Jul. 8, 2015


Philippe Zuber

UAE, Dubai

Philippe Zuber

COO, Emaar Hospitality Group

TBY talks to Philippe Zuber, COO of Emaar Hospitality Group, on the importance of offering varied choices to visitors, entertainment, and engaging service.

BIO

As Chief Operating Officer for Emaar Hospitality Group, Philippe Zuber brings with him over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Mr. Zuber joined The Address Hotels & Resorts in 2011 as General Manager of Emaar Hospitality Group’s flagship hotel, the Address Downtown Dubai. Prior to becoming COO, he served as the Regional General Manager of The Address Hotels & Resorts, in addition to providing his expertise as General Manager. He studied Hotel Management in France, and is a post-graduate in Finance and Management in the Hotel Industry. Prior to joining Emaar, He worked with a number of internationally renowned hotel brands in Hong Kong, South Korea, France, Germany, Morocco, and the US.

How would you describe Emaar Hospitality's primary focus?

Emaar Hospitality Group fulfils a key function in the integrated community development approach of global property developer Emaar Properties PJSC. The primary focus of Emaar Hospitality Group is to create, develop, and manage prime hospitality and leisure assets within Emaar's developments not only in the UAE, but in key global markets. These assets play a significant role in adding to the lifestyle choices of resident and visitors. Over the years, we have developed several iconic hotel brands in Dubai including our flagship The Address Hotels + Resorts in addition to Vida Hotels and Resorts, as well as Arabian Ranches Golf Club, Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Dubai Marina Yacht Club, and serviced residences. We also manage Emaar's portfolio in Dubai and other markets such as Turkey, Egypt, and Nigeria. We are expanding our capabilities to develop and operate new hotel concepts; currently, we are rolling out a new hotel brand for the joint venture between Emaar Properties and Meraas Holding. In Nigeria, The Address Hotels + Resorts is managing the first phase of residential and hospitality development in the Abuja Centenary City, developed by a private investment and real estate development company.

What will the brands of Vida Hotels and Resorts and others add to the portfolio of Emaar Hospitality?

With each of our hotel brands, we have a very niche and distinctive positioning. For example, The Address Hotels and Resorts is a five-star premium brand, and with Vida Hotels and Resorts we offer lifestyle boutique hotels that appeal to the new generation of tech-savvy youth and entrepreneurs. Vida Hotels and Resorts is also managing our upcoming property Manzil Downtown Dubai. Manzil offers a stylized hub with an engaging service based on Arab hospitality assuring memorable experiences for the urban traveller. Drawing inspiration from both Dubai's heritage and its remarkable leaps of achievement, the properties serve as smart, tech-savvy, social, and cultural hubs for international explorers. Ultimately, we aim to deliver refreshing, innovative, stylish, and exquisite experiences for our guests across different touch-points.

What is Emaar's growth strategy over the next two years?

Our growth strategy is to further consolidate our presence in Dubai's hospitality sector with a diverse portfolio of elegant lifestyle properties, as well as explore management contracts in fast-growing international markets. In Dubai, we complement the Tourism Vision 2020 announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to welcome over 20 million annual visitors by the turn of the decade. Our development strategy will also support the preparations for the World Expo 2020.

There is a lot of news lately regarding three- and four-star hotel chains like Starwood and Marriot developing hotels in Dubai. How will these affect the hospitality industry?

With the city serving as a strategic hub, only four hours away by flight to over 2.5 billion people, developing a diverse hospitality sector that offers varied choices for visitors will contribute to the robust growth of the sector and the economy as a whole. The development pipeline of the value segment no doubt holds tremendous potential and will complement the portfolio of five-star and ultra-luxury hotels. In fact, we are creating our own niche in the value sector through our new hotel brands.

Some hotel brands are shifting from single unit hotels to hotels based around entertainment areas. How is this industry evolving in Dubai?

Location is of strategic importance for the success of a hotel brand and individual properties. Each of The Address Hotels and Resorts five properties in Dubai is located in unique lifestyle destinations that offer more than the “hotel experience" to guests. For example, The Address Downtown Dubai is located centrally in “The Centre of Now," next door to Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. This trend is now taking further roots in Dubai with several new hotels being part of dynamic locations that offer easy access to a wide range of leisure and entertainment.

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