With the city’s first licensed VOX cinema and four movie themed suites, the newly opened Aloft, Deira City Centre is giving affordable, city stay-cations a whole new perspective and Alison MacLeod, cluster director of marketing spills the beans on the everything the new property has to offer.
With the tag line, Urban Cool on the Creek, the new design-led brand under Marriott International is looking to bring a fresh aura to one of the city’s oldest areas. Blended with a tech-savvy and millennial focused approach, the new Aloft Deira City Centre is looking to tap into one of the fastest growing segments of the hospitality sector, catering to next generation travellers.
Alison MacLeod, cluster director of marketing says, “The Dubai hospitality market is certainly a competitive one, and to stay ahead of the game hotels have to rethink the whole experience. Aloft is the company’s design led brand and we are offering a new experience to our guests by delivering an urban-inspired gathering place for tech-savvy next-gen travellers and local residents. We focus on the moments, the technology that enhances your stay, the exploration of a different side of Dubai, the social scene with live music, and service approach where we talk about talent rather than staff.
“This hotel will grow with its surroundings. There are some fantastic developments coming in the area which will see many sites regenerated and brought to life through activations and campaigns for travellers and residents to visit the more traditional side of the city. Being situated in the cultural heart of Dubai, we are confident that we will evolve with this regeneration an increasing number of travellers visiting us because they are looking to explore a side of Dubai that they have not seen before.”
The success of an establishment is measured both internally and externally, according to the director and that is the how Aloft City Centre Deira will measure its success going forward, “It goes without saying that we review revenues and market placement, but reputation is a whole factor to us. We monitor review sites on a daily basis and have dedicated team members who handle guest feedback on various sites. Guest feedback really helps us grow and celebrate success. Additionally, another factor of our success is our associate satisfaction which we monitor regularly too. With a happy and engaged team we know we can serve our guests better,” she says
Competing in a market where there are new options for guests to choose from almost every day means hotels now have to take that one step further with out-of-the-box offerings to attract their market share and for Aloft City Centre Deira, that would be the licensed VOX cinema and movie themed suites.
“We have four high tech cinema themed suites coming soon to the market, a first in the region,” MacLeod explains.
“These suites will allow our guests to experience movies with an in-room cinema screen, surround sound, and ambient lighting all controlled by the latest technology. Guests can choose their favourite theme from Bollywood, Hollywood, Agent House or Superhero. A lot of our campaigns will feature these suites since they offer something different to other hotels in the city, as well as our in house cinema and outstanding views.”
Speaking of campaigns, the hotel, like most in today’s market, is taking a digital focused approach, according to MacLeod.
“We follow a very digital focused strategy, particularly in social media. Our brand is all about technology and tech-savvy travellers, therefore we know that these are the best platforms to reach out to our future guests. We are highlighting our USPs through engaging content with a series of videos which highlight everything we have to offer and will be using these throughout all our key markets to showcase the hotel. We want to present the hotel to our clients in a fun and interactive way rather than a brochure, so we are exploring new techniques to ensure we stand out from the crowd and get clients and guests excited about what we have to offer. Of course, being attached to City Centre Deira and having VOX Cinemas in the hotel presents a great marketing opportunity and we will have various partnerships with both to provide a fully integrated experience when they are staying with us,” she says.
“We market both locally and internationally. This is the beauty of digital, we can target our campaigns to reach potential guests in our key markets. With the coming together of all three loyalty programmes within our company, Marriott Rewards, The Ritz Carlton Rewards, and SPG our reach expands and we have one powerful programme that guests can enjoy when staying with us.”
In terms of food and beverage, the hotel is introducing six new dining concepts, two of which are home grown, “Our new dining outlets include Han Shi Fu, a modern Chinese and Asian fusion gastropub, The Canteen which serves bowl meals, and a licensed VOX Cinemas movie experience. The hotel will also feature the Aloft brand’s signature outlets, including W XYZ Bar & Lounge with a resident DJ and shisha on the terrace along with Re:fuel, the brand’s signature 24/7 grab and go venue in the lobby,” MacLeod says.
“Our venues create new social spaces for guests, perfect for those looking for a new gathering place on this side of town. Social spaces across the Hotel, particularly in W XYZ Bar & Lounge, will amplify the iconic global Live At Aloft Hotels program that showcases live acoustic performances by up and coming artists.