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Hotelier Talk: Slim Zaiane, GM, Kempinski Hotel Mall Of The Emirates

Hotelier Talk: Slim Zaiane, GM, Kempinski Hotel Mall Of The Emirates

Anne Kurian
  • The driven and detail-oriented General Manager of one of the finest hotels in the Emirates talks hospitality and more in this engaging interview

An Alpine haven in the middle of Dubai, the Kempinski Hotel Mall of Emirates is one of the landmarks in the Emirate. Known for its exquisite rooms replicating chalets in the Alps, the property isurite among visitors with also a hot favo a penchant for shopping thanks to its direct connectivity to the Mall of the Emirates. At the helm of Kempinski Hotel Mall of Emirates is Slim Zaiane, the General Manager. Renowned for his commitment to excellence, Zaiane has instilled the same culture in his team – of delivering the ultimate premium service to guests.

In this exclusive interview with The Luxury Bulletin, Slim Zaiane talks about guest experience, the property’s USP, and more.  

  • As a guest, what can a guest experience at Kempinski Hotel Mall of Emirates?

At Kempinski Hotel Mall of Emirates, guests can enjoy an opulent and comfortable stay with access to a wide range of world-class amenities and facilities. The hotel is directly connected to the Mall of Emirates, which offers an unrivalled shopping and entertainment experience. Guests can also indulge in a variety of dining options, including restaurants serving international cuisine, and relish relaxing treatments at our spa. Our rooms and suites are exquisitely decorated and offer stunning views of the city skyline or the indoor ski slope.

  • What would you say is Kempinski Hotel Mall of Emirates USP?

The Aspen Chalets at Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates offer a unique and distinctive experience for guests. The concept of having Alpine-style chalets in the desert city of Dubai sets the hotel apart from others in the region. The chalets provide a cozy and warm ambiance, replicating the charm of traditional Alpine chalets. Guests can enjoy breathtaking views of Ski Dubai, creating a winter wonderland atmosphere. The spaciousness and privacy of the chalets further enhance our guests’ experience. The direct connectivity to the Mall of the Emirates through the hotel lobby adds to the convenience of our guests, providing seamless access to luxury brands, entertainment options, and dining establishments. Additionally, the Mall of the Emirates provides exclusive benefits to our guests as complimentary, such as hands-free shopping, where guests can have their shopping bags delivered directly to their hotel while continuing to shop, dine, or catch up with friends. For guests seeking relaxation and tranquility, the Digital Concierge service allows them to access a wide range of shopping options through an instant messaging chat service. This digitally powered assistance by the mall’s Concierge agents ensures that your shopping will be delivered to the comfort of your room.

  • How do you ensure that the hotel stays apart from the competition?

At Kempinski Mall of Emirates, as a luxury 5-star hotel we strive to provide personalized service and attention to detail that goes above and beyond our guests’ expectations. We are passionate about creating and crafting rich, meaningful, and memorable experiences for every guest.

Our dedicated staff of experts puts in long hours to ensure our guests feel at home and see to it that they have a wonderful stay in every way. Additionally, we stay on top of industry trends and continuously look for ways to innovate and improve our offerings, whether that be through the introduction of exciting new dining experiences, improved in-room conveniences, or state-of-the-art technology.

  • How do you see the rest of 2023 for the hospitality business in UAE and the region?

Dubai, in particular, is well-positioned for growth in the hospitality industry as it is on track to exceed pre-Covid passenger traffic with an expected 90 million tourists by the end of the year. This is an average of 7.5 million visitors per month, which is a positive sign for the hospitality sector. In addition, Dubai has been expanding its reach to new emerging markets such as Israel, Japan, Brazil, and China, which are expected to drive significant growth in the tourism industry in the region. The recent re-opening of China, in particular, is expected to lead to an increased return of Chinese tourists, which is a significant market for the UAE and the wider region.

To capitalize on these opportunities, hotels and other hospitality businesses in the UAE and the region will need to continue to innovate and adapt to the changing needs and preferences of guests. This may involve a greater focus on technology, such as contactless check-ins and digital concierge services, as well as an increased emphasis on sustainability and wellness. In addition, prioritizing the safety and well-being of guests will continue to be a key priority for hotels, with enhanced cleaning protocols and health and safety measures likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

At Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, we believe that a continued focus on service excellence, innovation, personalized service, adaptability, and guest satisfaction, will allow the industry to continue to thrive in the years to come.

  • What are some of the challenges you face here in the business?

The geopolitical situation in the region can be a challenge for the hospitality industry, as it can affect travel patterns and discourage visitors from certain countries. The last pandemic has also had a significant impact on the hospitality industry, with many businesses struggling to maintain their workforce due to the lack of talent available post-Covid. This has led to some operational challenges, such as staffing shortages and training difficulties.

Another challenge that the industry faces is the slowdown in certain major economies, which can have a ripple effect on the global economy, resulting in inflation and higher operating costs. 

Despite these challenges, the hospitality industry in the UAE remains resilient and committed to providing exceptional service and experiences for its guests. To address these challenges, businesses are finding innovative ways to reduce costs and enhance efficiency, such as investing in technology and implementing sustainability initiatives. Additionally, the industry is focused on attracting and retaining talent through training and development programs, employee engagement initiatives, and competitive compensation and benefits packages.

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