Category Archives: Hotels

Swiss-Belhotel International to unveil new brands and hotels during ATM 2021

Diversifying its market offering, Swiss-Belhotel International will launch two compelling new brands worldwide and two stunning new hotels in the Middle East during the Arabian Travel Market 2021. The new brands, with an innovative approach to hospitality, will join the groups existing suite of 14 distinctive brands providing greater choice to owners and customers. Gavin M. Faull, Chairman, and President of Swiss-Belhotel International said, “Although the crisis is far from over, ATM Dubai is a great way to prepare for the recovery of the hospitality sector. At Swiss-Belhotel International, our business strategy is focused on responsible recovery while delivering value. We are thrilled to unveil our latest upscale lifestyle brands Maua and Bohemia Collection designed to offer inspiring and unique experiences to our guests. These fit perfectly into our extensive portfolio of brands and will give us a tremendous opportunity to leverage our 5-star luxury offering across a wider spectrum of segments and markets for future growth.” As part of Swiss-Belhotel International’s commitment to people’s well-being and the environment, Maua focuses on wellness, peace, and health in exclusive, isolated, and eco-friendly settings; while the Bohemia Collection puts forth a bold statement of being the luxury brand created to cater to an ego that is hungry for a lively, chic and a special experience. Gavin stressed, “Maua’s brand story is built around togetherness, strength of people and nature. The brand name is created from the Maori Culture of New Zealand. Dating back to the 13th century A.D. and taken from Te Reo Maori – the indigenous language of the Maori people, Maua will add a new dimension to the branding of Swiss-Belhotel International. Maua also reflects the heritage of Swiss-Belhotel International …

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TIME to open eight new properties across Middle East and Indian Ocean by 2022

TIME Hotels is all set to reveal its plans to open eight new properties across the Middle East and the Indian Ocean, over the next 18 months. The properties, which will see the growth and launch of existing as well as new TIME Hotel brands to key territories throughout the region, will be unveiled during Arabian Travel Market 2021, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 16-19 May. Mohamed Awadalla, CEO, TIME Hotels, said, “Our pipeline of hotels and residences will meet the demands of the ‘new normal’ – attracting overseas digital nomads and local visitors for staycations, as well as more traditional business and leisure segments by consistently offering a value-driven, high-quality experience across all of our branded properties. “We currently have 14 properties consisting of 1,465 keys in operation across the UAE and wider GCC with new additional properties opening this year in Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. In 2022, we are opening another property and our first hotel in Mauritius, the 120-key TIME Phoenix Hill. “Our goal is to expand our portfolio to 30 properties by 2025,” added Awadalla. “Plans are in place for two floors of this hotel to be reserved exclusively for female travellers, with dedicated services, including: personalised room service, a female-only check-in counter, dedicated ladies-only guest relations, in-house baby-sitting services, and in-room tablets highlighting all of the services offered for women as well as enhanced bathroom amenities in each room,” said Awadalla. During a recent visit to check on the progress of the hotels,  Awadalla commented, “Work is proceeding well at our TIME Marina Hotel and that property should be ready to open in August. As for the TIME …

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Nicolas Huss appointed CEO of Hotelbeds

Hotelbeds’ Executive Chairman, Joan Vilà, after dedicating more than 30 years of his career to driving significant innovation, transformation, and growth, is announcing his decision to move to a non-executive role on the Board of Hotelbeds with immediate effect. Joan had originally planned to step back from the day-to-day running of the company in 2020, but the impact of COVID-19 required him to delay the move to focus on successfully navigating the company through the global crisis. Now, with a strengthened balance sheet and with the company in a good position to capitalise on the recovery once travel demand returns, Joan believes that this is the right time for him to follow his original plan to move to a non-executive role on Hotelbeds’ board. Nicolas Huss, the former CEO of Ingenico and Visa Europe, is an experienced board-level executive and CEO with a very strong reputation in the payments, financial services, and travel industries, where he has led significant growth, transformation and innovation. He brings to Hotelbeds extensive experience in leading technology and digital companies as well as a proven track record for driving organic growth. A French national, Nicolas has a truly international background and has lived and worked in many countries, including Spain where he was previously based for seven years.   Nicolas Huss said: “I’m really looking forward to taking the reins at Hotelbeds, the market leader in its segment. Joan Vilà’s strategic vision and relentless drive to innovate and internationalise has created a wonderful company and a fantastic workforce with a truly dynamic culture. Together with Carlos Muñoz and Andrés García-Tenorio, and the rest of the highly experienced Executive Leadership Team, we are well positioned to …

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Emaar to strengthen its brand in UAE and beyond

At a recent interview with Mark Kirby, Head of Hospitality – Emaar Hospitality Group mentioned that the group will be extending its brand not only in the UAE but also other parts of the Middle East region. He reiterated that the first quarter in 2021 was a good start to the year especially in the luxury market and that they will be opening new properties in Bahrain and Turkey later in the year. Mark Kirby, Head of Hospitality – Emaar Hospitality Group shared, “we saw a very solid first quarter our occupancies were in line with the luxury market. Our average rates are very solid as well and we have seen a lot of suite business about 40% of our rooms’ revenue came from suite business and the luxury market is very much here within the city. We’ve seen April exceptional numbers and also May, we actually opened the month closing the budget within the first three days and that indicates very successful and strong demand for our hotels. As we move into the summer we are working very closely with DTCM on the summer staycation offers and really welcome people to Dubai for some and that is extremely important to them. AS we move out of the summer in to the second half of the year we will be gearing up and getting ready for Expo where Emaar hospitality is the partner. We’ve got a number of openings this year, since the pandemic started opened up 3 beach properties one Address beach, Rove Le mer and the third in the emirate of Umm al Quwain the Vida Umm Al Quwain so that is already a big achievement, as I …

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Four Seasons appoints Marc Speichert as Executive VP and CEO

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts announces the addition of Marc Speichert to its executive leadership team in the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. “Marc is an outstanding marketer and strategic business builder – a digital innovator with a global outlook who understands the evolving needs of the luxury consumer,” says John Davison, President and Chief Executive Officer, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “His experience and vision will be fundamental to the path forward for Four Seasons, driving continued customer growth, revenue and brand recognition.” “Marc’s global experience and marketing acumen are matched by his reputation as an inspiring leader, with a collaborative style that extends through his work and to those he works with. His appreciation for Four Seasons people, culture and values further strengthens our executive team as we continue to extend Four Seasons leadership position worldwide,” continues Davison. Commenting on his new role, Speichert says, “Four Seasons leadership legacy is undisputed in the luxury space. This is a company that continually embraces new opportunities, while remaining focused on its core business principles and unwavering in its commitment to excellence. The opportunity to play a role in the growth of this iconic luxury brand is tremendously exciting. There is unlimited potential ahead and I look forward to collaborating with Four Seasons teams around the world to continue elevating the guest experience and deepening the connection with those who know and love Four Seasons.”

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Hotelbeds confirms Dubai among its top three destinations during pandemic

Ahead of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) taking place in Dubai next month, Hotelbeds, the world’s leading bedbank, has revealed that the prestigious city has consistently been within its top three destinations by room nights sold throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Hotelbeds, despite the crisis, has recovered to pre-COVID volumes, year to date, for the wider UAE as destination. Both early bird bookings and last-minute reservations characterize the majority of the room nights sold. Ali Taheri, Regional Sourcing Director commented, “While the whole of the travel industry has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, it is fantastic news that we can name Dubai as one of our leading destinations during this time, highlighting its enduring magnetism for travellers. “As a region, and as a team, we have been able to maintain high levels of resilience during these unprecedented times and this is due to a number of factors. Firstly, having exposure to a diversified domestic and international client base protected us against the risk of lost volumes in closed corridors and secondly, we benefitted from uninterrupted cash flow while many players were facing systemic cash restrictions. And last but not least, the destructive nature of the pandemic brought out the streetfighter spirit in the team!”  

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Marriott signs St.Regis downtown Dubai expanding luxury portfolio

Marriott International announced it has signed an agreement with RDK Tourism Investment LLC to amplify its luxury presence in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the addition of The St. Regis Downtown Dubai. The signing is expected to further enhance the company’s luxury footprint across the UAE where it currently operates 17 properties and more than 6,000 rooms across seven of its luxury brands. “We are delighted to strengthen our relationship with RDK Tourism Investment with this milestone project,” said Jerome Briet, Chief Development Officer, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International. “St. Regis delivers exquisite experiences and anticipatory service in some of the most desirable locations around the world. With this addition, the brand will arrive at one of the finest addresses in Downtown Dubai, which is home to the city’s most iconic landmarks. The St. Regis Downtown Dubai is set to offer unparalleled luxury, bespoke service and modern glamour for leisure and business travellers alike.” The St. Regis brand continues to expand its renowned global portfolio by adding the highly sought-after address of Downtown Dubai with the anticipated transformation and rebranding of the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai by the end of 2021. The renovation plans are expected to include a residential-inspired sophisticated design of the lobby and the addition of an Astor Ballroom, which speaks to the brand’s focus on hosting iconic celebrations. The renovations will be blended with the hallmarks of St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, including the brand’s celebrated Rituals and signature St. Regis Butler Service. “We look forward to building on our relationship with Marriott International to further expand our hospitality portfolio in the region,” said Rashid Darwish Ahmed Saif Al Ketbi, Chairman of RDK …

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Four Seasons launch hybrid meetings

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is making it easier to bring people together by combining in-person and virtual settings in a reimagined meetings and events offering. Hybrid Meetings by Four Seasons combines creative design with the latest audio-visual technology, and an unwavering commitment to health and safety, to enrich every meeting with human connections wherever in the world attendees may be. Four Seasons has long been a leader in creating unforgettable meetings and events, helping planners create customised, one-of-a-kind experiences that make lasting impressions on attendees. While the meetings and events landscape has changed as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Four Seasons remains more committed than ever to creating innovative and engaging meetings and events. “We have adapted to a world where we are connecting virtually more than ever before. Until we can gather safely again, we are creating ways to combine advanced technologies with a human approach that is distinctly Four Seasons,” says Ben Trodd, Senior Vice President, Sales and Hotel Marketing. “Time apart from colleagues, clients, friends and family has only reinforced the importance of meetings and events and the need to connect in meaningful ways. Hybrid Meetings offer the service excellence, innovation and creativity that Four Seasons is known for, while elevating the safety and care required to bring people together in the current environment.” Trodd continues, “While the format of these meetings and events may look slightly different, our ability to foster deep connections and create exceptional experiences for our clients and guests remains. Each event is brought to life through industry-leading technology, a focus on health and safety through Lead With Care, and by our incredible people who are dedicated to making each …

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Hotel Indigo Dubai downtown partners with Tiktok for emerging young talent

Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown, today announced its creative partnership with the leading short-form video platform, TikTok, with a common goal to promote and set the stage for young talent across the UAE. Starting from 26 April the hotel will be scouting young creatives across the city, from musicians, artists, designers, and dancers, to identify their talents. The shortlisted candidates will then be given an opportunity to showcase their talents via a professionally shot video, at the stunning boutique hotel. Talking about this unique initiative, Laura Eggleton, General Manager of Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown said, “Digital platforms provide incredible opportunities for young talent to get discovered. However, with the vast volume of content being uploaded online it is sometimes difficult for talent to shine. At Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown, along with TikTok, we aim to give emerging young talent the support needed to guide them on their journey as they share their talents, story and make a name for themselves in this competitive market.” Head of Video and Creative at TikTok Middle East, said, “We are proud to announce yet another partnership with a brand that favors the interest and future of rising young talent. At TikTok, we offer our community space where they feel comfortable being themselves and where they can creatively express themselves with spontaneity and authenticity. Through this special partnership with Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown, we are joining forces to offer future rising stars the platform to stand out and shine with their talents.”

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Marriott launches Tahseen leadership programme in Saudi Arabia

Marriott International launched its Tahseen programme for the third year in Saudi Arabia, reinforcing its commitment to developing Saudi Arabia’s future hospitality leaders. Launched in 2018 in partnership with Cornell University, Tahseen aims to fast track the next generation of hospitality leaders in the Middle East. This year’s programme in Saudi Arabia will see 52 candidates join the 12-month curriculum, which will accelerate their development as future leaders in the industry. Francisca Martinez, Chief Human Resources Officer, EMEA for Marriott International said, “We are excited to launch the third year of our Tahseen programme in the Kingdom. Through Tahseen, we remain committed to advancing local talent and providing them with a platform to be able to contribute to the success of the country’s travel and tourism sector. The programme offers great opportunities for candidates to develop the necessary skills and gain the experience needed to succeed in their careers and become future leaders in the hospitality industry.” Abeer Alreefi, who graduated from the Tahseen programme in 2018, has since moved on as a Recruitment Lead for The Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah. Looking back at her experience with the programme, Alreefi commented, “Throughout the programme, I had the opportunity to learn about time management, leadership skills, working under pressure and understanding the value of each department at a hotel. After graduating, I continued to learn and grow and become a better version of myself. I have implemented what I learned during the Tahseen programme throughout projects I managed including ‘Saudi Career Day’ and a recruitment trip outside the country.  Learning and developing throughout the programme with the rest of the Tahseen candidates was an amazing experience. I can’t help but feel proud for …

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