Emaar Hospitality Group’s Olivier Harnisch highlights his operational strategy

Emaar Hospitality Group’s Olivier Harnisch highlights his operational strategy


Olivier Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer, Emaar Hospitality Group

MENA hotels’ performance has traditionally been driven by the growth in tourism – both business and leisure. Lately, we see new trends evolving – including staycations, and an increased focus on domestic tourism such as in the KSA.  Across our properties in the UAE, we have continued to record robust performance. We have 13 operational hotels in Dubai under our three hotel brands – the premium luxury Address Hotels + Resorts; the upscale lifestyle Vida Hotels and Resorts, and the contemporary midscale Rove Hotels. Our strategy for the MENA region is to further expand our footprint through management agreements. We have already expanded to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Turkey, and the Maldives, and we have a strong and growing footprint in the UAE.

We are also looking at many European destinations in addition to establishing a presence in long-term target-markets such as China and India. Our operational strategy also includes the integration of advanced technology that will further enhance guest service standards across all touch-points. Our primary focus is on delivering exceptional guest experiences in elegantly designed hotel projects in exotic destinations. That is our fundamental strength. We build on it by leveraging advanced technology that enhance the guest journey. We employ and train hospitality professionals, from around the globe, and we have a our unique pool of talent that we rely on to deliver superior guests services. U By Emaar, our multi-tier rewards program, is another differentiating strength. We are a homegrown company founded in Dubai, and we understand the aspirations of both hotel owners and developers – and this is underlined in our portfolio of over 50 operational and upcoming hotel projects. Naturally, we adopt an approach that is focused on delivering value to the owners/developers, and this means, working closely with them, right from the design stage and through operations, to create distinctive hotels. A hotel concept that meets the aspirations of guests – from the region and beyond – is imperative to drive success. That is what we have proven with our three hotel brands.

It is important to develop brands that meet the diverse spectrum of needs and aspirations of travelers. For example, our Address Hotels + Resorts is a premium luxury that has brought a fresh identity to the global hospitality and service sector by setting new benchmarks with its gracious hospitality and exceptional service standards. As for Vida Hotels and Resort, it is a refreshingly different upscale lifestyle hotel and residences brand for the new generation of business executives, entrepreneurs and leisure travelers. When it comes to Rove Hotels, it defines a new niche in Dubai’s hospitality sector, a concept that underlines efficiency and convenience. Every hotelier faces challenges to secure large returns on investment but the question is how to impress your present and future clientele and ensure a degree of loyalty. The key is to offer hospitality choices that meet guests aspirations. There are no shortcuts to this, and we have to ensure that all fundamentals are in place. For example, Rove Hotels since its inception has enjoyed high occupancy levels across all five of the newly opened properties meaning the time and investment Emaar Hospitality Group forecasted for the new brand is yielding dividends. Similarly, we have carried out our due diligence on newly explored markets where Emaar Hospitality Group now has a presence and we expect significant returns. Geopolitical and economical factors always pose challenges but as an established regional company with its roots in the Middle East’s commercial hub, we have excellent relationships with our partners enabling us to address the concerns and record continued growth in RoI.

Upcoming projects

  • Signed management agreements to operate Address Aljada Sharjah, Vida Aljada Sharjah, Rove Aljada Sharjah; Address Al Marjan Island, Rove Al Marjan Island and Rove Manar Mall in Ras Al Khaimah, Palace Al Khan in Sharjah, and Vida Al Qasba Sharjah. We have also announced 366-room Rove La Mer located in the heart of La Mer, Dubai’s world-class beachfront.
  • In Saudi Arabia, we have signed the agreement to operate Jabal Omar Address Makkah. The project will feature 1,490 rooms and suite. Further, we are operating Rove King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia, with 240 hotel rooms.

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