Good afternoon, Sirak Samvelovich, we are glad to see you again. In anticipation of the "high tourist" season in the UAE, we would like to know what plans the Al Khalidiah Tourism group of companies meets with?
Dear readers of the magazine "Russian Emirates", referring to all of you, I want to say that this summer we very carefully prepared for the onset of the high tourist season in the UAE. It is already felt that the crisis is gradually receding, which allows us to hope that the material level of the population in the CIS countries will improve.
As you probably already know, we are opening a new, perhaps the best beach hotel in the emirate of Sharjah - Khalidiah Beach Resort & Spa, which received the official 5-star class and is also recognized as the best beach resort in this emirate. Those who have been living in the UAE for a long time probably remember that over the past 15 years not a single beach hotel has been opened in Sharjah. And all the hotels that are in this emirate, even the most popular of them, are very old. Therefore, I think that our hotel will appeal to all our guests. We, in turn, will try to provide them with decent service and the best conditions for relaxation.
We also expanded our blocks of locations in all other popular Sharjah hotels and in the main hotels of the Dubai coast of Jumeirah. We hope that this year we will be able to receive a decent number of tourists who will not regret that we went on vacation with Al Khalidiah Tourism. Last year we almost reached forty thousand, but I think that these are good indicators for the crisis year. We kept our volumes of the pre-crisis period, although many thought that Al Khalidiah Tourism was dumping prices and went negative, but this is not so. Of course, we didn’t earn much, but, nevertheless, we were able to maintain our positions and to some extent even strengthened them in Jumeirah hotels.
Do you plan to hold a presentation of the new hotel as part of the Rest 2010 exhibition in Moscow in order to attract the attention of Russian tour operators, both your existing partners and new companies?
At the exhibition in Moscow, we plan to participate at two stands at once. The first is, traditionally, the corporate stand of the Sharjah Tourism Department, the second is our own stand of 18 square meters. meters, which we specially took for the presentation of the new hotel Khalidiah Beach Resort & Spa. Of course there will beAl Khalidiah Tourism travel agency and Al Khalidiah villas are also quite popular among tourists.
Of course, we do not forget about our partners and, in no case, do not reduce, but even vice versa, increase the volume of tourists coming from Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Ukraine. Our company has signed a number of new contracts with very large and, I hope, respectable tour operators from Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. In addition, I would like to note that in addition to the existing Al Khalidiah Tourism offices in Almaty and Kiev, we have an office in Yerevan, and now we have representative offices in three CIS countries, which allows us to hope for a good flow of tourists from these countries .
Please tell us more about when your new hotel will be officially opened and what will please its first guests? The question is not accidental - we are well aware of your friendships with many Russian artists, athletes and other celebrities. Will any of them be invited to the official opening?
The official opening of the hotel is planned by us this October. I will not yet give an exact date, but we are very carefully preparing for this event and we hope that many invited stars of Russian pop, theater and cinema will share our joy with us. One thing I can say that my friends - the A-Studio group - will definitely be. We also plan the arrival of the Our Russia team and other artists. While we are conducting preliminary negotiations, but we hope that many of the audience’s favorites will honor the presence of the opening ceremony of the Khalidaih Beach Resort & Spa.
What restaurants will work in your hotel? You said that you have not decided yet, will it be a Russian, Italian or Chinese restaurant? Already have an understanding? And please tell us a little more about the Spa-center, since we heard that the services there will be provided not only to women, but also to men?
I'll start, perhaps, with the Spa-center. Traditionally, in the Emirates, many popular procedures, including Moroccan baths, were available only to women. As it turned out, many men would also love to go to the bathhouse for a professional massage. Therefore, in our hotel we have created all the necessary amenities so that representatives of both sexes can afford the Spa treatments. Our Spa-center is divided into two halves - female and male, occupies a rather large area. I would say that this offer is exclusive to Sharjah, since none of the hotels operating in the emirate have such conditions.
As for restaurants, we have already made a choice. We will have two restaurants and one cafe on the beach at our hotel. One of the restaurants is called "Dolphin", it will serve European and international cuisine on a buffet basis. The second restaurant will be Russian-Italian, we called it "Nostalgia". It will be possible to taste the best dishes of different peoples of the CIS, as well as the best of Italian cuisine and seafood. Everyone who comes to this restaurant will be able to order the dish that he likes. The beach cafe will serve light snacks, sandwiches, juices, soft drinks. Oddly enough, but many of the "five-star" Emirates, especially beach ones, began to gradually introduce all-inclusive accommodation programs this year.
Will there be something like this at Khalidiah Beach Resort & Spa? How promising is this idea for implementation in the UAE?
You know, the experience of our work shows that the all-inclusive principle does not always work effectively in the Emirates. Because, in the form in which our tourists are accustomed to receive all-inclusive services in countries such as Turkey, it is impossible to imagine in the Emirates. Firstly, in Sharjah and in our hotel, in particular, this definitely will not work out due to the “prohibition” in the emirate and, accordingly, the hotel’s lack of an alcohol license. Secondly, the prices that exist in Turkey, and which operate here, differ markedly and will become a very expensive pleasure for the hotel when introducing all-inclusive programs. In the future, of course, we have such ideas, but so far we plan to introduce special programs of recreation and entertainment for tourists on the hotel territory. For this, we have already hired professional animators, prepared programs that will entertain holidaymakers on the beach, occupy in the gym and in the Spa. Also, our guests will be offered evening entertainment. I hope this will allow us to set a definite precedent, because, in fact, in the UAE beach hotels, no one deals with guests during the day.
It is well known that summer is the "low" season for the Emirates, despite all efforts to turn the UAE into a year-round destination. How can you assess the state of the tourist industry of the Emirates before the start of the high season?
As this summer showed, the volumes of tourists were deplorable, since the summer turned out to be very hot and, alas, not only in the Emirates, but also in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. People tried to escape from the heat therefore, neither the Emirates nor Turkey were interested in them. Tourists rode where it was cooler and it rained. In general, I believe that the summer was difficult for both hotels and travel companies in the UAE. Let's hope that the high season will be able to compensate for our losses.
What will the Al Khalidiah Tourism group offer during the Rest 2010 exhibition and after it to its partners in Russia and the CIS countries?
To all our main partners, we have already made proposals for the season. For some of our exclusive partners, we have prepared special offer packages. But in more detail about this I can tell you in one of my subsequent interviews, but for now I will keep everything a secret. The only thing I will say is that our proposals are always based on: flexible working conditions, good prices and good service.
Thank you, Sirak Samvelovich. We wish you continued success and see you soon.
Thank you too. I, in turn, want to invite all your readers to visit our hotel, which will open in early October, and in which special discounts will be applied for accommodation, meals and Spa services until the end of the month. You can book rooms on the official website of Al Khalidiah Tourism. I wish you all good health, a successful season and success in life.