7 Martin van Kan
general manager, Fairmont Palm Jumeirah
Judging by the track record of the hotels currently operating on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, Martin van Kan is arguably leading one of 2012 most exciting openings.
In a nutshell, Fairmont Palm Jumeirah will offer 381 rooms, 2600m² of meeting space, outdoor leisure facilities with a beach restaurant and a private beach club, a pool complex and children’s activity centre, a variety of dining facilities featuring sea, garden or pool views, and a Willow Stream spa.
Van Kan brings to the position a wealth of experience in hotel operations and management, from more than 10 years with InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) and nine years with Hyatt International.
His previous position as director of operations Oman and general manager of Al Bustan Palace, an InterContinental Hotel — now a Ritz-Carlton hotel — saw several achievements in business performance, environmental and community relations.
Indeed, it is these attributes and Van Kan’s passionate attention to every detail of Fairmont Palm Jumeirah that makes this GM one to watch.
He has earmarked the restaurants and bars under development as being the “bread and butter” of the hotel’s business when it opens in Q3, 2012. According to Van Kan, the hotel will seek to establish itself as a dining destination for local Dubai residents.
“Food and beverage at the Palm is going to be where we hopefully are going to be opening the hotel in great style and for the foreseeable future F&B will be our bread and butter — we will be owning that community as best as we possibly can,” van Kan told Hotelier.
He suggested that the hotel would look to topple Fairmont Dubai’s Spectrum on One restaurant “off its number one brunch spot”.
“Fairmont’s name in the city in very many respects came out of F&B and one of the big things 10 years ago was its position in brunch and that really helped elevate the F&B status here,” said Van Kan.
“There’s no reason why we can’t use that as the platform from which we can all move to greater places.”
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