Bin Majid Hotels and Resorts is a growing chain of hotels in the UAE with 25 years of experience in the tourism industry. With four properties in Ras Al Khaimah, they have carved a niche for themselves in the northern emirate. Dr Ali Kasapbashi, COO, talks about their endeavours in RAK.
Q.1. Can you provide us with brief descriptions of your properties in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK)?
Ans. Bin Majid Hotels & Resorts is a prominent hospitality chain in the United Arab Emirates in the Gulf region.We have four properties in Ras Al Khaimah—Beach Hotel, Beach Resort, Acacia and Mangrove.
Beach Hotel is where Arabian hospitality meets modern luxury. Situated near the beach in the heart of Ras Al Khaimah, the 4-star hotel comprises 136 rooms and suites, all equipped to the highest international standards for a comfortable and extraordinary stay.
The second property, also a 4-star, is the Beach Resort located in the south east of the stunning Arabian Peninsula, along the Arabian Gulf in Ras Al Khaimah. It has an 800-meter private sandy beach along with 173 chalets and cabanas, all elegantly and tastefully decorated, tucked away enough to cater to the privacy and tranquility one seeks on a beachfront.
Acacia is best described as a 4-star hotel where business meets pleasure. Superbly designed, chic and contemporary located in the business district of Ras Al Khaimah, Acacia is most appropriate whether you need a weekend break from your busy city schedule or if you are spending time on a business assignment in Ras Al Khaimah.
The last property in RAK is the Mangrove Hotel set just five minutes away from the heart of the city, the majestic mountains as well as some of the historical sites of Arabia. It boasts of a range of 186 rooms and suites, some with breathtaking views of the mangrove and ocean, all tastefully furnished and equipped to international standards. It is often an ideal choice for both holiday seekers and business people coming to the northern emirate.
Q.2. Of the many customers you get, what percentage of them comprises of families and what percentage comprises of business travellers?
Ans. Ras Al Khaimah is growing not just a travel destination but also a business hub. At our properties in RAK, 60 per cent of travellers are families who arrive mostly for weekend getaways while the remaining 40 per cent constitute business travellers.
Q.3. Bin Majid Hotels and Resorts has won numerous awards. Can you disclose details about the same?
Ans. The Bin Majid Beach Hotel has won the ‘Best 4-Star Leisure Hotel in the MENA region’ for four years. We bagged our first award in 2004 and repeated the feat in the year 2006. In 2012, we won the ‘Best 4-Star Leisure Hotel in the MENA region Platinum award’ while in 2013, we went on to win the ‘Best 4-Star Leisure Hotel in the MENA region Silver award’. Our hotel chain has also won the best quality award from Swiss Business Associations.
This year, for the 2014 Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Travel Awards, Bin Majid Hotels & Resorts has been nominated in six categories. The nominations are: Beach Hotel for Best 4-Star Leisure Hotel; Beach Resort for Best Environmental Hotel; Mangrove Hotel for Best Price Value Hotel; Acacia Hotel for Best 4-Star Business/ Corporate Hotel; Noodles Corner- Best Fine Dining Restaurant; Impala Rent a Car- Best Car Rental- Local Brand.
Q.4. You have four properties in Ras Al Khaimah, one in Abu Dhabi but no property in Dubai. What has kept Bin Majid Hotels and Resorts away from Dubai?
Ans. Bin Majid Hotels and Resorts has always been committed to the country’s growing tourism sector and more widely to the overall tourism market. We are actively exploring other opportunities to expand our footprint in UAE through the expansion of all our brands. To answer your question, we will soon be opening a new property in Dubai DWC.
Q.5. Ras Al Khaimah is evolving as a weekend getaway destination. As an hotelier, how would you describe RAK’s potential as tourist destination? Is it difficult to tap this potential?
Ans. Ras Al Khaimah provides travellers with a unique option to enjoy the fun of sun and sand along with the tranquility of the hills and the mountains. This distinctive offering of nature in a single place has helped us immensely to promote our properties.
Q.6. Several top hotel chains have set up their properties in RAK and a rising number of hotel giants are eyeing this emirate. How fierce is the competition in the region? How can one stay ahead of the game?
Ans. It is good that hotel chains are eyeing the emirate, as that goes on to show how much potential RAK has as a destination. It is always better to have competition with big players as a healthy competition brings out the best in a company. We have many guests who have become regular customers at our hotels and I believe that it is the evaluation of our competition in the market.
Q.7. There is a growing number of families from Dubai and Abu Dhabi who make a bee-line on weekends to go to Ras Al Khaimah? Are there any special plans to cater to these families?
Ans. It is our pleasure to welcome guests from another emirate. With several deals and packages such as the Iceland Water Park package, Special Weekend Brunch offers and Birthday packages, we are trying our best to offer families a memorable and fruitful weekend experience.
Q.8. Do you have any expansion plans in 2014? Any other regions in the UAE you are looking at to set up new properties?
Ans. By the end of 2014, our first 5-star beach property will be opened on the Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah and the hotel will be called Santorini. The seven-story building will comprise of 410 stylish guest rooms as well as an array of facilities and amenities to enhance the luxury design hotel experience. In Abu Dhabi we are opening our second hotel, Bin Majid Tower which is based on the concept of hotel apartments. We will soon be opening a new property in Dubai DWC.