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GM INTERVIEW

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t’s obvious that Fairmont Ajman general manager Francis Desjardins isn’t afraid to put his money where his mouth is. Keen doesn’t even begin to describe his belief that big things are just around the corner for Ajman, calling it the “new staycation away from Dubai and Abu Dhabi”. “You will be hearing more about Ajman in the months to come,” says a confident Desjardins. “People have it in their heads that we are so far away from Dubai, but we are only 30 minutes from the airport, we are actually the same distance as Palm Jumeirah.” In the past, Desjardins says, people have always thought of going to Fujairah or Ras Al Khaimah but Ajman’s time has come thanks to its unique offerings, from fish markets to the Al Zorah Golf Course. Hotels in the Middle East need to make sure they don’t make cuts in the wrong places, as they adjust to the challenges of the global economy right now. This is the message from Desjardins who explains why cutting back is not necessarily the right way to do business in a tough climate. “I would rather spend ten times the effort on how I can generate more revenue to compensate for a lack of profitability,” he says. “If you keep being innovative or creative then you have different concepts to generate more revenue to get over a bump in the road.” Like many other hotels, Desjardins says Fairmont Ajman, with 252 guestrooms and suites, has had to re-adjust rates, but he is proud of the fact that it hasn’t resulted in a reduction in the quality of service provided. He describes himself as “not the sort of guy who comes in each day and cuts and cuts” saying that he would rather put the focus on using creativity to find a positive solution. “A lot of hoteliers are cutting on expenses everywhere, and damaging their brands and services because of going too far. It has to be done in some ways but you have to be smart about it and careful June 2017 HOTEL NEWS ME

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Hotel News ME- June 2017  
Hotel News ME- June 2017  
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