One hotel, one story

04/23/2012

Pullman Mall of the Emirates: welcome to an exceptional world

The Pullman Mall of the Emirates hotel, which adjoins the famous Mall of the Emirates shopping center, opened in September 2010 and rapidly established itself in Dubai’s world of luxury and extravagance.  The brand will open two other hotels in 2012: the Pullman Deira and the Pullman Jumeirah. Visit a unique address in the middle of the desert.

Picture yourself lying on a massage table being kneaded by the best hands in town in the middle of the night… In Dubai everything is possible and the spa at the Pullman Mall of the Emirates is no exception to this rule. In fact, it is the perfect example of round-the-clock service. The hotel, which opened 18 months ago and has 481 rooms and 94 suites, is indeed exceptional.  
It’s the first Pullman hotel in the Middle East,” explains the General Manager Laurent Chaudet. “It is an outstanding hotel because of its size and location next to the region’s famous shopping mall.” This hotel is an ambassador of the Pullman brand and has forged a unique position for itself amid the splendors of the emirate. 

Nowhere else
Here, working and living conditions in the hotel sector are different from those in the rest of the world.  This 24-storey glass façade hotel is distinctive because it provides a unique service. “Our guests want to be able to use some facilities day and night. We had to adapt,” confirms the General Manager. As a result, as well as the fitness center and reception desk, the hotel offers several other round-the-clock services: valets, porters and room service.  The hotel’s employees use a shuttle bus that runs every half hour to get to work.

A very unusual destination
The emirate, which turned to mass tourism at the beginning of the 2000s, is also a singular destination in itself.  With its audacious sky-scrapers, luxury hotels and unusual theme parks, it has made extravagance its trademark.  From the world’s highest tower, the Burj Khalifa (828 meters), to the artificial Palm Island, or The World artificial archipelago in the shape of a world map, nothing seems too much.  In the Pullman Mall of the Emirates, companies also sometimes make extravagant requests. For example for its annual seminar, a large industrial group did not hesitate to ask the hotel to recreate a cinema hall complete with a giant screen and pop-corn.

Employees from all over the world
Dubai is an international and cosmopolitan city and every year it welcomes tourists and business travelers from all over the world as well as expatriates looking for work.  As a result, less than 1 million of the city’s 8 million inhabitants were actually born there. “We recruit employees from all over the globe,” explains Laurent Chaudet. “We have 23 different nationalities in our team.” Most employees are Indian, Filipino and Bangladeshi nationals. They get an air fare for their holidays and accommodation in buildings rented by the group. “They can recreate a family life in these apartments. They have access to Internet, a sports room and in some cases a billiard table,” specifies Laurent Chaudet.
Working with so many different nationalities involves respecting others and their cultures.  In their cafeteria, employees have a choice of four to five different menus and each national holiday is celebrated on the due date.  The Pullman hotel Body&Soul training course, is particularly vital. “We ask our employees not to speak their mother tongue when other colleagues are present. English is our only language of communication,” continues the General Manager.

An exceptional view
Everyone agrees that the hotel’s emblem is definitely its magnificent terrace.  Adored by guests, it looks out over Dubai’s skyline providing a 360 degree view that encompasses the Burj al Arab giant sail-shaped hotel, the immense Burj Khalifa tower and city’s modern, fast elevated metro, which speeds between the skyscrapers.  The terrace has two outdoor heated swimming pools and its terrace bar, Vantage, is unrivalled in Dubai. Another significant feature is the legally compulsory round-the-clock presence of a life guard. Though the terrace is definitely an asset for customers, they must beware of heat stroke! Temperatures easily soar to 45 C° between June and September! “Believe me, many people prefer to take refuge inside in the air-conditioned rooms,” says a smiling Laurent Chaudet, who is now more accustomed to the Arab Peninsula’s extreme temperatures. The esplanade is also used once or twice a month by associations for private, themed, women-only evening events. On these occasions, management puts together all-female teams with a barmaid, DJ and cook.  Laurent Chaudet reminds us that here different rules must be respected: “We are in a Muslim country. We prepare our employees so they understand this society’s cultural specificities.” 

Three weeks to clean the façade
Three or four times a year, the hotel’s vast glass façade also becomes the focus of an impressive show.  The establishment uses the services of a special company to clean it and the absailing window cleaners spend two or three weeks cleaning the façade using cranes set up on the roof. Sometimes, as sand storms are frequent in Dubai there are hitches and they have to start all over again.

Lastly, for several weeks now there has been funny noise coming from the building’s stairwell. Indeed, every day twenty employees train by climbing the stairs to prepare for a charity expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro.  Just like anywhere else, their act of solidarity in the heart of this emblematic city of luxury and extravagance, is an invaluable one.