Breaking Travel News

Breaking Travel News interview: Azar Saliba, general manager, Jumeirah Al Naseem

Breaking Travel News interview: Azar Saliba, general manager, Jumeirah Al Naseem Azar Saliba, general manager, Jumeirah Al Naseem

Breaking Travel News: How would you describe the mood in Dubai tourism as we approach the key summer season?

Azar Saliba: 2023 has been off to a great start for Dubai, with the emirate welcoming 3.1 million overnight visitors in the first two months of 2023 – almost on par with 2019 figures. We are definitely seeing this reflected across Jumeirah beachfront hotels including Jumeirah Al Naseem, where we have experienced periods of close to 100 per cent occupancy.
As we move into the summer period, we have a great programme of promotions and offers for Jumeirah Al Naseem including our Summer Escapes and staycations offers. We also enjoy consistently strong performance across our award-winning food and beverage outlets, such as KAYTO, Rockfish and our hugely popular Summersault Beach Club. So overall I would say we are in a good position and expect the optimistic perception to continue as we move into the summer.

BTN: Has the demographic composition of inbound guests arriving in the emirate changed over the past two-or-three years?
AS: At Jumeirah Al Naseem we have always enjoyed strong visitor numbers from the GCC market, and this was particularly true following the initial period following the easing of travel restrictions in the region. As international travel resumed, we saw momentum build from our traditional international markets, in particular Europe.

The reopening of China for international tourism is a promising development for the hospitality industry in Dubai, and indeed worldwide, and we expect to witness robust growth across the sector from this market as 2023 progresses.

BTN: This is the thirtieth anniversary of Arabian Travel Market – how will the Dubai-based Jumeirah delegation be contributing to the celebrations?

AS: Jumeirah has had a distinct impact on Dubai’s hospitality market over the past two decades, and the group is actually currently celebrating its 25th anniversary since the opening of its first resort, Jumeirah Beach hotel in 1997.

So, we feel we have grown alongside Arabian Travel Market! We will, of course, be celebrating with our famous The Party, the must-attend event for our partners in the ATM calendar.

BTN: How has tourism in Dubai tourism developed over the past three decades – and how important is the sector today?

AS: Tourism and hospitality have been a key driver of Dubai’s growth over the past 30 years. Dubai is now the world’s busiest international airport and the UAE’s tourism revenue accounted for over $5 billion in the first half of 2022 alone, according to figures release by the government.

This astronomical growth is set to continue under the ambitious United Arab Emirates’ Tourism Strategy 2031, which aims to attract $27.2 billion as additional tourism investments and 40 million hotel guests by 2031.

As the original, homegrown hospitality group in the UAE, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts has played an integral part in the development of Dubai’s tourism sector, and we look forward to being among the key players contributing to the continued growth of the local hospitality industry for the next 30 plus years.

BTN: Can you tell me about the property you lead - Jumeirah Al Naseem – this is one of the best beach locations in the emirate?

AS: Jumeirah Al Naseem is one of the four hotels in Jumeirah Group’s Madinat Jumeirah cluster. Meaning sea breeze in Arabic, Jumeirah Al Naseem, is a cool and contemporary beachside retreat offering world-class dining and comfort in spectacular surroundings. We have arguably one of the best locations in Dubai, nestled along Jumeirah’s unparalleled 2.5 kilometres of pristine, private beachfront set against the backdrop of spectacular views of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, which can be enjoyed from most of the guest rooms, pool and terraces.

Apart from providing guests service beyond expectations and signature dining experiences, the resort is also committed to preserving wildlife, which it does through the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP). The resort is home to Dubai’s only state-of-the-art Turtle Rehabilitation Sanctuary including a sea-fed lagoon that monitors the progress and condition of rescued sea turtles before releasing them back into UAE waters. Run by DTRP, the resort plays a key role in the conservation of sea turtles and hosts regular workshops educating communities and guests on marine biology and the local and global plight of sea turtles.

BTN: The property took the title of World’s Leading Hotel at the World Travel Awards last year – how important are accolades such as those to the success of the property?

AS: At Jumeirah Al Naseem we are continuously innovating and enriching our offering to provide guests with exceptional experiences, so it was a real honour to be named the World’s Leading Hotel at the World Travel Awards 2022 in recognition of this. Accolades like this are a testament of our unique blend of contemporary design, vibrant dining scene and unparalleled hospitality and help to elevate the resort within the luxury sector.

BTN: What caught the eyes of World Travel Awards voters – what is the secret of your success?

AS: Everything mentioned above! The Jumeirah brand DNA of Stay Different drives us to go above and beyond in crafting experiences that truly resonate with our guests. We consistently strive to turn ordinary experiences into extraordinary ones, crafting unique and memorable touchpoints throughout the entire guest journey.

More Information Jumeirah Al Naseem is recognised as ‘World’s Leading Hotel’, Middle East’s Leading Hotel 2022 and Dubai’s Leading Luxury Resort 2022 by voters at the World Travel Awards.

Visit Jumeriah Group here at Arabian Travel Market on stand HC0320 or head over to