As the opening of the new InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) properties at Dubai Festival City next month draws ever closer, excitement is growing amongst the employees and management who just can’t wait to get their feet in the door.
As the completion date approaches, the reservations have begun coming through, according to a statement from the company.
The developments at Dubai Festival City have been impressive additions to the city skyline, bordering the historic Dubai Creek with constructions of modern beauty. This is the first time these three brands, InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental Residence Suites, will be opened simultaneously in the same location.
And it is the largest project in IHG’s history, according to a company statement. Dieter Franke is Hotel Manager of InterContinental Dubai Festival City, Pascal Eggerstedt the Hotel Manager of Crowne Plaza and Steven Greenwood the Hotel Manager of InterContinental Residence Suites. All three are immensely proud of their brand new, modern and luxurious properties and are itching to unlock their doors for the first time.
The 498-room InterContinental and 316-room Crowne Plaza at Dubai Festival City will directly join the Festival Waterfront Centre, providing guests the facilities of a shopping centre on their doorstep. While also the residents of the mixed-use development Dubai Festival City will be in direct proximity to a range of dining options of a world class standard within walking distance of their homes.
The InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Festival City combines long stay apartments in a prime location of Dubai with the facilities and the world-renowned service InterContinental hotels are known for. Also bordering the creek, the 212 extended-stay apartments at InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Festival City consist of studios, one, two and three bedroom residences.
As well as talented and extremely enthusiastic, the new workforce at InterContinental’s new hotels is a diverse and multicultural team. A worldwide search for the best employees for each role meant that the 1,279 employees are made up of 45 nationalities.
Said area general manager Tom Meyer, who is overseeing all three properties, preparing for the biggest launch of his career, “It is an absolute pleasure to be a part of such a monumental project that InterContinental Hotels Group is about to launch at Dubai Festival City and to lead such a formidable team as this.
“Every measure has been taken to ensure these hotels will add much value to Dubai, in terms of scenic attraction, quality restaurants and impeccable service. InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental Residence Suites will certainly set a new standard for the hospitality industry, and as such is a very humbling experience to be a part of. It simply makes me dizzy to think of what is yet to come!”
The new openings at Dubai Festival City are designed to reflect the maturing and changing demands of the tourism industry in Dubai, which continues to experience exponential growth year-on-year. By 2010, the Dubai Government predicts that more than 15 million tourists will arrive in Dubai compared to approximately five million in 2003. Many of these visitors will be individuals who are combining business with pleasure. To cater for this demand, it is predicted that 70,000 to 80,000 hotel rooms will be needed.
But as the group’s Tom Rowntree believes, it’s not just the luxury brands that need to make the most of this boom. Not all business travellers or tourists will be prepared to pay the prices that commanded by the five-, six- and seven-star hotels, he says: ‘The Holiday Inn Express and other budget hotels will have to soak up the business market and the millions of additional tourists who cannot afford to see the rates we see at the moment.”
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