduced soon). Each is a carefully crafted brand in its own right catering to a different market segment,”elaborates Voivenel. Halal-friendly hotels is also a fast growing sector that will continue to claim bigger market share, given the business opportunity and demand. HMH was a pioneer of sorts in this, being the only international halal-friendly chain of hotels. Since HMH is an Emirati company, being halal-friendly is part of their culture and DNA, and not simply a business decision. “No matter where we operate, all our hotels are alcohol-free and halal-friendly as it is part of our brand philosophy, unlike other companies who do so only as a business, and are therefore, only wanting a share of the pie by keeping stand-alone brands or hotels as dry,”says Voivenel. Technology plays a key role today in the success of any business, and more so MARCH/APRIL 2015 23

in the hospitality industry. HMH has invested heavily into technology, placing itself at par with top international brands and enabling them to optimise their performance to deliver superior results. They intend to continue this streak with their upcoming openings, the first being Coral Muscat Hotel & Apartments, which will be their flagship property in Muscat, located in Qurum. This deluxe four-star property is part of a shopping arcade and multiplex, and features 88 beautifully furnished apartments, including 56 two-bedroom and 32 one-bedroom units. On site will be an international all-day-dining restaurant, pool deck and lounge, terrace lounge, meeting venues and leisure and fitness facilities. The second opening will be Coral Al Madina Hotel in KSA, a luxurious fivestar hotel, located just across the road overlooking the Holy Mosque. Featuring 400 plus rooms and suites, the hotel will house extensive facilities like three restaurants, lobby lounge, luggage room, shopping arcade, fully-equipped gym and spa, two state-of-the-art meeting rooms, business centre and large parking space as well as a helicopter landing site. In addition, they have two EWA properties coming up in Sudan - EWA Khartoum Hotel & Apartments will welcome guests by the end of March 2015, followed by EWA Port Sudan Hotel & Apartments in the last quarter of 2015. Of course, not to forget that HMH is open to opportunities and eager to capitalise on the demand for budget hotels with ECOS Hotels. “Sustainability is a global responsibility. So far, I haven’t met one owner who is willing to compromise on sustainability issues. At HMH, we have a commitment to purpose beyond profit. From the very beginning, our business philosophy has revolved around creating trusted ethical brands. Therefore, we have been enthusiastically engaged in varied environmental projects and charitable causes designed to benefit the communities in which we operate. We have given ourselves an aggressive target to cut down energy and water consumption by 20 per cent across all our hotels by 2020 under our environmental programme ‘HMH ECO Vision: Minus 20 by 2020’. This is in line with our commitment to provide our guests a safe and healthy environment,” concludes Voivenel. 24 MARCH/APRIL 2015

Hilton – Carlos Khneisser, Vice President, Development, Hilton Worldwide Middle East The Middle East is an increasingly active and diverse market for hotel development, and the industry continues to identify the considerable growth propositions on offer. With more than 100 hotels either trading or under development in the Middle East (including Egypt), Hilton Worldwide’s long established presence and expertise in the region, as well as guest innovation and dynamic brands, puts it in a prime position in this growth. The GCC – Qatar, UAE and KSA in particular – present unrivalled expansion opportunities, given a widespread focus on business and leisure tourism development. “In fact, with eight properties in our Qatar pipeline, and eight to open in the UAE, these markets alone represent a significant portion of our pipeline in the region, illustrating the growing demand for outstanding hospitality in these markets,”says Carlos Khneisser, vice president, development, Hilton Worldwide Middle East. There are a number of drivers behind the region’s growing appeal as a tourist and business travel destination. Without a doubt, events such as EXPO 2020 are key milestones for the hospitality and tourism sector. However, for Hilton Worldwide, their investment in the region goes beyond that.“We are committed to developing the sector over a long term period by constantly evolving our offering, continuously exploring new opportunities and focusing on driving awareness of Hilton Worldwide portfolio,”says Khneisser. Khneisser sees strong growth momentum in hospitality industry development, especially in the UAE, across various customer segments, including mid-scale, upscale and luxury. In the Middle East and Africa, the UAE boasts the largest industry hotel pipeline, with 40,102 rooms, according to STR Global, while it also represents one of Hilton Worldwide’s fastest growing markets in EMEA. As the market has constantly demonstrated positive growth for a number of years, and there is a sustained

Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa

increase in visitor numbers, the UAE continues to be recognised as an investment hotspot, with Dubai ranked among the top four cities globally, that hotel investors are eyeing for mediumterms returns, according to JLL. The key drivers behind this growth include UAE governmental initiatives that promote infrastructural development and diversification of hotels to attract and facilitate guests. The recently announced airport expansion project for Al Maktoum International – Dubai World Central – will have a substantial impact on inbound traffic, and business to Hilton Worldwide hotels in the UAE. Couple this with the expansion of Emirates airline and Etihad Airways and visitor numbers are firmly on the rise. Hilton Worldwide has operated in the Middle East for more than 55 years, and boasts outstanding hospitality, whether you are staying at the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, or planning ahead for


Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi

DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah, U.A.E

the opening of one of their mid-scale Hilton Garden Inn properties.“As visitor numbers to Dubai grow, the Government of Dubai is taking strides to diversify its hotel portfolio to cater to a wider range of customer segments, through encouraging developers to roll-out more options for travellers staying in the mid-market segment. The signing of agreements to open three Hilton Garden Inn properties by next year underlines our unequivocal support of government policy and Dubai’s vision to attract 20 million tourists by 2020,” informs Khneisser. Hilton currently operates four award-winning brands in the UAE, with 19 properties currently trading, and plans for eight more. They cater to a diverse guest profile, who rank their preferences very differently to one another, factoring in a hotel’s offering, location and budget among other key influencers. Says Khneisser, “The introduction of Hilton Garden Inn, which we proudly call our upscale,

yet affordable option, later this year will enhance our regional offering, with added choice for guests who know, trust and prefer to stay at Hilton properties. As part of our development strategy, we have outlined our intentions to bring the Embassy brand to the Middle East, as well as the more recent announcements of Canopy by Hilton and Curio, a Collection by Hilton – with discussions already underway to bring these new brands to the region.” Currently though, Hilton Garden Inn is in growth mode, gaining significant traction; with Hilton Garden Inn Riyadh Olaya trading and an active pipeline of nine across the region, including three in the UAE, one in Qatar and five in KSA. Their next strategy will be to expand Hilton Hotels & Resorts and DoubleTree by Hilton’s footprint, in addition to their accessible lifestyle brand, Canopy by Hilton, and opening the region’s first Curio – A Collection by Hilton hotel in Doha’s Mall of Qatar in 2016. “We anticipate each brand to be in

demand in the Middle East, as we scope of new locations for each. In line with this focus on catering to a wider cross section of guests, in December 2014, we rolled out our digital check-in technology at scale at more than 4,100 Hilton Worldwide branded hotels around the world – highlighting our commitment to being the number one choice for the modern day traveller. The largest digital roll out of its kind in the industry, 44 million Hilton HHonors members now enjoy unprecedented choice and control over their stays through the touch of a button,” says Khneisser. Thanks to recent government pushes and initiatives such as Smart Dubai, the Middle East is increasingly conscious of environmentally-friendly approaches to both life and business. In recent years, hotel owners have embraced sustainability as standard in their business models. “Our properties are driving forward with eco-projects and corporate responsibility initiatives focused on minimising our carbon footprint across the region,”he concludes. MARCH/APRIL 2015 25


Rezidor – Elie Milky, Senior Director Business Development, Middle East and Africa, Rezidor Hotel Group AND Ramsay Rankoussi, Director Business Development, Middle East and Africa, the Rezidor Hotel Group A relatively smaller group by some standards, the Rezidor Hotel Group is not going to be left behind in the hospitality boom the region is experiencing.“At the moment, the idea is to expand the portfolio in the UAE and Qatar, and bring Rezidor’s various 26 MARCH/APRIL 2015

brands to the region. We’ve got a lot of demand for mid-level as well as lifestyle hotels, and we want to expand these brands in these submarkets. There is also an opportunity for resorts. We have been very active, attending conferences, trying to source new leads and sign new hotels. We currently have 4,000 rooms, and we hope to increase that by 50 per cent by 2020,”says Elie Milky, Senior Director Business Development, Middle East and Africa, Rezidor Hotel Group. In the region, Rezidor has around 60 hotels operation and under development, a number they hope to increase to 100 2020 by expanding management agreements. Says

Ramsay Rankoussi, Director Business Development, Middle East and Africa, the Rezidor Hotel Group, “The Radisson Red has recently been launched - around nine months ago. We launched it to complement the Quorvus Collection, which is a luxury, bespoke, unique property, which we have only one in Kuwait. In London, Radisson Red is a midscale segment brand.” The trend today is technology, customers who want a seamless experience between technology and themselves. Hotels have become a kind of social hub, where people are entertained, have meetings on the side, etc. With the advent of different zones


Elie Milky

Ramsay Rankoussi

Rezidor Symphony Style Hotel Kuwait

like Dubai Media City, IMPZ, Business Bay, etc, in Dubai, Rankoussi believes Rezidor has brands that can fit in well, fulfilling the demand for mid-scale hotels. The plan thus is to have 60 properties by 2020, in main cities like Dubai, Doha, Jeddah, and Abu Dhabi. “At Rezidor, we customise our approach not only to consumer demand, but also investor requirements. With Park Inn by Radisson, we have a three to four star product that is really real estate efficient in terms of returns for the investor. Radisson Red will work for investors who are cost-conscious, and looking for ROI more than a luxury property. Adding in other aspects like

F&B, this product can better optimise the investment of the owner,”says Rankoussi. According to him, the ‘generation Y millennials’ are the next largest segment of travellers in the next five years or so. In anticipation of this, Rezidor is moving ahead with a focus on efficiency.“A lot of other brands have done the same because they too believe this is the future,”he adds. “A perspective we have in our company is that brands are not created for consumers, they are created for investment. There are brands that go all out for the consumer, but then it becomes an expensive investment. We are looking to enhance performance levels in a way that will make sense for the investor as well. We want to create something that is

affordable and make sense financially for everyone involved,” explains Milky. Today the buyer is leading the region’s hospitality infrastructure. In the last two years, there is a lot of growth in the mid-scale segment - three and fourstar - because there is a certain maturity in the market. Dubai is a sophisticated market with lots of five-star and luxury hotel options. But now the Government is taking initiative in terms of incentives, with plots dedicated only to three and four-star properties.“We see a lot of potential in serviced apartments as well because GCC families in particular want larger accommodations for longer stay,” says Rankoussi. Adds Milky,“Ten years ago, investors did not see the merits of midmarket hotel investments, and it took the crash in 2008 to show them the reality. Now there is more acceptance towards midscale brands and serviced apartments, because they offer an attractive investment opportunity, carry slightly lower risks, and with serviced apartments, you get high occupancy, longer stays and a product that has high profit margins compared to a traditional hotel,”says Milky. According to Milky, the Government is responding to market demand by providing incentives to encourage investors. In fact, the Government is encouraging acceleration by fixing a deadline for 2017.“There’s also an expansion of the investment committee, which is also Government-driven. In the olden days, the investment community was just families. Now smaller trading companies are also looking to enter the hospitality business because of the success rates. The absence of red tape in Dubai also helps - the whole process of licensing is a one-week process, and this philosophy is being implemented regionally, helping us to enlarge investment opportunities,” says Rankoussi. This model is slowly starting to be implemented across the region, beginning with KSA. This progress is directly related to the big picture, which is tourism and its contribution to the GDP of the country. When countries start taking this seriously, processes will improve. According to Rankoussi, It’s about creating infrastructure that will make the country more connected, enhancing airports to and connectivity to secondary cities, which has a ripple effect because you will need hotels in those cities if domestic tourism becomes stronger,”he concludes. MARCH/APRIL 2015 27


‫القريب‪ ،‬تنوي أكور تقدمي سلسلة‬ ‫واملزيد من العقارات في املنطقة في‬ ‫فنادق ايبيس االقتصادية اجلديدة‪،‬‬ ‫فئة ثالث إلى أربع جنوم‪ ،‬ولديها‬ ‫حاليا ‪ 50‬فندقا في تلك الفئة‪ ،‬والتي مع سعر مبيت يقارب ‪ 80‬دوالر‬ ‫(‪ 294‬درهما)‪ .‬أما على جانب‬ ‫متثل ‪ 10600‬غرفة باإلضافة إلى‬ ‫‪ 34‬فندقا (تضم ‪ 7150‬غرفة) قيد الفنادق الراقية‪ ،‬تخطط أكور لطرح‬ ‫اإلنشاء حاليا‪ .‬هذه الفنادق تقع على عالمات جتارية جديدة مثل فنادق‬ ‫’سو سوفيتيل‘ و ’ماجاليري‘‪ ،‬مع‬ ‫مقربة من املناطق التجارية ومراكز‬ ‫االستمرار في تطوير مجلس غراند‬ ‫التسوق واملراكز التجارية ومراكز‬ ‫ميركيور‪ .‬معظم االستثمارات التي‬ ‫املؤمترات‪ ،‬ومحطات املترو وغيرها‪،‬‬ ‫تقوم بها مجموعة أكور هي في دولة‬ ‫في املدن الرئيسية في املنطقة‪.‬‬ ‫اإلمارات والسعودية‪ ،‬باإلضافة إلى‬ ‫أكور تقدم أيضا عالمات جتارية‬ ‫جديدة في عالم الفنادق مثل ايدجيو قطر وسلطنة عمان والكويت‪ .‬يلمح‬ ‫‪ Adagio‬إلدارة الشقق الفندقية‪ ،‬النديه أيضا إلى فرص استثمارية‬ ‫وكذلك ايبيس ستايلز‪ .‬في املستقبل جديدة محتملة في مصر‪.‬‬

‫مع كون االستدامة مفتاح‬ ‫املستقبل‪ ،‬على املستثمرين واملالك‬ ‫أن يكونوا أكثر حذرا‪ ،‬حيث يرى‬ ‫النديه‪« :‬يوما بعد يوم‪ ،‬يتم دمج‬ ‫املزيد واملزيد من املمارسات املستدامة‬ ‫في املشاريع من قبل املستثمرين‬ ‫واملصممني واملقاولني‪ .‬هذا اجتاه سائد‬ ‫حاليا‪ ،‬وميكن له أن يزيد لسببني‬ ‫رئيسيني فقط‪ :‬األول هو استجابة‬ ‫الشركات لوجهة نظر العميل‪،‬‬ ‫ولطلب املستخدمني النهائيني زيادة‬ ‫العمليات املستدامة‪ ،‬والثاني‪ ،‬من‬ ‫وجهة النظر االقتصادية‪ ،‬االستدامة‬ ‫أفضل على املدى الطويل‪».‬‬ ‫‪28 MARCH/APRIL 2015‬‬

‫تطوير جميع‬ ‫مستويات السياحة‬

‫عندما يتعلق األمر بنمو قطاع الضيافة في منطقة الشرق األوسط‪ ،‬ستجد هناك‬ ‫إجماعا على أنها القطاع الذي سيشهد طفرة جتعله القطاع عالي الربحية املقبل‪.‬‬ ‫حتدثت مجلتكم الغراء إلى مجموعة الفنادق الفرنسية أكور لتتعرف على وجهة‬ ‫نظرها في هذا األمر‪ ،‬وخطة عملها لتلبية الزيادة املتوقعة في الطلب‪.‬‬

‫أكور ‪ -‬كريستوف النديه‪ ،‬املدير‬ ‫التنفيذي للعمليات‪ ،‬خدمات أكور‬ ‫الفندقية في الشرق األوسط‬ ‫لدى قطاع الضيافة في منطقة‬ ‫الشرق األوسط معدل منو هو األكثر‬ ‫ديناميكية‪ ،‬مع خطط مستقبلية متثل‬ ‫‪ %40‬من املتوفر حاليا في السوق‪.‬‬ ‫فوق ذلك‪ ،‬تعمل خطط تطوير‬ ‫البنية التحتية واملبادرات احلكومية‬ ‫األخرى على دعم هذا التوسع في‬ ‫معظم بلدان املنطقة‪ .‬من املتوقع‬ ‫للمشاريع األيقونية مثل مول العالم‪،‬‬ ‫واملشاريع اجلديدة حول امتداد خور‬ ‫دبي في دبي‪ ،‬ومشاريع البنية التحتية‬ ‫الضخمة في مكة املكرمة واملدينة‬ ‫املنورة في اململكة العربية السعودية‪،‬‬ ‫كل هذه املشاريع من املتوقع لها أن‬ ‫تصنع عددا ال بأس به من الفرص‬ ‫اجلديدة الواعدة‪.‬‬ ‫وعليه فإن قطاع الفنادق في حاجة‬ ‫ماسة إلى وضع وتطبيق استراتيجية‬ ‫عمل من شأنها تعظيم الفرص التي‬ ‫سيوفرها هذا النمو‪ .‬عن ذلك يخبرنا‬ ‫كريستوف النديه‪ ،‬املدير التنفيذي‬ ‫للعمليات‪ ،‬خدمات أكور الفندقية‬ ‫في الشرق األوسط‪« :‬تعمل خدمات‬ ‫أكور الفندقية مبوجب اتفاقيات‬ ‫إدارة نيابة عن املستثمرين في قطاع‬ ‫الضيافة‪ ،‬وقد بلغ إجمالي الفنادق‬ ‫التي نديرها أكثر من ‪ 100‬فندق‪،‬‬ ‫منها ‪ 69‬فندقا قيد التشغيل حاليا‪،‬‬ ‫و ‪ 40‬قيد التجهيز والبناء‪ .‬هدفنا في‬ ‫‪MARCH/APRIL 2015 29‬‬

‫الشرق األوسط هو أن ندير ‪ 30‬ألف‬ ‫غرفة فندقية بحلول عام ‪.2020‬‬ ‫تزامنا مع معرض دبي اكسبو ‪2020‬‬ ‫القادم وكأس العالم لكرة القدم في‬ ‫‪ ،2022‬ستجذب كل من اإلمارات‬ ‫العربية املتحدة وقطر الكثير من‬ ‫السياح‪ ،‬األمر الذي من شأنه أن يزيد‬ ‫فرص منو أكور الشرق األوسط في‬ ‫نفس الوقت‪ .‬لدينا حاليا ألف غرفة‬ ‫فندقية قيد اإلنشاء في قطر‪ ،‬و‪1400‬‬ ‫غرفة مثلها في اإلمارات العربية‬ ‫املتحدة‪ ،‬ونتوقع أن يزيد هذه الرقم‬ ‫في املستقبل‪».‬‬ ‫بينما يصر خبراء الصناعة على‬ ‫عدم وجود مكان صحي ونظيف‬ ‫لقضاء ليلة بسعر أقل من ‪ 100‬دوالر‬ ‫أمريكي (‪ 367‬درهم) في دبي‪،‬‬ ‫يرى النديه أننا قد نرى قريبا هذا‬ ‫احللم يتحقق‪ ،‬وهو يقول‪« :‬لقد‬ ‫طورت أكور شبكة فريدة مكونة‬ ‫من ‪ 1700‬فندق اقتصادي موزعة‬ ‫على جميع أنحاء العالم‪ .‬أنشأنا‬ ‫كذلك قيادة راسخة في الشرق‬ ‫األوسط لديها شبكة من ‪ 30‬فندقا‬ ‫(‪ 14‬قيد التشغيل و ‪ 16‬قيد البناء‬ ‫والتجهيز)‪ .‬بفضل خبرتنا في قطاع‬ ‫الفندقة االقتصادية‪ ،‬فنحن في موقف‬ ‫مثالي القتراح املنتجات التي ميكن‬ ‫بناؤها بتكلفة أقل من مئة ألف دوالر‬ ‫أمريكي (‪ 367294‬درهما) لكل‬ ‫مفتاح‪ ،‬وتوفير غرفة فندقية للضيف‬ ‫بأقل من ‪ 100‬دوالر أمريكي لليلة‪».‬‬ ‫يؤكد النديه بطرق كثيرة أن‬

‫مفتاح التنمية املستقبلية للسياحة‬ ‫هو أن تكون قادرا على جذب‬ ‫الضيوف اجلدد بفضل منتجات‬ ‫ذات نوعية جيدة بأسعار في متناول‬ ‫اجلميع‪ .‬ومع ذلك‪ ،‬يحذر النديه‬ ‫من أن أسعار الغرف تستجيب‬ ‫لطلب السوق‪ ،‬وبالتالي خالل مواسم‬ ‫الذروة‪ ،‬ميكن أن ترتفع املعدالت‬ ‫ألكثر من ‪ 100‬دوالر أمريكي‪،‬‬ ‫ويضيف قائال‪« :‬بالطبع‪ ،‬هناك دائما‬ ‫بدائل مثل الشقق الفندقية وفنادق‬ ‫البوتيك التي أصبحت ذات شعبية‬ ‫كبيرة في اآلونة األخيرة‪».‬‬ ‫تعمل أكور على تطوير املزيد‬

travel Experiential

Contemporary luxury

Over the past several years, and particularly after the 2008 global recession, there has been a notable shift in the preferences of buyers of luxury goods and services. Gone are the days of opulent excess as research has repeatedly shown “a shifting tendency among the affluent to seek and discover authentic experiences as opposed to purchasing and owning physical luxury items” (2014 MasterCard Affluent Report). For instance, over 72 per cent of respondents in a 2013 American Express survey said they would rather spend money on experiences than material goods. Moreover, luxury consumers desire bespoke and personalised products and services, and nowhere is this truer than in luxury travel.

Luxury leisure travel In 2013, the Boston Consulting Group estimated the luxury leisure travel market’s overall value at US$460

30 MARCH/APRL 2015

Here’s a look at the changing face of trends in luxury leisure travel. Multiple reasons are taking the affluent traveller to experience the world in its authenticity, discovering living it as it is meant to be seen and lived. Ezio Poinelli, Director HVS Office Milan elaborates

billion, and it has been growing by an average of 11 per cent each year. According to the 2011 Howarth HTL report on the Future of Luxury Travel, “Luxury travellers today are … no longer drawn by ostentatious services, they have moved towards a quieter, understated luxury, and plan their trips with a focus on authenticity and experiential travel”. They do so by choosing travel products that allow them to experience local cuisine, art and culture, off-the-beaten-track destinations, spectacular scenery and nature reserves. The report explained the changing profile of luxury travellers, which includes the following characteristics: A desire to be entertained, engaged and enriched rather than just pampered An increasing need for authenticity, simplicity and environmental care Growing use of internet and social media An increased interest in very


exclusive products and memorable experiences A growth of multi-generational family travel

Demographic and sustainability shifts According to the 2013 Resonance Report on US Affluent Travel and Leisure, Baby Boomers (55+) are the ones with the most time to spend on travel and leisure. As the report explains,“With newfound time, disposable wealth and an “inexorable desire for new sensory and life experiences”, Boomers have become “the most potent and profitable travel consumers in history.” Multigenerational travel has been named the biggest travel trend by the Virtuoso luxury travel network for four consecutive years. The primary drivers of the popularity of multigenerational travel according to a 2014 Wall Street Journal article are the “baby boomers with money and a hankering for meaningful experiences”. Meanwhile, Generation X-ers are also spending more time and money on leisure activities. And, while Generation Y-ers (“Millennials”) generally do not have the accumulated wealth (or time) to represent a large share of luxury leisure travel, they are influential in setting trends. One key example is the use of social media. When it comes to their travel choices, Millennials look for “something extra” and the “cool factor” rather than

boring and ordinary. The pictures they then share with their social networks have a snowball effect in influencing subsequent travel choices of their family and friends. These new trends in luxury tie well with a distinctive demographic group that has emerged over the past decade: Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS). According to the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) in a 2007 study, LOHAS consumers represent approximately 19 per cent of the U.S. adult population and have even greater influence (as they are trend setters). They are motivated to buy products and services that are environmentally conscious, sustainable, socially responsible, and/or healthy for themselves and the planet. With the emergence of the LOHAS consumer, then, it is no surprise that ecotourism, nature, cultural and “soft adventure” tourism will all grow faster over the next 20 years than the tourism industry as a whole (UNWTO’s 2012 Tourism in the Green Economy Report).

Experiential travel Given these changes in consumer travel preferences, it is no surprise that a 2014 report entitled “The Rise of Experiential Travel” by the Skift travel research firm concluded,“Arguably the most significant, systemic trend in worldwide tourism today is the demand for ‘experiential travel’”. Take, for instance, the exponential

Gone are the days of opulent excess as research has repeatedly shown “a shifting tendency among the affluent to seek and discover authentic experiences as opposed to purchasing and owning physical luxury items”

growth in ‘adventure travel,’ which can be considered a subset of the experiential travel segment. A study commissioned by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) found that the adventure travel market grew from $89 billion in 2009 to $263 billion in 2012, representing annual growth of 65 per cent. Skift defines experiential travel as travel that is “more immersive, local, authentic, adventurous and/or active.” AFAR magazine explains,“Experiential travellers want to dive deeper into authentic, local, culture, connecting with people from other cultures in ways that enrich their lives and create lasting memories”. Experiential travel can take many forms, including personalized adventures, spiritual journeys, voluntary tourism and nature-based ecotourism. Distinguishing aspects of this type of travel include the emphasis on personal enrichment and learning (activities often led by experts), authenticity (experiences reflect local environment, culture) and active participation. The challenge for a resort owner or operator seeking to enter this market segment is how to design and develop an experiential lodging component that captures the sensation of“camping”in spectacular natural settings, while also providing the most important comforts of a luxury hotel room (comfortable beds, private, fully-appointed bathrooms, and so forth). Another challenge is how to create experiential


programming that will engage and inspire guests, based on the unique natural and cultural attributes that the destination has to offer. Steps are actively taken to ensure that experiential travelling gains the position it deserves in the market, with the most recent being the announcement of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World. This is a collection of 25 lodging facilities around the world offering a wide variety of activities and experiences in environments of exquisite natural beauty. As the market grows, such efforts are expected to multiply.

Luxury Frontiers and HVS – Working together on new concepts Luxury Frontiers, with the global support of the Athens and Milan offices of HVS, provide expertise and global market intelligence to resort owners and operators interested in entering (or expanding) into the rapidly growing experiential travel segment. Luca Franco, Luxury Frontier’s Managing Partner, explained,“The Luxury Frontiers team has designed and developed some of the world’s most distinguished luxury resorts and experiential hospitality concepts. With the addition of HVS’s unrivalled intelligence gathering and presence throughout the world, our alliance will bring the best industry know-how and insight to resort owners and operators looking to offer discerning travellers experiences of a lifetime.” Demetris Spanos, Managing Director of HVS Athens and HVS Milan, said,“peculiar formats of accommodation conceived and designed by Luxury Frontiers to integrate perfectly in unique environments, i.e. tent camps into the rainforest or in deserts, tree houses , etc. allow customers to enjoy unique settings and live amazing experiences, without renouncing the comfort and amenities of a small luxury resort.”

The mission and business model Luxury Frontiers is a leading global expert in the concept, design, development, execution, and integration of resort additions through the creation of low impact and unique 32 MARCH/APRL 2015

They do so by choosing travel products that allow them to experience local cuisine, art and culture, off-thebeaten-track destinations, spectacular scenery and nature reserves

luxury guest experiences. Currently, the market is served by individual manufacturers looking only to sell product or by architects providing alternative design solutions. No other group offers (or has the capacity to offer) Luxury Frontiers’ holistic experiential design, development and operations expertise. Led by a global team of seasoned executives, Luxury Frontiers offers asset value enhancement solutions to resort owners and operators in response to the increasing consumer demand for “collecting memories” instead of more items to dust. The business model adopted has the ability to quickly and profitably create unique lodging experiences with low capital costs. As Luxury Frontiers partner Roy Paul notes,“Our model not only capitalizes on the modern luxury travellers’ preferences for unique, ‘one of a kind’ experiences, but also leverages existing infrastructure and operations to generate exceptional profit margins and high returns on capital.” In an environment where monies for capital expenditures are scarce, Luxury Frontiers is also willing to invest the majority of the required capital. The model has been well received by leading industry players. For

instance, Herve Humler, President and COO of Ritz-Carlton, opined: “The future of the high-end luxury business is in enhancing brand reputation through authentic leadership in social and environmental responsibility. The average daily rate for Luxury Frontiers’‘room under canvas’ can enhance the position of the hotel and the destination adding mystique to the location.” Jennifer Fox, President, Fairmont Hotels, noted: “This new concept is very creative and very right for today’s consumer who is looking for a unique and authentic experience. I agree the concept is best served when existing infrastructure is already there and it adds a new dimension and option for the guest.”

Unique Experiences, Products and Programming Luxury Frontiers specialises in designing and developing alternative, light on earth, concepts and experiences, such as Luxury Under Canvas suites, Tree-top Living and Dining pods, prefabricated timber cabins and other alternative building methodologies that incorporate environmentally friendly practices (such as green roofs, natural ventilation, locally sourced materials, etc.). Ezio Poinelli, Director HVS

Four Seasons Golden Triangle, Thailand


Athens and Milano, explained,“even though the concept is perfect for exotic and wilderness locations, we found a strong interest from resort and hotel owners in some European countries where the restrictions imposed by environmental authorities and urban zone planning do not allow to expand the resort capacity/build new units. Tents and tree houses are very flexible formats and an acceptable compromise/ solution towards the public administration concerns and constraints, in sensitive places.” Luxury Frontiers also integrates a collection of activities, educational programs and adventures drawn from a site’s unique natural assets, cultural heritage and culinary traditions. In an era when green engineering, high eco-consciousness and health and wellness are steadily becoming critical important factors in the highend market spectrum, this proposition is poised to succeed.

Case studies of experiential travel concepts Four Seasons Golden Triangle, Thailand Located along the Ruak River, adjacent to an elephant reserve, guests arrive at this resort – the first all-inclusive Four Seasons - via traditional long-

tail boats. The resort is comprised of 15 tents (3 deluxe, 12 standard) measuring 54 m2. All tents are airconditioned, and furnished with hard wood floors, open baths, indoor/ outdoor rain shower, and feature private decks with views of the surrounding hillsides, jungle and/ or river valley. The deluxe tents also feature a private, outdoor hot tub. Public areas include a full service spa with two treatment rooms; an open-air restaurant/bar, and several other venues where private meals are served. Additional experiences offered by the resort include elephant training and baths, jungle hikes, riverboat tours, and a cooking school. Rack rates (full board, transfers and elephant trekking included) range from approximately $2,500 per night for the standard tents and $2,800 per night for the deluxe tents, double occupancy. The resort is open year round. Further details are available at goldentriangle.

“Luxury travellers today are … no longer drawn by ostentatious services, they have moved towards a quieter, understated luxury, and plan their trips with a focus on authenticity and experiential travel”

Clayoquot, British Colombia, Canada Located in a remote part of Vancouver Island, guests arrive to this “eco-safari” wilderness destination via private seaplane from

Vancouver (45 minutes). The resorts’ 20 tents include eight standard tents and 12 luxury en suite tents. While the latter feature private baths with indoor/outdoor showers, the former do not. The former have private composting toilets and dedicated showers in a nearby shower house. The suite tents can sleep a family of up to five members. Public areas include two lounge tents, dining tent and spa facility with two massage tents, hot tubs and sauna. The resort features a wide range of wilderness activities (from bear watching to archery), which are personalized to each guest’s interests and abilities. Rate Packages (all-inclusive) for standard tents are: 3 nights (CA$4,750-4,988 per person), 4 nights (CA$5,700-5,985 per person), 7 nights (CA$9,4509,923 per person); and for deluxe tents: 3 nights (CA$6,050-6,353 per person), 4 nights (CA$7,260-7,623 per person), 7 nights (CA$12,100-12,705 per person); children <12 half price. The lodge is open from mid-May to end of September. Further details are available at Aman-i-khas, India Located in India’s Ranthambore National Park and Inspired by the Mughal travelling tents, Aman-i-

Aman-i-khas, India

Clayoquot, British Colombia, Canada



Khas is an exclusive, high-end safari tented camp. At the centre of the park is the 10th century Ranthambore Fort, and scattered nearby are ancient temples and mosques and crocodile-filled lakes. Each of the resort’s ten luxurious tents measures a spacious 108 m2 and has a souring six meter tall canopy ceiling with canvas interior and exterior walls, and private screened-in patios; each air-conditioned ‘room’ features an oversized daybed. Bathrooms and dressing rooms include deep marble bathtubs and multiple private chambers. Public areas include a dining tent, lounge tent, spa tent with two treatment areas, outdoor pool and terrace and outdoor fireplace. All public spaces are constructed of the same natural canvas tent material, with high ceilings and open-air screens on all sides of the structures that allow natural breezes through. The camp’s outdoor fireplace functions as an informal outdoor lounge and dining area. The resort offers twice daily safari drives into the National Park for tiger, leopard and other wildlife spotting. Rack rates range from $1,000 to $1,100 per night, room only. Open for 8 months each year (October to May). Further details available at: Virgin Limited Tasmodot Kabasgah, Morocco Located in the Atlas Mountains one hour from Marrakech, the property has 18 conventional rooms and suites 34 MARCH/APRL 2015

Virgin Limited Tasmodot Kabasgah, Morocco

Treehotel Sweden

and 9 luxury tents. The property started with five luxury tents in 2005 before adding four more tents in 2010. Measuring approximately 65 m2, the Berber tents feature a kingsize bed, large bathtubs for soaking, and a terrace with sun loungers and space for outdoor dining. Some tents also offer private plunge pools. The resort offers a variety of activities and excursions, including: cooking classes, mule trekking and hikes in the surrounding Atlas Mountains, visits to neighbouring villages and craft houses and guided excursions to Marrakech. Rack rates range from approximately

$970 to $1,100 (low/high season) for the standard tents and from approximately $1,150 to $1,300 (low/ high season) for those with private pool. Open year round. Further details are available at www.kasbahtamadot. Amanwana Indonesia Amanwana is a water-based island resort on Indonesia’s Moyo Island, a nature and marine reserve. This is an active hotel operation, which benefits from the “camp” feeling so that whether participating in an activity, or relaxing after one, the guest is always


Amanwana Indonesia

engaged in the local environment. The Amanwana tents consist of solid walls with large glass-paned windows, and tented ceilings. The rooms are spacious and are airconditioned for sleeping comfort. The tented camp’s public spaces, including the main dining room, are open-air facilities with large thatched overhangs. Guests have access to diving and snorkelling excursions in the surrounding marine reserve, trekking to waterfalls and seaside cliffs in the nature preserve, and boat cruises to nearby beaches and islands. Rack rates for the jungle tents range from

approximately $750 to $900, room only, and for the ocean tents, from $900 to $1,050, room only. The resort is open year round. Further details are available at amanwana/home.aspx. Treehotel Sweden Located in Lapland of Sweden, the Treehotel opened in July 2010 with four treehouse operated in conjunction with a simple adjacent guesthouse. The Treehotel features six whimsical, unique tree-mounted structures designed by well-known architects. The current “rooms” are

They are motivated to buy products and services that are environmentally conscious, sustainable, socially responsible, and/ or healthy for themselves and the planet

Taj Safari Lodges, Pradesh, India

the Mirrorcube, the Cabin, the Bird’s Nest, the Blue Cone, the UFO and the Dragonfly. The Treehouses vary in size from 15 m2 to 52 m2, and accommodate two to six people. There are no showers/tubs in the rooms, but bath/sauna facilities are nearby. Future designs may include a self-contained shower system. The Treehotel is a destination in itself where people come for the innovative designs and experience (reliving childhood of sleeping in the forest), while also offering a host of activities to enjoy both winter and summer in the surrounding natural environments. Design choices focus on sustainability – the units are constructed from sustainably harvested wood and have electric radiant floor heating (but no air conditioning) and a non-flushing combustible toilet. Rack rates range between approximately $670 to $1,000 per night. The hotel is open year round. Further details are available at Taj Safari Lodges, Pradesh, India Taj Hotels, together with and Beyond, created a uniquely positioned Indian wildlife circuit comprised of four safari lodges and tented camps situated on the borders of India’s world-renowned tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh state. Nicknamed the ‘Heart of India,’ Madhya Pradesh offers a treasure trove of wildlife reserves, temples and palaces, and a rich tradition of arts, crafts and cuisine. Taj Hotels’ safari camps in Madhya Pradesh are: Banjaar Tola at Kanha National Park (two camps of nine tents each); Mahua Kothi at Bandhavgarh National Park (12 suites); Baghvan at Pench National Park (12 bungalow suites); and Pashan Garh at Panna National Park (12 luxury stone cottages). Nightly rates at the lodges range from approximately $440 per person, low season, to approximately $700 per person high season. This rate includes all meals, house wines and spirits, twice daily jungle safari drives, and applicable taxes and park fees. The lodges operate year round. Further details are available at www. MARCH/APRIL 2015 35

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beach outing Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort is an icon … one of Dubai’s most popular beach resorts, with 268 deluxe rooms, 60 executive rooms, 12 corner alcove rooms, 50 suites, this glorious beach facing property has a very loyal customer base. ThME spent a day at the clean, exclusive beach on a crisp Friday morning


taying relevant with the number of beach facing hotels dotting the city is definitely something most hospitality properties take very seriously. The Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort has done extremely well being one of the most popular beach resorts for families over a number of years now. And rightly so, lots of families choose to spend a large part of their weekend on its beach, because there’s something for all family members, a play area on the beach for smaller kids, the very easy going, comfortable with top notch culinary options restaurant on the beach Wavebreaker serves all sorts of meals all day long, lounge chairs with attentive staff looking after patrons’ needs you just have to get there for everything else to be taken care of. With a mosque next door as well as prayer rooms inside the property it suits the needs of all residents and visitors.


More than 2,400 hotel openings in 2015 … USA stays on top with 632 hotels. This data is brought to you by Top Hotel Projects

Focus on … international

hotel investments 38 MARCH/APRIL 2015

Hotel boom in traveller-magnet China – 544 new hotels with 160,000 rooms in the pipeline China has trumped everything: The Middle Kingdom is a world champion in traveling, both inbound and outbound. The number of Chinese tourists traveling to other countries has doubled in the past five years. But also


enings p o l e t Ho regiohn y ls b 5 1 w ote an – 20 730 ne be

e– Carib Europ rica / e m A North ls tels w hote ew ho 733 ne ast – 262 n E ls te Middle 144 new ho – ls a e t ic o r h f A 9 new 9 8 – Asia

Hotel Construction Projects in the Middle East 8 tes – 13 United Arab Emira Oman – 29 Qatar – 46 4 Saudia Arabia – 11 15 – Jordan

Further f ac hotel con ts about struction 2015:

Leader in hotel con struction is USA: 6 32 new h otels will added in be 2015 In Germa ny 235 n ew hotels will be in augurate d In China 231 hote ls will op their doo en rs In India 1 03 new h otels will enter the market

within the country, tourism is booming. The turnover of the hotel industry has increased respectively by over nine per cent in recent years and is now according to current surveys at US$47.4 billion. In China, many top hotels are in the pipeline – according to Top Hotel Projects, there are currently 544 first class and luxury hotels with 164,400 rooms in the pipeline. Business travel within China has had

an enormous increase. The volume of business trips increased by 14.3 per cent to about 224 million US dollars. A majority of all domestic travel (60 per cent) is booked online by the Chinese traveller. Thus, the potential for business hotels is growing.

About Tophotelprojects is the leading data

provider for hotel projects data worldwide. The databases contains more than 5,00 hotel construction projects with detailed information and contact data for the supplier industry. The multi-lingual team of Tophotelprojects gather projects data and detail information around the globe directly from developers, hotel operators, architects and interior designers. Learn more:



The Muse Hotel, London

Overview about new building projects by leading hotel brands in China Aloft (Starwood Hotels & Resorts) – 6 hotel construction projects Angsana (Banyan Tree) – 7 Ascott Residences (The Ascott) – 10 Banyan Tree – 15 Conrad (Hilton Worldwide) – 6 Dusit/Dusit Thani – 12 Edition (Marriott) – 3 Fairmont – 9 Four Seasons – 3 Grand Hyatt – 5 Hilton – 11 Hotel Indigo (IHG) – 4 Hualuxe (IHG/Hualuxe) – 18 Hyatt Regency – 8 InterContinental (IHG) – 9 Jumeirah – 9 JW Marriott – 7 Kempinski – 2 Langham Place – 4 Le Méridien (Starwood Hotels) – 9 Mandarin Oriental – 4 Marco Polo – 3 Mövenpick Hotels – 2 New World Hotels – 6 Park Hyatt – 4 Pentahotel – 4 Pullman (Accor) – 6 Radisson/Radisson Red/Radisson Plaza/ Radisson Blu – 18 Raffles – 2 Regal Hotels – 10 Regent Hotels – 2 Renaissance (Marriott) – 5


Hotel Balzac, Paris

Ritz Carlton (Marriott) – 6 Rosewood – 2 Sanya (Marriott) – 2 Shangri-La – 13 Sheraton (Starwood Hotels) – 36 Sofitel (Accor) – 7 Solis (Capella) – 3 Somerset (The Ascott) – 13 St. Regis (Starwood Hotels) – 6 Steigenberger – 5 Swissotel (FHRI) – 5 Taj – 2 The Chedi – 2 Westin (Starwood Hotels) – 6 W Hotels (Starwood Hotels) – 8 Waldorf Astoria (Hilton) – 3 Wyndham – 11 Most of the newest hotel buildings – by number of rooms – are rising in large cities such as Changsha, Zhengzhou, Haikou, Sanya and Chengdu. The largest metropolises are saturated with hotels: most of them are in Shanghai (about 51,900), followed by Beijing (39,400) and Hong Kong (39,300).

Elsewhere in the world

New luxury hotels for the financial elite: New hotel building boom in the world’s finance centres The financial elite cherish luxury hotels. Most new top hotels are arising in the world’s leading economic centres. New York City leads the list with 83 new first class and luxury hotels by far. It is not surprising that many new beds are needed in the Big Apple: every year, approximately 11.8 million

guests are staying in Manhattan. New York City – 83 hotel construction projects London – 51 hotel construction projects Paris – 29 hotel construction projects Frankfurt/Main – 19 hotel construction projects Singapore – 17 hotel construction projects Tokyo – 6 hotel construction projects Hong Kong – 7 hotel construction projects London also stays a world metropolis – with strong increasing tourism: nearly 18.69 million hotel guests are visiting every year. With 51 new building projects the demand for quality accommodation will be covered. The new hotel properties show an immense increase of value through intensely growing tourism, another reason for the financial elite to invest in London. In Paris (15.57 million overnight visitors per year) 29 new top hotels are in the pipeline. Recently, two outstanding luxury hotels were opened: the new Mandarin Oriental and the first European house of Peninsula Hotels. The German financial centre Frankfurt will offer 19 new hotels in the coming months. Recently Europe’s leading hotel group Accor won the investor’s run for an impressive: prime downtown location at the Old Opera which will soon be a five-star hotel with 150 rooms by the Sofitel brand - for a total of 250 million euros. Opening will be in the spring of 2016. But there are further worthwhile hotel locations in “Mainhattan”: Next to the European Central Bank is space for another building complex - two hotels with over 300 rooms will arise at this spot.


Fabrics and furnishings S

Manish Doshi, Managing Director at Silkland Trading, is upbeat about the growing distribution market for textiles, and expects Expo 2020 to be the saviour for all. Here are some excerpts from ThME’s brief chat with him

ilkland has been in the textile business since the early 1980s. It was in the year 2000 though, when the real estate market was opened up to expats, that the people behind Silkland realised the tremendous potential they were about see.“Expats would now have the opportunity and interest in furnishing their own apartments, which would mean that textiles for furnishing and drapes would suddenly become a big, big market. So we started our retail operation in Nasr Square in 2002, offering home furnishings,” informs Manish Doshi, Managing Director at Silkland Trading.



Starting with a client base that included individual homeowners, architects, interior decorators, as well as institutional suppliers, the store did very well.“We already had a wide variety of silks on offer, which is why people came to us,”he explains. However, recession hit, and the market crashed, leading to retailers like Silkland Trading feeling the pinch. “We decided to get into distribution then. It took us some time, however, to set up this business model as we were quite new to it. I can say though, after four to five years of hard work, that we are now a distributor for furnishing fabrics and we have a certain market share,”he says. And hard work it took, because they had to make a place for themselves in an already existing and thriving market environment. “There were a lot of existing players who were already catering to those needs. There was a huge export market, which still exists, for African countries. Like it is with all commodities, the African market is quite different from the rest of the Middle East. In this region, as I mentioned before, the market was 42 MARCH/APRIL 2015

Dubai has a track record of completing projects in record time, so we’re still good to go in terms of completing projects by 2020.

mainly export oriented hence that part of the business was always bigger,” explains Doshi. All this changed with the tremendously quick growth that Dubai experienced.“The distribution market got really big as a lot of hotels and hotel apartments came up. They all had refurbishment requirements, but did not have the luxury to work on an order basis. They literally needed something off-the-shelf, which was perfect for us, as we had the required set-up to produce custom-made fabrics within a limited time frame and in large quantities,”he says. Silkland Trading services all kinds of companies for their refurbishment needs, but their biggest clients are still a combination of the retailers in the market because of the sheer number of curtain makers that exist. Even so, there are many more that they can still supply to and sign on as new customers, as they have a good reputation with their existing client base. But Doshi is not happy there. He is looking at growing further into supplying products at the institutional level.“Our strength is supplying fabrics, and we stick

to our core strength. We don’t get into stitching or the manufacturing process because we don’t have the expertise in that field. We have very good relations with manufacturers of textiles all over the world, and we can say we have a good history and track record of performing well, such that we are catering to all the needs of this market,” says Doshi. And Doshi can say this with confidence, as he is well aware of the changing scene in the buying trends of the industry.“A lot of what we do is customised, and everyone has their own ideas, colour preferences, etc. So our work is very much on-site at times. Also, as the population of the country has increased and a lot more people have settled down here, we have noticed that customers now have a better understanding of their design needs and wants and hence want to pursue the DIY route. They come in with a clear idea of what they are looking for, and are willing to pay the price for it. So retail has become a popular entity now as buyers are more savvy and informed about everything, from textures and colours, to prices,” he explains.


To cater to this growing demand, Silkland Trading has a retail store each in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, with distribution channels. They even have a niche retail presence in Oman, Bahrain and Sohar. Of these, KSA is their biggest market, although Doshi admits they may not be as wellstocked as some other branches.“We understand that there are other players there who have been around for longer. We are steadily enhancing our customer base there and are currently supplying a very niche quality of textiles in the area,”he admits. In order to capture a bigger slice of the pie, however, Doshi is enhancing more than just the business model. “We are working towards making our business stronger in the distribution model. We want to have a larger market share, so we are trying different things to achieve that. We are enhancing our IT systems so that it can service the customer better, we are training our staff, we’re working with analytics. We’re growing our business intelligently, so 50 per cent of our effort is in IT and internal, and the other 50 per cent is staff training and service quality,” says Doshi.

The textile industry is an old industry, and incorporating technology to run it is not as easy as it might sound.“We have incorporated our operations with technology and we are looking to enhance how the business is currently being run. Because we believe technology is the differentiator,” he adds. Doshi has the time to work on these aspects of the business as the last four or five years have seen a decrease in the growth of the industry. Falling oil prices, cancellation of projects, delays, etc, are just some of the reasons for the slowdown, but with the Expo 2020, Doshi is hopeful. “Dubai has a track record of completing projects in record time, so keeping that in mind, even if we start in 2018, we’re still good to go in terms of completing projects by 2020. We are still in 2015, and we can finish a hotel project in one year, so you still can’t predict how many more projects are going to come. I don’t think there will be a slowdown anymore because things are already rolling. People may be a bit more cautious about how they do things, but things still have to get done, and they will,” he concludes. MARCH/APRIL 2015 43

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Painting the country

Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), discusses his vision to create a more sustainability-conscious hospitality industry.


ell us about how EGBC was formed, and what has been the foremost agenda for the organisation since its inception in 2006. Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC) is a UAE-based organisation formed in 2006 with the goal of advancing green building principles that help protect the environment and foster sustainability. We are a prime driver in facilitating the UAEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s prominent position as a global leader in ecological footprint reduction of the built environment. As an independent forum, we help in shaping policies for the built environment, facilitating collaborative solutions





to promote sustainable practices in the UAE. We strive to influence policy and regulations, and help capacity building providers among the industry to further best practice in the building and construction industry, and raise awareness on the importance of green building practices. What has the response been like so far, and how are you working with the hospitality community in the country and region?

We have received a positive response from the industry, which has been supported by various initiatives by the UAE Government, aiming to make the country more sustainable. With many of the tourism departments, such as Dubaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (ADTCA), now promoting sustainable initiatives, EmiratesGBC has developed a hospitality programme to engage its members and the hospitality industry to share knowledge within the sector. Among other activities, we host regular seminars and workshops dedicated to this sector, and are working on developing training modules tailored for hotels. We are also developing a benchmarking platform for energy and water for hotels. Additionally, EmiratesGBC is the official operator of the Green Key eco-label programme in the UAE. Recognised by the World Tourism Organisation and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), this non-profit and independent programme is the largest global eco-label relating to accommodation; which offers clear guidelines to hotels for ensuring that a certain level of sustainability is being met, and provides guests with the assurance that they are choosing an accommodation/venue that has a commitment to green practices.

taken to create more awareness, and what benefits, apart from a more favourable sustainability footprint, does this certification offer?

Currently, 24 hotels have been certified. Until 2013, there was not a national operator on board to support the local hotel industry. Since EmiratesGBC started operating the programme, it focused on providing additional support to the hotels that were already certified. This year, we are strengthening our efforts to promoting the Green Key programme, and informing hotels in the UAE on certification opportunities. We are also working with tourism authorities in different Emirates to share information and raise awareness on Green Key. In line with the UAEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision for a Green Economy, most of the large hotel groups operating in the UAE already have sustainability policies in place, as they are aware of the importance of being more sustainable. Many hotels choose a sustainability certification tool, such as Green Key, to emphasise their commitment to sustainability, and to demonstrate that they are implementing green building practices. Hotels awarded with Green Key get local and international exposure. Many guests are considering green hotel practices when choosing accommodation, so this certification also helps the hotel demonstrate its responsible practices and initiatives towards the environment. The eco-label represents a high standard, as the certification process requires hotels to go through a third party audit and to meet specific criteria. Another advantage of having Green Key certification is that the national Green Key operator, EmiratesGBC, engages with the hotels to help them continue meeting higher targets and improving their efficiency.

We have received a positive response from the industry, which has been supported by various initiatives by the UAE Government, aiming to make the country more sustainable.

Your website shows that there are a total of 15 hotels in the UAE that are Green Key Certified. Considering the large number of hotels in the country, this number seems rather tiny. What, if any, initiatives are being

What would be typical timelines (for both new as well as existing buildings) and criteria for a hospitality venue to get a Green Key Certification?

The process should not take more than a couple of months, but is MARCH/APRIL 2015 47




dependent on the hotel submitting the required information and successfully meeting the Green Key criteria. Once a hotel submits its application for Green Key, the information is checked by the EmiratesGBC Green Key team. This is prioritised, and takes only about two weeks. Upon confirmation that the application materials and supporting documentation are complete, a hotel audit is coordinated to validate the information and visit the hotel. This audit is conducted by EmiratesGBC staff and registered Green Key auditors. Following this evaluation, a national jury, comprised of local tourism agencies and NGOs, reviews the auditorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recommendations and awards certifications accordingly. Each certified hotel must meet criteria covering environmental management, staff and guest awareness, and efficient management of water, energy and waste. A minimum baseline must be met the first year of certification; and in order for the hotel to maintain its certification, it should show continued improvements every year following initial certification.

conditions in the UAE are the same, or similar to those in the wider region, we have set out to influence regional practices. We do this by working under the umbrella of the WorldGBC MENA Network and coordinating with other local Green Building Councils. EmiratesGBC is the first GBC in the region, and the 8th GBC worldwide. We serve on the board of directors of WorldGBC, and sit on a number of its committees to make sure the Middle East gets the attention it deserves on global sustainability dialogue.

Each certified hotel must meet criteria covering environmental management, staff and guest awareness, and efficient management of water, energy and waste.

How can existing buildings get this certification?

The certification is for operational hotels, so whether the hotel is new or already existing, it can apply for Green Key certification, as long as it meets the criteria. What kind of a community does the organisation aim to eventually create in the country? Do you see any interest from other countries in the region, and if so, which country do you think will be the biggest market for your organisation, and why?

EmiratesGBC is creating a community of informed and responsible professionals and businesses who have a common goal of reducing the ecological footprint of the built environment in the UAE. This community is bridged with the government to help feed the industry response into regulations and policies. Our primary focus is the UAE built environment. However, given that the

What activities are currently being promoted at your Council? What affiliations are already in place, and what are your plans for the future?

There is currently a strong focus on energy efficiency of buildings. We will soon be publishing the EGBC Technical Guidelines for Retrofitting Existing Buildings, which will serve as a tool across all building sectors, to help building owners and operators make informed decisions on how they can refurbish their building so that it operates more efficiently. Since our inception, we have been building on education and awareness, which is critical in reaching out to the industry as well as the general community. The benchmarking tool for energy and water for hotels is another priority project we are currently undertaking. You have introduced a Green Hotel Award at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Annual Awards ceremony. What are you looking for in the greenest hotel in the region?

Hotels have their unique operational and building requirements, and by adding a sub-category for Green Hotel under the Green Building of the Year Award, these factors can be taken into consideration. The Award category will recognise a hotel that has implemented the highest sustainability standards and incorporated innovation into its design and processes. We are looking for a hotel that stands out above the rest, and that has gone above and beyond to improve its overall efficiency. MARCH/APRIL 2015 49

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Getting under your skin

QMS Medicosmetics

Spa review

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Products showcase

All over skin health

Getting under your skin Dr. Erich Schulte, Founder of QMS Medicosmetics, believes skincare products should deliver long-term results and target individual issues. He also feels the consumer needs to be well informed to make a choice. He talks to ThME about his brand


ince launching in 1986, Dr Erich Schulte, founder of QMS Medicosmetics, has revolutionised the way we treat and care for our skin. For over 25 years, he has been transforming the world of skincare his innovative achievements becoming the foundation of QMS Medicosmetics. “The QMS Medicosmetics evolution started when I was a surgeon in Germany. I became involved into researching wound healing. At that time, surgery could reconstruct the face, but the skin remained scarred and damaged. So I turned to science, and developed a technique that conditions natural soluble collagens such that they can be re-absorbed into the epidermis via a topical application,”he explains. This first innovation is characteristic of all the products within their collection; each one is based on the optimum combination of ingredients and advanced science in order to deliver superior results. QMS Medicosmetics products are more or less like any other brand. What makes them different though is what goes into creating them, whether it’s research on the latest ingredients or developing more sophisticated delivery techniques.


“I also personally formulate each one of the products, so I am very hands-on in understanding the products capabilities and what it can achieve in treating the skin. Our collection is relatively small, but it encompasses products that address the needs of the skin in daily maintenance as well as targeting specific issues and concerns,”elaborates Dr Schulte. People today want to see results; they want to feel the products working actively on the skin and to feel the benefits. Dr Schulte considers efficacy to be the signature of QMS Medicosmetics, which is why, when he is formulating each product, the focus is not on ‘quick fix’, but on a consistent improvement to the appearance and wellbeing of the skin. To achieve this, it is important to combine efficacy-based formulations with transport mechanisms, which enable ingredients to be delivered straight into the epidermis without destroying the barrier function of the skin. “To me, choosing the right ingredient for a specific product is very important, but it is also important to maximise the absorption. A key factor within our collection is improving the transportation of the active ingredients. As such, we use multi-layer liposomes and nanosomes to enhance the transportation, and also use time-controlled release techniques to create a sustained supply of these active ingredients, which results in a much higher effectiveness,”explains Dr Schulte. An example of the perfect synergy of advanced techniques maximising the power of ingredients is their Classic Set and MED Set. These feature the combination of concentrated natural soluble collagen with a unique peeling method, formulated from fruit acids and enzymes, resulting in a highly effective anti-aging facial care system.

But all of this knowledge and effort in creating the ideal product would not lead anywhere unless there is an appropriate amount of awareness about the brand. Which is why QMS Medicosmetics has appointed The Product House, who are using their local knowledge and experience to create a suitable marketing plan for them.“It was through them that we attended the Professional Beauty GCC Show and the Professional Spa & Wellness Convention, where I was a speaker. They have some very strong relationships with the local market, and are very proactive in developing new platforms. During my last visit, I also visited the Talise Spa at the Burj Al Arab, and The Product House worked closely with them for a launch event to introduce the QMS Medicosmetics collection. The meeting was fruitful in that we will be working on customised initiatives for the Burj Al Arab,”says Dr Schulte. Targeting spas and beauty stores, QMS Medicosmetics, at its core, is a skincare and treatment collection that believes in delivering superior results. To achieve this, they constantly evolve and develop our techniques or formulations using the combination of pioneering technology and the best ingredients. QMS Medicosmetics is based on improving your skin, not just in the short-term, but to facilitate a long-term transformation in its appearance, texture and health. Their top selling products are the collagen and exfoliation system of Classic Set and MED Set, the Deep Cleansing and Freshening Tonic duo and 24H Cream, which both protects and regenerates the skin. So far, these products have also been in demand


in the Middle East, but Dr Schulte has found that there is a strong interest in more specific products linked to skin concerns.“Given the climate, keeping the skin rejuvenated can be a challenge, particularly with the variances in temperature. Our moisturiser, Pearltouch, has a unique Skin Identical Lipid Structure (SLS) that enables the valuable ingredients, including Silk Proteins and Pearl extracts, to penetrate the skin effectively and quickly and unfold with an intensive, lasting effect,”he explains. Other notable concerns in the region are the eyes, particularly the dark circles and fine lines, for which their Advanced Intensive Eye Care is very good, and also hyper-pigmentation, which can be addressed successfully with their SkinTone Light Serum. Although the range of products QMS Medicosmetics offers currently is rather small, they are constantly working on developing new products. But Dr Schulte takes this very seriously.“I base the decision on our core principle of being able to formulate a product that will deliver better results, and on what is needed within our own collection. There has to be a purpose with each product, and that is decided on how it can benefit the skincare sector. I am constantly researching new ingredients, and when I begin the process of formulation, every element goes through rigorous testing and development,”he says. Offering examples of the importance of ingredients, Dr Schulte talks about their Lip Line Corrector, which uses

a unique combination of various hyaluronic acid molecules, where the Oligo and VLMW (very light molecule weight) molecules can penetrate through the basal membrane and generate physiological systemic positive effects in the area where they are applied. Similarly, in the SkinTone Light Serum, they use sophisticated gentle and smart working Tyrosinase inhibitors instead of rather aggressive bleaching agents like Hydrochinone and Vitamin A acid, with all their known and unwanted side effects. The result is that the cream produces an evenly blended and lightened skin tone, and prevents red flaking. “When sourcing the ingredients, I focus on how they specifically can benefit the skin and in which product they should be used in. For example, with Cellular Marine moisturiser, I chose the stem cells of the Sea Fennel plant for their beneficial properties in protecting from free radicals, supporting regeneration through stimulation of new skin cells, and improving the skin’s metabolism, as well as its intense hydrating capability. The Alpine Rose stem cells were the ideal choice for Cellular Alpine eye care as this rare plant has to the ability to help preserve the skin’s own vitality whilst also protecting this sensitive area,”he adds. QMS Medicosmetics currently has a retail collection with 30 products, and a further eight for professional use only. These include three new bodyfocused products that have been recently launched. So when a customer experiences a treatment using their products, they have the option to take the goodness back home. This year, Dr Schulte has introduced what he calls a revolutionary cream-serum,

Other notable concerns in the region are the eyes, particularly the dark circles and fine lines, for which their Advanced Intensive Eye Care is very good.

which uses a brand new ingredient that is completely new to the market. He states that it will be particularly relevant for this region as it is especially formulated for Middle Eastern skin conditions, and has virtues and properties that reduce redness and restore radiance. “My passion for developing the science of skincare has led us to be known as ‘originators’ of unique products and techniques, which have been scientifically perfected through years of clinical research and dedication. Our focus has always been on the skin and how to improve its condition, health and appearance, whether you are 18 or 80,”he smiles. Dr Schulte is also proud of his own, and his brands German heritage – their laboratories, headquarters and distribution centres are all in Germany - a fact he believes proves that he and his team are as efficient as their products. Education is key to the success of QMS Medicosmetics, and Dr Schulte works closely with his partners to establish the right training programmes for them to deliver the best results. These programmes encompass product education, indepth treatment practice, retail sales techniques, and introduction of QMS for front house personnel and ongoing support. Their representatives in the market are fully trained by their International Head Trainer, and Dr Schulte himself visits whenever he can. At the moment, you can find QMS Medicosmetics in 620 spas and salons around the world, from Berlin to Bangkok, and they are looking forward to more openings in this region.


Natura Bisse’s revolutionary skin treatment the Diamond Whitening System promises resultant skin which has the same sparkle, clarity and smoothness as that of a diamond. ThME tested the claims and came back a believer

Diamond-like skin clarity Natura Bisse Diamond Whitening System at the Pearl Spa, Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach This 75-minute treatment began with an inhalation of Natura Bisse’s Diamond White Neuro Aroma in Lavender. First up was a thorough cleanse of the face using the Diamond Rich Luxe Cleanser White Expertise followed by 54 MARCH/APRIL 2015

the Diamond Clarity Toning Lotion. The exfoliation was next using the Extreme Peel, step one of this exfoliation was the Lightning concentrate this was followed by step two the Diamond Luminous Veil which is a professional product. This was followed by the application of a moisturising and lightning mask the Glowing mask. After removing the mask the therapist massaged the

face using the NBCeutical Cream. The treatment finished with the application of the Oil free Brilliance Sun Protection Cream SPF50. The result which was instantly visible was new shiny, luminous skin. The treatment effectively evened the skin tone, reduced pore size and cleared out any visible bumps. The star product – the Extreme Peel contains high


concentrations of revolutionary active ingredients, preventing the skin from aging due to pigmentation disorders. The application of this powerful peel renewed the skin deeply and effectively with long-lasting effects. This is the answer when you are looking for a fresh, radiant looking complexion. The Pearl Spa at the Four Seasons Resort Dubai Jumeirah Beach is a

haven worth visiting. Expansive, luxurious, exceptional finishes, it is the heart of all things opulent. With lavish relaxation areas. guests are well taken care of with attentive staff and therapists looking after their every need. Top notch, worth visiting over and over again.

Price AED950

Treatment time 75 minutes MARCH/APRIL 2015 55

Sun damage control Lynille Steffenhagen, Director, Training and Aesthetics - June Jacobs Spa Collection, talks about how the right natural ingredients in lotions and creams can reverse the inevitable aging process



t has become common knowledge that premature aging of the skin is due to free radical activity. However, does anyone really know what is happening to the skin when it interacts with free radicals? The right products, nutrition, and our actions can help prevent skin damage, and therefore, premature aging of the skin.

Free radicals A free radical is a highly charged and unstable molecule containing a single electron. This is compared to a stable molecule, which contains

two electrons. Free radicals stabilise themselves by stealing an electron from a nearby molecule. The attacked molecule then becomes unstable. A chain reaction continues, with the outcome being damage and dysfunctional cells. Free radicals may occur anywhere in the body. In the skin, free radicals activate enzymes that break down collagen, leading to wrinkles and lines. Free radicals are caused by anything that contains oxygen. They may also be caused by exposure to daily living like sunlight, pollution and external substances, smoking, etc.


It takes only one severe sunburn before the age of 18 to double your risk of malignant melanoma. At age 40, the dermis and fat layer begin to thin. Skin becomes more fragile and likely to abrade

The Free Radical Theory of Aging states that,“aging is caused by the slow cumulative oxidation of the body’s tissue over a lifetime.” -Department of Medicine at the University of Nebraska in Omaha in 1956. Although free radicals are completely natural, they are a by-product of normal bodily processes. They are extremely treacherous because whenever a free radical seeks to stabilise itself, it damages a healthy cell. They are manufactured by our own bodies, as

White tea

well as unleashed by external factors including sunlight, cigarette smoke and air pollution. Collagen, a protein that gives our skin suppleness and tautness, is especially susceptible to damage from free radicals, because it stays in our skin for years. It is attacked mercilessly, and leads to cross linking of the collagen cells. These cells usually slide easily over each other, but with time, become stiff and inflexible. Both internal as well as external factors exist as free radicals that affect the skin. Internal factors include: stress, lack of sleep, illness and inflammation. External factors include: sun, air conditioners, smoking, environmental aggressors, certain drugs and pesticides.

Sun damage At first, when the sun hits your skin, the molecules absorb the light. Free radicals are then activated. The sun also activates an enzyme that breaks down fat in the skin cells. This fat breakdown produces a chemical called Arachidonic acid, which creates inflammation in the skin, and therefore accelerates aging. Melanocytes begin to burn out in the late thirties and forties, and cause uneven pigmentation. Using Sunblock regularly can be a suitable method of prevention. Sunblock for UVA and UVB literally establishes a barrier that blocks the UV rays from reaching the skin’s surface, due to active Ingredients like Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, and Iron Oxide (also blocks visible light). Sunscreen for UVA and UVB is like a chemical agent that absorbs and denatures the light, making the wavelengths incapable of causing damage. UVA makes use of active ingredients like Oxybenzone, Avobenzone (Parsal 1789), Benzophenone and Mexoryl SX, whereas UVB depends on Oxybenzone and Avobenzone (Parsal 1789) to do the job. An interesting fact to take note of at this point is this: It is estimated that MARCH/APRIL 2015 57


Spoon of dried green tea leaves

80 per cent of a person’s lifetime sun damage occurs before the age of 20. It takes only one severe sunburn before the age of 18 to double your risk of malignant melanoma. At age 40, the dermis and fat layer begin to thin. Skin becomes more fragile and likely to abrade.

Anti-Oxidants Anti-oxidants are molecules that inhibit the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction commonly understood as producing ‘free radicals’. Free radicals start chain reactions in cells that cause damage or death to the cell. Anti-oxidants work by removing or neutralising the free radical intermediates before they can start their chain reactions. The most commonly known anti-oxidants are ascorbic acid and polyphenols. We know that ascorbic acid is not highly stable, so it is not used often. There is a delicate balance necessary because 58 MARCH/APRIL 2015

Free radicals may occur anywhere in the body. In the skin, free radicals activate enzymes that break down collagen, leading to wrinkles and lines. Free radicals are caused by anything that contains oxygen

oxidation, while sometimes harmful, is a necessary process for life itself. Research suggests a trio and other undercover beneficial antioxidants to be: Vitamin C ester, Vitamin E, alpha lipoic acid, DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol) AHA’s and BHA’s, beta carotene, Bioflavenoids, blackberry and blueberry extracts, coenzyme Q10, grape seed extract, green tea extract, idebenone (a variant of Q10), pomegranate extract, superoxide dismutase and glutathione. Some beneficial ingredients to use in products to provide optimal skin health are: White tea – derived from the young tea leaves of the plant native to Southeast Asia, these leaves are protected from the sun by a coating of silver fuzz, and are picked shortly before the buds have fully bloomed. Immediately after harvesting, the leaves are dried and steamed so that they do not oxidise. Due to this

harvesting and drying process, white tea contains higher concentrations of catechins (polyphenol compounds) than green, oolong and black tea. Red tea – derived from the red bush grown only in the Western Cape province of South Africa, it has high levels of natural polyphenol antioxidants, including flavonoids and phonolic acids. Green tea – derived from the unfermented leaves of the plant native to mainland Southeast Asia, it contains two active groups: xanthines and catechins, which suppress inflammation and irritation and act as powerful anti-oxidants. Green tea also contains tannins (which help to reduce puffiness) and alkaloids: caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline (which provide green tea’s stimulant effects). Goji berry – derived from the plant native to Himalayan valleys of China, it acts as an antioxidant and an antiinflammatory. Known as ‘the king of berries’, it contains carotenoids such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, over 18 different amino acids, and is a source of Vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C. It is rich in polysaccharides to help support intercellular communication providing essential nutrients to cells, which encourages healthy immune function. Pomegranate – derived from the tree found in Mediterranean countries, it has many different properties – the seeds are soothing, the fruit is a mild astringent, and the bark acts as an anti-microbial. The fruit also contains the polyphenol anti-oxidant, Ellagic Acid, which converts to tannins having both astringent and antiseptic properties. It also acts as a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. Grape Seed – derived from the seeds of the crushed grape during the wine-making process. Grape seed is high in oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC), a powerful anti-oxidant that is helpful for diminishing the damaging effects of the sun to reduce free radical damage. A final tip. Every luscious, brightly coloured fruit or veggie does wonders for the skin. High quality protein makes the skin glow. Red meat being highly pro-inflammatory is best avoided. Fish, however, is a good choice.

03 – 05 May 2015



‫ دحألا‬۱٤_۱٥_ ۱٦ ‫ بجر‬۱٤۳٦‫ـه‬ Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events

The regions largest and most prestigious hospitality event Visit The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia to browse hundreds of global brands and source the latest products and services for your hotel, restaurant, cafe or resort.



OVER 120 EXHIBITORS Suppliers from Italy, Spain, India, Turkey, China, Egypt, France, UK, USA, UAE and more will showcase products for hotels, resorts and restaurants.



NEW to 2015, industry experts take to the stage to provide market intelligence and insight on the latest industry trends and economic outlook.

Interiors 360 provides a new showcase of products for key retail and commercial interior buyers and designers.








The magic touch

Elemisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newest range of facials under their latest technology BioTec aims to use a combination of three targeted stimuli â&#x20AC;&#x201C; touch, technology and actives resulting in thorough treatments that provide instant results 60 MARCH/APRIL 2015

Elemis BioTec Triple-Tec AntiWrinkle Facial at Cleopatra Spa The Cleopatra Spa is an iconic destination among long-time and current Dubai residents alike. The venue is instantly calming and relaxing the minute you step inside its premises. I was greeted by the therapist after being provided with a calming cup of peppermint tea. After a long chat about concerns, skin quality and general health and fitness levels, the therapist decided upon the above-

mentioned treatment in order to plump up fine lines, reduce acne scarring and encourage luminosity. The elaborate treatment began with cleansing the eyes and lips with White Flower Eye and lip make-up remover. The face was cleansed with the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm. Next was the toner, the therapist used the Rehydrating Ginseng Toner. After this she applied a lavender compress on the face and two Cellular Recovery Skin


Bliss Capsules in Rose (pink one). This was followed by the papaya enzyme peel exfoliator. Once the peel was removed, the skin was toned again with the Rehydrating Ginseng toner. The therapist then applied the line and wrinkle activator on the face and neck followed by the amber massage

balm on the skin (this is the conductor for the current from the special BioTec machine. The therapist then used the machine for micro current lifting of the skin for 20 minutes. Once the massage was done, the face was toned again followed by another application of the activator

to the face and neck. Then the therapist applied a hydra gel eye mask underneath the eyes and went back to the BioTec machine for the light therapy. After this, she removed the eye mask and applied the Pro-collagen Quartz lift Mask and used the BioTec machine for the final pure Oxygen infusion. After removing the mask the skin was toned again and the activator was applied to the face and neck. The eye area received the Pro-Collagen Eye Renewal cream and lastly was the application of the iconic Pro-collagen Marine cream. The skin was left looking plumped, smooth with a visible reduction in fine lines and acne scarring. A treatment every 2-3 weeks is recommended for exceptional skin quality. MARCH/APRIL 2015 61

All over NATURA BISSE OXYGEN PERFECTING OIL: This is a body product, a dry oil to be applied on wet or dry skin. Instantly hydrates and give the skin a look of extreme care and well being. The formulation of this product is so unique that it instantly penetrates the skin and leaves no oily residue.

DR MURAD HYDRODYNAMIC ULTIMATE MOISTURE AED 330: This gently non-oily cream glides on smooth, is easily absorbed and is an effective day and night cream. The cream seems to adjust as per the requirements of the skin giving extreme moisture to thirsty skin and relief for skin that needs regular maintenance.

ELEMIS HERBAL LAVENDER REPAIR MASK: This purifying mask literally heals blemished, congested skin. The mattifying effect is great as it sucks out oiliness and calms inflamed skin. Used after an at home exfoliating session makes the skin look relaxed and rested. 64 MARCH/APRIL 2015

This time the focus is on all aspects of skin care - face, body, hair as well as skin care products for men. As science progresses, skin care products better themselves, to the point that these superlative brands promise the moon and give you much more than that DR DENNIS GROSS ACTIVE VITAMIN D SERUM OIL: Using this product made the skin seem as if it was being exfoliated more, or rather the skin was less prone to dead skin build-up in the duration of use of this oil. A little goes a long way too, very moisturising and gives a glow to the skin. COMFORT ZONE MAN SCRUB PERFORMER AED 213: For skin that is oily and clogged, this scrub made of jojoba and silica spheres is mild but successfully sloughs off rough dead skin to reveal, softer, smoother skin that is clean inside and out.

DERMALOGICA MULTIVITAMIN POWER RECOVERY MASQUE AED 225: A must-have product, favoured by many celebrities, this mask is also known as an â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ambulance in a tubeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Supplying the skin with a number of vitamins, the mask is a godsend for thirsty, stressed out skin in need of immediate help.

BLISS EX-GLOW-SION: Quite a fantastic product, which provides extreme moisture. The beads provide a texturising feeling when applied and smoothed on the face, however the effect is brilliantly moisturised and soft, supple skin.


JUNE JACOBS CRANBERRY POMEGRANATE MOISTURE MASK: This product is luxury in a pot! Used twice weekly, the product leaves the skin feeling and looking rested and well taken care of. Regular use of the mask protects skin from further environmental damage. You don’t want this one to get over.

JUNE JACOBS CITRUS CLARIFYING CONDITIONER: Weightless, oil free, this conditioner detangles, nourishes and protects. This gentle conditioner is good for hair that has been treated with colour as well as virgin hair needing extra care and nourishment.

JUNE JACOBS INTENSIVE AGE DEFYING HYDRATING CLEANSER: A creamy, hydrating cleanser that cleans deeply and removes all the grime at the end of a long day. It also does not leave the skin dry after rinsing out. After use the skin is clean, supple and ready for other products.

JUNE JACOBS PEPPERMINT MOISTURISING FOOT MIST: I used this spray before application of the cream and found that the cream absorbed faster. The peppermint in the mist makes the feet and hands feel fresh and the fragrance lingers.

JUNE JACOBS PEPPERMINT HAND AND FOOT POLISH: This exfoliating and polishing cream gently transforms rough and dry skin to smooth, soft and delicate skin. You also don’t need much as a little goes a long way. Very effective.

DERMALOGICA OVERNIGHT REPAIR SERUM AED 395: Once you start using this facial oil, this will be a star product on your counter. The serum absorbs into the skin and provides muchneede hydration to overworked and tired skin.

DERMALOGICA MULTIVITAMIN HAND AND NAIL TREATMENT AED 129: Absorbs quickly, moisturises effectively, leaves no oily residue, so you can get back to tapping away on your laptop or smart phone with no grease to deal with. MARCH/APRIL 2015 65

DERMALOGICA INVIGORATING SHAVE GEL AED 99: This is an intelligent product that calms sensitive skin and is excellent for regular skin types. Heals cuts and abrasions and is also easy to rinse off.

DR MURAD OIL FREE SUNSCREEN BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 30, AED 165: This sun block provides protection against UVA and B rays and reduces signs of premature ageing by its protective barrier against sun exposure. The cream doesn’t feel heavy while on as it has a light matt effect.

NATURA BISSE THE CURE SHEER OIL FREE FLUID SPF20: This is a truly delightful, miracle product. The sheer fluid is ideal for Dubaiweather and the fact that its colour pigments adjust themselves according to different skin tones is impressive. It’s a tinted moisturiser for some a BB cream for others and also sometimes foundation. 66 MARCH/APRIL 2015

JUNE JACOB’S FOR MEN 3 IN 1 CLEANSER / EXFOLIATING SCRUB / LIGHTWEIGHT LOTION / SHAVE CREAM: This multipurpose product is very effective. As its name suggests, it cleanses, exfoliates and moisturises all at the same time. Also helps in reducing redness and calms skin overall.

ELEMIS FOR MEN SKIN SOOTHE SHAVE GEL: The unique ingredients in this product enables a smooth, closest and cleanest shave. It’s also great for irritated skin as active ingredients such as arnica and chamomile calm the skin and give users a fresh, invigorated feeling.

JUNE JACOBS PEPPERMINT HAND AND FOOT THERAPY: The tingling feeling you get after applying this cream makes for a refreshing and soothing change to the regular hand and feet creams. Moisture is replenished and skin feels calm and tinglingly fresh.

CLARINS BLUE ORCHID FACE TREATMENT OIL: An exceptional product which smells divine. This oil provides moisture and absorbs into the skin instantly. And definitely a little goes a long way. Often one doesn’t need a moisturiser on top of this products as it is intensely hydrating.

COMFORT ZONE TRANQUILITY SHOWER CREAM AED 331: A creamy body wash that leaves one feeling very clean and is an exceptional solution for very dry skin. This is just after rinsing and before the application of any kind of moisture. Nourishing essential oils provide the much-needed moisture.


DERMALOGICA EXFOLIATING BODY SCRUB AED 159: This exfoliating scrub means business. The super tiny exfoliating beads mean that you have to wash up in the shower in good time and not in a rush or you could rub too hard and get a rash. Resultant skin is gorgeously smooth. Bliss.

DERMALOGICA BUFFING CLOTH AED 80: This long and rough cloth is now a shower essential. Cleans and gently scrubs to reveal clean, soft and smooth skin. The fact that it dries very quickly adds to its many advantages.

ELEMIS TRANQUIL TOUCH CREAMY BODY POLISH: This award-winning product has rice for polishing the skin leaving it smooth and velvety soft. The entire ritual of the bath is transformed with use of this product. Leaves you feeling energised.

DR MURAD SENSITIVE SKIN SOOTHING SERUM: It says it soothes sensitive skin, it honestly does a lot more. It moisturises, exfoliates and is intensely hydrating. This product really does ease the irritation caused by harsher skin treatments. Exceptionally good.

JUNE JACOBS INTENSIVE AGE DEFYING HAND AND FOOT CREAM: This intensive cream manages to make hands and feet free of rough, dry skin. Softens, help reduce hard skin on the feet and keeps cuticles smooth. Elbows and knees will also benefit.

DERMALOGICA POST SHAVE BALM AED 135: Possibly one of the best after shave care products out there, this balm leaves the skin feeling tinglingly fresh with and invigorated feeling. No oily residue whatsoever just good looking, smooth skin.

ELEMIS LIME AND GINGER HAND AND BODY WASH: This deeply cleansing body wash evokes a feeling of freshness and vitality after use. The fragrance of lime and ginger linger on the body long after youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve left the shower.

JUNE JACOBS PERFECT PUMPKIN ENZYME POLISH: As the name suggests this polish with papaya is as effective as any gentle skin exfoliant could get. Its removes dead skin and contains natural acids that gently exfoliate and remove all traces of congestion on the skin. MARCH/APRIL 2015 67

the international outdoor design, construction & landscaping tradeshow

Hosted by:

13 - 15 APRIL | 2015


Source hundreds of products and services including: ARCHITECTURAL lighting OUTDOOR leisure FLOORING solutions OUTDOOR furniture POOLS & WATER features


For information on how you can get involved Email: Call: +971 4 447 5357

Organised by:

a streamline marketing group event


A forum for restaurateurs Recently concluded Global Restaurant and Investment Forum was a three day event attended by local and international owners, investors, chefs and media. With restaurant-tours and detailed discussions on the business and trend side of things it was an action-packed event


he Global Restaurant and Investment Forum (GRIF) which was a part of the Annual Dubai Food Festival, kicked off with a dynamic and informative culinary tour of Dubai. Combining gastronomic education with networking opportunities and presentations, the event provided real insight into investment into the global F&B industry. The first stop on the culinary tour was Coya Dubai, at the Four Seasons the venue for the welcome lunch. The next stop on the tour was Nusr Et. Signature dishes included Asado ribs, beef spaghetti, grilled meatballs among many other specials. The finale of the culinary tour saw GRIF’s sponsor, Jumeirah Restaurant Group Dubai (JRG Dubai), host guests for an exclusive culinary journey through some of its signature outlets: D&A, Tortuga, Pierchic, concluding with the GRIF opening reception hosted by JRG Dubai at Perry & Blackwelder’s Original Smokehouse (P&B’s). The second day saw many conversations amongst some of the industries most successful brands. This was followed by an evening of entertainment at Clé Dubai hosted by Michelin starred Chef Greg Malouf.




Time spruces up its surroundings


AE-headquartered Time Hotels launched its 2015 calendar of community-focused CSR activities recently, with the first in a series of initiatives at its flagship Time Oak Hotel and Suites property in Tecom, Dubai. The campaign suitably titled - Time to clean saw a 37-strong team of hotel staff, including the property’s GM and various department heads, conduct a community clean-up with a collection total of 1,480 kilogrammes of assorted garbage, including paper, plastic and cans, removed from the streets surrounding the hotel. “We take pride in the appearance of the Tecom community and our responsibility towards enhancing the environment for our guests and neighbours doesn’t stop at the hotel entrance,” said Emin Eser, Hotel Manager, Time Oak Hotel and Suites. “By taking just a couple of hours out of the working day, and getting out into the community, we can do our bit to make sure that Dubai remains a pleasant and attractive place in which to live, work and visit,” he added.

Casualife supply Outdoor Furniture and Banquet Furniture par-excellence.

We use the best quality raw materials and manufacturing techniques and supply factory direct pricing via our local company owned U.A.E Office. Over 350+ 5 star projects supplied worldwide! Offices also in Vietnam, China, Hong Kong & Australia, with agents worldwide. Casualife Supplying Fine Hotels since 1981! Casualife Middle East LLC Unit 416, Pinnacle Business Building, Sheikh Zayed Rd. Al Barsha, Dubai, UAE, Tel: +971 4 3928600 Email:

Top Hotel Middle East 2015 March April 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 Middle East 2015 March April Issue  

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