BQ caught up with Andreas Wissdorf, the General Manager of the prestigious hotel, Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel, that has done astoundingly well, by taking hospitality to new and greater levels.
How has Marriott Marquis distinguished itself since opening?
The Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel opened its doors in August 2014. The hotel is unique, as it is one of seven Marriott Marquis hotels globally and the first and only Marriott Marquis Hotel in the Middle East and Africa Region. The “Marquis” designation is reserved for select downtown properties that offer the highest level of comfort, technology, personal service, meeting facilities, privacy and world-class amenities.
The hotel has direct mall access to the City Center Mall, one of Qatar’s most established and renowned shopping malls, offering convenience to our hotel guests and residents alike. With a total of 577 guest rooms including 122 fully furnished apartments, featuring top-notch conveniences, and with 10 acclaimed restaurants and lounges, the Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel pays tribute to the ‘Marquis’ designation. The hotel also features its Arabian Saray Spa, renowned for its unique regional offerings, including the Moroccan Hammam and the signature Oud Treatment.
Which offerings or aspects of the hotel are most popular among guests?
The biggest advantage of the hotel is the strategic location in the center of Doha. The direct connection to the City Center Doha Mall is of importance. It is convenient for our in-house guests but also for our residents, enabling access to all the conveniences of day-to-day life.
Additionally our guests enjoy an array of 10 restaurants and lounges. From Arabic to Brazilian, from Italian to Steakhouse, our cuisines cover the flavors of the world and allow dining experiences for every taste and every budget. The hotel has also been recognized regionally for its dining options, winning 14 industry awards since the rebrand in August 2014, being proof of its quality and diverse offering.
Another highlight is the hotel’s leisure facilities. The hotel features one of the largest outdoor lap swimming pools in Doha. With a length of 35m, the pool is located on the 7th floor, offering stunning views of the Doha skyline.
An Arabian theme Spa also enjoys great popularity among in-house guests and Doha residents alike. The Spa concept is unique and reflects on its Arabian heritage by offering renowned Arabian treatments such as the Moroccan Hammam or the Oud Signature Treatment. With nine treatment rooms, tranquil relaxation areas, steam room and sauna, Saray Spa offers a haven of relaxation in the heart of the city.
What are its similarities with other Marriott properties?
The Marriott Hotels brand is working with Marriott Rewards to offer innovative and appealing options for current and new loyal customers, including exciting perks, free internet, member rates and much more
Marriott Hotels is the flagship brand of the Marriott International portfolio with 535 properties globally. The following elements define the Marriott brand from a customer point of view.
Mobility: Our customers wants to engage with the hotels in new, innovative ways. Marriott Hotels offers guests the option of Mobile Check-In and Check-Out around the world. Mobile Guest Services strategically leverages a market leading app, Marriott.com, Marriott Rewards, and our hotels’ experience with flawless execution.
Food and Beverage concept – The Greatroom: Marriott Hotels Greatroom Lobbies are central spaces that inspire and accommodate our guests. Our Greatrooms are where we interact with our guests and is one of the key places we enable their technology so they can seamlessly move between work and play. In the Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel the space is called ‘West End Café’. Here complimentary iPads are available to catch up on personal emails or the news and state-of-the-art charging devices are available to stay connected with the world.
Innovative Meetings concept – ‘The Future of Meetings’: Marriott Hotels is leading innovation for the company in the meeting space. Recent initiatives include: Red Coat Direct Meeting Services App, Meetings Imagined, and Workspace on Demand. All innovations are available at the Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel, ensuring to take your next meeting or event to another level.
Marriott Rewards and Rewarding Events: Marriott Hotels understands the importance of a premium experience for loyal Marriott Rewards members. The Marriott Hotels brand is working with Marriott Rewards to offer innovative and appealing options for current and new loyal customers, including exciting perks, free internet, member rates and much more.
What are the advantages of proximity to a shopping mall?
Due to the direct connection to the City Center Mall, visitors can enjoy the exceptional urban experience with excellent shopping and entertainment options. This is ideal especially for families and business travelers, who appreciate the convenience of the proximity to the mall. City Center Mall does not just offer world-class shopping opportunities, but takes an active part in city-wide events, organizing big shows and performances that our guests can enjoy at their leisure. Entrance to these performances is usually free and due to the direct link via the second floor, we provide fast and easy access to these fantastic entertainment options.
The Mall also includes a point of sales for Doha City Tours. This is ideal for short city breaks and stopovers, allowing hotel guests to explore the city, based on their available time and their itinerary.
The direct mall connection is also invaluable to our long-term residents. They can access all the conveniences they need for their day-to-day life in Doha, providing them access to major supermarkets, banks and pharmacies and offering them special offers and discounts in select retail outlets as an additional value add.
How do you market the hotel’s products and offerings?
Trade shows like IBTM Abu Dhabi, IMEX Frankfurt, or IBTM Barcelona help us in close co-operation with Qatar tourism authorities to promote our offering to the concerned MICE buyers and leisure travelers alike
We work closely with the local tourism authorities to participate in regional and international tradeshows, helping to position the destination and the hotel as a unique leisure and business destination. Trade shows like IBTM Abu Dhabi, IMEX Frankfurt, or IBTM Barcelona help us in close co-operation with Qatar tourism authorities to promote our offering to the concerned MICE buyers and leisure travelers alike.
We regularly engage with Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) on FAM trips, where we accommodate key media and/or key influencers from our source markets to further promote the destination and our hotel offering. To complement our efforts, the hotel targets its audience via print and online advertising internationally. To attract the local audience and to position our food and beverage and leisure offerings to the regional audience, the hotel is active across all main social media channels including Snapchat.
Statistics show that the GenY audience prefers to engage with brands online and the hotel accommodates their communication preference by being present on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat, posting engaging content and exciting competitions to build brand loyalty and drive revenue.
What is your client profile like demographically?
According to QTA’s annual report in 2015, the USA remains as one of the most important key markets for Qatar, ranking fourth in the top ten, after the GCC countries, India and the UK. This is a representation of the hotel’s key feeder markets as well, where the US ranks first with 23 percent of all transient room nights produced YTD, followed by the local market with 22 percent, the UK in third place and the GCC countries ranked as fourth most important feeder market to the hotel.
The focus will remain on these destinations, in line with the expansion of the QTA foreign offices in key markets, such as GCC, UK and Italy. In addition the rapid expansion of the Qatar Airways flight network will support the growth strategy of the country and will strengthen the existing ones and also open new markets for all the hotels in Doha.
How would you rate your performance so far?
The achievements of the hotel have been remarkable. Last year alone the hotel welcomed an astounding 637,435 diners into its 10 acclaimed restaurants and hosted 1,384 meetings in its innovative meeting space.
Setting a mark in service excellence and hospitality, the hotel has been awarded 14 food and beverage accolades and has been recognized within the Marriott International as ‘Best Full Service Hotel of the Year’ at the Marriott Middle East & Africa General Managers’ Conference last year.
The Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel is committed to continue delivering exceptional experiences, regardless of whether you stay with us for business or leisure, whether you join us for a meeting or just for a day out by the pool, we strive to remain the preferred hotel choice in Doha.
What are the plans for the future with FIFA World Cup 2022 just six years away?
Thanks to its one-of-a-kind sports facilities and its busy calendar of international sporting events, such as the annual Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, the Commercial Bank Grand Prix, as well as the upcoming 2015 IHF Handball World Championships, and the biggest event of all, the 2022 FIFA World Cup, sports enthusiasts can expect to enjoy the experience of a lifetime in Qatar.
The Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel is well-positioned with its central location, being close to major sporting federations and only a 20-minute drive to Aspire Zone. In 2019, the metro station ‘West Bay’ will enhance our location even further, making the World Cup venues even more accessible.
As Qatar focuses on diversifying its Tourism Strategy by 2030 into the following segments, the hotel will join these efforts, focusing on the following segments:
We can provide visitors the chance to embark on authentic experiences of the Qatari and Arab culture, with the country boasting awe-inspiring historical and heritage sites in addition to a compelling line-up of museums and contemporary art galleries to visit and enjoy. Marriott Marquis City Center Doha offers dedicated packages to visit these cultural highlights including the expansive and very informative Sheikh Faisal Museum and it also hosts a Carpet Museum on the 7th floor owned by Sheikh Faisal with exquisite carpets on display.
A form of “business tourism”, visitors can come to Qatar to attend any of its year-round schedule of expos, shows, conferences and business events. With the country already hosting scores of international events and boasting first-class exhibition venues, Qatar is solidly carving for itself a place on the global map as a premium destination for MICE, driven in part by its exponential economic growth and its leading economic sectors.
The hotel is well positioned with its ideal location adjacent to the DECC and being just 10 minutes away from QNCC. The hotel also features 14 flexible meeting rooms, with its largest meeting space being the Al Areen Grand Ballroom, accommodating up to 700 guests. The unique meeting concept ‘Meetings Imagined’ and online Applications for meeting planners like the Red Coat Direct will take every event to another level.
Health & Wellness
With its leading hospitals and medical research facilities (including Sidra Medical and Research Center), and its expanding healthcare and wellness centers, Qatar will strengthen its position as a premium destination for those looking for first-rate healthcare, spas, and wellness services in the region.
The Marriott Marquis City Center Doha operates its own Arabian Saray Spa, where a holistic approach towards relaxing the body and mind is taken. Rejuvenation and relaxation are top priorities, incorporating the authentic treatments of the Caravan Saray and the ancient Arabian Times, including the Arabian Hammams, hot and cold stone massages and authentic Oud treatments, appealing especially to the local audience. All Saray Spa body cremes and treatment ingredients are carefully sourced from the region, including the Dead Sea in Jordan and sea salts and body scrubs from Morocco.