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Personalised service at The Address

Dardenne

The Address, Downtown Burj Dubai opens this month. SHALU CHANDRAN spoke to Marc Dardenne, chief executive officer, Emaar Hospitality Group

 

What kind of presence will The Address have here in Dubai?

The first and flagship property for The Address Hotels & Resorts is The Address, Downtown Burj Dubai. To follow later are The Address, Dubai Mall and The Address, Dubai Marina. 

The Address Hotels & Resorts have also recently assumed management of The Palace, The Old Town bringing our portfolio of Address properties in Dubai to a total of four by 2009. Future plans include further properties in Dubai as well as internationally.

 

How many rooms will the properties add to the current room inventory in Dubai?

The newest property has 196 rooms and suites. When Dubai Mall property is completed, it will bring an additional 245 rooms and the Dubai Marina property will bring 200 rooms. Added to this are 242 guest rooms at The Palace, The Old Town. Once everything comes on line The Address Hotels & Resorts will have 883 rooms in Dubai. This brings an additional 641 new guest rooms to the current room inventory in Dubai. 

 

How much has the company invested in the region?

The Address Hotels & Resorts is part of Emaar Hospitality Group’s portfolio of total assets valued at$1 billion (Dh3.67 billion). 

 

What will be the USP of the brand? How different will it be from the existing brands in the UAE?

We have a philosophy to cater to the individual needs of the guest and really personalise their experience. This is done by keeping records of their preferences and being flexible.

The three key differentiating factors are location, benefits and service. The primary processes involved in hospitality are kept luxurious but simple, subtle and authentic. Guest integrity is assured by providing a warm, personable voice that greets all enquiries and a 100 per cent guarantee on a call-back within an hour.

At The Address Hotels & Resorts, guests staying in the suites or executive rooms have the option of keeping their room for up to 24 hours without having to follow the traditional and established check-out time of 12 noon. 

 

What have been the major challenges faced with the opening of a new brand?

Creating a new hotel brand from scratch is one of the biggest challenges for hospitality professionals, but it is also one of the biggest opportunities. The Address was launched following intense discussions on identifying the ‘white space’ in the market, which is where we built our niche. Finding that “niche/ white space” in an already overcrowded luxury five star market, was a big challenge, but once it was defined it helped us create a great opportunity to provide guests with services they could still aspire to have.

Another challenge in the hospitality industry is in recruiting a strong team of professionals.

 

After Cairo, are there plans to announce new projects else where in the region?

Emaar Hospitality Group plans to unveil more properties under the brand name The Address Hotels & Resorts in key gateway cities and tourist destinations in the Middle East and North Africa region, the Indian Subcontinent, Asia, Europe and America within the next 10 years. At these potential locations, Emaar already has a significant footprint through mixed use developments in central and strategic locales.

 

What are the opening rates and occupancy levels for the first year?

At The Address, Downtown Burj Dubai we are offering a preferential opening rate of Dh1,240 per room per night from October 1 to 31, 2008. This is a premium five star hotel and is rated by the services offered, with a focus on the quality of these services provided. Our occupancies in the first year will be in line with the occupancies of the five star hotels located along Sheikh Zayed Road.

 

How will The Palace, The Old Town, fit into the brand’s identity?

The current branding of The Palace, The Old Town will continue while The Address Hotels & Resorts will manage all operational aspects of the hotel.  By integrating the hotel under The Address umbrella, as a separate collection, we aim to achieve service and operational consistency and efficiency, while enhancing the overall value offering of the hotel group. The Palace Hotel offers visitors in Dubai a taste of true Arabesque old world charm while the upcoming Address Hotels essentially are very modern and contemporary; thus the two products complement each other offering our guests the option of choosing their experience which is what the brand philosophy is all about.

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