General Manager, Arjaan by Rotana
General Manager, HAS Hospitality
MARK MCCARTHY There are a variety of reasons why people choose to stay at Arjaan by Rotana. We have a good mix of guests visiting both for business and leisure, and we are very popular with corporate customers visiting nearby offices. We have also seen increased demand from companies that regularly hire people for short-term projects lasting one or two months. We host families visiting Dubai from the GCC area and many other countries looking to stay in a family-friendly environment. We also have guests who keep an apartment here on a long-term basis who work regularly between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. All of our guests, both leisure and corporate, find great comfort staying in serviced apartments where they have all of the hotel services, along with extra space and the freedom to relax, cook, invite friends over—all the comforts one could find in one’s own home.
ROCHELLE LOBO We cater mainly to customers that want to spend a night in Dubai who are looking for a home away from home, coupled with luxury and convenience. We have corporates coming to stay with us as well as companies choosing to use the hotel as guesthouses for their executives. A typical customer looks at metro connectivity; almost all of our properties are close to a metro station. The presence of a mall nearby is also an added advantage, and we offer shuttle service and other auxiliary services, like airport transfers; these are things customers look for. Dubai generally has a specific trend for every season, and people from different countries visit the emirate at different times throughout the year. For example, Eid brings in more of the GCC nationals to Dubai, while the Dubai Shopping Festival brings in a mix. As for the rest of the year, when other parts of the world are getting colder, Europeans and people from East Asia come to Dubai to enjoy the warm weather.
MM Everyone in the industry is anticipating World Expo 2020 and what effects it will have on the hospitality sector. We have already experienced a large increase in hotels, and this is going to continue. Already in 2014, compared to the same time in 2013, the supply of hotel rooms has increased by about 7%. All of these hotels were already in the pipeline before the announcement of the Expo; however, this strong growth trend is now likely to continue at a very rapid pace. Fortunately, Dubai has also shown the ability to increase demand quite effectively through tourism department promotions, growth of Emirates Airline routes, new exhibitions, sporting events, and recreational activities. However, we are now starting to feel the pinch of the additional supply. Our primary strategy has been, and will continue over the coming years, to enhance our services and property to maintain our competitive advantage against all of the new hotels. Our first priority will be to retain our guests.
RL The Expo 2020 provides us with a ray of hope and high expectations. We anticipate an inflow of visitors, looking to participate in the 2020 exhibition. Dubai has become and is becoming one of the central tourist destinations in the world. The luxury sector is going to pick up with the addition of four- and five-star hotels to the portfolio. Beyond the introduction of new properties, our hoteliers are working to give customers much more than just a luxury hotel experience. With the announcement of the Royal Palm and similar prestigious projects, Dubai could easily be referred to as the world’s next luxury hotel destination.
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