TIARA Hotels & Resorts brings a new mantra to the business: thought luxury instead of bought luxury.
With the brand set to open its first property on The Palm Jumeirah late next year, SHALU CHANDRAN sits down with CEO Danny Hadad to find out how the brand wants to change the industry. Excerpts”
What can we expect from Tiara as a new brand?
The entire industry will see a new product focused on individual needs that is aimed at a new consumer who looks at luxury at a different scale and level. Our focus is to offer a guest-centric product that covers all his needs, from the minute they contact the hotel until after they check out. That is why we say it is well-rounded.
Who are your target source markets?
We will appeal to the high-end markets from the Middle East as well as to European travellers. We are not constricting ourselves to one market, and will target both leisure and business segments. Beyond the region, we are targeting luxury travellers looking for a different level of luxury, luxury that means quality of service rather than just an opulent lobby or the five-star rating.
But how does your thought luxury differentiate the brand?
Our approach begins in the way we are represented through various channels, even before our guests join us in these properties.
Luxury is perceived differently by every individual, in fact it is a word that is overused in our industry today, especially in the Arab hospitality industry, and it is perceived differently by different individuals. There is a new consumer that is moving towards the understated rather than the opulent and all our properties will be focussed on this understatement.
With luxury, everyone talks more about design and less about functionality. The biggest challenge today is to ensure a balance of functionality, and this is what we are focussed on.
What are your future plans for this region? Are you looking at expanding your portfolio into Europe or Asia?
We are in the process of creating a strategic plan to look at new developments in the region as well as in markets like Europe and Asia.
We would like to be present in key gateway cities like Singapore and Hong Kong. China and Thailand are also great markets with immense potential, especially with their connectivity to the Middle East and this will be an added advantage.
As a new brand, what are the biggest challenges that lie ahead of you?
Our challenge is setting up a new brand as well as building new hotels. Our advantage is that since we have started from scratch, we can develop our hotels to reflect our brand in the way we want.
At this stage, our biggest challenge is recruitment. What will make Tiara a success is not the interior design, it is really the people who work with and represent us.
What are your offerings for travel agents and tour operators from this region?
Tour operators are very important for us. Tiara will be represented in several ways including strategic partnerships with all major tour operators. Just like our training programs for our staff, we will also reach out to our vendors with training programs to educate them about the brand and what we stand for.
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