Business | Tourism

Millennium eyes corporate clients to fill rooms

With a portion allocated to house commercial space, the hotel is banking on the MICE sector

  • By Aya Lowe, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 January 27, 2012
  • Gulf News

Dubai: The Millennium Plaza Hotel, which opened its doors on January 15, is enjoying high occupancy as Dubai's tourist season gets underway.

The hotel, part of the Millennium and Copthorne Hotels group, has been running at an average occupancy of 94 per cent since its opening, according to Muin Serhan, General Manager.

"The ongoing Dubai Shopping Festival has definitely added value to Dubai. We can see that from the number of reservations we have had during this programme. Several GCC holidays have come up at the same time, which makes the city hotels fully booked. The upcoming Arab Health exhibition is also making average rates jump up," Serhan said.

The hotel is enjoying robust occupancy, also courtesy visitors from China.

"The Chinese market is picking up very well. This has been possible with the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing increasing the number of offices in China. South America is a new destination we're tapping for the upcoming season," Serhan added.

The Dh450 million hotel is 65 storeys high and comprises 413 rooms starting from the 26th floor. The lower floors are occupied by offices and meeting space.

Construction, which had commenced much before the downturn, took longer than anticipated. The hotel took eight years to be completed, with a two-year delay in between during the UAE property crisis. According to Serhan, the hotel is looking to attract members from the burgeoning MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) industry.

The hotel currently has five meeting rooms and a hall, with plans to add an additional seven meeting rooms in the coming months.

"With this hotel we're focusing on the corporate clients. January, February and March is our corporate season. The MICE industry makes up around 30 per cent of our total revenue. Right now, it makes up 50 per cent of our occupancy, but in the future we're forecasting the ratio to be more like 70/30," Serhan added. According to Serhan, Russians account for the majority of guests, followed by Germans and British.

Rising hotel inventory

  • 94%: average occupancy since the hotel opening
  • 413: number of rooms in the 65-storey hotel

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