Tricks of the trade: The Hotel Show

Posted under Hotel News ME, News.
by Dina Maaty | Published 2 weeks ago

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Celebrating its 20th edition during the Middle East Design and Hospitality Week 2019, The Hotel Show Dubai will take place from September 17-19 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

The landmark event, which has evolved in parallel with the GCC’s leisure and hospitality sector over the last two decades, will feature key discussions among thought leaders from both industries.

“The GCC’s hospitality sector is focused on putting its best foot forward when tourists from around the world visit the UAE for the Expo, as well as other international happenings scheduled to take place in the GCC. The Hotel Show, true to its legacy, will be a confluence point for the GCC’s hospitality sector to align on best practices and the way forward for the industry, which is at the threshold of a fresh boom. The best part of the Show this year is that it’s co-located with six other events catering to sectors that complement the hotel industry,” says Nathan Waugh, portfolio director, dmg events, Hospitality Division.

“Participating companies include OS&E International, Procurio, Everstyle, MG Hotel Supplies, Emirates Dimlaj, A to Z Hospitality, Modern Event, Dutch Lab, Table and Beyond, Lion’s Wood Banquet Furniture, Intros Hotel Supplies, ASSA ABLOY Group, Dometic, Dubai Furniture Manufacturing Co. and WMK Hospitality. Plus, Groupe GM, La Bottega, Boon Coffee, Stellar USP, DreamMaster, Restonic, Intercoil, Zubair Furnishing, Prime Selected Products (PSP), Fairmont Designs, Poly Products, Diversey and 1765 Gemini to name a few,” he adds.

During the Middle East Design and Hospitality Week 2019, The Hotel Show Dubai will be co-located with INDEX, Workspace, The Leisure Show, Surface Design Middle East, FIM, and INDEX Home. For more details, visit

In numbers

  • According to the GCC Hospitality Report by Alpen Capital, “the GCC hospitality market is projected to reach $32.5 billion in 2022”. Furthermore, the hotel sector is expected to experience a significant surge in demand as Expo 2020 Dubai approaches, in addition to other global events due to be hosted in the region. 
  • Moreover, the Hotels Market Report by Ventures Onsite indicates that approximately 25 million visitors will arrive in the UAE for Expo 2020 and, as a result, “Dubai’s hotel room supply is expected to reach 132,000 in 2019, with the Emirate aiming to complete 160,000 hotel rooms by October 2020.”
  • The Report anticipates that the UAE will continue to lead the GCC’s luxury hospitality segment until 2022, with “73 percent of existing luxury hotel stock and 61 percent of the region’s pipeline located in the country.”
  • As for Saudi Arabia, aside from the Kingdom’s push towards growing into a leisure and entertainment hub in the region, the report states that “the cornerstone of KSA’s inbound tourism is the annual pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah, forecast to increase to 30 million visitors collectively,” reveals Ventures Onsite.
  • According to the Sustainability Travel Report, “70 percent of global travellers say they would be more likely to book accommodation knowing it was eco-friendly, whether they were looking for a sustainable stay or not”. In the Hotels Market Report, Oliver Heath, a biophilic design firm shares that, “guests are willing to pay 23 percent more for rooms containing biophilic elements.”
  • The GCC tourism industry has seen a rise in millennial travellers in the last few years and this trend is expected to continue. According to Expedia, “nearly 70 percent of millennial travellers are likely to extend their business”.

New this year:

The Hotel Room Design Challenge

Some of the UAE’s leading interior designers and fit out contractors will compete at The Hotel Show’s newest feature: The Hotel Room Design Challenge. Competing teams will have a designated space within the event to create their room set design, based on the theme: Dubai: A World of Possibility, a Lifetime of Stories.

Visitors at the event will vote for their favourite room set design during the first and second days of The Hotel Show, and the winning team will be awarded at the Middle East Hospitality Awards on September 18 at the Ritz-Carlton, DIFC.

Participating companies include Gensler, Godwin Austen Johnson and STYLIS NSG.

Commenting on the new feature, Waugh said: “Every year, at The Hotel Show, we look to improve and refresh our feature content to ensure that the event remains fresh, relevant and inspirational for all our stakeholders. This year, as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Hotel Show, we wanted to include a feature which gives designers the opportunity to express themselves, and challenge themselves to represent the past, present and future of Dubai through design. I speak for the whole team when I say that we can’t wait to see how some of the region’s leading design and fit out companies fulfil the creative brief.”

Check this out: The Chef’s Table

The second edition of The Chef’s Table competition will take place during The Hotel Show Dubai, held from September 17-19 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Offering top 12 UAE chefs the opportunity to showcase their skills and creativity in a timed cooking competition, ingredients to be used aren’t revealed until the countdown. “Team effort will be integral to win this competition, where contending teams will be judged based on hygiene, kitchen skills, creativity in putting ingredients together, cooking skills and of course taste,” says Chef Uwe Micheel, president of the Emirates Culinary Guild, who will lead the panel of expert chefs judging the competition.

To recreate a full dining experience from the moment someone steps into a restaurant, participating teams are required to have one barman, two service members and three members in the kitchen, with the addition of a steward.

“The first edition of Chef’s Table hosted at The Hotel Show last year was a resounding success and it quickly earned its status as a star feature at the event,” says Nathan Waugh, portfolio director – Hospitality Division at dmg events.

“We’ve expanded the competition by a third this year, and we’re delighted to once again be partnering with Emirates Culinary Guild for this exciting competition, which serves as a glowing testament to the culinary excellence that the UAE proudly offers,” he adds.

According to the KPMG UAE 2018 Food & Beverage Report, ‘the restaurant footprint in Dubai is high, second only to that of Paris’. A report issued by the Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) sector in the Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai, indicates that 1,109 new restaurants and cafés opened in the emirate in 2018. ‘A further 1,600 F&B outlets will join the growing sector in the UAE’, forecasts a recent KPMG survey.

Alongside its rising global image as a food destination, Dubai is home to an increasing population of food bloggers. Chef Micheel highlights that, while he has the highest respect for reputed bloggers in the UAE who know food inside out, he feels that the majority are self-proclaimed experts who need to sharpen their knowledge and skills on the topic.

To develop proficiency as a food expert, Micheel recommends spending time with chefs and identifying one’s weaknesses in the area. The award-winning author of Chef at Home says: “If you’ve only eaten pizza your whole life, how can you comment with authority on fine dining, French cuisine?”

Discussing current food trends in the UAE, the president of the Emirates Culinary Guild shared that Greek cuisine is currently in favour, and that there’s an increasing demand for fresh food in line with global trends.

The KPMG Food and Beverage Report supports this, stating that ‘multiple operators indicated a noticeable increase in vegetarian and vegan options’, and ‘increasing awareness about health has led some to reduce or give up meat, gluten and milk products’. At the same time, Chef Uwe notes that the Middle East’s shawarma and kebabs are gaining accelerated popularity in the international food scene.

Shedding the light on challenges faced by chefs in the Middle East, Chef Uwe revealed that there’s pressure to prioritise aesthetics over taste so that food is social media-worthy. Another looming issue, he adds, in the local and global industry is food wastage, which can be resolved with more responsible behaviours when it comes to consuming and serving food.

The competition this year features Jackson Vending Dallmayr as Coffee Sponsor, Madar Farms as the Sustainable Partner, Southern Cross as Meat Sponsor, Montalbano (Top Chairs) as Chair Sponsor, Bragard as Uniform Sponsor, Diversey as Hygiene Sponsor and 1765 Gemini as Tableware Sponsor.

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