15 MILLION VISITORS TO DUBAI IN 2017

Dubai 2018 | TOURISM | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Choe Peng Sum, CEO of Frasers Hospitality, on source markets, occupancy rates, and the company's Middle East portfolio.

Choe Peng Sum
BIOGRAPHY
Choe Peng Sum brings with him over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. A Shangri-La overseas scholarship holder, Mr. Choe held senior management positions with Shangri-La Singapore and Shangri-La Shanghai, China, before returning to Singapore to start up the hospitality arm of Singapore conglomerate, Fraser & Neave, Ltd. He stewarded the company from its inception in 1996 with two properties and 400 keys in Singapore, to currently owning and managing over 150 properties across more than 80 cities globally with a total of over 24,000 keys.

What are the most important source markets for Frasers Hospitality?

Our properties in the Middle East see a significant amount of business come from within the region, but with Dubai becoming a key destination for visitors from India and China, we are starting to see more guests from these source markets. Our growing presence in China has also resulted in increased interest from Chinese travelers who want to stay at our properties when they come to the Middle East. Aside from guests from these countries, our Middle East properties have a loyal base of customers from source markets such as Great Britain and the United States, demonstrating that our accommodation is recognized globally and meets the needs of travelers from across the globe. This has contributed to the success of our current properties in Bahrain, Doha and Dubai, which are enjoying average occupancy of over 85%. In fact, our presence in the region has boosted business from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to our properties in continental Europe and United Kingdom as well.

What is your outlook for the year ahead, and what will be your main objectives?

Fraser Suites Dubai continues to be a strong performer not only within the brand but also among its competitive set. We are greatly encouraged by Dubai's achievements and we want to be a part of Dubai's growth story. It is also timely for us to scale up in the Middle East as the region has been a key contributor to our overall growth. The recent opening of Fraser Suites Riyadh and soon-to-open Fraser Suites Muscat (August 2018) join existing properties Fraser Suites Seef, Bahrain, Fraser Suites Diplomatic Area Bahrain, Fraser Suites Doha, Fraser Suites West Bay, Doha and Fraser Suites Dubai. We are planning to double the number of properties we have in the Middle East over the next few years, with openings in Dubai, Kuwait, Al Khobar and Jeddah. These will be great additions to our Middle East portfolio and give us an opportunity to introduce some of our other brands to the region. Our objective will be to continue to fulfil the needs of guests and create memorable experiences through providing the intuitive service that Frasers Hospitality is renowned for. We are also committed to maximizing returns for our owners and partners.