20 Feb 2017

Paula Tannous, director of sales and marketing, Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi

Illustrious from head to toe, Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi has a lot of exciting developments in the pipeline that are set to further elevate the luxury experience. Speaking exclusively to Tatiana Tsierkezou was Paula Tannous, director of sales and marketing, Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi.

TTG: What is the focus for Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi this year?

This year we plan on starting phased reinvestment into the hotel, with facilities being upgraded and the introduction of new concepts. 

We have a robust sales and marketing strategy in place, which includes creative and engaging campaigns to target different market segments alongside international sales trips and widespread exposure at key trade shows such as Arabian Travel Market, IBTM Arabia, Satte India, Unite, IMEX Frankfurt, ILTM Cannes and WTM in London. 

We recently opened our kids’ zone, Generation V, and we are building on its success to date with the development of a bespoke journey for families that is from the moment they check-in to their departure. 

With attractions such as Yas Waterworld and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi on our doorstep, as well as the newly opened Dubai Parks only 30-minutes’ drive away and the upcoming Warner Bros. theme park on Yas Island, the family segment is key for us and we are confident in our product and the attractive packages that appeal to both GCC and international families.  

A main focus for our food and beverage outlets in 2017 is to ensure our relevance in the market and positioning the hotel as a unique dining destination for guests and nearby residents. New menu concepts will be introduced including a series of engaging events that offer a memorable and exciting experience whilst in Abu Dhabi, so watch this space! 

Cruise holidays are on the rise in this part of the world, so we will be targeting this segment too. According to the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, passenger figures are currently estimated at 250,000 this season and this is expected to reach 450,000 by 2020 and 808,000 by 2025.

We have responded to this by partnering with local DMCs for pre- and post-cruise business and developing day trip options for cruise guests to visit the hotel and surrounding F1 track – including back of house tours at Yas Marina Circuit and boat cruises with Jalboot Cruise Company, which will allow guests to stop at Yas Viceroy for a memorable dining experience as part of their tour of Abu Dhabi. 

Finally, as always the Formula One is the biggest date in our calendar and work has already begun on preparations for November 2017. Yas Viceroy is the only hotel in the world that sits atop of an F1 track and naturally attracts a great deal of interest. We recognise that it is still important, especially in this market, to provide interesting new experiences each year, which are already in development and help to ensure that our guests return time and time again for the Grand Prix.

TTG: What is the hotel doing to promote Abu Dhabi’s unique culture? How are you blending this in with your offering?

You can’t get much more unique than Yas Viceroy! We are the only hotel that overlooks the F1 track and we represent Abu Dhabi’s exciting modern era.  We’re keen to showcase the UAE’s culture, whether it’s by hosting an exhibition by a local artist or partnering with a local up-and-coming chef or food producer in one of our restaurants. This year we are expanding our Ramadan dining experience and looking at some unique music options in Atayeb restaurant with our Arab guests in mind.   

TTG: What else is new with Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi?

We are excited to launch our hotel mobile app in Q1 that will facilitate our guests’ booking, dining and spa experiences. Tips are offered on what to see and do on Yas Island and in the hotel whilst allowing you to relax and plan your time with this concierge service – all at the click of a button. The hotel app also benefits local residents by keeping them up-to-date with all of the latest promotions and packages available at the hotel.

We are also looking forward to introducing our newly designed gym that’s equipped with the latest fitness equipment and boasts 180 degree panoramic views overlooking Yas Marina. We recognise that keeping fit and healthy, whether on a work or leisure trip, is a priority for many of our guests and are delighted to offer these luxury facilities and services from mid-2017.