Interview: Mike Vroom, Executive Assistant Manager, Dukes


Our focus is on building a strong base of solid housekeeping principles and standards


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Interview: Mike Vroom, Executive Assistant Manager, Dukes

Dubai is currently the buzz word across the globe – what with all the anticipation for the Expo 2020. While infrastructure and construction work is already underway, news of several new hotels either opening up or in preparation to open in this dazzling city are streaming in. According to data research firm STR Global, 10,969 rooms are under construction in Dubai – the largest in the region. Moreover, Dubai’s hospitality sector is poised for steady growth during 2015-18 with 27,000 additional rooms entering the market. According to JLL, the emirate will witness a substantial jump during 2016 and 2017, adding 8,400 and 8,000 keys – respectively. However, another 5,900 rooms supply will come into stream in 2019 – taking the number of keys to 91,200 by 2019-end. 

One of the newest hotels on the block is the Dukes Dubai – a quintessentially British brand known for its high-quality services. Newly appointed Executive Assistant Manager – Rooms, Mike Vroom tells Clean Middle East about his plans for the housekeeping department.

Tell us about the Dukes brand. Why the Middle East and Dubai, in specific?

Dukes is originally a British Hotel; Dukes London has been recognised and awarded for its high quality services including winning the World’s Leading Classic Hotel at the prestigious World Travel Awards. The decision to bring the Dukes brand to Dubai was a logical next step with our flagship hotel, Dukes London in Mayfair, already a hugely popular destination for outbound GCC travellers. In line with this, we are bringing the brand’s British charm and style to the UAE and blending it with cosmopolitan luxury. This will create a unique hotel and hotel apartments situated at the heart of Dubai’s most desirable island community, Palm Jumeirah.

How many rooms does the hotel have and what are your plans regarding the housekeeping duties?

Dukes Dubai, owned by Seven Tides, will have a 280-room hotel and 227 hotel apartments. With regard to housekeeping, we will be paying close attention to detail and ensure, above all, that we respect the discretion of our guests and their desire for a peaceful stay. In terms of the room amenities, we will be teaming up with a British brand to enhance the overall feel of Dukes. All of our bedrooms and apartments have been designed with the modern sophisticated traveller and business investor in mind. Bedrooms feature king-sized beds, walk-in wardrobes and en-suite bathrooms. The kitchens in our studios and apartments are chic and fully equipped with top-of-the-range appliances, offering stunning accommodation and living areas.

Do you have any specific plan/strategy in place with regard to ensuring the highest possible performance and quality of cleanliness within the hotel?

This is not about reinventing the wheel. Our focus is on building a strong base of solid housekeeping principles and standards. This will include a hands-on approach to ensure the highest possible performance from our team. We are also striving to create strong and lasting relationships with our suppliers and keeping up to date with all the latest trends when it comes to cleanliness and new techniques.

Have you already commissioned the cleaning equipment and chemicals that you will be using in the hotel?

We are currently in the process of identifying suitable suppliers for equipment and cleaning supplies that we feel will best suit the Dukes style of hotel and service. Durability, ease of use and a proven track record are a key focus when it comes to selecting our equipment and cleaning chemicals. At Dukes, we are conscious of our responsibility to the environment, our employees and the local community. We have a no-bleach policy, which means that no bleach is used anywhere in the hotel to prevent harsh chemicals from being released into the water system. This also protects our employees’ health and skin.

What are your plans in terms of manpower – do you plan to outsource manpower from agencies or have in-house staff?

Our plan is to ensure that the most suitable candidates for the job are hired. They need to fully grasp the concept of our brand and philosophy and what it stands for. Ultimately, we are driven to hire staff with great attitudes and personalities who will add character to our team. The required skills are something that can be learned through training.

How do you plan to ensure that they are trained according to the Dukes standards?

We have spoken about our hands-on approach – this is something we strongly believe in. Our team of colleagues will be trained on the basics of authentic British hospitality and how they, as individuals, form part of a larger team delivering our standards from the ground up. The training we provide will take on many forms within the team.