HN Meets: Wael Soueid, Director of Paramount Hotel Dubai

HN Meets: Wael Soueid, Director of Paramount Hotel Dubai

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Paramount Pictures launched their first-ever property in the world, Paramount Hotel in Dubai. The project premiered mid-November 2019. HN had the chance to speak with Wael Soueid, director of the hotel, who joined during the pre-opening phase and with his operational and strategic insights and knowledge of the hospitality industry in the region helped propel the hotel’s successful experience.

  • Tell us more about Paramount Pictures’ first property. What characterizes it and what are its competitive advantages? Why did you debut specifically in the region?

Paramount Hotel Dubai opened November 15th, 2019. It is the first Paramount Picture licensed hotel. Hollywood glamour and California lifestyle are our signature elements. You can find throughout the hotel, exclusive images from Paramount Pictures behind the scenes as well as cinematic props and seventh art inspired décor and design. We are a new concept, a new brand on the market and we believe in an “entertaining hospitality” through our signature elements such as our screening room, California-inspired F&B outlets and movies themed suites.

  • Do you believe the market of luxury properties is still on demand in the region? or is it facing a big competition from more affordable options?

I believe the demand is still there, however competition is increasing everyday with new hotels, new outlets opening in the region, with great concepts, global recognized names and competitive prices. However, this challenges us to be more creative, inventive and somehow allow us to be different from other brands on the market at the moment. 

  • Who is the target audience you cater to?

We are mostly targeting business and groups as we have a large capacity of 823 rooms, however so far, we can see that the customer to customer (c2c) GCC market is showing as much interest as well as Europe. We are continuously increasing our efforts to make the hotel a glamorous staycation destination for Dubai residents. 

  • How are you planning competition within this segment, from both local, and international players?
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Our first action is to monitor closely our competition in terms and rates and offerings, while strategically setting up our prices, promotions and offers accordingly depending on the time of the year. But also and foremost we are concentrating on what is making our priority one of a kind and focus our marketing based on the same elements and create a difference. As a five-star – lifestyle hotel that just opened, we are constantly taking/reporting our guest’s feedback and making sure guests are satisfied and beyond, making sure they will come back and eventually become natural ‘ambassadors’ of our brand.

  • Will Paramount plan another property in the future? 

We have a few projects on our radar, however nothing is confirmed so far.  We do currently have a building under construction on Sheikh Zayed road, which will be mainly Paramount Pictures branded residences. 

  • Where do you believe the hospitality industry will be heading to in the future? What are the challenges and the opportunities?

I believe once a brand stays ahead of its time, anticipates the market, guest behavior, and tailor services, there will be opportunities. I think for 2020 and the upcoming years the main topic will be to stay in line with consumer sentiments/needs and include hotel sustainability and technologies.Sustainability in the sense that hotels will have to find the right balance between guests pampering vs impact on the environment. Technology means finding the good ratio between human interaction vs automatic solution/technologies. 

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