Our di­ver­si­fy­ing hos­pi­tal­ity

For Euro­peans, Dubai is quite lit­er­ally paved with gold and this im­age of lux­ury is what drives their vis­its, analy­ses Dr Heather Jef­frey, Se­nior Lec­turer in So­cial Sci­ences, Mid­dle­sex Univer­sity Dubai.

TravTalk - Middle East - - GUESTCOLUMN -

Hav­ing moved to Dubai less than a year ago, I have been sur­prised to re­ceive at least one vis­i­tor a month. PWC re­ports that the de­mand for mid-mar­ket ho­tels will grow as younger vis­i­tors in­crease to Dubai. In June, The Na­tional re­ported that mid-mar­ket ho­tels made up around a quar­ter of the ho­tel of­fer­ing. This rise in mid-mar­ket ho­tels, fre­quently de­scribed as bud­get, is of­ten linked to price sen­si­tiv­ity and na­tion­al­ity of the tourist. Yet, new bud­get ho­tels in Dubai, un­like the tra­di­tional bud­get chain ho­tels found in the USA and Europe, are fit­ted out for a new class of tourist. This type of bud­get ac­com­mo­da­tion is fuss-free, so­cial me­dia wor­thy and has all the fa­cil­i­ties in­de­pen­dent trav­ellers need.

While lux­ury at­tracts a cer­tain tar­get mar­ket, stream­lined, tech-savvy ac­com­mo­da­tion at­tracts an­other. I don’t think of this as bud­get ac­com­mo­da­tion but con­sider this new bud­get of­fer­ing as spar­tan with sim­ple ho­tels at­tract­ing cre­ative tourists and tech users alike. The pos­si­bil­i­ties to cre­ate a more cre­ative Dubai are end­less, as smaller de­mo­graphic de­mands more cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties for their buck. I ex­pect the cre­ative and events in­dus­tries to de­velop in new direc­tions as sup­ply and de­mand find them­selves in a race to pro­vide some­thing new. This does not mean that lux­ury hos­pi­tal­ity of­fer­ing does not have a place in Dubai, they cer­tainly do and I be­lieve they al­ways will, per­haps ev­i­denced by new open­ings such as the Man­darin Ori­en­tal this year. Yet, it can mean a more diver­si­fied of­fer­ing to at­tract a range of tourists, in­clud­ing younger gen­er­a­tions that do not want to speak with re­cep­tion­ists or wait­resses, those that pre­fer to com­mu­ni­cate on an app. Busi­ness in Alserkal, in the De­sign Dis­trict and cul­tural at­trac­tion might all flour­ish, there will also be in­creased de­mand for home-grown prod­ucts, sou­venirs and eater­ies, with the right mar­ket­ing of course. Along­side a more stream­lined, less clut­tered aes­thetic and tech­no­log­i­cal ameni­ties, I am look­ing for­ward to a greener revo­lu­tion.

Rove has al­ready joined Green Key in its am­bi­tion to achieve a more sus­tain­able and eco-friendly oper­a­tion. Sus­tain­abil­ity not only makes busi­ness sense but is also in­creas­ingly de­manded by guests. Green­ing your oper­a­tions can be as sim­ple as us­ing larger re­fill­able toi­letries to more com­plex waste and wa­ter man­age­ment sys­tems; but what­ever it is that you do, make sure that you find a com­pelling way to com­mu­ni­cate it to your guests. In the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, the small­est things can be a source of com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage if we tell the right story.

New bud­get ho­tels in Dubai, are fit­ted out for a new class of tourist. This type of ac­com­mo­da­tion is so­cial me­dia wor­thy and has all the fa­cil­i­ties in­de­pen­dent trav­ellers need

(The views ex­pressed are solely of the au­thor. The pub­li­ca­tion may or may not sub­scribe to the same.)

Dr Heather Jef­frey Se­nior Lec­turer in So­cial Sci­ences, Mid­dle­sex Univer­sity Dubai

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.