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Wilby vows to shake up Dubai hotel sector

United Arab Emirates: Monday, December 06 - 2004 @ 10:59

According to Pam Wilby, locally a known ‘connoisseur of Royal Living’ and the general manager entrusted to turn vision to reality, the grand-deluxe Grosvenor House is set to be the exclusive address in the upcoming Dubai Marina – echoing the global standing of its London-based namesake.

Like this new neighbourhood, earmarked to house more than 10,000 people within a couple of years, the hotel complex, says Wilby, will fast become the ‘place to be’ when it opens in 2005. She said: “I make no bones when I say that Grosvenor House will create new dimensions in the industry, not just because of its stunning interiors but also in the quality and style of service.”

Wilby is also at the helm of the nearby Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa. This property that has an envious track record of repeat guests under the guise of ‘Royal Ambassadors’, a denomination that Wilby and her court bestowed on frequent guests, many of whom carry business cards to that effect. “Our Ambassadors ‘sell’ our hotel, not because they have to, but because they want to.”

While success reigns on the beach, she explained the essence and individuality of Grosvenor House. “From the foundations up, the stunning hotel will be custom-designed to reflect the essence of Arabia fused with the very latest in technology, design and luxury.

“But just as the property design and construction will set new benchmarks, so will the staff’s commitment to service at every level.

“In fact, I can see the project’s many contemporary signature elements – both bricks and mortar and in staff attitude – creating new buzz-words in the global hospitality industry,” she promises, kicking off with the self-awarded grand-deluxe positioning.

“The established five-star certification will not do justice to this project, so from the outset, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum has driven our objectives on course to break barriers. The grand-deluxe denomination fits our vision perfectly,” assures Wilby.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates Airline and President of Dubai Civil Aviation is the man behind the pioneering, multi-use,
45-storey complex, named Grosvenor House, after one of London’s most famous addresses.

“It is fitting that Sheikh Ahmed is behind the first hotel on the Marina,” said Ali Al Mubarak Al Soori, head of the Chairman’s Office and Facilities Management at Emirates Airline and the owner’s representative of the Grosvenor House project.

“His Highness was one of the first to appreciate the potential of tourism as a growth engine for Dubai, initiating the construction of the first new beach hotel for more than a decade with Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa some ten years ago.”

He agrees with Wilby and seems under no illusion that Grosvenor House will stand among the most exclusive hotels around the world in terms of product and service offering. He explained: “Grosvenor House will be second-to-none, reflecting a position of sheer luxury and exclusivity in the hospitality sector.”

Wilby confirmed that the interiors of the hotel and apartments will be ultra-luxurious, distinguished by superb décor and outstanding amenities beyond the expected.

She continued: “What we are looking towards is establishing a whole new meaning to the words elegance and service, and, I don’t mean lip-service – we a team with a vision and we mean to deliver.

“This will be visible in the grandeur of the interior décor but my ultimate aim is to ensure that the essence of the ‘guest experience’ will be present across the board.”

Wilby say that aside from the tasteful design, this will be achieved by a service brigade who truly enjoys the very core of the hospitality industry. “It should be in our blood as hoteliers to quite simply, make people happy by excellence in delivery.”

But seeing is believing, and on fixtures, fittings and facilities, the architect and interior plans of the Grosvenor House project look equipped to make a mark on a city that will have in excess of 37 five-star hotels.

Grosvenor House will have 217 rooms and suites in the luxurious, self-contained hotel tower, as well as 205, one-, two- and three-bedroom butler-serviced apartments, All of the grand-deluxe accommodation, whether for hotel guests or apartment residents, will have sweeping views of the skyline, marina and the Arabian Gulf.

The interior design team have absorbed Sheikh Ahmed’s vision by painting a modern, contemporary yet comfortable picture of ‘tomorrow’s’ hotel lifestyle.

While furnishings look set to follow clean lines, a vibrant, autumnal colour palette and textured materials give depth and substance that speaks volumes in art form, thus assumed as able to maintain an audience when complete.

On lifestyle, as crucial to Dubai residents and visitors as it is to any city of vibrancy and success, Grosvenor House will comprise a mixed portfolio of fashionable restaurants and bars – designed to turn the Dubai restaurant scene on its head. Wilby confirmed the F&B outlets will all be new concepts ranging from hip to lively to formal dining.

She stated that the project team has also focused on creating innovative personal grooming, health and spa facilities exclusive to Grosvenor House residents.

“We have been fast to recognise that personal grooming, from top to toe and in between, is as important to today’s lifestyle. So, we are aiming to ensure a seamless lifestyle service, from valet parking to suit pressing to great restaurants, a tip-top manicure and more,” said Wilby.

“This means that the Grosvenor House leisure and beauty facilities will be as upbeat, modern and efficient in service delivery as our restaurants and bars.”

Turning to event and business facilities at Grosvenor House, there will be a dedicated conference centre, which like both the hotel and apartments, will have a separate entrance.

It will feature cutting-edge technology, with a huge multi-use ballroom, boardrooms, syndicate break-out rooms and a service-driven, quality-aware business support centre.

While it is unlikely that we have heard the last from Wilby on Dubai’s latest hospitality landmark, she concludes now by saying : “This project is considered a ground-breaker on the marina development – as well as in Dubai’s burgeoning hospitality sector.

“Frankly, the project is set to stand its own among some of the world’s most acclaimed hotels.”

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Monday, December 6- 2004 @ 10:59 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.

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