Fairmont seeks pan-Arab image

The Fairmont Dubai ... the new landmark on Shaikh Zayed Road.

The Fairmont Dubai, the hosted buyer hotel for ATM 2002, aims to consolidate the success of its first three months while building its brand presence in the pan-Arab market.

ATM also provides an opportunity to increase awareness of the hotel at an international level, said Stephen Banks, regional director of sales & marketing, The Fairmont Dubai.

"We will be taking this valuable opportunity to concentrate on trade relationship building, media relationship building, and achieving a greater spread of brand awareness as well as getting buyers and media contacts physically into the hotel to experience the product first hand," said Banks.

He said that as seen from the hotel's guest profiles, inter-regional travel accounted for at least 50 per cent of its current occupancy.

Banks said that The Fairmont had several different aims as the ATM's hosted buyer hotel including establishing the Fairmont name, familiarising the regional and visiting international travel trade with the hotel, and establishing the hotel in the local community.

"While we have already achieved significant success in all these areas, we see prominent activity throughout ATM is critical," he said.

"Relationship-building within the travel sector has always been important to us.

"In our pre-opening period, we hosted more than 150 senior travel trade personnel from the GCC to introduce the property and its facilities, and this has raised our visibility by building strong partnerships for us in one of our premier source markets.

"ATM again provides us with an opportunity to accommodate key VIP hosted buyers and international and regional media and enable them to gain first-hand experience of facilities such as The Exchange business floor, the 40,000 sq ft Willow Stream spa and health club and our 224-seat auditorium."

Banks said ATM continued to be the ideal vehicle for showcasing the region and the feedback was increasingly positive from both buyers and exhibitors.

"Regional developments are always well promoted specifically for the in- and out-bound travel sectors. With increasing interest in MICE travel to the region, we are keen to focus on this particular segment as well as hyping Arabia as a destination, which runs in tandem," he said.

Highlighting the bright potential of tourism growth in the region, The Fairmont's vice president and general manager, Michael Kaile, praised the regional governments for their promotional initiatives for their own destinations as well as the promotion of a unified Arabia brand.

"The future looks bright, backed up by the news that the World Travel Organisation still earmarks this region as one of key growth areas for international travel, with destinations such as Dubai and Bahrain showing that in-bound travel continues to grow," said Kaile.

He said Fairmont saw the region "as one with significant potential in all sectors, from commerce and IT, to tourism and the MICE industry".

Commenting on the competition in the Dubai hotel sector, Kaile said it was vital that competition remained healthy and not focused on price alone.

"We have to stop looking at our neighbours and look outwards to promote Dubai as a destination - we cannot compete by taking guests away from other hotels, but have to link arms with them to sell Dubai to the world," said Kaile.

The Fairmont also said it is working Dubai's tourism authorities on this year's Summer Surprises programme, which will boost the leaner summer months.

The 394-room hotel has become a major landmark with its windtower exterior on Dubai's Shaikh Zayed Road.

Easily accessible from all directions, the hotel is situated directly opposite the World Trade Centre, with pedestrian access provided by The Fairmont Walkway, the first such covered overhead crossing of its kind.

It is just 20 minutes from the Dubai International Airport and in the opposing direction, Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City are within 20 minutes drive.

The 34-storey property comprises extensive business and leisure facilities - including 128 luxurious suites as well as its premium Fairmont Gold 'hotel within a hotel'; 12 dining and entertainment venues, a 40,000 sq ft spa & health club with gym, aerobics room, treatment rooms, saunas & Jacuzzis; and two terrace sundecks each with a hand-crafted mosaic-lined pool.

All its outlets - restaurants, leisure, and guest rooms - are fully operational now except for two projects which remain in work: The Cafe Pronto cafŽ-deli, targeted primarily at office and apartment residents as well as the local area; and the club.