TRAVEL TRADE MENA: How was business in 2016?
MOHAMAD AWADALLA: 2016 matched 2015 in figures and even better in certain areas, the mix was more or less the same from the previous year.
We have participated in international trade and initiated contact with new markets; we are always on the lookout for new market feeders to compensate the slow drive of others.
Our guests are mainly GCC based but each property has a different feeder market, and in terms of countries we are looking at GCC as a whole, the UK, China, India, Germany and the Scandinavian region.
We are targeting new markets mainly in Africa, as there is great potential now, with key feeder markets in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda as well as Nigeria.
TRAVEL TRADE MENA: How do TIME Hotels attract guests who place an importanceon culinary and retail experiences?
MOHAMAD AWADALLA: Food and beverage come with an added value at TIME Hotels as we were awarded the Ethos of Slow Food Dubai in 2016.
We serve slow food platters on our daily buffets and within our a la carte menu.
In addition to that, we take good care of offering the guests a range of local produce, not processed or any additives applied to it, to preserve a great taste and good quality.
During Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and the 2016 Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) we offered our in-house guests a great deal of [discounts] when they booked with us.
These vouchers were to be used in prominent shopping malls to make sure that the guest was part of the festival from the moment they booked.
TRAVEL TRADE MENA: Dubai is a well established shopping hotspot and offers a myriad of dining options, what can guests expect when visiting the destination?
MOHAMAD AWADALLA: Well Dubai is a standing jewel in the Middle East with nonstop development projects in every industry. If you are visiting during the cool temperatures, there are a number of attractions you can see.
Starting with Dubai Glow Garden, Dubai Miracle Garden and Dubai Butterfly Garden and if you fancy a walk, then stroll along the newly opened Dubai Canal to see the skyline view of the emirate.
If gaming is your thing, then head to the latest theme parks, IMG Worlds of Adventure, one of the biggest indoor theme parks and the latest outdoor theme park Dubai Park and Resorts.
Yet, if you are more inclined to culture and music you can always visit heritage sites in Dubai to learn more about the culture of the country or go for a safari but do not miss the latest venue, Dubai Opera for the latest magnificent shows.
TRAVEL TRADE MENA: What initiatives or projects are there to encourage the growth of tourism?
MOHAMAD AWADALLA: Dubai’s Vision 2020 is the main driver for these sectors.
Aiming for 20 million visitors is a target that heightened the bars for investors to develop the emirate within time to meet the upcoming demand for the Expo 2020.
TIME Hotels aims to be involved with the current happenings that take place in the emirate and we extend dedicated promotions to meet the guest expectations.
Aiming to drive a higher incentive for the guest to attract and involve them, in the activation, to make sure they stay with us during Dubai’s activations be it DSF or DSS.