Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Dubai & Sharjah

Talking to the team
September 2010 2523

IN THE lead-up to the opening of Ibn Battuta Gate (IBG), TTN quizzed members of the management team about what’s on offer and the challenges of the project.

What is the single-most interesting feature guests should look forward to at IBG?

Andrew Hughes, director of sales - leisure

The property has some wonderful photo opportunities, both inside and out. However, my favourite spot is a view of Al Bahou – our Grand Hall – from the ‘bridges’ located on floors one to six. The view into the Grand Hall, down through the mammoth 88 ‘Moroccan’ lanterns is well…wow!

Al Bahou will be a hive of action and if we had seats up there, (on the bridges) I’m sure we could sell tickets.

The most common phrase I have heard from visitors in the last six months is ‘wow, I didn’t expect it to be this amazing’.  I expect every person who walks through the door will be pleased they made the choice.

Dara Pinke, director of human resources

Ibn Battuta’s travel story is quite compelling and our team has really managed to grasp it – so I would encourage guests to take a hotel tour with a team member and see the hotel’s interiors and restaurant themes that are inspired by that journey. The outlets, suites and amenities are all reflections of a great traveller who dedicated his life to exploration and new experiences. In the Grand Hall, or Al Bahou, alone you can ‘travel’ from Italy to India and then onwards to China, with a few very interesting stops along the way!

Natalie Kurz, director of conferences and events

Without question Al Bahou, our Grand Hall. It is wonderful, I love it!






Guy Epsom, business development director

The property is stunning throughout, truly. But I do love the eighth-floor swimming pool terrace. The pool and the terrace is long, somewhat Roman in look and feel and gives a very unusual view over Dubai but towards the Jumeirah Beach Residence coastline, a vista that you do not usually have the chance to see.


What has been the biggest challenge for you in your role?


The biggest challenge, and the biggest opportunity, is the location of Ibn Batutta Gate Hotel in, what we are calling,  ‘New Dubai’. However, once the picture is drawn in the minds this wonderful new location in New Dubai is fast becoming a true pull!


Ensuring we have recruited the right people to fulfill our promise of great service, excellent food and a warm welcome. I’m immensely proud of the team we have built and cannot wait to see them in action.
I believe we will see our teams gearing up for what they enjoy most – providing service to our guests.  We’ve practiced, we’ve role-played…it’s now time for the real thing. We truly can’t wait.


We have 11 meeting rooms and I had to help name them all….that really worked my creative skills!


We are opening four properties, comprising more than 1,200 rooms and some 20-plus restaurants, bars and leisure outlets in the space of seven months. Yes, it is challenging but a challenge that I am thrilled to accept head on.

Digital Edition

©Copyright Al Hilal Group 2017. Designed and Developed by Northstar Technologies.