Interview with Jose Luis Ruiz Arroyo, General Manager, Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Al Jadaf Culture Village
With 31st May 2019 marking Hilton’s first century in hospitality, the global hotel chain has planned remarkable festivities set to take place across Hilton hotels around the globe to commemorate 100 years of positive, hospitality-altering “Hilton Effect” impact.
Arabian Gazette had a chat with Jose Luis Ruiz Arroyo, General Manager of the newly opened Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Al Jadaf Culture Village who was gracious to tell us more on the hotel, current hospitality market trends, challenges, new touristic attractions around the hotel, revenue drivers, and why he’s optimistic about tourism and hospitality sectors in Dubai and the UAE.
Here are the excerpts of the interview:
AG: Please tell us more about Hilton Garden Inn Al Jadaf Culture Village.
Jose: Hilton Garden Inn Al Jadaf is a beautiful addition to the brand in Dubai. It’s Emirati-style architecture, Arabic-inspired interior design and bespoke F&B concept outlets
make it a one of a kind among an array of very successful sister properties.
AG: What is Hilton Garden Inn’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
Jose: I believe we have several USPs such as – our leading Hilton Honors Programme, Hilton Garden Inn Al Jadaf is strategically placed between Dubai Airport and Downtown Dubai, and also within a very short 10-minute drive to DIFC, World Trade Center, Festival City, Healthcare City, etc.
Also our meetings and events facilities, which are the largest compared to other Hilton Garden Inn properties in UAE, with great spaces to accommodate various corporate and social events.
Lastly, our rooftop terrace with amazing 360-degree views of the Downtown Dubai Skyline on the West side, and the Dubai Creek on the East Side, that you can enjoy while taking a relaxing dip in the pool, working out in the Fitness Center or even while receiving a soothing massage in our Wellness Center.
Top 5 reasons why someone visiting Dubai should stay at Hilton Garden Inn Al Jadaf hotel?
-Our unique value offer and the Hilton Garden Inn Service promise.
-Our strategic location.
-Our F&B offerings, which are continuously receiving praise for their quality and innovation.
-The local touch and atmosphere. Despite being an internationally branded hotel, the hotel allows the guests to immerse themselves in Emirati culture and traditions
-Our people: We have carefully selected and hand-picked our team members to provide what we call “genuine bright-hearted hospitality”.
What is your view of the current market scenario of the tourism/hospitality industry in Dubai?
Jose: Despite challenging market conditions, Dubai continues to lead in performance across the Middle East and is a Word-Class Tourism destination. In my view, Dubai ’s hospitality
sector is regarded as one of the World’s finest, and this reputation is only a testament to the hard work of the people that form this industry and the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
What are the current challenges for the hospitality industry?
Currently, the growth rates of supply and demand are slightly unbalanced which is affecting the ADR in the market. Our plan to tackle this problem is always through differentiation and by continuously exceeding our guests’ expectations so that they become loyal to our property. A hotel should never become a simple commodity that competes only through price.
Your thoughts on the new Dubai Creek Harbour and how it will have a positive impact on Hilton Garden Inn hotel?
Jose: I’m very pleased to see this amazing project coming to life right opposite the Creek from us. Dubai Creek Tower, Dubai Square, the Harbour, will undoubtedly be excellent demand generators for our business within a very short distance to our Hotel.
What are your current top priorities and how do you plan to achieve them for Hilton Garden Inn?
Jose: Our priorities this year are several: a successful commercial ramp-up, establishing our desired reputation in the market, opening our Specialty Restaurant & Bar with “Str.Eat Culture” now in February and adding one more outlet in the rooftop towards the end of the year. As always with our objectives, there is no magic formula: we plan to achieve them only through proper planning and hard work.
What are the top revenue drivers for Hilton Garden Inn?
Jose: Speaking of Hilton Garden Inn and our business model, our top revenue driver is always rooms, which we sell through our commercial engine to every segment of the market. However, here at Hilton Garden Inn Al Jadaf, I foresee an important percentage of revenue coming through F&B, including Banqueting in our state-of-the-art facilities.
Which are your top source markets and what plans and initiatives have you got in place to attract more to your hotel?
Jose: Our top source markets so far are Saudi Arabia, United States, United Kingdom, India, and China just to name a few. As a company with a global presence, we are always working with our Hilton Sales Offices around the World to make use of any opportunity to attract more travellers to Dubai.
Five reasons you are optimistic about the tourism and hospitality sectors in Dubai and the UAE?
• The construction industry is still expanding.
• Dubai delivers new quality attractions every year.
• Huge source markets like China and India are growing at important rates.
• Mid-Scale hotel investments also continue their expansion due to market demand.
• Dubai International Airport keeps securing its place as the third busiest Airport in the World, annually receiving almost 90 million passengers.