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
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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