Oman Magazine’s very own Christine Karan meets with the General Manager of the World’s Tallest Hotel, Gevora Dubai for an exclusive 1on1 interview about his life as a hotelier. One thing’s for sure, he’s not afraid of heights!
Congratulations to the entire team of Gevora on achieving the Guinness World Record for being the tallest hotel in the world. How do you feel taking forward such an achievement and brand like Gevora?
Getting the Guinness World Records was one of the most memorable milestones. We are proud to have brought this record home to Dubai and that it has been achieved by a homegrown Emirati hotel chain is the cherry on top! We are not only very honored about this record, but we are proud to show the world what Dubai can do!
What is something different that a visitor can find at Gevora that they can’t find elsewhere? (Apart from of course staying in the tallest hotel in the world)
The hotel offers very spacious rooms compared to the other hotel’s in the same area and rates are very competitive. The blend of Arabian hospitality with European savoir-faire delivers true personalized customer service from check-in through check-out this is facilitated by a butler service that is available on each floor to minimize service delays for guests. In addition to that, we are one of the only hotels offering true “360” views over Dubai. All our rooms have incredible views of the city whether it is over the Arabian Gulf and Sheikh Zayed Road or Burj Khalifa and DIFC, the views of the room will not disappoint! Our pool is one of the biggest in the DIFC area and offers as well a jacuzzi and baby pool for the little ones – again, the pool views are something you don’t want to miss!
Can you tell us more about the rooms and the facilities of the hotel?
The hotel has 528 rooms in total spread across 71 floors. We offer three room categories – Deluxe, 1 Bedroom and 2 Bedroom so we are able to cater for the single traveler as much as we are able to receive bigger families. All the rooms are equipped with the guest’s comfort in mind. In addition to that, all our rooms have kitchenettes which is again great for long stay guests as well as families.
In terms of facilities, we offer a great health club as previously mentioned with separate ladies and gents gym, an amazing pool. We currently operate 3 out of our 5 restaurants and guests can enjoy a wide range of dishes, specialty coffees and teas as well as room service around the clock. Our viewing deck is the highlight of the hotel – located on the 75th floor at around 280m height, it offers an amazing view over the entire city. The viewing deck is complimentary for all our guests but paid for non-hotel guests as we want everyone to be able to enjoy the views.
What does your typical day look like as a Hotelier?
A typical day as the GM of Gevora will start with the Head of Departments meeting, followed by responding to emails and meetings. My diary is generally quite busy with strategy and operational meetings since the hotel is only partially opened and we want to be able to open the entire hotel as soon as possible. I do spend a lot of my time meeting with guests myself, which I believe is a very important task in my to-do list. It is important that the guests know management is available to meet with them and dedicate time to get their feedback and comments about their stay; this adds an additional touch to the guest experience and it is very important to us. As much as I dedicate time to the guests of the hotel, I do have dedicated time in my diary to attend to employees. It is important to me that the employees of Gevora know they can come and talk to me. I operate an open-door policy.
Dubai is multicultural and at the same time, very Arabian at heart. As a main player in the travel industry how are you positioning the Gevora brand in the UAE? As an international brand or as a product of Arabia?
We are an Arabian brand which can compete with any international brand. Our team is made up of professionals who have worked with the most reputable hotels from around the world and they bring their expertise to enhance this new brand and establish it as a leader in the UAE and hopefully in the world!
What is your favorite part of the hotel?
I love to spend time of the Rooftop at Sunsets. It is calm and serene and allows you to reflect after a very busy day! It also shows you how small the world actually is.
What are some of the biggest challenges you faced during the pre-opening and now?
The most challenging parts where the construction and transformation of the building into a hotel. IT integration within the hotel was as well very challenging as it is such a big property.
Name another brand you admire…
Aman Resorts – they went from being a luxury boutique hotel brand to offering luxury hotels around the world in iconic and unique locations.
What is the ‘must try’ dish at your hotel?
This is a hard question to answers since there are so many good dishes on our menu! I recommend to try the “Shrimps in Coconut Shell” it is a mild shrimp curry served in a coconut with a side of rice. It is simple yet has a complex structure of flavors and will definitely delight all the palates! Another must-try is the Saffron Milk Cake!