Emaar Hospitality Group Chief Executive Officer Olivier Harnisch talks to us about the group's new brands and growth plans for these properties.
Olivier Harnisch said: “The predictions on the hospitality landscape underline the need for the stakeholders to look at existing systems and processes, and prepare for a highly evolved industry that leverages the newest tools in digitisation. With enhanced guest experience as the bottom line, we have already rolled out our digital transformation plan with three key projects that will reshape the way we serve our guests.”
“Address Hotels + Resorts is our homegrown success story – a brand that has redefined the hospitality sector with its philosophy of ‘where life happens’. Address hotels are set apart by their location, its service standards and the wide range of lifestyle amenities that assure a premium lifestyle for guests and residents. Address Al Marjan Island marks our expansion to the fast-growing emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, which is focused on strengthening tourism and leisure developments to welcome visitors from around the world.”
“The agreement to operate Rove Mina Seyahi underlines the clear value-add and distinctive identity that the home-grown Rove Hotels brand has earned in a short span of time since its inception. It delivers the positioning of Rove Hotels of being designed for new generation travellers who recognise value, stay connected, and seek culturally inspired surroundings. Dubai Marina’s central location, the access to the wide choice of lifestyle amenities, and the signature identity of Rove Hotels to deliver fuss-free and super-efficient service will be key selling points of the development. We will continue to explore such management contracts in the UAE and the region for Rove Hotels.”
“Sharjah has unique touristic value that is defined by its cultural museums as well as natural attractions. With our three hotel brands marking their entry to Sharjah for the first time, we are not only expanding our footprint in the UAE but also contributing the strengthening the tourism sector of the emirate. While Address Aljada Sharjah will appeal to luxury travellers, Vida Aljada is for the new generation of entrepreneurs and travellers, and Rove Aljada Sharjah brings the midscale offering. All hotels stand out for their brand philosophy and design approach, and are located centrally adding to the connectivity and mobility of our guests.”
“Our youth defines the future of the hospitality industry. With the guest profile changing and a new generation of travellers and entrepreneurs demanding new hospitality experiences, it is important to have youthful thinking and young leaders, who can lead the industry to the next era. We have always focused on nurturing new talents, and this unique initiative aims to open doors for young people to learn about the industry from the experts and build for themselves a rewarding career in a managerial role. At Emaar Hospitality Group, we embrace diversity and encourage talents from any background to apply”.
According to the CEO, the company has attempted to remove all repetitive activities from their guests’ hotel stay.
“You have to reprogramme safes, set the gym equipment up how you like it, now with technology, these pieces of equipment will know your history, and your needs,” Harnisch said.
A source at the company added that once you have checked in to an Emaar hotel room, it will automatically adjust to your preferences, including lighting, the safe box passcode, the air conditioning temperature, and the default television channel.
This includes the gym equipment: Training routines and adjusted settings will be remembered from your last stay and immediately adapt to accommodate you.
“With the internet of things, installed in the safe and the shower and gym equipment, you will just need to approach these things, and they will recognise you,” Harnisch said.
“Effectively, the whole hotel will recognise you as you walk about,” a source added, asking not to be named because they were not authorised to speak publicly on the company’s plans.
Next up, Harnisch said, was Emaar’s intentions to phase out the concierge desk.
“We want our services to be ubiquitous, wherever you are in the hotel. If you want to buy theatre tickets, and you’re by the pool, the pool attendants should be able to come over, and with technology, book your tickets,” he said.
Lastly, the top executive told the gathered press that he planned to remove the clutter from hotels.
This would include, he added, television remote controls, guest room directory, and even the front desk in the lobby, all of which Harnisch referred to as “no longer necessary due to technology.”
“Once a guest can check-in online … a reception is no longer necessary. This has implications on how we design lobbies, but it also has an implication on how we treat our associates, because then roles merge, as you’re no longer a receptionist or a concierge,” he said.