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Breaking Travel News interview: Kai Winkler, general manager, Fairmont the Palm

Breaking Travel News interview: Kai Winkler, general manager, Fairmont the Palm

A luxury beachfront resort with unrivalled views over the Arabian Gulf and glittering Dubai Marina skyline, Fairmont the Palm takes pride of place on the iconic Palm Jumeirah.

Here Breaking Travel News chats with Kai Winkler, recently appointed general manager of the hotel, to discover how it will evolve under his leadership.

Breaking Travel News: Congratulations on your appointment as general manager Fairmont The Palm – what are your aspirations for this prestigious property?


Kai Winkler: Thank you, Fairmont the Palm has been one of Fairmont brand’s flagship property and the resort has been pioneering new initiatives in the recent past, namely it’s wellness concept, Fairmont Fit and its focus on being a dining destination with its myriad of unique restaurant outlets.

Most certainly my aspiration is to enhance the already popular image of Fairmont the Palm and turn it into the most happening place in Palm Jumeirah.

BTN: The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai is one of the most iconic hospitality destinations in the world, and home to a number of leading resorts. What does the Fairmont bring that is unique to the location?

KW: Fairmont the Palm is the perfect luxurious family resort that offers lavish rooms and suites suffused with contemporary elegance along with authentic Arabic elements overlooking the Arabian Gulf and the Dubai Marina Skyline.

Guests can celebrate the finest flavours with a choice of ten award winning world-class restaurants and lounges ranging from the Indian to the Brazilian and from the Mediterranean to the Asian cuisines.

The resort’s Fairmont Falcons Kids’ Club, the tranquil Willow Stream Spa and its state-of-the-art health club all contribute to the resort’s Fairmont Fit wellbeing concept.

BTN: Is this an auspicious time to be taking on leadership of a new luxury hotel in Dubai? There have been reports of oversupply at the top end of the market and consequent falling prices; has this been your experience?

KW: The resort has been in the market for seven years and is therefore well positioned.

With the integration of our new beach and restaurant projects to come I see us continuing our leading role in the market, despite the increase in supply.

BTN: Saudi Arabia, the UK and India are among the most importance source markets for Dubai – is this reflected among your guests? How would you describe occupancy at the hotel in mid-2019?

KW: Our resort is running on high occupancy levels dominated by UK, Germany and Russia.

Consequently, to the brand’s heritage from North America, US is a key feeder market for us as well.

BTN: A lot of focus has been placed on Expo 2020 next autumn – will this have a positive, even transformative, impact on the United Arab Emirates hotel sector?

KW: Expo will certainly bring additional demand into both Dubai and the GCC.

This will give us further exposure and even further increased awareness worldwide.

More Information

Fairmont The Palm is an idyllic five-star resort situated on Dubai’s most sought-after island community, Palm Jumeirah.

Find out more on the official website.