Hotel Show news and opinions
All the news and opinions from The Hotel Show 2010
Simmons and Intercoil international sign licensing and distribution deal
Intercoil International has announced a licensing and distribution agreement with US-based bedding company Simmons.
Under the agreement, Intercoil will be the exclusive licensee of Simmons products in the Middle East and plans to open eight Simmons retail locations by the end of 2011, with the first to open in Dubai in June 2010.
Intercoil International managing director Hassan Abbas Ali Al-Hazeem said: “We have outlined a proactive strategic growth plan for the region. In addition to continuing to enhance our retail points, we are focusing on enhancing our manufacturing setup.”
In addition to the eight planned Simmons retail outlets; there are also proposals to open three more manufacturing facilities across the region which may be up and running within the next five to seven years.
Simmons director of global licensing Todd S. Merker said: “We are pleased to welcome Intercoil to our growing list of Simmons International Licensees. Through this agreement, Simmons will expand its current presence in the growing Middle East retail and hospitality bedding products market.”
Zat presents exclusive mock-up room
Zat launched its mock-up hotel room at The Hotel Show, showcasing its hotel room bedding, amenities and other products, which it had hidden away from other exhibitors in a booth inside the Zat stand.
Zat and Al-Zaher General Facilities Supply managing director Wisam Kasaji said: “We have been here for the last six years and we are here because it specialises in our field. [The mock-up hotel room] is an exclusive.”
Kasaji said that the company had seen some quality people coming to the stand, which had generated a lot of interest through its mock-up hotel room.
The company, which is the main sponsor of the Hotel Show, said that business had been better this year but that it would take a long time to come back to the business of 2008.
Samsung launches new hospitality television
Technology and electronics company Samsung has launched a new television designed specifically for the hospitality industry.
Samsung head of corporate sales, Samsung Gulf electronics, Sachin Somkumar said: “Ninety per cent of the properties across the region today are using hospitality televisions, with a trend towards larger TVs.
“We have introduced a 55-inch TV, which was specifically bought in for this region,” he added.
In addition to the new product launch, the company has also reported a rise in the popularity of home appliances with hotels in the Middle East, as the trend in the region is towards mixed-use properties.
‘We are providing digital sinus solutions like touch screen and large screens for lobbies and we also do in-home appliances for mixed-use developments, so there is a high demand for this type of equipment in the region,” Somkumar said.
Jumbo expands further into hospitality sector
Electronics company Jumbo presented the newest model of mini bar from Dometic — The Mega mini bar — in a bid to target the hospitality industry at The Hotel Show.
Of the company’s other products, Jumbo Electronics head of enterprise business, Jeevan Bhingarkar, said: “Jumbo currently offers latest technologies to address the entire spectrum of information and communications technology (ICT) and professional AV systems for the hospitality segment – from the front office to the guest rooms to integrating the entire back office technology infrastructure. Security systems and ICT is an area of importance for the hospitality sector”.
The company, which is the official supplier of Dometic mini bars in the UAE, has ties with hotels across the country such as Fairmont Abu Dhabi, Rotana Dubai and Mövenpick Dubai.
Amancorp unveils units for public smoking areas
Amancorp has launched a new range of Airfree products which are specially modified for use in smoking environments.
The products have been launched in response to the smoking ban in public places, through which Dubai Municipality has insisted that all designated smoking areas employ smoke remediation to reduce the health risks of public smoking.
Amancorp chief executive officer Mihir Patel said: “With local GCC governments increasingly clamping down on public smoking and the associated negative effects, we anticipate demand to steadily increase as hotel owners and operators look to minimise and address public health risks in smoking areas”.
The original Airfree products were launched to deal with the specific air problems that occur in the region, where the air quality can be affected by HVAC systems, which could cause problems for asthma and allergy sufferers.
VOX POP: WHAT THE SUPPLIERS SAID
Despite a less than busy year, many exhibitors at The Hotel Show reported that they were pleased with the enquiries they received.
Burgess Furniture sales and marketing director Simon Richards commented: “Traffic has been steady but I wouldn’t say it’s been busy. However, the quality of the people on the stand has been very good.
“This is the fourth or fifth show we’ve done and quality wise I would say this is the best one, which has really surprised me.”
This opinion was supported by Continental Sourcing senior vice-president Glenn Chalkley, who said: “We’ve never had representation at a show like this before, and everybody around us has said that it is quieter than usual, but we really can’t
complain at all”.
In terms of recovering from the global economic downturn, which saw many businesses suffering financial setbacks during 2009, the outlook for the future of the market in the region was optimistic but cautious.
Sealy president Ali Q.Asaad said that the first quarter of 2010 demonstrated some promise for the economy as it had seen business get off to a good start.
“Business has grown by about 20% this year and I think that the rest of the year is looking promising. I think that what we will see in the UAE is economical growth going towards a recovery,” he asserted.
However, this was not echoed by all exhibitors as some people were quick to warn that the year could see business get worse before it gets better.
EuroCave export area manager Florence Bonnier said: “I think we are in the middle of the recession honestly. Of course the food and beverage industry has been affected, as there are less people in hotels so this impacts on us as well”.
With exhibitors and consumers alike watching their purse strings, there has been an emerging trend in saving money through saving energy, which was illustrated by the increase in eco-friendly and energy saving products at the show.
Schneider Electric building business vice-president Georges Barbarin said: “We are focusing on energy efficiency so we are looking at how to save energy and save money. Consumers are trying to go for green; we are showing something called ‘push for green’ which is a new feature where the eco-conscious people can push a button in their room which will install the green settings”.
This opinion was supported by International Guest Supply’s Olivier Loeb, who was showcasing the company’s ‘green’ line of linen.
“Green linen is linen without any chemicals and we have reduced the chemicals to a level that we can consider our product 100% green, biodegradable and so on. Yes it is a trend we are seeing but with this product we are not yet sure if the customer is ready to accept that the linen does not look as white as the chemically produced cotton.”
As usual, a highlight of The Hotel Show was The Corporate Catwalk, which this year presented new uniform creations from Reckless Design, TM Fashion, Eagle K-Wear and A.Ronai Simon Jersey.
The catwalk was also used to crown the winner of the Student Design Competition 2010, Souzan Nafez from The Centre for Executive Education in Dubai.
Her winning design was a restaurant hostess dress, inspired by those worn by Flamenco dancers, and chosen out of 16 entries.
Now in its third year, the competition was open to institutions with fashion design programmes. The students were asked to create a full range of uniforms for one of three restaurants and one of two spas for a hotel under refurbishment. They could choose from a high-end Thai restaurant, canteen-style Greek outlet or a Spanish bistro, plus either a classic aromatherapy and massage spa or an ayurvedic one.
Competition judge and design and production manager for A. Ronai, David Sprakes, said of Nafez: “She followed the brief to the letter and produced two great ranges.”