The Kingdom of Bahrain’s location at the core of the Arabian Gulf provides ideal connectivity to the area’s $1.4trn economy. Listed by Forbes as the 53rd best country in which to do business (December 2014), the area had long shown tremendous potential as a Middle Eastern business hub – and it has not disappointed. Now, as the area’s undisputed financial centre, it is also home to over 400 licensed financial institutions.
While the oil industry remains the mainstay of its economy, Bahrain has long been a pioneer of economic diversification, developing several other lucrative sectors including regional tourism, logistics and manufacturing. Although the smallest market in the Gulf Corporation Council’s (GCC) territory, the kingdom boasts the most open economy in the Gulf, making it an ideal gateway for investors and business travellers wishing to visit the region.
The five-star hotel caters to all market segments, but is particularly popular with business and conference travellers
An abundance of hotels cater to this ever-expanding business clientele, but – as one of the first hotels established in Bahrain – The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence and Spa, which stands prominently at the entrance to the diplomatic and business districts, occupies an enviable position in the market.
The five-star hotel caters to all market segments, but is particularly popular with business and conference travelers. In addition to its 367 rooms, The Diplomat Radisson Blu offers 1,500sq m of fully renovated meeting and events space, which has further enhanced the hotel’s unrivaled meetings experience for its corporate guests.
The renovation, at a cost of $6m, combines excellent corporate facilities with traditional influences, in keeping with the local heritage. “Although we installed state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, the feel of the Grand Ambassador Ballroom and meeting venues is based on a contemporary Middle Eastern design”, says Panos Panagis, General Manager of the hotel.
Since the reopening of the conference facilities in August 2014, a noticeable increase in conventions, conferences and product launches has enabled the hotel to regain its leading position in the corporate and meetings segment. In turn, this has resulted in a substantial increase in overnight stays by corporate visitors. However, Panagis is in no doubt as to where The Diplomat Radisson Blu’s meeting and events strengths lie: “Whilst the newly renovated product plays a major part in attracting bookings, it is our personalised service and outstanding food quality that ensures successful events and repeat business.”
Optimistic about the future of the hospitality sector in Bahrain, Panagis is confident that it will retain its position as one of the economy’s key drivers. “Bahrain is a strategic player in the region. Together with the efforts of both the government and the private sector, its position as a business and financial hub will continue to grow, which will encourage development of other sectors such as tourism and leisure”, he says.
With Bahrain being one of the world’s leading centres for Islamic banking and an increasingly popular destination for tourists visiting the Gulf, it seems that the team at The Diplomat Radisson Blu are right to be optimistic about the future. Panagis continues, “Our role is to support government initiatives, particularly in tourism, and to further promote the country as an investment destination of choice and gateway to the GCC market.”
While this will inevitably mean new entrants to an already competitive hotel market, Panagis is confident that The Diplomat Radisson Blu will maintain its leading position and continue to grow: “Our ability to engage with our guests, understand their requirements and come up with the right solutions to ensure that their whole stay, and every single interaction of the service process, is positive, is what keeps our guests coming back year after year”, he explains. “We effectively become a silent partner in assisting our corporate clients to achieve their goals.”
Making the difference
The Diplomat Radisson Blu’s facilities and services are designed to fulfil every need of the modern traveller. But, while the latest technology is readily available and employed throughout the hotel, Panagis and his staff continue to place great emphasis on the importance of personal interaction. “In an ever-changing digital age, the importance of personal experience can often be forgotten. At The Diplomat Radisson Blu, the digital tools available to our guests and hotel team members are simply tools that enable us to achieve a seamless human interaction during the service process.”
Achieving this involves the full cooperation of the hotel’s exemplary workforce, along with a focus on the small details that the company believes make all the difference. The Diplomat Radisson Blu’s amenities ensure that guests feel relaxed and absolutely at home in the hotel’s luxurious surroundings, while its passionate and friendly staff guarantee that they will also feel comfortable asking when they do require something else. Easy airport access, complimentary high-speed internet, on-site restaurants serving a diverse mix of world cuisines, a state-of-the-art gym and a tranquil spa all make the Diplomat Radisson Blu the natural choice for any business traveller during their visit to Bahrain.
As part of the Rezidor Hotel Group, The Diplomat Radisson Blu implements the faction’s ‘4D’ corporate strategy. This approach aims to capture market share, while at the same time creating unwavering loyalty to the corporate segment. The 4D strategy is based on four focal pillars: developing talent, delighting guests, driving business and delivering results. Both the effort that goes into upholding this maxim and the benefits that it reaps are evident throughout the group’s entire operation; from its financial successes to its glowing customer reviews.
Regarding the 4D strategy and the outstanding service that the hotel group has become renowned for as a result, Panagis says, “Hospitality is all about the individual, and at The Diplomat Radisson Blu, we take pride in our unique ‘Yes I Can!’ service culture. For us it is our ability to engage with our guests, understand their requirements and come up with the right solutions to ensure their stay and every single interaction of the service process is positive.”
Such a commitment to the happiness of its customers means that it is little wonder that the hotel is one of the area’s most popular. The seamless fusion of traditional style with modern facilities ensures that The Diplomat Radisson Blu’s guests are comfortable and at ease, and – with its enviable location in one of the most lucrative financial centres in the world, plus an existing collection of loyal visitors – it is unsurprising that the hotel has managed to regain its leading position in the Gulf’s corporate and meetings segment.
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