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'FBUVSF The right tableware - revenue generator or last minute budget-conscious panic. We talk to the market leaders in the UAE *OUFSWJFXThe H hotel’s General Manager , Guy Bertaud, aims to capitalise on his unique address, One Sh Zayed Road 2" How do some of the region’s top chefs keep their menus evolving in order to drive business and keep things interesting

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5SFOET Dubai hotel boom continues; Crusing season begins in style; and we hear of hotel success in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 5FOEFST 25 tenders you need to know about this month!

GLOBAL HOTEL INDEX: Asia Pacific 67.5% - Americas 63.4% - Europe 76.6% - Middle East/ Africa 60.7% (Average room occupancy September 2012)

SOLVE THE REVENUE MANAGEMENT PUZZLE We investigate the data heavy world of revenue management. Is your property optimised to make maximum advantage of all your potential revenue streams?

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Publication licensed by IMPZ


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CONTENTS

28 30

32

50

38

cpidubai.com

NOVEMBER 2012

04

EDITOR’S LETTER HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO CRITICISM FROM BLOGGERS?

06

NEWS NEW HOTELS AND BUSINESS BOOMING IN DUBAI AND KSA

11

DATA WATCH STR GLOBAL AND ERNST & YOUNG LATEST MARKET ANALYSIS

14

DTCM NEWS DUBAI H1 FIGURES IN

16

TENDERS NEW MENA PROJECTS

18

OPENING SOON THE ST REGIS ABU DHABI

20

COVER STORY TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF ALL YOUR REVENUE STREAMS

28

BE INTUITIVE! THE MARRIOTT STORY UPDATED

30

JOHN LINCOLN INTERVIEW OUTSOURCE FOR CAPEX SAVINGS

32

GET OUTSIDE DON’T BE CHEAP WITH OUTDOOR FURNITURE SAY SUPPLIERS

38

ON THE TABLE PRESENTING FOOD WITH STYLE CAN INCREASE REVENUE

44

Q&A TOP CHEFS GIVE THEIR MENU TIPS

50

GM FEATURE POST REBRAND, THE H STORY

52

DU ICT DELIVERS 5-STAR EXPERIENCE

59

TRENDS THE LATEST TRENDS AND SUPPLIER NEWS

70

JOBS BOARD YOUR NEXT CAREER STEP?

72

COMMENT OWNERS AND OPERATORS BOTH NEED CONTRACT MANAGEMENT HOSPITALITY BUSINESS MIDDLE EAST / 1


COMMENT / EDITOR’S LETTER

Editor’s letter We’re all in a T hospitality business Say what?

here’s been a firestorm in the on-line blogging community in Dubai over the last week or so, following a review of a new Italian outlet that had a reasonably positive critique, albeit with some caveats mainly about pricing. Not our job here to reveal the outlet, as the point to be discussed is rather more important, however you can track the unfolding story at www.foodiva.net. Anyway, the restaurant is an outpost of one in Milan and the head chef there reacted rather outrageously to the review. Here is an example of his response to the critic: “Go please to other restaurants in other locations, check them out, but don’t forget to wear first a condom on your tongue in order contain the orgasm of your ignorance.” Okay, this is a standalone restaurant not one in a hotel, but I think we can learn lessons from this. If nothing else, we’re all in a hospitality business and rule one ought to be ‘listen to your customers because they are your business’. They may not always be right, however, quite often they can be infuriatingly wrong, but they surely should be listened to. Your job as hoteliers is amazingly simply and amazingly complex. Simple? Please your guests. Complex? Please your guests. However, on

On Twitter? Follow us for daily updates on the global hospitality industry at HospitalityBME.

4 / HOSPITALITY BUSINESS MIDDLE EAST

NOVEMBER 2012

and rule one ought to be ‘listen to your customers because they are your business’. They may not always be right, however.

PUBLISHER: Dominic De Sousa GROUP COO: Nadeem Hood ASSOCIATE PUBLISHERS Alex Bendiouis EDITORIAL Georgina Wilson-Powell, Alan Smithee, Ben Rossi Senior Designer: Christopher Howlett Photography: Cris Mejorada ADVERTISING Alex Bendiouis alex@cpidubai.com / +971 50 458 9204 Antony Crabb antony@cpidubai.com / +971 55 338 7639 Ankit Shukla ankit@cpidubai.com / +971 55 2572807 MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Marizel Salvador marizel@cpidubai.com WEB DEVELOPER Louie Alma PRODUCTION Production manager: Devaprakash dev@cpidubai.com DISTRIBUTION Rochelle Almeida

any continuum of delivering a basic good stay to enabling a memorable experience, rudeness to guests should not be a part of the package. Especially in a digital age when comments can quickly become viral. We all know that guests can be difficult. It comes with the territory. We know they can complain about anything and everything. However, the only sane business response is to listen, apologise (even through gritted teeth) and see if there might be a way to improve your operation. The alternative? In a social media world, you’ll be dead in a day.

FROM THE HOSPITALITY BUSINESS TEAM

SUBSCRIPTIONS www.cpievents.net/mag/magazine.php PRINTED BY Printwell Printing Press LLC, Dubai, UAE PUBLISHED BY

Head Office, PO Box 13700, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 440 9100 Fax: +971 4 447 2409 Group Office, Dubai Media City Building 4, Office G08, Dubai, UAE A publication licensed by IMPZ © Copyright 2012 CPI. All rights reserved. While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.


NEWS WATCH

31,000 UAE NEWS

SAUDIS SO FAR TRAINED FOR TOURISM BY TAKAMUL AT THE SAUDI COMMISSION FOR TOURISM AND ANTIQUITIES (Source: SCTA)

NEWS IN BRIEF CONNECTIVITY IN CARS The Grand Millennium Dubai is recognising the importance of Wi-Fi connectivity to its guests and has installed it in four of its luxury cars. The service is complementary for both business and leisure travellers. The 343-room, five star hotel already offers a range of state-of-the-art meeting and conference facilities, in addition to award-winning restaurants and bar venues. Centrally located at Sheikh Zayed Road, the hub for business and retail opportunities, the hotel is just 20 minutes drive from the international airport.

NEW FACE AT RITZ-CARLTON Raul Salcid, has joined The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai team as its new General Manager, bringing over 19 years of international and brand experience to the property. Most recently GM of The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, he began his professional career at The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun, Mexico, then on to The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul. Fresh to the Gulf region, he joins the hotel ahead the unveiling of the hotel’s new inventory in early 2013, with its new extension promising new luxury experiences to an icon of Dubai’s five star beachfront hospitality sector.

6 / HOSPITALITY BUSINESS MIDDLE EAST

NOVEMBER 2012

Getting smarter Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport will have 28 new smart e-gates at the Arrival hall - 14 by December and the rest by February 2013. Smart e-gates will be installed in all Dubai International Airport terminals by 2014, with expected 75 million annual passengers. The aim is to cut normal process time from 49.19 minutes per passenger into only 22 seconds. The Dubai International Airport is expected to receive 56 million passengers in 2012 which can grow to 98 million by 2020. The smart e-gate project, launched in co-operation with Emaratech, can process 135 passengers per hour. A passenger can pass through any of the smart e-gates using an electronic passport, a machine-readable passport (with MRZ bar) or an Emirates ID card. In the future, smart phones can also be used.

New facilities at holiday Inn Dubai Aiming to boost its market share, the Holiday Inn Dubai - Al Barsha is adding new executive rooms and upgrading technology as well as augmenting amenities and starting refurbishment of the atrium and restaurants in 2013. With a full calendar of events in the city, the Dubai hotel has experienced positive results in 2012, but an influx of new hotel rooms over the next six months meant every property had to be at the top of its game to maintain occupancies. The hotel has maintained a healthy mix of source markets, with new visitor streams

from countries such as Canada, France, Italy and Sweden offsetting minor downturns in the German and Danish markets. However, the UK continues to be the property’s biggest source of business. For 2012, the hotel has recorded a 5% increase in occupancy.

cpidubai.com


NEWS WATCH

22%

DROP IN HOTEL OCCUPANCY IN BAHRAIN IN 2011 (Source: HVS 2012 Middle East Hotel Survey)

UPS NEW HOME AT BURJ AL ARAB More than 4,000 fish make the Burj Al Arab their home, now with an upgraded aquarium with technically advanced underwater lighting, new artificial coral reefs.

GOING UNDERWATER IN OMAN Swiss firm BIG InvestConsultiss to set up Oman’s first underwater hotel to showcase of the its diverse aquatic wealth. It is seeking investment.

WAVING THE BLUE FLAG Seven beaches in the UAE have now been awarded the globally recognised Blue Flag accreditation, based on sustainable development.

MORE WORK NEEDED IN QATAR A survey in Qatar by the Al Sharq weekly said that high hotel prices are a major obstacle to the country’s tourism development. Respondents want more government support for tourism.

Going global With four properties in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE operator Bin Majid Hotels hopes to seek new business partners and attracts a bigger share of the UK market with its new property offerings, with participation in this year’s World Travel Market (WTM), a leading event for the travel industry. As part of the group’s expansion plan, a new property in Abu Dhabi (Bin Majid Tower Hotel Apartment) will open by end of the year offering 230 rooms and suites. The 4-star property has a gym, swimming pool, a business centre and meeting rooms including an all-day dining restaurant and a coffee shop.

cpidubai.com

KERALITES IN DECLINE Despite their ubiquity across the Gulf, the reality is that the numbers of Keralite expats in the region are in steady decline. Remittances are some 31% of the state’s domestic product. Dubai continues to excel

Booming Dubai Dubai recorded one of the highest hotel rate increases in the world over the past year with an impressive 57% rise from an average nightly fee of Dh601.17 in 2011 to Dh941.10 in 2012. In the first six months of this year, it saw a year on year 10% rise in hotel guests.

LEBANON HOPE SLOWING? The head of the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon expects the country’s tourism sector to grow by over 30% in the medium term. This was before trouble again broke out.

DOWNS

NOVEMBER 2012

HOSPITALITY BUSINESS MIDDLE EAST / 7


NEWS WATCH

60% UAE NEWS

STAKE IN ACCOR’S BUDGET FORMULE 1 BRAND IN INDIA SOLD TO SAMHI HOTELS

NEWS IN BRIEF NEW FACE AT THE GATE The Moevenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate has welcomed Marco de Wildt as the hotel’s new Executive Chef. De Wildt, who comes from the Netherlands, joined Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts in 2006 for the opening of the group’s hotel in Amsterdam. He will manage the hotel’s kitchen operations and culinary enterprises in Shanghai Chic, Chor Bazaar, Sicilia, Mistral, Moroc Lounge & Bar, Olive Tree, Majlis and the Executive Lounge. Furthermore, he will be in charge of special culinary events in Al Bahou, like brunch, along with meetings and events catering. West 14th Steakhouse & Grill at Oceana Beach Club on The Palm Jumeirah will also fall under his supervision. Most recently, he was in charge of culinary operations for the company’s three hotels in the Netherlands.

CAPITAL SURVEY TCA Abu Dhabi has started a major visitor destination survey, in order to identify product development opportunities and gaps in the market. 30,000 visitors will be quizzed on why they’re visiting the capital.

8 / HOSPITALITY BUSINESS MIDDLE EAST

NOVEMBER 2012

New Armada arrives in DIP Dubai Investments Park (DIP), the largest mixed-use development in the UAE and a subsidiary of Dubai Investments, recently opened doors to its state-of-the-art budget shortstay offering, the Armada hotel. Set in an ideal locale for business travellers, the hotel is spread over

200,000 square feet of leased land. The 252 room property will add to the presence of two other hotels at DIP - The Courtyard by Marriott and The Premier Inn Hotel. The park also hosts eight dedicated plots for hotel development - an ideal location for mid-segment hotels.

Managing excellence

Similarly, Day 3 advises to be collaborative and provide recognition when due, while Day 4 makes you more considerate and trustworthy towards others. Day 5 is all about encouraging communication and ideas and Day 6 tells you to have fun in what you do and deliver on your promises. Last but not the least, Day 7 advises you to share knowledge and show care.

In its bid to enhance the productivity of its team and induce greater cooperation, Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel Dubai has rolled out a new code of conduct for its employees called Managing Excellence or ME. According to GM Scott Butcher, “ME will be an essential part of the orientation of our associates and is a comprehensive document designed to guide staff on a dayto-day basis. How they behave and conduct themselves with their fellow colleagues, recognise each other’s efforts, build trust, share and communicate ideas and show care towards each other eventually reflects in their performance.” Day 1 is about mutual respect and being supportive to fellow colleagues, Day 2 seeks to make one accountable for one’s actions and being objective.

Seeking excellence

cpidubai.com


NEWS WATCH

85.4% MENA NEWS

OCCUPANCY FOR JEDDAH HOTELS IN JUNE, WHILST RIYADH PROPERTIES LOST CUSTOMERS

NEWS IN BRIEF

First Wyndham hotel in Bahrain

LAYOFFS IN LEBANON

The world’s largest hotel company, Wyndham Hotel Group, with over 7,170 hotels, has plans for the first Wyndham Grand property in Bahrain following the signing of an agreement with Cooperation Investment House SPC to manage it. Currently under development, the five-star Wyndham Grand Manama is expected to open by the end of next year with more than 260 guest rooms ranging from 46 to 120 square metres (approximately 495 to 1,290 square feet). Covering 14 floors of a 50-storey mixed use development, it will also comprise 500 square metres (nearly 5,400 square feet) of meeting space and a 900-squaremetre ballroom (equivalent to nearly 9,700 square feet) on the building’s top floor, offering stunning sea views. Complemented by indoor and outdoor infinity swimming pools and separate health clubs for men and women, the development will also include five food and beverage outlets catering to a variety of tastes.

Hospitality workers groups in Lebanon are annoyed that hotels and restaurants in the country are laying off staff, blaming continued unrest in the country. Other employers are said to be threatening workers with dismissal as a result of the recent smoking ban, claiming that it has significantly decreased their revenues.

HOTELS BUSY FOR HAJJ Recent stats show a big revenue growth for hotel in Makkah during this year’s Hajj season - a growth of SAR 4b ($1.06b). The Elaf Group, for instance has announced a 50% increase on incentives and group packages during the beginning of this year in comparison to 2011. It expects even more growth by year end.

KINGDOM TRAVELLERS According to the Saudi Council for Tourism & Antiquities (SCTA), the Kingdom’s travel and tourism industry’s revenues should reach $14.9t for this year, driven in part by an ambitious government programme for the sector. Business Monitor International expects Saudi Arabia to have 15.8 million tourists by 2014, with some 381,000 new hotel rooms and a 63% increase in room stock against 2010 inventories forecast for completion by 2015.

EXCELLENT! Radisson Blu Cairo, Heliopolis celebrated being named ‘Egypt Best Hotel for Supporting the Environment’ when it recently hosted the Minister for Tourism, Hisham Zaazou, on World Tourism Day. The coveted Certificate of Excellence was awarded partly for displaying total commitment to protecting the environment and using sustainable resources. Receiving the award, the hotel highlighted current activities aimed at protecting the environment, including the ‘Think Planet’ initiative where all Rezidor hotels across EMEA hope to lead the way in reducing power consumption by 25% by the year 2016.

10 / HOSPITALITY BUSINESS MIDDLE EAST

NOVEMBER 2012

No cover up in Egypt

Saudi hospitality

According to Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou, the country’s new Islamist-led government will not take steps against country’s beach tourism. “Nothing will affect beach tourism,” he said. “We are building on, increasing even, the capacities and the services rendered for our clients coming to our beaches. The current government, the current president is backing tourism at large. Everybody is aware that beach tourism constitutes 70% of the traffic coming to Egypt. It will continue.” Many Islamists in the country oppose women wearing revealing costumes on public beaches and also oppose the sale of alcohol. However, both of these activities are key to attracting Western visitors to resorts such as Sharm El-Sheikh.

The hospitality sector in the Kingdom has witnessed an unprecedented boom over the last several years. Overall economy shows positive growth in GDP until 2016. According to the 2012 Economic Impact Report Saudi Arabia published by the World Travel & Tourism Council, the total contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the country’s GDP in 2011 was $43b (5.4%), with a forecasted growth of 3.7% in 2012 to $44.6b. Latest figures released by Business Monitor International (BMI) predict the number of visitors to KSA will increase to 15.8 million by 2014; approximately 2.8 million more than in 2010, which in turn has translated into a steady increase in demand within all hospitality related sectors, including the F&B industry.

cpidubai.com


67.5%

63.4%

AVERAGE OCCUPANCY IN ASIA IN AUGUST 2012

AVERAGE OCCUPANCY IN AMERICAS IN AUGUST 2012

71.3%

AVERAGE OCCUPANCY IN EUROPE IN AUGUST 2012

DATA WATCH

53.8%

AVERAGE OCCUPANCY IN MEA REGION IN AUGUST 2012

Data watch Global hotel data review for August 2012 from STR Global SEPTEMBER 2012 VS SEPTEMBER 2011 KEY FIGURES

67.5%

AVERAGE OCCUPANCY IN ASIA PACIFIC IN AUGUST 2012

ASIA PACIFIC OCC%

ADR

PERCENTAGE CHANGE FROM AUGUST 2011

2012

2011

2012

2011

OCC

ADR

REVPAR

67.5

68.2

140.44

135.42

-1.1

3.7

2.5

REVPAR

94.74 92.41 2012

2011

AMERICAS

4.1%

INCREASE IN AVERAGE REVPAR IN AMERICAS IN AUGUST 2012

OCC%

ADR

PERCENTAGE CHANGE FROM AUGUST 2011

2012

2011

2012

2011

OCC

ADR

REVPAR

63.4

63.2

109.26

105.45

0.4

3.6

4.1

REVPAR

69.32 66.62 2012

2011

EUROPE

-1%

DECREASE IN AVERAGE ADR IN EUROPE AUGUST 2012

3.6%

INCREASE IN AVERAGE REVPAR IN MEA IN AUGUST 2012

cpidubai.com

OCC%

ADR

PERCENTAGE CHANGE FROM AUGUST 2011

2012

2011

2012

2011

OCC

ADR

REVPAR

76.6

76.9

143.46

144.89

-0.4

-1.0

-1.4

REVPAR

109.82 111.40 2012

2011

MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA REVPAR

OCC%

ADR

PERCENTAGE CHANGE FROM AUGUST 2011

2012

2011

2012

2011

OCC

ADR

REVPAR

60.7

57.6

137.76

140.17

5.4

-1.7

3.6

NOVEMBER 2012

83.63 80.70 2012

2011

HOSPITALITY BUSINESS MIDDLE EAST / 11


DATA WATCH

The hotel benchmark The Ernst & Young hotel benchmark report provides a monthly performance overview of leading hotels in the Middle East. It includes five star and four star international branded and operated properties DUBAI OVERALL MONTHLY PERFORMANCE KEY FIGURES

% OCCUPANCY DUBAI - OVERALL HOTELS

MAXIMUM DUBAI OCCUPANCY IN MARCH 2012

Occupancy %

89.3%

100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

Occupancy % August 2011 - August 2012 82.3

87.4

83

87.9

87.7

89.3

85.7 78.8

74.1

78 69.4 62

51.5

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

174

167

Jun

Jul

Aug

116

117

Jul

Aug

AVERAGE ROOM RATE DUBAI - OVERALL HOTELS (US$) Average Room Rate August 2011 - August 2012 350

Average Room Rate

$290

MAXIMUM DUBAI ROOM RATE IN APRIL 2012

300 250

255

274

268

280

290

217

200 150

254

204

189 155

188

100 50 0 Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

REV PAR IN DUBAI - OVERALL HOTELS (US$) Room Yield August 2011 - Agust 2012 300

$250

MAXIMUM DUBAI ROOM RATE IN MARCH 2012

Room Yield

250

241 210

200

250

249

189 161

150 100

235

211

140

135

80

50 0

Aug

12 / HOSPITALITY BUSINESS MIDDLE EAST

Sep

Oct

NOVEMBER 2012

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

cpidubai.com


DTCM NEWS

New cruise season The cruise tourism season in Dubai started on the 9th of October with the arrival of Cruise Ship Costa neo Romantica on her maiden call to Dubai. The season ahead is very promising with the Cruise Tourism roster confirming arrival of 115 cruise ship calls with an expected throughput of over 400,000 cruise tourists in the season that SHIP CALLS will last up to the 10th EXPECTED June, 2013. The upcoming season will add another world-class cruise line, TUI cruises from Germany, to the home porting list of cruise lines in Dubai. The cruise ship Mein Schiff 2 which means My Ship will make her inaugural call to Dubai, the first venture of the cruise line in this region. The German ship will

115

make 20 calls to Dubai in the season bringing over 75,000 cruise tourists. Costa Crociere from Italy, one of the longstanding loyal partners of Dubai’s cruise tourism will have two ships from its fleet deployed in the

region operating four nights, five nights and seven nights cruises out of Dubai. One of the two ships to be deployed is Costa Atlantica, which will make her maiden call to Dubai in December, 2012.

Dubai has great six months

Success in Moscow

Awards for Dubai DTCM won three awards in the Moscow Autumn Travel Industry Week “Leisure 2012”. These awards were the Best participation in the Expo, the Best promotion of tourism and business incentives and the Best representative office in Moscow. Talal Khalifa Al Suwaidi, Chairman, North and South Europe received the three awards in a special ceremony. The first prize “Best participation in the Expo” has been awarded to DTCM as it has been participating in the Fair for 18 years now.

14 / HOSPITALITY BUSINESS MIDDLE EAST

NOVEMBER 2012

The Dubai Department of Tourism an increase of 10%. and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) Dubai hotels revenues recorded has announced the key performance AED 8,310,748,000 from January indicators of the emirate’s rapidlyto June 2012 against AED expanding hotel industry for the first 6,913,834,000 over the same period half of the year (January-June 2012) in 2011, a rise of 20%. However, which showed a 10% increase in Dubai hotel apartments scooped guest numbers, 21% hike in revenues, AED 1,401,726,000 in H1 2012 as 12% jump in guest nights and compared to AED 1,136,359,000 13% rise in the average length in H1 2011, an increase of 23%. of stay. Revenues of both Dubai During those six months, hotels and hotel apartments REVENUE JUMP Dubai hotel played host to in the first six months of EXPECTED 3,982,615 guests, an increase the year amounted to AED of 10% over the corresponding 9,712,474,000 in comparison to AED period in 2011 which saw 3,626,960 8,005,194,000 over the same period guests. A 9% increase was reported in 2011, a rise of 21%. in the guest numbers of Dubai hotel Similarly, Dubai hotel guest apartments, amounting to 1,044,608 nights swelled by 16% to touch in H1 of 2012 against 958,059 over 13,356,818 in H1 2012 as compared the corresponding six months in to 11,531,935 in H1 2011. Likewise, 2011. Guests of both Dubai hotels the guest nights recorded in Dubai and hotel apartments amounted to hotel apartments rose by 24% to 5,027,223 in the first half of this year hit 5,851,869 in H1 2012 against compared to 4,585,019 in H1 2011, 4,735,739 guest nights in H1 2011.

21%

cpidubai.com


TENDERS

Tel: (+971) 2 634 8495 www.EmiratesTenders.com

NEW SUPPLY AND SERVICE TENDERS Project name: Ministry of Interior (Saudi Arabia) Address: General Diwan, Airport Road City: Riyadh 11134 Postal/Zip Code : 2933 Country: Saudi Arabia Phone: (+966-1) 401 1944 / 401 1111 Fax: (+966-1) 403 1125 Web site: www.moi.gov.sa Provision of catering services for a ministry. Cost of Tender Documents ($): 800 Last date of submission: November 5, 2012 Project name: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Saudi Arabia) Address: Nasseriya Street City: Riyadh 11544 Postal/Zip Code: 55937 Country: Saudi Arabia Phone: (+966-1) 406 7777/ 405 5000/ 441 6836 Fax: (+966-1) 403 0645/ 403 0159 eMail: information@mofa.gov.sa Web site: www.mofa.gov.sa Provision of food services. Cost of Tender Documents ($): 135 Last date of submission: November 12, 2012 Project name: Kuwait University Address: Al-Firdoos Street, Bldg. KH2, Khaldiya Campus, Khaldiya City: Safat 13060 Postal/Zip Code: 5969 Country: Kuwait Phone: (+965) 481 1188 Ext. 7491 Fax : (+965) 484 8813 eMail: info@kuniv.edu Web site: www.kuniv.edu Utilisation and management of a location at a faculty to provide meals. Cost of Tender Documents ($): 75 Last date of submission: NovemMERIDIEN PROJECT ber 6, 2012 IN DUBAI

$54m

Project name: Department of Municipal Affairs - Abu Dhabi Municipality Address: Salam Street City: Abu Dhabi Postal/Zip Code: 263 Country: United Arab Emirates Phone: (+971-2) 678 8888/ 678 0000 / 695 5128 Fax: (+971-2) 677 4919/ 678 6716 / 672 4417 eMail: aqua2k@emirates.net.ae Web site: www.adm.gov.ae Auction for operating of food outlets. Cost of Tender Documents ($): 140 Last date of submission: November 4, 2012

16 / HOSPITALITY BUSINESS MIDDLE EAST

NOVEMBER 2012

Tenders

All the latest information about the tenders you need to know about

Project name: Zoo & Aquarium Public Institution Address: Next to Economic Development Building City: Al Ain Country: United Arab Emirates Phone: (+971-3) 704 1583 Fax: (+971-3) 763 9650 Supply of T-shirts and caps for a public institution. Cost of Tender Documents ($): 30 Last date of submission: November 4, 2012 Project name: Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) City: Safat-13126 Postal/Zip Code: 26565 Country: Kuwait Phone : (+965) 2455455 Fax : (+965) 2467159 eMail : webmaster@kpc.com.kw Supply of gifts. Cost of Tender Documents ($): 180 Last date of submission: November 13, 2012 Project name: Sheikh Khalifa Medical City - SKMC City: Abu Dhabi Postal/Zip Code: 51900 Country: United Arab Emirates Phone: (+971-2) 610 3699 / 610 2177 Fax: (+971-2) 610 4532 Web site: www.skmc.gov.ae Supply of gift. Cost of Tender Documents ($): 140 Last date of submission: November 4, 2012 Project name: Ministry of Defence & Aviation (Saudi Arabia)

Address: Airport Road City: Riyadh 11165 Postal/Zip Code: 1003 Country: Saudi Arabia Phone: (+966-1) 478 9000/ 478 5900/ 477 7313 Fax: (+966-1) 401 1336/4026457 eMail: Feedback@pca.gov.sa Web site: www.pca.gov.sa Provision of catering service for the staff of a ministry. Cost of Tender Documents ($): 535 Last date of submission: November 10, 2012 Project name: Ministry of Education (Kuwait) Address: Hilali Street, Kuwait City City: Safat 13001 Postal/Zip Code: 7 Country: Kuwait Phone: (+965) 2483 6800 Fax: (+965) 2489 7484 Serving meals at the 66th annual Scout Camp and Marine Scouting Club for a ministry. Cost of Tender Documents ($): 180 Last date of submission: November 13, 2012

NEW TENDERS Project Name: Hadaeq Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Project – Nad Al-Sheba Description: Development of Hadaeq Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid scheme, including apartment buildings, villas, office blocks, a boutique hotel and a shopping mall. Client Name: Meydan L.L.C (Dubai) Country: UAE Status: New project

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TENDERS

Project Name: In-Flight Catering Complex Project Muscat International Airport Expansion Description: Construction of a major In-Flight Catering Complex, as part of the expansion and modernisation of Muscat International Airport. Client Name: Ministry of Transport & Communications (Oman) Country: Oman Status: New Project Project Name: Five Star Hotel Construction Project Saraya Development Description: Construction of a five-star hotel comprising (5) basement levels, (4) podium levels, (32) floors and (4) levels of services. Client Name: Aabar Properties L.L.C (Abu Dhabi) Country: UAE Consultant: Confluence Project Management Status: New Project Project Name: Bandar Jissah Resort Development Description: Development of Bandar Jissah Resort including construction of duplexes, villas, 5-star hotels, sports and recreational facilities and a heritage village. Client Name: Oman Tourism Development Company S.A.O.C (Omran) Country: Oman Consultant: Oman Tourism Development Company Contractor: S.A.O.C (Omran) Status: New Project Project Name: Nile Towers Project Description: Construction of 22-storey Nile Towers a five-star hotel tower and a residential tower. Client Name: Saudi Egyptian Construction Company (SECON) – Egypt Country: Egypt Consultant: Arabtec Construction L.L.C (Egypt) Status: Current Project Project Name: Project Name: Banyan Tree Hotel & Resort Project - Jebel Sifa Description: Design and construction of three-storey Banyan Tree Hotel & Resort - a total of (239) rooms. Client Name: Muriya Tourism Development Company (Oman) Country: Oman Consultant: Muriya Real Estate (Oman) Budget (USD): 220000000 Status: Current Project Project Name: Mondrian Doha Hotel Description: Construction of Mondrian Doha Hotel comprising two basements, a ground floor, a podium

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and (25) upper floors. Client Name: Al Hamla Holding (Qatar) Country: Qatar Consultant: South West Architecture (Qatar) Contractor: Societe d Enterprise & de Gestion - SEG W.L.L (Qatar) Status: Current Project

Project Name: Lusail Iconic Stadium Description: Construction of an iconic stadium in Lusail with capacity to seat 86,250 people. Client Name: Qatar Football Association Country: Qatar Consultant: Mace International (Dubai) Status: New Project

Project Name: Southern Sun Hotel Project Description: Construction of hotel comprising four basement floors, a ground floor, four podiums, 17 upper floors, two service floors and roof. Country: UAE Consultant: Aedas (Abu Dhabi) Contractor: China State Construction Engineering Corporation (Abu Dhabi) Status: Current Project

Project Name: Golden Mile 3 Commercial Development Project - Palm Jumeirah Description: Development of Golden Mile 3 commercial scheme comprising three basements, a ground floor, and a retail and office building. Client Name: Nakheel PJSC (Dubai) Country: UAE Consultant: Dubai South Africa Architects International (Dubai) Contractor: Cliff Creek Builders (Dubai) Status: Current Project

Project Name: Meridien Hotel Extension Description: Construction of an extension to the existing five-star Meridien Hotel. Client Name: Wasl Asset Management Group (Dubai) Country: UAE Consultant: Arch Group (Dubai) Contractor: Al-Futtaim Carillion (Dubai) Budget (USD): 54,000,000 Status: Current Project Project Name: Cultural Oasis Development Project Makkah Gate Description: Development of Cultural Oasis mixed-use scheme comprising museums, convention centres, shops, hotels and apartments outside the Makkah Gate. Client Name: Makkah Municipality (KSA) Country: Saudi Arabia Budget (USD): 10,000,000,000 Status: New Project Project Name: Kingdom Riyadh Land Mixed-use Development Project Description: Development of a multi-purpose scheme, focusing on tourism and housing involving construction of mixed-use residential and commercial buildings, hotels, retail spaces, parks, car parks, private leisure and equestrian clubs and bungalows. Client Name: Kingdom Holding Company (KSA) Country: Saudi Arabia Consultant: Omrania & Associates Architecture & Engg. Consultants (Saudi Arabia) Budget (USD): 7,000,000,000 Status: New Project

Project Name: Doha Mall Commercial & Retail Complex Project Description: Construction of Doha Mall commercial and retail complex comprising a basement, a ground floor, one upper floor and car parking facilities. Client Name: Private Investor (Qatar) Country: Qatar Consultant: Dara Engineering Consultants (Qatar) Contractor: Al-Seal Contracting &Trading Co Status: Current Project Project Name: Smash Tennis Academy Description: Construction of Smash Tennis Academy. Client Name: Qatar Olympic Committee Consultant: EHAF Consulting Engineers (Qatar) Contractor: Hamad Bin Khalid Contracting Company - HBK- (Qatar) Budget (USD): 18,000,000 Status: Current Project Project Name: ADISC Residential, Leisure & Commercial Compound Project Description: Construction of ADISC residential, leisure and commercial compound. Client Name: Private Property Management (Abu Dhabi) Country: UAE Consultant: EWS Atkins & Partners Overseas (Abu Dhabi) Contractor: Fibrex Industrial & Construction Group (Abu Dhabi) Budget (USD): 750,000,000 Status: Current Project

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St Regis Abu Dhabi The luxury brand comes to the capital with its second UAE property

2012

The luxury brand opens its second home in Abu Dhabi on th waterfront

OPENING SOON

OPENING DECEMBER

T

he luxury brand opens its second home in Abu Dhabi right on the waterfront St Regis Abu Dhabi will bring the much lauded butler service that is synonymous with St Regis to the capital. Whilst St Regis Saadiyat Island makes the most of its natural surroundings and huge space for children to play in, its Corniche based sister will offer sleek, sophisticated

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service for mostly business travellers and upmarket leisure travellers who want or need to be right in the middle of the city. The hotel has 228 rooms, 55 suites whilst the room to really aim for is the Abu Dhabi Suite, which is 1,800 sq m and sits on the 58 and 59th floors. It features a cinema, spa, library, three bedrooms and a maid’s room. The hotel complex sits within

one main tower, whilst the other tower homes residents. Guests can arrive through the main entrance, the restaurants or through the large conference area. The brand brings its heritage and history to life through design elements such as bronze, diamond marble floor shapes, whilst its nods to the locality can be see through the Arabic inspired chandeliers and the huge Afghani

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OPENING SOON

tapestry that depicts the history of pearl diving in the region. The metropolitan feeling lobby will have more of a meeting place function as all check ins will be done in the room. The iconic St Regis butler service will be hard at work, dedicated to bring every guest’s expectations to life. The hotel will be hiring between 400 and 450 staff.

F&B

‡Rhodes 44 is the main restaurant, which will also have a terrace, a private dining area and a casual café for pastries and coffees. Paul Lupton will be Head Chef overseeing breakfast, lunch and dinner along with a set menu and a business lunch. The cuisine will mix European and Arabic dishes. ‡Villa Toscana - serving rustic style Italian food. ‡Crystal Lounge – first floor Champagne lounge ‡St Regis Bar – elegant bar split into three parts. Inspired by a European library complete with dark wood paneling, with one room just for cigars, whilst another has a terrace. ‡Bannouche – a seafood restaurant. ‡The hotel will also concentrate on afternoon tea – a ritual at any St Regis property..

Luxury bedroom Views of the city and the Gulf bring erxtra style to the St Regis

400-450 STAFF ARE SET TO WORK AT THE ST REGIS ABU DHABI

FACILITIES

‡1,400 sq m ballroom which can sit 740, which can divided into three separate rooms ‡Four meetings room with handwoven carpets with inbuilt projectors and state-of-the-art technology. ‡Beach club. The hotel is constructing a tunnel under the main road which will link the property to the Corniche beach. The beach club will offer a pool, two restaurants and a kids’ club. There will be daily fees for residents and annual membership

St Regis Abu Dhabi Nation Towers, Abu Dhabi T (+971) 2 658 1288 www.stregis.abudhabi.com

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COVER STORY

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COVER STORY

SOLVE THE REVENUE MANAGEMENT PUZZLE We investigate the data heavy world of revenue management. Is your property optimised to make maximum advantage of all your revenue streams?

S

uccessful revenue management can make the difference between sitting at number three or four in your competitive set and leading the charge. Between OTAs, booking agents, new distribution channels and other revenue streams, a strong and inventive revenue manager has become a key hire to a profit-making property. Michael Scully, CEO of First & Foremost Hotels & Resorts, explains why the role is becoming ever more important. “Revenue Management is a much more complicated process and job role than it ever has been before and you need someone between owners and operators now to oversee the fine tuning of the revenue stream process. “Your traditional GM isn’t a revenue manager. He’s not ahead of the game in terms of technology – he oversees

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The local community drives sales, it drives atmosphere, it drives revenue of the bottom line and they all make your hotel Michael Scully

a lot of different divisions – a general manager. The dynamics now are so complicated that he needs help. What is Google doing at the moment? It is working on the most comprehensive rates comparison system there is, how many GMS understand the ins and outs of that?”

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COVER STORY

60% THE REVENUE WELL PREPARED HOTELS CAN EXPECT F&B TO CONTRIBUTE

For those hotels who are not at the top of their set, they might look at a revenue management company such as First & Foremost to help them to close the gap. First & Foremost has increased its clients’ revenues by 24% and GOP by 18 or 19% – some can be turned around in weeks, others months or years, but they will find that success in time. ‘The strong operators don’t need us, they know what they’re doing,” explains Scully. “We’re here to slot into medium sized operators who don’t have dynamic business in this Middle Eastern market. I’ve been in this market for 20 years, I’ve run hotels for that time and we’re now partnered with one of the biggest revenue companies in Europe so we have all their expertise of all avenues of revenue management from Web site design to niche marketing to full integration of the room management system, so we can come in and drive revenue, like it needs to be driven.” In today’s rapidly developing market place, with operators and owners looking to maximise their bottom lines, being on top of revenue management is key to longterm success. We talk through some key

areas with Michael Scully, that any hotel needs to pay attention to.

GRAB OPPORTUNITIES Revenue managers need to act quickly but with expertise to take advantage of changing market conditions and outside external forces that can impact

What should you look for in a successful revenue manager? Revenue managers are a particular breed, obsessive about data and detail. A qualified sales or reservations manager does not automatically become a great revenue manager, there is a particular skill set needed. A successful revenue manager needs to be a great data analyser and be able to detect patterns and opportunities, be aware of the economic climate, not just in their locale but be up to speed on global economic trends. Mathematics is at the core of revenue management as are statistics and being able to understand and work deep within spreadsheets. If formulas, graphs and calculations aren’t easily employed, your revenue manager will not find success.

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Revenue management means more than just static data though and your superstar manager is up to speed on all distribution channels, on-line reservations systems and also know what kind of new channels and models the ever evolving online world will through up. A successful revenue manager will be a hardened key decision maker, using the facts and data rather than any emotional responses to steer the hotel into increased profit. They must be clear communicators of their strategy, someone isn’t afraid to cease new opportunities, be able to stand firm with our key decision makers like a GM or Sales Director and who can be certain that informed decisions will reap benefits for the business.

rates. A hotel has to have a continuing process of offers, incentives, packages and discounts to make best use of its facilities at all times. To stand still and do nothing is to lose potential revenue. “What you can get stuck by is guerilla tactics, as a businessman we go to war in the market. We use guerilla tactics to fight. We don’t want to upset people or travel agents or providers but we are going to grab opportunities when they exist. People need to make better use of incentives, special offers, all the time grabbing customers and bringing them direct to their sites. We invite people to stay longer, we invite people to bring their families. We have an incentive pool that is whirling all the time,” explains Scully to us. “It is extremely complicated and you’ve got to have your finger on the pulse all the time. It’s very easy to spend a lot of time on the things that don’t work through inexperience. If you’re doing nothing, you’re losing money. You only have to see the operators that are working well, they have offers running, Web sites working, they sit at number one in their set. You can lose six months

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COVER STORY

24% THE AMOUNT FIRST & FOREMOST HAS INCREASED ITS CLIENTS’ REVENUES

revenue if you don’t react properly to eall vents.” To cut commission costs as much of your business should be driven through your own hotel Web site, Scully insists. “We go beyond GOP and RevPAR and into looking at the net revenue and the disparity over the commissions paid on reservations but we look at every revenue segment and all the OTAs, what it is costing you, and we drive as much revenue as we can through your direct site, and cut out that 25%.”

NICHE MARKETS Identify your niche market. Niche markets enable hotels to go outside rate parity and not be so affected by it.

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‘Everyone has a niche market, but not everyone knows what it is. Take any destination, take the top five reasons why people visit that destination and build Web sites around them. Create loyalty schemes around them,” suggests Scully. “At First & Foremost we’ve got our first family hotel opening soon in Abu Dhabi, designed especially for families, where the kids are looked after all the time, quiet areas for kids. It will be on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi so we’ll be attractive to locals and expats for weekend breaks and birthday parties. The point is, we’re bringing a product into the market that people need and they want. It’s good for investors, good for land owners, and good for tourism of the destination.”

INCREASE F&B REVENUE Hotels at the top of their competitive set can expect to bring in 60% of their revenue from their F&B outlets, thanks to Dubai’s unique marketplace, reckons Scully. As someone who has launched some of the most successful F&B concepts in Dubai, such as Barasti Beach Bar, he is well placed to advise on how to maximise revenue from this stream. Loyalty schemes still give incredible value to consumers and they bring in long term repeat customers if they are executed correctly, he says. “If it’s discounted to the right level, it works. With loyalty schemes it is imperative that it’s not for three months and that it’s ongoing. Keep them ongoing and they bring you longterm revenue. But

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COVER STORY

Hoteliers speak... Frida Audi, Regional Sales Director for the Golden Tulip MENA and Viviane Khoury the Director of Marketing & Revenue for Golden Tulip MENA talk to us about their 2013 revenue management plans. HBME: What strategies do you have for increasing revenue in 2013? Frida Audi: On a regional basis and to support and increase the revenue in all our hotels we will be targeting multi-national companies and regional players and will intensify sales trips to key markets (GCC and Levant countries) and road shows to increase the awareness in the region and create demands for the markets. Viviane Khoury: On the other hand, the marketing for the MENA region for 2013 will be to increase the brand loyalty through the e-commerce and through our website by creating more on-line package for leisure and seasonal packages that will attract more on-line bookings in addition to be more active and present on the social media.

don’t create loyalty and not give any entertainment, people won’t come back. Don’t open a hotel with five restaurants but no nightclub. People need somewhere to go and everything has to feed off each other.” Hotels also in Dubai’s market need to support the local community – another great reason for implementing a longterm loyalty scheme. “The local community drives sales, it drives atmosphere, it drives revenue of the bottom line and they all make your hotel,” explains Scully. Make sure you have the right concept for your hotel. “If you need an Indian, you need an Indian, that’s not wrong. There are millions of concepts that will work but you need to know your market.”

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HBME: What different avenues do you have and exploit for bringing extra revenue in? FA: Through our wide presence in the Middle East & North Africa, and the active sales departments we have, the intensive sales road shows will be one of the avenues to increase our awareness and to create more demand for the different destinations with the support and in coordination with the Ministries of Tourism in the different countries in addition to exhibiting in the main travel and tourism fairs throughout the year. HBME: How much overall does F&B contribute across the whole Golden Tulip group? VK: We are always keen to deliver the best quality of food to both our customers and clients with the best service experience, we have implemented HACCP and a food safety programme to make sure that we deliver the best quality of food and we expect the demand to remain constant or

grow on the margin. We are working to develop value priced packages with new menus and offer greater variety to attract more business and to sustain profit margin level, the F&B outlets contribute 35-40% from the total revenue and we are working on introducing new restaurant concepts to our hotels, developing the staff as well as training them for better service. HBME: What new initiatives or special offers have worked particularly well for you when it comes to keeping rate parity? FA: We always strive our best to keep rate parity among our partners (corporate and leisure). We have already in place different packages through our on-line booking engine with added values, such as free nights and override commission. HBME: Can you tell us what has been your average occupancy this year? Is that an improvement on last year? What have you done differently to make that change? FA: Around 75%. We have noticed a great improvement in most of our hotels in the region by creating awareness and exposure through our sales trips, roadshows and attending major exhibitions. VK: We have also worked on maximising the GoldenTulip.com Web site to maximise the awareness for all the hotels in the MENA in addition to optimising our on-line business by advertising in major search engines marketing. HBME: How many different OTAs or booking agents do you use? Are they all effective? VK: We are mainly present on the main OTA as we have worldwide deals done through our head office in Paris, Louvre Hotels Group, where we ensure we receive a multinational exposure and bookings from different countries. With the Internet invasion these days the on-line marketing is effective and leading to a ROI for most of our hotels, which is helping to maximise revenue and increase the occupancy by 10 to 15%.

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COVER STORY

18% THE AMOUNT GOP HAVE INCREASED THEIR CLIENTS’ REVENUES

Don’t discount loss leader restaurants to improve the reputation of your property. Scully explains, “I wanted to have a restaurant in my hotel which was the most advanced food in the world. An El Bulli copy. We went for something unique and elevated the hotel. The rooms were three star, the outside looked like an office block but we created an image f something different and something fine dining. It got global coverage. There should be a reason for every restaurant, some are for profit, some are for reputation or to give variety, but know which it is.”

DUBAI GROWS, REVENUE GROWS Successful revenue operators have a eye on the wider picture than just their own property, or group of properties. Helping to develop the local area means that as Dubai grows, revenues will also grow. Dubai as a destination needs permanently pushing forward to lock in its continued success. “Are we over supplied? Well yes if we don’t continue to drive things forward,” says Scully. “What we want is for Dubai to have another 50 five star hotels in the next ten years and

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Revenue Management is a much more complicated process and job role than it ever has been before and you need someone between owners and operators now to oversee the fine tuning of the revenue stream process Michael Scully grow to meet that supply. We’ve got to continually drive to achieve that and that new owners continually get 15-20 per cent back on their investment. We don’t want to resort down to the European standard of six

per cent return on investment because if you drop that low then you stop being attractive to investors and it’s a slippery slope. It’s our job as hoteliers within the region to continue to drive that profitability for developers.”

HIRE THE RIGHT PEOPLE “Revenue Management is an integral role for someone nowadays,” says Scully. Anyone who is hired who has an involvement in revenue management needs to have had success, and more importantly locally success. “There’s too many hotels, operators, GMs and revenue managers who haven’t had demonstrable success. You need to make sure you’re leaving your 100m property in the hands of people who don’t know what they’re doing,” he adds. Owners and operators need to be strong in the face of people who believe they’re had success, when rates and the bottom line prove otherwise. “Managers can be arrogant and they think they do know what to do but they don’t. You start to go through each revenue stream, and they think they’ve had success but they haven’t. Then there are no excuses.”

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INTERVIEW

Mitzi Gaskins, Vice President of JW Marriott shares her vision for the expansion of the brand

W

JW Marriott has 55 hotels in 23 countries - 70% outside the USA

ith the first JW Marriott Marquis outside of America opening imminently, the brand’s key leader Mitzi Gaskins visited Dubai to reinforce the values and ‘brand threads’ that the mid-level luxury hotel chain has cemented over the last few years, which have become especially important in a time of aggressive growth for the company. “Our hotels can be found in gateway cities and resort destinations, but we are continuing to look at additional opportunities in the Middle East. We see ourselves filling that mid-level luxury space, below the Ritz-Carlton,” says Gaskins. “We’re about affordable luxury, not overly pretentious, very crafted but not uncomfortable and not too formal. We want to become known for ‘intuitive service’ so we’re undertaking a very high level of training,” she explained. JW Marriott currently has 55 hotels in 23 countries and 70% of those sit outside the US. “A lot of our brands start in the US and then go international after that but with the JW Marriott brand, it has been global since the inception,” she explains. “One of the most exciting things about this brand is our growth. We have a global pipeline of 25 hotels, and 23 of these are new builds. The thing we like about working with mostly new builds is that we get to influence the design in everything we’re doing.” JW Marriott will next open hotels in Pinoy, Vietnam, Baku in Azerbaijan, Santa Fe in the States and Cusco, near Machu Pichu in Peru, which will

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actually sit in a live archaeological site. Its focus is Asia and India predominantly but it also has more expansion plans in the Middle East. JW Marriott currently has properties in Cairo, Kuwait and Dubai. While four more have already been announced, the brand wants to double its MENA portfolio by 2020. “We want authenticity for each location, but we don’t want to create a cookie cutter chain of hotels either,” explains Gaskins. “We work with different brand threads to act as identifiers in the various areas but we do have very high expectations of quality service, no matter which hotel you’re in.” It will also look to expand the JW Marriott Marquis brand, but Gaskins cannot reveal where yet. “We want [JW Marriott Marquis] to grow at the same rate as the JW Marriott brand, and we’ll select the most wonderful and special hotels to make into Marriott Marquis,” she says. Dubai’s Marriot Marquis has become a ‘halo hotel’, and with a potential 1,600 rooms to come online over the next year, it is certainly one of the largest projects the chain has ever undertaken. 800 rooms will open when the hotel debuts later this year, and the second tower, or further 800 rooms will open in 2014 if the target occupancy

We see ourselves filling that mid-level luxury space, below the Ritz-Carlton.” Mitzi Gaskins

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INTERVIEW

levels are achieved. The brand is expecting by the second year to hit 70-80% occupancy. So what makes Marriott different in the luxury space, that will contribute to its long term success? “The hotels within our brand promote ‘quiet luxury’ says Gaskins. We are doing a lot of talking to customers about what experiences they want,” says Gaskins. “They want to further their knowledge in subjects they are passionate about such as culture, wellbeing and cooking and we’re busy working with brand partners in these fields to add credibility to any events or programmes offered by our hotels. For example Christie’s auction house is a brand partner to host pre-auction art evenings so guests see art they wouldn’t normally and we’re working with Aromatherapy Associates on signature spa treatments.” In addition to all these, JW Marriott will promote its wine ambassadors, Treasury Wine Estates and train its staff extensively in this area, as it knows many guests are passionate about wine. JW Marriott wants its service to live up to key words such as ‘discreet’, ‘not overbearing’ and ‘intuitive’ and the Dubai Marriott Marquis staff will each receive an additional 15-20 hours training on the brand’s key brand signifiers. There will be an average staff to guest ratio of 1.3. Gaskins explains that the Marriott Marquis will be everything the JW Marriott is known for, but everything about it becomes even more refined. “Our guest is usually a modern business traveller and we want everything for them to be easy and relaxed, not formal or uncomfortable,” she says. “We offer a unique take on a different experience - high end but not formal, in a way that doesn’t make guests feel uncomfortable. We want them to feel taken care of with intuitive service, so we’re undertaking a great deal of training to ensure our associates hit the mark.”

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NOVEMBER 2012

‘Quiet luxury’ is how JW Marriott sums up its global brand identity

MARRIOTT STATS

100% PROPOSED MENA GROWTH BY 2020

25

HOTELS IN THE GLOBAL PIPELINE

1:3

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INTERVIEW

This will allow you to ramp up speeds and guarantee quality and, to many of your guests, be worth paying extra money for - a first class or business Internet service, if you like.� John Lincoln

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INTERVIEW

Make the most of bandwidth In a competitive market, Service Providers need to do more than match business needs. Instead, as John Lincoln, VP Enterprise Marketing for du, explains, they need to enable new revenue streams for hotels.

J

ohn Lincoln is an an international senior telecommunications sales, marketing, business development and customer service delivery executive with general management, marketing, P&L, product development and revenue management responsibilities in both consumer and enterprise segments for fixed and mobile sectors. A key part of his job is helping customers develop incremental business value, as understanding both new technologies and how they can increase buisness profitability.

HBME: Let’s say I’m a prospective new account, a large hotel, how would your first conversation with me go? John Lincoln: Typically I speak to CIOs, who are always under pressure from CFOs, so I’d begin by addressing two areas: firstly, how can du help you save money and, importantly, how can we help you generate new business streams. Look, based on analysis of the hospitality industry, most people are looking for the three Bs from a hotel room: bed, bath and basin. After that, the need is for reliable, highspeed Internet connectivity. However, fluctuating demand degrades quality.

HBME: Why is that? JL: Let’s say you have a conference centre with 400 delegates - that’s really going to impact bandwidth availability. So is the activity of a number of power users - people downloading films, say, in their rooms. Now visitors to the hotel don’t want to know your problems, they want a solution. And that provides you with the opportunity to use bandwidth on demand and bandwidth optimisation to your advantage. This will allow you to ramp up speeds and guarantee quality and, to many of your guests, be worth paying extra money

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for - a first class or business Internet service, if you like. So now I’ve offered you a solution to your problems and a way of driving revenue.

HBME: What else can you do for me? JL: A hotel like every other business is heavily reliant on its IT systems - they deal with guests, with staff, with your supply chain etc. So disaster recovery and redundancy for your missioncritical systems are vital. Again, du can supply those services, holding your data offsite. Some 60% of most CIOs’ IT budgets go on hardware, but there’s normally only a 50-60% utilisation rate, so outsourcing your systems delivers major savings to you as well providing more security. du accomplishes this through offering virtualizsd computing resources to customers who pay for the computing power that they need while being able to scale on demand without having to provision and pay for the resources upfront.

HBME: Security is a major area of concern for many businesses. JL: Yes and quite rightly. As well as data you hold on customers, your own systems are vulnerable. More and more, we’re seeing hackers target the hospitality business because it’s an obvious source of lots of customer data - not just credit card details but information about how long someone will be away from their home which is now vulnerable. Working with partners, we can undertake threat assessments and see if your security policies are adequate. We can also deliver cloud based threat protection against DDoS as well as email and web security a key requirement for most businesses. As a major carrier, obviously our experience of security makes us an excellent choice. Did you realise that we’re

currently monitoring around 800,000 security incidents every day?

HBME: I have a number of options for a major ICT partner. Why should I choose du? JL: Okay, let’s run through your options.

Video on demand is now available from du on a secure 24/7 OPEX model

Firstly, of course, you can work offshore with a company like Vipro, but support can be an issue and you can never be certain about changes in regulations in another country. What data restrictions might there be? Next, you have large SIs like HP or you could go to a virtual network. Finally, you have the telcos where you get the assurance of data being in-country, a 24x7x365 support and helpdesk infrastructure, and the ease of pay as you go models.

HBME: And there I have a choice, of course. JL: Of course. However, I would point out that we have over 70,000 business customers and we now, if the business case is there, can put up fibre to any location in the UAE. We see major opportunities for business here - if we consider the UAE as a hub, you’re talking about three billion people and with fast emerging markets in SouthEast Asia,. East Africa, the Gulf and the changes from the Arab Spring, we see major new business. Globally, most product and service companies have reached satuiration in their home markets and so need to expand. Building local businesses here, they’ll need latency and redundancy.

6%

ICT REVENUE FOR THE UAE HOSPITALITY SECTOR TO GROW AT 6% CAGR TO 2014 [SOURCE: IDC]

Are you developing services specifically for the hospitality sector? JL: As well as bandwidth on demand, we have a special mobile plan for hospitality which allows you, for example, to upgrade staff to free calls within a group. We’ve a new Video Concierge solution and there will be an iPad version soon

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OUTDOOR FURNITURE

Sitting comfortably? I

Buying cheap outdoor furniture actually costs more money says Bridgman & Co’s Howard J Barnett

t’s been the trend over the last few years in the Middle East for many five star hotels to buy cheap furniture, as it can be replaced every six months. However, consider the following: * How much effort and time is spent choosing new furniture twice a year? * What impression do hotel guests form, when sitting on furniture that is uncomfortable and not very attractive? * What impression do hotel guests get when seeing and sitting on furniture where the colour of the weave has badly faded? * What impression do guests get of a hotel that expects its guests to sit on furniture with weave that has split and become potentially dangerous? The most important point of contact between a hotel and guest is the furniture. Whether it is on a balcony of a room or suite, around a poolside, or restaurant terrace, when a guest lounges in an armchair to read the paper, sits in a dining chair to have a meal, or lays on a sunbed, one fundamental aspect matters above all else. Are they comfortable? If not, they simply will not return to that hotel. However, if they have a pleasurable experience, they’ll remember how much they enjoyed their vacation and return to the hotel. Remember: any successful business is based on repeat business and customers. Buying cheap furniture simply gets you uncomfortable, ugly, unreliable products that last only a few months and then look terrible. It will cost a considerable amount of staff time having to place regular orders, disposing of old furniture and physically changing the products over every six months. Cheap furniture looks cheap but buying quality furniture will enhance the ambience of the hotel and help your business.

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OUTDOOR FURNITURE

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OUTDOOR FURNITURE

CARAVITA Caravita is a worldwide supplier of sun shades and patio umbrellas. The brand is known for high commercial quality which it provides with its five-year warranty and an unbeatable choice of options on frames and canopies. With over 100 colours of fabric and five fabric options as with over 200 finishes for the frames and customisable shapes of the canopy, it offers the largest range of options to customise an umbrella worldwide. Although new to the Middle East market, the company has a huge range of upmarket clients, including most recently, Planet Hollywood restaurant at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.

Marie Hoyle, Sales & Marketing Director at Caravita tells us a bit more about the brand.

What is your most popular product? The cantilever collections are still the most popular shades because of the versatility.

What’s the biggest mistake procurement teams make when buying outdoor furniture? I think the biggest mistake procurement teams make is the overall space plan. Furniture is always one of the first things specified and trying to work in a shade solution can be challenging at times if the space doesn’t warrant large bases or different installation methods. We try to assist the design teams in working out layout challenges and showing them the capabilities they have to create not only a beautiful space but one that functions efficiently.

What are your top models? For how many years is your furniture guaranteed ? We warranty our sunshades and pavilion structures for five years with commercial use.

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Our top models are the ‘Big Ben’, a telescopic large center pole umbrella which is available with integrated light and heating and our signature model ‘Belvedere’ with its unique folding mechanism.

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OUTDOOR FURNITURE

CASUALIFE Casualife is an outdoor furniture specialist, and has been one of the world’s leading manufacturers of outdoor furniture since 1979. With its own independent manufacturing plant in Australia and associated plants in Asia, the company has a grand tradition of quality and reliability with a fresh approach to design and worldwide

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marketing and service. Its clients include 300 hotels and resorts all over the world. Casualife Outdoor Furniture has been recognised internationally as a market leader, establishing and building its products into a formidable force amongst the interior design, architecture and contract trade internationally.

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OUTDOOR FURNITURE

PARASOL Parasol Garden Furniture has established a solid reputation as one of the Emirates’ leading suppliers of quality garden furniture. The management at Parasol Garden Furniture work closely with suppliers based in Indonesia to ensure that the highest quality products coupled with the latest trends and designs in outdoor furniture are brought into this region. Parasol places a huge emphasis on providing great service and great products at a reasonable price.

DESERT RIVER Desert River is a Dubai based company, set up by two Dutch nationals to bring cool and unusual lifestyle products to the five star hotel market for retail and rental. Operating since 2004, it counts various chains as its clients and it has a great reputation for delivering brands and items no one else can, these brands include Fatboy from The Netherlands and Slide from Italy. The company distributes throughout the Middle East and has dealers in various countries.

SUN AND SHADES Sun And Shades is a European company with its main branch in Dubai, which serves the entire Middle East, India and Africa areas. The company offers a collection of complete outdoor solutions; outdoor furniture, accessories and parasols (sun umbrellas) that are specially adapted to cope with the region’s high temperatures. The company’s parasols are made from stainless steel with anti rust repellent and powder coated strong structure aluminum frames and contain a push-the-button system of opening, beloved by hotels.

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Casualife outdoor furniture ย”ย‘ย—ย†ย–ย‘ย„ย‡ย–ยŠย‡ย•ย—ย’ย’ยŽย‹ย‡ย”ย–ย‘ยยƒยย›อย•ย–ยƒย”ย’ย”ย‘ยŒย‡ย…ย–ย•ย‹ยย–ยŠย‡ ย—ยŽยˆ

Casualife banquet furniture

CASUALIFE HAS OFFICES IN AUSTRALIA, HONG KONG, CHINA AND THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. CASUALIFE MIDDLE EAST LLC OFFICE: 416 , PINNACLE BUSINESS BUILDING, AL BARSHA, SHEIKH ZAYED ROAD, DUBAI, U.A.E. TEL: 04 347 6099 , EMAIL:ฬผ วควกWEB:วค วค CASUALIFE FURNITURE INTERNATIONAL AUSTRALIA TEL:ฮฎอžอ™อ™อ›อ˜อ˜อšอ›อ™อ›อ˜อ˜วก วฃฮฎอžอ™อ›อกอ˜อŸอŸอออœอŸวกEMAIL: ฬผ วควกWEB: วค วค


TABLEWARE

The right tableware can make all the difference to a hotel’s F&B reputation. What are the drivers for this market? What are the key trends? What are the suppliers planning? We ask some of the leading players in the local market.

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TABLEWARE

M

aking the right choice about tableware may not seem like a critical decision, but it can help your business. Not only will properly presented food make your F&B outlets look more professional, but if you choose the right tableware partner then you can make signficant savings over several years and give your hotel a easily delivered stand out style. We asked a number leading industry players to give us an overview of the current market, beginning with a key question: how often, typically, would they expect a fine dining restaurant to refresh or replace its tableware? There seemed to be general agreement on three or four years. According to Prakash Menon, Managing Director of Blue Ribbon, “This would depend upon the management of the hotel chain or the owners of freestanding restaurants. Generally, one would expect the operating equipment which is basically items like chinaware, cutlery, glassware, table linen and so on - to be changed after a period of three to four years. Normally, the operator or owner will consider that period as the ROI on a restaurant.” Lloyd Lamprecht, Key Account Manager ME of Villeroy & Boch, agrees. “I would personally love it to be more often but I would say after about three or four years it would be good for some change. In reality, it is probably more like five to six years as tableware is usually the last thing to receive some attention. However we often have new introductions on existing ranges that makes it possible to have a few changes in service without the big investment of changing the entire setup. In a region that is drastically evolving with its F&B offerings, it is becoming important not to fall behind the curve as a trendy host spot today can be a forgotten hero the next and with a few small improvements on regular basis it could make a big difference.” Menon makes the same point: “A restaurant which has a very good turnover and is doing good business, due to the

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We do believe that the demand for the classical shapes and series is highly stable and most decision makers give preference to that.”

Renu Oommen, Chief Marketing Officer, RAK Porcelain

quality of food served, the location, Michelin chef, etc would consider making some cosmetic changes to the table top - like adding on a few accent pieces of chinaware, possibly introducing some new shapes of chinaware for their signature dishes, adding or replacing their show plates which gives a new look to the guest.” Vaughan Sears, Sales & Distribution Manager of Ronai, thinks that “there are a few factors that will influence this decision. Most restaurants top up product due to breakage and other loses and this will generally allow a restaurant to keep the chinaware they have in service for around five years or more. Owners are often reluctant to agree to new product unless it is essential - however for fine dining there is generally more frequent change as the concept is changed or renovated.” Renu Oommen, Chief Marketing Officer of RAK Porcelain takes a different view. “Most fine dining restaurants would consider replacing the tableware on a yearly basis to keep the interest and innovation in presentation to their valued regular patrons. The change could be in terms of designs or shapes that can present

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TABLEWARE

Key clients Blue Ribbon: Burj Al Arab, Madinat Jumeirah, The Armani Hotel, One & Only Royal Mirage, Grand Hyatt, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi, Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, St Regis Abu Dhabi, The Oberoi Dubai, Rosewood Hotel Abu Dhabi, Fairmont Palm Island and the upcoming Conrad Hotel. Ronai: Jebel Ali Hotels, Rotana and Centro Hotels. food in its various colours, textures and tastes.” Does that mean that demands for different types of tableware are changing in the local market? Oommen believes that “most chefs prefer exhibiting their presentations on our regular ivory coloured tableware as more prominence is provided for food presentations”. Menon adds: “I would say that in the last five years or so, chefs and F&B professionals have become very selective. In fine dining restaurants, clean looking, white chinaware is still in demand. However individualism is brought in with different forms and more unusual but elegant designs.” At Villeroy & Boch, according to Lamprecht, “there has recently been a keen demand for bone china products, which is our core competence, so I would say this would define the type of porcelain in demand, then of course on the higher end, custom made designs are somewhat of a standard these days. As always new shapes

Practicality is also very much considered when selecting new or additional chinaware. They have to be ‘chef friendly’ - that is, the chefs have enough space to present their food on the plate.” Prakash Menon, Managing Director, Blue Ribbon

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TABLEWARE

and different decoration techniques come and go with time but these days I believe less is more when it comes to fine dining.” Sears agrees. “Clients are now starting to look for that unique shape or pattern that can set their presentation apart from other restaurants or a dish that can allow them to showcase a unique item on the menu. People are also looking for bespoke items, which could be cutlery, glassware and chinaware to have the logo of the hotel or restaurant.” However, the market is changing, Menon believes. “Besides the traditional round dinner plate, a lot of new shapes have been introduced like rectangles, ovals, etc. In the Middle East, decorated chinaware is very popular due to a lot of themed restaurants and concepts. But over the years the heavy decoration and the use of logos have decreased to a great extent. Designs now are more sleek and not over the top for standard restaurants, but when it comes to VVIP banquet setups and hotels which do a lot of weddings, designs in even gold and platinum are also used. We at Blue Ribbon have expertise on decorated chinaware and 95% of the time we try and create a special design for every outlet - the same is never

The tableware process Here’s what should happen: once a new restaurant is planned and the Chef and F&B team on board, then the planning process for suitable tableware begin - anywhere from six to nine months before opening. Key to success is having the outlet’s concepts in place so suppliers can match decor and style of food with suitable tableware. A problem for some suppliers is the extra time it takes to import on demand or even customise existing designs. If projects speed up from six months to three or four, then there’s bound to be some compromises on selections, design and delivery. Most suppliers will hold stock of their most popular lines but much would prefer always to match their best products to suit the restaurant.

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repeated.” Does tableware ‘date’ then? Menon believes yes. Chinaware does have its trends but, unlike fashion, it does not really change every season.” Lamprecht agrees, “Unfortunately it does.” He believes that manufacturers have to consider “a certain life time especially when it comes to unique shapes and designs - things move quicker than ever before so it is important to be adaptable”. Villeroy & Boch’s strategy is to separate the standard and traditional series from the ‘fashion’ items, thus allowing longevity and availability for core series as well as capitalising on new trends. “The key for us is from the onset of a new design to consider even with the ultra modern shapes that a timeless design would serve our industry much better than a fly by

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TABLEWARE

In a region that is drastically evolving with F&B offerings, it is becoming important not to fall behind the curve as a trendy host spot today can be a forgotten hero the next and with a few small improvements on regular basis it could make a big difference.”

night fashion statement.” According to Sears, “coloured or decorated chinaware can date faster than white chinaware, however cutlery and glassware are less affected. Tabletop products for the hospitality industry are less seasonal than consumer products, however outlets are always looking for new products that help to set them apart from their competitors. We have some customers who come back after five or ten years to reorder a pattern or decoration as they love the quality and durability and want to top up.” Oommen believes that “the demand for the classical shapes and series is highly stable and most decision makers give preference to that.” However, he adds, RAK Porcelain is always “on the look for new designs and shapes”.

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Is cost a major driver in this market? Yes, Menon says. “Cost has always been a major factor immaterial of the market. Unfortunately in the Middle East hospitality industry, operating supplies and equipment (OS&E) are always looked at the last minute and with whatever budget is left. A lot of money is spent on the exteriors and interiors but when it comes to the OS&E, they cut corners. Good quality and branded equipment may cost one a little more, but in the long run the benefits are immense!” Lamprecht agrees and stresses that it probably always will be in any market for a premium brand. However, he believes, “It is not generally a major deterrent once the value of our brand is understood.” Oommen claims that “value for

Lloyd Lamprecht, Key Account Manager ME, Villeroy & Boch

money is the major consideration in purchasing decisions and plays a vital role when shapes for outlets are chosen. All purchasing has to meet the hotel budget and usually for banqueting cost effective tableware is chosen and for fine dining it is always the best shapes which are expensive.”

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Q&A

MOUTHWATERING MENUS Keeping things interesting month in, month out

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Q&A

H

ow do chefs in Doha, Dubai and Muscat keep their loyal regulars coming back for more? And what’s the best way to increase market share? We talk to six chefs who are taking proactive approaches to secure their restaurants’ success.

MUSCAT CHEFS

HBME: How do you keep menus fresh and attractive to guests? Ajay Dhoundiyal: We constantly ask feedback from the guests to get some ideas. We implement them with modern culinary skills which keep our menus fresh and exciting. We use the right menu descriptions of dishes to make it more appealing also.. Sébastien Cassagnol: Being in hospitality for some time you know what type of products are popular, after that, it is a matter of knowledge, flair and a little inspiration which allows you to create attractive dishes. I also try out a few dishes before implementing them on the menu, so the guests always give me the first useful feedback. Ramon Salto Alvarez: In a market like the Middle East where most of the items comes from overseas the relation with your vendors is crucial, you have to plan in advance in order to get the right products. When it comes to local produce we always keep a very close relation with local suppliers like butchers, fishmongers, local farmers and so on in order to get the best of the best. Nick Flynn: We continuously review our menus in line with seasonal products, trends and response to guest feedback. Tonetto Ernesto: By changing the use of products through the  seasons that will guarantee always a different selection of flavours and colours and by having promotions on seasonal products such as oysters, truffles, asparagus etc Pang Pin Lee: I take a twofold approach to ensure that we keep our menus fresh and attractive. First, I study new trends and dynamics in the international culinary world and encourage every member of my team to be involved in menu planning.

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Executive Chef Ajay Dhoundiyal Park Inn by Radisson Muscat “We use the right menu descriptions

Sébastien Cassagnol The Chedi, Muscat “I also try out a few dishes before

of dishes.”

implementing them on the menu”

Second, we ensure that local tastes are translated into the menu selections at each of our different locations around the world. For Hakkasan in Dubai, we created new menu items suited for local palates such as the Grilled Sultan Ibrahim with sour chilli sauce and the Charcoal grilled Wagyu beef with sesame peanut sauce.

every three months, but we constantly change our set menus and have numerous daily specials where we can try new styles or flavour profiles. TE: Every three months. PPL: Our a la carte menu is updated approximately every six months, while the business lunch set menu is refreshed every two months.

HBME: How often do you refresh your menus? AD: When it comes to the

HBME: How difficult do you find it competing in your market for covers? AD: We understand the

3-4

a la carte menu for our restaurants, we change it critical balance between twice a year, as well daily fulfilling our guests’ choices MENU CHANGES EVERY specials and set menus. with refreshed menus and YEAT IS NORMAL making a profit at the same time. SB: How often we change menus When even food prices are high, we or selections available depends on focus more on guests’ satisfaction and the property size, but I always try to always try to fulfill their request. We change the menu twice a year. I often also try to be to everybody’s taste in add ‘specials’ to the menus, so our terms of menu pricing and providing regular guests see constant changes high price and mid range of food from and can try new dishes whilst coming back for their favourites. I also use like our menus. We keep on revising our recipes to make it more exciting and to use seasonal products (including tasty as time and taste changes, so the fish and seafood). guests will come back. RSA: We change our outlet menus four times a year following the seasonality SB: The Chedi Muscat already has a of products. Our in-room dining great reputation and enjoys steady menu changes together with the business from local residents as The restaurant menus and conference Restaurant and The Beach Restaurant and banqueting menus change twice have been awarded Best Fine Dining a year. and Best Ambiance in Oman for the last seven years consecutively. NF: A complete menu change is done

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Q&A

The number of restaurants in Oman is much smaller compared to the restaurants on offer in Dubai for instance, so there is not so much competition. RSA: The five star hotels that are already established in the market, all of them deliver great quality service, only in West Bay area we have Renaissance, InterContinental, Hilton and St Regis open in less than a year plus great standalone restaurants had open as well; all of them have new products with great standards and they are ready to compete for every customer, that makes competition really tought, to be ahead of your competitors you have to come with new ideas and concepts constantly. NF: The market has increased immensely in the past 12 months which has been good as it has put pressure on existing properties to revisit their concepts. The Doha market is quite small and you have to be really on your toes to get a fair market share of guests. TE: It is very challenging, due to the high competition in Dubai. PPL: I believe that the more brands there are in the market, the more opportunities this creates for each brand to be unique and find its own niche in the industry.

THE MARKET HAS INCREASED IMMENSELY IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS WHICH HAS BEEN GOOD AS IT HAS PUT PRESSURE ON EXISTING PROPERTIES TO REVISIT THEIR CONCEPTS.” Nick Flynn

HBME: What is an average night in covers mid week and at the weekend? AD: As we are a business hotel and most of our guests are from corporate, during weekdays we do average of 60 covers per night at our RBG Restaurant and on weekend this goes up to 80-85 covers. SB: At The Restaurant we would prepare for around 140 covers, at the weekend this can go up to 160 covers

DOHA CHEFS

Ramon Salto Alvarez Executive Chef, W Hotel Doha “We have to come up with new ideas constantly to offer a wow factor.”

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Nick Flynn Director Of F&B and Kitchen Operations, InterContinental West Bay “At the end of the day it is a business!”

at night.

RSA: Generally we are doing very well during the week at lunch time we have more business customers from West Bay area and the weekends more families coming for brunch. NF: Currently by not having an events centre, our covers nearly double at the weekend. TE: We have around 80 midweek 80 and at the weekend about 120. PPL: Our average covers midweek around 250; average covers come the weekend around 350.

HBME: What pressure or support do you get from the owner or operator to increase your market share? AD: There are always challenges in a new position, but I do have the freedom to work independently and to focus on market trend, what our guests are expecting from us. The owner and management always supports our developing of the F&B standards and product quality. SB: Our owners are very satisfied with our F&B performance, the service levels and our reputation. RSA: We have to come up with new ideas constantly in order to offer a wow factor to our guests, recently we have started the brunch season after Ramadan with an all new selection of cakes and desserts, we are as well preparing the menus for the fall seasons in our signature restaurant Market and Spice Market. NF: At the end of the day it is a business! We work very closely with our owners and often discuss how we can drive business. I am also very focused on ensuring we always consider the brand integrity whenever planning promotions or events. TE: There is a lot of pressure to be at the top of the market, and support to enhance productivity and creativity. PPL: One of the key markers we use for success is the reactions of our guests, and we are pleased to see many guests return time and again. Hakkasan’s number one priority is offering the highest quality cuisine and a unique guest experience.

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Q&A

HBME: What new ideas, menus and themes would like tto develop? AD: Most of the time, our menu change depends on the feedback we receive from guests. We keep basic dishes on the menu and then work as per guests’ feedback. We also focus on developing local cuisine, using local ingredients, as well as to create exciting menus for all of our restaurant guests. SB: All menus have recently been changed; some popular dishes can still be found on the menu as well as some new additions. The restaurant concepts however are proven success formulas that will not be altered. NF: Bearing in mind we have only recently opened our outlets, we are constantly evolving with menus and ideas. In time, we would like to work closer with our owner utilising his organic produce from his farm. TE: A very fashionable Italian menu in relation with ourc brand. PPL: We always try to come up with new dishes for various occasions like the Iftar menu, the Christmas menu, Mother’s Day, etc. Our aim is to use the best quality ingredients to produce the highest quality Cantonese food.

HBME: What inspires you? AD: I don’t necessarily think it was inspiration that drove me down the path to become a chef, but it was the challenge for me, that whether I could cook something tasty for me or not, which I have taken as a challenge. I am passionate about cooking, despite the administration work of being a executive chef, I still do spend much time in my kitchen and prepare minimum one dish on each day. SB: Curiosity: I am very curious, I like to try new things, new products, I am very open to different culinary experiences. Being French, I was trained in a traditional way, but as soon as I started to travel around the world I discovered an endless world of food possibilities. Years ago I had the privilege to worth with celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and my vision of cooking changed forever.

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Before joining him, I had never worked with Asian produce, however since then I have lived in Asia and the influence remains to this day. RSA: I believe that you can learn and get inspired by the most unexpected person or situation; I always try to keep myself updated with latest techniques, look up to top chefs and trendy F&B concepts for inspiration. NF: Passionate people who are driven in their field to push the barriers. TE: I’e travelled a lot which inspires my techniques and the ingredients used while making a menu. PPL: My favourite ingredients which inspire me to create new recipes are fresh herbs and spices. These ingredients can transform and add

flavour to any dish, creating innovative taste sensations.

HBME: Do you take note of what competitor are doing? AD: Yes we do competitor surveys regularly which helps us to know about other restaurants in town, what they are doing. It is always better to know what guests are expecting. SB: There are many great chefs, each with their own vision of the ideal cuisine. I am always learning and experimenting, but I do not worry too much about the competition. As a chef, you have to be confident in your own ability to create appealing dishes without following anyone else. There is definitely space in the market for

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Q&A

everyone to be creative and successful. RSA: Absolutely it is very important to keep your eyes open and see what the competitors are doing; it is a crucial part of the thinking process. NF: Of course! With such a small market here in Doha, you really need to keep your finger on the pulse and try and stay one step ahead. PPL: I try to stay well-informed about the latest developments in the culinary world by visiting restaurants and reading industry publications.

HBME: How does your relevant market compare to other region you have worked in? AD: To compare ourselves in the market we do have comment card evaluation process and mystery guests report, which helps us to know about how we have done in past and what target we have to achieve. SB: All regions have their own identity and market; it is very hard to compare Oman to Beirut, where I worked, or Sydney, Paris, Bali. But from what I see, geographically speaking Oman is well located, not too far from Europe, Asia, and India, and able to enjoy influences from around the world. RSA: I have worked in USA, Europe, Asia and Middle East and every region has good things and challenges, I have been in the Middle East since 2004

and had learnt many things; I really love the mix of cultures in my team, I really enjoy running big operations with large teams that allow you to create new concepts and develop new ideas, the challenges come when you learn how to plan your purchases as you forecast your business. NF: Very different as I have spent most of my career in Asia & Europe. At the end of the day it’s all about identifying who is your target market. TE: There is high social activity compared to other regions hence the market here requires constant progression and innovation. PPL: Prior to arriving in the UAE, I worked in Malaysia, Singapore, China and Macau. I would have to say that the main difference is that that the UAE offers a very wide range of restaurants which cater to diverse tastes.

HBME: Is there a tried and tested recipe for success in the restaurant marketplace? AD: Although all of our recipes are pre tested before put into the menus , I would say our homemade gourmet burgers, steaks and chocolate brownies are all time favourites for our guests and they come back for this. SB: Once again I would say every single place has its own identity, some recipes would work worldwide, but where is the challenge if you copy

DUBAI CHEFS

Tonetto Ernesto, Executive Chef, Cavalli Club, Restatuant and Lounge “The sky is the limit and Dubai is an

Pang Pin Lee, Chef de Cuisine, Hakkasan, Dubai “I would love to see more traditional

ever growing place.”

Emirati restaurants”

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what you have done before? I like to be inspired by the place I am working in, use as much as I can of the local products, follow the seasons… RSA: For me there is only one recipe for success: Honesty – to provide the best meals you have to use the best produce available. Consistency – as I said before, consistency is the biggest challenge and the key to success. Team work – in the restaurant business, working alone is not possible. Every successful chef has a team. NF: Know your customers, cater to them and ensure that the product is consistent every day! TE: Passion, creativity, consistency, good ambiance and of course memorable food PPL: I wouldn’t say that there is one recipe for success which works for everyone. For me, it has been working with a wonderful team which has a passion for cooking and the desire to create the perfect experience.

HBME: What other cuisines do you think would be feasible in the region? AD: Nowadays guests are looking for Modern Arabic cuisine with a fusion touch and West Asian cuisine. SB: I have only just arrived in the region, hence I will have to investigate a little further on what could be worth exploring further. RSA: I think Spanish and Peruvian cuisines have been forgotten in the Middle East. I was born in Barcelona and our cuisine is based of seafood many different dishes that for sure will be successful. In South America, Peru is the country with more culinary heritage they plenty of dished based of seafood but still people in general don’t know much about it. NF: Honestly most cuisines and themes are currently either in place or on the way. Now it’s all about the implementation. TE: The sky is the limit and Dubai is an ever growing place. PPL: I would love to see more traditional Emirati restaurants and the local cuisine represented more

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GM FEATURE

H

aving had a quiet rebrand over the summer, The H (formerly The Monarch) feels its strength lies in its prestigious address and its independent ownership. General Manager Guy Bertaud talks us through his what he sees as the hotel’s unique strengths. “The hotel changed its brand name in mid May and the idea was that this was the first step of our rebranding and repositioning of the hotel in this market. We will introduce a number of changes in the property, our products and services that we offer in terms of the sense of arrival, the guest expectations, amenities in the rooms, making it more appealing to the business traveller and the GCC customer, which represents the majority of our guest base, to the tune of around 60%,” Bertaud explains. The H sits at One Sheikh Zayed Road, a presitigious address in a city where not many hotels can claim to have ‘addresses’ at all. “Our address of One Sheikh Zayed Road has never been used much in the past in terms of marketing, which we will start to do a lot more now,” says Bertaud. ”We will align the address with the name of the hotel as the number one is usually a gateway to something, and the letter H means gateway. It’s an interesting combination. We’d like to be seen as the opening to the city. And simply saying the address One Sheikh Zayed Road, everyone will know it,” he says. The hotel has been fairly quiet in the last couple of years, with many only starting to recognise the name change recently but with a new team in place Bertaud hopes now to really capitalise on the hotel’s location and the property’s independence. “There are very few five star independent hotels in Dubai and we have an unusual address and we’re

Post rebrand expect major new marketing activity and new services from the H Hotel in Dubai

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION The H hotel’s GM, Guy Bertaud, aims to capitalise on his unique address, One Sheikh Zayed Road

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GM FEATURE

independent so we’re looking to stand out and be recognised for those differences in the future,” he explains. “I saw the potential of The H when I stayed here a few months before I started and I was amazed by the potential of the hardware here. It’s a beautiful building in a great location and it has fantastic structure it was a shame it was positioned as a leader in its field. It’s not there yet but we will get there.” And there are plenty of changes afoot. The hotel will embark on a nine or ten month plan that will encompass the new brand change, updating both the property’s offerings to guests and improving staff service, as per Bertaud’s plan. “Changes will improve the product and the service that we have and I want to make sure that the hotel is positioned at the top of its competitive set, which are the urban hotels of Sheikh Zayed Road. It’s a sophisticated organisation of urban business minded hotels around us. What we’re doing now is to position the hotel within this urban environment. We’re changing a number of the public areas, we’re looking at options at the moment – we want to do something strong and deliver a strong message especially with the lobby lounge and reception areas. We want to make a statement with these areas.” These changes are made easier Bertaud believes by being independent and not linked to a global corporation, “It’s always more difficult when you have a global brand box which tells

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We have an unusual address and we’re independent so we’re looking to stand out and be recognised for those differences in the future”

Guy Bertaud

you what to do, when you want to do something outside of the box. Our vision statement here is ‘break the brand box’, so it’s clear what we want do and why we’re different. We have more flexibility and we can be a lot more personal.” But being independent is not

without its unique challenges in a Hotel offerings market like Dubai. are constantly “The challenge is the distribution of being refreshed and the hotel. When you’re part of a global rethought at The H network you benefit from marketing support which gives you millions of customers, we don’t have that support so we have to fight harder with our brand name and our reputation, which is why partly we changed our name and we will go through an awareness campaign,” he reveals. Even independent five star hotels though have the same tricky balancing act between revenue management and attracting bookings through OTAs. “OTAs attract a massive part of our business but we are seeing a lot of activity in our direct bookings, so we want to capitalise on that. We are capturing a lot of business from the GCC region so we want to push that with our sales team and support the business that is there. We’re also part of the Leading Hotels of the World and that has international reach and we receive a lot of support through directly and through travel agents,” Bertaud explains. “We obviously expect growth next year as the impact of the new brand, improvements to the hotel and an awareness campaign will all benefit our additional business. Then we will capitalise on our current business and we will be looking at opportunities for developing new corporate business.” He reveals his secret to staffing success, “Two areas are very important to me. One is letting people express themselves and let them do what they need to do, and take ownership of their business. I’m really THE DUBAI GATEWAY empowered all the time to ADDRESS OF THE H let our team do something that is very important. I don’t want to lay down the law on how do to do things, I want our team to lead the way. The second is my keyword, which everyone will tell you, it’s teamwork. I used to play basketball in France and you learn how the right team can achieve better results. Teamwork is essential in the hotel.”

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7KHNH\WRD¿YHVWDU JXHVWH[SHULHQFH",&7 +RWHOVQHHGWREHPRUHSHUVRQDOPRUHFRQQHFWHGDQGPRUH UHVSRQVLYHLIWKH\DUHWRGHOLYHUDVXSHULRUDQGKLJKO\SHUVRQDOLVHG FXVWRPHUH[SHULHQFHWRJXHVWV7KLVZDVRQHRIWKHPDLQ¿QGLQJV RIDPDMRUVWXG\ZKLFKUHYHDOHGKRZFXVWRPHUH[SHULHQFHVKDSHV WKHEHKDYLRXUVDQGGHPDQGVRIWKHKRWHOJXHVWDQGZKDWWKLV PHDQVIRUWKHIXWXUHVWUDWHJLHVEXVLQHVVPRGHOVDQGVHUYLFHVRI EXVLQHVVHVLQWKHKRVSLWDOLW\VHFWRU

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raditional customer segmentation is likely to die and will instead be replaced by personalised service spectrums and a total service model” is the conclusion of a study by Amadeus called ‘Hotels 2020:Beyond Segmentation’. The guests of the future will be able to tailor every aspect of their experience including hotel services, the bedroom, their journey, the pricing and the communications. Customer experience management emerges as a critical success factor and ICT as the key to managing a guest’s experience at all stages of a visit. Historically, the sector has lagged on its propensity to make technology investments. Compared to their counterparts in other industries, hotel executives dedicate a relatively small portion of their overall operating budgets to ICT. In 2010, hotels spent just $7,140 per employee, or about 3% of revenue, on IT. We are already seeing a level of acceptance of the need for higher levels of investment. More recent market research shows an increase in ICT spending within the hospitality industry overall, with guest experience cited as the top driver for investment. One study carried out for Motorola Solutions revealed that 56% of hospitality organisations planned to raise mobile investments to better equip their workforces, improve their operational HI¿FLHQFLHVDQGXOWLPDWHO\HQKDQFHWKHFXVWRPHU H[SHULHQFHIRUEXVLQHVVEHQH¿W The Motorola Solutions 2011 Hospitality Market Barometer also showed that 91% of hospitality decisionmakers realise the increasing importance of mobile and wireless technology, while 78% recognise the role mobility plays and will comtnue to play in ensuring a competitive advantage for their business. The study is backed by views of industry experts from Accenture. If most hotel guests expect their stay to be personalised around a set of choices they make at the time of booking, prior to arrival or during their stay, then hoteliers need to embrace the technology their guests use, the consultants argue. “From the moment that a guest plans a trip to when they check in, are on property, check out and even after they have walked out the door, hoteliers have to integrate guest demands into their enterprise and property IT architectures and to manage them across the guest lifecycle,” states the survey. To truly engage with their customers - who are now increasingly mobile and alwaysconnected – hoteliers need ICT that helps them cater

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to multiple needs and demands of guests, to introduce innovations such as intelligent furniture, personalised nutrition and responsive technologies, argues Accenture.

,QQRYDWLYHJXHVWH[SHULHQFH Hotels in the region are taking heed. Some of the rooms coming on stream now come equipped with a touch screen for guests to use to order room service, book extra amenities, or explore service options and choices. This sort of Interactive Customer Experience technology is being widely deployed by hotels of all grades, thanks to the affordability of tablet computers which are increasingly being stationed around the hotel lobby, in-hotel cafes and public areas to allow guests to order services on-line. It is an amenity which can be designed to cover the entire guest experience and can be used by a guest to set a wake up call, order a special dietary meal from room service, book a taxi or car from valet parking, or to check their bill before checking out. Another example of ICT being used to personalise the customer experience sees a guest arriving at the airport receiving a welcoming text from the hotel on their smart phone. By responding to the text they are automatically checked in and sent the room assignment details by another text. On arrival at the hotel they can go straight to their room and use their smart phone as a room key. The technology, being deployed by the likes of Holiday Inn Express, is compatible with all the major electronic door locks on the hospitality market, and works with all of the estimated four billion cell phones on the current mobile consumer market. For the guest it leads to better guest service and richer guest experience, allowing them the option to bypass the front desk. For the hotel, it means a reduction of operating costs at the property, and generates a ‘wow’ effect and innovative image about the hotel. And for the environment, it means a reduction of plastic card waste. Elsewhere, technology known as machine-to-machine communications, where computer chips are embedded into hotel assets are starting to make an impact. One US chain is equipping its room service carts with the WHFKQRORJ\VRWKDWDIWHUDJXHVWKDVÂżQLVKHGHDWLQJWKH cart is placed outside the room door and the onboard microchip inside the cart alerts housekeeping to come collect it. A lot of the technology advances being made in the hospitality sector are actually being driven by the ICT that guests enjoy when they are at home, and the desire to be

Customer experience management emerges as a critical success factor and ICT as the key to managing a guest’s experience at all stages of a visit. constantly connected to the wider Internet for both and work and leisure.

7RZDUGVDWRWDOO\ZLUHGHQYLURQPHQW There are said to be 93 properties currently in the planning and construction phase in the UAE and many XQGHUFRQVWUXFWLRQZLOOVHHÂżEUHRSWLFFDEOHZLUHG into every room. They will be rolling out a super-fast better-than-home 100 Mbps Internet service, which is fast enough to download a CD in just three seconds. For hotels already in operation, however, which are RIWHQZRUNLQJZLWKRXWWKHEHQHÂżWVRIÂżEUHWRWKHURRP PDQDJLQJDJXHVWÂśV,QWHUQHWH[SHULHQFHLVPDGHGLIÂżFXOW by inadequate broadband capacity being fed into the hotel. In this context, a hotel guest could feel constrained E\WKHÂż[HGEDQGZLGWKEURDGEDQGSURYLVLRQWKHKRWHOKDV negotiated with its telecommunications service provider. But now, thanks to new Bandwidth-on-Demand services, such as the one introduced by du in Dubai, a KRWHOLVDEOHWRSURYLVLRQDÂż[HGEDVHOLQHEURDGEDQG service on top of which it can take extra bandwidth FDSDFLW\RQGHPDQGWRVXLWLWVĂ€XFWXDWLQJEXVLQHVV needs, guest requirements, occupancy rates or some temporary hosting of an in-hotel special event, large business meeting or conference. There is a real need for such offers in this sector. Demand for broadband is soaring. Over the last three years, the volume of guest data travelling across a hotel network will have quadrupled typically. And this trend will continue, as applications favoured by guests become more videocentric and bandwidth hungry. Hotel guest experience is shaped as much by their Internet experience, as it is by the comfort of the hotel bed or by the quality of hotel dining, so highly-available broadband services have to be provisioned in a costeffective way that meets both the economics of the hotel, and its guests. Bandwidth-on-Demand is one way hoteliers balance the commercials of broadband provision

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with the richness of guest experience. With Bandwidth-onDemand guests can buy premium in-room services that give them access on a pay-as-you-go basis to a dedicated super high-speed service with an unlimited number of devices per room allowed access. Alternatively, they could pay a smaller charge for shared access to a standard in-room service, or rely solely on the free in-lobby WiFi access. This gives customer choice, which invariably leads to better customer experience. Simply by installing a du management gateway alongside the existing Internet ISP gateway, a hotel’s IT staff can pull down burstable bandwidth on an as-needed basis. In-hotel events and Internet access for business meetings can be better managed as a result. This option provides new revenue generation opportunities for the hotel, helps it build differentiation from the competition, while at the same time proving to be more reliable in the context of the high-speed access that hotel guests now take for granted. Guests want the same if not better Internet and IPTV experience in their preferred hotel as they enjoy at home.

(QWHUWDLQPHQWLVFHQWUDOWRWRGD\œV FXVWRPHUH[SHULHQFH ,QWRGD\œVPRGHUQKRWHOWKHLQURRPÀDWVFUHHQWHOHYLVLRQ is a focal point - and for more than one reason. It is becoming a key Internet portal and entertainment hub, ultimately with smaller devices such as smartphones and tablets connecting remotely to the room’s network and television, acting as a hand-held control device. We have already seen the arrival of the Hotel TV (HTV) and the likes of Samsung’s Hospitality Displays which will allow content including movies, photos and music in enabled personal devices to be seamlessly shared across the in-room wireless network between the device and the TV. Guests who have access to HTV will also be

Gaining a better understanding of such customer needs and preferences - guest intimacy, as IBM calls it - can enable the delivery of personalised services that will help increase customer satisfaction, lower service costs and improve guest loyalty.

able to navigate easily through hundreds of channels by categorising them by country and genre. Other features include full HD capability, Soundbar technology, with MP3 cradle, to provide a deeper audio experience and wireless subwoofer. It means that personal content can be enjoyed on the vivid larger screen, helping to enhance the overall entertainment experience for the guest. In the GCC, which is seen as a global hub for tourism - and especially in the UAE where tourist arrivals are likely to grow at a CAGR of 5.3% between 2012 and 2022 - hotel guests originate from every corner of the map. So the language of written and verbal interaction has become an aspect of customer experience which is much appreciated by guests. The Hilton chain, for example, which has been an early adopter of tablet technology to provide a broad-based guest experience in a guest’s native tongue, including control of in-room media and entertainment. For the increasing number of Chinese guests, for example, this now includes a Chinese TV station delivered over the IPTV network.

7DNLQJWKHJXHVVZRUNRXWRIWKHJXHVW H[SHULHQFH $GYLFHIURP,%0 Hoteliers should focus on three key imperatives: * Optimise each guest interaction according to VHJPHQWVSHFLÂżFQHHGV * Empower guests to customise their experiences beyond the segment level. * Deliver consistent products and services in UHVSRQVHWRVSHFLÂżFJXHVWQHHGV

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Over two-thirds of travel industry professionals surveyed for the Amadeus study agreed that guest motivations will become increasingly fragmented and diverse and harder WRVHJPHQWLQWRFOHDUO\GHÂżQDEOHFXVWRPHUJURXSLQJV And, as IBM points out, this brings with it some new and very unique challenges. Serving narrow segments requires a comprehensive programming of consistently capturing and retaining guest preferences at every guest touch point. In its view of factors that are shaping customer experience,


published by IBM as ‘Hotel 2020: The personalization paradox’, the company notes that an emerging and increasingly powerful source of information about guests and their unique preferences is social media. “In all its forms, social media is a mechanism by which individual consumers share opinions and information that reveal their preferences. The dual challenges for hotels is collecting this information with the permission of the consumer and analysing the collected data fragments to form a comprehensive picture of their hotel-relevant preferences.� The aim is to turn these views into information assets which can be deployed by hospitality businesses to enrich the customer experience. An excellent case is cited. If a frequent business traveller declines the parking option on arrival each time he visits a hotel property, the check-in function should

detect this pattern of behaviour and replace this offer with VRPHWKLQJPRUHUHOHYDQWWRWKLVVSHFL¿FJXHVWVXFKDV round-trip shuttle service to a restaurant. Gaining a better understanding of such customer needs and preferences - guest intimacy, as IBM calls it - can enable the delivery of personalised services that will help increase customer satisfaction, lower service costs and improve guest loyalty. Ultimately, personalisation will enhance the customer experience and can result in the development of specialised services – delivered according to current preferences – for which guests will be willing to pay a premium. IBM maintains that - paradoxically - is it in standardising the ways a hotel leverages data sources to capture more consistent guest information across all touch points, that will help them provide the differentiated customer experience guests expect.

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TRENDS

Trend watch: November 2012 The latest products, launches and services to make a difference to your business 60

Product Watch

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IT

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This month’s hot objects includes a smart TV.

How using a private cloud helps Rotana’s operation.

Spas What’s hot today in the regional spa market?

Technology More and more managers are working for their MBAs.

Signage Up to date on Wayfaring? You need to be.

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TRENDS / PRODUCT WATCH

Product watch The world’s most useful and innovative new designs, delivered to you, every month

RETHINK FOR STARCK Philippe Starck’s Starck 2 range of washbasins are classics: the ‘circular’ washing bowl actually an oval to give an organic, flowing character. Now relaunched by Duravit, the range has been

redesigned to be finer and more contoured. The Starck 2 washbasins continue the successful relaunch of the toilets and bidets from this range. www.duravit.com

LED SPIKE LIGHTS The new model GLP Spikee Light (from Global Light & Power wer outdoor range) features a lockable swivel nut for the adjustable neck, a smooth circular lamp head, ad, and a longer, serrated spike ke for excellent stability in sandy dy soils. It has dark bronze colour that allows the light to disappear pear into the landscape duringg the day as well as high performance rmance and durability. Manufactured ured with solid die-cast aluminium nium and using only Nichia LEDD from Japan, GLP spike lights come ome in three sizes (4.5W, 8.5W orr 12W) and all come with an IP666 rating and a three year guarantee. ee. Stock available ex-Dubai. www.globallightllc.com om

LAUFEN PALOMBA New additions to Laufen’s highly successful Palomba collection include iconic pieces the Menhir washbasin and bathtub, plus a series of countertop washbasins, and a new range of modular furniture which offers a great way of adding colour and storage space into any sized bathroom. The company’s Case furniture range is also expanded with new vanity units in widths ranging from 450mm to 1800 mm. They can be combined with practically all Laufen washbasins. The collection also includes a medium and a tall cabinet and a tall cabinet with two or four glass shelves and is available in the trend colour of white, or limed or anthracite oak. www.laufen.co.uk

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PRODUCT WATCH / TRENDS

SMART HOTEL TV The LG Pro:Centric Smart offers all the customisable tools that its partners can use to optimise their hotel TVs with IP-based programmes, Web-kit and HTML5.

With this expansion of control methods comes the ability to provide premium hotel services without the need for a set-top box. Additionally, more services such as enhanced

connectivity and display sharing are available to guests using LG Smart TV technology. www.lg.com/ae

THE CANAPE COLLECTION

I DRINK LOCAL MBLM, an agency focused on creating intimacy between people, brands and technology, has launched the ‘I Drink Local’ initiative, which aims to bring attention to the fact that many restaurants and cafes in the UAE do not serve local brands of bottled

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water. It’s Web site provides facts and observations about why switching to locally bottled water and insisting on locally bottled water brands can bring about a positive impact on the community. www.idrinklocal.com

Indigo Living presents the Canapé Collection. This exclusive collection infuses your room with splashes of modern chic elegance and tradition, featuring pieces dressed in top-quality leather and includes fashionable two to three seated sofas, wingback chairs and elegant stools. An atmosphere of irresistible comfort and warmth with alluring pieces which Indigo Living is known for. www.indigo-living.com

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Creating a private cloud Entiretec has initiated a platform for Rotana Hotels where all managed services can be offered via a SaaS model within a private cloud. Julian Kraft, Managing Director of Entiretec Middle East, explains this bespoke approach.

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IT / TRENDS

E

ntiretec has been active in the Middle East market for the last few years, working with hospitality brands like Movenpick. As a company, nearly 50% of its global business still comes from other verticals like industry and manufacturing and it’s this best practice and new technologies that Julian Kraft is adapting for the local hospitality market. “The way we work is to invest a lot of time to adapt our services to the vision of our clients and we have a few key accounts in different regions. Clients like Rotana have been so successful because they have a clear vision and strategy,” he says. “Everything we do is based on a managed service model, so there’s no CAPEX investment needed. Everything we do from the hardware, the service, the support, the SLA is all in a monthly fee and that’s our approach from day one. We only provide solutions not just products.” Entiretec has spent the last three years working with the board of Rotana Hotels to understand the strategy and vision and provide them with a platform that implemented a centralised HSIA profile management, a two node approach for the guest related information sitting in two data centres, a Rotana wide landing page in its CI, the seamless integration of a guest app and enabling voice services into the Web site and the guest app. “It’s not what we have done with them, in terms of technology but how we adapted what was available and put it to use. We had our first talks with Rotana three years ago, almost four years. We had an idea, because there were around 30 hotels, now they’re 40, which was the perfect size for us. It was an interesting way to consolidate services but not through a public cloud but through a private cloud that we built for them, and then we could manage the services in whichever way they desired,” Kraft explains. “We were able to achieve an entire rollout in three and a half

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to them and you end up with a silo months with no interruptions or approach again. The IT departments delays, it was like clockwork. We’re very proud of that. We’re still working need to start working more closely with the boards of hotels on additional services for and whoever is in charge them. We don’t look at it of their vision and their as a product, but we offer future plans to explain solutions so we can keep how they can aid this on adapting their service development and be ready offerings as the brand to enable this business. grows and changes.” The GMs and board Through this compiling AMOUNT OF FUTURE GLOBAL BUSINESS WE members are not of all the various THINK IS RIGHT FOR OUR informed enough apps and integration HOSPITALITY VERTICAL about what is out software into digital there and the potential to adapt layers and hosting them in a private cloud, which can be replicated for any existing technology. We don’t have to go out and build something new, we additional properties, the company just need to take out what we need has managed to allay any security and use it logically for hotels,” he issues that many hoteliers have about explains. “Our benefit is that we have using a public cloud. best practice from other industries “If you don’t manage a cloud and we bring that in. You don’t have properly you are going to have to reinvent the wheel every time, a lot security issues. If you’ve got a chain of the things that would really aid the and you go with Google mail, that hospitality industry are already out is fine, but guest related services, there. In the future our plan is for our that needs to sit in a private cloud, hospitality vertical to be 50% of our which is what we believe,” says Kraft. global business.” “What we do manage the firewalls, With the managed serviced Rotana and all the traffic in and out and all Hotels project under its belt, three the managed services, all looked after years of investment has paid off. by us, so there are no security issues. Entiretec is now on the look out for Most importantly, there’s flexibility. similar key accounts of medium sized If Rotana don’t want to work with us chains where it can play a key part in in the future on some services, they that brand’s evolution. just take whatever they have now and “Ideally to achieve this for a client give it to someone else to manage. we could do with their vision for the They know they’re not hooked in for next three years, five years is almost 20 years and if they don’t want us any too hard to predict. With Rotana we more then they have a choice.” signed the agreement as Entiretec This focus on services and bespoke solutions marks Entiretec out from its Group not just the Middle East so that we can aid them no matter competition which Kraft believes is where they want to expand. We do a still firmly locked onto selling more business relation agreement not just silo approaches to hoteliers who a pipeline agreement as we wanted to perhaps are not at the cutting edge of see how we work together to begin IT and whom might not understand with. Our managed services contracts the potential of working closely with run for 36 months and we have a IT departments on future strategies tailormade solution. We change it for the chain. constantly within that time frame to “The key with Rotana is that the adapt and improve on what the client people at the top are part of the IT then needs and requires, so when we strategy and they keep IT central to come to renew we can integrate more their future plans. With a lot of other services into that solution, whatever clients, their IT is nowhere near the they may be.” board and strategy trickles down

50%

We were able to achieve an entire rollout in three and a half months with no interruptions or delays. It was like clockwork. Julian Kraft

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TRENDS / SPAS

Special spas We take stock of Barr+Wray’s past, present and future.

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s he’s just about to jet off to the High Design convention in Bali, the Managing Director of Barr + Wray, Peter Rietveld, talks us through how Barr + Wray has cemented its reputation here in the Middle East for offering consultative, educational services that reduce operational costs in the long run, and where the company is looking to expand in the future. Barr + Wray has 50 years experience in offering spa and pool engineering services and has worked with a long list of five star brands in the region.

Past We are now finishing a lot of projects which were started several years ago. We have just finished a large project in Kuwait for Jumeirah hotels, 4,500 sq.m. which we have been involved in for the last four years and it’s in the process of snagging and training now. Some projects are a never ending story, they can drag on and on and on. Different people think differently and their expectations are also different. In terms of trends, we still see a huge demand for hammams here in the Middle East. Obviously they have

its roots here, but whereas the States are more of a day spa area and Europe focuses more on the health benefits and is more thermal based, hammams really do hold sway in the Middle East. We still see a love of a VIP area here as well.

Present We have just been awarded a new project in the Burj Khalifa for a health club and spa for residents in the tower and hotel guests. It will be over four floors with a swimming pool and also a large gym and thermal experiences as well as four experience showers, which is small for us but very exciting project. There’s a time constraint on this one as well, which always makes things more interesting. Our projects are global. We might have architects from America, the project in Asia and we’ll project manage from the Middle East. My last conference call was between Abu Dhabi, Australia and America! Dubai’s expanding again, we have a lot of new projects coming in and existing projects which are now being finished off, which feels great. The UAE and Qatar are very

We have just been awarded a new project in the Burj Khalifa for a health club and spa for residents in the tower and hotel guests.

Peter Rietveld Managing Director

important for us. We have four projects in Qatar at the moment and we have projects coming up in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and Oman. The problem with somewhere like Oman is that everything runs so slowly and you have to expect that. From the start to procurement, manufacturing, shipping and fitting and installation, a project could take as little as three to five months for a normal hotel project, which ideally takes a whole 18 months to two years but we all know everything takes a lot longer out here.

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SPAS / TRENDS

We do reject projects sometimes. If someone wants to do something on the cheap, then we don’t tend to take it on. We obviously work with clients on the most cost effective way of doing things and we will see if we can exchange for a little less beautiful or funky and make it more straight forward but if clients still want reductions after that then we wouldn’t do it. Buy cheap, buy twice.

Future The local market is really growing and we need more intel and more people

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to cope with the demand. We’ve had an exceedingly busy year and if all our current projects fall into place, this will continue. We’re hiring a Sales Director and Project Director from our Scottish office as we need more hands, which will take us up to 17 people and we’re also looking for more people on site. We do have some work sub-contracted out. We’d like to be able to take this back in-house but we want to make sure we have enough work for them 52 weeks a year, but it looks like that will be the case. As we know projects

NOVEMBER 2012

do take years sometimes - for example, a project in Qatar, which has been delayed for the last three years, has suddenly just got moving. We’re also looking more into India, we have an office over there and four projects there at the moment. We’re also waiting for Africa to stabilise and develop a little more because that will be a huge market in the future. We’ve also got projects going on in Morocco and Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Then our next focus will be South America, so we need to speak Spanish!

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Facing up to change The pace of change and the ever more present use of technology is creating a demand for a new kind of hotel management, believes Dr What is different is, Martin Senior, Lecturer & Program Leader Online MBA at the Glion for example, Institute of Higher Education.

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he Glion Institute of Higher Education is an international hospitality management institution based in Switzerland, which has been offering degree programmes that combine industry knowledge with managerial skills and personal development for nearly 50 years, initially on campus and now

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increasingly on-line. Dr Martin Senior, in Dubai to present the keynote address at the Restaurant Business Conference (organised by CPI, publisher of Hospitality Business ME), heads up the on-line MBA programme which is increasingly seeing senior management use Glion to skill up and

NOVEMBER 2012

the way that bigger brands are linking to technology and using the power of branding.

be more effective in changing and challenging times. “The industry is getting a lot harder thanks to technology and managers need to be more skilled,” he insists. “The speed of change is increasing, customer demands are changing and wherever a hotel touches suppliers or other players there’s a technology interaction. The problem for many general managers is that, except in the big corporations, they don’t really have CIOs or IT Directors - the GM is still captain of the ship and needs to understand all these issues.” So, if technology is everywhere, shouldn’t GMs have more specialist staff handling these issues for them? “You can’t separate the technology from the business. Technology isn’t

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TECHNOLOGY / TRENDS

Technology isn’t everything - managers also need to cope well with people, either internally through leadership skills or externally through communication skills.

Dr Martin Senior

Regional groups and Glion Glion is currently working with the following regional hotel groups: ‡Accor ‡Hyatt ‡Rotana ‡Taj Hotels ‡Ritz-Carlton ‡Banyan Tree ‡IHG

just duplicating existing processes, it’s enabling new ways of doing business and that’s what GMs need to grasp. They can’t offload the function. Trouble is, whilst most are trying to think rationally about such issues, many have fears of

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technology and may not have very advanced understanding. That’s when studying for an MBA can really help - you’re sharing information not just with the tutors, many of whom work in industry and have real practical experience, but you’re also collaborating and discussing with industry colleagues.” Of course, there’s more to a GM’s skill set than IT - they need to be equally up to speed on issues like quality assurance, environmental regulations and much, much more. “The same complexity is in every field and every senior manager in the hospitality business needs to be able to hold it all together. They need to look capable, even if they’re winging it!” Does Senior see competition as much of a challenge as change? “No, competition is always there,” he asserts. “What is different is, for example, the way that bigger brands are linking to technology and using the power of branding. Technology isn’t everything - managers also need to cope well with people, either internally through leadership skills or externally through communication skills. The dichotomy is this: if you’re in hospitality then almost by definition you’re a people person; however, you also need to be a numbers person and they generally aren’t as comfortable with people. So one thing we see in students is a realisation that they must

NOVEMBER 2012

Representation of regions

24% EUROPE

39% ASIA

17% AMERICAS

20% MENA

get to grips with the financial side.” Why then does a senior or middle manager feel the desire to devote a couple of hours a day for two years to an on-line MBA qualification? “For many, as well as needing an external recognition certificate, it’s a great experience. As you know, education is a powerful thing and students go back to their jobs with a different perspective, a richer one. As people move up in the hospitality business, they do need to be more professional. We also find that some students use what they have learned with us to transfer to a different career, as a lot of the management courses we have are fairly generic. Our industry as a whole need to be professionalised. We need to catch up.”

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TRENDS / SIGNAGE

Giving you a sign Jason Lewis, Founder and Managing Director of Limah Design Consultants, highlights the importance of proper wayfinding within a hotel property.

N

o longer just places to stay the night, today’s hotels have become meeting places, dining and entertainment destinations and more. These additional facilities can have a big impact on guests’ experiences, helping turn them into regular customers, and often also bring in significant revenue for the hotel in their own right. However, guests are often left unaware of many of the amenities on offer during their stay. The traditional response has been to include ever-growing volumes of leaflets, flyers and brochures in guests’ rooms, yet the role that effective signage can play is often overlooked. Wayfinding and signage consulting is a relatively new concept for hotels. Frequently signage is something done by a signage fabricator during

the final days of construction based on the operator’s brand and signage guidelines. In my experience these guidelines are quiet loose and tend to focus on the branded signage only, leaving a gap when it comes to navigation. Many luxury hotel brands insist developers spare no expense on the interior finishes and materials, so it’s surprising that so little thought goes in to signage. A lack of clear and effective signage at key locations can have a big impact on revenues for amenities that charge, such as spas and restaurants. Before engaging a Wayfinding consultant, hotel developers and operators are wise to assess the consultant’s approach and experience prior to engagement. The term Wayfinding is used loosely by many design companies and can often mean

A properly planned and implemented Wayfinding Masterplan can be like a friendly face, guiding guests on their path.

Jason Lewis, Founder and Managing Director

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simply designing signs, which is only a mere step above going directly to a sign fabricator. Developers can solve this issue by bringing on board a professional Wayfinding consultant in order to properly address the guest experience throughout the entire site. The role of the consultant is to create a complete Wayfinding Masterplan. These Masterplans are not only about incorporating the operator’s brand, but must focus on improving guest experiences and increasing revenues for hotel amenities. By thoroughly researching the site and analysing plans and pathways, a consultant can aid guests in understanding the hotel space and all the services available to them. A Wayfinding Masterplan should further seek to understand how staff will communicate with guests. By ensuring that both signage and staff use the same terminology, guests are presented with a consistent experience. A properly planned and implemented Wayfinding Masterplan can be like a friendly face, guiding guests on their path. It reinforces the message that the hotel and the brand are well-planned, organised, safe and caring. In terms of design, signage should be an extension of the architecture and interior spaces. Signage that is integrated into the architecture must complement and be at harmony with the overall design. Signage should be viewed as a touchpoint for guests, an opportunity to connect and communicate. Therefore poorly designed, misplaced, or uninformative signage is a missed opportunity for hotels. When revenues are down for food and beverage locations in hotels, it could be due simply to guests not being aware of these offerings. Both indoors and outdoors, key locations to communicate with guests must be fully understood and developed with the aim of increasing revenues. Wayfinding and signage in hotels, when fully understood, planned and integrated, can enhance the hotel brand, increase revenues, and improve the overall guest experience.

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JOB WATCH

Job watch

promotional activities. Must be a creative and effective leader, possessing a high degree of professionalism, sound human resources and administrative skills, plus possess a comprehensive understanding of the corporate market.

Time to move on? We can help. All jobs can be applied for through the Hozpitality Web site EAM - ROOM DIVISION Industry: Hotel Department: Rooms Level: Top Management Location: KSA Salary Description: Attractive Posted: 23/10/2012 Start Date: ASAP The EAM of this 5-star property in Al Khobar is responsible for planning, organising, directing and co-ordinating management activities of the operations in conjunction with the General Manager to achieve customer satisfaction and quality service while meeting/exceeding financial goals. GENERAL MANAGER Industry: Hotel Department: GM Level: Top Management Location: UAE Salary Description: Attractive Posted: 21/10/2012 Recruiter: CHA International Start Date: As agreed A 4/5 star internationally flagged hotel in Dubai (Jumeirah), which received a complete renovation in 2011 and has 250 deluxe rooms and seven F&B outlets. Cabdidates should have European/Western background and experience with 4/5 star international hotel chains, plus a rooms, sales and revenue background. A Family Package is negotiable based on experience and background

COMPLEX IT MANAGER Industry: Hotel Department: IT Level: Department Head Location: UAE Salary Description: Attractive Posted: 14/10/2012 Recruiter: Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort Start Date: As agreed Successful candidarte will co-ordinate all activities, operations and running of IT, whilst actively displaying a proactive and communicative leadership style.

experience. UAE or GCC experience is a must. Looking for a solid career and a good track record of leadership skills within international hotel operators. CORPORATE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE Industry: Hotel Department: GM Level: Top Management Location: UAE Salary Description: Attractive Posted: 21/10/2012 Recruiter: CHA International Start Date: As agreed Based in Dubai for a UAE based company with nine international branded hotels. A minimum if five years experience in a corporate multi unit environment or cluster experience is essential, as is a solid career and a good track record of leadership skills within international hotel operators

GROUP HR MANAGER Industry: Hotel Department: HR Level: Top Management Location: UAE Salary Description: Attractive Posted: 23/10/2012 Recruiter: CHA International Start Date: As agreed Based in Dubai with a UAE based company with nine international branded hotels. Candidates must have a minimum of five years experience in a corporate multi unit environment or cluster

DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING Industry: Hotel Department: Sales & Marketing Level: Top Management Location: Qatar Salary Description: Very competitive Posted: 20/10/2012 Recruiter: CHA International Start Date: As agreed This position is with a leading international group. The Director is accountable for managing the total sales efforts, This includes the generation of all revenues consistent with the company objectives; implementation of sales performance management systems; revenue management systems, and market segmentation analysis for Group, Corporate, Wholesale, and Transient. Additionally, this position is strongly involved with key customer relationships and takes an active role in the business community by being involved in the various trade organisations. Required: five years hotel senior sales experience of which at least three years has been at the Director of Sales & Marketing level, plus demonstrated knowledge/experience in advertising and

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EAM - SALES & MARKETING Industry: Hotel Department: Sales & Marketing Level: Top Management Location: UAE Salary Description: Attractive Posted: 14/10/2012 Recruiter: One to One Hotels Start Date: ASAP An opportunity for a highly profiled EAM Sales & Marketing holding a solid sales and marketing career background preferably in the UAE. The EAM will join a team of dynamic executives and will be required to have previous experience in the field with high end resorts.

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CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Industry: Hotel Department: Finance (Corporate) Level: Top Management Location: UAE Salary Description: AED 35K plus family package Posted: 9/10/2012 Recruiter: CHA International Start Date: ASAP Based in Dubai, preferred candidate is aged between 40-50 and preferably is an Indian national. Candidate should have worked at international hotel chains, in charge of multiple properties with Dubai/GCC Eeperience. CPA holder is a plus.

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GROUP DIRECTOR OF F&B Industry: Hotel Department: F&B Level: Top Management Location: UAE Salary Description: CHA International Posted: 06/10/2012 Start Date: ASAP Based in Dubai for a UAE based company with nine international branded hotels, the Director will report to the Chief Operating Officer and should have a minimum of ten years experience and must have spent five years in a corporate multi unit environment in Dubai. Candidate will have a solid career and a good track record of leadership skills within international hotel operators. Job function is to enhance the F&B offerings across all hotels and boost revenues, concentrate on F&B in all franchised hotels and develop F&B concepts. GROUP CHIEF ENGINEER Industry: Hotel Department: Engineering and Projects Level: Corporate Location: UAE Salary Description: Attractive Recruiter: CHA International Posted: 06/10/2012 Start Date: ASAP Group Chief Engineer required for the corporate office for a group of hotels, based in Dubai. Degree/Diploma in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering a must, plus a minnimum 15 years experience, preferably in hospitality or the service industry. Job involved an iIn-depth review of capital projects of the group hotels, the timely completion of capital projects, a maintenance audit of the group hotels and co-ordination with consultants, contractors and hotel management teams. Knowledge of HACCP, DM, DTCM guidelines on projects, computer experience including hotel systems such as BMS. OPERATIONS MANAGER Industry: Hotel Department: General Management Level: Top Management Location: UAE Salary Description: AED 35K plus family package Posted: 22/10/2012 Recruiter: Al Manzel Hotel Apartment Start Date: ASAP Al Manzel Hotel Apartments Abu Dhabi is

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I LIKE WORK - IT FASCINATES ME. I CAN SIT AND LOOK AT IT FOR HOURS. JEROME K JEROME

seeking to hire an Operations Manager to join a dynamic and professional team. The Operations Manager must be experienced in all hotel operations including F&B, Front of House and Housekeeping. You will be liaising with line managers ensuring the highest standard of service, cleanliness and guest experience.Overseeing rotas and assisting with wages information and working within budget Controlling stock and orders to maximise profitability. Dealing with staff inductions and paperwork required within employment guidelines and implementing correct cleaning and health and safety procedures and maintaining a good level of discipline and respect. Working closely with the Sales Manager, Head Chef and Business Manager to deliver efficient service and develop business. A solid background within the hospitality sector is required, preferably in a similar environment and at a similar level. A Bachelor’s degree required with a Master’s in Business Administration preferred. Should possess very strong interpersonal, computer and selling skills. Self motivation, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, good management skills both with staff and guests and enthusiasm to maintain the high standards already achieved are essential. Has the ability to communicate clearly in English and Arabic. LEGAL COUNSELOR Industry: Hotel Department: Cortporate Level: Top Management Location: UAE Salary Description: Attractive Recruiter: CHA International Posted: 21/10/2012 Start Date: ASAP Based in Dubai for a UAE based company with nine international branded hotels, UAE experience is a must. SALES EXECUTIVE - CORPORATES Industry: Hotel Department: Cortporate Level: Top Management Location: UAE Salary Description: Competitive Recruiter: Bavaria Executive Suites Posted: 17/10/2012 Start Date: ASAP We are seeking an additional team member to join our expanding organisation. The successful

NOVEMBER 2012

candidate will have experience in corporate sales in Dubai/UAE, a positive attitude, a desire to succeed and grow within our company a strong personality and a UAE driving license. DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Industry: Hotel Department: General Management Level: Top Management Location: KSA Salary Description: Generous Recruiter: CHA International Posted: 23/10/2012 Start Date: As agreed Director of Operations for a stunning 5 star luxury hotel in Madinah, with 469 rooms, new dinning concepts, Kids Club anda Wellness Center unique in Madinah. Requirements are a minimum of five years experience in a similar position, international 5 star hospitality background, GCC/Middle East experience preferred, a deep knowledge of Opera and advanced Microsoft skills, a BA or Masters in Hospitality Management, the ability to systematise, delegate, analyse and be pro-active, l;eadership and communication skills, demonstrable teamwork and team building skills to produce results. Age preferred: 35-45. Candidate must have cross cultural sensitivity and sense of responsibility and integrity. The successful candidate will be responsible for the entire hotel operations, ensuring that hotel’s revenues are protected and business objectives are achieved. Note: Due to visa restrictions only open for Lebanese and Syrian nationals. CLUSTER REVENUE MANAGER Industry: Hotel Department: Revenue Management Level: Top Management Location: KSA Salary Description: Attractive Recruiter: CHA International Posted: 20/10/2012 Start Date: ASAP Cluster Revenue Manager for seven, multbranded hotels in Al Khobar. Requirements: MBA or equivalent,five to seven years experience in the same position or in an International hotel brand, Opera/prologic PMS experience, well exposed to GDS/OTAs, yield management & analysis competencies, Six Sigma trained, well mannered and strong personality to lead and communicate.

HOSPITALITY BUSINESS MIDDLE EAST / 71


COMMENT

issue of territorial exclusivity where the operator is not allowed to operate another property under the same brand within a certain radius from the project under negotiation. Unlike the other issues where the owners are gaining upper hand, owners will have to be more flexible in the future with this as the exclusivity zones are shrinking, as more hotel projects are developed, operators are unwilling to offer wider territorial exclusivity.

Performance and termination

A delicate balance Peter Goddard, Managing Director, TRI Hospitality Consulting talks about hotel management contract trends

H

aving provided market feasibility and financial studies for the Middle East for the last 30 years, TRI Hospitality Consulting is in prime position to comment on the shifting sands between owners and operators as they adapt to new market conditions.

Owners gaining more strength A key trend is a shift in negotiating power in favour of the owners from the operators. With the exception of a few luxury operators, hotel management companies are generally showing greater flexibility in contract negotiations, both in commercial terms and other contractual obligations.

Competition and management fees The Middle East is one of the fastest growing and most lucrative hotel markets in the world. This has prompted a large number of hotel operators to employ considerable resources in order to establish and expand here. Our recent experience shows that new operators, who do not have a presence but are actively looking for opportunities

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to establish themselves, often show flexibility in management fees and other contract terms to win the deal. Operators are becoming more creative in framing the management fee structures as they move away from the traditional ‘3 plus 10’ formula towards performance based incentive programmes, whilst the more aggressive operators are ready to drop the base fee lower or entirely.

Reducing contract terms The initial term of a hotel management agreement is typically over 20 years with renewal periods ranging from five to 20 years or more. While most well known hotel management companies seldom negotiated terms below this threshold in the past, more operators are now willing to consider shorter initial terms. The threshold appears to be dropping to 1520 years in many cases.

Shrinking territorial exclusivity The significant growth in the accommodation sector in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have created immense competition between hotels for market share. Owners and operators are often faced with the

As hotel owners grow increasingly concerned about the performance of their properties from growing competition and difficult market conditions, owners frequently include performance tests and performance-based termination clauses in the management agreements to ensure that hotel operators deliver on promises or are penalised for failing to deliver. With few exceptions, most hotel management companies are now willing to incorporate a performance-based termination clause in the management contract - considered a deal breaker by many owners.

Technical services Technical services offered by the operator are assuming greater importance in management contract negotiations. While the fees charged by the operators have steadily fallen over the years to more reasonable levels, our experience shows that operators are now more flexible to negotiate capping the out of pocket expenses (including the number of visits to the site) as owners negotiate harder to keep costs down. As project timelines get shorter, owners are now often demanding the operators to start technical services after signing the MOU but before consummating the full management agreement. Most operators are now willing to be flexible and accommodate such requirements as they adapt to changing markets and changing requirements. Peter Goddard is Managing Director of TRI Hospitality Consulting in the Middle East

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Hospitality Business ME | 2012 November, v2