Nabeel Sheikh, hotel manager at Delta Hotels by Marriott Jumeirah Beach, discusses the property’s distinctive features, exciting guest offerings, and how the addition of Jones the Grocer to the hotel enhances the hotel’s appeal.
Tell us about your professional career and how your previous experience has helped you in your current role in the Middle East.
With over two decades of experience in the hospitality industry, specialising in operations and team leadership, I previously managed the rooms division of a luxurious five-star hotel in Asia before joining my current role in Dubai. Drawing from my extensive background in implementing guest satisfaction, brand assurance, Food & Beverage, and revenue management initiatives, my prior exposure has proven invaluable in my current position.
How important are leadership skills in your role, and how do you motivate your employees on a regular basis?
In my position, leadership is crucial as it provides the necessary support, guidance, and inspiration for achieving our objectives. By fostering a shared vision and setting measurable, precise, and attainable goals, my team can collaborate effectively to develop and execute a winning strategy. Maintaining open lines of communication, soliciting continuous feedback, and promoting a collaborative work culture all play vital roles in keeping the team motivated and engaged.
Can you tell us what are distinct features of the property?
We are located in the heart of JBR with convenient access to the beach and JBR walk; our property is a prime location for tourists seeking entertainment, dining and shopping options. Designed with families and long-term guests in mind, our fully-equipped apartments offer a comfortable stay and guests can also indulge in a variety of dining options, including the all-day Jones The Grocer and our signature Brazilian churrascaria, Fogueira.
In your opinion, what is the most impressive part of the hotel?
It has to be our rooftop restaurant and bar Fogueira, which offers breathtaking views of both Dubai Marina and JBR and Ain Dubai.
What is the unique value proposition that you offer to your customers?
Delta by Marriott Jumeirah Beach has fully serviced studios and apartments, that offers convenience and value for money. With the close proximity to the beach, this offers a great affordable alternatives to families who want to experience the beach with more flexibility and without the price tags of beach resorts.
Tell us about the hotel’s restaurants and bars, and how they provide a unique experience. What are some dishes and drinks that you recommend everyone try?
Our hotel restaurant serves up delicious cuisine, prepared by our talented chef using the best ingredients. From Fogueira, serving traditional Brazilian churrasco to our brand-new Jones The Grocer, a modern gourmet café, our menus offer a range of dishes to suit every palate. Speakeasy, our cosy traditional neighbourhood pub offers cold beers and delicious comfort food with a giant screen to watch your favourite sports. Our Saturday Brunch at Fogueira is a must-try with up to 16 different cuts of meats served by passadores along with a live band and samba dancers who guarantee an entertaining afternoon.
How is technology enhancing the consumer experience?
Technology has given us the tools we need to provide the best possible guest experience. Some of the technological advancements used successfully at our hotel range from tracking our guests’ preferences to avoiding the front desk by sending room keys to their phones or simply using a mobile app to send requests to the hotel for action.
How did the Jones The Grocer outlet is a fantastic addition to the property, and what kind of feedback are you getting?
Guests are extremely happy with the change! The opening of Jones The Grocer allowed us not only to seriously upgrade our guests’ breakfast experience, but also to offer delicious gourmet food for lunch and dinner. The venue is bright and welcoming, with an outdoor terrace as well as a fun play area for kids, making it ideal for families to spend some time.
How, according to you, is the hospitality industry evolving? What is your vision for the hospitality segment in the Middle East?
The hotel business has evolved over time. The introduction of new ideas and technologies has fundamentally changed the way we travel today. As a result, players in the hospitality industry are constantly looking for new ways to innovate in order to remain competitive. The ability of hotels to quickly adapt to the latest travel trends and tailor personalised experiences to meet individual needs will shape the hospitality industry’s future. The region’s hospitality industry is poised for numerous opportunities. A surge in construction activity, combined with a growing population and favourable government policies and regulations, will open up new growth opportunities.
What difficulties come with maintaining a hotel?
There are multiple challenges that we face almost on a daily basis from managing digital reputation, attracting and retaining qualified associates, rising operational costs, evolving guest expectations, and others are just a few of the ongoing difficulties encountered by the hospitality industry.
Is sustainability important for the resort? If so, how do you work it into your designs?
While integrating sustainability across our daily operations, our operational teams are working to reduce our environmental impact through various property-based initiatives. Every department has a sustainability champion who works towards reducing property’s carbon, energy, water and landfill waste footprint, from sourcing locally to offering reusable beach bags, to installing our own water bottling plant to remove single use plastic, are a few initiatives that we have implemented.
Tourism has had a massive comeback in the region – how do you see this translating to bigger growth in the hospitality sector in 2023?
With both leisure and business trips on the rise, the hospitality industry is continuing its strong post-pandemic recovery. Many new hotels will open in 2023, and with Dubai becoming a more popular tourist destination every year, this trend will only continue.