The General Manager of The Oberoi, Dubai Karim Bizid shares his views on the ongoing trends, F&B options and concierge services in the hotel business

In your opinion, name three things that the modern business traveller looks for first in his/her room. 

A discerning business traveller is looking for hotels which offer reliability, personalised recognition, memorable experiences and are value for money. The first thing that a business traveller is looking for in a hotel is good internet connectivity and convenient plug point to charge their devices — this feature should be available in more than one location and must be easy to find and use. Next is coffee and tea making facilities with a good variety of refreshments easily available in the room.  Third is a smart television with a plethora of channels to choose from — international travellers smile from their heart when their noticing their own home country channels or the latest business news available in their rooms.

The ongoing trend is one of personalized, boutique luxury. How does a chain hotel like yours cater to this trend and offer a more personalized experience? Could you elaborate on these touch points?

Oberoi Hotels & Resorts is known for providing a right blend of service, luxury and efficiency. We offer customized amenities such as personalized picture frames, rose baths, different room setups for special occasions. To ensure maximum guest satisfaction, we have butler service available in all room categories. These key factors contribute towards attracting more guests to The Oberoi, Dubai and therefore we enjoy a 40 per cent repeat guest ratio, placing it amongst the highest in the city in terms of customer loyalty.

In a city like Dubai, where standalone restaurants are a great strength, how do you manage to showcase the F&B offering of the hotel and keep guests within the property to enjoy this offering?

The Oberoi, Dubai is indeed a culinary destination in itself. There are five varied restaurants and lounges which have their own distinct cuisine type – there is the world cuisine restaurant Nine7One; Ananta, the signature Indian Restaurant; Matto, offering Italian cuisine; Waka the Latin American restaurant and Iris, the rooftop restaurant and lounge. Updating the menus and our offering in these outlets on a regular basis is key to our success. Through social media engagement, we engage our customers with raffles and quizzes to alert them about our latest menus and offerings.

 Let’s talk about concierge services, what, in your opinion, does the modern-day concierge need to have, in terms of skills and knowledge. Put this in context to your hotel?

With guests always looking for dynamic experiences within a city, especially business travellers who visit one destination multiple times, we do need to ensure that the hotel concierge is able to not just suggest but make arrangements for relevant adventure, and cultural experiences. We, at The Oberoi, Dubai have experts, part of Les Clefs d’Or on our team who are a one stop contact for making such arrangements. Once every two weeks, we do take our concierge team to experience new restaurants, malls and events. Build a strong relationship with our partners in the city is a key to better serve our guests without any hesitation and exceed their expectation.

Wellness is a huge trend for the business traveller. Tell me how your hotel is catering to the wellness element (not only with spa but with other wellness/health-oriented touchpoint as well)

We have a dedicated wellness floor at The Oberoi, Dubai comprising of The Oberoi Spa equipped with a range of body and beauty treatments including Ayurveda, Aromatherapy, Balinese, Classical Swedish, Shiatsu and Thai massages. Guests also have the facility to experience the ancient art of yoga on the beautiful yoga deck located between the two towers of hotel, offering serene views of the city along with a temperature controlled outdoor pool. The wellness floor also features a 24-hour operational state-of-the-art fitness centre with cardio stations as well as the latest strength training equipment. .

In other news, The Oberoi, Dubai has introduced a special offer — Magnificent Dubai which includes accommodation for a minimum of two nights, complimentary upgrade, 20 per cent savings on spa therapies, 20 per cent off on food and beverages, late check out until 6 pm and complimentary transfers to Dubai mall. Get more information on this offer here.