Feature: Dubaiâ€™s demand projections and the 100 new hotels announced for Mohammed Bin Rashid City Interview: Philippe Montaubin on being named best GM Q&A: How to secure IT networks against cybercrime...and guests In focus: Learning on the job - why education and professional development benefits employees and employers
Roundtable: Housekeepers and product suppliers debate the most pressing issues affecting in-room guest comfort
GLOBAL HOTEL INDEX: Asia Pacific 1.4% Americas 5.4% Europe -0.2% Middle East/ Africa -5.4% (Average RevPAR YTD change to Nov 2012)
SUCCESS SECRETS With new brands, markets and appointments to celebrate, outgoing Rezidor Group president and CEO, Kurt Ritter, talks about his time at the top and the next step for the worldâ€™s fastest growing hotel chain
In association with...
Publication licensed by IMPZ
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Put that deal to bed! In the hospitality business, what really matters the most is the netter comfort and guest satisfaction. We at Sealy are committied to better sleep that leads to better sleep thats leads to better business.
CorporateHeadOČ—ce:+966-2-608-1350 Dubai:+971-4-357-4990 AbuDhabi:+971-2-679-9466
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sealyme Email: email@example.com Website: www.sealyme.com
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NEWS TOURISM INDICATORS, SHARE PRICES AND OPENINGS
DATA WATCH THE LATEST INDUSTRY DATA FROM OUR INSIDE SOURCES
OPENING SOON DUSIT THANI’S FIRST PROPERTY IN ABU DHABI
COVER STORY THE FUTURE FOR CARLSON REZIDOR FOLLOWING THE RETIREMENT OF LONGSTANDING PRESIDENT AND CEO KURT RITTER
ROUNDTABLE DEBATING THE INTRICACIES AND ILLUSIONS OF IN-ROOM GUEST COMFORT
GM INTERVIEW DUBAI-BASED GM PHILIPPE MONTAUBIN ON BEING NAMED ‘BEST GENERAL MANAGER’
AHEAD OF THE GAME WHY HOSPITALITY IS ALL ABOUT EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION
Q&A HOW MUCH OF A THREAT DO SUBSTANDARD IT SYSTEMS POSE?
THE 100 CLUB ANALYSTS SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS ON THE MOHAMMED BIN RASHID CITY DEVELOPMENT
DU IS YOUR DATA SECURE?
JOBS BOARD APPOINTMENT NEWS AND NEW POSITIONS
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COMMENT / EDITOR’S LETTER
Be inspired If your New Year resolution is to be more successful, read on
ew Year is traditionally a time for reflections and new starts, often kept on track with ‘inspirational’ quotations from the wise and well known, musing over the underlying principles of ‘success’. In a bid to keep on track, one may find themselves repeating ridculous phrases like: “The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs…. One step at a time” or even receiving such sentiments in emails decorated with pictures of scenic views... and forwarding them on! But for me, the best motivation comes from hearing stories about the success of others. So this first magazine of the New Year does exactly that. Beginning the theme, we have exclusive interviews with Carlson Rezidor’s top management, including outgoing president and CEO Kurt Ritter, who explains how decisive and swift action has been the key driver behind his success. During his 22 years at the top, Ritter has added no less than 440 hotels and five brands to the Carlson Rezidor family and last month, from
In a bid to keep on track, one may find themselves repeating ridculous phrases like: “The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs…. One step at a time” the group’s first property in Doha, he explained exactly how he did it. This issue also features an interview with Philippe Montaubin who was named best GM at the Worldwide Hospitality Awards in Paris last month. Currently GM of two properties in Dubai, he talks about how his success has motivated his Ibis and Novotel associates to reach for the top in their own careers. So whatever your resolution, I hope the success stories in this issue inspire you to achieve it.
PUBLISHER: Dominic De Sousa GROUP COO: Nadeem Hood ASSOCIATE PUBLISHERS Alex Bendiouis Dave Reeder EDITORIAL Editor: Melanie Mingas firstname.lastname@example.org +971 56 758 7834 Editorial Director: Dave Reeder email@example.com +971 55 105 3773 Senior Designer: Christopher Howlett Photography: Anas Cherur ADVERTISING Alex Bendiouis firstname.lastname@example.org +971 50 458 9204 Antony Crabb Sales Manager email@example.com +971 55 338 7639 Ankit Shukla Sales Manager firstname.lastname@example.org +971 55 2572807 MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Marizel Salvador email@example.com PRODUCTION Production Manager: Devaprekash firstname.lastname@example.org DISTRIBUTION Rochelle Almeida email@example.com SUBSCRIPTIONS www.cpievents.net/mag/magazine.php PRINTED BY Printwell Printing Press LLC, Dubai, UAE PUBLISHED BY
MELANIE MINGAS EDITOR
On Twitter? Follow us for daily updates on the global hospitality industry at HospitalityBME.
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 2013 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.
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â€œOne of the most important factors today is the need to be a global thinker and quick achiever. I think the Glion Online MBA matches these needs perfectlyâ€? Mohamed Anis Ben Fraj is Product Manager for Newrest Wacasco and a current Glion online MBA student
Glion Institute of Higher Education Ranked number 2* among all international hospitality management schools in the world for an international career, Glionâ€™s 100% online programs are dedicated to developing executive talent for the global hospitality and wider services industry. As a market leader in hospitality management education and with close ties to the industry, Glion delivers tailor-made online programs for corporate partners and individuals. Contact us for more information.
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HOSPITALITY PROFESSIONALS HAVE COMPLETED DUBAI POLICE'S SECURITY TRAINING SCHEME SINCE 2010
MENA Safe as hotels: Dubai Police and Scotland NEWS Yard boost anti-terror training scheme in better than those within that establishment. The course content is drawn from our experience, and best practice from the UK and other parts of the world. These awareness programmes in the UK, have prevented Crime and Terrorist attack planning.” All hotels that successfully complete the training will be awarded with a DPS and New Scotland Yard attested certificates for each employee and for the hotel. Director of the Department of Protective Systems, Dubai Police, Col. Khalifa Al Saleis commented: “We developed the course because although physical and electronic security systems play a key role in any hotel security, it is the staff themselves that can provide the most effective security. We are firm believers that ‘security is everybody’s concern’. It is the responsibility for all team members to help and support the protection of their
Rotana Iran contracts signed
DM initiative for Golden Tulip MENA
Rotana’s alcohol-free Rayhaan brand will open three, 200-room hotels in Iran, with further properties in the pipeline in Afghanistan. Of the three Iran properties announced, two will be in the capital Tehran, and one 850km east. Construction is already underway and the properties will open within three years. Naming Iran as a significant new market in the region, Rotana president and CEO Selim El Zyr, has been quoted as saying Iran has as much potential as Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Hotels in Afghanistan will follow after risk assessments.
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properties, their guests and peers, and it is our responsibility to equip them with necessary knowledge, by providing them with a platform from which to learn and develop. We have every confidence in the sense of responsibility of Dubai hotels’ management and would expect that all hotels in Dubai will participate in this programme." The course covers a variety of topics, which include: Understanding the protective measures in a hotel; an explanation of the criminal and terrorist threats that hotels face; indicators of possible criminal activities; preparations; and conflict management. Dubai has hit headlines around the world for a number of highprofile incidents, including the death of the son of a prominent Iranian conservative in November 2011 and in January 2010 a Hamas leader was assassinated a day after checking into a 5-star property.
The Department of Protective Systems of Dubai Police has taken what it called a “proactive stance” to raise the awareness of security issues among the hospitality industry, particularly in relation to crime prevention and terrorist attack planning, through a four hour course designed in conjunction with the UK’s New Scotland Yard. Tailored to the “uniqueness of Dubai, its visitors and residents”, the training course for hotels, ‘Security Awareness Training for the Hospitality Industry’, originally launched in 2010. Over the last 24 months 2127 industry professionals have been trained. The course is not mandatory but Dubai Police has heavily subsidised fees, by up to 85%, reducing the per head cost to a low as AED20. Scotland Yard’s DCI Mark Moles, CT liaison officer, said: “No-one knows or understands the environment they live or work
Golden Tulip Hotels Suites and Resorts MENA is increasing the exposure of its breakfast duty managers, in order to gain greater feedback on guest satisfaction in all hotels across the region. The initiative will see duty managers visible in the breakfast dining area and willing to exchange ideas and tips for improvement, directly between guest and hotelier. “The breakfast duty manager initiative that we are highlighting in all our hotels in the MENA region is an opportunity to have the managers not only interacting with the guests, listening to their ideas and sharing their experiences, but also to make them feel how important they are,
Du to an Do
Di “W lux ne dy of exp ho res
D The initiative is designed to boost guest ratings. and how important is the memory of the hotel stay they take with them as this is the real experience they can share with their friends, and that keep them coming back to the hotel and recommend it to others” commented Amine E. Moukarzel, president of Golden Tulip hotels, MENA region.
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Th ho wi H. Bin Sh an Int Tr
are 28 on
THE NUMBER OF ROOMS IN EACH OF IRAN'S THREE NEWLY PLANNED ROTANA HOTELS
UPS 80% Projected expansion of Hilton's presence in the Middle East over the 'coming few years'
Increase in the number of hotels currently under cosntruction in the US, compared to 2011 figures
d s to
The expansion will establish Dubai as a world lifestyle capital.
Dubai Mall expansion plans Dubai Mall’s expansion plan is to include serviced residences and another luxury hotel, on the Downtown Dubai site. Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director of Emaar Properties, said: “We are now redefining the mall’s luxury lifestyle experience with the new expansion that will create a dynamic lifestyle hub in the heart of Downtown Dubai. With the mall expansion to feature a modern hotel, luxury homes and serviced residences, designed to the world-
class standards associated with Emaar, we are further contributing to strengthening Dubai’s powerful growth drivers – the tourism, retail, hospitality and business environments. Today, Dubai is the hub for business, leisure and tourism in the region, and our new expansion will establish the city as the world’s lifestyle capital.” With the master-plan of the new expansion now finalised, work will begin shortly with the various components to be completed in phases.
Doha’s first Crowne Plaza opens The opening of the first Crowne Plaza hotel in Doha was last month marked with a private ceremony attended by H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Abdullah Al Thani, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and a number of VIP guests from InterContinental Hotels Group and Trans Orient Establishment. Part of Doha’s new Business Park area it features 378 rooms, including 288 hotel rooms and suites and 90 one to two bedroom resident suites.
06-12 news.indd 7
“Since it was signed in 2008, we have eagerly anticipated the opening of this hotel. We started out with a vision to develop a hotel that would offer unparalleled meeting and conference facilities and exciting new restaurants for the booming Doha market. "This hotel does exactly that and under IHG’s management we’re certain it will be a success,” said H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Abdullah Al Thani.
835,200 Tourists visited Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, in 2011, up from 87,000 in 2002
6.2% Decline in average daily rate in the MEA region to close 2012, hitting $172.82. Revenue per available room also decreased 5.4% to $113.89.
0.3% Occupancy increase in the American hotel industry predicted for 2013; a virtually flat figure
35.1% Decline in occupancy in Beirut in October 2012. It is the lowest rate since May 2008, and is said to be due to social unrest
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$110b MENA NEWS
NEWS IN BRIEF RIYADH RITZ-CARLTON'S DOUBLE GONG The palatial 493-room hotel, set in 52 acres of landscaped gardens, was recognised for its convention facilities and design during World Travel Market in Q4 last year. The award was presented on the property’s first anniversary. “I would like to dedicate the awards in recognition of continued excellence and dedication in ensuring that we remain the Kingdom’s premier gateway to luxury hospitality,” said GM Jean-François Laurent.
The re-branding will take effect from February 1.
CAIRO HELIOPOLIS REVENUE AWARD
All change: Pullman rebrands confirmed
The revenue team at Radisson Blu’s Cairo Heliopolis, was named the group’s ‘best revenue team’ at the Carlson Rezidor ceremony. “Balancing budgets and expenditure while always guaranteeing the highest standards of accommodation and service for guests and clients are essential to us at Radisson Blu Hotel, Cairo Heliopolis, so the award to the Revenue Department recognises the superb work of the department,” said GM Ashraf Naguib.
AVIATION’S $110BN EXPANSION SPEND Airports in emerging markets are to invest $110bn in expansion and rebuilding projects, according to statistics from the Emerging Airports Exhibition. Over 15 airports directors, CEOs and senior procurement professionals will be taking part in the event and make presentations of their ongoing airport expansions, new terminals and development projects in Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Baghdad and Bangladesh.
BRAND AMBASSADOR IS CSR CHAMP Iftikhar Hamdani, GM of Ramada Hotel and Suites Ajman, has been named brand ambassador of the Wyndham Hotel Group, for his commitment to CSR and sustainability. Activities have included a fashion show in aid of Ajman Club for Handicapped; a donation drive for flood victims; a clothes donation campaign in support of Human Appeal International UAE; and the Zero Landfill Project.
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TO BE INVESTED IN EXPANSION AND RE-BUILD PROJECTS AT AIRPORTS IN EMERGING COUNTRIES
Dubai’s Pullman Hotel, Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre are both due to undergo a major rebrand after management companies Accor Middle East and Majid Al Futtaim Properties, announced a “consensual decision to end management contracts” last month. Since the initial decision was made, US operator Starwood has announced it is to reflag Accor’s Pullman Dubai Mall of the Emirates hotel under its Sheraton brand. In the Middle East, Starwood operates the Aloft, Westin, Four Points and Meridien brands. Deira City Centre, will be renovated to become Pullman Deira City Centre, reflecting the “upper-
upscale standards and innovative services of the Pullman brand”. The hotel will feature 11 state-of-the-art meeting rooms in order to compete in the ever growing business market. “We have decided to retain the successful Pullman brand for our Deira City Centre Hotel, and introduce an American operator to The Pullman Hotel, to diversify our portfolio, managed exclusively by European operators at the current stage,” explained Peter Walichnowski, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim Properties. Walichnowski also commented that the move is part of “our proactive approach to asset management”.
1000 staff needed for KSA post Abdul Latif Jameel Real Estate Investment Co (ALJREIC), the developer of the Jabal Al Kaaba project, has revealed that it is looking to hire more than 1000 candidates ahead of the opening of the 1743-room Anjum Hotel, in Makkah Al Mokarrama, in the second quarter of 2013. With priority for Saudi nationals, jobs will be offered across front office, maintenance, engineering, F&B, housekeeping, IT, HR, procurement, sales and marketing.
“We are looking for Saudi candidates as well as Muslim candidates from other countries, due to the nature of the city of Makkah, who are passionate about the hospitality sector and want to build a career in this industry,” said ALJREIC chair Yousef Abdul Latif Jameel. “Our company has a reputation for offering a highly rewarding working environment that presents numerous opportunities for career progression and personal development,” said Yousef Abdul Latif Jameel.
1/6/13 4:28 PM
nly nLine guestroom safes with UL listing Elsafe electronic in-room safes was the first safes in the industry to pass the rigorous UL break-in test. Since then, we have continoued to develop high quality safes with a combination of first class security and design in mind. With the industry’s demand to increased security, functionality and flexibility, we meet these requirements by providing you with not only the only UL listed OnLine safes in the industry; with Elsafe in-room online safes you and your guests are also provided with More of... More HZXjg^in VcY 8dcigda More HZgk^XZh id <jZhih More Efficient Hotel DeZgVi^dchMore:[[^X^Zci;gdci9Zh`DeZgVi^dchMore Efficient Engineering VcYBV^ciZcVcXZ6cYBjX]More… | Online warning if safe is locked upon check-out | Online low battery warning | | Online clear safe memory warning | Online automatic synchronization of date/time | | Online remote audit trail | Online remote service reports |
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1/7/13 12:12 PM
PROPERTIES WILL BE OPERATED BY KEMPINSKI FOLLOWING EXPANSION PLANS
GLOBAL World’s leading landmark resort named NEWS Atlantis, The Palm has been crowned president and managing director at makers in the industry attended the the ‘World’s Leading Landmark Resort’ at the World Travel Awards (WTA) held in New Delhi, India. “We are happy to represent Dubai at these prestigious international awards,” commented Serge Zaalof,
Atlantis, The Palm. “We feel immense pride at that this iconic resort has been recognised as the ‘World’s Leading Landmark Resort.’” The most important decision-
VIP ceremony, which was officially supported by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, and hosted at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, New Delhi Capital Region, the new business and commercial district of Delhi NCR.
Atlantis senior management attended the ceremony at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, New Delhi.
Starwood bounces back
Kempinski to recruit 22,500 globally by 2015
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, the group that operates Westin, Le Meridien, Sheraton, St Regis and Aloft, has confirmed that it signed its highest number of new hotel deals in 2012 since before the global financial crash, and opened 71 new properties. Adding to the success, the company also signed in excess of 125 new hotel management and franchise agreements, surpassing 2011 by 13%. Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood, said: “Rising wealth and a growing middle class around the world are creating new demand for infrastructure."
Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group, Kempinski, has held a regional career day to begin filling some of the 22,500 vacancies it will generate across its global network over the coming 24 months. The massive expansion plans will see the world-wide portfolio almost double from 73 to 120 properties. “Finding new talent, which will push us further in the future, is and will continue to be our utmost priority. We are looking for candidates who are interested in different cultures, speak various languages and are looking for a bit of an adventure abroad,” commented president and CEO Reto Wittwer
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after the first event was held in the Middle East last month. Hosted by Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, 20 GMs, the chain’s COO and a dozen corporate VPs and regional directors interviewed 400 potential candidates from across the region to fill vacancies primarily in India, the Middle East, and Africa. Kempinski will hold its third Worldwide Career Day in Munich in March with all of its GMs attending to offer global placements for internal and external candidates. The second China Regional Career Day will be held March 23 for positions available inside and outside of China.
1/2/13 3:44 PM
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ASIA PACIFIC 2012 AVERAGE
AMERICAS 2012 AVERAGE
EUROPE 2012 AVERAGE
65.9% MEA 2012 AVERAGE
YEAR TO DATE - NOVEMBER 2012 VS NOVEMBER 2011
ASIA PACIFIC 2012 FLUCTUATION
AMERICAS 2012 FLUCTUATION
ASIA PACIFIC REVPAR
PERCENTAGE CHANGE FROM MARCH 2011
PERCENTAGE CHANGE FROM MARCH 2011
60.99 57.85 2011
EUROPE 2012 FLUCTUATION
number of room
PERCENTAGE CHANGE FROM MARCH 2011
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA MEA 2012 FLUCTUATION
PERCENTAGE CHANGE FROM MARCH 2011
YTD March 2012 Rev PAR
SU 113.89 120.39 2011
YTD March 2012% Change
number of room
OCC ADR REVPAR
-4 ASIA PACIFIC
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OF THE COMBINED ABU DHABI/ DUBAI PIPELINE WILL BE DELUXE
OF THE COMBINED ABU DHABI/ DUBAI PIPELINE WILL BE MID-MARKET
NEW BRANDS WILL BE INTRODUCED TO THE LUXURY SECTOR
OF TOTAL MENA PIPELINE IS IN THE UAE
UAE Pipeline Where, When and Why? Christie + Co and STR Global KEY FIGURES
SUPPLY/DEMAND GAP – DUBAI HISTORIC SUPPLY - DEMAND
FORECASTED SUPPLY - DEMAND
AJMAN PIPELINE TO 2015
number of room
FUJAIRAH PIPELINE TO 2015
Demand supply gap
UAE HOTEL PIPELINE: DISTRIBUTION FROM TODAY ONWARDS
UAE PIPELINE: PROJECT CONFIDENCE
Fujairah 4% Ras Al Khaimah 7% Sharjah 12%
Ltd service 13%
On Hold 25%
Mid market 19%
Abu Dhabi 28%
Up market 54%
SHARJAH PIPELINE TO 2015
HISTORIC SUPPLY - DEMAND
FORECASTED SUPPLY - DEMAND
25,000 number of room
RAS AL KHAIMAH PIPELINE TO 2015
SUPPLY DEMAND GAP – ABU DHABI 35,000
11,557 ABU DHABI PIPELINE TO 2015
2010 Demand supply gap
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DUBAI PIPELINE TO 2015
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DATA WATCH STATS WATCH
MENA Chain Hotels Market Review Dubai hotels hit a high last Eid al Adha, while Kuwait saw hotel revenues and profits surge. TRI senior consultant Rashid Aboobacker explains the fluctuations KEY FIGURES
$94.08 ABU DHABI GOPPAR, DOWN 26.7%
$145.06 ABU DHABI AVERAGE ARR
verage occupancy in Dubai’s four and five star hotels hit 87.1% in October last year, according to data collected by Hot Stats. The figures were a 5.7% increase on the same period in 2011 spurred by regional and domestic travellers visiting Dubai for the religious holiday (see graphic). Conversely, the key hotel performance indicators in Abu Dhabi continued to show a decline as occupancy dropped 5.6% points to 75.5% and ARR fell 11.4% to US$145.06 against the same in 2011. Overall, this dragged RevPAR down by 17.5% to US$109.47. Although the capital saw an increase in leisure travellers during the month, hotels in the city continued to see rates drop across most market segments, leading to a 17.0% fall in TRevPAR to
US$231.55 and dragging the GOPPAR down by 26.7% to US$94.08. “Dubai hotels thrived as nearly half a million visitors flowed in to the city to celebrate Eid al Adha holidays. The administration’s efforts to attract a million visitors to the city over the 10-day period was supported by the relaunch of the ‘Eid in Dubai’ shopping festival which saw malls open 24 hours to serve shoppers. The festivities were complemented by a number of major conferences and exhibitions hosted in the city, such as the Gitex, World Energy Forum and CityScape, all of which attract large international audience,” TRI senior consultant Rashid Aboobacker observes. “However, the performance of Abu Dhabi hotels were discouraging as despite healthy occpancy levels,
IN NUMBERS UAE / DUBAI
SAUDI ARABIA / RIYADH
$419.09 KUWAIT TREVPAR, DRIVEN BY LEISURE REVENUES
48.4% COP PAR
ARR IN JEDDAH DURING OCTOBER
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10/1/12 9:51 AM
DATA WATCH STATS WATCH
KEY FIGURES: EGYPT
$119.29 ARR, UP 2.1%
16.3% RISE IN OCCUPANCY, SHARM EL SHEIKH
average rates have continued to drop indicating a need for hotels to strategize beyond rate reduction to capture and retain business”, he added. Hotels in Kuwait powered through the month of October, with an interesting development in F&B, conference and banqueting revenues, which increased by more than a third. Additionally, leisure revenues multiplied during the month, pushing the TRevPAR for the month up by 26.8% to US$419.09 and GOPPAR up by 43.2% to US$237.02. In Saudi Arabia, the onset of this year’s Hajj season and the long holidays for Eid Al Adha marked the culmination of the tourist season in Jeddah in October. Hotels reported average occupancy of 78.4%, which remained relatively unchanged from last year. Meanwhile ARR increased 28.1% to US$251.47, boosting RevPAR to US$197.23. In addition, the surveyed hotels saw revenues from meetings and events double during the month, driving TRevPAR up by 23.5% to US$302.92 and boosting the bottom line in terms of GOPPAR up by 40.2% to US$145.28. On the contrary, hotels in Riyadh bore the burden of the drop in business demand during the two-week
Hajj celebration in Saudi Arabia. Eid al Adha holidays (see graphic). “Riyadh’s heavy reliance on corporate demand and the lack of leisure tourism results in strong demand seasonality which impacts hotel performance during summer months and Ramadan, as well as the holiday seasons, when a large number of residents travel to other regional
destinations. Although the demand levels are expected to bounce back in the short term as the city gets back to business as usual, the market-wide performance levels are likely to be impacted by the impending opening of a number of new upscale hotels in the coming months”, commented Aboobacker
Sharm el Sheikh.
TRevPAR was up 30.3% at US$81.58 compared to last year as both rooms and food and beverage revenues posted considerable growth on the back of a surge in regional and domestic visitors during the Eid holidays. “A closer look at the data shows that the recovery in Cairo hotel performance was primarily helped by a growth in leisure segments, pointing to a recovery in confidence among tourists, which is what Egypt needs at this point as a tourism destination. The surge in hotel occupancy in Sharm El Sheikh is also considered to be pointing towards this growth in confidence as a large number of domestic and regional travellers returned to the resort city this season to spend their holidays”, said Aboobacker.
Egypt: Peak performance
5.4% ARR INCREASE, SHARM EL SHEIKH
Despite the sporadic protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square the final months of 2012, hotels in Egypt’s capital maintained an upbeat performance in October 2012, according to the latest Hot Stats survey by TRI Hospitality Consulting. Occupancy rates in the Egyptian capital grew by 4.8% points to 54.1% and ARR grew 2.1% to US$119.29 during the month, causing a 12.2% growth in RevPAR to US$64.59. TRevPAR increased 11.2% reaching US$123.55 lifting GOPPAR up by 23.8% to US$64.81. Sharm el Sheikh saw the biggest growth in performance over the period as occupancy in four and five hotels surged 16.3% points to 79.4%, the highest in two years, while ARR increased 5.4% to US$59.29, the highest since January last year.
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DTCM’s gift to region’s first Spanish Meliá Meliá Hotels International, Spain’s leading hotel group, has begun its expansion into the region by announcing the opening of its Meliá Hotels and Resorts brand’s first property, Meliá Dubai. The ceremony was attend by Majid al Marri, director of hotel classification at DTCM and the Spanish ambassador to the UAE, along with some investors and decision makers in the hotel sector. The group inaugurated the opening of the Meliá Dubai hotel, the first by the Spanish chain in the Middle East. Al Marri gave a welcome speech and congratulated the hotel operation team for being the first Spanish business hotel chain in Dubai. Located in the heart of the city, the hotel is an ideal place for both business and leisure travelers. He also pointed out that Dubai, one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, holds a prime position in the Middle East and North Africa as a leading tourist destination and a hub for business tourism offering its visitors a host of attractions. DTCM provides a memorial gift to the hotel management.
LG Home Chef Championship 2012 As part of its regular interactions to support the environment and stimulate green tourism, DTCM has participated at the LG Home Chef Championship2012. In this connection, a group from DTCM attended the competition which was held at Raffles Dubai
The event was hosted by Raffles, Dubai.
17 DTCM news.indd 17
consisting of Majid Al Marri, director of hotel classification, Shaikha Al Mutawa, director of business development, Rodha Al Mullah and Jennah Abdullah from the Business Development Department. The participation came to coincide with the launch of a new range of eco-friendly LG products that increase the electrical efficiency of cooking, helping customers to live a more sustainable lifestyle. The company also organised LG global chef competition, joined by numbers of professional chefs representing a number of countries, where the competition was evaluated by a group of international and local arbitrators.
Second Women’s Volleyball Tournament The second GCC Women’s Volleyball Tournament 2012, hosted by Al Wasl Sports Club, took place with the support of DTCM on November 26. The participation of the department included a small heritage village intended to acquaint audience with Dubai’s traditional arts by providing Arabic hospitality, henna corner and traditional bands. DTCM awarded the heads of delegations and the contributors with commemorative shields in recognition of their support. Khalifa Al Falasi, head of Social and Sports Events for DTCM also made a speech at the event.
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1/6/13 4:33 PM
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NEW SUPPLY AND SERVICE TENDERS Project name: Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) City : Safat-13126 Postal/Zip Code : 26565 Country: Kuwait Phone: (+965) 2455455 Fax: (+965) 2467159 eMail: email@example.com Nature of work: Provision of food and accompanying services for the training courses of employees of a petroleum corporation and its subsidiary companies. Cost of Tender Documents: $790 Last date of submission: December 30, 2012 Project name: King Fahd Medical City (Saudi Arabia) City: Riyadh 11525 Postal/Zip Code: 59046 Country: Saudi Arabia Phone: (+966-1) 288 9999 ext:1449 Fax: (+966-1) 461 4006 / 467 4006 / 1458 eMail: firstname.lastname@example.org Nature of work: Provision of catering services for patients of a medical city. Cost of Tender Documents: $13,335 Last date of submission: January 9, 2013
NEW TENDERS Project Name: The Address The Boulevard Tower Construction Project - Downtown Dubai Description: Construction of 340-metre, 63-storey The Address The Boulevard Tower comprising a 5-star hotel and serviced apartments consisting of studios, one-two-three and four-bedroom apartments. Client Name: Emaar Properties PJSC (Dubai) Country: UAE Consultant: Atkins International (Dubai) MARSA ZAYED MIXED Status: New Project
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Project Name: Mixed-Use Tower Construction Project - Sheikh Zayed Road Description: Construction of a 100-storey mixeduse tower, including serviced apartments, shops, swimming pools and garden areas. Client Name: Meydan L.L.C (Dubai) Country: UAE Status: New Project Project Name: Hard Rock Hotel Construction Project
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- Saraya Development Description: Construction of a five-star Hard Rock 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 (Abu Dhabi)Status: New Project Project Name: Farsi Seven Towers Project Description: Construction of 38-storey Farsi Seven Towers comprising (130) apartments, four penthouse suites and commercial space for (16) outlets, including a gymnasium, lounge and events hall. Client Name: Zaki Farsi Group (Saudi Arabia) Country: Saudi Arabia Consultant: Zaki Farsi Group (Saudi Arabia) Budget (USD): 134,000,000 Status: New Project Project Name: Mondrian Doha Hotel Project Description: Construction of Mondrian Doha Hotel comprising two basements, a ground floor, a podium 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: Marsa Zayed Mixed-use Development Project - Phase 1 Description: Design and construction of 3.2 squarekilometre Marsa Zayed mixed-use development comprising a 33-storey tower, 263 Village Flats that will be serviced by a neighbourhood retail and community centre, a grand mosque that will accommodate 2,000 worshippers, 146 townhouses and all infrastructure works - Phase 1. Client Name: Al Maabar Abdoun Real Estate Development Company (Jordan) Country: Jordan Consultant: Hill International Middle East Ltd. (Jordan) Budget (USD): 10,000,000,000 Status: New Project
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Project Name: Kingdom Tower Project Description: Construction of one-kilometre-high Kingdom Tower comprising (161) storeys, a 97,000 square metre retail mall and underground garages for more than 4,700 cars. Client Name: Kingdom Holding Company (Saudi Arabia) Country: Saudi Arabia Consultant: Bechtel (Saudi Arabia)
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Contractor: Saudi Binladin Group (Saudi Arabia) Budget (USD): 1,200,000,000 Status: Current Project Project Name: Crystal Towers Project - Dubai Marina Description: Construction of Crystal Towers consisting of two buildings, a 30-storey and a 35-storey tower housing a hotel, including offices and apartments. Client Name: Al Fattan Properties (Dubai) Country: UAE Consultant: Tabanlioglu Architects (Dubai) Status: New Project
Project Name: Banyan Tree Hotel & Resort Project Jebel Sifa Description: Design and construction of threestorey Banyan Tree Hotel & Resort comprising a total of (239) rooms. Client Name: Muriya Tourism Development Company (Oman) Country: Oman Contractor: Muriya Real Estate (Oman) Budget (USD): 220,000,000 Status: Current Project Project Name: Msheireb Downtown Doha Development Project Description: Development of Msheireb Downtown Doha (Formerly Heart of Doha City) mixed-use scheme comprising several districts, including a residential and mixed-use quarter, a retail quarter, a heritage quarter and a commercial area. Client Name: Msheireb Properties (Qatar) Country: Qatar Consultant: Gensler Associates International (USA) Contractor: Hyundai Engineering Corporation (South Korea) Budget (USD): 5,500,000,000 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
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International (Dubai) Contractor: Cliff Creek Builders (Dubai) N/A Status: Current Project Project Name: Banyan Tree Hotel & Resort Project Jebel Sifa Description: Design and construction of threestorey Banyan Tree Hotel & Resort comprising a total of (239) rooms. Client Name: Muriya Tourism Development Company (Oman) Country: Oman N/A Contractor: Muriya Real Estate (Oman) Budget (USD): 220,000,000 Status: Current Project
rooms, two boardrooms, a business centre, separate male and female ballrooms and a junior ballroom. Client Name: General Organisation for Social Insurance - GOSI (Saudi Arabia) Country: Saudi Arabia Consultant: Omrania & Associates Architecture & Engg. Consultants (Saudi Arabia) Contractor: Al Latifia Trading & Contracting Company (Saudi Arabia) Budget (USD): 480,000,000 Status: Current Project
Project Name: Fairmont Hotel & Serviced Apartments Project Description: Construction of Fairmont Hotel & Serviced Apartments comprising a 39-storey hotel tower consisting of (563) guest rooms, (144) services apartment units, (105) other apartments, (13) food and beverage Project Name: Doha Festival City outlets, ballroom and conference Development Project rooms, a swimming pool and Description: Development of Doha supporting facilities including Festival City comprising a retail FAIRMONT HOTEL AND SERVICED APARTMENTS underground and ground-level centre, an entertainment park, two parking fro 1,300 vehicles. hotels and an auto park made up of car Client Name: National Investment showrooms. Corporation (Abu Dhabi) Client Name: Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate Country: UAE (Dubai) Consultant: Khatib & Alami Consulting Engineers Country: Qatar (Abu Dhabi) Consultant: Mace Limited (Qatar) Budget (USD): 410,000,000 Contractor: Arabian Construction Company - ACC Status: New Project (Qatar) Budget (USD): 1,600,000,000 Project Name: Five-star Hotel Resort Project Status: Current Project Fujairah Description: Construction of a five-star hotel resort Project Name: Centro Rotana Hotel comprising (200) rooms. Project Client Name: Al Ain Properties (Abu Description: Construction of 10-storey Centro Dhabi) Rotana Hotel comprising (230) rooms and related Country: UAE facilities. Consultant: National Engineering Bureau (Abu Client Name: Al Malki Group of Companies Dhabi) (Qatar) Budget (USD): 55,000,000 Country: Qatar Status: New Project Consultant: Arab Engineering Bureau (Qatar) Project Name: Marriott Hotel & Executive Status: New Project Apartments Project Description: Construction of five-star Marriott Hotel Project Name: Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residence & Executive Apartments comprising (200) rooms and Project (75 Nos.) deluxe apartments. Description: Design and construction of Hilton Client Name: Empire World (Iraq) Riyadh Hotel & Residence comprising a 20-storey Country: Iraq tower consisting of (480) rooms and a 14-storey Status: New Project tower with (350) hotel apartments, including several restaurants and two outdoor lounges, eight meeting
HOSPITALITY BUSINESS MIDDLE EAST / 19
1/3/13 11:10 AM
AAimed ime at the luxury business market, Dusit Thani’s first Abu DDhabi property will open in Q1
or those seeking “style, comfort, luxury and personalised service” the UAE is a haven of choice. But the competition will tighten even further when Dusit Thani opens its first property in Abu Dhabi this quarter. Already established in Dubai, the expansion is testament to Abu Dhabi’s growth as a business hub and its relevance to the international
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GUEST Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi convention market, says ROOMS will prove a major attraction operator Dusit International. to local, regional and international “Abu Dhabi is emerging as one of business travellers to the UAE the most sought-after business hubs capital, seeking comfort, security and in the region and we see enormous convenience.” potential for a world-class business With 402 guest rooms and 131 hotel in the capital,” says newly deluxe serviced apartments, the appointed GM Scott Mawhinney. 37 storey property is located in “We are confident that with its the new business and government superb strategic location, the new
1/2/13 12:09 PM
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IN THE PIPELINE Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi won’t be the only property to be launched by Dusit over the coming 12 months Dusit Thani Hotels & Resorts: Dusit Thani Hainan, China
Dusit Thani Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Dusit Devarana New Delhi, India
DusitD2 hotels & resorts: DusitD2 New Delhi, India
Dusit Thani Guam, U.S.A DusitD2 Pasadena, U.S.A.
Dusit Devarana Hotels & Resorts: Dusit Devarana Hainan, China
DusitD2 Khao Yai, Thailand
district in close proximity to Abu Dhabi’s premiere MICE facilities; complementing these with extensive F&B facilities, its own conference centre and function rooms; including a 785 square metre ballroom that can facilitate all types of events, conferences, exhibitions or social functions hosting up to 2000 guests. The property also features the
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largest health club in Abu Dhabi, which offers panoramic city views. Rooms feature interactive LED TVs with satellite, Wi-Fi and high-speed internet connection, working desk, electronic safe, individually controlled air conditioning, direct dial phone with voice mail, tea and coffee making facilities, mini bar and hair dryer. Interiors blend Thai influences and
modern liftstyle, says Dusit. “Our wide range of leisure facilities, complemented by the strategic location close to many of the city’s major attractions such as the Abu Dhabi Corniche, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Abu Dhabi Golf Club, is a perfect fit that embraces the expectations of today’s affluent business traveller,” Mawhinney adds.
HOSPITALITY BUSINESS MIDDLE EAST / 21
1/6/13 3:16 PM
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INTO THE UNKNOWN For global giant Carlson Rezidor, 2012 marked the start of a new era. From the departure of Rezidor’s long standing and much admired CEO to the group’s first steps into Qatar, Hospitality Business Middle East catches up with AVP Mark Willis, Qatar GM Gordon MacKenzie and the outgoing boss himself, Kurt Ritter, to ask what will be next for the group that aspires to be nothing less than number one
s the parent company of global brands Radisson, Radisson Blu, Park Plaza, Park Inn, Country Inns and Suites and Hotel Missoni, Carlson Rezidor is one of the largest hotel operator and developer groups in the world. The result of exponential and relentless growth under the leadership of award winning CEO and president, Kurt Ritter, today the group has 1319 hotels in operation and under development. To cement the philosophy that drove such growth over previous decades, the group is now working towards Route 2015; the formalisation of its ambition to be the world’s number one hotel group to work for and invest with, underpinned by a 50% growth target to 2015. Given the track record of a group that makes even the most demanding business decisions look effortless, it should be (another) walk in the park. But add to the equation a new brand,
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a new market and a new president and CEO, and things become a little trickier. 2012 was a year of milestones for Carlson Rezidor. In July it was announced Doha’s Ramada Plaza had been snapped up and would, within months, be transformed into a 5-star Radisson Blu, thanks to the ongoing $24m refurbishment of its West Wing. The property officially re-launched with a lavish party attended by Carlson Rezidor’s senior management last month. The acquisition took Radisson into its 12th Middle East country and was quickly followed by announcements of the development of two more properties: One under Italian lifestyle brand Hotel Missoni and another under Regent Hotels and Resorts. The second development of 2012, Carlson Rezidor now holds the rights to operate and develop Regent Hotels and Resorts across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Doha property will
be the first new hotel and is currently under construction adjacent to the Radisson Blu. It will boast a water theme unique to the local market at this time and will be followed by further openings in Russia, CIS countries, the Baltics, Middle East and Africa. Most significantly, 2012 will be remembered as the year that the man behind this phenomenal growth stepped down from Rezidor. The decision was officially announced in September and quickly followed with the naming of Ritter’s successor, Wolfgang M Neumann, who began his new position at the start of this month.
Which brand? A founding principle of Ritter’s expansions has been to know the brands and, more specifically, which markets they are best suited to. For example, while Saudi Arabia will benefit from four new mid-market
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1319 HOTELS IN OPERATION AND UNDER DEVELOPMENT GLOBALLY
signings, underpinned by demand driven by the millions of religious tourists who descend on the kingdom annually, other markets require something more. “I definitely see a big demand and not enough supply in the midmarket sector in Saudi Arabia. If you look at the events in research and sport, these do not demand 5-star properties. People need good, clean, two or 3-star places, just to sleep, and this has not been so well done in the Middle East,” he observes. Even when the mid-market has been attempted it hasn’t been pulled off with under-served, not to mention under-cleaned, properties giving the market a bad name, he adds. “I’m not trying to be the Wiseman, but this is where the growth is. “In the beginning it was more prestigious for a high worth individual to say they wanted to build a luxurious 5-star hotel. We would suggest a 3-star and they would say no. Then I would ask: do you want to make money or do you just want to build a palace for yourself?” “We don’t have many, but we have a few Park Inns and they do very very well. So we want more of those.”
At the opposite end of the spectrum it was recently suggested a new tier, ‘deluxe’, would be introduced, yet confirmation and details on this are still not forthcoming and newly appointed area vice president Mark Willis comments: “There are always discussions of whether we look to grow in one segment or another. We have a strategic alliance with the Regent product for Qatar and Abu Dhabi, but let’s see where that takes us in the future.”
Project Qatar With a conscientious eye on opportunity, Ritter’s attitude towards growth is tactical, calculated and based on insatiable hunger for success while refusing to shy from risk. Referring to the intelligence behind Qatar’s positioning as a brand and the ongoing development of its sporting, educational and cultural prowess, Ritter says the country has become “too important on the world stage” for Carlson Rezidor not to have presence. Willis echoes: “We see the future here as very bright and it’s definitely something that we want to be part of, but we don’t want to come here with the wrong product or property. “This is a special hotel with a lot of history and foundation and as soon as we had the opportunity to jump into this market, it was taken.” As with all the group’s major decisions, the move into Doha was steered by Ritter. Admitting it took “some time” to finalise the Ramada Doha acquisition, he pursued the deal due to the sentimental value he personally placed on the property, having first visited in 1981 during a themed ‘Scandinavian Week’; an idea that evolved following a similar event
at the Kuwait property where he was then GM. “Why Doha? Because it has become a must on the list. We are now active in 12 Middle East countries and we are at a size that we cannot say we’re not in Doha. It was a little nostalgic to come back but I said if that hotel is available it should be us operating it,” he recalls. For Rezidor, Radisson Blu is the ideal brand for the growing Doha market at this time; offering something that nods at luxury but on a large enough scale to serve the transient – and lucrative – business market. Run under the leadership of GM Gordon MacKenzie for the last 33 years, the property strikes a balance between its heritage and future. While MacKenzie has achieved enviable staff retention rates, with 10 of the original 16 staff still in employment there, the hotel is currently undergoing massive renovations at an ever increasing cost of $24m. “Radisson Blu in the Middle East is 5-star but we don’t want to be in the same market as the Shangri-Las and Ritz Carltons of this world; we can’t do that with 583 rooms. Within Doha we were known with Ramada as a 3-star name, 4-star property and 5-star service. With Radisson we have a 5-star name with a 4-star property and a 5-star service,” MacKenzie shares, adding: “I’m not after star ratings, I’m after heads in beds. With 583 rooms that’s what you need.” In the refurbishment, bathroom sizes will increase; a wet room will be added to all rooms; bedrooms updated and a state of the art shower (described by MacKenzie as “a selling
Gordon MacKenzie Starting his career with the UK’s British Transport Hotels, Scottish born Gordon MacKenzie arrived in the Middle East in 1976. “I began working in hotels because when you have a house on the monopoly board you get a little rent, when you have a hotel room you get a huge rent and I thought that was a good idea. I was either going to be a Veterinary surgeon, or a lawyer or a hotel manager and it just so happened that hotel management won over. I came to the Middle East in 1976 and really haven’t looked back.”
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One thing we don’t do is cut our rates. We will never reduce our rates even in the height of summer. This is not Dubai where you include all the extras and throw in a hire car. That works there, but this is Qatar and it’s an entirely different market
point in itself ”) will be installed in every room in the hotel’s West Wing. The eighth re-opening of his career, it’s a process MacKenzie appears to have taken in his stride. So much so that, when asked to name the challenges of the process, he breezily responds: “It is very simple.”
New start The design and project appointment process took on a pick and mix approach, with MacKenzie describing his roll as “hands-on throughout”. Firstly, four contractors and designers were appointed to mock up show rooms. Paid $50,000 each for their trouble the best elements, as decided by Radisson and Rezidor management, were then taken from each mock and amalgamated to create the finalised design. The renovation will be integral to retaining the hotel’s position in the local market, but Qatar is currently the only hotel market in the GCC where F&B revenues are higher than room revenues, meaning the challenge is far from over.
“We recognised years ago that if you don’t innovate you die. So we decided to innovate and saw the growth factor certainly was in F&B. From then we began adding new venues and ended up with the 22 we have today.” It’s an area of operation that has buoyed the hotel during occupancy fluctuations, as the new properties take their “fair share” of the market. That’s not the say there won’t be further developments. The constant evolution of the hotel’s F&B offerings have seen a fine dining vegetarian restaurant replaced with tapas bar Picasso’s, and the introduction of French, Chinese and Japanese outlets; many of which have won awards. There are also tentative plans to open more outlets beyond the hotel from April 2013. Heading up all the hotel’s F&B, executive chef Jurgen Lepping reveals the USP is rooted in choice. “People always want something new – if a new restaurant opens they go there. But for those who live here it’s about variety, so we always have something going on
A foot in the door
“For example, people know that every Wednesday we fly fresh fish in from Holland and they can go to Pier 12 for a fresh fish dinner – lobster, langoustine, etc,” Lepping shares. He will also be responsible for helping to launch the outlets at the new Regent Hotel, including the first authentic Thai restaurant in Doha. MacKenzie adds: “We are established within the community, we serve the community and the community supports us.” The focus now is clearly fixed on 2022, but that hasn’t made McKenzie complacent in his role leading to that point; there’s a strategy for everything. In terms of dealing with the inevitable periods of low occupancy between now and then, he asserts: “One thing we don’t do is cut our rates. We will never reduce our rates even in the height of summer. The market does not dictate that you are going to get another 100 people or 1000 people coming just because you have swiped 50 Riyals off your offered rate. It just doesn’t happen. “This is not Dubai where you include all the extras and throw in a hire car. That works there, but this is Qatar and it’s an entirely different market,” he adds. If his predictions are to be believed, from 2014 such periods will no longer occur, as the long awaited boom finally hits.
“To get this asset into the portfolio is just wonderful. For us it’s important for us to be in Qatar, we will have a Missoni hotel here by 2015 and Doha is one of those locations that
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has always had stability and growth in the hotel sector, all the big brands are here and it’s positive for Rezidor to come into this location,” Mark Willis, area vice president.
Group-wide, the broader focus is on the plan Route 2015. Launched in December 2011 it benchmarks target margin increases for every element of the business at 6 – 8%. Willis says year one was “positively on track”, and that 2013 looks even stronger, but innovation, as always, will drive the plan’s success. “I think Rezidor has always been a company that has tried to reinvent itself within its markets and the Middle East is a very dynamic market. We have brought new products such as Missoni and Park Inn and have achieved active growth in such a
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INCREASE IN MARGINS ANNUALLY UNDER ROUTE 2015
variety of areas. We haven’t focussed on demand as many others have, but we have looked at different locations, such as Tripoli and Jeddah and we have also looked at the growth in religious tourism,” Willis explains, futher paying credit to the network of owners Carlson Rezidor works with throughout the region: “We have taken opportunity when it has come to us very quickly. We are quite visionary in looking at locations and we have such a great infrastructure of owners throughout the region,” he adds. The driving force behind the quick negotiations and rapid rise to international dominance has no doubt come from Ritter. A hands-on leader, he recalls how owners have been (positively) shocked by his willingness to be available to their needs and reveals that this accesibility has been a key element of his ability to negotiate “very quick decisions” and, hence, snap up properties at the rate Carlson Rezidor has. “My strength was to talk to people. From starting with 16 hotels and growing to 450, I still was a very personable CEO and every hotel owner has my mobile number. “When others say they have to go back to a board before they can make a decision, by the time they have
stumbled ten times over their boards we have signed the deal,” he adds, paying credit to the trust invested in him by that board, but creating no disillusion that that trust was earned through nothing less than hard work. “Once they saw how well we did and how little the quota of failure was... of course nobody likes to make mistakes, but sometimes they do,” he muses. While he candidly admits there have been leased properties, predominantly in Europe and the UK, that haven’t performed as projected, Ritter recalls the words of a former mentor from Scandinavian Airways, who told his employees that he wanted each of them to make two bad decisions a day... and 98 good ones. “But a waiter breaks a glass, a cashier sometimes won’t balance their till, accidents happen. As long as they are not too fatal; you know you cannot make them every day,” he adds.
Looking back Communication has not only been a cornerstone of Ritter’s success in his role, but a vital highlight of his whole career. Starting out at the Ritter family hotel in Interlaken, Switzerland, he stepped into a hands-on management role as a teenager, following the death of his father. Recalling the hotel had only one phone – itself connected via a central operator and requiring only a two digit number – he says the most surprising trend to emerge over his career has been the development of communication. “If you look at the days of a single phone in the hotel then to having fax and internet, it has been a fantastic development. Again in that, I am very happy that we were the first company, at least in Europe, to
start giving free wifi in-room. Now everybody is doing it.” Describing the backlash he received from making such a move, he compares the concept of pay-per-hour internet as ludicrous as charging for bathroom facilities. “At first the media said it was destroying the industry because wifi was a lucrative add on, but that little hotel in Switzerland also only had two bathrooms so guests would have to pay to use the bath. If you go to a hotel today and are charged €15 for taking a bath, you would argue the bath is part of the room. Well, today internet is part of the room. You cannot imagine it not being there, it would be easier to have no bed.” As the growth trajectory to 2015 ploughs on and Ritter moves into his new role as advisor to the CEO of Carlson, he will have many a successor. But how does he sum up his own tenure? “I think 22 years as CEO is enough. I have put my stamp everywhere and it is definitely time that somebody new comes in and sees things with different eyes. “I think I was a grower. A little bit of a dare devil. You have to have the guts to take on properties at speed while other companies are engaging their analytical departments to analyse from here to the moon. By the time they have made the decision, we have signed the deal. That is why we have become the fastest growing company. It’s not that we haven’t made a mistake – we do look back and wonder if it was a good or necessary idea to take that and sometimes you have to say no. But if you weight that with the speed I think that we didn’t break too many eggs along the way.”
Und Ara mil
Kurt Ritter During his time at the top, Ritter has signed a number of brands into the group portfolio, including: Radisson Hotels Worldwide in 1994, Carlson Hotels Worldwide in 2002, Missoni in 2005 and most recently, in 2012, Regent. The first Regent in Doha is currently under construction, when completed it will mark a hattrick of properties for the Carlson Rezidor Group in the, still contained, market of the Qatari capital.
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THE NEAR FUTURE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Under the leadership of area vice president Mark Willis, six signings were made in 2012 for new properties across the region. Saudi Arabia has been placed firmly on the radar, with four of the new signings made for mid-market properties geared towards to the millions of religious tourists that descend on the Kingdom annually
tel ga rt
KSA PIPELINE, SIGNED 2012 1 Park Inn Hotel & Residence Jeddah* 2 Radisson Blu Riyadh Ring Road* 3 Park Inn Residence Riyadh Al Sahafa* 4 Radisson Blu Residence Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter*
4-star 5-star 4-star 5-star
350 rooms 252 rooms 17 rooms 110 rooms
Q1 2015 Q1 2016 Q1 2016 Q1 2016
EGYPT PIPELINE 5 Sharm el Sheikh Lagoon
QATAR PIPELINE 6 Hotel Missoni Doha* 7 Regent
300 rooms 365 rooms
Q1 2015 Q4 2013
UAE PIPELINE 8 Radisson Blu Al Qurm Ras Al Khaimah 9 Park Inn Dubai Airport Free Zone 10 Park Inn Dubai Al Jadaf*
5-star 4-star 4-star
250 rooms 310 rooms 300 rooms
Q2 2014 Q2 2014 Q1 2016
OMAN PIPELINE 11 Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort Sohar 12 Missoni Sifah
162 rooms 250 rooms
Q4 2013 Q2 2014
y. ke was
Mark Willis “Saudi Arabia is a growth location for us. It has had another positive year in 2012 and that will continue in 2013. Religious tourism continues to grow and the Radisson Blu brand is very well recognised, so it is definitely a focus area for us. What the future brings you never know and the region is one of opportunity. Out of the very difficult 24 months that Egypt has seen, as we go into 2013 we will see where that will take us. We would hope that the stability will promote some new growth and new infrastructure.”
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Guest comfort can be quite an elusive concept, with different expectations from different guests; what are the key elements to meeting guest needs? Tatjana Ahmed: What a guest perceives
No two guests are the same and the demands of the GCC traveller are becoming increasingly complex. Executive housekeepers and key product suppliers debate the issue at The Courtyard by Marriott, at Dubaiâ€™s Green Community
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today as a high quality product quickly becomes a lesser quality product. For us itâ€™s very important to be ahead of that and to anticipate the future needs of customers, rather than running after their current needs, and providing something that is better than what they have at home. When people are travelling and spending a lot of money, there is expectation too and in the same way frequent travellers often compare their experiences. We take note of all these guest comments to make sure we meet their future demands Pamini Hemaprabha: The GCC guest is more demanding than in any other region and the simplest example would be ordering linen. The customer
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here expects a higher comfort level but they want that to be invisible, from the service to products. For example housekeepers no longer work with trolleys, because the guest doesn’t want to see them. The pace of service has also changed, seven or eight years ago the lead time on a request was up to half an hour, today it is 10 minutes, this proves the trend. Alex Cherfan: I believe we are in a new domain of comfort in this area, and we can expect that new properties, with the latest fashions and trends, create higher guest expectations and existing hotels need to compete with this. Ronald Dooremalen: Quality needs to be of the highest level and in order to do that innovation needs to be a step ahead. In addition, giving your guests more options than previously and letting them know we are there to meet their needs adds to this. We find out pre-arrival what our guests want
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and set up their room to perfection, where previously it was more ad hoc after their requests came in. Competition is still severe, so having that rapport with a guest can be a maker or breaker. Tarek Aouini: I can see that some guests have very high demands, and that’s not just on quality, but on speed and perfection. PH: Guests are looking for anything
that is touch activated. Kempinski has launched iPad activated control rooms to amalgamate all the in-room information, room service, and entertainment and comfort controls. It’s very important to the guest of today’s generation and their feedback has been positive. RD: Giving additional capability adds to the level of comfort, but it’s still good to have the option of speaking to somebody.
Some guests have very high demands, and that’s not just on quality, but on speed and perfection
How are products created for the hospitality industry that are both affordable for the hotels while retaining luxury quality? Sony Peter: A product like a mattress
RONALD DOOREMALEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ROOMS, FAIRMONT One thing that we do for our guests is request beforehand if they require hypo-allergenic furnishings and linen. In our North American hotels, we have entire floors that are hypoallergenic, that’s from the flooring, to the curtains and bedding. And I think it will come to this part of the world in the very near future too.
is different from the in-room entertainment facilities because the benefit is more emotional; it’s about well being. The challenge has always been to develop a product that allows customisation between different hotels. Innovation and technology have created memory foam, pocket springs, etc, because we have found the business traveller’s comfort level can be different to that of the leisure traveller. Salwan Finj: Technology is a little
Tarek Aouini, head of rooms, Dusit Thani, Dubai.
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different, because it moves so rapidly. We are selling TVs to hotels as a long term investment, but there are new products coming out every few months. The important thing for us is to give an ROI while also knowing what guests are looking for. We have found that, whether for business or leisure, a lot of guests carry their own mobiles phones, ipods and laptops, which all have content, so fewer people are purchasing movies via Video On Demand. Bearing this in mind, we are now incorporating wireless technology into our TVs. Also to reduce procurement we integrate different items and functionalities into the same appliance, for example a digital clock and set top box in TVs. When it comes to guests it’s all about content, connectivity and social networking services. Vinod: Lighting is also important and technology here is changing too in terms of ambience and comfort. Today all lights are LED and we are continuing to develop this with Organic LEDs. We have now launched the thinnest light in the world, and that product will target hotels. Air conditioning is also key and these types of advancement are also about customisation.
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What are the challenges of procuring ever more advanced technology when there are other budgetary pressures? TA: You must afford it, otherwise you are penalised when the guest goes elsewhere. You have to go with the trend. Customers are so techno-savvy they expect this and you have to follow. SF: There was a time when the guest used to come to the hotel and feel a ‘wow’ factor with the technology that was there. Now due to economies
SALWAN FINJ REGIONAL BUSINESS DIRECTOR, LG ELECTRONICS One of our biggest challenges as a vendor is that behind our TVs is a whole technological infrastructure, which can sometimes be of a very low quality or spec. One glitch at that level makes it look like the TV is not working and while a guest is looking at that broken appliance it’s our logo they can see and brand credibility can be affected.
of scale and increasing affordability, they have all this at home. So if the technology isn’t up to speed it impacts on the impression of the hotel. But at the same time, there needs to be a conservative touch to ensure things aren’t too complicated.
How do expectations of ‘comfort’ differ between business and leisure travellers? AC: From my experience, the leisure guest is less demanding than the business guest. TA: I don’t think the difference is too much, they are equally demanding in both product and service standards. The only difference is in maintaining the room. T. Aouini: We have definitely seen increased demand for wireless connectivity from both types of guest. They want access in the lobby, their room, the pool and the gym! PH: The space in the room plays the biggest part in this. The business traveller uses the room as it is, whereas the leisure traveller arrives and needs extra beds and cots; in this part of the world you could be catering for up to five children in a room and everything is so tight that nothing looks neat and housekeeping really suffers. Space is very important here.
The challenge has always been to develop a product that allows customisation between different hotels
Sony Peter, Simmons Middle East.
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You have to go with the trend and customers are so technosavvy they expect this and you have to follow
Tatjana Ahmed, housekeeping manager, Hyatt Grand.
SP: The business traveller only needs basic amenities; it is said a comfortable bed and a clean towel is all. RD: I think the use of the room is different. For Fairmont, we have an ergonomical desk chair in every room so if you need to work for eight hours from your room, you can. However, for the leisure guest that can be a challenge as you have a beautiful, elegant, guest room and a desk chair. The comfort is not just the duvet, mattress and wi-fi, but small touches. Business people travel a lot so it’s also important to provide them with food options that are healthy. At Fairmont we have a lifestyle cuisine programme, for low carb diets, Mediterranean, etc and Lifestyle Plus for the vegan or diabetic guest. A physical workout helps you to sleep so we have gym equipment and kit ready in the rooms, because if you travel as a business guest you don’t want to think about those extras. It really adds to the comfort. Is the demand for branded complementary products changing?
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TA: Definitely, and that ranges from the shampoo bottle, to the shaving kit and even the type of coffee served in the hotel. Through the Housekeeper’s Association we are also hearing that the size of the complimentary products is now under pressure, as guests demand more than 30ml. Affiliating with these brands is based on customer feedback and their
MAHER ARIDI, SALES MANAGER, SEALY ME I will personally research guest reviews on Trip Advisor that have been posted about our client hotels. I will read the guest comments and then if needed, we make contact to fix the problems. So the development of the products is always coordinated according to the comfort and feedback of both the client and user.
suggested improvements. If the market demand is there we would even change our brand affiliations. RD: I think it should be a combination of retrospective feedback and customer research groups tasked with identifying the next trend. MA: I believe guests now are very well educated and they know what a good brand is, from the towels to the bath mats. The brand affiliation is an indicator that the guest is getting value for their room price. PH: To simplify, it’s always good to be creative within the brand that you have. For example, we may use the best brand of pillow but that pillow doesn’t suit everybody. So within that brand we have a pillow menu to give guests the choice, which also aligns with the 5-star expectation. TA: Exactly, if we have a guest who says the mattress is too hard we have mattress toppers. You make it right – somehow. AC: This also goes back to the brand issue of quality. SP: A brand can be mutually beneficial and a hotel can stand to gain extra
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At Abjar Hotels we are taking the lead with our technology choice by selecting LG’s Integrated STB Technology that will definitely enhance our guests’ experience. It has many advantages as it is a centrally managed solution via IP network and has a design advantage that lies in the fact that it needs only two cables to be extended from the back of the TV to eliminate the need to design a specific space for the STB behind the TV. Amit Kanchan, Director of IT, Ritz Carlton an LG client.
revenue, for example through branded bedding programmes. Guest sleep well and return, a certain brand gets sales, it’s a win-win situation. The branded bedding programmes with Sheraton and Starwood have been incredibly successful.
What’s the most bizarre complaint you have ever had to deal with? AC: Always we are answering questions on guest safety and we have to work hard to create that safe atmosphere,
The panel Tatjana Ahmed, housekeeping manager, Hyatt Grand and a Member of the Council of Experts Pamini Hemaprabha, executive housekeeper, Kempinski Mall of The Emirates Alex Cherfan, rooms division mananger, Golden Tulip, Sharjah Ronald Dooremalen, executive director of rooms, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts Tarek Aouini, head of rooms, Dusit Thani Dubai Maher Aridi, sales manager, Sealy ME Vinod, senior manager, LG Electronics Salwan Finj, regional business development manager, LG Electronics Sony Peter, sales manager, Simmons Middle East Emad Hamdy, sales manager, Simmons
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for example through key locks and restricting staff access to the room. Also, you have hundreds of channels on the TV and still you cannot please everybody! PH: I had one guest who asked why, if we have Arabic numeric translations on the phone, they are not on the TV remote? Then the same guest was extremely demanding about dust –she was allergic to linen; bed, towels, pillowcases. She even had her own specific fabric blends that she buys
PAMINI HEMAPRABHA EXECUTIVE HOUSEKEEPER, KEMPINSKI At Kempinski we are launching a programme application that provides all our room attendants with a gadget to facilitate on demand services and requests. This further reduces our lead times and it means guest have instant service. Sometimes the best products aren’t enough, but launching applications to go hand in hand and enhance the service, are. Guest comfort is the best items and the best software combined.
and of course we did not have this. Because she was a long-term stay guest for two months, and she was VIP, we went out and sourced exclusive linen for her. It was interesting, because the brand didn’t even come into it; you have a beautiful hotel, with the best technology, but still there are more specifications. I will never forget this guest – and the whole interaction was done through a translator.
What are the challenges of complying with DTCM standards and the changes to these standards? TA: Sometimes for an existing hotel it can be very difficult, for example to change the size of a room, especially when it falls short by one square metre! For example DTCM could suddenly specify that every room must have a two-seater sofa; a specific type of mirror next to the writing desk; or the closet specification could be changed. They give you a certain timeline so you have chance to budget but I think that, especially in housekeeping and F&B, we are very busy with meeting this level of compliance and they do spot check
Hospitality Business Middle East would like to thank Marriott Hotels for hosting this event.
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ALL IN A DAY’S WORK
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At the end of last year Philippe Montaubin travelled to Paris to accept the award for ‘best general manager’ at the Worldwide Hospitality Awards. Within weeks he will add another string to his GM bow when he takes on the lead role at Accor’s new Novotel in Dubai. Here he tells Hospitality Business Middle East about juggling commitment and motivating teams
Philippe Montaubin has 30 year’s experience in the industry, and 20 with Accor.
he initial thoughts going through your mind as you hear your name called out, are recollections of what has happened over your career. I’ve had almost 30 years in the hospitality industry and you flashback to all the people you have to say thank you to, the situations you faced, the challenges that you have seen – they all create who you are.” In a career that has spanned four continents and 30 years – 20 years with Accor – Philippe Montaubin has progressed from a stint on oil rigs to holding GM positions on multiple properties simultaneously. So despite the introspect induced
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by career-defining awards such as the ‘best general manager’ accolade he travelled to Paris to collect last month, he struggles to recite all his career milestones. Yet he does share a philosophy: “You have to just adapt, conquer and overcome everything. Take your time, don’t go too quickly but don’t fall asleep! In today’s world everything goes very very fast, you have to keep up with new trends, new generations are coming up, you must not be afraid to share – if the person you share something with can do better at it, then congratulations to them.” The trophy was presented to the ‘best general manager (economy
and midscale hotels)’ during the Worldwide Hospitality Awards in Paris in December. Selected over three rounds from more than 800 nominees, it wasn’t until he reached the first shortlist that Montaubin was told by Middle East MD for Accor Christophe Landais, that he had even been nominated. “It’s quite a long process and to have someone from Accor we are delighted. To have someone from the region we are even more delighted and this is great news for everyone,” Landais told Hospitality Business Middle East¸while in Dubai for a celebratory event at the Ibis property Montaubin heads in Al Barsha.
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Greeted upon his return to Dubai by his fellow associates he says the award not only motivates him, but also the associates working under his management, who he reports have been full of questions on how to better their own careers. “I think if you don’t have a goal in your life, it is very difficult to move forward. Here, the young talents and future entrepreneurs of our industry, when they have a role model who they can speak to and see live, it will motivate a lot of them to continue their career. We hope within the group, but also within the industry because too often we see youngsters start off and give up when they see the long hours and all the complaints we have to handle. But that’s part of our life,” he says, continuing: “Throughout my career I have had to train people and I have taught some courses in certain countries where you are dealing with really young staff and we should never lie to them. It’s an industry that is very demanding – very rewarding but also very demanding. If your mind is not set for this you are not going to reach the end.”
Next challenge Already experienced in juggling the management of more than one property at a time, by March 2013 Montaubin will have added another string to his bow when he becomes GM for Accor’s new Novotel, also to be located in Al Barsha; an increasingly competitive area and a magnet for the business traveller and price-savvy tourist alike. It’s a market segment that Accor has built its brand on. The first chain to introduce the concept of mid-market hotels to the region, as the accessibility of the Middle East and business activity increase exponentially – and in tandem – nine new properties across all Accor brands in the UAE will be added over the next three years (see chart), adding to the current 18. The new Novotel property will be specifically positioned to cater to Dubai’s growing MICE market
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Number of new properties Accor will open across the region in 2013
and Montaubin and his team are currently recruiting for the property; a task which is increasingly challenging considering the number of new openings. “We are still going east [for recruitment] but we are also looking west because of the economical situations there producing new talent in a limited jobs pool,” Montaubin says. “If you want to concentrate purely on getting people from within neighbouring countries, yes it is a little difficult. But if you are willing to take on some new talents from new destinations it’s still good.”
Double challenge While some would expect Montaubin to be, at least slightly, phased by the impending responsibility, he modestly comments “there’s no secret” when it comes to working across brands. He adds: “I have experienced multi-brands within the Accor Group
already, for economy to medium-scale and up-scale, and luxury hotels “It’s just a different mindset in terms of your marketing and client approach. It’s just the materials and software are different, but running any hotel is the same in terms of management.” It will be the third Novotel branded property to open this year, with others in Fujairah, UAE, and Abu Dhabi. The 34-storey Dubai addition will feature 437 rooms and 90 serviced apartments and is positioned as an alternative to the Emirate’s huge stock of 5-star options. Looking ahead to life beyond this next assignment, Montaubin approaches the task at hand pragmatically, clearly retaining the strength of his associates and the service they provide as being key to the success of either, or any, property he runs, in addition to such qualities making a success out of the associates. While he is diligent in thanking those who he has and still does work with, he adds: “I would say the biggest reward is when you see your associates grow to become GMs, or more, themselves. I have some of my juniors who are now VPs in companies and it’s the biggest reward for me. What’s next on Montaubin’s own career plan? “In January I will have an appraisal with my boss! But my objective is to have a regional role, a country delegation, or brand delegation, there are different ways of growing there, then my dream is to have my own little business when I retire.”
BREAKDOWN OF HOTELS BY BRAND BY 2015:
15 7 2 19 1 18 3 17 1 SOFITEL
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Ahead of the game It’s one thing to be appointed to a job, but holding it down in an increasingly competitive global industry, is not as easy as it looks. MBA students and HR managers share their tips for staying ahead of the game
n today’s fast paced world, education is no longer regimented to the pre-career days, and as demands on employees and competition between candidates increases, staying ahead of the curve has become increasingly difficult. “Technically there are many incentives to continued professional development (CPD) since it is a part of everybody’s annual performance evaluation and most organisations have identified the need to develop and retain hired talent,” says head of training for Raffles, Dubai, Fadi Jabbour. “Many colleagues tend to fall into two extremes: The ones that like to be spoon fed in terms of their development, and the ones that have a lot of input but which can be operationally difficult to accomplish,” Jabbour adds. Arguably, there is also a third group; those who have identified a missing skill set or particular ambition and
proactively aim to bridge that gap. This year, Glion Institute of Higher Education will celebrate the graduation of its first cohort of MBA students from the first 100% Webbased hospitality qualification. The International Hospitality and Service Industries Management MBA, is provided by the private Swiss university, which is accredited by a number of world-famous institutions, including Laureate Hospitality Education, and has been training hospitality professionals from its campus since 1962. “Hospitality is a field which is growing really fast, more so in the Gulf region, and will require specialised work forces to deal with challenging trends that may benefit but also affect hotel performance if not handled correctly,” observes student Jan Schroeder, assistant mananger for revenue with Fairmont. She adds: “Glion, with the delivery of its
POONAM DABUR DIRECTOR OF HR & TRAINING, RADISSON BLU, DUBAI We strongly believe that hiring people with the right attitude is a prerequisite for our success. So when it comes to recruitment, we recruit for talent and attitude and placing talent and attitude in the ‘best fit’ positions regardless of race, colour, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin, status with regard to economic assistance or affectional preference. Another important aspect of recruitment and retention is recruiting/promoting from within. This is our priority and therefore it is our goal to fill vacancies with employees already working within the company as they are familiar with our company, our products, services, values and priorities.
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curriculum is seeking to fill the gap for individual people seeking a Master’s degree but also through partnerships with other hotel companies. Peer Olivier Hick, who currently works as vice president of operations for Accor Middle East, Gulf and Levant countries, adds: “I enrolled to strengthen myself academically, add further value to my experience, and to develop my career to its fullest potential at an accelerated pace. “In terms of skills I hope to enhance my hard skills like marketing, economics and management in general with a more academic approach, and finally gain further expertise. I must admit that so far the contents of the courses are high level and challenging,” Hick adds. His ambitions are shared with fellow course member Martin Kubler, who left his post as a GM to launch his own hospitality consultancy company, Consult Hotels. Kubler says the exposure to different people’s experiences was invaluable. “You spend time with people from all over the world and I think that’s what makes this course unique. There is a lot of exposure to different people and areas of hospitality business and it has enhanced my understanding of everything in the industry.” Currently, across all its courses Glion has 297 students from 66 countries and a consortium of eight institutions in five countries, providing hospitality, tourism, event, sport and entertainment management education to over 7500 hospitality students annually. “After more than 20 years of experience in the industry, a Master’s
degree i and stra to refin to open network the mor become
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While t correlat range an their va support such de as does Garet resourc the Mid “Any qu talent p be it ser oriented CPD is the cou needs a membe online u and stra to their being g Foun O’Neill, to overs managi for the U Of th desired says: “Th develop hospita majorit associat
degree is essential to develop business and strategic acumen, and certainly to refine analytical skills. It is valuable to opening new opportunities and networking and the higher the degree the more marketable you might become,” says Hick.
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’s m re e f on s y, ent
While there is no doubt of the direct correlation between an employee’s range and depth of qualifications and their value to a company, the level of support provided while undertaking such demanding courses, does vary – as does the need to take them. Gareth Fox, vice president of human resources for Hilton Worldwide in the Middle East and Africa, observes: “Any qualification that adds to the talent pool is worth the investment – be it service, sales, HR or operationsoriented. Most of our training and CPD is implemented in-house and the courses we offer are tailored to our needs and requirements. Our team members are motivated to enrol in the online university as they find tactics and strategies that are customised to their field of work and go beyond being general business lessons.” Founder of Hot Hoteliers, Erin O’Neill, was recently appointed to oversee HSMAI Programmes managing director of the association for the UAE. Of the gulf between required and desired skills across the industry, she says: “The culture of professional development is very different per hospitality company. The vast majority make it a priority for their associates to continue their education
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in a specific discipline. In the areas of sales, marketing, and revenue management, continuing education is especially important due to the fact that there are many emerging trends that can significantly impact top line revenue and the profitability of hotels.”
Staying ahead Yet the immediate impact on profitability is the productivity of top management, who cannot be expected to attend residential MBA programmes, which is why Glion positioned its qualification as a 100% Web-based course. “Clearly the benefit is to have the freedom to set up time to study according to a very busy schedule at work,” says Hick. “You need to be able to connect anywhere and anytime, so the Glion MBA is extremely practical. The course is greatly organised with all resources and support that you need to learn on an interactive blackboard between all students. Another interesting part is the multi cultural environment with students from all over the world sharing experience and valuable cultures,” he adds, also reporting strong support from employer Accor. Based on a combination of mandatory and elective modules, depending on aspired levels and areas of expertise, students are allowed the freedom to dip in and out of the programme at the end of each module; a philosophy further strengthened with flexible payment plans. Kubler’s experience was much the same, although he does point out that those in mid-management don’t necessarily enjoy the same level of
FADI JABBOUR OUR TRAINING MANAGER, RAFFLES DUBAI In terms of qualifications or certifications fresh graduates are generally enthusiastic, knowledgeable and hands on when it comes to operational aspects. Universities don’t always put enough emphasis on interpersonal skills and we often notice this as a gap when they enter a working environment.
flexibility day to day. He does however highlight that contrary to expectations, he felt little isolation despite having never met his ‘classmates’. O’Neill says: “Online course can be very helpful in supplementing classroom work or a study guide. They rarely serve as a complete substitute for face to face training or one on one time with a professional trainer, but, given the type of training or information to be communicated, it can be a very cost effective tool.” Yet Kubler responds: “We were quite a good group and you do use other tools, such as Skype or Google, to stay in touch. You have the sessions where you are working things out then you have the typical water cooler moments, and all the official academic work is on the learning platform.” In his words, this dynamic and such methods of interaction have been as essential to his career development as the course itself. “The world is moving much more towards virtual working environments now and being able to interact on this type of platform demands a certain skill set, which this course also helped to develop. The workplace will become increasingly virtual in future”
ERIN O’NEILL HSMAI PROGRAMMES MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE UAE Many hotel groups do search for candidates to hire who already have industry certifications. Some hotel brands have their internal certifications or training programmes that orient new employers to the specific culture, processes, and products, of their specific company.
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It’s a trend that has also been acted upon by Hilton Worldwide. Fox says “As a global company, we rely on the internet for skill development as it allows all our employees, from more than 3900 properties in 90 countries, access to courses on best practices across diverse fields.”
Put to the test When it comes down to achieving career goals, it can rarely be argued that education is a bad thing. However caution should still be exercised when it comes to the coordination, frequency, and type of courses. Kubler’s tips on the importance of continued education are rooted not only in his former roles as an employer, but also those of the student and consultant. He advises: “People should maintain a good balance; keep up to date with CPD but at the same time balance where you work between city, beach, resort and international properties. “CPD is enhanced when it fits into your work life or personal interests, such as F&B. Your decisions need to make sense. Additionally, the CVs that go straight in the bin are those from candidates who do course after course in succession, to the point where they haven’t worked a day in their life!” Dabur agrees: “All the internal training supports the development plan of the employee and contributes to the personal and professional growth. The individual requests for CPD should be supported by valid arguments of its contribution to skills enhancement and personal/ professional growth.”
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With the rise in the use of personal mobile devices and increasingly sophisticated malware, hotels expose themselves, their guests and staff to IT security risks. Here, experts advise on risk levels and how best to reduce vulnerability
hat are the main issues facing IT security in the hospitality industry? Shirley O’Sullivan: The
hospitality industry is unique in that hundreds of different people access the network on a daily basis with their own mobile devices. These devices are outside the control of IT, which increases the likely hood of infected devices infecting other devices. Once infected, these devices become part of a botnet and can send personally identifiable information back to command and control servers. Additionally, there is the potential
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for hackers and infected systems to come into the hotel and set up a fake wireless access point from which they can steal information from unsuspecting guests. There are known viruses in the wild that do this already, and hotels provide the perfect environment in which to unleash it. Nicolai Solling: There are a number of unique requirements to IT security within the hospitality industry. First of all there is the question of how to protect the client data; most importantly payment information in accordance with PCI compliance. Another big issue is that network
access and providing an internet connection have become services that many hotels offer on the same level as they offer a bottle of water in the room. However, there is a unique requirement to identify the specific user and their traffic behaviour so that any legal investigations can be performed in case the guest is utilising the link for illegitimate purposes. The final major thing which everyone in the industry needs to focus on is how the IT systems supporting the hotel are working. These could be the IP-TV system, IPtelephony system, billing systems and
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David Emm Senior regional researcher, global research and analysis team, Kaspersky Lab
targeted attacks is increasing. They are often highly-sophisticated, but typically start by exploiting human weaknesses, i.e. tricking people to click on links, or reveal information that helps attackers to get a foothold in the organisation. The massive increase in online activities makes it a lot easier for would-be attackers. Cybercriminals now adopt a ‘steal everything’ approach to harvesting data and then mine that data for specific information.
will mean preventing users from downloading malware. OQ: This could result in loss of critical business information and unhappy guests with very bad hotel experiences. The lack of security would mean that whilst guests are accessing the internet through the network they are at risk of fraud or theft of personal information, including credit card details. NS: There are a number of risks but a few can be greatly minimised by
Bhavesh Raval, senior engineer, Omnix International: The main issues are
online booking portals. All systems require a very high level of availability and security as they could be target of attacks affecting their overall integrity or availability. Ovais Qayyum: Right now one of the biggest issues is that several hotels have flaws in their core network topology and wireless network security, which allows for exploitation by malicious users. The impact of this is the loss of privacy for guests. David Emm: Cyber threats are universal in nature and cybercrime - i.e. malware-for-profit - has been around for almost a decade. The number of
Shirley O’Sullivan Vice president of marketing for EMEA at Blue Coat Systems
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visibility of who is doing what on the network; security violations across admin and guest zones; wireless congestion and security breaches; security of guest information, including financial data; security of the databases; security of the admin and guest networks; and video content security.
How high is the level of threat/ risk to hoteliers and how can this be minimised? SS: Since the majority of devices accessing hotel networks are out of the control of the hotel’s IT group, there is a significant risk. The most important way to mitigate the risk is to protect the devices while they are on the network. In some cases, that may mean preventing already infected computers from sending confidential information back to command and control servers, in other cases, it
There is a unique requirement to be able to identify the specific user and their traffic behaviour so that any legal investigations can be performed in case the guest is utilising the link for illegitimate purposes
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deploying the right kind of security at the time of infrastructure design. For example, internet or wireless should be separated out onto a different infrastructure from the business systems to reduce the complexity and costs associated with decent security segmentation. Another area any hotel needs to look at is how they log information on internet usage. Quite often I stay in hotels where no authentication or logging is taking place and I am positive that in the event that these hotels are involved in a legal investigation, they will have a big issue on their hands. In case a hotel does not have the capability of managing these log requirements it may be needed to subcontract hospitality internet services to a third party. But this can be a concern as hotels will lose out on a serious revenue generation service. DE: To minimise the risk of targeted attacks, companies need to start by playing a game of ‘what if ’ and conduct a risk assessment (see box). BR: There is a high risk of a whole network being compromised by the guest network and the revealing of guests’ activities and financial information. This can be minimized by implementing network and information security solutions.
What are the most common mistakes
David Emm, Kaspersky Lab shares the following guidelines will help to minimise the risk of employees being used to compromise the company Deploy comprehensive protection for all endpoints, including smartphones. Keep Windows, Office, Adobe Reader, Flash, Java, QuickTime, etc. updated Use 64-bit operating systems. Use Google Chrome for Web browsing - Chrome’s unique sandboxing of plugins provides additional security. Install the KB SSL Enforcer plugin, to force ‘https’ links. Use a VPN to access the Internet when travelling, especially for wi-fi. Insist on complex passwords for corporate systems - ones that mix uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols - and make them at least eight characters. Recommend that staff use a unique password for each web site or online account and that they make them complex passwords. made by hoteliers when sourcing and using IT? SS: It is important to remember that security is only as strong as the weakest link. For hotels, that is typically the user.
NS: My specific experience with hotels is mostly as a user but what frustrates me often is that the IT services can be below the standard of the hotel. For example, when I check into a 5-star hotel I also expect a 5-star internet connection. Unfortunately this is very rarely the case. Another area for concern is data privacy within the sector. I recently booked a table for a relatively large group and I was requested to send a photo-copy of both the front and back of my credit-card along with the authorization form. OQ: A very common mistake made by the IT departments within hotels is to squeeze the IT budget as low as they can by running multiple services on the same infrastructure in order to save infrastructure costs. This is achieved by using all in one UTMs (Unified Threat Management System) in order to manage IT/network services out of the same box instead of using a proper firewall which can impose much robust security on the network level. DE: More comanies are outsourcing due to a perceived cost and efficiency benefit; and providers are keen to stress that they can take care of all aspects of data management – including security – freeing the customer to concentrate on its core business. There may be cost benefits, but the data remains the company’s even when not stored on their own in-house servers. Responsibility for the security of that data – as well as regulatory responsibility for the data – remains with the company too. BR: Many hoteliers lack an IT strategy, and face issues with budget constraints and multiple vendor selection for delivering a single solution.
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Nicolai Solling Director of technology services at AG
What could be the ‘worst case’ outcome for hoteliers ignoring the risks posed in IT security? SS: For hoteliers, a security breach
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could result in the theft of guests’ personally identifiable information, which would have a significant impact on the hotel’s reputation. NS: Success in hospitality is all about
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What if? Conducting the IT risk assessment, by David Emm, Kaspersky Lab. Risk assessment Policies and procedures Incident response plan Deploy appropriate solutions Documented policy Review process Staff education How to risk assess Assess all the risks the company faces and ask how security might be compromised Calculate the cost to the business of a breach by analysing threats from the previous 12 months. Analyse how effective the mitigation strategy is, including how the business functions; where staff operate; what devices they use to conduct business; where corporate data is stored.
There are a number of risks associated with hotels and a few of them can be greatly minimised by deploying the right kind of security at the time of infrastructure design.
maintaining an image and appearance, especially here in the Middle East where we have more 5-star hotels than any other place in the world. If the IT service does not deliver to the same 5-star status, it can be a serious issue. OQ: The danger of not securing a hotel’s network is that a malicious user could gain access to guest information or other confidential files which may include credit card details, insurance details, bank details etc. DE: Cyber attacks may lead to the leak of customer bases, including bank cards. This in its turn may have very negative effect on the business in general and in the most serious scenario can result in bankruptcy. BR: Theft and misuse of guests’ personal data; disruption of critical 24/7 hotel systems; financial data and information leaks, would all lead to demonizing the hotel’s reputation.
How could hoteliers overcome these situations? OQ: Most of the wireless security issues can be resolved by simply using the
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most updated form of encryption i.e. WPA/WPA2 along with VPN and updated firewalls and antivirus. In addition to this, working with Minerva and their approved partners will ensure that the hotels get all the expertise they need to deliver a truly cost-effective, reliable and cutting edge solution, which provides them with the trust they deserve using products such as Motorola, Ruckus Wireless, Adtran, Bluesocket etc. SS: Hoteliers need a security solution that can help guests make safe choices by default. Essentially, they need a security solution that makes it difficult for guests to be unsafe. NS: Generally hotels should be very focused on customer service. They need to think IT and how IT services can deliver better services. If services are not available it can impact the overall experience in a very negative way. Due to this any hotel should focus on understanding how robust their services are to attacks, if availability is good enough. finally there should be
no doubt that data related to the stay is safe. DE: The way in which we all work is changing. We don’t just conduct business in the ‘workplace’ anymore and we use a combination of different types of device. These both make corporate security more complex. It’s essential that organisations of all kinds adopt a ‘follow-me’ security strategy that involves protecting staff - and the data they are accessing, wherever they are. This should include not only endpoint anti-virus, but also encryption of data and the use of VPN. In addition, companies need to include staff education in their security strategy, so that employees understand the dangers and the reasons behind company security policy BR: To overcome such issues, hotels should create and implement a well defined IT strategy with strict IT security standards. And this security strategy should cover the guest information, hotel networks, hotel systems, and service uptime.
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Five Top Tips for the Journey to Cloud Malcolm Herbert, Director of Infrastructure Consulting, EMEA, at Red Hat shares his insight into the opportunities that open source software creates when adopting a cloud computing strategy and offers five top tips for a successful journey to cloud
comparison between enterprise IT and public cloud computing dramatically highlights the benefits of moving to cloud. Application deployment times can shrink from weeks in the traditional data centre to minutes in a cloud data centre; new application development time accelerates from years to weeks (or months at most); cost per virtual machine plummets from dollars to cents; server administrator ratios can explode from 20:1 to 300:1; while efficiency increases, with resource utilisation soaring from 20% to 75%. With measurable benefits like these, it’s no wonder that IDC expects that by 2015 the majority of the enterprise market will require integrated hybrid cloud management capabilities. Cloud computing requires new architectures at the infrastructure and application levels to benefit from all the value that it offers, such as agility and scalability of IT services. Therefore, the discussion on cloud computing provides a compelling reason to look at an open source strategy and the opportunities it brings. Despite the tangible advantages of cloud computing, it’s difficult to predict direction and trends precisely. The decisions you make on cloud computing today will directly affect your competitiveness over the next few years. You need a cloud
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strategy that can adapt to changing business requirements...
Top Tip #1 – Know your destination What do you ultimately want to achieve from cloud? Moving to cloud must enable you to react with greater agility and speed to new requirements. Bear in mind that it’s not just about potential cost-savings. You need to look at whether an application will perform well, cover the needs of customers and be manageable within your existing processes and organisational structure. You cannot take these factors for granted.
Top Tip #2 – Know your starting point Doing an assessment of your existing in-house infrastructure is crucial to finding the best way to adopt cloud as an emerging technology. Don’t believe some vendors and analysts who advocate a ‘slash and burn’ policy: what could you recycle and reuse? In addition, there is little point investing time and energy in transferring imperfect solutions and processes into the cloud. It’s well worth reviewing existing systems and planning a migration to a common or standard operating environment (SOE).
Top Tip #3 – Don’t travel alone When it
comes to cloud, there is no need to do everything yourself and work in notso-splendid isolation. One of the strengths of open source software is that it is built on collaboration – it’s made for sharing. A DIY, not-invented-here attitude could mean you set off down the wrong track or end up taking ‘the scenic route’. Be ready to admit that someone else might have already done work that you can leverage, and quite possibly have done it better, too. Of course, in a collaborative world, you do have to prepare to share. You may be the passenger today, but could be the driver giving someone else a lift tomorrow. Open source has never been more relevant; it’s changed the face of the operating system market and will have the same impact in cloud.
Top Tip #4 – Don’t take a one-way street. Many CIOs are, understandably, comfortable with the status quo: handing over to a cloud services provider can feel like an abrogation of responsibility. If you want to fully grasp the benefits of cloud-like agility over private and public providers and want to link this to economic benefits for your company, you will no doubt realise that a new software architecture is needed. Open source can be the pathway to that new architecture, and offers a two-fold benefit... You’re able to run management toolkits that protect you from getting locked into a proprietary silo. At the same time, you avoid being locked out of the technical and commercial advantages that arise from cloud technology.
Top Tip #5 – Don’t run when you can walk There is no rush to adopt cloud computing; it should be evolution not revolution. Any cloud projects should be at a steady pace that feels comfortable to the adopting organisation. The flexibility inherent within open source solutions is ideal for this organic approach.
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L THE 100 CLUB:
DUBAI’S NEW GENERATION OF HOTELS
Pegged to a 13% growth in tourism, Dubai will develop 100 new hotels over the coming years as part of the new regenerative master plan, Mohammed Bin Rashid City. Hospitality Business Middle East asks if the demand drivers are strong enough to bring in the crowds
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ast month UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced plans for a massive new city that amalgamates some of Dubai’s most famous stalled construction projects. Mohammed Bin Rashid City (MBR) will focus on family tourism, including a Universal Studios theme park that is equipped to receive 35 million visitors; the largest family centre for leisure and entertainment in the Middle East, Africa Indian subcontinent and region; and over 100 hotel facilities. With subsequent phases targeted at retail – that is, a second world record breaking mall a mere camel’s trot from the existing ‘world’s largest’ – cultural offerings and entrepreneurship, the announcement was a commitment to the future of tourism in Dubai. The feasibility of MBR is pegged to a projected 13% growth in the Emirate’s tourism industry, but that in itself is pegged to demand drivers that currently don’t exist on a large enough scale. The question for hoteliers currently, is how will this change the market? “The MBR city is a long term master development which will take over 20 years to complete and therefore will not have an impact on the local market for some time to come. The selfcontained nature of the development
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will limit the impact of a large number of hotels on the overall market as these hotels will be developed to cater to the specific demand generated from within these leisure and retail projects,” says consultant for TRI Consulting, Chris Hewett. MENA director for Christie + Co, Gavin Samson worked on the recently published Hotel Pipeline Report, which not only established the ratio between ongoing, cancelled and on-hold projects, but also looks at the supply/demand dynamics of the seven Emirates. His belief is that this announcement could drastically readjust the on-hold vs on-going hotel project ratio in 2013 – in turn drastically readjusting market sentiment – and he predicts the real impact of MBR could be felt as early as 2015. However, the sentiment of the announcement is little to do with hotel numbers, he explains. “The statement came out and everyone is trying to understand what it means. You can get lost talking about 100 new hotels, but I think it reflects Dubai’s commitment to its tourism and commercial infrastructure, which is good news. It comes on the back of economic recovery, the Expo 2020 bid and renewed confidence.” He asserts: “If it’s done properly, then the development should be phased in line with demand. If
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Gavin Samson, Christie + Co. “The way I would explain it is that at the beginning of any master plan process, there is always a zoning requirement and a zoning plan for hotel use in amongst all the other retail, commercial and office usages. “The plan is put together on space allocations and that then magically transforms into a number of hotel rooms. If the planning process advances and the necessary due diligence is undertaken to assess what is the hotel strategy, how many new hotels cann the market absorb and therefore herefore how many should be developed in the allowable ble space that the master plan an allows? Only then can you really start counting the number of hotels.””
proper due diligence is done, on the supportability of these developments, they would be phased over anything from a five to 15 year period. “There are reasonable amounts of supply coming on in the next few years, but from what we have looked at demand exceeded supply in 2012, which is very positive. This year has been so strong but the MBR announcement is five to ten years away, and you can only look at a pipeline with any degree of accuracy, two to three years ahead,” he continues.
Driving demand The tourist numbers such a development will require to breakeven are astronomical and the development of the infrastructure to bring them here is hazy at best. Far from creating a desert dreamland full of theme parks, world class malls, and stunning skylines, Dubai’s future growth will be impossible without the cooperation of the Emirate’s airlines and those developing its next generation of airports. “The Dubai International Airport welcomed about 47.5 million passengers in the first ten months of 2012, up 13.5% over the same period in 2011. The annual passenger traffic last year was about 51 million, and is projected to reach 56.5 million this year and 98 million by 2020,” says MBR developer Emaar. Combined, Dubai World Central, Abu Dhabi’s expanded airport and DXB will be drawing 200m visitors to the UAE annually. Add to this the expanded cruise terminal at Mina Zayed and that’s a huge influx of visitors brought - in most cases directly to Dubai’s doorstep. Yet according to the most recent figures from the aviation industry, currently only 15% of those travelling through Dubai actually leave the airport and spend time in the city. This is a crucial market segment that will require a targeted and direct strategy
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if this project is to be successful. Hewett forecasts: “MBR City will be an excellent platform for increasing this capture rate as it will provide transiting tourists, particularly families, with an incentive to break up their journey and spend a few days in Dubai. The DTCM, Emirates Airline and the local hospitality industry work together to create packages and incentives for transit passengers to stop off in the city and this new development will certainly make it an easier sell.” If that easy sell is achieved and passenger numbers project as planned, 100 hotels could transpire to be a conservative estimate.
Learning from the past MBR was announced in the year that neighbouring Emirate Abu Dhabi faced harsh lessons when pegging supply/demand to incomplete demand drivers. As a string of luxury hotels opened on the capital’s Saadiyat Island, the means by which to draw in their occupancy rates remain stalled. The Guggenheim and Louvre museums, in addition to Zayed National Museum,
are all running behind schedule – some by as much as four years – and as a result there are a six very worried GMs at the island’s flagship resorts. Dubai’s Universal Studios project has already stalled at another location that, despite the plans within MBR, to this day remains nothing more than an arch way to nowhere, and the 50 hotels planned for DubaiLand have amounted to 1: the Abidos Hotel Apartments, which opened last month. Hewett advises: “The development of key leisure projects should be completed first, namely Universal Studios as this will form base demand for the entire project as well demand for hotels and retail developments. As Dubai currently does not have an extensive theme park, this project will create a lot of interest from not only local and regional travellers but also international transit passengers.” Yet there are figures that suggest the numbers are on Dubai’s side, at least in terms of supply/demand and the hotel pipeline. Dubai is the largest business and tourist destination in the GCC, with 577 hotels and 75,171 hotel
apartments. There are currently a further 11,307 under construction. The demand in Dubai’s hotel sector increased by 13.9% in 2010 with supply growth of 11.6%, and in 2011 demand increased 17.1% with a 11.6% supply increase. The picture painted by such statistics only adds to the hunger for success. A spokesperson for Emaar told Hospitality Business Middle East: “To further drive visitor arrivals, Dubai is investing in its infrastructure developing iconic new attractions including the world’s largest mall and the region’s largest family entertainment centre that are part of the newly announced Mohammed Bin Rashid City. “Dubai is also diversifying its tourism portfolio with new cultural attractions and events, under the aegis of the Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE). Festive events like the Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Summer Surprises and the recently extended celebration of Eid in Dubai have strengthened visitor arrivals.”
Initial reaction Universal Studios Dubai, as the site looks today. The park was planned as part of the troubled DubaiLand project.
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“I think that you automatically think ‘here we go again, has nobody learned from past mistakes?’ But then you look back at the progress of Dubai and massive success of Emirates [Airlines] and all the things this place does very well,” says Samson. “There is real rigour and due diligence behind the thought process and if you can think long term enough then yes there is ability to absorb a lot more hotels. It’s just how you look at it. From the consultant’s point of view, we’re analysing the market all the time, but you can actually be a lot more positive about it. “If you look at the sensationalist media attention, it’s branded as showboating and my initial reaction to all these announcements is definitely a little caution, but if you can look to 2030, then logically there is going to be demand,” he adds
JANUARY JANU JA NUUAR ARYY 2013
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Cybersecurity: $ hosSitality hotsSot While theft and the misuse of customer data continue to challenge hotel security, something far more damaging to the industry is threatening hoteliers today
he biggest issue in hotel security today may still be the theft of guest property and the loss or misappropriation of customer data by hotel employees, but a new threat has appeared which could be far more damaging to the industry. At a recent conference for security experts, an independent security researcher revealed that hacking techniques had been perfected which enables criminals to hack into the computer-programmed room keys that are used widely by hotels across the globe. )orbes maga]ine has conÂżrmed that the technique has already been used in the Âżeld, with burglaries reported of several hotel rooms in the US. Criminals exploiting this latest type of cyber-hack have perfected a method which could potentially let them unlock certain lock types found on four million or so hotel room doors around the world. By inserting a small pen-sized tool built for less than $50 into a port or small aperture on the bottom of some types of hotel keycard lock, criminals can read the digital key stored in the lockâ€™s memory, and open it in seconds. The hospitality sector has long been the number one target for computer hackers, media reports suggest,
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but this latest type of security vulnerability could be one of the hardest yet to detect and contain. Experts warn that hackers often share their exploits with others. So now that one hacker has shown how lucrative this latest data security vulnerability could be, then others are sure to follow and will mimic the approach. It threatens to endanger guests, and undermine the reputation of any susceptible hotel chain. In fact, the reputation of the sector is already quite poor when it comes to information security.
Checking out security breach dangers before they check in The use by cyber criminals of password cracking and remote access tools to gain entry to physical and digital systems is said to be rife in the hospitality sector. One study by Trustwave SpiderLabs, an IT forensics and research Âżrm, found that as many as of all data breach incidents detected during 2009 took place in the hospitality industry. It is clear that some hotel executives are falling well short of best practice. For one, they canâ€™t be ensuring
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that their IT staffs are tasked to regularly update their anti-virus software, which is one way to help prevent vulnerabilities to new attacks. Are they all also putting in place security ¿rewalls" These are needed to keep a network secure. Its primary objective is to control the incoming and outgoing network traf¿c by analysing the incoming data packets, and determining whether it should be allowed through or not, based on a predetermined rule set. Firewalls need to be regularly checked that they are con¿gured in the best way to restrict outbound Internet access. They should be set up to follow certain rules that will help them correctly manage all unnecessary inbound and outbound traf¿c, to help prevent inadvertent holes developing in the network perimeter, so stopping potentially harmful traf¿c passing onto their network. Finally, ¿rewall logs need to be monitored on a regular basis to identify unauthorized or suspicious traf¿c. In the US, the US Federal Trade Commission has ¿led a complaint against Wyndham Worldwide hotel group over a supposed data breach. The group, which includes some brands that are particularly well known in the Middle East such as Ramada, as well as Days Inn and Travelodge, has since enhanced information security across the group. Similarly, US customers of Hilton, Marriott and Ritz-Carlton chains have also been reported exposed to the risk of targeted phishing attacks. Some guest names and email addresses had been hacked and compromised it is reported. These incidents are occasional and do not follow any particular pattern. But they highlight the need for the hospitality industry to properly safeguard the personal data and ¿nancial details of its guests, and take full and proper measures to protect their information systems.
*etting started Zith a safety¿rst aSSroach System vulnerabilities occur when strong access controls are lacking, systems are not regularly monitored for suspicious traf¿c and activities, and security patches and upgrades are not maintained. For these reasons, information security audits need to be as much of the routine of hotel security as are ¿re alarm drills and window safety lock checks. The security of guest information and hotel IT systems is every bit as important as the physical security of the premises. du’s Information Security Assessment service offers all that is need for peace of mind of a hotel’s management and of its guests. It provides a high level information
ToS tiSs for secure hosSitality *et virus protection. 9iruses hit millions of businesses worldwide - don’t be one of them. Set up a ¿rewall, especially for broadband connections. This can protect your systems against hackers and unwanted attention from internet marketers. Stay up to date. Software developers create “patches” to help protect against the latest hacking techniques. Use strong passwords. Hackers use tools to generate thousands of passwords when cracking a system. Secure your internet connection. Check the security measures taken by your internet service provider. Be defensive with e-mail. Staff should avoid opening e-mails from unknown senders. Be defensive with the internet. Staff must be trained to avoid visiting illicit websites which are used to spread malicious computer codes. 3rotect your laptop. Lost laptops are a common security concern for businesses. Back up data regularly. Auto-save to a centralized store. Source: Microsoft
security assessment of the organisation’s assets, technology estate and operational processes. 3rovided by du’s certi¿ed auditors, this appraisal is delivered after an on-site information gathering exercise followed by analysis, risk assessment and a formal summary of the ¿ndings and recommendations. The appraisal is aligned to ISO Security Management systems (ISO27001) ethos, and so follows the very latest best practice. The value for company’s IT department is that du’s security experts provide an executive report identifying the organization’s security maturity benchmarked to industry peers in the hospitality sector, and against best practice recommendations. These recommendations help the hotel’s IT department to prioritize and strengthen governance, security controls and improve information security – both for the organisation and connected
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guests. It also provides an impartial view of security across the business, unifying (and perhaps contrasting) views of the company’s IT security management and IT infrastructure management teams. The changing pattern of business activity is making operations more exposed and increases the need for security. For example, more automated processes with people and organisations outside the corporate boundary, more employees working outside the LAN, more powerful mobile devices, and more online collaborative processes all need securing. Hoteliers need to feel that their security measures they have in place are adequate, while keeping the cost of enforcing IT security under control and commensurate with the benefits. IT security spending has been growing at around 20% per year over the last decade, outstripping total IT spending and general corporate budgets. This does not mean that IT security spending is too high, or that it is running at a level that is unsustainable, but its growth has to be managed. The total budget should be determined by the benefit that the spending brings to the enterprise. There are many factors that have driven spending up to current levels, with the list being headed by: External compliance requirements, like 3CI credit card security. The increasing threat level on the Internet. The evolution of corporations as they embrace more automated processes, more Àexible working practices and more online services. Of course, hospitality businesses have only a limited amount of money and resources to allocate to IT security and adoption of managed security services is one way to stay protected from latest security threats without having to spend ever increasing amounts on protection. For a regular ¿xed payment, the business can rest assured that any potential threats are kept in check. Managed services offer a number of bene¿ts for providing security services. They offer economies of scale, concentrated pools of expertise, and a wider view of the external threat landscape. Hospitality organisations should assess the option of acquiring security services in this way.
The change needs of a secure business So-called ‘cloud-based services’ and shared platforms have now brought the concept of managed security
services into the mainstream sectors of the market. At the higher end, vendors have become more Àexible at delivering hybrid offerings combining on-premise and remote managed services. This model ¿ts in well with the ambitions of organisations that are seeking to reduce their capital expenditure and reduced IT budgets and want the bene¿t and reassurance of managed security. Hospitality IT security staffs continue to be hampered by not knowing when and from where business information systems could be attacked. This is because the threat landscape is constantly shifting, with different types of attack and new potential vulnerabilities appearing on a daily basis. The costs involved in guarding against such attacks with self-administered information security and on-premise staff using bought in data security tools and systems are considerable and getting bigger. Adoption of a managed security solution not only offers businesses a more comprehensive and proactive defence strategy against cyber threats, but can be more operational and cost-effective than DIY procedures. It is a solution that promises to reduce risk and expenditure. As an alternative to the in-house DIY operations of the information security team, an MSS3 offers several hard and soft business bene¿ts: A comprehensive security service founded on up to the minute threat intelligence. A proactive service bought at a ¿xed cost with a measurable return on prevention. 3rotection of the organisation’s ¿xed networked and wireless assets is taken care of by specialist staffs working 24 x 7 from a dedicated operations centre equipped with the latest software tools. Security software updates occur reliably and are distributed automatically by the service provider, which means the enterprise always has defences in place to deal with the latest threat type. The arrangement allows the organisation to retain complete control of Internet usage policies. The arrangement means that the in-house, on-premise IT security team is freed up and can reallocate time and resources to other business critical processes. Experts agree that provision of a 24-hour managed service improves network security posture and lowers security costs.
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It is worth exploring the costs of running a traditional set up, where information security is monitored and managed on premise by an organisation’s own IT security staffs, and comparing this with the innovative managed security solution model of an external specialist service provider. A MSS3 partner like du is able to provide a good spread of services, which can be augmented where needed by custom-built solutions depending on the speci¿c needs of the customer. Included in its portfolio are: Security Consulting Services Security 3roject Services Security Assurance 9ulnerability and 3enetration Testing Security Audit Managed Firewall / Managed IDS Managed Firewalls IDSI3S Services In-Cloud Security Services Web and Email Security Services Monitoring and Management Services Security Event and Information Management Services End Point Security Services Security Services for End-3oints, Terminals and Mobile Devices
Almost all organisations will already be carrying out some or all of these functions as part of its in-house security regime, and will have developed a number of information security controls around them. For some though, those controls tend to be somewhat ad hoc, disorganised and disjointed, having been implemented often as point solutions to speci¿c situations or simply as a matter of convention. Most all organisations will already be carrying out some or all of these functions as part of its in-house security regime, and will have developed a number of information security controls around them. For some though, those controls tend to be somewhat ad hoc, disorganised and disjointed, having been implemented often as point solutions to speci¿c situations or simply as a matter of convention. The security controls recognised by ISO-27001 are rated as systematic and coherent, meaning that du’s information security risks are examined closely and rigorously, taking account of all of the threats, vulnerabilities and impacts. As an MSS3, du adopts the same well-orchestrated preventative and remedial security technologies and processes to protect customer assets as it uses to defend its own network assets.
For more information please contact du at email@example.com
ADVERTORIAL FEATURE BROUGHT TO YOU BY
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1/3/13 11:35 AM
TRENDS / PRODUCT WATCH
Product watch The world’s most useful and innovative new designs, delivered to you, every month
ANDROID’S PERSONAL TOUCH Members of Starwood Group’s loyalty programme Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) can now take advantage of a new personalised app by Android. The SPG® App for Android® is billed by the group as being part of its ongoing commitment to tech innovation that meets the needs of today’s connected global traveller. The new app caters to frequent travelers by: enabling them to discover and book stays at 1100 hotels around the world; access personalised benefits; manage their SPG accounts; and connect through integrated social media. “We are constantly looking for ways to help members enhance their SPG experience, in and out of their hotel stay. With the introduction of
CARPETS WITH THE NATURAL TOUCH
CENTRIFY CLOUD LAUNCH
Interface, the carpet tile manufacturer, has launched its first global collection. The ‘urban retreat’ range, is inspired by ‘biophilia’ – the phenomenon of human’s instinctive love of nature, and also the name of an album by Icelandic singer Bjork. Designed by David Oakey, Biophilic design inspires domestic and commercial environments around the world. Designers are helping by bringing nature indoors, and Urban Retreat reflects this growing trend, Interface says. Colour palettes within the range are based on heritage stones, forests, and savannah grasses. The tiles include patterns with soft edges, replicating Lichen on a stone wall or moss in the elbow of a branch, says Interface. The collection’s distinctive woven look was created with the manufacturer’s computer driven Tapestry machine, the first of its kind in Europe. “For a long time now and as part of our ongoing mission to have a positive impact on our environment, Interface has looked to the natural
Centrify Corporation has introduced a new Windows Azure cloud-based offering that extends Microsoft Active Directory and lets organisations centrally secure and control access to their increasing deployments of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps and other cloud services across a variety of operating systems and platforms. Addressing IT and User Challenges around Explosion of Mobile and Business Apps, the new solution also gives end users an option to provide much needed Single Sign-on (SSO) to address the so called password sprawl associated with such new technologies. The rapid adoption of SaaS applications combined with Bring-YourOwn Device (BYOD) programmes means that IT organisations increasingly don’t own the endpoint devices or back-end application resources, claims the company. Centrify senior director of product management, Corey Williams, said: “Many of the existing solutions for SaaS SSO do not address what users want and what IT requires.”
Pel Tre ene lab tec mo
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the SPG App for Android, our members around the world have greater access in transit to browse, book and manage their SPG account,” said Chris Holdren, SVP of Starwood Preferred Guest. The development is backed by data that demonstrated a 300% increase in mobile booking revenue generated over the past year, in comparison to 2011. “As constant connectivity becomes a greater need, mobile devices are becoming the preferred way to book travel and providing a seamless guest experience is paramount,” Holden added. The new SPG App for Android is now available for free download on Google Play via www.play.google.com
The carpet tile range is inspired by ‘biophilia’.
world for inspiration when designing products,” said Nigel Stansfield, SVP for product and innovation at Interface for Europe, Middle East, Africa and India. “This is the inspiration behind Urban Retreat; by reflecting the living world around us in its design, materials and method of manufacture, the collection brings a little of the outdoors indoors, helping satisfy our fundamental desire to tune into nature,” Stansfield added. The range is available in three patterns.
1/2/13 12:43 PM
PRODUCT WATCH / TRENDS
ECO-FRIENDLY FOOD DISPOSAL
KING KOIL MATTRESS FROM DFMC Dubai Furniture Manufacturing Company has launched a new water-proof mattress encasement that prolongs the warranty of hotel mattresses. Developed by King Koil, the encasement is manufactured with stretch fabric, to repel body fluids and moisture. It has a water proof layer beneath for extra barrier from body moisture and a breathable backing allows vapour to easily permeate the protector. It has a zipper running on the periphery and a Velcro zipper locking system for extra protection from bugs. The encasement comes in standard sizes of single, twin, queen, king and super king mattress sizes. The special stretch fabric is ideal for accommodating differential thickness of mattress.
MINIBAR SCORES A+ Peltier minibars manufactured by Hartman Tresore Middle East, have been vertified A+ for energy efficiency under the official EU energy labelling system. Using a thermoelectric cooling technology known as the “Peltier principle”, some models saw consumption reduced by one third.
Efficiency was rated under EU guidelines.
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“We are pleased to offer minibars to our clients that help them to reduce their operating costs by saving energy and to reach their green initiative goals at the same time”, states Reiner Kaltenbach, general manager of Hartman Tresore Middle East. The 30-litre-model only uses up 0.27 kWh per day, this is only one third to one half of the energy consumption of other minibars with absoption - or compression-cooling that need between 0.6 to 0.9 kWh. The “Peltier principle” technology allows the conversion of electrical power directly into energy for cooling. Since no cooling solvent such as ammonia is necessary, the minibars are also environmentally friendly – an important criteria for many hotel groups. “Our minibars are vibration and noise free because they do not have any movable parts, like ventilators”, explains Reiner Kaltenbach. The temperature of the Peltier minibars is regulated automatically by a modern fuzzy logic control system to prevent icing.
InSinkErator, a business unit of Emerson Electric Co, as introduced a new environmentfriendly technology to help the hospitality industry dispose of waste food. Incorporated into the Evolution Series, the range reduces noise by up to 60% and handles a wider range of foods than previously. “Hotels in UAE are trying to adopt a holistic approach to sustainability deploying green practices in all areas. With ecoawareness being a priority in people’s lives today, this is a great opportunity to leverage the scale to both reduce the impact on the environment and provide a benefit for global communities,” said the company. In the UAE alone 34% of waste is food disposed of every year, contributing to landfills, carbon emissions and ultimately climate change, figures from InSinkErator claim. The manufactureres say this process reduces bulk waste volume by 85%. The WX-300, which is built from stainless steel, can process up to 320 kg of kitchen waste, including of both liquid and solid wastes normally found in foodservice operations, such as food scraps, paper place mats, napkins, sugar or jelly packets, milk cartons and drinking straws. The model comes with a one year warranty from its date of installation, covering parts and labour provided that the service is performed by an InSinkErator Factory Authorised Service Center. The WX-300 will be showcased during the 2013 edition of Gulfood.
HOSPITALITY BUSINESS MIDDLE EAST / 59
1/7/13 9:26 AM
Appointment news The latest appointment and promotion news from the region NEW CLUSTER GM FOR JEDDAH HILTON AND WALDORF ASTORIA
With 31 year’s experience of mid and luxury market management, immediately previous to this appointment, Brett ran Conrad Cairo, Hilton Worldwide’s luxury brand in Egypt. The award winning Jeddah Hilton is the city’s largest conference and event venue hotel, with capacity for up to 3500 guests; the Waldorf Astoria Qasr Al Sharq property is defined by its fine art collection and handpicked crystal. “We are pleased to place Kevin in this leadership role. We are confident that his global hospitality experience, talent and ability to lead productive teams will deliver the high standards and exceptional service our guests expect,” said operations VP for Hilton Worldwide, Essam Abouda.
Kevin Brett has been appointed the new cluster GM for Jeddah Hilton and Waldorf Astoria Qasr Al Sharq, with a remit to “enhance the presence and profile of the Hilton and Waldorf Astoria hotels in Jeddah”.
Kevin Brett, cluster GM.
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Bernardi, F&B manager; Ivica Ancic, recreation manager; and executive chef Paul Hage, joined the 5-star 446 key property last month. With 30 year’s direct experience gained across nine countries, Connor has spent the past 18 years working as general manager, senior vice president or CEO across a range of brands. He has also secured a number of awards for previous properties, including ‘Best Business Hotel in Beijing’ for InterContinental Financial Street; and the ‘AAA Five Diamond Award’ three years running for Grand Wailea Resort and Spa in Maui, Hawaii. Since arriving in Dubai he has also overseen and managed all operations during the opening of Moevenpick Hotel, Jumeriah Beach. Villemin, who too worked on the Jumeirah Beach Movenpick property, has also worked with Accor Hilton, The One & Only and Hyatt. He has a degree in Hospitality Management from HIM Hospitality Business School in Switzerland and speaks five languages. Italian-born Barnardi, who will now head Habtoor Grand’s 14 F&B outlets, won awards for his management skills during the opening of Movenpick Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Following extensive experience in his native Lebannon, Hage was promoted to the new role from executive sous chef of Habtoor Grand. Ancic will draw on his experience as a professional tennis player to run the hotel’s recreational offerings.
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FIVE-STRONG EXECUTIVE TEAM APPOINTED TO HABTOOR GRAND
A new executive team has been appointed to the lead Al Habtoor’s flagship property, Habtoor Grand, at Dubai Marina. Peter Connor, GM; Nicolas Villemin, business development director; Massimo
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The new team began work last month.
1/2/13 12:44 PM
12/18/12 12:22 11:14 PM AM
Dhabi Yas Island. Job Role & Responsibility t5PTVQQPSUBOESFQPSUUPUIF3FTUBVSBOU Manager t$PPSEJOBUJPOPGUIFEBJMZPQFSBUJPO t1SFTFODFBOEWJTJCJMJUZPOUIFXPSLGMPPS t5PUBLFBDUJPOTBOEUPFODPVSBHFBEEJUJPOBM sales t*ODPSQPSBUJPOPGJEFBTBOEDSFBUJWJUZUPUIF ongoing development of guest satisfaction Candidate Profile: The ideal candidate will have a positive approach, excellent organizational skills, and a passion for excellent customer service with an emphasis on exceeding standards and guest expectations. The main requirements for the role are: t'MVFOUJO*UBMJBO&OHMJTI t&YQFSJFODFJO'#EFQBSUNFOUJTBNVTU t-FBEFSTIJQFYQFSJFODF t)JHINPUJWBUJPOBOEFOUIVTJBTN t5IFBCJMJUZUPDPQFVOEFSQSFTTVSF t:FT*$BOBUUJUVEF Benefits: t5IF$PNQBOZXJMMQSPWJEFZPVXJUIB furnished single room in the staff housing complex. t5SBOTQPSUBUJPOXJMMCFQSPWJEFEGSFFPG charge to and from the hotel and the staff accommodation. t:PVXJMMCFFOUJUMFEUPIBWFBMMNFBMTJOUIF staff cafeteria while on or off duty. t:PVXJMMCFFOUJUMFEUP POF GSFFSPVOEUSJQ air ticket in economy class from Abu Dhabi to your home destination on completion of 24 months service and every 24 months thereafter. t)PUFMXJMMQSPWJEFUIFSFTJEFODFWJTB t)FBMUIJOTVSBODFJTDPWFSFE
Time to move on? We can help. All jobs can be applied for through the Hozpitality Web site GROUP DIRECTOR OF FINANCE Industry: Facilities Management, Hotels Clubs and Spas Department: Finance and Accounts, Revenue Management Recruiter: Apt Resources, Dubai Level: Corporate /Group, Department Head, Top Management Salary Description: 90,000/ month gross Posted: 29/12/2012 Our client, a diversified group focusing in Hotels, Industrial Catering, Banking, Transport and FMCG segment is seeking a competent candidate to fill this vacancy. Candidate must have an excellent background in a similar role within group headquarters, regional offices or corporate head offices of Hotels and any of the above mentioned verticals. The role are as follows but not limited to: t(VJEBODFJOUIFGPSNVMBUJPOBOE implementation of business plans, Budgets, Forecasts and Goals Program and Key player in the creation of short, mid and long-term strategic business plans which impact across the region t.BJOUBJOTBDDVSBUFBOEUJNFMZGJOBODJBMBOE operation information and provides business analysis. t'PSNVMBUJPO QSFQBSBUJPO NPOJUPSJOHBOE presentation of consolidated financial statements and budgets in accordance with the set objectives, targets, policies, procedures and controls. t"ENJOJTUFSBOEDPPSEJOBUFXJUI#VTJOFTT Units Management for the establishment of budget procedures and approval processfor all Business Units budgets t%FWFMPQBOEQSFTDSJCFBDDPVOUJOHBOE reporting principles, policies and practices which are sound and conform to International Accounting Standards. t5BLFDPSQPSBUFSFTQPOTJCJMJUZGPSUIFGJOBODJBM resources and physical assets of the company. t.POJUPSUIFGJOBODJBMPQFSBUJPOTPGUIF company in assigned areas to ensure compliance with budgets. t0WFSTFFUIFQSFQBSBUJPOPGSFRVJSFEGJOBODJBM and related reports of Finance Managers and
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Corporate Executives. This is a top-notch role and will only take in applications from candidates with background in handling finances of renowned Groups of companies.
IT TECHNICIAN Industry: Hotels Clubs and Spas Department: Engineering and projects Recruiter: Sofitel Resort & Spa, The Palm Level: Staff- Line level Salary Description: Attractive Posted: 01/01/2013 Located on the prestigious Palm Jumeirah, Sofitel Resort & Spa, The Palm, is a Polynesian themed resort, comprising 361 rooms & suites and 182 serviced apartments. Duties & Responsibilities: t4JNJMBSFYQFSJFODFOFFEFEJOTUBSIPUFMT resorts. Candidates with experience in UAE preferred. t0VUTUBOEJOHBCJMJUZUPDSFBUF NBJOUBJO motivate a Team t(PPE&OHMJTIDPNNVOJDBUJPOTLJMMTBOE Excellent Guest Relation Skills t"UUSBDUJWFTBMBSZBOECFOFGJUTPGGFSFEGPSUIF right candidate. t1MFBTFTFOEZPVS$7XJUIQIPUPVSHFOUMZ
SUPERVISOR/ ASSISTANT OUTLET MANAGER Industry: Hotels Clubs and Spas Department: Food and Beverage Service Recruiter: Radisson Blu Hotel & Park Inn Abu Dhabi Level: Middle Management, Supervisory level Salary Description: attractive salary and benefits Posted: 27/12/2012 We have a fantastic opportunity for a talented individual to join our Food & Beverage department in achieving our financial and customer satisfaction goals as the Supervisor/ Assistant Outlet Manager of our Italian Restaurant Filini in the Radisson Blu Hotel Abu
A CLAY POT SITTING IN THE SUN WILL ALWAYS BE A CLAY POT. IT HAS TO GO THROUGH THE WHITE HEAT OF THE FURNACE TO BECOME PORCELAIN. MILDRED W. STRUVEN, FOUNDER OF IKEA
COMMIS CHEF Industry: Hotels Clubs and Spas, Restaurant/ Bars and cafĂŠ Department: Food Production/ Kitchen Recruiter: GLEE Hospitality Solutions Level: Staff- Line level Salary Description: AED 2,000 +accommodation +transportation+duty meals Posted: 23/12/2012 Duties & Responsibilities: t)FMQUIFPUIFSDIFGTJOQSFQBSJOHBOE presenting the food t1SFQBSJOHCBTJDSFDJQFTBOEBTTJTUJOHTFOJPS
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JOB WATCH Jobs supplied by:
members of the team t$IPQQJOHEJGGFSFOUJOHSFEJFOUTJOPSEFSUP assist in preparing the dishes, as per the demand of the chef-in-charge t0SHBOJ[FBOEBSSBOHFUIFJOHSFEJFOUTMJLF freshly chopped vegetables, meat cuts, parcooked items, condiments, seasonings, sauces and relishes etc., accordingly t"GUFSUIFSFDJQFTBSFQSFQBSFE NBLFTVSF the food looks aesthetically presentable and attractive, before it is delivered to the customers. t.BJOUBJOJOHBSFDPSEPGTUPDLTBOEJOWFOUPSZ management t$MFBOJOHUIFLJUDIFOJTBMTPBUBTLUIBUJT performed by these chefs. Wash and arrange dishes, mop spills, and clean thekitchen TUPWFT PODFBMMUIFDPPLJOHJTPWFS VTVBMMZ BGUFSUIFSFTUBVSBOUDMPTFT t.BJOUBJOTBGFUZBOEIZHJFOFTUBOEBSETPG the restaurant. Make sure the restaurant is in compliance with the health, hygiene and safety codes
GENERAL MANAGER Industry: Hotels Clubs and Spas Recruiter: Mercure Gold Hotel Dubai Level: Top management Salary Description: Salary Offered Posted: 20/12/2012 â€œThe modern European style 4 Star hotel Mercure Gold Hotel Dubai located on Al Mina 3PBE #VS%VCBJBOENJOVUFTUP+VNFJSBI #FBDIBOE1PSU3BTIJEBSFB %VCBJ.BSJUJNF $JUZ The hotelâ€™s inventory comprises of 184 Rooms & Suites and three F&B outlets. Other guest facilities at the hotel include an outdoor temperature controlled Swimming Pool at rooftop, Gym, Spa, Ladies Salon, Gift Shop and Business Centre. We are currently looking for a General Manager to be based in Dubai with the following Requirements: t.JOJNVNZFBST.JEEMF&BTUFYQFSJFODFJO similar position. t1SPBDUJWFBOE3FTVMUPSJFOUFE t4BMFTBOE.BSLFUJOHBQQSPBDIXJUIMFBEFSTIJQ skills. t4USJDUBEIFSFODFUPUIFCVEHFUBOESFWFOVF generation.
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OPPORTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK. THOMAS EDISON
CABIN CREW Industry: Airlines, Cruise lines/Ships, Hotels Clubs and Spas, Travel Industry,Restaurant/ Bars and cafĂŠ Industry: Customer service, Food and Beverage Service, Front Office/Roo Recruiter: Etihad Airways Level: Staff- Line level Salary Description: Competitive and tax free Posted: 18/12/2012 We are the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, based in Abu Dhabi. Our Cabin Crew are an award winning team of over 3000 service professionals, based in Abu Dhabi, the cosmopolitan and cultural capital of the United Arab Emirates. Our team is truly multi-cultural and is made up of nationals from over 110 countries. They are our ambassadors, and the ambassadors of our home Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates representing us whilst flying all over the world to destinations in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and Australia caring for our guests with traditional Arabic warmth and respect in a fleet of state of the art luxurious new aircraft. Our Cabin Crew team is made up of Cabin Crew, Food and Beverage Managers, In-flight Chefs, Cabin Seniors and Cabin Managers. Depending on your experience, you could join us as a Cabin Crew member, a Food and Beverage Manager or an In-flight Chef. What we expect: Our Cabin Crew are an award winning team. In 2012, for the third year, we won the â€œMiddle Eastâ€™s Leading Cabin Staffâ€? award at the World Travel Awards Middle East. In fact this award joins a long list of awards that we have won and win every year. To join us you will be the best and you will ensure that you contribute to the success PGUIFXPSMETMFBEJOHBJSMJOF 8PSME5SBWFM "XBSET You will ensure that you exceed our guestsâ€™ expectations onboard and deliver great service 100% of the time, whilst offering a unique taste of United Arab Emirates hospitality â€“ cultured, considerate, warm and generous. What you will do: As one of our Cabin Crew you must ensure the safety of our guests as well as providing great service at all times. You will inspire our guests, display a high degree of motivation, enthusiasm and commitment in everything you do and be an
ambassador for Etihad Airways and the United Arab Emirates wherever you are in the world. What we offer: t'BOUBTUJDUBYGSFFTBMBSZXIJDIJTDPNQFUJUJWF within the industry and reviewed on a regular basis. t'SFFBDDPNNPEBUJPOJOBNPEFSOTIBSFE fully-furnished apartment, with your own private facilities.Everything is provided for you to ensure that you have a safe, secure and comfortable home in Abu Dhabi. t&UJIBEUSBOTQPSUUPUBLFGSPNZPVS accommodation to the airport for your flight duties and then to bring you back home again after your flight. t"DDFTTUPFYDMVTJWFTUBUFPGUIFBSU&UJIBE swimming pools, health clubs and fitness centres at no cost, and reduced rate massage, hairdressing and beauty treatments to keep you looking your best. t-FBEJOHBJSMJOFUSBWFMCFOFGJUTJODMVEJOH unlimited personal travel at special rates, an annual leave ticket and generous concessions for family and friends to use. t& YDFMMFOUGSFFQSJWBUFNFEJDBMJOTVSBODFBOE life/accident insurance t"OOVBMMFBWFPGEBZT t(FOVJOFBEWBOUBHFTGPSDBSFFSQSPHSFTTJPOJO a fast paced dynamic working environment. t4 QFDJBMEJTDPVOUTBUSFTUBVSBOUT TIPQT hotels and leisure facilities across the United Arab Emirates and the region. Minimum criteria and qualifications To become one of our award winning Cabin Crew you will need to meet the following criteria and qualifications: t. JOJNVNBHFZFBST t'MVFOUJO&OHMJTIWFSCBM XSJUUFOBOE comprehension. Fluency in another language is an advantage. t.VTUCFDPOGJEFOUJOXBUFSBOECFBCMFUP swim with the aid of a flotation device. t"CMFUPSFBDIDNTXJUIPVUTIPFT t/PUBUUPPTUIBUXPVMECFWJTJCMFXIJMTU XFBSJOHUIF&UJIBEVOJGPSN CBOEBHFTBOE DPTNFUJDDPWFSJOHTBSFOPUQFSNJUUFE t&EVDBUFEUPBNJOJNVNMFWFMPGBDDSFEJUFE secondary education or equivalent. t/FWFSDPOWJDUFEPGBDSJNJOBMPGGFODF t& YDFMMFOUQFSTPOBMQSFTFOUBUJPO TUZMF and image. t4USPOHJOUFSQFSTPOBMBOEDPNNVOJDBUJPO skills. t8JMMJOHUPDPNQMZXJUI6"&BOE($""WJTB medical and health screening requirements.
HOSPITALITY BUSINESS MIDDLE EAST / 63
1/6/13 3:38 PM
The importance of being impeccable Based on her personal experiences of luxury hotels around the world, Finishing Academy director, Penny Edge, shares her tips for achieving perfection in social and corporate etiquette
mpeccable is a very strong word. It means faultless, but to be honest are any of us really faultless? In a word – no. None of us is faultless, but we can certainly strive to be impeccable in the way we present ourselves and through the service we provide. The luxury hotel industry is one which strives to be faultless and impeccable in service and product offering, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the UAE. Luxury hotels abound, each attempting to be better than the next. I must admit, I am a self-confessed hotel addict, having travelled to numerous countries around the world,
but these are some things that I’ve noticed: 1) Customer service: Consistency is key when it comes to service. It would be nice if each individual at the same hotel would deliver the same level of customer service. Personally I think the reason for the difference in customer service is due to the difference in personalities, values and attitudes to work. 2) Greetings: It costs nothing to say “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” when greeting a customer, and what a difference it makes for someone to say “How are you today?” or “Nice to see you again”, are also well received.
3) Room for improvement: During one recent hotel stay, I was asked: “Is there anything else I can do that will better our service?” What a refreshing change. 4) Going solo: Don’t you just hate when someone shouts “Are you dining alone?” or “Would you like a table for one?” This could be said a little more discretely, especially to women. 5) Weekend breaks: Hoteliers tend to have different weekend staff but sometimes they are not as well trained as their full-time, permanent staff. Interestingly enough, front of house staff are usually better trained than valets or greeters and, on the whole, concierge too. However, concierge staff do vary from hotel to hotel. Some concierges, especially in the UK, book theatre tickets, arrange meetings and appointments, and take care of all sorts of incidentals on behalf of their guests. I must admit I love staying in hotels and in my travels I have observed that housekeeping standards in the UAE, Thailand and the UK are among the best in the world. I would also add Switzerland to this list because the housekeeping staff there really excel in this department. As a teacher of both social and corporate etiquette and a welltravelled hotel guest, I do have some recommendations. My most valuable tip is to smile. Anyone who has contact with guests – whether they work at reception, the concierge desk, valet or greeting guests – should smile. It breaks the ice, puts everyone at east and is instantly welcoming. A smile and open body language cost nothing, but it really does make a world of difference
My five top suggestions for front of house staff, by Penny Edge Greet all guests the same. Shake hands with everyone and introduce yourself formally. Enjoy your work and feel passionate about what you do. If you are not passionate, clients and customers may perceive this as negativity and that may hinder your professional success. Additionally, those who are happy in their work will perform better – happiness is infectious.
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Make sure your staff are consistent in their tasks. Use guests’ surnames. A common mistake in Dubai is to use guests’ first names, such as Mr John. Instead say Mr Smith and only use a guest’s first name if given permission to do so. Don’t make physical contact with guests. This is inappropriate and unnecessary.
1/2/13 12:46 PM
Checkers Kitchen - www.armanidada.com
AI Ittihad Road
P.O. BOX 118508 Dubai
United Arab Emirates
T +971 (4) 2971777
11/29/12 3:53 PM 6-04-2011 20:07:34
12/16/12 3:22 PM
Published on Jan 1, 2013
In-depth news and analysis for the Middle East’s hospitality professionals, wrapped up a in an intelligent, well designed monthly magazine.