Fredrik Reinisch, Resort General Manager, Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection, says they are continually looking for new ways to create new experiences for Indian travellers.
In the dynamic and visionary city of Dubai stands Habtoor Palace, LXR Hotels & Resorts as an iconic emblem of success and history. With 234 sumptuously appointed bedrooms, 52 sumptuous suites (Exquisite Bentley Suite and Sir Winston Churchill Suite) and exclusive butler service, Habtoor Palace offers luxurious comfort in palatial style.
Located on the banks of the Dubai Water Canal, the hotel is rich in urban amenities and Beaux-Arts architecture, seven well-defined restaurants and lounges, expansive gardens, a premier Silk Spa, a classically elegant ballroom , two rooftop pools and a bespoke butler. a service. Habtoor Palace is one of three ultra-luxury hotels in the Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection. The other two being the V Hotel Dubai and the Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City. Together they offer 1,600 exceptionally designed rooms and suites, 23 world-class restaurants and lounges, three ballrooms, 37 meeting rooms and The Pearl, Dubai‘s number one show.
Why Habtoor Palace?
“It is an ideal destination for guests wishing to escape the daily grind of modern life and experience classic royalty, presented with contemporary elegance. They can indulge in three different moods,” informs Fredrik Reinisch, Resort General Manager, Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection. He adds that the first is Hotel V for guests who want to brighten up their trip with a retro-futuristic concept. “The hotel is surrounded by engaging activities and is home to La Perle – a world-class water-themed show created by Dragone,” says Reinisch. Habtoor Palace offers an authentic and sophisticated palatial experience with lavish suites, artistic décor and exclusive butler service for all guests – royalty. And the third is “the iconic Hilton offering a dynamic stay, with every aspect of the visit transformed into a refreshing experience. It can accommodate events ranging from small meetings to large galas, including entertainment for all ages and a free Kids Club,” he adds.
India as a market
Agreeing that India played a significant role in the pre-Covid19 period and contributed around 10% of business including FIT and bands, he says: “With travel restrictions, sales from the Indian market have dropped. drastically. However, we anticipate an increase in demand during the summer where we expect the combined activity (groups and businesses) to increase by some level. We see India becoming one of our top three food markets. This is our ambition and we are making very strong efforts in this regard,” says Reinisch who visited India in March 2022 focusing on the main source markets of Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai as well as on Tier II and III emerging cities. ready for expansion.
“We have engaged with Tamarind Global and Red Dot Marketing as our extended presence to represent Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection and are continually looking for new ways to create experiences and key messages that speak directly to the interests and hearts of Indian travelers. . We believe that Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection will be recognized as a preferred destination for the most discerning Indian travellers,” he said.
Booking trends and changing consumer preferences
“Before the pandemic, customers planned their vacations and business trips in advance. This helped us understand the forecast and we were able to project for the year in the first quarter. Post-Covid19, booking windows have shrunk and customers have become spontaneous with travel. This trend is evident from the fact that the reservation window has come down to 10-15 days from 45-60 days for the European market, one-two days from four to six days for GCC customers and 20-30 days vis-a-vis -vis 60-90 days for Asian market with more focus on Indian market,” he says.
“During the peak of the Covid19 season in 2020-2021, staycations became a trend among locals and expats in the UAE due to travel restrictions. There was an increase in long distance travel and hotel bookings and a decline in corporate bookings from March 2020 to January 2022 with the “work from home” culture and travel restrictions. Since February 2022, there has been a positive change leading to an increase in bookings and corporate events,” he says.
F&B offers, especially for Indian customers
“We offer Indian dishes for breakfast at all three hotels including oats, idli, dosa, Indian masala omelet, Poori bhaji and many other delicacies. Our breakfast restaurants offer a range of live cooking stations with chefs from around the world, including Indian, Chinese, Arabic and international specialties, because we understand how important it is for guests to start the day with a most personalized breakfast according to their habits. , if not food preferences,” Reinisch shares, adding that dishes according to customer requests and dietary requirements are also served.
“We are introducing an Indian themed night at Level 7 – V Hotel where the menu changes regularly and covers all regions of India. V-hotel is also home to Haveli, an Indian restaurant and lounge with vibrant live music on stage, a decor inspired by Bollywood and more than 100 cocktails to choose from,” he informs.
For leisure and business travelers
For leisure travelers, Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection offers various packages which include half board and full board packages, multiple on-site entertainment options such as The Pearl – A Las Vegas style entertainment show, entertainment for (Kid’s club), special offers and savings on spas for internal customers. “For business travelers, we offer business traveler benefits including, but not limited to, preferred rates, automatic Hilton Honors enrollment, chauffeur services, special dining packages and laundry and much more depending on the customer’s requirements,” he says.
At Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection, MICE accounts for 25% of business while weddings contribute to hundreds of events. “In the wedding sector, the Indian market captures the majority followed by Emirati, Arab and Pakistani weddings. The top five source markets for MICE are in the MENA region, followed by South America and the CIS market, while the top source markets for weddings are from wedding planners, event planners, online platforms and regular guests,” Reinisch shares.
Safer environment for customers
“The past two years have been a roller coaster. This pandemic has brought health and safety to the fore in the tourism sector, making it something tourists will not concede. Initially, a certain percentage of tourists traveled on a budget. Post-pandemic, we are seeing a shift with tourists opting instead for luxury travel for health and safety reasons. Hygiene procedures are specifically put forward by hotels for their guests, which makes guests feel safe,” said the general manager of the Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection complex.
“As part of the Hilton Group, we have taken strict health and safety measures for our guests and employees. Hilton has partnered with Reckitt, makers of Lysol® and Dettol®, to help deliver a an even cleaner stay for our guests with the creation of the Hilton CleanStay program. Our promise to our guests is to provide the same level of reliable and friendly service that one would expect from Hilton,” he concludes.