Jul. 8, 2015


Karim Bizid

UAE, Dubai

Karim Bizid

General Manager, The Oberoi

TBY talks to Karim Bizid, General Manager of The Oberoi, on the evolution of Dubai's hospitality industry, catering to customers, and setting the bar high.

BIO

Karim Bizid has over 26 years of experience in the hotel industry, including in the UAE, Italy, the Dominican Republic, Austria, Greece, Switzerland, and Tunisia. He is a graduate of the Swiss School of Hotel and Tourism Management and studied at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He also has an MBA from the University of Economy and Management.

What are some of the landmarks and achievements of the Oberoi Hotel?

The Oberoi is a luxury five-star brand that started 87 years ago. The Oberoi group is present in India, Bali, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. The Oberoi, Dubai is our first milestone here in the UAE and officially opened on November 4th, 2013. Since then we have been recognized as Middle East's Leading Luxury City Hotel by the World Travel Awards for two consecutive years and Best New Business Hotel by Readers of Business Traveller Middle East in 2014, and what really puts a smile on my face is the number one position we have been awarded in service by ReviewPro, which ranks your hotel based on an aggregate of reviews from social media websites like TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and other similar platforms.

What were the factors that contributed to these achievements?

The hotel is extremely well designed and has one of the largest rooms in the city, expansive meeting venues, and panoramic views of the Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai skyline. But the real key to our success is our team. Our service is the secret of our success, and that is with any successful hospitality business. At Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, we invest a lot in our colleagues and follow a rigorous recruitment process. We have our own hospitality management school, The Oberoi Center for Learning and Development, which was established in 1966 in New Delhi. Most of the group's team members are trained there. Additionally, the group has a legacy of caring for the communities and leverages our people, our brands, our relationships, and our global reach because we are uniquely equipped to help our associates and guests create a better world to experience. Environmental stewardship and social responsibility are core to the way the Oberoi Group does business We care about our associates, guests, owners, and communities, and commit to doing the right thing for all our stakeholders. For every guest that enters our hotel, we try to discretely find out their preferences. We aim to completely personalize our service. Every team member in the hotel is empowered to take decisions in order to deliver exceptional levels of service to guests at all times.

Since the opening of The Oberoi in Dubai, how would you describe your customer base?

Middle East and Europe are our key source market. India undoubtedly remains strong given our brand presence across the peninsula. We have a strong network of sales offices across the globe. Weekend travel is from neighboring Emirates.

How would you assess the level of competition for hotels in Dubai?

I believe the level of competition here in Dubai is very healthy. There is a clear difference between luxury five-star properties and three- and four-star hotels, which all complement each other to position Dubai on global tourism and commercial maps. I am very happy that several great hospitality brands have opened here.

What are your expectations for the year ahead?

We aim to be the hotel of choice for those visiting Dubai and to have a comfortable stay and an enjoyable time in Dubai. Since opening we have maintained our positioning of being amongst the top 5 on TripAdvisor out of 481 hotels in Dubai, by guest reviews. We aim to build on what we have achieved over the last two years.

ADVERTISEMENT