Wyndham MEA president predicts surge in mid-market hotels post-pandemic

Dimitris Manikis on how Dubai hotel market has been reshaped by the virus

Wyndham, Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Dubai, Wyndham dubai marina, Ramada by Wyndham Jumeirah Hotel, Tryp by wyndham dubai, Ramada by Wyndham Downtown Dubai, Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Dubai Deira, Howard Johnson by Wyndham Bur Dubai

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is a powerhouse in the hospitality world, with upwards of 9,000 properties under its belt. In Dubai alone, 160 rooms with 50,460 are slated to open by 2023 – 81 in the four-star segment and 79 in the five-star.

However, as COVID-19 continues to effect the industry, much of those openings have been put on hold, with the group having to rapidly adapt to changing habits.

Speaking to sister publication Arabian Business, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts MEA president and managing director Dimitris Manikis revealed how the group has set its sights on growing its mid-market hotel portfolio.

In the pipeline this year, Wyndham Dubai Deira and the Super 8 by Wyndham Dubai Deira are set to open in October.

Manikis told Arabian Business: “Both brands that we’re going to be bringing in are going to be economy segment and that is what I think is a big thing for Dubai. I love the luxury, I love the five-star, but I think you need to look at quality economy brands they’re going to come into the country and they are going to supplement the product offering.”

Wyndham already operates eight properties in Dubai including the Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Dubai, JBR; Wyndham Dubai Marina, Ramada by Wyndham Jumeirah Hotel, TRYP by Wyndham Dubai, Ramada by Wyndham Downtown Dubai, Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Dubai Deira, Howard Johnson by Wyndham Bur Dubai, and Ramada by Wyndham Dubai Deira.

He added: “Dubai has so much to offer to the middle class family of Europeans to enjoy the parks, enjoy the gastronomy, enjoy the malls, the seaside, the opera. It is amazing when I see Dubai from Greece, I am so envious of what Dubai has managed to do in 30 to 40 years and how the leadership and ruler of Dubai has produced a vision.

“The middle class European family has so much to enjoy in Dubai and it’s not just about a two-day stay, or it’s not about the five-star, it’s about every single segment of that leisure and business that can have a great time in Dubai.”

Manikis also said that touch points are being reduced as quickly as possible, as are some in-room luxuries. Things he thinks will help the mid-market sector.

Manikis said: “We want to make sure that we don’t burn-out and the new normal will adapt to the buffets, to the breakfasts. It will adapt to the fact that you don’t have to have a room of gadgets any more, because you didn’t really need them in the first place. Did I need an espresso machine in my room? Probably not; it was nice to have but I didn’t need it.

“They are taking it because they really want to protect me, that’s how people and consumers will change. They will change their attitude, they will change the way they see things, but remember, you cannot turn a hotel into a hospital. You still have to remind yourself, the essence of hospitality, you need to smile behind those masks.”

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