Palazzo Versace Dubai hits 90 percent occupancy
The luxury property has reportedly spent millions of dirhams on marketing
Occupancy levels at the Palazzo Versace Dubai hotel have shot up to 70 percent during weekdays and as high as 90 percent on weekends, according to the property’s managing director Monther Darwish.
Speaking to sister title Arabian Business, Darwish credited the rise in demand for staycations as one of the factors for the hotel’s impressive occupancy. Despite the pandemic, Palazzo opted to remain open throughout the UAE’s strict lockdown measures.
Darwish told Arabian Business that the property spent “millions of dirhams” on an aggressive marketing campaign to bring in guests. He revealed that as many as 2,700 people came through the hotel in a single day earlier in the month.
“During those tough times we took a decision to go very intense in the marketing to market that we are the most fashionable and safest hotel in town. We started taking the procedures, from disinfecting gates to sanitising the rooms, and the hygiene all over the place in the hotel and we started a big push in this manner.
“We started engaging many influencers. We want to position ourselves in the client’s mind that it is the safest.
“We succeeded in this and that’s why we’re seeing our reservations up to 60-70 percent during the week and at the weekend, 90 percent. It is purely local business. A lot of people said they didn’t know about us; now they are hearing about us.”
Palazzo’s story of success is an uncommon one as hospitality is still reeling from the coronavirus. As of June 2020, 16 percent of the UAE’s hotels tracked by Cavendish Maxwell had either closed or operated at minimum capacity.
In the same month, Dubai’s RevPAR crashed by 73.5 percent compared to June 2019.
Darwish however has not made any redundancies at the hotel, though salaries were cut by 50 percent.
“We hired people. We didn’t do a restructuring, we didn’t cut the number of people,” he said.
He concluded: “With the positive news that maybe there’s a vaccination coming or the restrictions to be reduced from Europe, we expect that we will go to minimum 80 percent average for the coming four to five months.”