Iberotel Miramar expands to meet growing demand

Fujairah hotels provide a good weekend break to the UAE population as most of the time temperature is a little bit lower than most of the country’s parts, according to a top official of Iberotel Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort.

By Abdul Basit (INTERVIEW)

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Published: Mon 20 Aug 2012, 10:36 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:34 PM

Summer is difficult in terms of occupancy level, but weekend guests from other emirates keep hotels busy and it’s very important business, Iberotel Miramar general manager Ashraf Helmy told Khaleej Times in an interview.

Fujairah and specially Al Aqah area needs more five star hotels as the demand is increasing, he said, adding that there are around four five-star hotels in Al Aqah area and at least four more are needed to meet the demand.

“We are spending more than Dh15 million for expansion and renovation of the hotel to meet the growing demand,” Helmy, who is also area business development manager for Iberotel, said.

Miramar is an upmarket Moroccan-style property in the heart of Fujairah, which has more than 300 rooms, suites, executive rooms, and specially designed family rooms. The five-star resort overlooks the sea and its own pristine private beach with impressive Hajaar Mountains as a backdrop.

Talking about the details of expansion plan, he said: “We are in the process of building our new conference room that can accommodate 700 guests theater style. We are also in the designing stage of building a three-bedroom royal suite with private pool, sauna and whirl pool.”

“We are planning to complete all expansion work by the middle of next year while renovation of all 321 rooms will be completed in October this year,” he added.

He mentioned that winter season is always busy for the hotel with around 85 per cent occupancy level, but summer season is just 55 per cent occupancy level.

Most of the hotel guests come from European countries, he said, adding that summer brings travelers from Russia, Germany and the UK while winter attracts guests from France, Italy, Belgium and Scandinavian countries.

Miramar Al Aqah is a unique property, he said, adding: “In the area we are the only hotel which is really resort type and not high rise building. When we designed the place, we make sure it should be part of culture and Arab style building. Tourists need to see they don’t have in their own countries”.

Talking about breakeven, he said it also depends on season as summer and winter rates are different. “In winter we can breakeven when we are at 25 per cent occupancy level, but for summer we should need at least 45 per cent occupancy level because of lower rates.”

The property is introducing new entertainment from forthcoming Eid to attract more guests from other emirates, he said, adding: “We are making special offers for Eid and guests will get lower rates on booking of more nights.” Helmy joined Miramar Al Aqah with more than 30 years knowledge in the industry. “I am with the property before its opening in October 28, 2007.”

During the last couple of year, Helmy opened nine properties in Egypt, New Zealand and other countries. “This is longest stay hotel after the opening and the reason is that I really love this area.”

abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com



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