DUBAI: When an Emirati family business began working on establishing The Manor Hotel in Dubai, they decided to bring along a little piece of their ‘home’.
Mohammed Hanif, managing partner and founder of the hotel located in Al Furjan, said: “The contractor was from an Emirati company. The designer was an Emirati as well. The operator — JA Group — is also Emirati-owned in an industry that is usually dominated by international players.”
The family realised that local partners and companies had a good understanding of the market. They believed that showcasing local expertise is an essential part of any business. “Throughout the process, Emirati business and talents are showcased successfully, since we are an Emirati company ourselves. Our general manager is an Emirati too, one of the firsts. The entire culture of Emirati hospitality has been a success for us and we are sure that in the future, this would be a growing potential for all Emiratis,” Hanif added.
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Hanif explained that from a business perspective, opportunities are given based on merit. While no shortcuts were provided for Emirati businesses, the founder was pleased to find that there was a lot of local talent that competed with international standards.
The Emirati experience
Hanif and other members of the family business were certain that they wanted to give guests a memorable stay. “The true Emirati experience has sadly not been showcased, as many of Dubai’s hotels are international. However, we are focusing on the Arabian hospitality, we make sure that the hotel is an extension of the Emirati home. Our coffee shop is Emirati-branded, serving local treats,” he noted.
The sleek hotel’s interior holds no resemblance to old traditional designs, yet Hanif believes that the Emirati experience is embodied within the values of the hotel. “The Arabian hospitality goes above and beyond. If you’ve visited any home you can see that while it’s a bit informal, it is welcoming and warm. We make sure that whatever the guest needs can be catered to with a touch of Emirati hospitality.”
During the pandemic, The Manor welcomed many Emiratis who had returned from abroad and were not comfortable being in home quarantine.
The hotel ensured that the guests had a feel of their homes, which is what the hotel aspires to provide all the guests with.
“It comes naturally when you have an Emirati-owned business, an Emirati general manager and an Emirati operator [to replicate that homely experience]. It can be as simple as having Emirati coffee and sweets, and just having an Emirati there who is welcoming the guests every day.”
An eco-friendly touch
Understanding the tourism industry allows the business to add a unique element to all their endeavours, catering to the more environmentally-conscious customers.
“We started with the mandate [of a 23 per cent reduction of energy] and with time, we noticed that the more we invest in sustainability, the better it is for the business. We reached up to 40 per cent of energy savings and it has been one of our wisest decisions. Starting from the cooling systems, the type of windows, the lighting, everything. We used LED lighting, which is very efficient. The aluminium on the tinted windows is the kind that does not allow heat to enter the building, which makes the air-conditioning more efficient.”