GME 2016: Bring­ing Aj­man on tourism map

FRHI’s Global Meet­ing Ex­change 2016 was held in Aj­man from June 22-26, giv­ing the emi­rate an op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate its unique­ness with 230 par­tic­i­pants from the world over. spoke to Khaled S. Al-Idrissi, Clus­ter Di­rec­tor of Sales and Mar­ket­ing, Fair­mon

TravTalk - Middle East - - HOTELS - SHEHARA RIZLY

QCould you give de­tails about the Global Meet­ings Ex­change and its ob­jec­tives?

Global Meet­ings Ex­change (GME) is ac­tu­ally a great op­por­tu­nity for us. It has al­lowed us to ex­pose not only the des­ti­na­tion of Aj­man but the ho­tel it­self. To bring so many peo­ple from so many dif­fer­ent des­ti­na­tions and to have them here means that they live the prop­er­ties; what it is and what it rep­re­sents and that’s an im­por­tant as­pect be­cause as much as we go to dif­fer­ent ex­hi­bi­tions out­side in dif­fer­ent coun­tries around the world we are not al­lot­ted to the feel and touch of the des­ti­na­tion and prop­erty it­self.

QHow do you think this event will help pro­mote Aj­man?

Peo­ple are not ex­posed to Aj­man as they are to the other des­ti­na­tions within the UAE like Dubai. There are cer­tain peo­ple who we have met to­day who say they didn’t ex­pect to see this level of ho­tel ac­tiv­ity in Aj­man and that’s great for the des­ti­na­tion. We’re talk­ing about MICE and in­cen­tive groups that come here to the des­ti­na­tion.

QTell us about your tar­get mar­kets?

China is be­com­ing a very im­por­tant des­ti­na­tion for us here and we see a lot of par­tic­i­pa­tion from Chi­nese part­ners at GME. In ad­di­tion to the tra­di­tional mar­kets we know, the Rus­sian CIS mar­ket is al­ready strong in Aj­man and in North­ern Emi­rates. Bring­ing in des­ti­na­tions like China al­lows us to grow the ho­tel base in terms of group busi­ness.

QWhat is the strat­egy used to pro­mote your prop­er­ties in MICE mar­ket?

I think MICE is an im­por­tant el­e­ment to both ho­tels (Aj­man and Fu­jairah) as both of them are re­sorts. We have a very strong week­end stay­ca­tion busi­ness that comes from var­i­ous dif­fer­ent Emi­rates. Fu­jairah is just about to open but I’m as­sum­ing the same level of pat­tern of busi­ness that we’ve had. As any ho­tel you need to have a right base dur­ing week­days and I think that’s where the MICE busi­ness comes in, you need to ex­pose that so that your in­ter­na­tional mar­kets re­alise the im­por­tance of a re­sort like Fair­mont Aj­man and re­sorts to come up like Fair­mont Fu­jairah. The type of busi­ness that has to come to this area is dif­fer­ent to each ho­tel but I think to have a pretty good group base is a very healthy pat­tern and you can’t be de­pen­dent on one seg­ment. You have to di­ver­sify what you do and it will be the op­por­tu­nity to be a much stronger ho­tel.

QDo share some in­sight on the prop­erty in Fu­jairah.

Fair­mont Fu­jairah will be open­ing in the first quar­ter of 2017. It has 180 rooms so it will be fairly smaller than the one in Aj­man. It’s a beau­ti­ful prop­erty nes­tled in the moun­tains of Fu­jairah which Fu­jairah is very well known for. It has a very beau­ti­ful ma­rina, great beach clop, div­ing cen­ter, kids clubs, a seafood restau­rant, a num­ber of pools.

QWhat is the USP for Fair­mont Aj­man?

It of­fers the best for leisure clients, you have beau­ti­ful beach fa­cil­i­ties, kids clubs, pools and all the ex­pected ameni­ties that you would need as a leisure client. There’s a lot of thought in terms of build and in­no­va­tion that we are able to in­cor­po­rate to a prod­uct like this.

QAre there any spe­cial tour op­er­a­tors you work with?

We work with a num­ber of op­er­a­tors in the UK, Ger­many and a lot of our lo­cal part­ners in Dubai sell­ing the des­ti­na­tion of Aj­man. We make brochures and send them around glob­ally and slowly we are start­ing to un­der­stand Aj­man.

QWill you be par­tic­i­pat­ing in any fo­rums re­cently?

We are go­ing to be par­tic­i­pat­ing in a very in­ter­est­ing fo­rum in Novem­ber in Ger­many which will give us the chance to sit across key agents and dis­cuss this na­tion and ed­u­cate them.

It is be­yond the contracting of what we do. It is about go­ing fur­ther than that and mak­ing sure that the un­der­stand­ing is down to the front line so that the peo­ple who are sell­ing the des­ti­na­tion know what it is.

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