From representing the owner, managing assets and approving budgets and capital expenses, to selecting operators, negotiating contracts, analysing hotel operations, and enhancing profits and product value, Nijat Aliyev, owner’s representative/managing director at Sofitel Dubai The Palm knows the formula to operating a successful property.
What makes the Sofitel The Palm, Dubai property unique?
With 546 rooms, suites, villas and apartments, and a total of six swimming pools, Sofitel The Palm comprises accommodation and facilities that fit any guest’s needs, whether it’s a couple, family or guests who prefer lengthier stays. Our range of accommodation is extremely diverse and offers a flexible and plentiful choice for guests looking at a Palm Jumeirah getaway.
With an abundance of stunning organic architecture and lush vertical gardens created by renowned botanist Patrick Blanc, the resort graciously reflects a timeless spirit and tropical allure. The Polynesian theme, coupled with “magnifique” French elegance, bring a relaxing and unique tropical hideaway to Dubai.
Furthermore, our drive as an organisation to implement and over-achieve through our sustainability programmes enhances our position in the community and promotes our ethical culture and practices.
What are your F&B offerings, and what do you think guests are looking to see nowadays when it comes to this sector?
With 12 diverse restaurants on offer, guests can indulge in extensive international choices of F&B at Sofitel, The Palm. We have the award-winning Porterhouse serving succulent meats in a classically elegant atmosphere, the commended Moana Seafood Restaurant offering poolside chic vibes and delicacies from the sea, The World Eatery, our international restaurant with dishes from all over the globe and Laguna lounge, featuring the best sunset views and sumptuous cuisine, to name just a few.
With offerings ranging from fresh seafood, high-grade meat, an array of vegetarian options and sumptuous beverages, there really is an endless plethora to choose from. In 2019, Dubai is an extremely competitive marketplace when looking at the F&B scene. Consumers are increasingly looking for well-priced, innovative and ethical food options. There’s a rise in sustainable living and guests really want to know where their food comes from, how a restaurant is reducing waste and how healthy the food they’re eating really is.
What are some of your most important sustainability initiatives? Sofitel, The Palm remains one of the most sustainably designed resorts in the region, and we continuously strive to better our practices and performance through technological advancements and various other efficiency models. This year, we were certified gold status by Green Globe for our continuous efforts over the past five years, and also follow Accor Hotels’ sustainable development programme “Planet 21”.
Additionally, through our efficient segregation programme, the hotel has recycled over 120 tonnes of plastic, eight tonnes of canned materials and over 60,000 litres of used cooking oil to date. On top of this, we’ve also eliminated the use of 4,800 kg plastic bags, replaced plastic with biodegradable products in all our outlets and reduced overall energy consumption by 20% this year.
How do you see the future of hospitality in the UAE and region?
As we are fast approaching the much-anticipated Expo 2020, the UAE is expected to grow its supply of hotel rooms to an estimated 165,000 by then. This brings an ever increasingly competitive market driving all hotels across the UAE to ensure that their properties stand higher than the rest.
With this competition, hotels need to offer more than just a standard hotel experience, if they ever want to ensure that they catch a portion of the country’s estimated 45 million visitors by 2021. It’s vital that hotels across the region take heed of guest opinions, follow trends and stay up to date with what guests are really looking for when it comes to hospitality.