NEW RECRUIT: IHG'S NEW AREA GM

Yannis Anagnostaki is IHG Dubai Festival City's new area GM

New area GM of IHG's DFC hotels Yannis Anagnostakis.
New area GM of IHG's DFC hotels Yannis Anagnostakis.

Yannis Anagnostakis, area general manager, InterContinental Hotels Group Dubai Festival City, is focused on further establishing the destination status of this four-property complex

You previously worked with IHG in the Americas; what has brought you back to the company?
The opportunity to re-join IHG and its fantastic family of brands was impossible to resist. Our four properties in Dubai Festival City are distinct and anchor a magnificently master planned micro-destination within ‘Destination Dubai’.

I have fond memories of working with IHG in the past in North America, so it only feels natural to me to be returning to the company. IHG’s planned growth strategy in the Asia, Middle East and Africa regions is very exciting, making this a great time for me to get back on board and be involved.

What sets IHG Dubai Festival City complex apart from its competitors?
Each of our properties appeals to travellers with varying needs, whether it is someone on a short business trip, an extended leisure break with the family or someone looking to stay long-term.

The Al Badia Golf Club, the Spa InterContinental and our leisure deck further add to the mix by providing fantastic facilities to relax and unwind and we also have a first-class events centre that boasts over 3800m² of space.

To enhance this further, our Creek-side properties enjoy some of the most breathtaking, yet contrasting, views of the Dubai skyline. We are linked to the Festival Centre mall and surrounded by a vibrant residential community. Dubai Festival City really does have it all.

What is your goal in your new position?
I consider myself extremely fortunate to have inherited an operation that is stable. With our properties running smoothly, I am in a position to focus my attention to further enhance our guest experience and also contribute to the success of ‘Destination Dubai Festival City’.

What is the achievement you are most proud of in your career?
I have been extremely fortunate to have worked in 11 cities in eight countries. Interacting with people of different cultures helped shape who I am today while at the same time I am proud that my integrity and core values have remained intact. I hope that through my journey, I was also in the position to ‘touch’ a colleague’s career and help make a guest’s experience all the better.

What challenges are shared by the hotel industry internationally?
Across the globe, the hospitality industry is challenged by similar factors: first, the destination must be competitive with accessible sea ports and airports, offering compelling reasons to visit / live.

Our guests are as individual as each of the hotels they stay in; understanding these needs and accepting the fact that they change is the greatest challenge. And last, the global economic climate and its cyclical changes cause distinct ups and downs in both business and leisure travel.

How have challenges for hotel managers changed since your career started?
Over the past 20 years, the competitive landscape among hospitality concepts and brands has evolved immensely. Our customers have ample choice at all price points and their perception of value for money is at the core of what we do. Earning and maintaining their loyalty is the greatest challenge of all.

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