TIME Hotels Management has unveiled plans for a new four-star hotel in Dubai’s Al Barsha ‘shopping’ district, TIME Asma Hotel, which will aim for 80% of team members to be female, led by general manager Ghada Mahgoub, with dedicated facilities for female guests.
The announcement was made during a press conference at Arabian Travel Market, which is currently taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre.
“The concept will provide career opportunities for more than 100 women, contributing towards goals set out by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to increase the presence of women in the workplace,” commented TIME Hotels CEO Mohamed Awadalla.
The property will feature 232-rooms over 6 floors, a gym, swimming pool, jacuzzi, four meeting rooms, a business centre and two restaurants, for both male and female guests.
Due to open in Q4 2017, plans are in place for 2 floors of the hotel to be reserved exclusively for female travellers, with dedicated services, including: dedicated room service, a female-only check-in counter, dedicated women-only guest relations, in-house baby-sitting services, in-room tablets highlighting all of the services offered for women such as bespoke beauty products, in-room beauty treatments, as well as enhanced amenities in each room.
The hotel will also offer options to book women-only taxis and female-dedicated parking spaces.
“True to its name, the hotel will offer a truly unique experience for women, we want to make them feel special. And that message is also extended to our female staff, we want them to feel special as well, part of an exciting initiative advancing the case for more women in hospitality board rooms,” added Awadalla.
The latest statistics clearly underpin Awadalla’s comments, showing women continue to be under-represented in the hospitality industry, especially in senior management positions.
“We see almost equal numbers of male and female graduates leaving hospitality school, but fewer women enter in the hotel workforce, which shows the industry must do more to attract and support female professionals and their aspirations for career development,” said Awadalla.
With a target of 80%, women will be integral to the hotel’s recruitment and HR policies, led by TIME Asma Hotel’s first female GM, Ghada Mahgoub. Over the course of her 20-year career, Mahgoub has held senior positions in hotels in Cairo, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Ras Al Khamaih, Sharm El Sheikh and Dubai, leading teams across the reservations, events and rooms departments.
“TIME Asma Hotel will hold open recruitment for female employees, with training and development offered in-house to support the successful candidates in achieving their career goals,” said Mahgoub.
And quite apart from the issues of gender, the concept has a commercially viable strategy. Globally, women make 80% of all decisions concerning travel and spend more than $125 billion every year, with women aged between 40 and 60 representing the largest growth of any age bracket.
Unaccompanied female travel is also on the rise - Lonely Planet reported that 51% of surveyed travellers plan to take a solo trip in 2017, with the number rising to 80% in Germany. Due to its reputation for personal safety, Dubai would naturally be a top choice.
“TIME Asma Hotel will also be ideally positioned to attract the growing number of female visitors to Dubai, whether travelling with their families, friends, or alone,” said Mahgoub.
TIME Asma Hotel is one of upcoming properties in the pipeline for TIME Hotels in the Middle East, with new properties scheduled to open over the coming 10 months in Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Luxor, Riyadh, Jeddah and Doha.
Awadalla commented: “This is a very exciting chapter in TIME Hotels’ history and we look forward to introducing a number of new destinations and concepts to the region over the coming months.”