The Dubai resort achieved a 98 per cent rating from UK-based HMS Consultants, following inspection of food safety, fire safety and health and safety in all areas of its operations. It finished top of the international hotels and resorts management group in a similar survey in 2002.
According to Pam Wilby, hotel general manager, the results of the audit not only highlight the emphasis placed on health and safety by management, but also investment by the owners in superior standards in every part of the hotel.
“In the Middle East, standards are generally very high due to the fact that our hotels are comparatively new, but this demonstrates that money has been spent on back-of-house systems and equipment as well as fixtures and fittings.”
Following the property’s top placing in the last audit, internal inspection procedures and guest fire safety procedures were replicated at Le Meridien properties worldwide, acknowledging the innovative approach to these taken by hotel management.
“Guest surveys by Le Meridien continually find that health and safety issues were now rated a top priority worldwide, and the group is catering to this increased awareness by implementing new standards and procedures in all hotels around the world,” said Wilby.
Among the unique procedures at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa is guest check-in, when front office staff escort new arrivals to their rooms and demonstrate the location of fire exits, a room fire safety card and fire safety booklet (printed in six languages).
“We have also installed ‘arrows’ showing the escape route for guests in event of emergencies – similar to those on aircraft,” said Wilby.
The hotel also carries out fire procedures training every three months and a hotel evacuation twice a year.
“Demonstrating our commitment to health and safety, we are the only hotel in the UAE to have carried out a full-scale fire emergency scenario, complete with staff and guest evacuation and use of a crane to ‘rescue’ people from smoke-filled rooms on the upper floors,” explained Wilby.
“We invited engineers and security heads from other hotels to witness the evacuation, and representatives from the Dubai police, ambulance and rescue services, tourism, chamber of commerce and municipality were all in attendance.
“And, having informed guests of the evacuation drill, many of them participated too, underlining how seriously they viewed such procedures,” she concluded.
Friday, March 5- 2004 @ 1:40 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.