DOHA TOP TEN

Qatar 2019 | TOURISM | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Mohamed Chebil, General Manager of The Curve Hotel, on three years of operations, the effects of the blockade on Qatar, and expectations for the sector in the coming years.

The hotel was established in 2016. How have the first years of operations panned out?

The Curve Hotel opened its doors in 4Q2016. And within the short period of our operation, in 2017, we were among the top-10 ranked hotels in Doha. We not only capitalized on being a new property and a fresh brand, but also made sure that the vast experience of our staff was reflected in the service provided to our guests. From the start of our operations we have aimed to live by our tag motto, which is “the place to embrace the city.” We do that by being customer oriented, and by making sure that they have significant memorable experiences, also feel that they have a home-away-from-home on a daily basis.

What changes have you seen in your occupancy rates since the blockade, and what type of customer are you targeting currently?

The primary challenge that the blockade brought to the hospitality industry was that the increased supply became more evident as more new hotels and hotel apartments commenced operations, while the market suddenly narrowed. Our primary target market consisted of corporate executive managers, which was also a minority in the market. In order to meet the challenge of maintaining our occupancy, we widened our reach to include sporting events, airlines, diplomats, and the state sector, as well as tourism mainly from Oman and Kuwait, and residents, which we consider part of local tourism. Through our consistent efforts in promoting our brand, we created a strong awareness and in parallel our solid reputation in the market generated positive feedback from our guests. In return, we are able to manage our high occupancy without affecting our rates, and to remain aligned with the international brands.

What are your plans to maintain healthy visitor numbers at The Curve Hotel?

The Curve Hotel sustains its principles of providing a consistent high level of service, this is the key to continued dynamism in terms of visitor numbers. It is more important to keep and maintain existing guests, as apart from representing stable business, their satisfaction also help bring in new business. This luxurious and modern hotel transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary with its amenities and special offers as it allows guests plenty of opportunities to indulge and relax. It is an ideal place to settle in as a resident, or alternatively simply enjoy for short stay, meeting a diversity of lifestyle needs. We are also taking the opportunity to promote individual facilities available at the property through separate promotions such as the rooftop pool, which gives a panoramic view of the Arabian Gulf, our well-equipped gym and the Skinsation Spa. The several restaurants and coffee shops to have recently opened on our ground level, have also promoted the property to a wider market, creating greater awareness.

How would you assess the overall health of the Qatar's tourism sector?

The overall health of Qatar's tourism sector is good, and it is making sure that it maintains that condition through diversification of its activities, and by defining new sources of tourism. The Qatar National Tourism Council has been working to attract visitors to the State of Qatar from previously untapped markets such as luxury cruises. It is also creating culture years with China, Russia and India, in parallel to opening the curtain on these markets. It has also made itself more present in other countries by opening tourism offices. The Council continues to work closely with tour operators and Qatar Airways, specifically for its stop over program. QNTC is slowly, but surely addressing the issue of tourism through exploring alternative opportunities, which consequently helps the hospitality industry of Qatar.