Over 150 Top Hospitality Leaders Gather during Hozpitality Group’s 12th Annual GM Conference at The Meydan Hotel Dubai
World Expo 2020 and Beyond and Emiratization efforts by Hospitality in 2020 were discussed.
Dubai, UAE 28th January 2020 - Hozpitality Group had its 12th annual GM, HR, and Finance networking event at The Meydan Hotel yesterday on 27th January, attended by over 150 top hospitality leaders. The event saw some great panel discussions about Dubai and the future growth in the hospitality sector. The year 2019 saw a decline in ARR (Average Room Rate) and ADR (Average Daily Rate) in the first and second quarters of the year but the last quarter had great interaction from tourists all over the world.
As per the DTCM (Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing) reports, Dubai saw 15.9 million tourists in 2018 and even more, 16.9 million tourists in 2019. The numbers are growing and with the Expo coming up in 2020, there are expectations that the number will cross 20 million.
CEO Table (Growth in the Region): -
CEO table was moderated by Peggy Li, Managing Partner of SPS Affinity. The panel included Jay Anand, COO and CFO at FIVE Holdings, Neil George, Executive Director of Aleph Hospitality and Laurent Voivenel, Senior VP Operations and Development - MEA and India - Swiss-Bel International.
How will the hotels compete to attract the F&B and Room nights in Dubai since the other markets have opened for tourism?
Saudi Arabia is opening for tourism and hotel operators are seeing an opportunity to move to Saudi to explore new options. How will Dubai continue to attract the GCC Nationals and other tourists from around the world? According to the reports, Dubai saw mass tourism from the Saudi market, where the numbers dropped from 1.65 million in 2018 to 1.565 million in 2019. Saudi Arabia is working towards the mission of 2030 and trying to retain its local guests and inviting tourists from all over the world.
Dubai is heading towards a maturing market and will soon see the largest number of hotel keys after Las Vegas. The best part is Dubai is such a multicultural city where people can roam freely even at midnight. DTCM is working very closely with the hotel companies to offer new packages and attractive offers to delight the guests. The vision of the authorities is very clear, and they see the evolution and growth in the city. The hotels will have to keep delivering values and promise the best experiences and make it worth for the tourists. The hotels will have to identify the target audience and see what they mean to your business.
Hotels are growing like mushrooms in Dubai when to stop?
This topic is always very controversial since the new hotel companies have started showing interest in Dubai’s growing tourism industry, tons of new hotels have been built around the different areas in Dubai, creating new avenues for tourists. The real estate companies and owners are coming up to start their hospitality division as in Hotel or Restaurant chains. Everybody wanted a slice and launched hotel projects. There was a huge demand for more hotel rooms.
As the growth continues in the region, the most suffering ones are the old existing properties who have been making millions in profits and with the change, are only making the ends meet. Profits are still there but not as it used to be since the Average Room Rates have dropped big time. So, one question in everyone’s mind, when does this stop? Are they ever going to stop building of new hotels?
Most of the projects ready to open now, are in the pipeline for the last 5-6 years and may have delayed delivery, with the change in perception and mergers and acquisitions owners are a bit careful in investing in a new hotel property. The ones which had already started the construction, cannot go back so those will definitely come up, but we might not see new hotels projects announcements in Dubai soon.
Expo- 2020 and Beyond: -
Moderated by Guy Wilkinson, Director of Viability. The panel included, Sanjiv Khosla, Chief Commercial Officer of Expo-2020 Dubai, Bert Fol, Regional Director, Arabian Peninsula and Turkey - Radisson Hotels, Philip Wooller, Area Director of MEA STR Global, Alma Au Yeung, Corporate Director of Strategic Partnerships and Projects - Expo 2020 Emaar Hospitality, Iftikhar Hamdani, Cluster GM - Ramada and Wyndham Hotel Ajman and Rajesh Sethi, CEO of Noor Takaful Ethical Insurance.
We are 267 days away from the mega event, the largest exhibition in the world, Expo 2020 will be hosted by Dubai. The World Expo 2020 will open its doors for the public on 20th of October 2020. It is the first Expo in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia region. For the first time, there will 1 pavilion for 1 country. Over 25 million visits, 70% International expected during the 6 months of Expo which will last from October 20, 2020, to April 20, 2021. The Government is on top of the things to ensure the convenience for travelers and exhibitors. The expo team is talking to the Road and Transport Authority to provide free bus rides to the visitors. The Metro line has been extended to the Expo site and 44,000 people will be taking advantage of it during the event.
The event will see World’s greatest innovations, 192 stunning country pavilions, 60 plus live events, shows and parades a day and 200 plus dining experiences from around the world. The extraordinary event will be a visual treat for the residents and for tourists. The Live events will include A-list concerts, Daily Al Wasl Show, Cooking Demonstrations, Daily Kaleidoscope, Children Activities, Daily processions, Global Arts and Installations, Daily Pavilion Shows, Daily Parades, Al Wasl Mascot Shows, Bands and Musicians, 192 National Days, Daily Night Spectacles, Cultural Celebrations, Drama and Theatre.
Emaar Hospitality is the Exclusive Hospitality Partner for the Expo, which will be hosting their exclusive events and VIP guests. The 2020 Club by Emaar located in Al Wasl will have, Exclusive event venues, VIP Lounges, Rooftop bar, F&B and a Box Office for ticket selling. The other hotels are also doing their part and are planning to sell the package with room nights and Expo- tickets, they will also tie-up with fleets to ride their guests to the Expo-site. The mass marketing campaign for World Expo will start in overseas markets starting April and will further continue throughout the Expo.
Will the hotels increase prices during Expo?
Of course, the hotels, the operators and the team players have been working for this opportunity to host millions of guests during the Expo, but will they increase the rates? The hotels are working on strategies to attract which segment to cater and ways to fill in the hotels during those 6 months. Seeing the high demand and supply in the market, the operators will have to be less aggressive in terms of rates. The approach should be market-driven, more package deals and competitive pricing should be placed while working on marketing plans for the Expo. According to the Expo officials, the hotels should not wait for 5-6 months to start selling the rooms but should start it immediately and try not to be over-aggressive.
New Hotels opening in Dubai in 2020: -
According to STR Global, the supply has increased to 7.8% in the last few years. There will be 80 new hotels opening in Dubai this year 2020 for the Expo and another 52 Hotels in 2021. ADR and ARR played significant roles in 2019 as well. Dubai sees the major growth in tourism during the Dubai Shopping Festival, Gulfood and then on Eid Ul Fitr. The forecast looks good after summer in 2020 for Dubai which will continue to rise and sustain after Expo 2020 as well before we see a slowdown in the last quarter of 2021. 2022 will be a year of downturn again in the hospitality sector according to the reports and 2023 will decide the future. Every market sees ups and downs in the tourism sector, and it bounces back. Dubai Expo promises to bring different types of visitors, cultural experiences and will set new markets for Dubai.
The discussion was moderated by Ghanem Al Marri, Corporate HR Emiratization of JA Hotels and Resorts. The panel included Sharihan Al Mashary, General Manager of Address Hotels, John Mowatt, Training Specialist of JA Hotels and Resorts Murad Ahmed, General Manager of The Manor by JA Hotels and Resorts and Robert MacLean, Principal of National Hospitality Institute Oman.
Emiratization is not about hiring locals but it’s about National talent that must be looked after. The tourists come to Dubai to see locals, their culture and feel the essence. It’s high pride when there is someone answering the guests for local food and the best places to visit. The session was very interactive and showed lights on the current scenarios.
Most National didn’t consider hospitality 10 years ago. They didn’t know how things worked in the hospitality industry and if it was worth working for. Ghanem mentioned about a person who left the Army and showed interest in working in the hospitality industry. He wanted to be a chef, so he trained and joined Jumeirah as a chef and after some time, more hotels were asking him to join them. This is one of its kind, there are more and more interests coming in from the youth. The Government wants them to be trained and get experience at least for 6 months to see their interests.
Are the UAE Nationals paid more than expats?
Emiratis are mostly paid the same as the other expats and sometimes even less than them. They do not need visas, accommodation, medical insurance and don’t have recruitment charges on top. Some companies provide annual tickets but most of them don’t. If you try and sum up all the costs, it’s almost similar or even less.
The best to hire in Hospitality: -
Interns are best to hire, they are interesting, they want to learn and explore. Many big brands are considering Emiratis in their culinary, HK and Front Office departments, some are even interested to join Security.
The Government is educating families and young adults to join the industry. Sharihan Al Mashary has set up an example for the female Emiratis and as well amongst the youth to come up and join the industry. She mentioned, it wasn’t easy for her to lead the male dominating industry but with lots of passion, hard work and dedication, she was able to reach where she is today and during the course, her family was very supportive.
“The 12th Annual, GM, HR, and Finance conference was a huge success, we would like to thank our sponsors for supporting the event, Noor Takaful Ethical Insurance, TRC Pamco, and Toso” said Raj Bhatt, CEO, Hozpitality Group. “A huge shout out to Meydan Hotel for hosting the event, all the arrangements and food was top quality”, added Raj.
The event was covered by Zee TV Middle East and Zee Arabic. “We thank all the panelists, the moderators and all the attendees for supporting this great networking event" added Vandana Bhatt, MD, Hozpitality Group.
"Through Hozpitalityplus Events we have already successfully conducted 12 business networking events for the Hospitality industry in UAE. The GM and HR head event at the Grand Hyatt Dubai, the F&B heads event at the Pullman Hotel Dubai Mall of the Emirates, Sales and Marketing heads event at The Gloria Hotel, GM, HR, Training & Finance heads at the Taj Palace Hotel, Dubai and at Millennium Plaza Dubai were very successful. Hozpitalityplus Events is already benefitting the hospitality industry professionals and through this venture, we are providing a platform where the industry comes together to Network, Create Synergy and Share Best Practices", Raj Bhatt said.
"A lot more is on the cards and we are happy that we are growing", Mr. Bhatt added.
Hozpitality.com was born in Dubai almost a decade ago and this homegrown brand has successfully made its share in the market and is preferred by large, medium and small brands across Dubai, UAE, and the Middle East. Hozpitality group is emerging as one of the fastest growing online media company in the Middle East and the Asian market.
About Hozpitality Group:-
Hozpitality is an online platform for professionals from Hotels, Restaurants, Airlines, Travel agencies, Clubs, Cruise Lines, Cinemas, Spas, Schools, Suppliers and Retail. Hozpitality offers Branding options, A Community Network for Employers and Job seekers, a directory of Hospitality Suppliers, Latest Hospitality News, Hotel News, Movements and Appointments and Hospitality Announcements Hotel Industry Recruitment, Professional CV designing, Hospitality Courses etc. We provide an effective platform where all hospitality professionals can come together, network and benefit.
Hozpitality.com offers a selection of best Hotel Management Institutes, Schools and Universities and Hotel management Courses. Hospitality Students can search and apply for Hotel management Courses and join the School’s Alumni and network with their colleagues. Hozpitality also offers a Market Place for Hospitality Suppliers where Hospitality Products, Services, Offers and Deals can be listed and sold to millions of Global Hospitality professionals.
Hozpitality consists a database of over 1 million registered hospitality professionals in in its 2 websites, www.hozpitality.com – “Dedicated hospitality website for Jobs in Middle East, Africa and Asia” and www.hozpitalityplus.com – “Dedicated hospitality networking group”. Apart from the registered candidates Hozpitality we reaches out to over 1 million professionals through monthly email marketing from over 186 countries.
The dedicated hospitality networking group Hozpitalityplus.com, publishes and shares Latest Hospitality News, Announcements, Hotel openings, Promotions, Events, Hospitality Movements and Appointments and Hospitality announcements, Reviews, Blogs etc. We provide an effective platform where all hospitality professionals can unite, network, benefit and share.
Hozpitality Consulting is a Global Executive Search consultancy based out of Toronto, Canada. Our success lies in building a long term relationship and delivering results quickly and efficiently for a “much lower cost”. We are experts in locating the best possible suitable executive and management candidates for placements in all types of hospitality organizations around the world. Through our matchless database, communication and networking, over the world, we provide our clients with the most skillful candidates.
"Hozpitality Buzz- The inside scoop" is a TV show based on the hospitality industry in Dubai and UAE, is in English and telecast-ed on a premier TV channel in Middle East & North Africa reaching out to approx. 10-12 million viewers. To know more about the TV show, Please log on to:- www.facebook.com/hozpitalitybuzz and https://www.youtube.com/Hozpitality
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