With the first anniversary of its opening fast approaching, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers has already carved itself a niche among the leading properties in the Middle East.
Here Breaking Travel News chats with general manager Doris Greif at the World Route Development Forum about what the future has in store for the iconic location.
Breaking Travel News: What can hotel operators such as Jumeirah take away from the World Route Development Forum, which was the week held in Abu Dhabi?
Doris Greif: Abu Dhabi is increasingly becoming an attractive destination option for major international conferences and exhibitions.
This is largely due to city’s central location and increasing ease of international access, its quality of MICE facilities, the ability to conduct and coordinate all event preparations in English, and the excellent quality of hospitality facilities and services.
The hosting of such high profile exhibitions, forums and events benefits hotels, such as the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, as it firstly provides the opportunity for accommodation, food and beverage, and corporate event demand, and secondly, it brings potential new future international business as delegates from around the world get to experience first-hand what Abu Dhabi, and Abu Dhabi hoteliers have to offer.
BTN: Jumeirah at Etihad Towers is playing its part in the aviation sector, preparing to host the International Air Transport Association World Passenger Symposium later this month. Can you tell us a little bit more about that event?
DG: Jumeirah at Etihad Towers is set to host the second International Air Transport Association World Passenger Symposium from October 16th–18th.
It will be the first time for the symposium to be held in the Middle East and as such a great honour to play host.
The event will allow us an excellent opportunity to show first hand to the world’s leading aviation and travel experts what Abu Dhabi and Jumeirah at Etihad Towers has to offer in terms of MICE facilities, hospitality services and destination attractions.
The three-day symposium will be held at the hotel’s Mezzoon Ballroom in the Conference Centre and is promising to be both a productive and enjoyable event for all involved.
BTN: You are coming up to your first anniversary now – having opened in November 2011. What have you learned over the last year, have there been any surprises along the way at the property?
DG: It’s hard to believe that almost a year has gone by. How time flies! From an operational point of view things have been running smoothly and very much accordingly to plan.
In this regard there have been little surprises, but what has been most surprising and welcoming have been the travel industry’s, client’s and guest’s overwhelming support and appreciation for what we have set out to achieve.
The positive response achieved in such a short time has resulted in already the hotel being the recipient of a number of prestigious awards, including the title of World’s Leading New Hotel at the World Travel Awards in 2011.
World class facilities at the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers spa
BTN: You have obviously been doing something right, having been recognised as the United Arab Emirates’ Leading Hotel by the World Travel Awards. How does it feel to have been recognised by such a prestigious institution?
DG: On a day to day basis, my and the whole Jumeirah at Etihad Towers team’s focus is to strive for the provision of personalised excellence in every personal transaction, with each Jumeirah at Etihad Towers experience and for every Jumeirah at Etihad Towers stay.
In each of these moments that occur throughout our day the thought of an award is far from the forefront of our minds, and so to receive such highly regarded accolades really is such a thrill.
It’s nice to know that those moments have been appreciated.
Having since received the awards however, there is also a responsibility both to those that have nominated and awarded us, along with those that rely on the award’s good name to continue living up to, and surpassing ever increasing higher expectations.
As such there is an onuses along with the awards that we have to remain ahead of our and the competition’s game.
This is a continuing challenge that we fully embrace and are confident of fulfilling.
BTN: Looking ahead, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers will also welcome the World Luxury Fashion Week in November. Will the event allow you to reach out to a new clientele?
DG: We are very excited to host the World Luxury Fashion Week, Abu Dhabi from the November 25th– 28th, 2012.
During the event collections from leading luxury fashion brands of the world will be presented to an exclusive and select group of private clients and invited guests, from the Gulf Co-operation Council region.
It is appropriate for Jumeirah at Etihad Towers to play host to this significant fashion event, both in terms of the hotel’s commitment to luxury craftsmanship, design and quality urban lifestyle experiences, but also as part of the Etihad Towers multiplex with its newly opened luxury retail and fashion Avenue at Etihad Towers.
Following the opening of this wonderful venue, which is right on our doorstep, the Etihad Towers is unequivocally the leading luxury fashion and lifestyle destination within the United Arab Emirate’s capital.
While this fact is well known among Abu Dhabi residents, the hosting of such an event will help spread that awareness further afield internationally, and this is naturally a positive thing.
Luxury accommodation at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers
BTN: Having opened the Japanese restaurant Tori No Su recently, is the property completed now? What is next for the hotel, do you have any more surprises up your sleeve in terms of facilities?
DG: Yes, we are extremely happy to say that both Tori No Su, our Japanese epicurean destination of style and taste offering traditional Japanese cuisine, along with Brasserie Angélique, a traditional French brasserie offering classic French home-style à la carte cuisine, combining an authentic French ambience with superb dining and lively metropolitan interaction, both opened this summer.
They have received rave reviews and have been favourably accepted both by guests and Abu Dhabi residents alike.
As you mentioned however, the excitement does continue, as before the end of this year, we will also have three more venues openings.
Firstly the Observation Deck at 300, which is located on Level 74 at 300 metres above the nation’s capital, will offer 360 degree panoramic views from Tower 2 of the Etihad Towers complex.
It will become Abu Dhabi’s highest luxury venue.
Next, BiCE, our new Italian restaurant, will allow one to be mesmerised by the flavours of the Mediterranean.
Rich sauces infused with basil, garlic, olives, tomatoes and fresh cream are paired to a selection of home-style pasta, followed by selection of artisanal cheeses and delectable desserts.
Complementing the experience each time is naturally a selection of the finest international beverages.
Scott’s, located on the beach front, over water, will serve an exciting à la carte menu of culinary delights from plump juicy oysters and fish grilled to perfection, to the best crustacean dishes.
Scott’s hails from the lavish and extremely successful restaurant located in London’s Mayfair area, known worldwide for its impeccable seafood menu.
For the first time ever, this iconic British restaurant will be opening outside of London, within Jumeirah at Etihad Towers.
For more information on Jumeirah at Etihad Towers head over to the official website.