The chang­ing face of lux­ury

HotelNews Middle East - - Editor's Letter - PA­TRICK RYAN Edi­tor @That­pad­dyryan Fol­low us on our so­cial me­dia pages @hotel­newsme /hotel­newsme hotel­newsme

You do not have to be a ge­nius to work out that these are chal­leng­ing times for the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, not just in the Mid­dle East, but all over the world. That is why it is so vi­tal that the in­dus­try keeps evolv­ing to make sure it can cater for the ever-chang­ing mar­ket. An ex­am­ple of how these de­mands are be­ing met can be found in our cover story.

Ho­tel News Mid­dle East took a hard-hat tour of the Hol­i­day Inn Dubai Fes­ti­val City where we were shown how the soon-to-beopened prop­erty will cater for those who are seek­ing a merger be­tween value and lux­ury.

The 520-room ho­tel will be the brand’s big­gest prop­erty in the UAE and it is a sign of an evolv­ing mar­ket that the Hol­i­day Inn Dubai Fes­ti­val City has been cap­tur­ing so much at­ten­tion ahead of its open­ing.

Else­where in the is­sue, we sit down with a se­lec­tion of the lead­ing gen­eral man­agers from ho­tels across the re­gion ahead of our an­nual GM Lead­ers Con­fer­ence which is tak­ing place on 7 May at The St. Regis Dubai.

The pur­pose of the round­table de­bate with the panel of gen­eral man­agers was to help shape the agenda for this year’s event.

Ev­ery­thing from the new gen­er­a­tions fol­low­ing hot on the heels of the mil­len­ni­als to the rise of the bou­tique brands was up for dis­cus­sion and I think you’ll agree that it makes for more than in­ter­est­ing read­ing.

If the de­bate that took place at Fair­mont Dubai last month was any­thing to go by then the con­fer­ence it­self is go­ing to be some­thing truly spe­cial.

That is not all we have got go­ing on in this is­sue though as we also catch up with the James He­wit­son, gen­eral man­ager, Al Baleed Re­sort Salalah by Anatara who ex­plains why we should be pay­ing close at­ten­tion to the Omani mar­ket.

Speak­ing of which, our colum­nist, and award­win­ning gen­eral man­ager of the Anan­tara Al Jabar Al Akhdar Re­sort, Dar­ren Dar­win asks why can’t ho­tels “Bend it like Beck­ham?”

It is an eye-catch­ing head­line but there is a method to the mad­ness as he looks at hoteliers con­stantly learn­ing and per­fect­ing their ex­per­tise in their cho­sen fields.

David Beck­ham fa­mously be­came one of the lead­ing free-kick spe­cial­ists in the soc­cer world by spend­ing ex­tra hours on the train­ing ground – Dar­win asks can hoteliers do the same?

There is just enough space to tell you that we have launched our Lead­ers in Hos­pi­tal­ity Awards – the big night is tak­ing place on 29 April at The St. Regis Dubai.

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