Holiday Inn Dubai Al-Maktoum Airport and the nearby Staybridge Suites Dubai Al-Maktoum Airport were designed to suit the modern hotel guest – whether there for a short turnaround, a longer-term stay, or even a one-day event. The two complementary hotels are part of the growing property portfolio of Ishraq Hospitality, the hospitality division of Mohammed and Obaid Al Mulla Group, established in 1986. As the company prepared for the grand opening of the hotels, originally planned for early 2020, it required a leading-edge entertainment and information system that it could rely on to meet the needs of both the business and leisure visitors who would be staying in or attending events at this sprawling campus near Dubai’s central transportation hub.
Ahead of the grand opening, the construction process included a formal tender for a campus-wide IPTV and digital signage solution serving around 1,000 screens across the 606 guest rooms, plus public areas such as lobbies, restaurants, bars and meeting rooms. The complex remit was to serve the needs of two complementary types of accommodation, one of which also includes extensive conference and other event facilities:
Staybridge Suites Dubai Al-Maktoum Airport is designed for independent living for business travellers on longer stays in Dubai who appreciate the home comforts of its spacious apartment style suites. With 262 one- and two-bedroom apartments, Staybridge blends contemporary design with spacious and well-lit layouts – plus a pool and fitness centre.
Adjacent is Holiday Inn Dubai Al-Maktoum Airport, the perfect choice for a stopover with its modern and open design. The hotel offers a wide range of meeting and event facilities ideal for business travellers, including three meeting rooms, a boardroom, and a ballroom. The 344 rooms are complemented by state-of-the-art health club with a pool and spa facilities plus all-day dining, the lobby lounge and a stylish sports bar.
After deciding on a shortlist for the IPTV and digital signage system, Shanu Ammunni, Director of Information Technology at Ishraq Hospitality, and his technical team tested several solutions. “Ease of use and reliability are especially important criteria for a hotel,” he explains, “so we like to test things extensively to see if we can break them before we make any decision.”
Ammunni adds: “We had a lot of proposals and there were many solutions to examine – some we had tried in the past and others were new to us, like VITEC.”
VITEC (originally Exterity, acquired by VITEC in 2021), was selected based on its proven reliability in hospitality environments and comprehensive feature set, including its integrated support for the hotels’ preferred Samsung Hospitality TVs. The VITEC IPTV system delivers 125 channels of premium TV content as well as hotel-branded infomercials. Plus, guests are able to connect their own mobile devices to the IPTV system to access additional on-demand video services via site-wide high-speed internet access.
VITEC also delivers seamless integration with the OPERA property management and integrated point of sale systems used by both hotels to provide guests with in-room access to room service, billing, concierge services, and spa bookings directly from screens in each room and suite.
The VITEC solution also powers digital signage screens across both Holiday Inn and Staybridge locations within the spas, bars, restaurants and common areas such as lobbies, landings and elevators. The digital signage is mostly used to help with wayfinding and provide other guest information, but is easily customisable and can be used to meet the individual needs of businesses using hotel meeting and conference rooms.
With the system up and running for since late 2020, Ammunni confirms that the reliability of the 1,000-endpoint VITEC system has lived up to his initial expectations. “We have had no failures with any of the VITEC parts of the installation, and when we have needed any minor changes, this has all been done via the ArtioView® software.”
Looking to the future, Ammunni is considering expanding the system to include IP-video-over-Wi-Fi capability to allow guests to access TV content via their personal mobile devices wherever they are across the entire campus.
“The VITEC solution has proven reliable, flexible and easy to use, and the project’s success has been noticed by the wider group – which is now considering VITEC for further hotels within Dubai and other regions,” he concludes.