Speaking exclusively to Hotelier Middle East at the brand’s newly opened Jumeirah Village property, FIVE Hotels and Resorts CEO Jaydeep Anand commented on the current state of the UAE’s hospitality sector: We will have about 20 million tourists this year, next year we will have around 22 million based on Expo 2020. This is the good news. The bad news is that we have another 53,000 rooms coming online. Around 40,000 of those rooms are five star and luxury, which is our category of direct competitors. Now, of course when you have this kind of supply in the market that’s growing by 25-40% and the demand is growing by 10%, there’s a mismatch.”
This may be seen as a negative statistic by some. But not Anand. He explained: “What’s happening is the consolidation of the big brands, is an actual phenomena that’s happening and I think if we talk about the consolidation we love it! The more the industry consolidates, the more cookie cutter they become and the more confused they become as to who their customer is. It solidifies our position even more.
“We know exactly who to target, we know who our target market is and wewe have ways and means with our digital strategies to go after our target markets. We can give them what they want. We can get the right DJs, the right music and we can have the right kind of lighting to ensure that these customers will only come to us. Now with these brands, as they get more consolidated and brand standards get more enforced, they lose their path.”
The FIVE Hotels and Resorts' latest opening in Dubai’s Jumeirah Village neighbourhood recorded 85% occupancy in its first two weeks of operation. Anand explained the strategy behind numbers: “Luckily for us, what we see what’s coming online is all regular hotels in the five star luxury segment. I don’t think they design with the consumer in mind. When we designed the Palm property, we designed with the consumer in mind, we designed for young luxury driven millennials. That’s why I say FIVE is the ultimate experience platform.”
Further underlining the factors that differentiate FIVE from its competitors, he said: “We are more flexible. We don’t close our eyes to where the market is going. We don’t have an ostrich mentality. We hear our customers and we react quickly. It’s our DNA. We will keep learning every day, from our customers, from our competitors, from books and from our mistakes.”
FIVE Jumeirah Village Hotel opened on September 2.