INTERVIEW: General manager, Studio M Arabian Plaza, Ursula Chidiac

Studio M Arabian Plaza

Eager to spread the word about Millennium Hotels and Resorts’ Studio M brand, general manager, Studio M Arabian Plaza, Ursula Chidiac speaks to TTG about the property and its message at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2019.

TTG: What would you like to share with our readers? Studio M Arabian Plaza is a timely response to Dubai’s growing demand for mid-market hotels in the city. Our pocket-friendly services, coupled with four-star quality hotel features, facilities and technology, perfectly fit the market’s discerning preference for lodging and accommodation. The hotel’s concept is also a breath of fresh air in the industry, giving guests a vibrant hotel experience with our eye-popping interiors, fitting today’s growing tourism niche, Generation Y.

TTG: What is your message at ATM and what are you promoting this year?
Our aim in this year’s ATM is to introduce Millennium Hotels and Resorts’ new sub-brand Studio M in the region. Basically, Studio M features Western comfort and Middle Eastern hospitality at a competitive price. This year, we also hope to break the misconception of equating mid-market hotels to lower standards of services and facilities, by showing the audience our wide range of hotel features and concepts, which they would definitely be interested in.

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TTG: What is your plan of action for 2019 and how do you predict this year will go for Studio M Arabian Plaza?
The year 2019 is the first year of Studio M in the region, so we consider this as a year of introduction and of convincing the market that staying in a three-star hotel means services are not any less than excellent. Business-wise, we believe that it will be a promising year for us.

TTG: What were last year’s most obvious trends and what trends do you predict? Accommodation with the ‘home away from home’ concept has gained popularity. This is why platforms, such as Airbnb became the go-to websites for smart travellers, especially for millennials. We understand that this trend would persist in the coming year. That is why we also have hotel apartments, which feature the necessary facilities for a convenient and comfortable stay.

As for the upcoming travel trends, technology will play an important role in dictating the direction of the hospitality industry. Simple examples would be the trend of having in-room LED Smart TVs that can instantly display your Netflix shows from your phone and a room service menu right in your TV screen, both of which we have in the hotel. We also anticipate the rise of social travelling where travellers take trips to meet new people and experience adventure with new-found friends. All of our facilities are designed to accommodate this.