The new InterContinental at Dubai Festival City is vying for a share of the lucrative meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (Mice) business.
The hotel’s in-house event centre will compete with other leading Mice facilities such as the convention centre at the Grand Hyatt Dubai.
The 500-room InterContinental opened last November and was officially launched on January 17. The event centre has already catered dinners for 1,000 people and conferences for 450 people.
Tom Meyer, Area General Manager of InterContinental Hotels Group at Dubai Festival City, said there was enough business to keep Dubai’s hotel industry busy. “The competition is healthy,” he said. “There’s certainly massive visitor growth in Dubai. Business is booming, visitor and tourist arrivals are up, so the indices are great.
“I actually think that if there wasn’t a competitive scenario here the product wouldn’t be as good as it is because at the end of the day we react to the competitive forces so we build bigger and better facilities. We really research what our food and beverage offering is going to be like because we want to compete with other hotels.”
At the Grand Hyatt, a new Mice concept called residence for meetings is due to be launched in the second quarter of this year. It is aimed at the medium-sized market groups of 30 to 100 and is described as being more interactive than a traditional meeting room. The idea has already been successfully implemented in many Hyatt hotels in Asia.
“The concept is that you have your small rooms in a separate area and all the rooms come out in a central place where you have an open kitchen,” said Jan Peter Van der Ree, the Grand Hyatt’s new general manager.
“The delegates in these meetings can help themselves to fresh cappuccinos, there is an oven where we bake croissants and pastries, so it’s like what you would have in your home. And of course we have our services with this concept as well.”