The 396 bedroom Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts’ latest five-star property in Dubai, will debut at this year’s ITB travel show in Berlin one of the world’s leading travel trade shows. The hotel believes it has the perfect blend of features to attract even the most discerning European leisure visitors.
“Sun, sand and sea, shopping and devilish food and beverage fun are all part of our ‘destination’ offering, perfect for individuals or small groups looking to celebrate,” said Andrew Hughes, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel.
“We offer complimentary shuttle and access to our five-star private beach club, Oceana, on Palm Jumeriah, just ten minutes away. We are next to the Ibn Battuta shopping mall which boasts its own dedicated Metro station bringing the world’s largest retail space, Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates within easy reach. We even have a new night club called ‘Diablo’ for those who wish to dance the night away,” he added.
According to figures from Government of Dubai, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, the UK and Germany are two of the most important inbound Western European markets for Dubai followed by France and Italy.
During the first half of 2010, more than 382,000 British and 153,000 German nationals had stayed in Dubai hotels. If that figure was replicated during the second half of 2010, visitor numbers from the UK and Germany would exceed the 715,000 and 283,000 recorded in 2009. Overall Dubai received almost 8.7 million guests in 2010, 800,000 more than 2009 realising $3.6 billion in direct revenue.
In addition, these figures do not count visitors who do not stay in hotels but may use hotel restaurants and leisure facilities. Many British tourists choose to stay with friends or family or indeed those who may own a holiday home in Dubai. As such it is estimated that over one million British visitors arrive in Dubai annually.
Travel links between Dubai and Germany are also growing significantly, with Emirates and Lufthansa operating over one hundred flights per week between them. Emirates, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic combined, return, non-stop flights to Dubai, now total over 125 each week.
Opened in October last year the hotel has clearly identified its European markets and the marketing team has prepared a series of short and long stay promotions specifically designed for the European leisure market. Packages include half board promotions starting at $30 per person sharing and ‘stay 3-pay 2 nights’ starting at $225 per room.
“The European leisure markets, especially the UK and Germany have been our strongest overseas markets to date, representing just under 20% of our total market mix. Although we are primarily a business hotel, we expect to grow our percentage of leisure customers throughout the year,” said Hughes.
Throughout, the average length of stay (ALS) in Dubai during 2010 was three nights. However German guests stay at the Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel for an average of over five nights and the ALS for UK guests at the hotel is over four nights per stay.
“We have exceeded our budgeted ALS – Germany has surpassed by 251%, whilst the UK is ahead of budget by 38%. This shows clearly that our product and pricing is attractive to these markets and considering that we have never attended ITB before, we are confident of further consolidating our market position,” added Hughes.
ITB Berlin which takes place on 9-13 March 2011 attracts over 11,000 exhibitors spread over 160,000 square metres of floor space and will welcome 111,000 trade visitors and 68,000 consumers (during the weekend public days).
One of the most important aspects of ITB is its timing and reputation. Many tour operators traditionally short-list the hotels and finalise the packages that will be featured in their winter season brochures.
“Of course with the internet, potentially there is no limit to the number of hotels a travel agent or tour operator can feature, but being selected as a ‘preferred’ hotel pays dividends with guaranteed guest volumes,” said Hughes.
Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel, a property of iconic stature both inside and out, which is cleverly inspired by the journeys of the 14th century Arabian explorer, Ibn Battuta himself. The hotel is located in ‘New Dubai’ opened its doors to business travellers, holidaymakers and inquisitive tourists in October 2010.