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Breaking Travel News interview: James Hewitson, general manager, Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort

Breaking Travel News interview: James Hewitson, general manager, Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort

Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort is seeking to bring a new level of luxury to the United Arab Emirates.

Here Breaking Travel News speaks to James Hewitson, general manager of the property, to find out what is on offer.

Breaking Travel News: Congratulations on the new opening – how would you describe the mood in the Dubai hospitality sector currently, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Does this investment suggest optimism is returning?

James Hewitson: We are truly fortunate to be working with a brand that is so rapidly progressing in terms of new developments and the Anantara World Islands Resort is certainly no exception.

We give thanks to our owning company ‘Seven Tides International’ for transforming this project into a reality.


Sultan Bin Sulayem’s expertise and visionary leadership spearheaded the rapid expansion of Dubai’s infrastructure, including ports, free zones and the World Islands contributing significantly to the stellar growth trajectory of the United Arab Emirates.

Given that a majority of the UAE’s population are fully vaccinated at a staggering 91 per cent with 100 per cent of its residents having already received a first dose, we are privileged to have residents who are fully equipped to embark on a unique travel journey.

In this light, we are optimistic for the future and in turn welcome guests from across the globe to experience authentic barefoot luxury that just so happens to be a 15-minute speedboat away from Anantara the Palm Dubai Resort.

BTN: What is on offer at Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort – what makes it distinct from the other Anantara hotels in the Middle East and your competitors in Dubai

JH:  Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort is something unlike anything that already exists in the Emirates.

The resort sets itself apart among others due its unique location among many other factors.

We are the first five-star property to debut on the island project and couldn’t be prouder to represent a brand that thrives on authentic luxury.

To access the resort, guests will embark on a 15-minute state-of-the-art luxury speedboat towards a vibrant new property.

Greeted with an enchanting welcome ceremony upon arrival by our smiling team members, travellers’ can truly embrace the Anantara spirit, after being offered refreshing welcome drink, a customary tradition in many of our resorts around the world.

Anantara World Islands Dubai resort combines Maldivian elements with Thai roots.

The straw-covered rooves surrounding the resort are what initially catches the eye, the unique bamboo-clad roof panelling of Grand House also pays homage to is island nature, and lastly the pristine sand surrounding one’s stunning surfaces.

A greenhouse with organic produce will be included as a part of the resort’s movement towards sustainability.

Fresh, fruit, vegetables and herbs will be utilised throughout the dining venues as well as the spa to promote an eco-friendly lifestyle.

The resort also happens to be one of the rare if not, only place where guests can absorb an undisturbed view of the horizon across the ocean.

This place stands out as a location unmatched in the country if not region.

BTN: The location on the World Islands is intriguing – the development fell of the map for a number of years, but it is now ready for a renaissance. What can we expect to see develop there in coming years?

JH: The world islands project has truly come a long way from its initial phases almost two decades ago.

Despite previous delays, these are indeed exciting times, and the hospitality sector remains resilient in spite of current challenges.

With an area encompassing of 300 man-made islands, we can expect to see a surge in boutique resorts opening their doors, along with beach clubs and restaurants to name a few.

Dubai residents will have more options than ever in deciding where to spend their time, and we are very excited to be a part of this.

BTN: Who are you hoping to welcome to the hotel – will the property initially be aimed at domestic guests? What will the key source markets be moving forward?

JH: We are ready to welcome anybody who wishes to experience a unique resort stay that is truly out of this world.

We are expecting to see a number of domestic guests spend short staycations and weekend getaways in a location that almost feels like foreign destination.

In a time when international travel has become a lot more of a challenge, Dubai residents will find solace in an escape that truly feels like a vacation.

Additionally, we expect a number of international visitors who wish to be among the first guests to experience a stay on a man-made marvel.

BTN: How will you be promoting the property over the coming months to let the world know what is on offer there?

JH: We anticipate a number of exciting activations from staycation packages, to bespoke spa packages and unique food and beverage offerings in the near future.

The aim is to drive coverage among key source markets both domestically and across the globe, to do this we will be spearheading our own media exposure in-house, as well as working closely with Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and collaborating with key international media PR contacts, influencers and publications to maximise exposure.

More Information

Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort opened earlier this month.

Find out more on the official website.