Paramount Hotel Midtown’s success could spur global expansion

Originally published on Feb 11, 2022 | Hotelier

Bosses at DAMAC Hospitality and its Paramount Pictures-branded hotel arm, say there’s potential for the brand to grow internationally if its new ‘sequel’ hotel proves a hit.

The Paramount Hotel Midtown opened early in February 2022, looking to build on the success of Paramount Hotel Dubai, which opened in 2019.

Paramount Hotel Midtown in Business Bay sees the Hollywood-chic brand slim down from close to 800 rooms at the first hotel, to 281 rooms and suites at the follow-up property. The Midtown property also takes a more understated approach than the flamboyant first instalment.

According to DAMAC’s SVP of hospitality, Jean Faivre, he’s watching this hotel closely, as its performance could determine the future of the burgeoning Dubai-born brand.

“There is no reason why Paramount couldn’t expand further,” he says. “But in order for that to happen, I must see Mission Impossible 1 and 2 be a success. Paramount movies are all over the world, there’s no reason the hotels wouldn’t be either.

“We want first for these hotels to put us on the right track. Maybe one day, we’ll have 22 hotels around the world like we have 22 stars in the logo.”

Setting Paramount Hotel Midtown up for success


Success of the new property is in the hands of the hotel’s director – the brand’s film set-inspired lingo for general manager – Nicholas Chalmers. He has studied the first hotel inside and out, while also tapping his natural love for movies in his new role.

He said: “One of the things here that differs from the first hotel is the fact we’re slightly deeper into the corporate centre of Business Bay. The hotel leans more towards that corporate segment, whereas the first Paramount is more on the leisure side. We cater to both segments, of course, but that’s the slight difference.

“The look and feel is quite different too. We’re very airy, we’re very elegant with a lot of natural light. We’re very subtle in our touches. Paramount Dubai has a lot more blacks and digital screens – they focus on the Hollywood glam side. We focus on the Californian cool side – slightly more modern and contemporary.”

The hotel’s F&B outlets Paparazzi, Tuscan, CineScope and Melrose Bar & Lounge, all tap into the sense of ‘California cool’ the hotel looks to embody.

A cinematic experience


Chalmers hopes this commitment to a particular style will help make guests feel as if they have left Dubai. He explained: “We want to fulfil what started with Paramount Pictures 110 years ago and bring it into the hospitality world. We want people to come here and have a cinematic experience. Looking around the hotel, there are touches everywhere that reflect that part of our history.

“I would define a cinematic experience in terms of the attention we give to guests. We want them to feel like they’re stepping out of Dubai when they come here. To feel a cinematic experience is to feel that sense of escapism and as if you were in a movie.”

At the time of writing, Paramount Hotel Dubai and Midtown are the only two in the portfolio. For Chalmers, he explained he feels privileged to be part of such a fresh brand, meaning he will have greater influence over its overall direction.

He explained: “Part of the attraction was being able to take a successful concept to the next level. A general manager is a caretaker of a hotel, they look after it and they pass it on. But at this hotel, I want to be part of the evolution and development of Paramount hotels as a whole.

“What’s so nice about Paramount is it’s always evolving and changing, every three or six months, there’s something a bit different introduced.”

Faivre added: “Paramount hotels are all about authenticity and creativity. We’re always looking to add a different twist to things. Paramount as a hotel brand is still in the early days. We’re able to take on a lot of feedback and evolve quickly. When we launched the brand, we had a robust base of standards which put us ahead of the game. We anticipated a lot of guests’ needs.

“One of the strengths of Paramount is that it’s a new hotel brand, it has a lot more flexibility than more traditional brands. It’s easier for any staff member or even guest to introduce new ideas into the brand.”

With two top-of-their-game hotels offering different things, ambitious leaders hungry to make an impact, and more than 110 years of cinematic history to leverage, the pieces are in place for Paramount hotels to be a blockbuster success.