UAE, UAE, ABU DHABI - Tourism
CEO, Jannah Hotels & Resorts
Richard Haddad is CEO of Jannah Hotels & Resorts. With over two decades of experience in the hospitality industry, he spearheads the company’s vision from A to Z. He also leads the development of upcoming projects and hotels. Haddad previously held managerial positions across various hotel groups in the Middle East, including Monroe Hotels and Vision Hotels, and was previously director of product development in the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.
How has the hospitality sector performed in the last few years?
The number of hotel offerings in Abu Dhabi has stabilized in the last few years, with the growth in demand exceeding the additional supply in the market. Hence, the industry witnessed a double-digit growth in RevPAR in the upscale hotel submarket. As per STR reports, the market expects further growth in 2020. Main markets such as India, China, the UK, and Russia continue to lead growth, while some secondary markets such as Ukraine, Belgium, and South Korea have witnessed double-digit growth.
How would you place the Jannah Burj Al Sarab hotel within Abu Dhabi’s hospitality sector? What new amenities have been added to the hotel?
Jannah Burj Al Sarab Hotel is an award-winning five-star hotel within the local hospitality sector. It is the flagship of our group, boasting 318 rooms and suites with various ancillary facilities. Our property is considered among the latest sustainable buildings, with main features such as rooftop solar panels and availing the latest in smart energy management solutions.
Could you tell us about how you approach the guest experience at the Jannah Burj Al Sarab? Why do the hotels under your portfolio resonate so well with guests?
Our guest-centric culture is our unique offering. Our talents are dedicated to offering the best service. Over the past year, we have established a strategic partnership with the best international platforms such as TRUSTYOU to monitor guest feedback and continuously work toward improving and rectifying any shortfalls. We managed to maintain a ranking among the top 20 hotels within Abu Dhabi since opening and continuously strive to maintain and improve this status in the last few years.
How does sustainability feature across the Jannah Hotels & Resorts group? Furthermore, how can we drive further sustainability across the hospitality sector?
We strongly believe a major part of sustainability is in the day-to-day practice. We take pride in our commitment to reducing our carbon impact. The implementation plan among our team members in various departments is set with clear KPIs that are reviewed on a monthly basis. Some of our implemented drives include water consumption reduction, paper recycling, single-use plastic reduction, and waste segregation.
What is your assessment of the tourism sector in Abu Dhabi, and can the industry grow? What are some of the ways the sector can work collaboratively to ensure Abu Dhabi differentiates itself in the region?
The Tourism and Culture Authority plays a leading role in the industry growth to the benefit of all sub sectors, including hotels. We work closely with them to ensure we benefit from the new markets and align our packages with the Emirate’s positioning as a leisure and cultural hub, not only a business destination.
What will be the implications of the further adoption of technology across the hospitality industry?
Technology is an ever-evolving component that is affecting most industries including the travel and hospitality industry. We have to continuously invest in this sector to match our more tech-savvy guests. We recently launched a revamped website that offers a multilingual feature and various additions to enhance the content for visitors. Finally, I am pleased to share the Jannah Hotels & Resorts will be opening its sixth property in Dubai later in 2020 by the Creekside. The hotel will be latest addition to our existing properties in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Ras Al Khaimah.