Dubai Five hotels

Understanding the Secrets Behind Digital Marketing Success; With FIVE Hotels and Resorts

To understand more about the importance of a strong digital strategy, The Fintech Times sat down with Ahmad Kheir, director of e-commerce at FIVE Hotels and Resorts, to get an inside look into the Dubai-based homegrown-gone-global hospitality brand.

Ahmad Kheir, the head of the disruptive e-commerce team at FIVE Hotels and Resorts, brings over 12 years of expertise in marketing, digital, and e-commerce across diverse sectors such as Hospitality, Real Estate, Digital, and Banking. 

With a wealth of experience in captivating customer acquisitions, fostering loyalty, and driving strategic plans, Kheir has successfully spearheaded multi-million-dollar digital marketing and product initiatives in both corporate giants and agile start-up settings.

Building a brand on reputation and values
Ahmad Kheir, director of digital marketing and e-commerce at FIVE Hotels and Resorts
Ahmad Kheir, director of digital marketing and e-commerce at FIVE Hotels and Resorts

This award-winning hotel group fosters a workplace environment that champions exceptional customer service, positivity, camaraderie, diversity, inclusivity, and environmental sustainability. In fact, FIVE Hotels and Resorts has been recognised as a Great Place to Work, ranking 6th among the Best Workplaces in the UAE and the Middle East in 2022, and 20th among the Best Workplaces for Millennials in GCC

Moreover, FIVE has been acknowledged as the sixth happiest large-sized company in the region by Great Places to Work and the 24th best large-sized company in Asia in 2022. These accolades highlight the company’s commitment to creating a supportive and inclusive workplace.

One of the key factors that set FIVE Hotels and Resorts apart is its innovative and unique offerings. The visionary brand applies cutting-edge technology to offer guests memorable experiences, all while maintaining a strong commitment to sustainable practices. 

FIVE has even achieved a LEED Platinum hospitality portfolio across its operational hotels in Dubai and Zurich, exemplifying its dedication to ‘Sustainability without Compromise on Luxury Living.’ Notably, FIVE Palm Jumeirah and FIVE Jumeirah Village hotels in Dubai have also received UL Verified SPIRE Smart Buildings™ Ratings, a testament to their technological advancements. This blend of innovation, uniqueness, and sustainability is what excites Kheir and fuels his passion for leading the e-commerce team at FIVE.

How important is e-commerce to FIVE?

FIVE Jumeirah Village and FIVE Palm Jumeirah have become the highest-reviewed hotels in Dubai on, with ratings of 9.1/10 and over 38,000 reviews for FIVE Jumeirah Village. Furthermore, FIVE Hotels and Resorts is 218 per cent more searched for on Google than other comparative hotels, according to a survey by Boston Consulting Group.

The e-commerce team’s efforts have led to a remarkable increase in direct brand bookings for FIVE, with a growth of 101 per cent, and a corresponding 122 per cent increase in direct brand revenue year on year. These achievements demonstrate the team’s successful leverage of e-commerce to build FIVE’s revenue and enhance the brand’s online presence.

What digital experience do modern guest demand?

The digital experiences that modern guests demand are a critical focus for FIVE Hotels and Resorts. Modern guests, particularly digitally savvy millennials and Gen Z, expect certain digital touch points when booking hotels. FIVE’s e-commerce strategy aims to provide a smooth and quick experience, with 60 per cent of FIVE’s bookings confirmed directly through their website. 

To further enhance the guest experience, FIVE offers the option for guests to personalise their stay through all-inclusive and breakfast offerings, encouraging them to ‘Design Your Vibe’. The company’s Engineering Team has implemented smart room technology that allows guests to control various aspects of their room, such as the TV and sound systems. 

FIVE has also prioritised fast, free, and secure internet access throughout its hotels, introduced ‘Digital Concierge’ and contactless services, and implemented Swift and enhanced communication channels like WhatsApp. These touch points contribute to an enhanced digital experience and ultimately create a unique vibe for guests staying at FIVE Hotels and Resorts.

How does FIVE stay ahead of the curve with consumer trends?

Staying ahead of consumer trends is a priority for FIVE. Kheir emphasises the importance of understanding consumer preferences and demands through comprehensive market research. 

FIVE actively seeks feedback from guests through surveys, reviews, and social media platforms, providing valuable insights to improve services and offerings. We invest in innovative platforms like mobile apps, smart room features, and contactless solutions to keep up with technological advancements and enhance the guest experience.

By studying guest data, FIVE offers personalised experiences based on preferences and behaviours, ensuring a memorable stay. 

The company also embraces sustainability and eco-friendliness, aligning with the increasing consumer focus on environmental responsibility. FIVE’s strategic partnerships with influencers and its social media campaigns help connect with a wider global audience and stay on top of consumer trends. With over 931,000 active followers across 25 social media profiles, FIVE has successfully tailored its brand products and content to various platforms, including the music-led social media platform TikTok.

What does the future digital guest experience look like?

Looking into the future, digital guest experiences will be shaped by cutting-edge technology and evolving consumer preferences. One key aspect is hyper-personalisation, where hotels will leverage abundant guest data to deliver highly tailored recommendations for room amenities, dining options, activities, and local attractions. 

Seamless tech integration will be crucial, with voice-activated assistants, immersive VR or AR experiences, IoT devices for intelligent room control, and wearable gadgets for personalised services becoming commonplace. 

We’re at a point where a mobile-centric approach will continue to play a pivotal role, as guests utilise smartphones for accessing hotel services, checking in and out, controlling room features, and communicating with hotel staff. Intelligent AI and chatbots will facilitate natural language conversations and offer instant assistance, while contactless and voice-activated solutions will prioritise safety and efficiency.

Augmented reality will enhance FIVE’s guest experience by providing interactive maps, virtual tours, and real-time translations. Enhanced social media integration will enable guests to share experiences, connect with fellow guests, and receive personalised recommendations based on their social media profiles. Sustainability and eco-friendliness will also be integral, with hotels empowering guests to monitor energy and water usage, incentivising sustainable behaviours, and showcasing environmental initiatives through digital platforms.

“These possibilities are speculative and the actual future digital guest experience will depend on technological advancements, consumer preferences, and industry trends,” Kheir concluded.


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