Interview: Mikel Ibrahim, Regional VP Sales & Marketing at Mondrian Doha & SLS Dubai.
Can you introduce Mondrian Doha – what makes this hotel unique?
Mondrian Doha is sbe’s first venture in the Middle East, fast becoming an integral part of Qatar’s hospitality landscape and a must-visit destination. Mondrian Doha is more than just a hotel, it is a journey through a wonderland of fairy tale designs, and experiences, offering guests a world of imagination, where everything is possible.
We strive to offer our guests an extraordinary experience, combined with world-class service, and a personalised approach.
What are Mondrian’s key characteristics as a lifestyle brand?
Art and design are central to Mondrian. Marcel Wanders ingenious, sophisticated, and original architecture and design define our identity.
Nightlife and food and beverage are another key brand pillar. Mondrian brings several world-renowned restaurants for the first time to Doha – including Morimoto by Japanese celebrity chef Masahuru Morimoto and CUT by Wolfgang Puck – offering an exceptional gastronomic experience spanning different cultures and cuisines from across the globe. Mondrian also pays tribute to the Middle Eastern and Qatari heritage with Walima, while Hudson Tavern features the finest New York-style burgers, in addition to EllaMia, a coffee brand that transcends the ordinary with its exclusive blends.
Innovation is what defines our brand. From the luxurious stay, through to our fine dining and eclectic nightlife offering, we always strive to remain bold in our approach to guests’ experiences.
How would you describe Mondrian’s nightlife experience?
Nightlife is certainly the most exciting part of Mondrian’s experience-focused journey. Mondrian has an extensive and varied offering – a cigar lounge ‘Smoke and Mirrors’, a skybar – ‘Rise’, and Black Orchid, famous for hosting international superstars including Jennifer Lopez, Paris Hilton, Omarion, Sean Paul, Fat Joe.
Mondrian’s nightlife is vibrant, with a spot for sports lovers – who can also indulge in watching a game in Hudson Tavern sports bar, while Walima Terrace offers a perfect spot for a sunset Aperitivo.
Are you planning for new launches soon?
We will open 12 Chairs Caviar Bar, a one-of-a-kind private dining experience with unique caviar dishes and highest-quality raw ingredients.
We have also launched the flagship SLS property in Dubai in May. Located in Downtown District and overlooking Burj Khalifa, SLS offers both rooms and apartments, bringing new world-acclaimed fine dining brands, Fi’lia, Carna by Dario Cecchini, as well as 12 Chairs Caviar and Bar.
SLS is another SBE lifestyle hotel brand, with properties in the US, Mexico, the Bahamas, and now Dubai, combining style, luxury, service, creativity, and community.
Tell us more about your business offer – how can you accommodate the most demanding business travellers?
Mondrian has a variety of meeting rooms, a 95 sqm boardroom, and offers a possibility to privatize any of our F&B venues. Our versatile events and meeting spaces can fit up to 300 guests and is one of the biggest ballrooms in the country – with the possibility to accommodate up to 1,500 guests. With an access to a diversity of our emporium of culinary offers as well as complimentary Wi-Fi, in room desks, and a business centre, Mondrian has everything covered even for the most demanding business traveller.
As an industry expert, can you share with us some insights on the present and the future of the hospitality industry in Qatar?
All over the globe, the hospitality industry had to face extraordinary challenges, and the survival of the hotels will depend on their ability to adapt and embrace changes necessary to comply with the dictated imperatives. Enhanced safety standards, contactless and digital services will stay over the long term, while more hotels will bet on additional services, more exclusivity and privacy.
How does Mondrian Doha stay relevant in the fast-paced Middle East hospitality environment?
By innovating continuously, capitalising on our eccentric identity, and enhancing the experiential side of the guests’ journey! We aim to achieve this by bringing new concepts to Qatar and the region, diversifying our F&B and entertainment options, and first and foremost, by putting our guests’ expectations above everything else.
What are your expectations for Qatar 2022 World Cup, and are you preparing anything special for this historic event?
2022 will be a high moment for the Qatar hospitality scene, as we get ready to host a variety of nationalities for the World Cup. As an experience-based hotel, we are preparing a true immersion into Mondrian’s universe for all guests, with fine dining, nightlife, five-star service and entertainment on offer. We look forward to opening the doors to the world’s greatest sporting event and hosting the nation and visitors at Mondrian Doha.