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Mafraq capitalises on new accommodation sector
March 2006 164

IN a market flooded with five-star offerings, Mafraq Hotel has found solid footing in the UAE’s growing four-star market by promoting appealing infrastructure, personalised service and competitive rates.

The 120-room hotel meets the demands of the practical traveller and, according to general manager Khaldoun Habach, more tourists prefer the understated luxury that a four-star hotel provides. “We offer a full-service resort atmosphere with added extras such as close proximity to popular golf courses, shopping malls and beaches – and we are only 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi’s city centre and one hour from Dubai,” he says.
Positioning the hotel to capture the four-star market, Habach has seen a dramatic shift in the marketing mix at Mafraq over the past year. Moving from a hotel that once was used primarily for airline crew stopovers, the property now services the meetings market during the week and family getaways on the weekend, in addition to holidaymakers staying a week at a time during the high season.
Ensuring an international standard of comfort and quality, Mafraq boasts a range of indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, including access to a mini football field, volleyball court and flood-lit tennis courts as well as the modern indoor leisure facilities with 2 squash courts, a badminton court, a full gymnasium, billiards and table tennis. 
The Fitness Zone encourages guests to unwind after a busy day with a sauna, massage shower, steam room and Jacuzzi.
“With the vast majority of hotels flying a five-star banner in the region, it can be easy to overlook this niche market of four-star products.  With exceptional recreational facilities, spacious rooms and attentive service, Mafraq makes an excellent base for any holiday to the UAE,” says Habach.
Guest rooms and suites are tastefully decorated and have views overlooking the pool and garden area. Each room has a TV with satellite channels and a refreshment centre. Suites can double for entertainment with inter-connecting rooms for families who want more space.
Oasis restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, both buffet and a la carte, with special mid-week themed buffets in the evening and a weekend Friday Brunch. Mafraq Hotel also has Hunter’s Pub, a traditional English pub with live entertainment, the Sahara pool bar, a Terrace Café overlooking the pool and serving shisha and light snacks, the quiet [email protected] for internet enthusiasts.
The hotel turns business into pleasure with its conference facilities featuring three banquet and meeting rooms. Audio-visual equipment is readily available and a business centre located in the lobby takes care of any last minute needs for faxing, photocopying, English/Arabic secretarial services and mobile and laptop rental.
Add in baby sitting, same-day laundry and dry cleaning, car rental, excursions and safari bookings and a barber shop for that quick trim, and Mafraq Hotel becomes the ideal getaway without giving up quality service and amenities.
Habach looks forward to seeing the four-star brands grow in the Middle East over the next several years.  With the Abu Dhabi region alone aiming to increase visitor numbers by four times in the next decade, he predicts a booming business for Mafraq. 
“Mafraq Hotel has a finger on the pulse of the growing tourism industry in Arabia and will continue to capitalise on that secondary market so often forgotten,” says Habach.




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