The managing partner of a tech driven hotel brand has said that hotels in the region are leading the way when it comes to the implementation of technology – despite having significant obstacles to overcome.
Tarek M Daouk was making his comments at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference during a one to one interview with Hotel News Middle East.
“If you look at self check-in kiosks for example, the challenge there is that each guest is required by the government to be verified against their official ID – which in turn creates a hurdle around the whole process,” said the managing partner of Smartotels, whose flagship brand, Form, (pictured right) opens in Dubai in Q1 2018.
“From a demand perspective we are going through a major turning point in the industry, we are in an overcrowded environment and companies are struggling to figure out what guests really want.
“That’s where technology struggles from an implementation standpoint but hoteliers in Dubai are very aware of what needs to be done – some are more advanced than others, but if you look at other markets like France or the US, Dubai certainly stands up as one of the more metropolitan cities looking to implement technology.”
Daouk was speaking to Hotel News Middle East about the launch of his company’s Hotoil project, a middleware programme, which aggregates the various systems in a hotel.
“Take for instance, the property management system (PMS), the HR system, marketing and accounting – the challenge with all of these is they are autonomous,” he said.
“They don’t speak to each other, there is a lot of valuable data that can be extracted to make more efficient decisions.”
He added that with Hotoil, Smartotels has implemented the model and it will be initiated at Form Hotel when it opens in Dubai Creek at Al Jaddaf.
Daouk said that Smatortels essentially took the customer service chain and looked at interaction between guests and staff, allowing the company to use technology to make more efficient decisions when it comes to service for guests.