What would be your focus for 2014?
The two properties are new to the market so in the next year, we will work towards consolidating their position. This is a given for most new hotels where the consolidation phase is around two –three years. However, this happens a little faster in Dubai. This year has been a positive year from a hoteliers’ perspective especially from the international market. In 2014, we will build on our achievements of 2013. These two properties also allow us to focus on varied market segmentation. Finally, our advantage is the unique offering wherein we are the only shopping-mall hotel in this part of town.
Which would be your key markets in terms of guest segmentation?
We have seen positive numbers from GCC, Russia, China, Germany and Poland. This would be particularly for groups. However, for the FIT segment it would be a good global mix. We are extremely cosmopolitan like Dubai as a city. The Indian business is also important to us and we know how to serve this community. From the regional perspective, Saudi is a big market for us. This is followed by Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman.
Do you see yourself tapping into new markets?
We are looking at markets such as South America, Africa and China.
Do you see the location as a challenge?
We do not feel the location is a challenge. Deira has a very unique and important part of Dubai. It has its own busy business district around the property. The location advantage is that the property is close to the airport and metro stations which give guests easy access to most tourist spots.
What is your percentage of leisure versus business?
Business related guests are 40% while travel and leisure would be around 60%. We do see it a shift more towards corporate-related business.
What do you feel would be the effect of the Expo2020 win on Dubai?
By next September, we would be witnessing positive developments in Dubai. There would be additional corporate business coming into the city. Some head offices would move into the city too. The win will change the way business works in the region.
Do you see any challenges being a non-alcoholic property?
No. We do see it as a challenge rather it is an opportunity for us. We feel being located in Deira too is very advantageous.
Do you see any new services being introduced to further lure the business segment?
We are working hard on fine-tuning our service offerings. The property talks about itself. However, in future, we would look at having a ladies floor but this is plan and yet to be worked upon. Our marketing team is very active in the local and international arenas too. We would look at more brand awareness in Saudi Arabia. Our property works well with our Saudi visitors. We will be working on a quarterly promotions focusing on a seasonal offerings. There would be four concepts for our food and beverage as well as the Spa. This would be a complete package rather than just individual products.