Taj targets The Palm for third Dubai property
Taj is set to open a hotel in Dubai's Palm Jumeirah, its third property in the city
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces will be opening a Taj hotel in Dubai's Palm Jumeirah, marking its third landfall in the city, with its existing Taj hotel in Downtown Dubai and upcoming Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) Vivanta by Taj property, Taj Dubai general manager Ranjit Phillipose disclosed during an interview with Hotelier Middle East at the 2017 Arabian Travel Market (ATM).
According to Phillipose, the new property at the Palm will have approximately 300 to 325 rooms and is expected to open in 2018.
Confirming that Taj is keen on a Middle East expansion, Phillipose revealed that the group is also looking closely at properties in Bahrain and in Makkah, KSA.
Ex area director and general manager of Taj Dubai, Jason Harding, spoke to Hotelier Middle East in 2015 ahead of the opening of Taj Dubai and indicated that the company was looking at the Palm to open its next property.
As for Taj Dubai, Phillipose declared that the hotel is currently aligning with the "Tajness" brand and operations philosophy which the group introduced in August 2016 and is slowly being rolled out to properties across the globe.
“We believe that we are custodians of Indian hospitality because we are the first chain of hotels in India. Our first hotel opened in 1903 so I think we know how to do hospitality and we do it quite well," he said. As part of Tajness, there are a few things we do in every hotel. We want to be global players as an Indian company so we also adapt to the local destination in which we operate."
He added:"For example, when you arrive in the hotel, you’ll be welcomed with a particular scent. It’s a very sensory thing – "Tajness". There will be a particular smell that you’ll find in every Taj hotel and the scent we have chosen is jasmine, which has a very Indian smell, a very Indian flower.
Then in every Taj hotel, we will feature yoga as a wellness offering, either during sunrise or sunset, which is complimentary. Another tradition that we’re going to start is afternoon tea. So everyday for half an hour is free afternoon tea for all our guests, to be served in different locations. For example, in Taj Dubai during the winter, we might serve it outside in the balcony or on the lower poolside, depending on the weather, it will move around."
Phillipose elaborated further:"Tajness is also all about your in-room experience, your sleep experience, your waking ritual. And then we have something called the evening ritual, which can happen just before sunset in every Taj hotel. So what the evening ritual at Taj Dubai is going to be, I’m not going to say yet but we intend to roll it out around September or October this year."
He mentioned that Taj Dubai has started offering yoga sessions in the hotel's spa for both hotel guests and the general public in alignment with the 'Tajness" philosophy.