Breaking Travel News Interview: Raja Zeidan, Managing Director, St. Regis Downtown, Dubai | To concentrate


The Middle Eastern hotel market hosted the opening of St. Regis Downtown, Dubai, the latest in a long line of glittering properties to join the market in recent months.

As Dubai recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, Breaking Travel News here speaks to hotel general manager Raja Zeidan about the latest offering and what it brings to a competitive industry.

Breaking Travel News: Thanks for taking the time to tell us about Raja, how has the new property been received by your first guests as you open the doors here in Dubai?

Raja Zeidan: We are delighted to finally open our doors as St. Regis and welcome guests to the House of Astor.

Our customers have already started to arrive and appreciate the changes, and of course we love showcasing the all new interiors and signature St. Regis service philosophy.

The property is beautifully renovated, with more to come in the following weeks with the addition of the first St. Regis Spa, offering six suites and bespoke treatments including flotation therapy, and in March we will be launching the elegant Astor Ballroom with 564 square meters of space that opens to views of the Dubai Water Canal.

It really will be a very special place.

BTN: The hotel was once under the Renaissance lodge, also under Marriott – what has changed now that the asset has joined the St. Regis portfolio?

RZ: As the newest gem in an exquisite global portfolio, the St. Regis Downtown, Dubai showcases the traditions, rituals, and personalized service that a distinguished guest has come to expect from the original St. Regis. At New York.

The hotel brilliantly combines the historic heritage of the brand with the modern dynamism of the Downtown destination.

At the St. Regis Downtown, guests in Dubai can expect St. Regis Butler Service to provide 24-hour look-ahead service, as well as all of the cherished St. Regis rituals including the saber at the champagne, afternoon tea, Bloody Mary and Midnight Supper.

We have also made bespoke design changes to the hotel; upgraded decor and contemporary interiors were accented with bespoke elements including two striking glass chandeliers twisted like a grand staircase, elegant gold chains in the lobby influenced by jewelry found in the gold souk of Dubai and an elevated carriage harbor, entrance and hall.

New additions to the dining area include the St. Regis Bar, where patrons can socialize and enjoy a modern take on the Bloody Mary cocktail that was first created at King Cole’s St. Regis Bar in New York City. in 1934.

The bar also features a mirrored wall mural on the ceiling, embellished with starry lights, and is absolutely stunning, especially at night when illuminated.

The library on the lobby level has also been refurbished and provides an elegant space to enjoy our interpretation of the famous St. Regis afternoon tea.

BTN: Where does the establishment hope to attract customers from? Which source markets will be important? Do staycations, local guests play a big role in your operations?

RZ: We hope to accommodate a wide range of nationalities in the hotel, but we anticipate that our main food markets will be the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, then further afield Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, China and India.

Staycations will always play an important role in our business success.

As the world begins to open up, the focus will remain on domestic tourism, with stays to be a key source of revenue for the hotel.

The St. Regis Downtown, Dubai combines the bustling city with the timeless glamor of St. Regis, meaning those looking to check in for a refined luxury break with the added benefit of not having to leave the country will be in great demand.

BTN: How would you describe the vibe in the hospitality industry here in the Middle East as we move into the last quarter of 2021 – where are we with the recovery of Covid-19?

RZ: After coming out on the other side of a tough time for the hospitality industry, we are united in optimism with our hotel partners as we enter the last quarter of the year.

We remain resilient and positive, and are opening St. Regis Downtown, Dubai at a time when the market is about to fully recover.

Travel corridors are opening up around the world, leading to the return of international travel in a much anticipated peak season, and with Expo 2020’s global showcase event, we hope to see a rebound in tourism. in the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE can be cheered on for the way it has battled the Covid-19 pandemic, with one of the highest vaccine deployments in the world, meaning people can feel safe visiting and discovering all that the UAE has to offer.

We look forward to people visiting and enjoying the vibrant St. Regis Downtown, Dubai, and now more than ever, we feel inspired to deliver an enhanced St. Regis branded experience to our customers, and to continue to be innovative. in a changing world.

BTN: Dubai recently hosted the opening of Expo 2020 – what benefits will this bring to the emirate?

RZ: Expo 2020 is a welcome opportunity for us in the hospitality industry and will be a major growth engine for us over the next two months and hopefully beyond.

The global event will undoubtedly catalyze the growth of the industry while providing a unique opportunity for hoteliers in the emirate to showcase and strengthen its position as a world-class destination for travelers.

With a forecast of over 25 million visits over the six months of the event, we believe now is the time to shine and we look forward to working more closely with the Expo team during this exciting time. for the region.

More information

Combining timeless glamor and avant-garde spirit, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, is committed to providing exquisite experiences in nearly 50 luxury hotels and resorts at the best addresses in the world.

From the beginnings of the St. Regis Hotel in New York City by John Jacob Astor IV at the turn of the 20th century, the brand has remained committed to an uncompromising level of tailored service and anticipation for all of its customers.

Join Breaking Travel News as we visit the latest property here or head over to the official website here.


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