Having completed a sometimes-arduous transition away from the Viceroy brand, Five Palm Jumeirah has become one of the hottest properties in Dubai.
Here Breaking Travel News chats with Aloki Batra, chief executive of Five Hotels, to find out more about his ambitions for this one-of-a-kind property
Breaking Travel News: How important is ITB Berlin to meet with your partners here in Europe – does this remain an important source market for you?
Aloki Batra: ITB Berlin is one of the largest and best represented trade shows, which is why it was important for Five Palm Jumeirah to participate.
The show provides us with a platform to meet everyone in three days, which is an efficient way to meet industry colleagues.
It also allows us to engage with all of our existing partners as well as meet with potential new business partners.
Europe represents around 70 per cent of Five Palm Jumeirah’s source market as we have a product tailored to their tastes and needs.
ITB not only gives us with the opportunity to build on this important source market for our both our existing property but also for our upcoming hotel, Five Jumeirah Village, which will open in August.
BTN: What does Five Palm Jumeirah’s bring to the destination – a very competitive part of the Dubai hospitality market?
AB: It’s simple but unique – Five Palm Jumeirah is glamourous, fun and has lots of energy.
I don’t believe we have any competition on the Palm, Dubai or from lots of hotels around the world.
Not only is the property beautifully designed, it offers a vibe like no other.
The numbers speak for themselves: last year our average occupancy was 89 per cent compared to an average occupancy of around 78% per cent for the rest of Dubai.
Year to date, we are averaging 95 per cent.
A lot of our guests have returned to the property because of our Five Life loyalty programme, which we launched in October.
We now have 16,000 members - with an average of 43 members per room.
The global average for hospitality loyalty programmes is between 55 and 100 members per room so when you consider we only operate one property at the moment, we’re really proud of what we have achieved so far.
BTN: Who have you been welcoming to the hotel – we are here in Germany, but also a big push for guests from Russia and China?
AB: Continental Europe, which comprises the UK, France and Germany, is our strongest source market and one we will continue to push aggressively.
I don’t believe in following conventional business theories of attacking weak markets to grow stronger.
If you enter a strong market, you need to cater to the needs of that market even more effectively.
It is about playing your strengths instead of overcoming your weaknesses.
At Five Palm Jumeirah we focus on our strengths and work towards becoming the number one in the market we are good at.
BTN: How would you describe the market for hospitality in Dubai in 2019 – is this a positive time for the emirate?
AB: I always say: it’s not ‘Why Dubai?’ – it’s ‘When Dubai?’.
Dubai is a great tourism market and will only continue to grow.
I think the hospitality industry in general had it much easier when there was less supply in the market and it is only now, there is true competition.
I welcome competition.
I think it’s great for customers and if customers are happy, it’s better for Dubai in the long run.
Expo 2020 is just around the corner – is this playing a big role in the hospitality sector?
AB: Expo 2020 is bringing a tremendous amount of interest to Dubai.
We are looking forward to welcoming ‘Dubai first-timers’ who will be converted into repeat tourists.
Our new property Five Jumeirah Village Dubai is located 15 minutes away from the exhibition ground, so we will see a positive impact of Expo 2020 on our business.
Expo serves its purpose in launching Dubai as a global business partner; which it has already been for a long time just under the radar, and now it’s showcasing its full beauty to the whole of the world.
Dubbed the hottest hotel on Palm Jumeirah, Five Palm Jumeirah is a dare-to-be-different hotel that captures the glamour and vibe of Dubai.
Set against a breath-taking backdrop of the beach and Dubai Marina skyline, the lifestyle hotel boasts 470 luxurious rooms and suites with ocean or city views.
The resort is a party and culinary hot spot with a range of restaurants, bars and a nightclub, making it a must visit destination for holidaymakers and Dubai residents.
Find out more on the official website.