Erbil Rotana has been awarded as Iraq’s leading hotel in fourth consecutive years. What is it that makes Erbil Rotana different from the other hotels in the Kurdistan Region?
First of all, the Rotana’s capability and wealth of experience along with its vast understanding of the hospitality needs of the Middle East and Africa, has guaranteed a successful opening of this hotel in Erbil. Moreover, and since our opening we have continued to deliver our brand promise which is “Treasured Time. Our promise to you” as we know today, time is the most precious commodity in everybody’s busy life therefore, we have chosen to embrace this and make it Treasured Time for our guests, owners, partners and colleagues.

In addition to that, our team of 350 colleagues have aligned their goal of delivering the highest standard possible. Erbil is a very young city and we came to provide the best we can. Moreover, our careers website www.rotanacareers.com has generated us a great database of potential candidates which has helped us in the process, our HR networking and research in addition to the Learning & Development departments have also played a role in employee morale and career development and sustainability. We mention our true company values, and with those we ensure our brand is delivered with consistency and integrity, we call this the Rotana L.I.F.E where L stands for long-term, I for innovation, F for friendly and E for ethical. Another area we have focused on is to reward our clients’ loyalty through the Rotana Rewards Programme (www.rotanarewards.com). We have set up ways to recognise repeated customers so we can make them feel really part of this hotel, as a team and as a family. From the very first day we wanted to make every guest feel at home and we did it with genuine service and building strong relationships with them on an emotional and personal level, not just as their preferred accommodation for what the hotel has to provide. Our facilities and rooms are certainly important, but the relationships are key. I believe we have achieved that which eventually resulted in winning the World Travel Award of Iraq’s Leading Hotel for 4 consecutive years in 2012, 2013 & 2014; we promise to keep this reputation for the future. To add on we have our strategically located outbound sales offices all over the world which is benefiting us with both exposure and also rooms business.

What are your targets in the short term?
During the last period the hotel has seen a new trend and different category of clients, such as the long-stay guests from the Diplomatic sector in Erbil. Also new emerging markets from Eastern Europe and the Gulf region have been witnessed coming through online bookings which we can see evolving more by using the same channel of booking.

We will continue to focus on key factors and indications by offering customized packages and offers across all market segments such as the domestic/regional travelers during weekends, holidays and sometimes even during the week.

Locally, Erbil Rotana is known to be the place for culinary indulgence. As such we will continue to surprise our loyal guests with new and interesting theme nights, promotions and enticing offers at any of our 5 outlets each with its delectable variety of cuisine. Being the first Spa concept to open, Zen the spa will continue to provide the best treatments in town and massage services which you will find in no other place in Erbil; an advantage and privilege for our guests.

We will continue to focus on MICE business and groups given that in addition to the existing daylight and fully equipped meetings & events venues with flexible seating plans, the Grand ballroom has a capacity of 1000 invitees and can be divided into 2 sections for local conferences and seminar. All our updated offers are also available on www.rotanatimes.com.

Are you planning any major changes in 2016?
In 2016, we are planning to launch a three years renovation plan for our hotel. We are expanding the Gym facilities to accommodate up to 100 persons as well as upgrading the hotel Gymnasium equipment’s and enhancing our Zen the spa facilities. Moreover, we are adding a new Pop concept in the hotel and bringing in a new Sky lounge on the top of our hotel ballroom.

Erbil Rotana supporting the community throughout the first half of 2015

Within its framework of social and humanitarian activities, and in line of its company values and belief in charitable deeds, and eco-friendly practices which were vastly successful in the first half of 2015, Erbil Rotana will continue to implement a wide range of charitable practices and raise awareness within the Kurdish society till end of the year.

Erbil Rotana have been very active in terms of the Corporate Social Responsibility activities by conducting many initiatives during the first half of this year as we united with millions of people around the world who switched their lights off for an hour to raise awareness towards global warming.

We participated in the Earth Day activities by holding a competition between all the hotel departments via transforming recyclable materials into artworks which were displayed at the lobby and we invited all our guests to join us judging which department made the best project. Furthermore we organized Iftar at the Elderly house of Erbil compiling the hotel management team and colleagues, to share the Holy Month true spirit and practices with the elderly.

Commenting on these initiatives, Ghassan Dalal, The General Manager of Erbil Rotana, said: “These activities highlight Rotana’s adherence to its values and its goals through not only social responsibility, but also through our commitment to establish long-term bonds and our permanent pursuit to find creative and innovative ways, to help the community and our society.”