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New frontier for hoteliers A Tryp into the industry’s future

The Address has talent The unique tale of Address Boulevard AUGUST 2017 | WWW.HOTELNEWSME.COM

Why are owners going it alone without operators


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Contents

August 2017

Contents

10 | NEWS DUBAI SETS RECORD FOR OVERNIGHT VISITORS; COUNTDOWN IS ON TO GULFHOST; OMAN’S TOURISM DRIVE; HOTEL FIGURES DROP OVER RAMADAN; EMIRATE RAKS UP THE VISITORS 18 | CHECKING IN DOUBLETREE BY HILTON OPENS IN BUSINESS BAY; MILLENNIUM ANNOUNCES FIVE-STAR RESORT IN RAK; THOMAS OPENS OWN BRAND PROPERTY 22 | OPINION HOW EXPERIENTIAL AND TRAVEL IS THE FUTURE 24 | COVER STORY WHY ARE OWNERS OPTING TO RUN THEIR OWN HOTELS WITHOUT OPERATORS

24 10 News

30 | NEW FRONTIER FOR HOTELS TRYP BY WYNDHAM GOES FOR THE MILLENnIAL MARKET

18 Checking in

30 GM Interview

52 Products

August 2017 HOTEL NEWS ME

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Contents

August 2017

Contents

CEO Wissam Younane Wissam@bncpublishing.net Managing Director Walid Zok Walid@bncpublishing.net Director Rabih Najm Rabih@bncpublishing.net

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Group Publishing Director Diarmuid O'Malley dom@bncpublishing.net Group Sales Director Fred Dubery

Fred@bncpublishing.net

Group Editor, Hospitality Crystal Chesters Crystal@bncpublishing.net

Editor Patrick Ryan Patrick@bncpublishing.net

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Art Director Aaron Sutton Aaron@bncpublishing.net Marketing Executive Mark Anthony Monzon Mark@bncpublishing.net

c o n t ribu t o rs Marouane Al Mandri

Photography

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Hayder Al Zuhairi

SUBSCRIBE subscriptions@bncpublishing.net PO Box 502511 Dubai, United Arab Emirates P +971 4 4200 506 | F +971 4 4200 196

For all commercial enquiries related to Hotel News ME contact dom@bncpublishing.net T +971 50 55 97339

36 | KEEPING HOUSE OUR PANEL OF EXPERTS DISCUSS HOUSEKEEPING 42 | ADDRESS HAS GOT TALENT HOW ADDRESS BOULEVARD WENT TO UNIQUE LENGTHS TO FIND THE RIGHT TEAM 46 | THE HOTEL SHOW INDUSTRY LEADERS TELL US WHAT THE EVENT MEANS TO THEM

All rights reserved © 2014. Opinions expressed are solely those of the contributors. Hotel News ME and all subsidiary publications in the MENA region are officially licensed exclusively to BNC Publishing in the MENA region by Hotel News ME. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the publisher. Printed by Raidy Emirates Printing Group LLC www.raidy.com

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HOTEL NEWS ME August 2017


On the web Keep up to date with all the latest news, features and much more on our website. www.hotelnewsme.com

Flagging up issues Are we witnessing the rise of owner operated hotels in the region?

patrick ryan Editor

@ThatPaddyRyan Follow us on our social media pages @hotelnewsme /hotelnewsme hotelnewsme

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HOTEL NEWS ME August 2017

What’s in a name? Well quite a lot if our cover feature this month is anything to go by. We spoke to a number of industry leaders about why a number of hotel owners are deciding to go it alone when it comes to the running of the property. Shockwaves were sent throughout the industry when Five Holdings announced they had taken over the running of the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah, earlier this summer. What was even more surprising, about the announcement, was that the property has only been open a number of months. While the exact details of that particular case are not public knowledge, due to an ongoing legal dispute, it allowed us to shine the spotlight on the practice of owners taking over the operation of hotels. As you might expect, there was a range of varied answers from the experts, with some suggesting that the UAE market, and Dubai in particular, is so far ahead of the pack when it comes to hospitality that there is little left to learn from operators. It’s not hard to see why that conclusion was reached. Owners are more educated now than ever, plus the occupancy rates in Dubai are robust, especially compared to other parts of the world that have been rocked to the core by the turbulent nature of the world’s economy these days. That said though, it is hard to imagine a future where operators don’t hold a significant stake in the Middle Eastern hotel industry. Elsewhere in this very issue we take a trip to Dubai’s Downtown to interview Pascal Dupuis, the general manager of the newly opened

Address Boulevard about what sets his hotel apart from the pack. Dupuis believes the property is going to be a major player on the international scene and, having visited the property, it really isn’t hard to see why he is confident. We also catch up with Rogier H Hurkmans, the cluster general manager of Wyndham Dubai Marina and the soon-to-be-opened TRYP by Wyndham Dubai. We hear how the new hotel will be tailored for the millennial market with bloggers and influencers now viewed as the people with their fingers on the pulse. It isn’t just lip service either as TRYP is going all in to appeal to the new generation referring to staff members as Trypsters. The finance staff are referred to as Wolves in a nod to The Wolf of Wall Street, the HR team will be called magicians and engineering staff are known as explorers. It’s a different approach but not one that should come as any surprise to anyone who has been following the scene here. There’s just about room left for me to tell you about our housekeeping panel that is featured in this issue. We had a huge turnout of housekeeping professionals for the event which took place in the Kempinski Mall of the Emirates. The discussion was as lively as it was informative. I think you’ll agree. I will leave you now to enjoy this issue. Regards, Patrick Ryan


Regional News

NEWS

For News, features and more, Visit www.hotelnewsme.com Follow us on twitter for breaking news: @hotelnewsme Follow us on Instagram to see what we’re up to: @Hotelnewsme Follow us on Facebook for up-to-the-minute breaking news Read the latest issue on: issuu.com/hotelnewsme

Record number of overnight visitors to Dubai

A record total of 8.06 million international overnight tourists arrived in Dubai during the first six months of 2017, a 10.6 per cent increase over the same period last year. That was according to figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai Tourism, said: “We are extremely pleased that Dubai has sustained the momentum of growth we achieved in the first quarter to deliver a strong 10

HOTEL NEWS ME August 2017

double-digit performance through H1 2017, setting the stage for continued acceleration in tourism volumes and GDP contribution this year. “Our strategic investments, innovative destination promotion programmes, responsive federal policy reforms, and long-term global partnerships are evidently paying dividends as we ramp up efforts to increase Dubai’s accessibility, visibility and overall appeal, minimise barriers to travel, and ultimately drive both first-time and repeat visitation.”

From a regional perspective, Western Europe contributed 21 per cent of the overnight visitor volumes, maintaining its pole position from earlier in the year, reflective of Dubai Tourism’s strong international destination marketing efforts aimed at driving consideration from a wider spectrum of European market segments. Dubai sustained its appeal among traditional stronghold markets across the GCC that collectively accounted for 19 per cent of traffic during H1 2017, driven by efforts to continually revive

the city’s offerings encouraging frequency of regular repeat travel. North and South-East Asia as well as the Russia, CIS and Eastern Europe bloc both saw two per cent gains over their 2016 year-end contributions to end H1 2017 with 11 and seven % shares respectively. This performance is attributable to a series of sustained cross-industry activities to raise general market awareness and tangibly grow visitation via structured trade partnerships from these highpotential markets.


Regional News

50,000 visitors expected to attend Gulfhost next month More than 50,000 visitors are expected at Dubai International Hospitality Week (DIHW) which is taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 18-20 September. The event encompasses a number of trade shows including GulfHost and The Hotel Show. Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said: “The hospitality sector has long been a key pillar of Dubai’s tourism industry and the emirate’s wider economy. The dramatic growth we’ve seen in the sector over the years is testament to the attractiveness of Dubai as an investment prospect and a destination that prides itself in offering an environment that facilitates and supports business success. “We are therefore very pleased to launch Dubai International Hospitality Week as a platform enabling the region’s hospitality players to come together, exchange knowledge and learnings, and create valuable opportunities for future growth.” The scale of DIHW is unprecedented for the global hospitality sector, said a spokesperson for the event, bringing together more than 2,000 of the world’s top hospitality brands from across the Middle East, the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa.

The full spectrum of products and services required to operate hospitality businesses – whether global hotel chains, fine dining restaurants, quick service outlets or independent coffee shops – will be showcased at DIHW, the spokesperson added. More than 50,000 visitors, including buyers from groups including Crowne Plaza, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, IHG and Marriott among others, will be making key purchasing decisions during the show.

There are currently more than 800 hotels under construction in the MENA region, which is over 200,000 rooms according to STR Global, with an urgent requirement for furnishings, equipment, technology and hardware to enable completion as quickly as possible. Other events that are taking place as part of DIHW include The Leisure Show, The Speciality Food Festival (DWTC), SEAFEX Middle East (DWTC) and yummex ME.

American team for Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TA Abu Dhabi) embarked on a whirlwind three-city roadshow to the United States to drum up interest in the emirate. The delegation, led by TA Abu Dhabi, was in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, hosted meetings with major travel agents and key influencers from some of the US’s leading travel organisations. Mubarak Al Nuaimi, director promotions and overseas offices, TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “The United States is one of our priority markets which is showing consistent growth 12

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year-on-year. Our extensive marketing campaigns in the US, combined with the promotion of Abu Dhabi through our office based in New York, help

us showcase our world-class destination and rich diversity of cultures and attractions. “Our strategy is to target growth through partnerships

with major players in the US travel industry and through relationships with US-based associations to encourage the hosting of business events in Abu Dhabi. We are reaping the rewards of our endeavours with inbound visitor numbers rising from the US and we need to capitalise on this growth trend.” Joining the roadshow were representatives of Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Yas Island, Yas Marina Circuit, Bab Al Qasr Hotel and Dusit Thani Hotel.


Regional News

Tourism drive launched in Oman

Oman has launched a new eVisa service to boost the number of tourists to the country. Tourists can fill out the form online and attach the necessary documents as well as pay the application by credit card through a global payment gateway that is officially certified by Oman. All applicants will receive notifications via email. “The Sultanate’s announcement of the eVisa system will ensure the continuous growth of Oman’s tourism sector in the coming years as this provides not only tourists but also inves-

tors, businessmen, researchers and students easier access to visa processing,” said Salim Adi Al Mamari, director general of tourism promotion at the Ministry of Tourism, Oman (pictured right). Last year, the number of tourist arrivals reached three million and it is expected to increase to more than 4 million by 2020.” He added that the eVisa system will also allow Oman to receive more tourists from key markets such as China, Russia and the US and drive the demand for experiential travel to the region.

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Regional News

Jumeirah group to manage Jabal Omar Jumeirah Makkah Hotel

Dubai Holding and Jabal Omar Development Company have signed an agreement to develop Jabal Omar Jumeirah Makkah Hotel in Saudi Arabia, which will be managed by Jumeirah Group. The Jabal Omar Jumeirah Makkah Hotel will include 1,033 guest rooms along with 93 villas and will feature a variety of food and beverage offerings, meeting facilities, executive lounge, gymnasium and over 90 retail units 14

HOTEL NEWS ME August 2017

throughout the complex. The hotel will be operational in early 2019. Edris Al Rafi, chief executive officer of Dubai Holding, said: “Dubai Holding takes great honour in announcing the addition of this unique property to the Jumeirah Group portfolio. As the company embarks on its next phase of growth, adding such strategic and large hotel to the portfolio is a key milestone in our ambitious inter-

national expansion strategy. “Jabal Omar Jumeirah Makkah Hotel will significantly boost its growth in the coming years. It will also mark the Group’s first presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Makkah, one of the holiest sites in the world and the highest in real estate value.” His views were echoed by Yasser Al Sharif, chief executive officer, Jabal Omar Development Company, who said: “Jabal Omar Develop-

ment Company is committed to offering guests of Masjidal-Haram and visitors to the Holy Capital superior hospitality services, in accordance with the highest international standards. “We are pleased to work with an established global hospitality brand grown in our region, such as Jumeirah Group, and we look forward to a fruitful cooperation to reap mutual benefit for our guests and shareholders alike.”


Regional News

Visitors to RAK on the increase

Hotels in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) have reported a 10% year-on-year increase in the number of visitors in the first six months of 2017. The figures were revealed by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) who added that in addition to double-digit year-on-year growth in guest arrivals during H1, average hotel occupancy jumped to 72.7% – an increase of 4.7% on the corresponding sixmonth period in 2016. “While our excellent H1 results highlight continued year-on-year growth in Ras Al Khaimah’s visitor numbers, it is the Ramadan and June results that are particularly promising,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA. “Our best-ever figures during these typically lower periods of occupancy are a direct result of strategic initiatives and promotional activities undertaken in domestic and international source markets – we are thrilled to see those efforts to boost summer numbers bearing immediate fruit.” He added that the “bestever” H1, Ramadan and June figures put the emirate in a 16

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solid position to optimise the traditional peak season of late summer and Q4. Emerging destinations continue to be key contributors with significant growth in H1 from Kazakhstan – up 16%, Poland – up 224%, and the Czech Republic – up 81%. The growth in arrivals from Poland and the Czech Republic are attributed to strategic partnerships and charter agreements struck between RAKTDA and in-market tour operators in the central European nations. “It is very satisfying to see such robust growth from both our established and emerging markets during H1,” said Mattar. “Ras Al Khaimah boasts a diverse array of natural landscapes that appeal to all walks of visitor, whether its beach-seekers, active adventurers or wellness seekers, and with a diverse array of exciting new products coming online later this year – specifically in our adventure tourism playground that is Jebel Jais – we are optimistic of registering continued growth from all key markets for the remainder of the year and beyond.”

GCC hotels hit by drop in performance over Ramadan The majority of the hotel markets in the GCC experienced a drop in performance during Ramadan, according to figures released by STR. Comparing the data from 26 May to 25 June, STR found that Muscat, Oman was the strongest performing region with a RevPar increase of 8.7%. “The market’s 19.4% increase in occupancy outweighed a 9.0% drop in average daily rate (ADR),” said an STR spokesperson. “Dubai was the only other market that did not report a significant decline in RevPAR, although performance was nearly flat as a decline in ADR (-1.5%) countered an uplift in occupancy (+1.2%).” According to STR analysts, grow-

ing hotel supply and geopolitical issues are also having an impact on the region’s performance. School terms also factored into performance results—Saudi Arabia’s school term finished earlier, while school in some countries continued through the Ramadan period. Makkah, Saudi Arabia, reported an 8.8% decline in RevPAR, which was primarily the result of a 7.9% drop in occupancy to 74.3%. STR analysts noted that key religious tourism source markets, including Egypt and Indonesia, are experiencing currency devaluations against the Saudi Arabian Riyal, making it less affordable for potential visitors from those nations to embark on pilgrimages.

Leser steps down as Jumeirah Group CEO

Stefan Leser has stepped down as the chief executive officer of Jumeirah Group. Leser took up the role of CEO with Jumeirah Group in early 2016; the company has released a statement on the surprise departure. “This is to confirm the resignation of Stefan Leser, Jumeirah group chief executive officer,” said a spokesperson. “Stefan was responsible for over-

seeing the delivery of the group’s performance and strategic vision. This included important milestone projects such as the Burj Al Arab Terrace and overseeing the completion and launch of Jumeirah Al Naseem, the Group’s latest luxury hotel destination that enhances the award-winning Madinat Jumeirah Resort. Dubai Holding and Jumeirah Group thank Stefan for his service and contribution to the development of the iconic Jumeirah brand.” The spokesperson confirmed that the search for Leser’s replacement has begun with Marc Dardenne, Jumeirah Group’s chief operating officer running the business in the interim period – working closely with Dubai Holding CEO, Edris Al Rafi.


Regional News

Palm Monorail on track for one million passengers

Passengers using The Palm Monorail in Dubai can now board and alight at the newlyopened Al Ittihad Park Station. The new station will allow easy access to Dubai’s Golden Mile which is home to numerous hotels in the city. The newly built monorail was open for business on Monday and developers Nakheel

say the route’s addition to the Palm Monorail will see visitor numbers topping one million. Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said: “The Palm Monorail is one of Palm Jumeirah’s biggest success stories. The opening of Al Ittihad Park Station is a massive boost for the island’s investors, residents, visitors

and retailers, and further cements our commitment to providing new services and attractions at this world-famous community. “More people than ever can now enjoy the growing number of facilities on Palm Jumeirah – without using a car to reach them.” The number of Palm Mono-

rail users has risen by 70 per cent in the last four years. In 2013 there were 590,000 passengers, with 685,000 in 2014, almost 878,000 in 2015 and a million in 2016. With around 3,000 people now taking trips each day, the number of passengers in 2017 is expected to exceed 1.1 million.

First ibis Styles opens in the Middle East AccorHotels has announced the opening of the first ibis Styles in the Middle East. ibis Styles is located in the Manama Diplomatic Area of Bahrain and the project is in partnership with Action Hotels PLC. Olivier Granet, managing director & chief operating officer of AccorHotels Middle East and Africa (MEA), said: “ibis Styles Manama Diplomatic Quarter is a highly anticipated addition to Bahrain’s growing hospitality industry and to the ibis brand family. It is a pleasure to collaborate with our trusted partner Action Hotels for the opening of our first ibis Styles in Bahrain. “The opening of this property not only signifies the growing popularity of our landmark economy brand,

defined by its creative design and distinct personality, but also further strengthens our global partnership with Action Hotels.” The project was launched in response to signifi-

cant demand for economy and midscale brands in the Bahraini capital, ibis Styles Manama also marks the 10th global collaboration between AccorHotels and Action Hotels PLC.

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Checking in

Thomas Cook to open ownbrand hotel in Ras Al Khaimah

Travel company Thomas Cook has announced it is opening its own-brand hotel in Ras Al Khaimah in November. The Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort will be the company’s first own-brand destination in the UAE. Stuart Adamson, director of Thomas Cook Media & Partnerships Group said: “We are very excited to continue our successful partnership with Ras Al Khaimah. “Through a fully integrated, multi-channel campaign across eight of our markets, Ras Al Khaimah will reach and inspire the millions of holidaymakers that engage with us driving both awareness and visitation.” Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort will feature 253 chalets, a 700-metre private beach, three pools, four bars, a coffee shop, a buffet restaurant and spa with sauna and jacuzzi facilities. Haitham Mattar, chief executive officer, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: “We are extremely pleased to continue to partner with Thomas Cook to promote Ras Al Khaimah. The news that they are opening their first own brand hotel here demonstrates their commitment to our destination and delivering choice to their customers. “International visitors represent almost two thirds of the overall tourism to Ras Al Khaimah, with the UK and Germany being among the top three source markets. This partnership will continue to attract holidaymakers from Europe who seek great value beach holidays and authentic adventure and culture based experiences.”

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DoubleTree By Hilton Dubai Opens In Business Bay

The 238-key DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai – Business Bay has opened. The hotel is located in Bay Square as part of a low-rise community square surrounded by shops, cafes and local businesses. “Dubai is a fast-growing, cosmopolitan city that offers visitors a range of activities, from shopping in the modern malls, to watching a performance at the opera, to abra rides on the creek,” said Dianna Vaughan, senior vice president and global head, DoubleTree by Hilton. “As the first and only hotel in Bay Square, DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai – Business Bay is ideal for travellers seeking accomodation in this popular new destination. We look forward to welcoming guests with something special at every stage of their stay, starting with our signature, warm DoubleTree cookie upon arrival.” Her views were echoed by Rudi Jagersbacher, president, Middle East, Africa & Turkey, Hilton, who said: “Hilton’s portfolio stretches across the region, and we are pleased to have expanded our presence in Dubai with the

opening of this beautiful new hotel. “DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai – Business Bay is an exciting addition to an already bustling area of Dubai, and we are thrilled to bring yet another of our world-class properties to a city renowned for its hospitality. With this great addition to our portfolio, we now operate 10 Hilton properties in Dubai.” To celebrate the hotel’s opening, Hilton Honors members will earn an additional 1,000 points per night – up to a maximum of 5,000 points – for bookings through December 25, 2017, when booking directly with Hilton. “With its prime location in Bay Square, spacious rooms and exciting dining options, DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai – Business Bay is the smart choice for travellers to Dubai,” said Remco Werkhoven, general manager, DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai – Business Bay. “The hotel’s central location and shuttle bus service makes it ideal for business, leisure and ‘bleisure’ travellers – those who blend business trips with personal time.”


Checking in

Millennium announces five-star resort in Ras Al Khaimah Millennium Hotels and Resorts has announced a new five-star property on Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah. The signing ceremony was held in London for the 339 key beach resort which is one of 40 hotels that the company has in the pipeline. Scheduled to open in 2020, the resort will be situated on a 75,000 square foot plot on Al Marjan Island. Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi, president and CEO of Millennium Hotels and Resorts in the Middle East and Africa, says; “We are honoured to partner with SuperCasa Development on this project, which is an important addition to our growing portfolio in the region. “Ras Al Khaimah has witnessed considerable growth over recent years and with exciting projects such as Al Marjan Island, it will continue to rise as an important tourist destination. We look forward to supporting

its evolution in line with the ambitious plans of RAK Tourism Authority by bringing our global and regional management expertise to deliver an outstanding fivestar resort.” His views were echoed by Abdullah Al Houti, president of SuperCasa Development Limited, who said:”We are thrilled to announce our first hotel investment which will be managed by an international

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hotel operator, Millennium Hotels and Resorts. “As established developers, we have identified Ras Al Khaimah as a destination with huge investment potential and growth opportunities and we are confident that Millennium Hotels and Resorts’ considerable expertise will enable this unique resort to achieve its full potential and ensure a mutually beneficial collaboration for many years to come.” Millennium Hotels & Resorts currently operates 10 properties in the UAE alone, ranging from midscale to luxury, with additional 11 upcoming properties in pipeline. Millennium Hotels & Resorts’ next upcoming openings for the country include Millennium Deyaar Mont Rose Executive Apartments and Grand Millennium Business Bay Hotel, both of which are due to open in Dubai later this year.

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Talent

‘Nothing is impossible’ for people person Krystel Hotel News Middle East catches up with Krystel Irani, the newly appointed director of operations at Raffles Dubai es, but to continuously look for ways to improve. Maintaining a high-quality product at its best at all times is also a challenge, and we have a programme in place to continuously upgrade our rooms. We will soon start a carpet refurbishment and furniture upgrade, as well as installing state-of-the-art software for our colleagues to deliver efficiency in our processes, allowing our staff to focus on delivering the exemplary service that differentiates Raffles Dubai from the competition.

Describe your first ever role in the hotel industry? I started my hotel career in the reservations department at Four Seasons Hotel Georges V Paris, followed by three months’ experience in the PR department. I feel incredibly proud to have started my career at one of the most prestigious hotels in the world, it was an incredible place to learn about luxury hospitality and it set the tone for my future career in this industry. After I graduated, Four Seasons offered me a full-time job in reservations and I worked at the hotel for nearly five years, building a career in the front office department. Who has inspired you most in your career? I can’t choose just one person, as many leaders have inspired my career and continue to do so. I learnt from a very young age to observe and grow within the environment I live in, a skill which helped me to become successful in my career. From the people that have inspired me, I have learnt that focus, determination, entrepreneurship and relentlessness are the most important characteristics for a leader, along with a passion for working with people and a great deal of positivity and patience. How do you view the hotel scene in the region? The hotel industry in Dubai is always interesting and at times challenging. The supply of hotel rooms is growing and diversifying, and it is a very competitive environment with a very high standard of competition. In this situation, the importance of delivering outstanding service is key to our ongoing success. 20

HOTEL NEWS ME August 2017

What is the best aspect of your role? I am a people person! It is one my strengths and a genuine part of my personality. At work, I am passionate about investing in my team’s development, and with our guests I am often involved in the day-to-day operation. I enjoy creating meaningful connections and building loyalty with our guests.

Work Experience January 2015 – May 2017: Director of rooms, Raffles Dubai January 2013 – January 2015: Front office manager, Raffles Dubai October 2011 – January 2013: Front desk manager, St Regis, Doha What is the biggest challenge of your role? I challenge myself and motivate my staff to keep pushing the needle up at all times, not to rest on past success-

What tip would you share with new staff starting out in the hotel industry in the region? Dream big and stretch your goals daily to achieve them. Nothing is impossible! If you could invite any three people around for dinner who would they be? It would have to be my close family and friends, I love cooking and trying new recipes for them. If you had to live on a desert island for a year what would you bring with you? An iPad or stack of books as I love to read, especially leadership books; a camera to capture the moments, photography is one my favourite hobbies; and enough F&B to survive of course!


Talent

New GM for Mövenpick Hotel

Daniel Kaan has been announced as the new general manager of Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Lakes Towers. Kaan joins from Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain where he held the position of general manager since 2014. Kaan joined Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts at Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam in 2010, having served as the director of food and beverage before being promoted to hotel manager. A Dutch national, Kaan attended Stenden University in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands and the Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbor, Australia where he earned a bachelor’s degree in International Hospitality Management.

Bahrain post for Peyre Swiss-Belhotel International (SBI) has announced the promotion of Herve Peyre as the area general manager for Bahrain. Herve has been associated with the group since September 2013 as the general manager for Swiss-Belhotel Seef Bahrain. An MBA from Cornell University in Paris, Herve has had an illustrious career in hospitality starting in 1993 as assistant food and beverage manager at Hilton Paris.

Grunder joins JA Resorts & Hotels

JA Resorts & Hotels has welcomed Thomas Grundner to the team as group director of sales and marketing. In his new position, Grundner will oversee all sales, marketing and revenue efforts as the company continues to build on its key growth and development strategies. Thomas’ sales and marketing career spans over 20 years in the hospitality and leisure industry. He has worked across many international markets including Germany, Egypt, and Spain in senior commercial roles within established and globally known brands such as Jumeirah and Meydan Hospitality.

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Opinion

Experiential and transformative travel How guests are looking for more than just a pretty view when they go on vacation

T

here are numerous benefits to be gained by providing guests with opportunities to experience a unique range of emotions while enjoying activities varying from sunrise yoga to sunset fishing, and everything in between. At Sun Siyam Resorts, we recognise that these kinds of immersive experiences are transformative in nature as they bond the Maldivian culture with that of our guests and have the power to positively and permanently change the world for the better. Take the example of cooking classes with ladies from the surrounding Maldivian community; our guests giving lessons at local schools about their home countries; or our ‘pack to make a difference’ programme where tourists preparing to visit Maldives pack extra belongings that can be given to local families in the area. Each of these programmes, while different, provide moments for multicultural development for both the traveller and the Maldivian islanders. We like to think of it as mindful tourism –where Sun Siyam helps deepen the contribution to the community, environment and economy through the creation of transformative travel ambassadors. The idea came about many years ago when our chairman and managing director wanted to share his passion for local culture, island nature and the resident population with our guests. Originating from Noonu Atoll, Mr Siyam inherently knew that his success would manifest because of his dedication to the betterment of his own island and people. At the time, he didn’t know that the experiences he would

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HOTEL NEWS ME August 2017

About the Author Evgenia Boyankova, group director of business development with Sun Siyam Resorts, Male, Maldives, has over 15 years of experience in hospitality business development. She has managed, trained and developed teams and regional sales, marketing and PR offices in the Middle East, Europe, CIS and Asia. offer guests would have such as profound and lasting impact on their lives. However, we continue to receive feedback from our guests and their families about the inner-transforma-

tion that takes place from the very first time they experience their dream Maldivian holiday with us. And we continue to hear it from guests who have visited 20-30 times over the years. Holidaymakers have experienced so many places around the world and are now looking for more than a pictureperfect moment. They are seeking to broaden their knowledge and strengthen their values, so opportunities to dive with marine biologists; plant sustainable produce; dance Bodu Beru to the beat of the drums; and survive on a deserted island with minimal food and resources, can’t be overlooked because of our guests’ desire to be more conscious, global, educated and sensitive people of the planet. And we have found a particular interest in transformative travel, from those aged 35 years and above, who immerse themselves into the local culture, dance, handcrafts and more, with every visit. At Sun Siyam, our goal is to leave our guests feeling that they are part of something bigger than themselves. Importantly, this trend has had an increasingly positive influence on the local community, with Maldivian youth keen to pursue a career in tourism, local ladies enthusiastic about sharing their secret recipes with international visitors, and local dancers working with guests to free them, through dance, of any worries, troubles and concerns. The flow-on effect of immersive travel is truly extraordinary for all involved, which is why Sun Siyam will continue to identify transformative travel opportunities that bring benefit to our guests and the local Maldivian community.


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Cover Story

Flagged off The hospitality industry in the region came to a standstill when it was announced that Five Holdings, owners of the $1.2 billion Viceroy Palm Jumeirah, had taken over the running of the property. A further twist in the tale emerged days later when it was confirmed that DIFC Courts had ruled in favour of the operators, saying that Five Holdings had to allow Viceroy access to the property. Hotel News Middle East asks industry leaders just why owners decide to take over the running of a hotel from the operators. 24

HOTEL NEWS ME August 2017


Cover Story

Roda Al Murooj

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hile neither Viceroy or Five Holdings would be drawn on the issue, due to ongoing legal issues, Hotel News Middle East picked the brains of some of the leading lights of the sector to see how situations like this come about. “Hotels get deflagged for a number of reasons, the first one is really the management contract with the hotel operators has expired,” says Chris Hewett, associate director TRI Consulting. “When this happens it means the owner and operator have agreed to effectively end the sector management of that hotel through the operator.” Management contracts will have a set term, according to Hewett, which can be ended by mutual consent. One such example is when Rotana and Dubai International Real Estate agreed to the termination of the management agreement of Al Bustan Hotel and Al Murooj Hotel in Dubai, from 1 January, 2017. The owners took over the running of the property under the name of Roda Hotels & Resorts, as the newly formed

There is a danger that it could damage the brand reputation for the whole of Dubai,” Filippo Sona, director/ head of hotels MENA Region, Colliers

company’s CEO, Imad W Elias, explains. “It was a mutual agreement that Rotana would operate other hotels in Dubai and they would not renew the management agreement with Dubai International Real Estate,” he says. “It was reasonably easy for Roda to hit the ground running as many of the staff from the property were still there when they took over. They hand-picked a few others like myself who had been with the owner on a consultancy basis.” Elias says that while the company was confident of success, he was taken aback by the speed at which it has arrived. “Guest satisfaction jumped from 75% to 95% and while we lost 15% in international travel we have more than made up for that in business from GCC guests giving us a higher occupancy,” he says. “We had expected in the first year to have to adopt a wait and see approach and might experience an initial decline but people have responded to us being managed by a regional company and we look forward to a continued high level of performance.” August 2017 HOTEL NEWS ME

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Cover Story

Timeline: Viceroy Palm Jumeirah dispute 22 June Viceroy confirms injunction issued by the DIFC Courts prohibiting Five Holdings from taking any further actions to prevent Viceroy from exercising its exclusive authority to manage and operate the hotel. Five Holdings responds by filing the case with Joint Judicial Committee (JJC), JJC’s role is to consider whether there is a conflict of jurisdiction between DIFC Courts and Dubai Courts. If such a conflict exists, the JJC rules on the appropriate jurisdiction. 29 June Confirmed by the Dubai Joint Judicial Committee to suspend the matter/injunction pending before DIFC Courts and Dubai Courts until it decides which is the relevant court and further ratified by a letter issued on 3 July, 2017. He posits the theory that the market will see more and more owner-run hotels in Dubai. “The future of the five-star international chains is a real question mark in Dubai,” he says. “Standards are already so high here that you have to wonder what the international companies can bring that’s new to the market. There are already so many hotels and hotel schools here that the standards are already in place, we don’t need hotel chains from the States or the Far East coming over here telling us what to do.” Elias goes as far as to say that the international chains are taking Dubai and the Middle Eastern market for granted. “International operators should stop padding the market with brand after brand until they become like supermarkets,” he says. 26

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“There is no doubt there has been a decline in business in the United States, Europe and the Far East so now they are putting all their eggs in one basket the UAE - and it is only a matter of time before we see an oversupply.” A rise in the number of owner-operated hotels in the region is inevitable, says Hewett, due to owners becoming savvier and educated about the business but he urges caution. “Some owners think they will make immediate savings on management fees from the contract. While that’s true to a degree, a lot of them don’t understand it’s a very complex operation,” he says. “Operators have the marketing and distribution networks which can help fill up rooms straight away.” Beacause owner-operated hotels don’t have the distribution and mar-

keting power of the chain hotels they will inevitably be competing against, they could end up being over-reliant on third-party websites like Booking. com, warns Hewitt. “Another thing that is important to remember is that operators are able to maintain the technical aspects of the building,” he adds. “When owners have to redistribute their own money for maintenance it can be more difficult to uphold those standards and that could reduce the value of a property over time.” Rabih Feghali, director at Roya International Hospitality and Leisure Consultants says that while it is an advantage to save on the percentage an operator takes, it is not the main advantage that comes from an owner running its own hotel. “That comes from having full con-


Cover Story

The pool at Viceroy Palm Jumeirah

Roda Al Bustan

Hotels get deflagged for a number of reasons, the first one is really the management contract with the hotel operators has expired� Chris Hewett, associate director TRI Consulting August 2017 HOTEL NEWS ME

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Cover Story

Guest satisfaction jumped from 75% to 95% and while we lost 15% in international travel we have more than made up for that in business from GCC guests giving us a higher occupancy,” Imad W Elias, CEO, Roda Hotels & Resorts 28

HOTEL NEWS ME August 2017

trol over the destiny of the property,” he says. “The disadvantage is that you don’t get the uplift that comes from established branding. An owner could think that all the bookings are coming through Booking.com and they aren’t coming from brand.com, for example, but trust me when people are booking through Booking.com and see a Hilton or Sheraton, for example, it gives you more confidence in that propery versus ‘Hotel ABC’.” Feghali points out though that not everyone is looking for the same experience and some hotels have man-

aged to carve out a successful niche for themselves in the market. “There are some highly successful hotels that if you put a brand on them it would lose appeal,” he says. “Sometimes people are in the market for an anti-brand - look at the case of Media One Hotel in Dubai.” The key to a successful relationship between owners and operators, Feghali says, is communication. “Operators need to be transparent with owners and show what they are doing to avoid losses, especially when times are so challenging,” he says. “You don’t want to be summoned


Cover Story

Viceroy Palm Jumeirah

into a meeting with the owners, be pro-active, show transparency and clarity.” A breakdown in relations between an owner and operator is always unfortunate but it could have far-reaching implications beyond one project, says Filippo Sona, director of the hotels division for the Middle East and North Africa region of Colliers International. “There is a danger that it could damage the brand reputation for the whole of Dubai,” he says. “What happens if foreign investors hear about this? People want to know they are investing in a good, regulated

place where business is thriving.” He called for the public sector to become more involved in the process, adding that the continuing legal dispute at Viceroy Palm Jumeirah doesn’t reflect well on anyone. “My advice before announcing something in the public domain is to make sure there are no outstanding legal matters,” he says. “The public sector should be regulating these matters and it should be dealt with completely before a public announcement is made. It doesn’t give the right perception of how business is done in Dubai otherwise.”

Sometimes people are in the market for an anti-brand - look at the case of Media One Hotel in Dubai.” Rabih Feghali, director, Roya International Hospitality and Leisure Consultants August 2017 HOTEL NEWS ME

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Regional News

Everyone is trying to find their niche in the market but for TRYP by Wyndham it’s about providing a lifestyle product for the urban traveller”

Hotel News Middle East catches up with Rogier M. Hurkmans, cluster general manager Wyndham Dubai Marina/ TRYP by Wyndham Dubai, about how guests expect a different experience these days

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t’s a new frontier for hoteliers who are trying to adapt to the digital age by reaching out to bloggers and influencers. Gone are the days when hotels would appeal to new customers by paying for print advertising, says Rogier M. Hurkmans, cluster general manager Wyndham Dubai Marina/ TRYP by Wyndham Dubai. Hurkmans was speaking to Hotel News Middle East ahead of the open-

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ing of the 650-room TRYP by Wyndham Dubai, which is expected to take place imminently in the Al Barsha region of the city – which is aimed at “the urban traveller” and is putting the emphasis on the digital market. “Everyone is trying to find their niche in the market but for TRYP by Wyndham it’s about providing a lifestyle product for the urban traveller,” he says. “We are trying to do things a little dif-

ferent and appeal to the young at heart.” One tangible way in which the hotel is appealing to younger, more tech-savvy, customers is by offering guests the chance to stream their devices to their in-room televisions. “We’re giving guests the choice to stream their devices to our entertainment device, it’s similar to Apple TV but also works for Android devices as well,” he says.


GM Interview

The front desk at Wyndham Dubai Marina

“You can add your personal pictures and video or even just watch your Netflix account.” It’s clear that Hurkmans sees the future of hotels as being digital and that’s reflected in how he views his hotels’ social media strategy. “We are very active with Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, a lot is happening there and, in fact, it’s our main focus,” he says. “We don’t use print advertising anymore, it’s all about the modern channels of connecting with potential clients via influencers and bloggers.” Hurkmans insists that the advent of social media and online reviews means that hoteliers have to be constantly at the top of their game. “You have to deliver a first-rate quality service and give the guests what they expect,” he says. “You cannot try and pull the wool over their eyes, guests will quickly notice and before you know it there will be negative reviews up on social media and TripAdvisor.” Hurkmans says he has noticed a particular resurgence in visitors from the Rus-

Rogier M. Hurkmans

sian language-speaking market to Dubai. “So far 2017 has been going well in terms of occupancy figures, one definite area that has increased is the number of Russian language speaking visitors to Dubai,” he says. “We are seeing an increase from a year and a half ago when the Russian market

was down, that gives us the chance to look at targeting that specific sector and creating strategic partnerships.” The new TRYP property will offer something different, according to Hurkmans, to the traditional hotel experience in Dubai. “We have found our USP by being tech savvy and the good thing is that, with 650 rooms, it means you can have larger groups,” he says. “If the property is a little bit smaller then you have to divide between various properties but we have the inventory to cater for different groups.” Despite a global tightening on the finances, Dubai hasn’t suffered nearly as much as other parts of the world and with good reason, according to Hurkmans. “What has been created is really awesome and special,” he says. “To capitalise on that, there’s a lot of new supply coming in, there’s Expo2020, there are the parks, it will all help to bring in even more visitors to Dubai. “You have to look at it optimistically. Dubai and DTCM are really putting the focus on the right markets and it proves there is very much still a demand for Dubai.” July 2017 HOTEL NEWS ME

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Gm Interview

Cutting out the cuts

TRYP by Wyndham Department Names

Explorers Front Office

Wolves Finance

The temptation to make cuts is all too apparent but make the wrong choice and cut the standard of quality, Hurkman says, and guests will see right through it. “It’s the guests who pay our salaries, if they come back it shows they like you,” he says. The Dutchman’s journey in the hotel industry began in hotel school in Maastricht in his home country before having spells with Bilderberg, InterContinental, Hilton and Swissotel in Greece, Turkey, Netherlands, Belgium before moving to Dubai two years ago. “I tried to take the best of what each company offered, with InterContinental it was very much about quality,” he says. “With Hilton I learned about driving the revenues, at the end of the day, we’re a business we have to provide for the owners.” To prove his point he tells a tale that is literally close to home. “My family is still living in Germany and I have an eight-year-old boy and in his class all the children know about Dubai,” he says. “To me that just makes me go ‘wow’ and it shows you the pull of the place. Imagine that it’s so far away and all these little guys there know about Dubai and are saying ‘I want to go there’.” It’s one thing to wax lyrical about Dubai itself, but to be a success in such a crowded market you really need to stand out and that’s one area where Hurkmans has no concerns. “You just have to look at the views here on one side you have the Dubai Eye wheel and on the other you have the Dubai Marina,” he says, gesturing to the window of the Wyndham Dubai Marina. “That’s one of the things that makes this place special. It’s not like so many other areas of Dubai in that there’s nothing but views of high-rise buildings and that’s what makes this place unique.” The ease of access is an area to where 32

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Nuts & Bolts Engineering

Stirrers

Negotiators

F&B

Sales

TRYP’sters Noun, informal

Magician

Shoppers

Tryp’sters

HR

Purchasing

Choreographers

Storytellers

Exec. Office

Marketing

Techies

A person who works at TRYP by Wyndham. Someone who values independent thinking, creativity and intelligence. Savvy and streetwise, they know all the best restaurants, all the coolest spots, and all the best ways to tap directly into the pulse of Our City. They bring their energy into the hotel so our guests experience a side of the city that they won’t get from guidebooks.

Guardians

IT

Security Artists

Restorers

Kitchen

Housekeeping

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Hurkmans points as being another string to the hotel’s bow. “People always say the Sheikh Zayed Road hotels are the easiest to reach but with us all you have to do is take Exit 29 and drive into the hotel, it’s easy to get out too, you don’t have the JBR traffic, the accessibility is brilliant,” he says. Having a great location is all well and good but you have to be able to deliver results, something that Hurkmans is all too aware of. “We are in business to make profit. In order to make profit you have to make sure guests are happy, make sure you have the right talent around you, em-

powering people and giving them responsibility so they can grow,” he says. Occupancy levels in Dubai are practically the envy of the rest of the world but the one area of concern, for the entire region, is that the rates aren’t increasing. “There is an issue with the rates not growing anymore, there is more and more supply coming in on top of that,” he says. “You are under pressure and need to make sure profit margins are on the same level, you have to be more clever, it’s not about taking away services but making sure your organisation is a little more lean.”


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Chain focus

Spotlight on Kempinski Hotels Established in 1897, Kempinski Hotels has a a portfolio of 76 five-star hotels and residences in 31 countries and continues to add new properties in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In the Middle East it has 21 properties alone.

The upper pool area at Kempinski Summerland Hotel and Resort Beirut

Emerald Palace Kempinski Hotel Dubai

Current properties in the region:

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Name of Hotel

Location

Kempinski Hotel Muscat

Oman

Emerald Palace Kempinski Hotel – Palm Jumeirah

UAE

Kempinski Residences Business Bay, Dubai

UAE

Kempinski Hotel Business Bay, Dubai

UAE

Kempinski Hotel Erbil

Iraq

Kempinski Hotel Medina

Saudi Arabia

Rafal Sky Gardens by Kempinski - Riyadh

Saudi Arabia

HOTEL NEWS ME August 2017

Al Khobar Hotel


Chain focus

In focus

Henk Meyknecht

Chief operating officer, Middle East & Africa, Kempinski Hotels demands constant attention to detail. We invest substantially in training and coaching, as we know that employee engagement leads to consistent quality service and, ultimately, guest satisfaction. This year Kempinski will launch a new internal information network to strengthen connections worldwide between our managers and employees for sharing career opportunities, boosting talent mobility and assessing additional training needs.

What have been the hotel group’s recent achievements and milestones in the region? Kempinski Hotels reached a momentous milestone this year as we celebrated 120 years as a pioneering luxury hotelier. We are incredibly proud to remain Europe’s oldest independent luxury hotel company. This unique heritage and positioning gives us a competitive advantage in an industry facing substantial consolidation. In 2016 I transitioned into my current role leading our hotel operations in the Middle East and Africa, and we opened two stunning properties. The Kempinski Summerland Hotel & Resort Beirut in Lebanon and Kempinski Al Othman Al Khobar in Saudi Arabia - while

planning for additional openings in the pipeline throughout 2017. What have been the key challenges for your hotel group and how have you tackled them? We are operating in a dynamic region where the travel and booking patterns from feeder markets are affected by a rapidly changing landscape. Within this context, bookings are increasingly made at the last minute, making it more challenging to forecast. As an independent luxury operator, with a long-term focus, we are able to work closely with our corporate and leisure partners to gather market intelligence and ensure we react swiftly within these market conditions, which

What are the hotel group’s development goals in the MENA region? We are optimistic about the long-term outlook for luxury hospitality in the region, particularly in growing cities in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait. In Saudi Arabia we currently operate two hotels in Riyadh and Al Khobar, and are planning future developments in Jeddah and Medina. Our aim is to operate luxury hotels in each key city in the GCC and we look forward to opening the Kempinski Hotel Muscat at the end of 2017, while moving forward on new potential projects in Bahrain and Kuwait. Overall we benefit from strong brand recognition for Kempinski across the region, and as we explore new markets in Central Asia, India and China, we expect these feeder markets to support our growing portfolio in the Middle East, particularly in the meetings and events segment. How is technology dictating the way you run your business? Looking ahead, guest intelligence continues to be one our key investment strategies, both at a group level and in the Middle East. In the region, we have enhanced technology to capture and reflect the individual preferences, booking channels and seasonality of guests so that we can personalise their experiences even more effectively. August 2017 HOTEL NEWS ME

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ROUNDTABLE

The challenges of housekeeping Hotel News Middle East invited some of the region’s leading experts on housekeeping to take part in a special roundtable discussion at Kempinski Mall of the Emirates which was sponsored by Guest Supply.

The panel

• Rana Deek Tawaj, executive housekeeper, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates • Deepu Kundra, executive housekeeper, Fairmont Ajman • Sanju Samuel, director of housekeeping, Habtoor Grand • Yvonne Chimbganda, head of housekeeping, Media One Hotel • Lilli Fiirgaard, director of housekeeping, Jebel Ali Golf Resort • Jehane Lafreniere, executive housekeeper, Dukes Dubai • Deepti Ahergupte, director of services, JW Marriott Deira • Sheeja Sasidharan, executive housekeeper, Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek • Chandana Rathnasiri, housekeeping manager, Melia Dubai • Evelyne Raden, director of rooms, Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah • Suman Basu, executive housekeeper, Movenpick JBR • Darshana Chandrasiri, executive housekeeper, Lapita Dubai Parks and Resorts • Laura Zanifrescu, executive housekeeper, Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Waterfront • Jessica Hardinge, executive housekeeper, Fairmont Fujairah Beach Resort • Sonja Allen, hospitality specialist, Guest Supply • Chloe Shine, regional sales manager, Guest Supply

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Some of the region's leading housekeepers took part

How has modern housekeeping changed in recent years? Suman Basu: Housekeeping has changed so much in the last number of years. Now housekeepers are not just seen as part of a basic operation, it is more about luxury and creating that special moment. A lot of your guests are coming from all over the world, they know the market. Everything is on social media, everything is on your phone. You can’t expect anything to go wrong because when it goes wrong it goes straight on social media. We need to understand our guests and make sure we understand them, every day there are new hotels opening up and it mushrooms. We have to be competitive in what we do compared to all the other hotels. That’s a key aspect of housekeeping, it’s about turning each individual into a unique guest. Sanju Samuel: One of the challenges is that housekeepers should be involved in the designing of the hotel. Some hotels do include housekeepers when they ask where the water chute should be or where the pantry should be and so on. Deepu Kundra: The role of a housekeeper has changed so much. We as individuals are involved in design and have seen a lot of growth in our roles, we always try to figure out something to drive revenues. Housekeeping is a career, it is not

The discussion was focused and friendly

just about just checking rooms. Jessica Hardinge: My background is front office, and when we talk about hotels it is the wow factor, it’s not just about cleaning a room and dumping the garbage, it’s about how you can wow the guest, how the scent in the lobby is different than the hotel down the road. One thing I would say is you want

to be a director of rooms, you need to understand housekeeping, you need to know how to speak to guests. The history of housekeepers is they don’t talk, there is an attitude of just putting the head down. Now you need to have an attitude of keeping your head up and smiling, you’re almost a back of house concierge. I am trying to teach the team August 2017 HOTEL NEWS ME

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ROUNDTABLE

2017 is a very exciting year for Guest Supply which is continuing to grow its brand profile worldwide, recently acquiring Gilchrist & Soames in order to further enhance their premium luxury tier offering within the amenities industry. With 25,000 customers in 111 countries and over 30 distribution locations, Guest Supply is the world’s largest and fully integrated supplier of hotel guest amenities, textiles and in-room operational supplies to the hotel industry. This includes supply of such luxury retail brands as Salvatore Ferragamo, La Perla, Korres, Ungaro, Aromatherapy Associates, Cochine, Tara Smith, Acca Kappa, Institut Karite, and many more to major hotel groups around the world through its offices in the UK, USA, Canada, China, Dubai and Asia Pacific. With continued global investment in research and development, Guest Supply is able to remain relevant to its markets due to regionspecific knowledge, in both the luxury and mid- market arena. As an education partner Guest Supply continues to understand the daily challenges faced by the housekeeping department: supply chains transparency, reliability, professionalism and trustworthy partnerships are commitments every reputable supplier should strive to maintain. Guest Supply, providing a full spectrum solution for you and your guest. Tel: +971 4 8808551 Email: orders@guestsupply.ae Website: www.guestsupply.com

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that everything that you do and your team does has everything to do with the success of the hotel. One example is we have a kids’ club and I tell the staff to tell the parents about the room, sell it to them, because you get them out of the room and it gives you a chance to clean that room.The way housekeeping staff have been trained is not that way though. Promote the hotel and services, not just from cleaning perspective. I am sure nobody knows executive housekeepers deals with the floral arrangements and scent, it has everything to do with ambience and the feel of the hotel. It’s all about the emotional intelligence and I don’t think it’s marketed very well, staff need to be trained how to speak to guests like they are in the front of house. Traditionally in hotels everybody has the attitude of I want to be a front of house manager, okay but there are 10 people

applying for each front of house position compared to one at back of house, look at the ratio and think about which is best for growing your career. Darshana Chandrasiri: We are not just inspecting rooms, we are also involved in the admin side, from financial cuts to the hotel to figuring ways to generate revenue, housekeeper as a word has completely changed and there needs to be more education in this area with local colleges and schools. What are the challenges facing housekeepers right now? Rana Deek Tawaj: We have to turn the unhappy guest into a satisfied one before he or she leaves. We have to avoid having complaints. If we don’t take it seriously they could end up writing a scathing review online.


There was plenty to say during the panel

Jessica: It is a fine line because housekeepers are the ones being hit with the complaints, I would always say don’t create monsters. Don’t give everything away for free. Don’t give away a free night just because someone didn’t have a hairdryer in their room for example. I understand that people will ask for more but we shouldn’t be afraid of guests, it is important to be proactive rather than reactive at the end of the day. We’re afraid someone is going to write this or that, we need to say I am willing to give this but not that. By creating monsters we are rewarding bad behaviour. We need to train staff to be proactive and interact with the guests, very easy solutions are available. There is a level of humanity that is missed with guest satisfaction, I think people are afraid, they shouldn’t be afraid, should take the bull by the horns and move forward.

Lilli Fiirgaard: We actually had a guest who complained that it took half an hour after he entered the hotel for someone to bid him welcome and to check him in, we checked the camera and it was six minutes. We take comments very, very seriously. Professional complaining is a big problem, people then say we got an upgrade last time why didn’t I get it this time? Suman: As head of departments we spend a lot of time explaining our findings and justifications for these kind of complaints. Yvonne Chimbganda: The very same guests complain but they keep coming back again. Jessica: In Canada we had a professional complainer who actually wrote a book about to get things for free. The hotels need to put their foot down. It is very difficult as well to get stuff removed

from TripAdvisor too. Last weekend one of my staff members was abused. They were pushed by a guest it was all caught on camera. The guest wrote horrible comments on every available forum that his privacy was interrupted. What happened was that the room attendant had completely followed procedure and just peaked in the room as the guest woke up, who literally copy and pasted comments on every single forum possible. From a social media perspective as well the companies need to also play ball, sometimes it isn’t justifiable what people are saying online, especially when you have footage to back it up and you are trying to support your staff. We try as much as possible to change perception but it’s a real battle sometimes to get these reviews down. Sheeja Sasidharan : I still find Dubai is one of the most expensive places for hoAugust 2017 HOTEL NEWS ME

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ROUNDTABLE

tel room rates, the price of staying here one night can be the same as two nights somewhere else. When the person is coming and putting up all that money it means they have a higher expectation on the service they want to have, people staying in luxury hotels would be from the neighbouring GCC conturies and when they are coming they are spending regardless of the price. You have huge families spending 100,000 to 200,000 AED for the entire time they have stayed and once a problem comes they look at the value of what they have paid. It depends on the kind of guest, but you can be attending to guests walking around with a whole lot of nannies, who are we to tell that guest you can’t do this? There is an expectation from those guests that we have to fall into line with the ‘yes your highness’ service. It has a lot to do with the status quo of the guests we get. What problems still exist in the housekeeping industry? Lilli: The quality of the salespeople that are sent out by companies. Some of them don’t know what they are selling, they can’t give you details, a couple of weeks ago I had a phone call from someone offering to come and ‘evaluate your uniforms free of charge’. I was speechless! These companies should have some form of training. There are so many companies shooting up all over the place. Two days ago I received 1,000 clothes brushes, when I opened them you could immediately smell the chemicals and when I lined them up every piece of wood, on the brushes, was a different colour. I asked purchasing if it was driftwood! Where is the quality control? From the point of order to receive there is something missing. Jessica: I had a company send me their brochure, they told me they were from Korea, I asked them ‘you are from Korea?” They said ‘yes’ and I asked why do you have Chinese on your brochure? It is a waste of time with these amateur companies. Sheeja Sasidharan : Everything is dependent on international input instead of local companies and that is a big challenge. 40

HOTEL NEWS ME August 2017

The panel debate was varied and informative

Evelyn Raden and Virginia Besancon, Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah

What is the future of housekeeping? Sanju: I am currently looking at nanotechnology, imagine a shower that doesn’t have to be scrubbed. That is believe the future of housekeeping, I am doing tests

with suppliers and by the time of the conference I might have some good news! It doesn’t let anything stick to it. Jessica: They use it in Egypt on the old ruins and we are doing tests as well, if I could I would dip the whole hotel in it!


New Opening

The Address has talent Address Boulevard is the latest hotel to come under Emaar’s successful Address banner. Hotel News Middle East speaks to general manager Pascal Dupuis about why the lifestyle city resort is worth checking in to...

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New opening

Pascal Dupuis, general manager

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hen Pascal Dupuis, general manager of Dubai’s newly opened Address Boulevard was selecting his team, he wanted to make sure the candidates had the right personalities to fit in with his vision. Dupuis was not satisfied with a run of the mill series of interviews, he decided there was only way to find the right people – by holding an interview process that included a Britain’s Got Talent style series of auditions. “We didn’t necessarily look for people with a large amount of experience, we did a very different style of interview, for some it was about them presenting themselves through a presentation,” says Dupuis. “It was amazing to see how comfortable they are putting together a presentation and then talking about what you’re good at, what you’ve done, your mentors

and there was one part in particular that I really liked which was your artistic skills, your hidden artistic skills.” The reason Dupuis went to these lengths, he says, was to give potential employees the opportunity to show there was more to them than just their employment history and could provide “something out of the norm and think differently”. “You had to make a presentation or do something like you would do on stage, I had a good time looking at people doing something different from just hotel things,” he says. “I had someone doing carving, they came with an apple, I had someone who came with a poem, I had someone who had an artist who did a drawing. Another one was a magician so he did magician’s tricks. I even had someone who created a song, it was amazing.” He said the need to have team members who could show a creative personAugust 2017 HOTEL NEWS ME

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New opening

Food for thought Like any five-star hotel in Dubai, Address Boulevard prides itself on its culinary offerings – but Dupuis is adamant that his hotel really does have something unique to offer. “Really there is a space for everybody. If you’ve had a busy day you can sit quietly in the study room with your laptop or book,” says Dupuis. “It’s a great destination, we have the Burj Khalifa, we have the pool deck, we have a terrace for the bars, it’s a great dining destination, we have an amazingly talented chef who is passionate about the food and passionate about the products.” Dupuis says that modern travellers are not interested in the traditional buffet style offerings and Address Boulevard has moved to acknowledge that. “The menu is all a la carte, we don’t do buffet here, not even for breakfast, it is really something, it is a great concept, usually when you tell the guest we only have one restaurant the reaction is one of disappointment,” he says. “But when you stay here for five or six days you can sit in different places all the time and have a different experience. It’s a great concept that is really unique that doesn’t exist anywhere else in Dubai.” ality was a key point for a hotel that sells itself on being different. Having the right team in place is key to being able to respond to unexpected challenges that might arise. While the opening of the Address Boulevard went smoothly, like any other project of such a size, it wasn’t without its challenges, as Dupuis explains. “I think the main challenge is definitely time, you really have to stick to a certain phase of construction and any delay will affect a lot of things,” he says. “Marketing is an issue too, because you have to be very careful about when you start your marketing – you don’t want it to be too early as you lose momentum, or if it’s too late you don’t have any at all.” 44

HOTEL NEWS ME August 2017

A room with a view

The Library

Another challenge, explains Dupuis, is planning and getting ready to turn everything on in the hotel for the first time. “It was an amazing buzz to be honest,” he says. “When you look at the initial drawings and you see the reality it’s very, very close. “In terms of architecture and design it is very much there and also in terms of guest experience and service.” So how will the Frenchman measure the success of the hotel? “I think my initial success measurement is definitely guest satisfaction,” he says. “I think we have already done extremely well in the four months after opening just from the feedback we get. Then you also have to measure your financial impact and your investment, those are the two main ones, it is always good to have happy guests and a successful hotel.”

When it comes to management style, Dupuis has a very simple philosophy – to lead by example. “I am very passionate and very open, I would never ask my team to do something that I would never do,” Dupuis says. “It is very hands on, I know everything, I want to know everything, I am very visible and very approachable. The staff know me, they know I will see everything and they know I will know everything one way or another.” Dupuis said it is vital for someone in his position, managing a luxury 72-storey hotel with 196 rooms and 532 serviced residences, in the heart of one of the planet’s most iconic locations, to remain humble. “I started at the bottom and this makes a huge difference,” he says. “One of the greatest qualities of a hotelier is to stay humble because we live in a five-star world, we enjoy beautiful


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the hotel show

INDUSTRY COMMENT:

WHY I ATTEND THE HOTEL SHOW DUBAI F&B and hospitality professionals share their experiences of The Hotel Show Dubai in the run up to the 18th edition of the event, set to take place in September

T

he Hotel Show Dubai – the largest and most comprehensive showcase of everything needed to build, develop or maintain a hotel or restaurant in the Middle East and Africa – is turning 18 this year. As we look forward to its 18th edition at the Dubai World Trade Centre in September, we are reflecting with the industry on their experiences of the event, and its key features, conferences and awards.

We have our Italian restaurant, which is open six days a week. It was on a Monday when the restaurant was closed, I was at The Hotel Show with our PR manager to speak at the conference. At the break, I bumped into five members of staff from the restaurant and it took me by surprise. I was like, ‘guys, what are you doing here? You should be off!’ The outlet manager was there alongside the chef and two waiters. They didn’t have to do this – they should have been at home resting or watching a movie, but their hearts were following our vision of constantly improving ourselves. They went on their days off to go and explore what’s out there, and for me that was really so inspirational, I really appreciated it and it shows that our hoteliers understand the need to innovate. I think there is no better advertisement for the show than that.” Kai Schukowski, general manager, Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square, Vilnius, Lithuania (previously general manager, Kempinski Hotel Ajman – speaking in December 2016)

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the hotel show

The hotel industry keeps changing yet many people think housekeeping is stagnant, which it’s not. It has moved a lot in the last decade in terms of technology and efficiency and how to clean a hotel room. In the past, it was all about just cleaning, but now it’s about engagement with guests and the efficiency of doing things. A few years back it took one hour to clean one room and now it takes about 20 minutes. Based on this, at The Hotel Show I may meet a supplier that provides a machine which can scrub a floor in less than a minute compared to longer in previous years, so it gives us more insight into how we can do things more efficiently and increase productivity which may help the hotel, revenues or ROI which is the important part.” Lakmall Mawella, executive housekeeper, The Address Boulevard Dubai

It was a real pleasure to be invited to speak in the conference at last year’s edition of The Hotel Show Dubai. As in the past years, the event has truly highlighted the latest trends and shifts within our industry and I am looking forward to 2017. I believe the discussions and panels highlight how inspiring competition can be and how much we need to accept change as a constant element in our business life. Critical brands that are able to change the conversation with their well-established target groups will prevail in this environment whereas the cookie cutter standard model is most likely to expire in the coming years. We have changed the way we communicate and the way we describe our experiences and we can be as attractive as we allow ourselves to be. The conversation and current times have shifted the industry more towards attractive brands, attractive offers and how can you attract your guests by being fun, genuine and simply, different than others.” Alexander Schneider, general manager, Nikki Beach Resort and Spa Dubai

“I think one of the great things about this industry is that you have events like the Middle East Hospitality Awards. They play an important role because they are giving back to the professionals that make it what it is, for all of their hard work. You might be an unknown name, but you are being recognised. It's making sure that the time, effort and work you are putting into the hospitality landscape here is being recognised, because it can very much wear off if you are forgotten. This helps provide us with healthy competition and there is nothing wrong with that. That's something I remember from early days and that is what it's all about. It's making sure that we can give back and feed the industry with the belief that yes, we can learn something from this. This could be one of those hospitality awards that are so valuable to hold and share great memories from. This year, there are so many new restaurants, so many other hotels are still being built, but I think 2017 is going to be a big year. There are a lot of talented chefs here in the Middle East and I think one of the wonderful things about the awards is they really showcase just how great hospitality can become here.” Gary Rhodes OBE, Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur

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Gulfhost

Everything you need to know about

G ulf H ost

Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, exhibitions and events management, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) answers all of our questions about the upcoming GulfHost – one of six co-located trade shows taking part at DWTC from 18 – 20 September as part of the first ever Dubai International Hospitality Week What is GulfHost and why is it being launched?

GulfHost is the Gulfood hospitality equipment and food service expo owned and organised by Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). GulfHost is the first dedicated hospitality event of its kind in the Middle East and will take place on 18-20 September 2017 in Dubai. The show comes at a time when the industry is experiencing unprecedented growth across the region. GulfHost forms the cornerstone of Dubai International Hospitality Week, an initiative endorsed by Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM) that comprises six co-located shows to enable the full spectrum of sourcing for every sector of the hospitality industry. These include DWTC’s established trio of niche food events – The Speciality Food Festival, Seafex Middle East and Yummex Middle East – and The Hotel Show and The Leisure Show, owned and organised by DMG Events.

What is the connection between Gulfood, GulfHost and Gulfood Manufacturing?

Now in its third decade, the Gulfood brand continues to support every link in the F&B supply chain thanks to its global connections, geographical advantages and unrivalled aptitude for increasing imports and exports. In line with an evolving marketplace, Gulfood has cultivated a cluster of distinct, complementary food 48

HOTEL NEWS ME August 2017

events hosted at key intervals throughout the year. As the flagship event, Gulfood takes place during a critical phase in the annual world harvest cycle and now trades under eight of the largest F&B commodity markets showcased in dedicated halls. Gulfood Manufacturing responds to the industry’s production, capacity and automation challenges by staging the latest ingredients, processing, packaging and logistical F&B solutions relevant to every line of business. As the need to create unique and memorable guest experiences intensifies, GulfHost is where hospitality trend insight and purchasing will come into its own through the region’s largest ever showcase of restaurant, bar and café solutions in one place.  

Who should visit GulfHost and what can they expect to find?

GulfHost delivers full spectrum solutions for the food services buying community – whether for global hotel chains, caterers, fine dining restaurants, quick service outlets or independent coffee shops, and whether you are the developer, specifier, in procurement, or an owner. It’s a show that provides access to the latest in innovations, products, services and trends to help improve efficiency and maximize profits, whatever the size of the business. GulfHost is an exceptional platform for connecting with industry-leading suppliers from around the world, and visitors are able to pre-schedule on-site meetings through the convenient online meetings

programme. This is an excellent means of securing special deals on new products ahead of your competition.

What are some of the features being showcased at GulfHost?

There are a number of show features that provide additional and exceptional value for the industry. Thanks to our strategic partnership with the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) Dubai, these key events will take place during the show: • Restaurant Development Conference: Powered by ICCA and the Middle East Food Forum (MEFF), the Restaurant Development Conference provides knowledge from over 75 global, regional and local industry speakers on six key topics. These are: innovation, disruption and sustainability; financing; franchising and feasibility; design and branding; operations, training and outsourcing; marketing and growth in digital. • Chef Education: This valuable education and training feature will focus on the “Technology of Tomorrow” and will include certified workshop sessions on cook and chill techniques; sous vide cooking; chemistry smoking food; food cost and waste management; and versatility in the kitchen. The application-focused workshops for chefs will be powered by ICCA – Electrolux Worldchefs Team and supported by over 40 student chefs of the ICCA.


Gulfhost

As the need to create unique and memorable guest experiences intensifies, GulfHost is where hospitality trend insight and purchasing will come into its own through the region’s largest ever showcase of restaurant, bar and café solutions in one place” • GulfHost Innovation Awards: The GulfHost Innovation Awards will recognise the innovators and disruptors championing new techniques, products and technologies within the hospitality industry, and will be judged by an ICCA-curated panel of restaurant consultants and experts. • World Cuisine Summit Chef ’s Corner: This culinary arts platform enables accomplished chefs to showcase their gastronomic and artistic skills, and will provide experiential inspiration for professionals.

What are the key areas of focus and who are the exhibitors at GulfHost?

There are three key areas of focus at the show – back of house, front of house and bar and counter. Back of house exhibitors will be showcasing commercial kitchen equipment, systems and solutions – from ovens to fryers, extraction hoods, smokers, refrigerators, cold-rooms, dishwashers and appliances. Exhibitors include international leaders such as Ali Group, Alto Shaam, Manitowoc, Middleby Corporation, Rio International and TSSC. Front of house encompasses layout, design, finishes, lighting and tableware among other factors, with exhibitors to include RAK Porcelain, A. Ronai, Hatco Corporation and Venus Hotelware. The Bar and Counter area will include coffee machines and accessories and fit-out so-

Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, exhibitions and events management, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)

lutions for cafés and counters. Exhibitors addressing these elements at GulfHost include: Ascaso, Cimbali, Infrico and La Marquise, among others.

How does GulfHost mesh with Seafex Middle East, The Speciality Food Festival and Yummex Middle East, all happening under one roof at the same time?

The shows complement each other well, offering visitors the convenience of sourcing almost every product or service they could need to run their food services business – the scale and scope of the offering under the DIHW umbrella is unprecedented for the region. With seafood such an integral and universal ingredient

on restaurant menus whatever the cuisine, the demand for all aspects of seafood continues to grow. It is also increasingly chosen as a healthy meat alternative and rich protein source. Seafex Middle East serves as a gateway between east and west for sourcing both the most popular and new varieties of seafood in the world. As gourmet fine foods, halal products and organic continue to grow in appeal, so too does interest in The Speciality Food Festival. Meanwhile, Yummex Middle East, organised in partnership with Kölnmesse GmbH, showcases the latest in snacks and confectionery, a sector of the hospitality industry that continues to broaden in scope and scale, as palates, lifestyles and trends continue to evolve. August 2017 HOTEL NEWS ME

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Company profile

Furnishing Excellence Hotel News Middle East puts the spotlight on DFMC, one of the region’s leading suppliers. We spoke to marketing manager Sudarshan Rai about what sets the company apart…

When was your company established?

DFMC, part of AAA Al Moosa Enterprises, was established in 1993 for manufacturing and marketing the King Koil brand of luxury bedding under licence from King Koil, USA. Ever since its inception, DFMC has used marketing acumen and state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities to become the brand leader in the mattress industry in the Middle East. In 2001, DFMC acquired the licence for marketing and manufacturing SERTA products in the Middle East, from SERTA Inc., USA. Serta is the largest mattress company in the world and an ultra-premium brand, which strengthened the position of DFMC as the Mattress Leader in the Middle East. Dubai Furniture Manufacturing Company LLC (DFMC) is a multinational company with its corporate office in Dubai, and has sister companies in other regions including Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain & Oman. DFMC has recently ventured into India and Saudi Arabia and also set up a fully-fledged manufacturing facilities.

What’s the company’s vision and values?

It is our objective to sustain the leadership position in the premium segment of the mattress industry with quality, technology and customer service as the basic foundation to achieve customer satisfaction.

Our mission is to ensure total satisfaction to:

• Customers by providing comfort solutions; • Stakeholders by protecting their interest and providing adequate returns on investment • Employees by providing a conducive working environment for performance enhancement value addition and career progression • Business associates who can take pride for being a part of a growing company wherein partnership and contribution are recognised, valued and appreciated.

What are your core products/ services for the hospitality sector?

DFMC is the leader in the hospitality segment 50

HOTEL NEWS ME August 2017

In NUmbers Annual Turnover: Currently, DFMC has more than 60% share in the premium segment of the spring mattress market and it expects to increase the share and further distance itself from the competition. Number of employees: 250 plus in Dubai Contact details: Sudarshan Rai Marketing Manager Dubai Furniture Manufacturing Co. LLC. Telephone: 04 8853929 E-Mail: sudarshanrai@dfmcllc.ae W: http://www.mattress-leader.com/ in the Middle East and has supplied King Koil / SERTA bedding to all the prestigious Hotel Chains, apart from catering to furnished apartments, villas and palaces.

What new products have you launched in 2017?

An extensive new line of mattress protectors by King Koil featuring the Airy Cool Mattress Protector and Botanic - Tencel Mattress Protector. The Airy Cool Mattress protector features a special quilted 3D design with cooling crystal gel fibres and stretch fabric. It has a 3D tactile surface that allows excellent airflow

while the cooling crystal gel fibres absorb and dissipate heat away from the body to provide a good night’s sleep and provides 100% water proof bottom surface that does not allow liquids to penetrate. The Botanic Tencel fabric Mattress Protector is a sustainable fabric, regenerated from wood cellulose which is similar in hand to rayon and bamboo, both regenerated fabrics. However, Tencel is one of the most environmentally friendly regenerated fabrics, for several reasons. Tencel fibres are grown sustainably and fibres are spun into yarns and then woven into textiles that are soft, absorbent and very strong, resistant to wrinkles and drape well.

What’s your best-seller?

Every product for the hospitality segment is custom made and is unique in its comfort and feel. Most of the four and five-star properties have their own mattress specifications and we develop high quality products adhering to the specifications. We strive to keep launching technologically advanced products that suit the requirements of our customers who are looking for comfortable and durable mattresses.

What makes your company stand out on the market?

DFMC has been operating for more than two decades with its flagship brands Serta and King Koil in the Middle East region. We have maintained number one position in the Middle East with innovation, technology and leadership as the basic foundation. We will continue to aim for stronger presence and increase market share in the premium segment of the mattress industry in the region. With the continued support of our partners, we aim to grow stronger and be able to provide high-quality mattresses and sleep systems to a wider range of customers. Our prestigious clients include: The Palm, Emirates Palace – Kempinski, Fairmont Hotel, Raffles Dubai, One & Only Royal Mirage, Hyatt Regency, Le Meridien, Emirates Towers, Hilton brands and many more.


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Products

The new GROHE flush plates have been released onto the market “Functionality takes top priority in toilet flush plates,” said a spokesperson for suppliers GROHE. In addition, they should look good and blend in smoothly with the overall ambiance of the room. In fact, the best way for a flush plate to add value to the room is by exercising elegant restraint. A particularly aesthetic solution now comes in the form of the new GROHE flush plates, with their small size and flat design.” The plates are available in all shapes, from square to round and lozenge, they ensure a coordinated style by echoing the design language of the manufacturer’s faucets and showers. “GROHE developers have successfully reduced the size of the flush plates to 130mm by 172mm without compromising cistern access or complicating maintenance. This combination of stylish design and excel-

lent functionality is a compelling proposition for interior designers, residents and installers alike,” said the spokesperson. “By adding Skate Cosmopolitan S, Nova

Cosmopolitan S and Arena Cosmopolitan S to its comprehensive range of modern flush plates, GROHE is offering even more options for customised bathroom design. “For optimum harmony with other bathroom fixtures, the new plates are available in chrome, matte chrome, Alpine white and SuperSteel.” Full compatibility with all popular GROHE cisterns means that the new plates can be installed almost anywhere. The plates lock into place using invisible space-saving magnetic holders. This way the plate can easily be detached for maintenance, with access to the cistern remaining unobstructed in spite of the reduced plate format. Economical use of water is ensured by the proven dual flush which uses just the right amount of water to flush the bowl quickly and effectively.

Keeping up appearances for staff

Jannah Housekeepers has created a new look for the company. A spokesperson said the newly launched uniform boasts a lavender theme to represent “cleanliness, beauty and elegance”. 52

HOTEL NEWS ME August 2017

Jannah Housekeepers’ managing director Hamid Khachfani said: “In building Jannah Housekeepers as a brand, our priority is the benefit of, not only our clients, but also our “talents”. “Through our new uniforms, we take

the array of working conditions and environments which our talents are exposed to into perspective. This includes factors such as cultural sensitivities, altering climates as well as their respective health and security.”


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#FNBLEADERS


On the spot

Secret designs of Gen Y girl

Farah Halwani, PR and marketing executive Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Waterfront, reveals all to Hotel News Middle East What's the best thing about your job? The best thing about my job is that it fits my personality; I get to be who I am and do what I love. Being creative and staying trendy, that to me is everything, I never like to repeat the same idea twice. I always want to do something different and something new while staying on trend. And to have a job where I can be both is heaven.

What do you do when you're not working? I would be spending time with my fiancé and if it’s anywhere from a long weekend, up to a week or two, we would be travelling for sure. If not then we would be seeing our closest friends and trying out new restaurants - I personally love food. We never miss out on getting a lot of sun; whether it’s at our pool or going to the beach - a glowing tan is a must!

Tell us something that none of your colleagues know about you? At first I never wanted or even thought about studying hospitality or marketing - my initial plan was to be a graphic designer. Throughout high school I focused on art, and took a bunch of AP Art classes; I’ve got a portfolio of paintings and drawings I’ve done at my parents’ house.

If you could stay in any hotel in the world right now, where would you go? A beautiful all -inclusive resort at any island in the Caribbean; Havana, Bahamas or Jamaica.

What’s your favourite book? I personally don’t like books, I prefer watching movies; I’m a typical Gen Y girl, so it’s all about visuals and social media. But I do enjoy my magazines: like Vogue and Vogue Living, Time Out and Instyle.

What song instantly gets you on the dancefloor? Hips Don’t Lie, Danza Kuduro, Cheerleader, Single Ladies, Crazy In Love, Mambo #5, Blurred Lines, Rockabye, Despacito – that’s more than one but I can’t choose between them, that’s my dancing playlist!

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