Located on the top floors, the 913-square-metre three-bedroom suite displays paintings and art from the Churchill archives, special courtesy of the Churchill Heritage Ltd. Aviamost spoke to Ignace Bauwen Complex GM St. Regis Dubai at ATM 2016 to know more about this high-end destination in Al Habtoor City
Tell us about the vision behind your property.
We are creating the vision of the Chairman in the destination of Dubai. Al Habtoor City has three components: the hospitality component, entertainment component and the residential component. So we have 1600 hotel rooms and we have La Perle Theatre which is present in Las Vegas, Macau and now in Dubai with partnership with Dragone, the team behind Cirque du Soleil Dubai.
It’s located alongside Sheikh Zayed Road, with key accessibilty. And we are reachable by road, helipad, and by water through the canal. When our Chairman had this vision Starwoods joined hands with him to bring something new to Dubai. The city is a worldwide destination which is very vibrant and is known for presenting something new to the world. So, the first St. Regis is coming to Dubai is a well known signature that fits the destination and is known for high end luxury.
However, as the crowd in Dubai is very diverse, we thought let’s also bring a new luxury like W Dubai which is long awaited which perfectly fits. And then we thought let’s have something for entry level for everybody so we have the 1,400 rooms Westin which is focused mainly on MICE 1400+ boardroom with a lot of meeting rooms. So all the elements of success are there and this is what Al Habtoor teaming up with Starwoods means for Dubai.
What is your opinion about the theme of this year’s ATM which is mid-market travel?
Dubai as a destination with the support of HH and the DTCM have done a fantastic job in such a short time. When a destination is created, it goes through an evolution, so for Dubai to grow and host the Expo 2020, its normal, you need to diversify. If you go to a hotel, you want different types of restaurant and different price points, and from a destination which is going to reach very soon 100,000 rooms to continue the growth. So it’s very logical thing to do. It doesn’t mean luxury does not have a place as it has.
St. Regis has not completed a year as it opened in November. What are your top 3 markets?
We just had the first quarter, so we can’t give a very good overview. But we have been very well accepted by the people visiting. Our rooms are minimum of 50 sq m. The W Dubai’s vibrant luxury and the Westin we have 25 outlets F & B, 23 spa treatment rooms, so we offer a palate of choices. Centrally located we are a great destination. If you come on a 5-day trip to Dubai you are not too far from anything.
Tell us about the new Sir Winston Churchill suite.
Our Chairman is an admirer of Sir Winston Churchill and we had the opening of the spacious 913-sq m two-storey suite on 13th April in the presence of Mr. Randolph Churchill, the great grandson of the inspirational statesman, writer, orator and Prime Minister who led Britain to victory in the Second World War and Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Chairman of Al Habtoor Group.
Fittingly designed to meet the discerning eye of Sir Winston Churchill, the three-bedroom suite which is the largest of the hotel’s 52 luxurious suites, holds a meticulous attention to quality and detail, housing a collection of 15 paintings and art pieces from the Churchill archives that include portraits and photographs of the legendary statesman, paintings he mastered himself, and also exhibits a La Corona Cubano cigar, dated April 1949, that once belonged to him from the private collection of Chairman Khalaf Al Habtoor.
What do you think of the Chinese market?
People in the travel industry know that when it is the Chinese or Indian markets they are big markets. And people, whether it is Chinese or Russian when they travel they have their own touch points and we need to know what it is as each is different. They all want to have a central location, and at Al Habtoor City we can offer them different experiences.