Al Habtoor City spotlights Imex participation
We speak to Hadi Pirzada, Complex Director of Sales and Marketing, Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection, for more insights into his 1,000+ keys inventory and the Mice-perfect location that is Al Habtoor City. “This is a fantastic playground for me as a Mice hotelier,” Pirzada tells us. “In fact, we love to position ourselves as the 1,001 Arabian Nights due to the fact we are able to host more than 1,000 rooms, city-wide events and magical entertainment such as La Perle by Dragone all under one roof!”
Pirzada brings over two decades of global hotel business development experience across Asia, North America, Europe and Middle East. As the Complex Director of Sales and Marketing for Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection, he spearheads the commercial team primarily overseeing Mice, Corporate, Consortia and Airline segments for all three hotels in the complex - Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City, V Hotel Dubai – Curio Collection by Hilton, and Habtoor Palace Dubai – LXR Hotels & Resorts.
Excerpts from our interview with him can be found here:
Tell us about your IMEX Frankfurt 2022 participation.
IMEX Frankfurt is a very important platform for any hospitality industry to engage with and to promote their destination. It provides an opportunity to reason, reflect and rationalise the new future of Mice business with multiple stakeholders in one meeting point. Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection is located at the heart of Dubai near the airport, Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah and La Mer neighbourhoods. In the post-pandemic era, guests love to preserve their time and energy more than ever, and they also love the fact that we enjoy two resounding namesakes: the Hilton portfolio of brands globally renowned as industry-leading, along with the Habtoor family conglomerate, its aura in the Arab world, and its genuine engagement on the local communities.
What is the future of Mice post covid?
The hospitality industry was one of the sectors that had the most hostile effects of the pandemic globally, especially in markets like Dubai where the business reliance was on multiple external source markets.
However, Dubai managed the pandemic well and with timely and firm measurements by Dubai Tourism and key initiatives by industry stakeholders, the rebound was quick. Domestic staycations, government and medical tourism sectors helped us through the challenging times.
Since the start of 2021, we witnessed business from new emerging markets across transient and groups segments. Expo 2020 Dubai was the key contributor for creating high demand for Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection. We delivered back-to-back successful large groups for our complex including several buyouts and very high-end events – Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, which is the world’s leading international literary festival as well as the Arab world’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word, which had taken over 400 rooms at Habtoor Palace and 15 banquet venues within the complex. Or, The Prime Minister’s Office event, which focuses on the driver of leadership and excellence in the government through providing direct support to federal entities. This event had secured the complex 1,000 rooms over a span of 4 days.
With still more potential from China as one of our key feeder markets is currently under lockdown, we started to see incremental demand in Mice from European, Latin, Israel, Africa, South East Asia and Indian markets. This trend will continue through the rest of 2022 – with the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 we expect the ripple benefits for the region and its main hub – Dubai.
Is the complex perfectly suited for hosting large-scale Mice events?
Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection with three Hilton brands positioned for different target markets and interconnected to each other in the heart of Dubai Downtown, presenting over 5,000 square metres of meeting space and 1,600 rooms, is absolutely a perfect destination to cater to any Mice opportunity. Our diverse multilingual work force of over 62 nationalities and strong testimonials created by the successful delivery of large international groups provide confidence to all partners to choose Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection as their preferred Mice destination. Not to mention that Dubai has enjoyed such wonderful traction since the beginning of 2022 with Expo 2020 Dubai, the Holy month of Ramadan, Eid holidays and Arabian Travel Market paving the road to a most eventful 2022.
What are your biggest markets in Mice this year?
Every market is key for us to succeed and with the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in Q4, we are once again blessed to see Dubai selected as one of the official satellite cities for hotel accommodations. We are looking forward to creating additional experiences, excitement and eventually demand from the European, Latin and African markets in terms of association and incentive groups. Dubai has shown how the world is opening up and Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection encourages all partners to share this vision as they explore and travel and of course choose Al Habtoor City Collection as their next Mice destination.