The Business Year

Mikel Ibrahim

General Manager, Mondrian Doha

Sheikh Mohamed Nasser

Chairman & Owner, Sapphire Plaza Hotel

The upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 will give hotels a great opportunity to showcase their luxury offerings and Arabian hospitality to guests and entice them to return to Qatar again and again.
What differentiates your destination?

Mikel Ibrahim We have worked hard to raise great awareness in the city because it is the first Mondrian in the Middle East, and it is a flagship for the brand in Doha and the Middle East. We wanted to redefine the meaning of lifestyle in the region. We sought to continue the meaning of the brand, from nightlife—which is where everything started from—to entertainment, food and beverage, and the rooms. The journey of this hotel was designed by Marcel Wanders and is a blend of the East and West. It has an Alice in Wonderland feeling that makes guests feel that anything is possible, from the staircase to the lobby. We also want these expectations to be realized, not only from a design perspective, but also throughout guests’ journeys. We complement this with our offerings, which is extremely challenging in this market. We need to maintain momentum all the time and be consistent, from parties and DJs, to celebrities, menus, amenities, and packages to constantly wow our guests. The surprise element is something that we are always working on. This is how it all started; without looking at the competition, we wanted to be at the forefront. The success of this hotel lies in how one identifies the vibes of the Mondrian and its different approach.

Sheikh Mohamed Nasser Sapphire Plaza Hotel is in the middle of Doha; it is near almost everything in Doha. We have one of the largest lobbies in Doha among four-star hotels. The inspiration comes from a combination of Andalusian and modern hotels. Guests can find an Andalusian style in our lobby and a modern style in the rooms. Our vision is to provide our guests with a five-star experience, from service to technology. In addition, safety and security is our top priority. We understand that five-star hotels can be expensive for some people and not everyone can afford to stay in a five-star hotel. Sapphire Plaza Hotel provides five-star services with an affordable four-star room rates.

Mondrian Doha has partnered with Fire Station to collaborate for an Artists in Residence program. How does this cultural initiative support local Qatari artists and provide them with a platform?

Mikel Ibrahim We want to encourage a community footprint, where we have initiatives to encourage new artists to display their work. This exposure is one of the best things we have done in the last year. We have been able to bring a different vibe to the hotel, and we are part of exposing this beautiful work to the world. This is important for us. There is another initiative we are working on to drive collaborations with local initiatives, and there are others coming as well.

Qatar is on the verge of more tourist traffic as getting ready for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. How will Sapphire Plaza Hotel advantage from this event?

Sheikh Mohamed Nasser We are extremely pleased and honored to have FIFA World Cup in Qatar. It will be the first time it is held in the Middle East. We are aiming to present services and experience for our guests to enjoy the World Cup and Doha in a complete package. This is what we want: a strong brand by services, not by name.

What other advantages does the World Cup bring?

Mikel Ibrahim We are working on satisfying the locals and all the expats with different offerings. October 2022 will be our fifth-year anniversary, and we have a new campaign called “A New You.” After two years of COVID-19, we want people to appreciate the smaller details and blessings in their life. We have emerged as a new person who is motivated, excited, and driven. This is why everything you want to see as coming up is under the slogan “A New You.”

Sheikh Mohamed Nasser Personally, the World Cup will give us the opportunity to offer a new experience to us. This will be a major event, one of the largest events in the world. The event will give us an opportunity to be well known and will have a huge responsibility to maintain the same success and aim for more.



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