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Sat 15 Nov 2008 04:00 AM

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What's in a name?

You’ve probably heard of ‘The Address’ by now but do you know what it actually is? Emaar Hospitality Group chief operating officer Christoph Mares gives LTN the lowdown.

You've probably heard of ‘The Address' by now but do you know what it actually is? Emaar Hospitality Group chief operating officer Christoph Mares gives LTN the lowdown.

What is the central concept behind The Address?

The brand name ‘The Address' was specifically chosen to align with the brand positioning - ‘Where Life Happens' - signifying the place to be; to do business, relax and socialise. The defining character of the Address Hotels + Resorts brand is the location advantage on offer, the tangible guest benefits that are assured and the service standards that have been set, specifically creating a ‘one size fits one' hotel for discerning guests offering a total lifestyle experience.

Our own GDS code 'AT' will allow for a wider reach to global markets.

Why have you chosen to operate three properties very close to one another in Downtown Dubai?

Downtown Burj Dubai is Emaar's AED 73 billion (US $20 billion) flagship project, located in the most prestigious kilometre on Earth.

Apart from being home to the tallest tower and largest shopping mall in the world - the Burj Dubai and The Dubai Mall - what makes it special is its proximity to Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai's main commercial centres and the easy access offered with its Dubai Metro connectivity via the Downtown Burj Dubai tram system.

It will be the place to live, work and play, which complements our brand philosophy of ‘where life happens'. For all these reasons it makes perfect sense for us to have hospitality properties in very close proximity to one another.

How do they all differ?

The Palace, The Old Town Hotel, which is now managed by The Address, is already a well established name in the centre of The Old Town Island. The Address, Downtown Burj Dubai - the first and flagship property of The Address Hotels + Resorts brand - is the first of several hotels expected to set new trends in luxury hospitality offerings. Facing the iconic Burj Dubai, it is an architectural marvel and the second tallest building in Downtown Burj Dubai.

A luxury five-star hotel linked to one of the world's largest shopping and entertainment destinations, The Address, Dubai Mall is strategically located to offer ease of access to many attractions within Downtown Burj Dubai, as well as other popular landmarks in Dubai. The hotel is less than 30 minutes from the Dubai International Airport.

What will be the unique selling points of these properties?

The Address Hotels + Resorts adopts a ‘one size fits one' approach where the philosophy is to offer more benefits for guests, rather than focus on amenities or services rarely used by guests.

Providing a personalised service is one of our key attributes and some of the services we offer are various check-in methods: en route to the hotel at our exclusive airport lounge; via Wi-Fi; or in-room on arrival, but rarely at the front desk. We have also appointed Guest Advisors and a dedicated concierge service to ensure that we can meet all our guests' needs.

Another unique selling point is our 24-hour stay policy for guests booking suites or executive rooms.

What other opportunities do you see to expand in the UAE?

The travel and tourism industry in Dubai and indeed, the UAE, is booming. Dubai already has the highest room occupancy rate in the region at 84.2% and there are currently more than $354 billion worth of hotels, aviation and other hospitality infrastructure projects in development in Dubai.In addition, hotel revenues [in the emirate] grew 500% from AED 1.8 billion ($500 million) in 1996 to AED 10.8 billion ($3 billion) in 2006. All these figures speak for themselves and Emaar Hospitality, with its home grown five-star hotel brand, intends to grow.

In the UAE we have plans to unveil further properties in Dubai and also in Asmaran, the master planned community developed by Emaar-Bawadi.

Will you expand further into the Middle East region?

Emaar Hospitality Group plans to unveil more properties under the brand name The Address Hotels + Resorts in key gateway cities and tourist destinations in the Middle East. Some of the projects in the pipeline include Egypt - Uptown Cairo and Marassi; Jordan - Dead Sea; Morocco - Casablanca, Marrakesh and Tinja; Saudi Arabia - Bay La Sun; Syria - Damascus; Tunisia - Hergla; and Turkey - Istanbul.

What other international destinations are on your radar?

Some of our other key international destinations include the North Africa region, the Indian Subcontinent, Asia, Europe and America. Emaar Properties already has a presence in some of the key gateway cities identified and so it makes sense for us to expand in these areas. Additional expansion plans have been strategically thought out in line with Emaar's developmental strategy of creating integrated lifestyle communities.

Some of the projects in the international pipeline for The Address Hotels + Resorts include China - Shanghai; France - Paris; Indonesia - Lombok; UK - London; and the US - Los Angeles, New York and La Jolla.

What is your sales and marketing strategy and who are your target markets?

Emaar Hospitality Group has already put in place a strong sales and marketing team, which works closely with tourism and travel agencies and authorities to present The Address Hotels + Resorts to our key customer segments.

Our target markets include the UK, Germany, GCC countries and the Indian Subcontinent, which are the primary feeder markets for Dubai's tourism sector. We have set up a strong cluster sales team to support us within Dubai and the Middle East we are also in the process of opening sales offices in London, Frankfurt, Riyadh and Mumbai.

In addition to this, our own GDS code ‘AT' will allow for a wider reach to global markets. It affords us the opportunity to conduct business directly with consumers, travel agents and through third-party internet sites.

About 'The Address'

Mares explains what differentiates properties managed by The Address Hotels + Resorts

Location:This is about obtaining key locations in every destination, which can be achieved and maximised in line with the growth strategies of Emaar Properties, a company that already has world-class integrated lifestyle developments in good locations across the globe. Our three properties in Dubai illustrate this perfectly with their prime locations in Downtown Burj Dubai and Dubai Marina.

Benefits:This is a conscious shift from making The Address properties more benefit-focused than feature-heavy. While value-added features are important for hotels, what is even more important is how they add to the benefits of customers.

To ensure a benefit-rich stay, the various facilities at The Address properties will be delivered in a more engaging way to our guests.

This is to ensure that guests maximise the use of the facilities and thus make their stay more memorable, enjoyable and convenient.

Furthermore, the facilities such as shopping, dining, and other leisure and entertainment options in the vicinity of The Address properties will greatly add to the guest experience.

Service:The advantage of building a brand from scratch is that we can develop all systems, processes, and manpower training programmes in tune with our overall vision.

Emaar Hospitality Group has hired specialists and professionals from around the world to develop ground breaking differentials in service to ensure exceptional guest experiences.

To book: Reservations for The Address, Downtown Burj Dubai can be made by calling the UAE toll free number and helpline 800 ADDRESS and +971 4 436 8888 or by logging onto www.theaddress.com.

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