Airport hotels ready for summer surge

Tyrone Lodder

Dubai Airports expects 5 million travellers monthly during the summer of 2022, with annual traffic projected to reach 58.3 million this year. Accor’s cluster property of 700-something rooms right by Dubai International Airport is all set to make the most of this summer surge.

TTN spoke to Tyrone Lodder, Cluster General Manager of ibis Styles Dubai Airport Hotel and Grand Mercure Hotel And Residences Dubai Airport, for more.

“With Dubai marketing and positioning themselves so well around the world, I believe we will also have a reasonable summer as people are keen to travel,” Lodder tells TTN.

“We opened in late 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, but we had a fantastic fourth quarter last year and it gave us a great positioning. First quarter 2022 has also done relatively well. Going forward, I believe the fourth quarter this year will be spectacular and not just for our property, but for Dubai.

“We did have one of the runways shut in May, but what will be a little more challenging is the war in Ukraine and Russia. We do have some travellers from these countries, but being a four star and three-star brand, attracting the middle class, this has affected us.

China too has a huge range of travellers from all market segments, and they know the brands well, we hope for them to come back by the end of the year.”


“We are currently working on our roof top pool with a glass bottom and a 360-degree view of Dubai, where you will be able to see Dubai Festival City to Sharjah, Deira and the Burj Khalifa”
– Tyrone Lodder

As the cluster general manager, Lodder is the force behind the smooth running of the 351 key Ibis Styles (a three-star economy brand), and a 104-key Grand Mercure Residence plus a four-star deluxe 257-key Grand Mercure Hotel. He has been with Accor in Dubai for over a decade and has build an impressive track record of management and operational roles with some of the key cluster properties in Dubai.

The properties are ideally located in the Dubai International Airport area, a 10-minute drive from any major location in the city, be it the World Trade Centre, the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall neighbourhood, the Beach or the Gold Souk.

“We are very central for our 50/50 mix of both business and leisure travellers. Some of our leisure mix may just be a stopover to the next destination. From a business point of view, being next to Deira, this area of Dubai is key for travellers from the Gulf area.

“For the leisure segment, we have fantastic facilities: a huge swimming pool, kids’ facilities. We are currently working on our roof top pool with a glass bottom and a 360-degree view of Dubai, where you will be able to see Dubai Festival City to Sharjah, Deira and the Burj Khalifa.

“Other added value that we offer is our shuttle service. This not only is to and from the airport, but recently we have added a shuttle to and from The Dubai Mall and the beach at Le Mer. From a business perspective, we offer shuttles to DAFZA (Dubai Airport Free Zone). We hope to link up with other shopping centres such as at Deira City Centre and Dubai Festival City,” the cluster expert tells TTN.

“We have three distinctive products; a 351- key Ibis Styles, which is our three-star economy brand. This brand has all the essentials, but we also have one of the largest Ibis Syles room at 27 sqm and it has a new trendy look and feel, a hip brand which takes in the local flavours. For example, our rooms have the skyline of Dubai behind the headboard.”

The 104-key Grand Mercure Residence consisting of 1,2 & 3 bedrooms and this is perfect for the corporate long stays and GCC families, Lodder tells us.

“Our four-star deluxe Grand Mercure Hotel’s 257 rooms are a mix of junior and executive suites and superior rooms. We are positioning this property to be the best four-star hotel in this area. Each of these products are marketed and positioned differently from a rate strategy and we ensure we are opened to all segments and channels and, of course, this includes TTN’s readers, the travel trade,” he says.

- With inputs from Kim Thomson