Set amid the shops and cafés of Dubai's JBR, The Walk and the brand new low-rise complex for leisure and shopping The Beach, Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach artfully blends Arabic design features with exquisite French elegance.
Antoine M. Lhuguenot, General Manager Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach:
What are you current target markets and what new segments are you planning to tap into for 2015 and why?
During the course of 2015 the markets featured in our business spectrum, in both the business and leisure sectors are the United Kingdom, the GCC, France, Germany, CIS and Australia. We are very excited to be venturing into the markets of North America (specifically the United States) as well as the Scandinavian countries.
Tell us about the challenges which you have faced so far and how you and your team managed to overcome these.
Over the past few years our greatest challenge has been facilities and infrastructure development in our immediately surrounding area. The upgrade of the beach facilities – the new low-rise leisure and new retail destination called ‘The Beach’, construction of the new tram system, the façade change on ‘The Walk’ and various other developments were virtually on our doorstep. It is fortunate that our commitment to service has carried us through and has made the difference on many occasions. The fact of the matter is that the developments in the area are to our benefit and add a lot of value to our product.
How was your property doing in 2014 in terms of the Russian Market? How do you identify this market in comparison with other European markets?
Last year was an exceptional year for the Russian market at Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach. We have organized ourselves according to the holidays calendar of the region and were more than prepared for their arrival. The Russian market has a comparatively very long stay therefore we offer a good opportunity to help them feel at home and build loyalty through service.
The upgraded beach and transport facilities in the area raised the interest of the Russian market in our hotel. We had a very successful New Year’s Eve. Stay offers were extended until 15 January 2015 due to the Russian festive holidays to accommodate this market segment.
4.Could you tell us about the response from your Chinese guests?
Our Chinese guests love the location. The hotel is in close proximity to all the major malls and main tourist attractions making Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach a very attractive option for Chinese travelers. To extend the best service we can to them, we have embarked on projects like asking our Chinese food chefs to adapt menus and items to their tastes.
Tell us a little about the offerings provided to holiday guests?
We offer the option of beach kits for use on the open beach that is at our doorstep. Guests are also able to rent loungers for their comfort at the beach. In addition excellent water sports facilities are available along with multiple activities and opportunities for children to enjoy themselves. Several facilities make the area very attractive to leisure guests such as a dedicated running track along the beach, the newly completed tram service which makes travel around the city very convenient. The tram also connects to the Dubai Metro and a far reaching bus service which can take you just about everywhere from malls to city attractions. Whilst, world class golf facilities are a stone’s throw away.
What are your hotel’s unique selling points?