Hilton takes on Miral cluster

The group will focus on all channels for distribution; "the travel trade is a very important sector for Abu Dhabi and Yas Island, and we will work with them extensively", says Mathew Mullan, Cluster General Manager, Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island in an interview with TTN

Matthew Mullan, Cluster GM

DoubleTree by Hilton – Yas Island Residences and the WB Abu Dhabi, the world’s first Warner Bros. branded hotel, which will be part of Curio Collection by Hilton, will open days from each other in the third quarter of this year, TTN has learnt.

Featuring 545 guest rooms (including 59 suites) the wide range of facilities on offer include signature dining and cafés, a fully equipped Kid’s Club, a Beach Club, a stunning temperature controlled outdoor pool, a spa and fitness centre, and a multi-purpose conference centre. As well as receiving complimentary access to Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, and Warner Bros. World, resident guests will be in close proximity to the Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi’s first-of-its-kind multi-purpose indoor entertainment venue, and Yas Marina Circuit – home of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hilton has dipped into its talent pool and fished out one of its most experienced general managers, winner of HCIMA General Manager of the Year at one point, to operate Miral’s 958-key trio of hotels on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.

Matthew Mullan has had a career with Hilton spanning more than three decades. An island man hailing from Ireland, he really looks forward to working on Yas Island, and has most recently headed Hilton Malta and Hilton Barbados (all islands!).

It is also important to mention that Mullan has also been Cluster General Manager for Hilton in Sharm El Sheikh, shouldering the responsibility of 1,800 rooms. So, the 958-key cluster on Yas Island should hardly be a challenge, though the cluster property is reminiscent of the Habtoor cluster on Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road, which was managed for a relatively small amount of time by Hilton before the owner, Al Habtoor Group, took over the operations.

“I didn’t work for that particular cluster, but I know that cluster operations do work,” Mathew Mullan, Cluster General Manager, Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island tells TTN in an interview. “On Yas Island, in particular, we will have one commercial team that will work together on all the key assets of the island, working with the theme parks, Etihad Arena, Clymb Abu Dhabi, the Marina Circuit and the other attractions such as Qasr Al Watan.

“We will focus on all channels for distribution – we work with many partners across all sectors. The travel trade is a very important sector for Abu Dhabi and Yas Island, and we will work with them extensively. We will promote our own channels too naturally. Our key source markets are every market as and when they open up. The staycations will come first, of course and the GCC will follow closely as our most important feeder market.”

The focus on Yas Island is very much on being family-friendly entertainment destination, though the singles and the couples are welcome too, of course, and this extends to Hilton’s trio as well with “the family market being a key element of our business”.

“Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island is the larger of the three, with fabulous views overlooking Yas Bay. We are right next to the Etihad Arena and we will open our beach club later in the year, the promenade and the pier will also open later in the year. Once fully operational, over 30 food and beverage outlets and more than 20 retail outlets – we hope the Southern end of Yas Island will be the new centre of Abu Dhabi.

“Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island has great events space – we have two ballrooms and 12 meeting rooms. There is a luxurious Hilton-branded eforea spa, gym, a fabulous kids club, but perhaps the most important is the make-up of our bedrooms. We cater to families throughout all our room types: we have 24 one-bedroom suites and 14 two-bedroom suites, all our king rooms have sofa beds, we have 250 interconnecting rooms etc.”

Adjacent to the award-winning Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld theme parks, is The WB Abu Dhabi, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, the world’s very first Warner Bros. property right in front of the entrance to the theme park. The hotel has 257 keys over eight levels and has been designed to celebrate Warner Bros.’ rich heritage in film, television, comic and so much more, providing an unforgettable and unique experience for guests. “It is absolutely aimed at the family market: 137 double-double bedrooms, king rooms with sofa beds, 10 rooms would include bunk beds and 10 suites as well.”

DoubleTree by Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island Residences will offer an exclusive range of service accommodation on Yas Island. The property will comprise of 156 units in a mixture of studio, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments. The accommodation will provide kitchens, a gym and various recreational facilities. “The 103 one-bedroom suites, 11 two-bedroom suites are a perfect range of accommodation for families and long-stay guests, corporate clients, predominantly focused on the leisure market.”

Managing a cluster property can be stressful so Mullan shares his secret hideout at the Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island for a few minutes of peace. “My favourite place has to be the terrace at Osmo – Lounge and Bar, with its panoramic view of the resort, beach club and promenade as the sun goes down – just a beautiful view taking in Yas Bay.”