The Business Year

Issam Slaimi General Manager, Golden Tulip Media Hotel

UAE - Tourism

Issam Slaimi

General Manager, Golden Tulip Media Hotel


Issam Slaimi, the General Manager of Golden Tulip Media Hotel, joined the hotel in 2015. He has close to 20 years of experience in hospitality. He comes from a sales background and has worked with hotels in Tunisia and the UAE before.

"Many hotels are already working on improving their sustainability and digitalization."
Golden Tulip Media Hotel has grown into a global hospitality leader and is extremely optimistic about its growth prospects in the vibrant tourism destination of Dubai.
What have been the keys to the success of the Golden Tulip hotel chain, which is now present in 41 countries?

In the last 40 years, the group has grown significantly, from a French SME to a global hospitality leader, with 10 brands in 54 countries. Louvre Hotels Group has always been a pioneer, leading to new standards on its category: It was the first to introduce CSR and performance management systems (PMS), the first to connect to online travel agencies, the first to offer free Wi-Fi in its hotels, the first group to launch its own booking app, and more recently the first to feature concepts mixing human and AI.

What are the main challenges facing the tourism industry in the UAE, and what can hotels do to promote the diversification of offering for tourists?

Dubai has become a global city, the most connected, safe, and talked-about city. Though there is hardly any destination that can compete with what the city has to offer, it comes also with a knowledge that whatever happens at its source markets Dubai has an impact. DTCM has done an excellent job in promoting the destination all over the world. Expo has helped Dubai market to surpass all the challenges paused by the pandemic as well.

Has Golden Tulip taken any measures to invest in solutions that ensure the health and wellbeing of its guests?

We have introduced a smart menu where guests can scan the QR code in order to see the menu. It helps us to reduce the paper usage, and it is also more hygienic. We also use a smart messaging system in all our rooms, and now all guest messages will be delivered via the TVs in rooms. We have also trained our staff with a Your Health Comes First training program to ensure the wellbeing of the staff and our guests.

How are hoteliers here working toward sustainability and digitalization, and how has this trend been accelerated recently?

Many hotels are already working on improving their sustainability and digitalization. Apart from QR code menus, smart messaging systems, and digital signs in the rooms, we have implemented digital signboards in the lobby displaying F&B promotions, free shuttle bus timings along with meeting room information displayed. On the sustainability side, the hotel has a team actively working on reducing, reusing, and recycling. There is an initiative to collect used cooking oil and given it to an agency to recycle. We are recycling used papers and ink cartridges as well as bottles and cans. We are providing hotel guests with an option to not change their towels and bedsheets daily if they prefer. We are in the process of updating our guest bathroom amenities to more sustainable ones. All our corridors are fitted with motion sensors for lights, while the air conditioning in the guest rooms are controlled by the GRMS system. We have water saving filters is all the hotel washrooms as well.

How can hotels guarantee they are not using sustainability as merely a marketing tool?

There are tools to monitor the sustainability practices, as we record weekly volume of waste generated, along with the recycled. The same is true as part of the sustainable growth program, which is a requirement from the Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) as well as the UAE portal for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

What are some investment opportunities in the hotel sector in the UAE?

With the country’s strategic location, tourism and the demand for hotel accommodation is booming. Investing in the market today will ensure your asset generates lucrative returns. Dubai is renowned for delivering consistently high hotel occupancy rates and average daily rates and is largely immune to seasonal fluctuations in real estate. Considered by many as the epitome of prolific lifestyle, Dubai offers best in class homes, hotels, offices, and much more.



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