The Emirates Palace is Abu Dhabi’s newest hotel and conference centre and has attracted guests worldwide since its soft opening in March 2005. The hyper-luxury property is exhibiting at ATM where BTN caught up with Houssam Tantawi, Executive Director of Sales, Emirates Palace to find out what distinguishes this hotel property from any other.
Houssam commented: “We are very proud of our product it is a very unique product - it’s a world-class property. We are still going through the phase of the soft opening and hopefully by the end of the year the product should be ready. We will also be welcoming guests from now until the end of the year to try the services and facilities but I believe it will be in full swing by January 2006”.
What diffierentiates this from any other hotel? “I am not talking about a hotel. As the name suggests, the Emirates Palace is a palace - so you are talking about a magnificent property, which is built on 100 hectors of land on a prime beach location. It has many different types of suites and apartments and facilities with an international conference centre integrated along with the Palace that accommodates up to 2500 people, with 46 break-out rooms and the latest state of the art technology, broadcasting equipment to accommodate any conference requirements. There are two wings of hotel rooms with different suites as well. The rooms each have 55 square metres and balconie"s.
I asked how many people it would take to staff such a large operation. Houssam responded: “For the time being, this is a big operation with a huge landscape available. The beach is 1.6 km so just to keep the beach clean you need a big team of people so we will be talking about maybe a ratio of 3 or 4 to one between the number of staff and the number of rooms available, in order for us to provide the level of services available and the quality of the product”.
Commenting on ATM, Houssam revealed: “The ATM is the main event for the travel business in the Middle East and is definitely a very important opportunity to start introducing the Emirates Palace facilities to those who are interested in travelling to the Middle East”.
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