The latest addition to the booming Dubai hotel scene, Conrad Dubai offers discreet modern elegance in the heart of the financial and shopping district where guests can discover superb business and leisure amenities.
Here Breaking Travel News sits down with general manager Andreas Jersabeck to see how the property has been received since its opening late last year.
Breaking Travel News: Dubai remains one of the most competitive hotel markets in the Middle East, if not the world. Can you tell us a little about the property and how you intend to differentiate your offering from competitors?
Andreas Jersabeck: Conrad Dubai is a stylish haven in the heart of cosmopolitan Dubai.
The hotel is five minutes from many of the city’s attractions, including the world’s largest shopping mall, Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, tallest building in the world and the magnificent centrepiece of Downtown Dubai, and Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai’s most prominent convention centre, not to mention a mere ten minutes’ drive from Dubai International Airport.
Offering the global elite traveller a unique and sophisticated experience, the 555-room property is the perfect place to explore one of the world’s favourite luxury cities.
The property’s locally inspired design and tailor-made services help each guest feel connected to their surroundings.
BTN: Stepping back, can you tell our a readers a little about the ideas behind the Conrad brand more generally, and its place in the Hilton Worldwide portfolio?
AJ: Hilton Worldwide is one of the largest hospitality companies in the world, offering ten brands that fits with every lifestyle and occasion from the pinnacle of luxury to comfortable extended-stay suites and affordable focused-service hotels.
Conrad Hotels & Resorts fits into the luxury tier of the group’s portfolio, with Smart Luxury at its core.
Conrad Dubai offers its guests one-of-a-kind experience, smart luxury in contemporary crafted surroundings, intuitive service which is individually tailored, intelligently planned and flawlessly executed, and unrivalled connections to enjoy exclusive access and an opportunity to connect with the local culture.
Dubai’s culture shines through in every aspect of the property, permeating the design, spa and restaurants of this luxurious city retreat.
BTN: Following the economic slump post-2008, Dubai once again seems to be running at full throttle. Do you feel this is a positive time to be opening a luxury hotel in the destination?
AJ: Absolutely! Take Dubai’s recent success in securing the bid to host the Expo 2020, not only is it a truly global platform, but it will inevitably increase both business and inward investment into Dubai.
This creates an opportunity to showcase the city’s strengths with tourism at the forefront.
The hospitality industry will be reinforced with business and leisure travel, and we very much look forward to it.
Our property is a great destination of choice for the smart luxury traveller who wishes to be in the heart of this vibrant city and enjoy the epitome of pleasure and style.
Our location, conveniently nestled in Dubai’s commercial hub on Sheikh Zayed is within close proximity to Dubai’s International Financial and Center and Dubai World Trade Centre, one of the world’s fastest growing airports and world-class shopping destinations.
BTN: From where to you hope to attract guests? Will you be looking to Middle Eastern visitors to fill the rooms, or casting the net further afield, to Europe and North America for example? Will these be predominantly leisure visitors, or will you cater for the business traveller?
AJ: Conrad Dubai is a destination of choice for a new generation of smart luxury travellers for whom life, business and pleasure seamlessly intersect - people who know that the greatest luxury is the luxury of being yourself.
The mix comes from four segments, of which leisure travellers make up 37 per cent, corporate business travellers 26 per cent, mice 25 per cent and the remainder is individual travellers.
The top source markets at the moment are the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, US, South Africa followed by the UK.
BTN: Have the government of Dubai been of assistance to Conrad Dubai? What more could authorities in the United Arab Emirate do to assist the hospitality sector there?
AJ: Just a few weeks ago Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid AlMaktoum, vice president and prime minister and Ruler of Dubai, received Christopher Nassetta, president and chief executive of Hilton Worldwide welcoming him during a recent visit to the Dubai.
During that meeting they discussed the hospitality industry in the UAE, and how Dubai in particular has rightfully taken its place in the global scene as perhaps one of the most dynamic cities in the world with its ambitious projects and unique events.
Of course, it’s worth mentioning Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, as much of the credit in promoting Dubai as a tourism, commerce and leisure hub can be attributed to them.
BTN: Do you feel Dubai is seen as a safe haven for investors at present, given the turmoil seen elsewhere in the Middle East?
AJ: Dubai by nature is a fast moving dynamic city with some of the most ambitious tourism projects.
This has a direct impact on other industries including entertainment, transportation and publishing – just to name a few.
The significance of inbound tourism on the emirate of Dubai has been seen and felt not just in the region, but also globally.
The inflow of visitors to Dubai has been put ahead of China, France, Turkey, Belgium, and Germany by the World Tourism Organisation which is an amazing accomplishment.
BTN: Could you tell us a little about the ownership of the property? Which partners has Hilton worked with on this occasion to bring the property to fruition?
AJ: Conrad Dubai is owned by Private Property Management and is an important addition to their portfolio of world-class developments.
We are excited to showcase the quality of this latest development.