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Walter Knight and Nadia Ibrahim.

Hotels under pressure to be more tech-driven, sustainable, says expert

DUBAI, May 20, 2022

With more and more guests demanding green, tech-driven hotels that offer value for money, the major players in the hospitality sector are under increasing pressure to become more sustainable, tech-driven and cost-efficient, said UAE-based facilities management company Farnek ahead of the Hotel Show in Dubai.
 
The top Emairati FM company will be playing a key role at the event as a sustainability partner in this year’s event.
 
Farnek had recently launched a dedicated standalone hotel management company called ‘Trendz’, that offers a unique 360-degree service for hotel owners and operating companies with an accent on sustainability, technology and outsourcing, three of the most important trends in hospitality today. 
 
Top executives from Farnek will be presenting a 360-degree market proposition to hotel owners and operators at The Hotel Show which opens on May 24.
 
"Guests today demand green, tech-driven hotels that offer value for money. That puts pressure on hotel operators to present credible environmental programmes and investment in technology while striving for cost-efficiency," remarked Walter Knight, Director of hospitality at Farnek.
 
Established over 40 years ago, with 8,000 employees, Farnek has traditionally provided manpower and outsourcing services, such as cleaning, security and property maintenance, all areas of a hotel’s operation that are now integral to sustainability and cost-efficiency, stated Knight. 
 
Furthermore, highlighting its 360-degree proposition, Farnek was chosen to manage the 2,273 apartments in Expo Village, including reservation services, concierge, front office services and housekeeping, he added.
 
In terms of technology, Farnek has developed an in-house app called ‘Flexi-Guest’, which digitalises the guest journey from pre-arrival to check out. 
 
The app interfaces with a hotel’s property management system (PMS), affording guests a whole suite of services from uploading travel documents, such as vaccination certificates, ordering a car on arrival, room service and laundry. 
 
The hotel app can also send automated electronic updates and alerts to the guest, as well as e-registration documents, e-invoices and e-receipts, all in one convenient space, explained Knight. 
 
According to Farnek, sustainability is another key issue for hotels. 
 
During a conference session at the upcoming event entitled Sustainable Procurement - a 360 overview of ESG compliant Procurement, Farnek’s Associate Director of Consultancy and Sustainability Nadia Ibrahim will be sharing her thoughts with industry professionals on the adoption of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) standards in the procurement process and how this can be integrated into a hotel’s supply chain process, as well as collaborating with suppliers to reduce the negative environmental and social impacts of business through responsible sourcing. 
 
"With the UAE strategy to become Net Zero by 2050, it is vital that hotels consider the impact their operations have on the environment and put a strategic roadmap in place to reduce their carbon emissions. The UAE government can’t achieve its sustainability goals without support from the private sector," remarked Ibrahim.
 
Hotel owners and operators will also need to implement strategic plans to initiate large-scale retrofitting and energy efficiency projects, for which sustainable design and energy-efficient performance will be of paramount importance. 
 
Integrating with Building Management Systems (BMS), Farnek’s HITEK digital solution is fully equipped to identify, design, deliver, and finance energy reduction for and on behalf of building owners, which creates more cost-effective buildings and a cleaner environment, she added. 
 
According to Knight, Farnek will also be focusing on outsourcing, particularly in housekeeping, an area it believes training is of the utmost importance.
 
"Outsourced staff must be highly trained in all areas of their job; that’s fundamental. But it is just as important that they understand the essence of the brand they are working for and how to become an integral part of the hotel team, not just a contracted worker in a uniform," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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