Address Boulevard is the latest hotel to come under Emaar’s successful Address banner. Hotel News Middle East speaks to general manager Pascal Dupuis about why the lifestyle city resort is worth checking in to…
When Pascal Dupuis, general manager of Dubai’s newly opened Address Boulevard was selecting his team, he wanted to make sure the candidates had the right personalities to fit in with his vision.
Dupuis was not satisfied with a run of the mill series of interviews, he decided there was only way to find the right people – by holding a Britain’s Got Talent style series of auditions.
“We didn’t necessarily look for people with a large amount of experience, we did a very different style of interview, for some it was about them presenting themselves through a presentation,” says Dupuis.
“It was amazing to see how comfortable they are putting together a presentation and then talking about what you’re good at, what you’ve done, your mentors and there was one part in particular that I really liked which was your artistic skills, your hidden artistic skills.”
The reason Dupuis went to these lengths, he says, was to give potential employees to show there was more to them than just their employment history and could provide “something out of the norm and think differently”.
“You had to make a presentation or do something like you would do on stage, I had a good time looking at people doing something from just hotel things,” he says.
“I had someone doing carving, they came with an apple, I had someone who came with a poem, I had someone who had an artist who did a drawing. Another one was a magician so he did a magician’s tricks. I even had someone who created a song, it was amazing.”
He said the need to have team members who could show a creative personality was a key point for a hotel that sells itself on being different.
Having the right team in place is key to being able to respond to unexpected challenges that might arise. While the opening of the Address Boulevard went smoothly, like any other project of such a size, it wasn’t without its challenges, as Dupuis (pictured right) explains.
“I think the main challenge is definitely time, you really have to stick to a certain phase of construction and any delay will affect a lot of things,” he says.
“Marketing is an issue too, because you have to be very careful about when you start your marketing – you don’t want it to be too early as you lose momentum, or if it’s too late you don’t have any at all.”
Another challenge, explains Dupuis, is planning and getting ready to turn everything on in the hotel for the first time.
“It was an amazing buzz to be honest,” he says. “When you look at the initial drawings and you see the reality it’s very, very close.
“In terms of architecture and design it is very much there and also in terms of guest experience and service.”
So how will the Frenchman measure the success of the hotel?
“I think my initial success measurement is definitely guest satisfaction,” he says.
“I think we have already done extremely well in the four months after opening just from the feedback we get. Then you also have to measure your financial impact and your investment, those are the two main ones, it is always good to have happy guests and a successful hotel.”
When it comes to management style, Dupuis has a very simple philosophy – to lead by example.
“I am very passionate and very open, I would never ask my team to do something that I would never do,” Dupuis says.
“It is very hands on, I know everything, I want to know everything, I am very visible and very approachable. The staff know me, they know I will see everything and they know I will know everything one way or another.”
Dupuis said it is vital for someone in his position, managing a luxury 72-storey hotel with 196 rooms and 532 serviced residences, in the heart of one of the planet’s most iconic locations, to remain humble.
“I started at the bottom and this makes a huge difference,” he says.
“One of the greatest qualities of a hotelier is to stay humble because we live in a five-star world, we enjoy beautiful designs and beautiful features – it’s easy to forget why you are here.”
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
: Like any five-star hotel in Dubai, Address Boulevard prides itself on its culinary offerings – but Dupuis is adamant that his hotel really does have something unique to offer.
“Really there is a space for everybody. If you’ve had a busy day you can sit quietly in the study room with your laptop or book,” says Dupuis.
“It’s a great destination, we have the Burj Khalifa, we have the pool deck, we have a terrace for the bars, it’s a great dining destination, we have an amazingly talented chef who is passionate about the food and passionate about the products.”
Dupuis says that modern travellers are not interested in the traditional buffet style offerings and Address Boulevard has moved to acknowledge that.
“The menu is all a la carte, we don’t do buffet here, not even for breakfast, it is really something, it is a great concept, usually when you tell the guest we only have one restaurant the reaction is one of disappointment,” he says.
“But when you stay here for five or six days you see the advantages as you can sit in different places all the time and have a different experience. It’s a great concept that is really unique that doesn’t exist anywhere else in Dubai.”