Chief operating officer, Emaar Hospitality Group, Philippe Zuber

Sharing all with Natalie Hami, chief operating officer, Emaar Hospitality Group, Philippe Zuber speaks of the Group’s upcoming developments and its mission at the World Travel Market London 2015.

TTG: Tell us about Emaar Hospitality Group’s very latest developments?

There is so much going on with new developments in Dubai and in international markets for Emaar Hospitality Group.

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We are expanding the first brand we launched, The Address Hotels + Resorts which, only seven years on, has really made a name for itself. We already have five properties under The Address umbrella in Dubai and we will have our first opening in six years in 2016 with The Address Boulevard Dubai with more planned in the coming years at home and abroad.

We are taking our expertise in managing hotels and branded residences, and bringing the same level of customer-focused, excellent quality and service that has become synonymous with the Emaar brand.

While we are investing in new developments, it is also important to maintain, enhance and reinvent our existing properties. For example, Manzil Downtown Dubai was completely refurbished and reopened early this year; it is today the first Arabesque boutique hotel in the region under our young brand Vida Hotels and Resorts. It offers the best location, being close to the main tourist attractions, next-door to The Dubai Mall and with so much choice for restaurants and cafes. The design, ambience and personality of Manzil Downtown Dubai are, indeed, unique in Dubai.

We continue to be pioneers in the industry and I am personally very delighted by our latest addition to the group: the mid-market hotel brand Rove Hotels, which we have developed in partnership with Meraas Holding. Commercially there is strong demand for mid-market value hotels and we have created something special that offers a memorable experience for our guests and supports the growing number of visitors Dubai is welcoming every year. We have 10 Rove Hotels planned in Dubai between now and 2020.

Emaar Hospitality Group is involved with Dubai’s new cultural icon, Dubai Opera, a 2,000-seat multi-format venue that can cater to everything from opera and large-scale musical performances to sporting events. It will undoubtedly be a recognisable architectural icon from the outside and an engineering coup on the inside. We are looking forward to unveiling Dubai Opera next year.

TTG: What is the message you will be conveying to visitors at this year’s WTM?

The Address Boulevard Dubai and Rove Hotels are two new opportunities that we are highlighting at WTM this year. Both are ground-breaking for us. The Address Boulevard Dubai presents the evolved style and design of The Address Hotels + Resorts brand and we have chosen WTM to unveil it. This is an iconic development, in the heart of Downtown Dubai, the best location in the city. It houses 196 hotel rooms and 530 serviced residences that range from studios to 7-bedroom units.

For Dubai and the region, Rove Hotels is a fresh concept that has been developed with connectivity at its heart. Its commercial model places emphasis on online bookings. This brand gives us an opportunity to talk to a new audience and welcome a new community of guests to our portfolio.

TTG: Where will visitors be able to find you at WTM?

Our stand is located at the Dubai Tourism pavilion (ME200) where we will be showcasing the Emaar Hospitality Group portfolio of hotel brands – namely, The Address Hotels + Resorts, Vida Hotels and Resorts and Rove Hotels. We will highlight individual properties under these brands in Dubai as well as our upcoming projects in international markets.

TTG: Finally, what will your main strategy be for 2016?

As Dubai prepares to host the Expo 2020, strengthening the hospitality sector to welcome the 25 million visitors expected during the six-month period is imperative. We will also support the expansion plans of Emaar Properties, as it focuses on creating varied integrated developments in Dubai and other emerging markets.

Simultaneously, we will grow our international presence in managing and operating hotels in high-growth markets. As part of our long-term, international expansion plans, The Address Hotels + Resorts, our flagship brand, is expanding to Turkey, Egypt, Nigeria and Bahrain. The Address will also manage several new serviced residences as part of Emaar’s new projects in Downtown Dubai as well as in other international destinations.