Conrad Hotels & Resorts Signs With MR Properties for Conrad Marjan Island Set for 2022 Opening in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

USA, McLean, Virginia. November 27, 2018

Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton's (NYSE:HLT) global luxury hotel brand, today announced the signing of Conrad Marjan Island Resort, marking Hilton's ever-growing presence in the UAE. Expected to open in 2022, the Conrad property is located on Treasure Island, one of the five man-made islands that makes up the cluster of Marjan Islands located to the west of Ras Al Khaimah.

Located on a pristine beach, Conrad Marjan Island Resort will offer 120 guest rooms including beach and over-water villas. Guests will be able to take advantage of world-class facilities including a fitness center, salon, spa, outdoor pool, tennis courts and a Kids Club. The hotel will also feature an extensive range of dining options including two signature restaurants, a pool bar and beach bar.

“We are excited to grow our presence in the United Arab Emirates and to welcome Conrad Marjan Island Resort to Conrad's growing portfolio,” said Martin Rinck, executive vice president and global head, Luxury & Lifestyle Group, Hilton. “The unique, contemporary design of this property will offer a familiar retreat to Conrad guests, while its locale will invite travelers to experience local art, culture and innovation.”

Conrad Marjan Island Resort will join Conrad's nearly 35 properties across more than 21 countries, which all create a seamless connection between contemporary design, leading innovation and curated art to inspire the entrepreneurial spirit of the globally-connected traveler. Like all Conrad hotels, Conrad Marjan Island Resort will deliver a seamless service that is natural, anticipatory and enhanced by innovation. It is consistent in delivery, flawless in execution and allows guests to personalize every aspect of their experience.

“I am delighted to continue to grow our partnership with Hilton through the signing of Conrad Marjan Island Resort,” said Mohamed Ahmed Ruqait Ali Hassan Ruqait Al-Ali, owner of MR Properties. “Conrad is a leading brand globally and we are delighted to be bringing the brand to Ras Al Khaimah for the first time.”

Conrad Marjan Island will help meet the increased demand of travel to the emirate, along with need for quality, internationally-branded residences. Ras Al Khaimah boasts pristine beaches, historical sites and adventure attractions, such as the world's longest zipline. The emirate's extensive leisure tourism offering makes it a popular destination for local and international visitors alike.

“We are delighted to see Hilton further developing its presence in the emirate with this internationally branded property,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority. “Hilton has long been a pioneer of the hotel industry in Ras Al Khaimah and it is a great addition to Ras Al Khaimah to see Hilton bringing its luxury Conrad brand to Marjan Island." 

To connect travelers to the emirate, Ras Al Khaimah International Airport is welcoming direct flights from a growing number of countries, including Poland, Russia, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic. Ras Al Khaimah is also easily accessible from Dubai International Airport, which served more than 88 million passengers last year, making it the busiest airport in the world in 2017.

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Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.