UAE’s hospitality sector is all set for a record recovery this year - GulfToday

UAE’s hospitality sector is all set for a record recovery this year


A breathtaking view of Dubai Marina. The UAE’s hospitality sector is on a solid growth track despite the pandemic.

Business Bureau, Gulf Today

The UAE’s hospitality sector is on a solid growth track and marching ahead despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emirates’ robust new safety measures deployed across various sectors and major initiatives taken by the government have further cemented the country’s position as a safe destination for global travellers

According to PwC, the UAE hospitality sector is set for record recovery in 2021. Owing to positive results in vaccination and the upcoming Expo 2020, the hospitality industry - and the service economy, in general - is poised for growth this year.

In a study conducted by global travel company Kuoni, the UAE has emerged as the “world’s most searched destination for tourism in 2021”.

In addition, new research conducted by Hilton in the UAE, revealed that UAE residents are already gearing up for a busy year of travel in 2021.

2020 was the year of staycations as hotels looked to ramp up domestic tourism in the absence of overseas visitors. Hotels launched innovative campaigns at attractive prices including offering rates that included dining, free upgrades and free cancellations.

Prior to the pandemic, the direct contribution of travel and tourism to the Middle East’s GDP was predicted by the World Travel and Tourism Council, to reach $133.6 billion by 2028.

But, as PwC rightfully notes, the success of this upswing in interest will depend on how soon the hospitality companies and source markets are able to rebuild customer trust.

The hospitality sector is chief among the industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The reason is obvious: Lodging and other tourism services involve common touchpoints, amenities, and reusable toiletries, which can aid virus transmission.

This is why, as the hospitality industry reopens for business, it faces unique new challenges. This effect is rather pronounced in linen management - one of hospitality’s most important verticals. The management of bed and bath linen needs to meet multiple criteria, from hygiene, to customer comfort, to environmental concerns, and all this needs to be done in an economically viable manner.

For the UAE’s part, addressing these requirements in the new normal has become a time-sensitive undertaking, due to the resurgence in tourism and the upcoming Expo. This is why, a few innovation-driven developments in the hospitality industry are as timely, as they are significant.

“Increased guest expectations in terms of hygiene, reduced operating budgets for hotels, and stricter hygiene requirements issued by government authorities are some of the challenges the industry is facing on a daily basis”, Narayanan Raghavan, the CEO of Rent-A-Towel said on Friday. “Coupled with this is a growing demand for visible sustainability measures, without compromising on customer comfort or experience. Dr. Linen delivers on all counts”, Raghavan added.

One such latest, notable development is Dr. Linen, a sustainable alternative to traditional, cotton-based linen. This first-of-its-kind product is the collaboration between Dubai-based Rent-A-Towel, a linen rental services company, and TENCEL, a textile specialty brand of the Austria-based Lenzing Group.

If the pandemic taught us anything, it is the need for future-proofing industries and aligning with green and sustainability goals. In the past, the hospitality industry was known for its disproportionate carbon footprint. But Dr. Linen is helping address this imbalance now. The strengths of the Dr. Linen range aren’t limited to product performance alone; they include Rent-A-Towel’s end-to-end 4L services, which are Linen, Laundry, Logistics and this product-service model can empower hoteliers to save on new linen investments and simultaneously deliver superior hygiene and experience to guests.

“Today consumers want to be sure their purchases will not harm the environment – while also seeking style and comfort”, said Avinash Mane, Commercial Head for Lenzing fibers in South Asia & Middle East, while sharing his insights. “TENCEL TM fibers are unfavourable for bacterial growth and viral infectivity, due to their unique moisture management capabilities. Moisture evaporates quicker than in standard cotton, keeping Dr. Linen products dry and hygienic. Additionally, the products retain comfort and softness even after multiple washes,” Avinash explained.

Dr. Linen’s lyocell-fiber composition reduces water for both fiber production and linen processing. Most importantly, fibers have botanic origins and are biodegradable, produced via environmentally responsible means. They are 100% safe on the human body, hence approved by FDA.

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