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Fahad Abdulrahim Kazim exclusive for Future Hospitality Summit 2023

Fahad Abdulrahim Kazim exclusive for Future Hospitality Summit 2023

Fahad Abdulrahim Kazim is CEO of Millennium Hotels & Resorts MEA. Kazim is a respected hospitality voice in the region and has sat on numerous boards over the course of two decades and we caught up with him for an exclusive interview before his attendance at FHS in Abu Dhabi.

BTN: What are your / your organization’s core areas of focus when it comes to investment? I.e in the areas of innovation, sustainability, human capital and/or technology?

FAK: Throughout the years, Millennium Hotels and Resorts has undergone impressive transformations to meet the ever-changing needs of our guests and the dynamic hospitality industry. Our focus has revolved around crucial areas to drive our brand forward and ensure continuous success, broadly identified as Sustainability, Technology and People.

One pivotal aspect of our strategy has been the expansion and growth of our portfolio. By strategically increasing our presence in the Middle East and Africa, we have entered new markets and strengthened our position in existing ones. With 54 hotels currently in operation and over 30 under development across the region, this approach has allowed us to cater to a wider range of customers and offer more diverse options.

To provide an exceptional guest experience, we have invested in various initiatives. We introduced innovative design concepts for our brands to create modern and inviting spaces for our guests. Additionally, we have implemented new technologies to streamline operations, enhance guest experiences, and personalize interactions.


Sustainability and corporate social responsibility are at the forefront of our agenda. We recognize the significant impact our business can have on the world and acknowledge the increased responsibility we all share in this regard. Considering the industry’s substantial energy consumption and emissions, we actively focus on initiatives to address environmental issues, including energy and water conservation, eliminating single-use plastics, and obtaining ISO14001 certification.

Our commitment to addressing these issues never compromises the quality of our products and services for our guests. Our Sustainability plan continually seeks improvements in our environmental performance and ensures regular measurement. By prioritizing sustainability, we not only benefit the environment but also align with the values of our guests.

Staying ahead in the digital age, we have fully embraced digital transformation and technological advancements. Our online presence has been enhanced, and we optimize digital marketing strategies to effectively reach and engage our target audiences. Leveraging data analytics and artificial intelligence, we gain valuable insights to improve online booking conversions, operational efficiencies, and enhance the overall guest experience.

While technology plays a significant role at Millennium, it is our people who truly make the difference. Engaged colleagues are vital for delivering an amazing guest experience, fostering brand loyalty, and advocacy. Thus, we have launched the “People Make Millennium” program, with our colleagues at its heart. This multi-tiered program, led at a regional level and implemented across our hotel portfolio, emphasizes training, reward and recognition, and wellbeing. An exemplary initiative is the Millennium Academy in Saudi Arabia, showcasing our commitment to investing in our colleagues and local communities.

These examples illustrates what Millennium Hotels and Resorts stands for as a brand. Our unwavering dedication to delivering exceptional experiences, embracing innovation, and creating lasting value for guests, employees, and stakeholders remains at the core of our vision, and our focus remains to excel in these pillars.

BTN: What is your outlook for the hospitality industry in the Middle East in 2023 and beyond?

FAK: Sustainability has become increasingly important in the hospitality industry. Nowadays, consumers are placing a great emphasis on environmentally responsible practices. It’s no longer just a ‘nice to have’ credential for hotels and resorts; guests explicitly look for brands that prioritize sustainability. This includes energy-saving measures, waste reduction initiatives, the use of renewable resources, and engagement in community and environmental conservation efforts. By incorporating sustainable practices into our operations, we can meet the expectations of environmentally conscious guests and contribute to a greener future. We see consumers being even pickier than now while planning their travels as the world gets more transparent. Travellers would want to minimize their carbon emissions and strive for a planet that is safe for their future generations.

Technology has completely revolutionized the way hotels cater to their guests. Today’s guests expect seamless digital experiences and personalized services throughout their stay. This means offering features like mobile check-in/check-out, keyless entry systems, automated room controls, voice-activated devices, and customized recommendations based on data analysis. By leveraging technology, we can enhance convenience, efficiency, and personalization to meet the ever-evolving needs of our tech-savvy guests.

‘Bleisure’ travel is a rising trend where travelers blend business and leisure elements during their trips. This means they seek accommodations and services that cater to both work and relaxation. To meet their preferences, hotels need to provide flexible workspaces, high-speed internet access, meeting facilities, and recreational amenities. By seamlessly blending work and leisure experiences, we can accommodate the preferences of modern travelers and create memorable stays that cater to both their professional and leisure needs.

At Millennium Hotels and Resorts, we are keenly aware of these consumer trends. We recognize the significance of sustainability and have incorporated green practices into our operations to meet the expectations of environmentally conscious guests. Moreover, we have embraced technology to provide seamless digital experiences and personalized services to cater to our tech-savvy guests. Additionally, we understand the growing popularity of ‘bleisure’ travel, and we have ensured that our accommodations and services cater to both work and relaxation needs. By staying attuned to these trends, we aim to deliver exceptional experiences and maintain a competitive edge in the ever-changing hospitality industry.”

BTN: What does your panel/presentation/workshop at FHS focus on and what will delegates be able to take away from your session?

FAK: We are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to participate in and engage with the Future Hospitality Summit 2023. Throughout the event, we will be attending multiple panels that align with our brand’s core values and beliefs, covering essential topics such as technology, hospitality management, innovation, and brand marketing.

As a brand committed to continuous growth and evolution, we will proudly present our new and upcoming hotel projects spanning across the UAE and the broader MENA region. It will be a pivotal moment to share our vision and highlight the distinctive features of these projects that embody the essence of the Millennium brand. Delegates will have the opportunity to explore our vast growth in this region and understand the rationale behind our expansion strategy. We will highlight the potential opportunities and challenges that come with such expansion, as well as the value we bring to the local economy and community.

Furthermore, our dedication to sustainability will take center stage during the discussions. We will delve into our ongoing sustainability initiatives and outline our future plans to further integrate environmentally responsible practices into our operations. Demonstrating our commitment to sustainability is crucial as we believe in leaving a positive impact on the environment and communities we serve.

The summit will also provide an ideal platform to showcase the unique lifestyle and ethos that define the Millennium brand. We are thrilled to engage in meaningful conversations about our brand identity and values, offering valuable insights into what makes us stand out in the hospitality industry.

BTN: What are you personally looking forward to most from your attendance at FHS 2023?

FAK: I am personally looking forward to several exciting opportunities to network as well as keep up with industry trends. I am eager to meet potential investors and explore collaboration prospects. Acquiring new management projects and forging valuable partnerships will be a priority, as it will enable us to expand our portfolio and strengthen our presence.

I am also interested in learning more about the hospitality expansion in the UAE on a bigger picture. The region holds immense potential for growth, and gaining deeper insights into the market dynamics, trends, and opportunities will be invaluable for our strategic planning and decision-making.

Additionally, the summit will be valuable in supporting our hotels’ expansion on various fronts through knowledge sharing. This includes advancing our technical capabilities to enhance operational efficiency, embracing innovation to offer cutting-edge guest experiences, and elevating guest services to ensure unparalleled satisfaction.

Our attendance at FHS 2023 presents a fantastic platform to further bolster our hotels’ growth and performance. I anticipate a rewarding experience that will positively impact our brand’s future endeavors.

The Future Hospitality Summit is being held on 25-27 September 2023 at the Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island for more info visit