Five minutes with Aiman Roujouleh

Five minutes with Aiman Roujouleh

Aiman Roujouleh, VP sales for the Middle East and Turkey of Mandarin Oriental, shares news about the brand and how the post-Covid-19 hospitality market is shaping up.

What can you tell us about Mandarin Oriental’s strategy?
Today, we are firmly established as a luxury player, present in major cities and resort destinations around the world. We currently operate 35 hotels and seven residences in 24 countries and territories, with each property reflecting the group’s Oriental heritage and unique sense of place. This includes our first Middle East properties in Dubai and Doha, which opened in 2019, as well as the management of the iconic Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, in 2020 and Al Faisaliah Hotel, Riyadh, earlier this year, both to be re-branded in 2022 following extensive renovations.

What is the new normal and how is Mandarin Oriental safeguarding the well-being of its guests?
Now, more than ever, there is a strong emphasis on safety and comfort. Mandarin Oriental has implemented an additional “We Care” program with strict protocols to further safeguard the comfort, health and safety of guests and employees. These measures are implemented across our portfolio and are audited annually by an internationally recognized third-party assessor (Lloyd’s Register).

What are your market expectations?
Our guests are still cautious of the changing guidelines and measures when considering traveling overseas, which still encourages more local and regional travel. In addition, guests are keeping a close eye on the number of cases and immunization rate of each destination. However, we have recently noticed a boost in travel, with more countries being added to green lists, borders reopening  most recently Abu Dhabi  and the lifting of travel restrictions in Saudi Arabia. We are hopeful that these developments will restore the confidence of travelers, although it will take time before we reach the levels we enjoyed pre-Covid-19.

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