“Ahlan Wa Salan”
Dubai, UAE – The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC this week unveiled its commitment to meeting the needs of the Middle East traveller seeking luxury and sophistication, as part of its participation at ATM 2013.
The hotel company, which was built on the concept of Gold Standards, believes that each of its 82 hotels should be culturally relevant to the market in which they operate. This approach is particularly important in the GCC where inter-market travel is commonplace for business and leisure and has been the key to Ritz-Carlton’s success in the region since it launched its first hotel in Dubai in 1998.
However, with the expanding global footprint of regional carriers such as Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways, the choice of gateway locations for the Middle East traveller has increased significantly in recent years. As a result, and with prestigious properties in some of the world’s most desirable destinations, Ritz-Carlton hotels are welcoming an increasing number of guests from the Middle East.
With over a third of Arab nationals known to make between one and five business trips outside the region every year, and the same number again of personal trips, the Middle East continues to be one of the most important source markets for the global luxury travel and hotel industry.
Arab families frequently travel in large groups with immediate and extended families, meaning that there is an increasing need for hotels – especially those within the luxury space – to offer facilities and services which reflect the needs of the whole family. Never is this truer than during the Middle East’s hot summer months, when affluent Arab travellers take, on average, 40 days vacation and are drawn to hotels which go above and beyond what is necessary.
“With the expectation that rightly comes with being one of the world’s most prestigious brands, our priority is ensuring that our guests receive a unique experience every time they stay with The Ritz-Carlton. The Arab traveller has very specific needs and we believe that offering a bespoke service with their tradition and culture is the way forward,” said Chris Gabaldon, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
“It is about more than the beautiful aesthetics of the suites, foyer, pool and spa, it is what stays in our guests’ hearts long after they leave and what motivates them to return time and time again. Ultimately, the personal experience that we create for each and every guest is what sets us apart and this comes down to anticipating their needs.”
To ensure that guests from the Middle East get the full Ritz-Carlton experience, preferred suites at selected hotels around the world offer exceptional accommodation and personal amenities which specifically cater to their needs.
The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul is a particular favourite with Middle East travelers with the hotel’s prime Bosphorus location, combined with the city’s rich history, culture and traditions offering an experience that has an enduring appeal for Arab travelers. Amenities at this exceptional hotel include, but are not limited to, the following with advance request:
• Arabic language television channels and newspaper options
• Koran and prayer carpet
• Qiblah directional arrow placed in-suite
• Ascription/prayer beads
• Ramadan Suhour service
• Welcome and turndown amenities featuring preferred floral and fragrance
• Shisha served with an array of fruit flavours
Another increasingly popular destination for global affluent traveler is North America and particularly the East Coast where cities such as the business, medical and shopping metropolis of Dallas, Texas, have benefitted from the expansion of air services to key cities from the region. Recently ranked the #1 hotel in North America by the influential Zagat Survey, The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas is well equipped to maximize the comfort and needs of affluent travellers by also offering the above amenities.
Perennial favourite New York has also seen an influx of visitors from the Gulf region. The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park has responded to the needs of its guests by not only introducing the above amenities, but also offering Arabic speaking front-of-house staff, schedule for prayer time and the ability to block book accommodations to cater for large groups travelling together.
The Ritz-Carlton’s exclusive Club Lounge is also available to guests booked into many of the hotel’s preferred suites and provides ongoing food and beverage presentations throughout each day, with the ability to serve select Arabic dishes upon advance request.
To find out more about how an individual Ritz-Carlton hotel can cater to specific travel needs, www.ritzcarlton.com or contact the hotel directly.
About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. of Chevy Chase, Md., currently operates 81 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 30 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award which recognizes outstanding customer service. For more information, or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free in the U.S. 1-800-241-3333, or visit the company website at www.ritzcarlton.com. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR)
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