Sam Jones Sam Jones

Q & A with Sam Jones, Director, Sales, Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre

FOLLOWING EXTENSIVE RENOVATIONS TO ITS EVENT SPACES, SAM JONES, DIRECTOR, SALES, LE MÉRIDIEN DUBAI HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTRE, DISCUSSES HOW THE PROPERTY CONTINUES TO DRAW IN ALL-IMPORTANT MICE GUESTS IN THE CITY'S CROWDED MARKETPLACE.

TRAVEL TRADE MENA: How satisfied are you with business for 2016 in terms of both guests and MICE events?

SAM JONES: As an industry leader in Dubai's growing MICE segment, we are doing well given the current scenario with a dipping travel trend from our key source markets.

In addition to this, there is a mammoth growth of new hotels, venues and food and beverage options, and we are working hard to stay on top of the game as we continually adapt, renew and reinvent ourselves.

We take our position as a leading MICE hotel seriously as it remains an integral part of our success.

With all the recent upgrades we have invested in, we are happy to see the returns and look forward to continued success in the months to come.

TRAVEL TRADE MENA: What makes Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre stand out as a MICE centre over other properties in Dubai?

SAM JONES: We have a unique position in the dynamic hospitality industry of Dubai, as we stand tall with 38 years of experience.

Our knowledge in hosting grand scale or intimate events, and successfully managing our 18 food and beverage outlets is unmatched.

We are also ideally located in close proximity to the airport and key business districts which is a huge advantage for busy corporate [travellers] who do not like to waste time with commuting.

We have taken our experience of three decades and infused fresh ideas and contemporary design as well as technology to launch one of Dubai's largest meeting spaces - The Great Ballroom, and the new Le Royal Club annexe.

The combination is rare in a city that is ever-changing, and the entire team works hard at it.

Our focus has always been about understanding our customer and working together to make our events a success for all stakeholders.

TRAVEL TRADE MENA: Why should organisers choose to host an event in Dubai?

SAM JONES: Dubai has gone through a 360 degree transformation over the past decade.

Blessed with an ideal global location, Dubai is a safe, convenient and a dynamic destination which makes it perfect for delegates from almost any counry across the globe - with the excellent support of Emirates Airlines coverage.

The city has a perfect mix of leisure, experiential and business focus and there is something for everyone.

TRAVEL TRADE MENA: What are your upcoming plans for developing the MICE and events side of business?

SAM JONES: We are continually reinventing ourselves to stay relevant in this fast paced hotel landscape.

Our team has been reworking on key strategies for the coming months.

We have worked with our executive chef, Ramon, on some creative food and beverage concepts.

One of our key focus' has always been the guest experience, and working with customers on creating exactly what they are looking for, to provide a seamless service.

This has resulted in a loyal customer base for our hotel. Le Méridien Dubai has been part of Dubai's historic growth for the past 38 years, and with each growing generation we aim to create the same connection and the same bond.

The hotel has grown and modernised itself keeping in tune with the city, and this is one of our greatest success secrets.

TRAVEL TRADE MENA: Any further comments?

SAM JONES: We have some exciting developments coming for Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, I have only been able to share small parts but welcome an opportunity to discuss in more details, any prospective customers, colleagues and partners.