Philipp Henle, head of global development at Dorchester Collection, outlines the chain’s interest in the MENA, potential business opportunities and upcoming strategies
What attractions does the MENA region hold?
The MENA region has been on a remarkable growth trajectory, one we have been closely following with great interest. When planning on having a foothold here, we identified key destinations and established Dubai as our desired point of entry. Our approach is highly- selective when it comes to choosing partners and projects as we endeavour to offer ultra-luxurious and exclusive properties in synonymy with our brand identity. Omniyat has a proven track record in producing inimitable, premium developments and we both share a similar vision. This translated into our partnership with them and marked the launch of our first project, located at Marasi Marina, in Dubai’s renowned Business Bay.
How are you preparing for the challenges this region can produce?
Despite the macro challenges that can occur in such a dynamic region, we are confident that our belief in select strategic growth will allow us to overcome any difficulties that we may face. While every market can undergo volatility, we remain confident in our ability to manage it. We mitigate such challenges by selecting the right partners who uphold our vision and exemplify individuality. We follow a long-term strategy, through which we will overcome any short-term volatility.
Besides Dubai, do you have any other target markets in your pipeline?
We generally consider key international gateway city destinations where our expertise of managing some of the world’s most iconic hotels can add value. Across each of our nine properties, the Dorchester Collection brand prides itself in sharing the same values; legendary buildings with a rich history that evoke a genuine feeling of belonging to all our guests. These values are embodied through our collective vision: “Treasured by guests. Cherished by employees. Celebrated worldwide.” This means that any property that could be considered for our pipeline must be a leading and distinguished development. Our place in the top-echelon of the ultra-luxurious hotel industry reflects the meticulous consideration that goes into the development of more properties. While there is no pressure to develop additional properties at this point, we are considering other opportunities in the region for expansion. For Dorchester Collection, it is not about the number of properties we grow, but rather in finding the right fit of both property and partner.