Case Study: Grand Hyatt Dubai's refurb

With 555 rooms renovated, the property now also houses the biggest ballroom in Dubai

The ballroom lobby post renovation.
The ballroom lobby post renovation.

The Grand Hyatt Dubai opened in 2003 and offers 13 F&B outlets, 682 rooms and suites, 186 hotel apartments, four swimming pools, 8,000m2 of event space, featuring two ballrooms, 22 live kitchens, 14 meeting rooms and several outdoor  venues.

It also features elaborate gardens and open spaces which, in the winters, are converted to al fresco dining venues.

Following an extensive renovation that began in the summer of 2016, the Grand Hyatt Dubai hopes to offer its guests grandeur like no other. The rooms have been given a brand new look along with creating more space for added comfort.

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According to analysts, renovations and rebranding help reposition hotels in the market, especially during tough economic conditions. A report by Faithful+Gould stated that owners of existing hotel stock are under pressure to compete with the new and upcoming provision. For hotels that are more than 15 years old, renovation and refurbishment are required to optimise value, maintain a competitive market position, reflect brand development, or modernise the facility.

RATIONALE AND  OBJECTIVE

As a 14-year old hotel, the Grand Hyatt Dubai was due for renovations to offer guests a modern feel while retaining the original theme, Malek Safa, executive assistant manager, sales and marketing, Grand Hyatt Dubai told Hotelier.

“Grand Hyatt Dubai has been open since 2003, this our 14th year of operation. In the past 14 years the hotel established itself and became a legacy, an icon for Dubai as a destination. In order to rejuvenate this legacy, we decided to renovate the guest rooms, one of the ballrooms, and the staff canteen,” he said.

The Baniyas Ballroom, after renovation, is the largest ballroom in a five-star hotel in Dubai. “The total event space available is 3,200m2 and can accommodate up to 2,500 guests. This keeps us competitive and I would say ahead of the market in this part of the  business,” he said.

Safa added: “We are excited to have the ballroom operating for a year now. The work began in the summer of 2016; the process was done gradually to minimise interference with the guests. The renovations for the rooms were done in two phases — Tower A with 126 rooms was done last year and was completed in six months and Tower B work began in the summer of 2017 and was completed in September.”

Of the total 682 rooms, 555 have been renovated. The remaining are mainly suites, which will be renovated in the coming months,  he told Hotelier Middle  East.

The staff canteen too has received a major overhaul with added facets including a brand new salon, meeting room, and a social room.

THE CONCEPT

Guest feedback and comments were the pillars of the room renovations process, Safa tells Hotelier. “We listened to our customer needs and the changes are dynamic. We mainly focused on integrating technology in the rooms along with the comfort and sleep factors. We went through a lot of steps to make the room more comfortable for our guests, be it the colours they prefer, the lighting, the décor, the bedding, and the layout.

“We took in all the guest suggestions and worked on that to bring them a brand new product that suits their needs and wants. We came up with this fantastic product in the guest rooms, completely brand new.”

The hotel’s main lobby was refurbished in 2016; the furniture and carpet was replaced to give a more modern look while maintaining its Arabic thematic scheme.

THE RESULT

Safa pointed out that the renovations have been genuinely appreciated by the regular guests, and said: “We have been receiving excellent feedback post renovations, from the guests even though the work has just been completed. The comments are great, it’s nice to know our regular patrons and guests like the new product and we are very excited to have this iconic building.”

He also said: “We have also done some work in the Italian cafe, Andiamo as well as the staff canteen, which is still ongoing.

“The main motive behind the renovations was to maintain our legacy that we have achieved in the past 14 years and keep it up to date and to the latest needs of our guests. The engineering team worked very hard and took into consideration minute details. Many mock up rooms were created for try-outs; we wanted to make sure we offer our guests the very best.”

Keeping Hyatt’s higher purpose was the hotel’s GM's core focus, which is — ‘We care for the people so that they can be their best’, Safa said.

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