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Interview: How can Abu Dhabi hotels compete in a changing environment?

The following interview was conducted by AMEinfo sister company Gulf Marketing Review with Julien Gonzalves, General Manager, Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Residences Emirates Pearl, at ATM 2018.

1)  What is your take on the geopolitical differences and the other issues faced by the region?

A: I think despite the problems Abu Dhabi is still growing as a destination. The Emirate is coming up with a lot infrastructure, which will help to attract the tourists. The government’s corporate rules are really strong so we believe that we will get our space in the market and this will in turn help in its success and be a very good supply to Abu Dhabi.

2) Are you worried about the occupancy rates and other rates going down?

A: No, we aren’t worried. We are very much confident about the product that we are launching. We have a food and beverage venue, which act as a magnet to drive business in the hotel. We also have a number of fantastic restaurants and a very good culinary team. All of this will help us give good performance and set a new standard for Abu Dhabi.

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3) How do you plan to market your brand?

A: We always aim to be different from the rest in the market. We have a beautiful product and all the rooms have a balcony which is rare in Abu Dhabi especially in the Corniche area. The property itself is grand and the guests will surely have an extraordinary experience and really enjoy the moment with us.

4) A lot of hotels are coming up in the UAE in the run up to Expo 2020. But what do you think will happen after that? Does the thought of it worry you?

A: We’re not worried because Expo 2020 should be attracting more people for the years to come and there are other factors too which help in making Abu Dhabi a great destination.

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5) Do you think there is a bigger appetite for the hotels in the region despite over supply?

A: We are aiming for a long term and we trying our best to do whatever we can.

6) What do you think about VAT? How has it affected the industry?

A: We weren’t there when VAT was launched, so it did not have an impact on us as such. For us VAT will be incorporated in our pricing when we’ll open in June this year. We believe in value for money and rendering the best service to our guests.

7) What do you think is the potential of hotels in the region?

A: Travellers are growing. The market is changing everywhere and the cities are trying to expand itself. So, I think all this will persuade the tourists to come and it will be a positive sign from our side.