Dubai is back! Why did you choose Dubai and what makes the Shangri-La in Dubai the ideal choice to experience the city?
Dubai is a vibrant and diverse city that is also an ever growing hub for millions of opportunity seekers and tourists, so it was on the top of our list from the start. There are many reasons which make Shangri-La an ideal choice to experience Dubai. The hotel is close to several key attractions and the most essential places people tend to visit; the airport, The Dubai Mall, World Trade Center, DIFC and popular beach destinations such as La Mer and many others. In addition, we offer a variety of state-of-the-art leisure and business facilities, diverse dining choices, bars and meeting spaces. Our rooms and suites offer breathtaking views of Burj Khalifa and the Arabian Sea which makes each stay more memorable.
Unlike other major destinations which are still in early phases of post pandemic recovery, what is behind Dubai’s resilience and bounce back?
The UAE has a strong government that prioritizes the health and wellbeing of all citizens, residents and visitors. Strict protocols and laws surrounding Covid-19 were implemented in the country early on to ensure Covid reduction measures were effectively followed. Strict PCR tests before arrival and having one of the highest vaccination rates in the world have been instrumental in facilitating UAE’s resilience compared to other countries.
We are thankful that times are improving for our business and hopefully we will soon be back to normal.
In Dubai’s highly competitive market, has Shangri-La Dubai firmly established itself among the leading properties thanks to the consistency of the service? How much more challenging is it to discover, nurture and motivate talent?
Our service consistency has played a large role in how we’ve established ourselves among leading hotel brands in Dubai, particularly through our delivery, quality and reputation supported by Asian service culture coming from our roots. Due to the border and flight restrictions the world faced during the unprecedented times, we, like others, faced challenges in recruiting talent from abroad, especially since most of the UAE population are expatriates. But now that international borders are beginning to open and travel has improved, this is no longer an obstacle. Because of our appealing corporate culture and brand strength, we not only attract top talents, but hire for attitude and train for skills, which is our performance motto.
Is a major brand such as Shangri-La perceived as safer when it comes to Covid-19, especially when it comes to the firm and consistent implementation of measures to protect both staff and guests?
Yes we are definitely perceived as safer in this regard. Our protocols, policy and procedures related to Covid 19, which are under what we call Shangri-La Cares, make Shangri-La among the safest hotels in the country. Our management is dedicated to ensuring corporate and local authority protocols and other procedures are strictly followed. Our food and safety systems, which strictly adhere to all our Covid rules, contribute to a strong sense of security when guests are at our hotel.
How has the profile of your guest changed, if in any way? Do they perceive luxury differently and do they have different expectations?
We’ve noticed an increase in younger travellers and more diverse nationalities in recent periods. The makeup of nationalities that come to our hotel will depend on Covid country restrictions. For most guests, luxury means having clear policies that ensure there is a reduced risk for exposure to Covid 19. Outside of our strict Covid rules, we have our own health and wellbeing strategies to help ensure people feel safe and secure while they enjoy their stay.
What is your view on the recovery of business travel?
A: A lot of travel restrictions have already been reduced and that has already helped improve business travel in Dubai and around the world. In addition, it’s likely to keep getting better as vaccination rates increase worldwide. However, business travel, during these times, can often depend on company policy for corporate travelers and price, which may limit business travel.
To what extent do you also attract locals to your venues?
We have always attracted locals (or UAE citizens and residents), for being a reputable hotel with an ideal location, but lately we have become an increasingly popular choice for their post pandemic staycations. We have a variety of packages and offers that are designed to cater to different group dynamics among UAE citizens and residents (or them) whether they are families, couples or friends.
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