Setting the pace

Dubai Park Hotel

The trend towards budget travel has made the Dubai hotel industry take a step back and ponder its effect on the market. The UAE and Dubai in particular has been a popular destination for both the business traveller and the sun seeker. The climate here is pleasant most of the year and the plethora of hotels runs a gamut from the no-star to the five star deluxe. In the past year there has been a noticeable gravitation towards budget hotels which offer facilities to please the international clientele.

While some developers prefer to concentrate on the city centre when building properties, it is interesting to look at the major development on the outskirts of the city. Once just a vast expanse of sandy beach with just a few residential properties dotted here and there, it is now a flourishing development for leading chain hotels and exclusive marinas.

Dubai's expansion over the past ten years has seen the city move steadily south, utilising its abundant land for development of both residential and hotel properties. The main growth area for new hotel properties is the coveted Jumeirah Beach area, 15kms south of the city centre. In addition to tourism facilities, the Jumeirah area is a much sought-after residential area in terms of both local and expatriate private residents.

As Dubai heads towards the next century, its long-term plans mean that suburban hotels have capitalised on being away from the traffic-congested city, providing a much more pleasant environment for guests. The establishment of such reputed sporting facilities as the Emirates Golf Club and the Dubai International Marine Club has also enhanced the property situation.

There are budget hotels and there are small hotels; then there is the small hotel that offers personalised service with five-star exclusivity without bankrupting the client! This is the boutique hotel, now making an impact in Europe.

The Dubai Park Hotel is the only boutique hotel in the UAE.

It has all the salient points of its more expensive neighbours, yet it brings the warmth and welcome of an intimate pension. Situated outside the congested city it is on the Abu Dhabi Highway, making access to the business and market areas a quick 20-minute drive.

Their marketing gambit is straightforward: "We care for our guests and we offer them that little bit extra, at no extra price," says Habib Khan, the General Manager. The staff are aware that a return guest is the best marketing for the hotel.

"We are not competing with the five star hotels," explains Habib Khan. "We are providing our guests with the same sort of service - but at affordable prices."

The Dubai Park Hotel prides itself on its personalised service. The management delights in its return guests and welcomes each as a valued patron. The staff are well trained and efficient, ever helpful and cheerful with warm smiles.

Thus the Dubai Park Hotel has cornered the market on the budget-conscious traveller. Its 87 deluxe rooms and four suites are well appointed and feature individually controlled central air conditioning, an international direct-dial phone with voice mail, satellite TV, and minibar. The en-suite bathrooms have amenities including specially packaged toiletries and extra soft towels.

The 24-hour room service offers a choice of Continental, Arabic and Asian cuisine. The Cafe Du Park is an elegant restaurant with warm yet sophisticated ambience. Its deep blue and white décor with gold trimmings is the perfect background for the buffet that is served at breakfast and lunch. An à la carte menu is available so that guests have a choice of culinary delights.

El Gringo is the Tex Mex Restaurant with authentic cuisine prepared by a well trained chef, while Finnegan's Pub is the watering hole for thirsty Irish as well as people who want to savour a bit of Ireland without buying an airline ticket! Special events for football and other nights featuring various local talents make evenings at El Gringo and Finnegan's the place to be in.

Al Abaya, the Arabic Night Club, and Yarba, the Indian Night Club, both feature live music and cabarets. The dancers and singers are from Lebanon and the Sub-Continent. Evenings here are an enjoyable mix of food, music and lively conversation.

A landscaped area surrounding the swimming pool is used for barbecues and private parties and the large tented banqueting hall overlooks this peaceful scene. Dubai Park Hotel prides itself on its outdoor catering and can take care of large weddings, intimate dinners, conferences, banquets and private meetings.

The Hard Rock Cafe is yet another jewel in the crown of the versatile services offered by Dubai Park Hotel. This project is in the exciting stages of being realised and the projected opening date is late 1997, at the same time the hotel plans on upgrading its outlets by adding a Balinese restaurant overlooking the pool.

The hotel has excellent fitness facilities. The health club has a large temperature-controlled outdoor swimming pool and outdoor jacuzzi. The gymnasium has state-of-the-art Nautilus equipment as well as a sauna, steam room, cold plunge pool and massage room for both men and women with a qualified masseur. The perfect retreat for a tired traveller. The perfect solution, as well, for a cost-conscious guest - when prices dictate not only the destination but also the accommodation.

With all these facilities and future plans, Dubai Park Hotel is the epitome of the new boutique concept that is now creating a niche in the hospitality market by offering deluxe facilities at lower rates, but in no way cutting down on professionalism and standards.

For more information, contact Dubai Park Hotel, PO Box 22380, Dubai. Tel: 009714 487111 FAx: 009714 487222