IHG debuts upscale Voco hotel brand in Dubai

Global operator shows conversion of Nassima Royal Hotel is well underway



Voco Dubai is set to become a “flagship” for InterContinental Hotels Group as its new upscale brand gears up for its Middle East debut.

The operator held an activation in the Nassima Royal hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, which is undergoing changes ahead of its full conversion to Voco in the first quarter of 2019.

The conversion-led brand, targeting business and leisure travellers, capitalises on the wider trend towards informality in the hospitality industry with bright colours and different bird-themed sections to highlight reception (finch), social areas (flamingo) and rooms (owl), which also appear on staff lapels.

Flexible lighting, powerful showers and technology-savvy rooms (typically ranging between 22sqm-30sqm) are among the features and sustainable beds are made from recycled plastic bottles.

Will Yell, director, strategic delivery, said it defines Voco by attitude and creating memorable and un-stuffy stays.

“We will be delivering the renovation at huge pace – it will be up and running within a couple of months. This hotel is in great condition so layering in Voco is relatively easy, but there will be other properties which will take longer. We will be taking this brand across the EMEA region.”

He said it won’t be changing food and beverage outlets if the “formula works”, but one of its hallmarks is its bar-lounge experience. It marks a third lease of life for the property which was previously branded Radisson Royal Hotel and then changed to Nassima Royal.

The UK, Germany and Australia are leading Voco’s current pipeline and the “versatility” means new builds will also be considered.

“When you bear in mind we launched this brand in June, it gives you a sense of the speed we’re moving at.”