Today’s hotel guest cares about more than brand names: Hussain Al Rakhis
Dubai’s market has increased by 35% in the last 4 years in terms of hotel supply.
Travellers’ priorities are changing, and tourism regions are ever developing. Hussain Al Rakhis, Business Development Manager at Action Hotels PLC gave us his analysis of the market and shared his outlook at the TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Dubai.
Founded in 2005, Action Hotels PLC wears many hats, including that of an owning company, developer and asset manager. Currently, the company manages branded hotels predominantly located in the Middle East and Australia with plans to keep growing.
Mr Hussain Al Rakhis, who represented Action Hotels PLC at the TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Dubai, shared his main ideas of and expectations from the hospitality market.
Al Rakhis has 12 years of industry experience, 6 of which he has spent with Action Hotels. In his role of Business Development Manager, he is always on the lookout for new growth opportunities in the promising GCC region.
A new generation with new priorities
Al Rakhis: Nowadays the perspective has changed everywhere, especially in the Middle East. I believe that the main clients we in the hospitality industry need to focus on are people between the ages of 16 and 32. It is clients from that age range who are becoming more important for succeeding in the market. But they look for something different, something from a boutique design point of view.
In a way, this is a challenge because we are used to older generations or old school clients who tend to go directly for the top international brands, without focusing on anything but the name. Now the game has changed completely, and the new generation of travellers looks for what is trendy and local. They actually do not focus so much on the brand itself.
Owners and operators teaming up
Al Rakhis: As for the development here in Dubai, the market has increased by 35% in the last 4 years in terms of hotel supply. This growth is strongly reflected in the occupancy percentages.
There are perspectives I would like to point out: the owner’s and the operator’s. From the owner’s point of view, I can say we are taking the hit. But, from an operators’ perspective, I believe that more participation is needed. Participating not only means reducing costs, but also reducing fees to enable both parties to benefit. Both parties should work together in order to make the best of the situation.
Evolving from an emerging to a stable market
Al Rakhis: Currently we are focusing on Eastern Europe, but we are also operating in Australia which is growing gradually and looks very promising. Concerning the Middle East, I believe we are still an emerging market and the same thing is happening in Saudi Arabia. We are not a 100% stable market yet, but we expect to be eventually. The Expo 2020 will be a challenge and a test. It will give us the chance to prove that we are stable as long as we implement the necessary strategies.
Thoughts on TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Dubai
Al Rakhis: I liked the organization and the location. The following up of the team was amazing and the discussions were interesting as well.
Hussain Al Rakhis was a delegate at TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Dubai 2019. To attend, address or sponsor our boutique hospitality networking events around the world, contact TOPHOTELPROJECTS Head of Global Events & Conferences Kayley van der Velde.