At the recently held gala ceremony of the Arabian Travel Awards 2018, Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Middle East and Africa won 11 awards, including ‘Best Business Hotel Brand’ in the Middle East and ‘Best Sales & Marketing Professional’ for its regional director of sales and marketing in the Middle East and Africa region, Alexander Suski.
In an interview with TTN, the sales and marketing professional explains, Millennium Hotels & Resorts MEA’s outlook for this year and the next is to successfully open nine hotel properties in the region before January 2019, whilst ensuring that the RevPAR of the existing hotels remain stable versus 2017. “For 2019, we aim to continue further aggressive expansion as Millennium Hotels & Resorts brand while further establishing our 10 sub brands in the region and globally. This will be done mainly through a stronger strategy within each of the commercial pillars of the company which are sales, digital marketing, public relations and distribution.”
Two new Millennium brands that will be launched soon: Studio M and Millennium Place. “Studio M’s standardised brand design, operational efficiency and lower development costs ensure an affordable price point, whilst its strong design aesthetic and tech –focused nature means that it is aligned with the ‘millennial mindset’ as well as the ‘young at heart’,” says Suski.
Marking the debut of the brand before the close of this year, the Studio M Arabian Plaza is a three-star lifestyle hotel, with a prime location next to Al Qiyadah Metro Station. Featuring 223 rooms and 100 apartments, it is designed for the budget-conscious, self-sufficient and independent minded traveller looking for a chic, urban space with tech-savvy comfort.
“Millennium Place is a contemporary four – star brand that has been developed especially for the region and will be an exciting addition to the city’s rapidly growing mid-scale sector,” he says. As of February this year, the Millennium Place brand had three properties signed within the UAE alone.
Meanwhile, Grand Millennium Business Bay, a 251-key property on Marasi Drive, Business Bay is currently in soft opening phase, with an official opening planned for November 2018. The five-star hotel will cater to a mix of leisure and business travellers, with plans for seven food and beverage venues, 11 fully equipped meeting rooms, a 455 square metre ballroom to accommodate more than 600 guests, spa, health club and swimming pool.
“We have about nine hotel properties based in the UAE that are in the pipeline to open [this year] and around 41 hotels in development. Our focused market as of now includes KSA but we are keeping our interest open for other markets as well such as North Africa and India.”
Meanwhile, Millennium Resort Salalah, a unique modern city resort in Oman’s stunning Southern Dhofar Province, has recently opened. The five-star, 285-key Millennium Resort Salalah marks the fourth property operated by Millennium Hotels and Resorts in Oman. Accommodation comprises elegant rooms and suites, high-end serviced apartments, chalets and villas while facilities include a lazy river wrapped around the exterior of the resort, river pool and gardens, children’s playground and luxury spa complex with freshwater pool and hairdressing salon.
With some 35 hotels in operation within the Middle East and Africa geography, the Millennium Hotels & Resorts brand is now present in Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and UAE.
“Especially with the expansion and increase of properties, travel agents, tour operators or DMC’s have become even more important to us. However, a digital development has occurred in the last few years where online connectivity with this segment has become vital to our industry. The charming B2C travel agencies who care about face to face interaction with clients and therefore require more personal attention have not disappeared but adapted to the new digital age, and we definitely aim to be aligned with them.”
NINE TO GO
ACCORDING to Millennium Hotels and Resorts’s regional director of sales and marketing in the Middle East and Africa region, Alexander Suski, these nine hotels will open in the region by January 2019.• Grand Millennium Business Bay (Dubai)
• Millennium Atria Business (Dubai)
• Studio M Arabian Plaza (Dubai)
• Millennium Place Dubai Marina (Dubai)
• Grand Millennium Resort Tabuk (KSA)
• Millennium Riyadh Olaya (KSA)
• Grand Millennium Konya (Turkey)
• Millennium Makkah Al Naseem (KSA)
• Copthorne Makkah Al Naseem (KSA)