We are in conversation with Fredrik Reinisch, Cluster General Manager at Habtoor City Hotels in Dubai.
Fredrik Reinisch, who previously held the position of General Manager at Habtoor Grand Resort in Dubai Marina, now oversees operations at Habtoor Palace (LXR Hotels & Resorts), V Hotel (Curio Collection by Hilton) and Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City. A highly motivated and experienced hotel and hospitality professional, Reinisch has worked for high-profile hotels groups in the UAE, Sweden and the UK. His UAE experience includes a spell as regional general manager for the UAE and Seychelles at JA Resorts & Hotels, resident manager at Oasis Beach Hotel and general manager at JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort. He first entered the hospitality industry when he joined Millennium and Copthorne Hotels in the UK after studying hotel management in the UK and Sweden. During his time off, Fredrik can be found Thai boxing, fishing and spending rim with his wife Sharon and two boys, Oliver and Kristopher, along with a host of dogs and cats.
Hozpitality Group:- Your hotels recently went through a major management change, how difficult was it?
Fredrik Reinisch:- I’m proud to say we managed the process amicably and in record time. Hilton is a major player in the hospitality industry and thus has the systems and processes to navigate change, so we knew what we were doing at all times and had the required support and guidance. It was challenging to get everything done so quickly but our team members really pulled together to get it done.
Hozpitality Group:- What has mainly changed with the management change, how are you now different from other major players in the market?
Fredrik Reinisch:- Our three hotels were formerly managed by Marriott International and now we are all part of the Hilton family as franchised properties. We have developed our own new branding for V Hotel and Habtoor Palace which has been a really exciting opportunity and makes us inherently different. While global brands clearly have their own power, they also come with restrictions and controls, so we are viewing this as a unique chance to respond directly to market needs and preferences. We are homegrown and local brands, supported by a hospitality giant like Hilton - and I think that’s a recipe for success.
Hozpitality Group:- You are situated in the heart of Dubai’s business district, how does this help you?
Fredrik Reinisch:- Our location is ideal for both leisure and MICE travellers. We are very central - halfway between old and new Dubai. For leisure travellers, we are 20 minutes from the airport and 5 minutes from Dubai Mall and the Downtown Area. For those who want to mix up their city trip with a blast of beach, we provide a complimentary shuttle bus to our sister property Habtoor Grand in JBR. Then for MICE travellers, we really have something special. MICE bookers can avail of three luxurious and unique hotels with more than 1,600 rooms between them, 3 ballrooms, outdoor event space, and even the Habtoor Theatre which is a very special event space in La Perle.
Hozpitality Group:- You have a huge hotel complex with 3 great hotel properties. Tell us more about your unique features.
Fredrik Reinisch:- The three hotels each have a different personality - V Hotel is playful and dynamic, Habtoor Palace is refined and opulent and Hilton is classic and warm. All three are connected by a leisure deck of 120,000 square foot with multiple pools. We have more than 22 award winning restaurants, a tennis academy, La Perle theatre, 2 spa’s, BOA nightclub, helipad, gardens and a Kids Club - all in one central, accesible location!
Hozpitality Group:- What is the main attraction of your property?
Fredrik Reinisch:- It depends on what you’re into – we really do have something for everyone. But of course one of our biggest attractions is La Perle by Dragone, the region’s first permanent show boasting 450 performances per year in a tailor-made state-of-the-art aqua-theatre. Produced by legendary Creative Director Franco Dragone, La Perle features a cast of 65 world-class artists performing breathtaking aqua and aerial feats in, on and above water.
Hozpitality Group:- How do you take care of your internal team? How important is HR development for you?
Fredrik Reinisch:- The internal team is critical to the business and HR development is an ongoing and vital part of our day to day work. With all of the changes that have taken place here, the key to driving our team is motivation and communication. We do all that we can to keep team members updated on changes and developments, as well as holding motivational events, brand immersions, brainstorm sessions and rallies to keep them engaged and show that their input is valued.
Hozpitality Group:- What are your future plans in this region?
Fredrik Reinisch:- Our plan is to simply to take Al Habtoor City to the next level and ensure it’s always a buzzing and vibrant destination.
Hozpitality Group:- So many new hotel rooms and brands are coming into the market, does this bother you?
Fredrik Reinisch:- No, we believe that competition pushes everyone to be better. We have our unique proposition and our place in the market. There is no other city within a city here that has as much to offer as we do.
Hozpitality Group:- Now that Dubai is preparing for Expo 2020, how would this effect your company’s growth?
Fredrik Reinisch:- I think we are well positioned to support EXPO 2020 given our location which is between the EXPO site and the airport.