Hotels across the UAE are well-positioned to make the most of the Eid Al Adha break, with many reporting close to full occupancies as a result of their attractive packages and unique offerings for domestic travellers.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Tim Cordon, senior area vice president for the Middle East & Africa, Radisson Hotel Group, noted that the past months’ recovery has been driven by a rebound in domestic tourism and, as a result, hotels had to change their approach in terms of strategy. Whilst summer and special occasions such as Eid, are usually synonymous with travelling, enjoying a well-deserved break or visiting loved ones, many residents have been opting for mini getaways and staycations, preferring to stay within the country.
“With that in mind, it has become essential to create attractive packages and offerings in order to grab the consumer’s interest,” said Cordon. “It has become crucial to add value to existing offerings. Guests, especially in a city like Dubai, are now looking for incentives such as F&B discounts, free upgrades, added value and booking flexibility.”
The unique selling points of a hotel, he added, no longer focus solely on location, it focuses on the flexibility the guest has in terms of bookings and cancellations, the type of experience the guest will receive when staying at the hotel, and their safety.
“While location and experiences used to be the main deciding factor, consumers also want to be reassured that hotels are taking their health and safety seriously,” Cordon said. “Personally, I believe there is a real opportunity for brands to stand by and clearly communicate their brand values and positioning to consumers. Consumers need to believe in your brand, in your health and safety commitment and that you will deliver on your promises.”
Alexander Lee, CCO at Jumeirah Group, had a similar observation, saying that the group’s properties in the UAE have seen “a tremendous response” from the domestic market, particularly over the weekends and national holidays. “We are seeing a positive uptake for the upcoming Eid Al Adha break. Our dedicated staycation offers are helping to drive this interest as they allow guests the chance to spend time with loved ones, while enjoying luxurious hospitality within stunning locations that are close to home, ideal when they cannot travel abroad so freely.”
“We offer exciting new dining concepts as well as new and improved resort facilities, including refreshingly chilled pools,” he added. “These, combined with our world class safety efforts and an exceptional breadth of experiences, as well as our 2km private beachfront in Dubai, have enabled us to deliver exciting new concepts to attract guests with mindful, shareable and enriching experiences.”
Similarly, Matthew Mullan, GM of Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, pointed out that having a wide range of family friendly activities is important for customer satisfaction. “With individuals being more inclined towards domestic travel this Eid al-Adha, residents are looking for an escape from the ordinary and turning to local destinations for a fun and engaging break. We are excited to welcome families and guests to explore our range of activities and to be able to provide them with experiences that will offer lasting memories for years to come.”
As part of the staycation package, he explained that the hotel is offering a host of additional benefits, including access to Yas Theme Parks, included in each stay for every registered guest, which are valid for Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld or Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi.
“Our limited-time F&B offers across our dining venues over the holiday provides guests with the opportunity to enjoy a family-friendly Eid al-Adha brunch or an Eid al-Adha dinner at Graphos Social Kitchen,” he said. “Guests looking to celebrate Eid with a special Levant Afternoon Tea can do so at Osmo – Lounge and Bar. They can indulge in an array of bites, teas, coffees or juice, while overlooking the Yas Bay lighting up with a magnificent display of Eid fireworks across the three days of Eid al-Adha.”
Jan Moenkedieck, GM of Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, added that it is important to have activities that are specifically catered to children at the hotel. “Alongside our newly revamped Kids Club we have implemented multiple initiatives for the little ones: a Kids Concierge program, new children’s menus, plus engagement from arrival to departure. Our kids can choose from several activities based on their interests, designing their own bespoke recreation program.”
To ensure younger guests are thoroughly entertained, Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah also provides a dedicated Kids Passport upon arrival, which includes games and puzzles, and a section for stamps that children can collect by visiting different checkpoints within the resort.
“We have two separate pools, one catering to families, and another for adult’s only, providing some quiet time for those who need it. Guests can also enjoy our pristine private beach which enjoys stunning views across the Arabian Gulf shoreline, alongside a woodhouse and kids' slides for extra fun,” Moenkedieck said. “All the hotel staff are feeling incredibly positive about the long break ahead and we are delighted to have the opportunity to provide travellers with everlasting memories.”
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