What occurs when you visit one of Dubai’s most historic hotels?

Opened in 1978, the Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel and Towers is one of the emirate’s first five-star hotels. After more than four decades, new general manager Goran Stojkovic intends to keep the hotel up and running for decades and says the hotel always keeps up with the latest trends and innovations.

“In our hotel, you’ll find the latest technology, great views, and modern facilities serving food and drink,” he says.

Stojkovic joined the Sheraton Dubai creek hotel in late 2020. Based on his experience in the foodservice industry, focusing on the hotel’s restaurants is at the top of his list.

“The restaurant has to meet expectations. F&B’s master plan is focused on the local community and what we’ve heard from our Deira customers. It will likely be more casual and less refined [than before].”

Another twist the hotel has had to make over the years is to make it more comfortable for long-term guests.

“The mindset of our customers has changed over time. As for us, we see more expansions and more requests for larger packages. The changes for us this year will be about updating and maintaining what we have, as well as looking for new directions. We are five-star and one of the most famous historic hotels in Dubai. I want to welcome everybody.

Stojkovic, a longtime resident of Dubai, is fully aware of the hotel’s heritage and its role in sustaining the UAE’s culture. He adds: “I was in Dubai for 16 years, and this hotel is more of a monument than a hotel. The main thing is not to be too aggressive in change, change is good, but guests here like to see a mix of old and new. This hotel is not a museum, but we must tell a story.

“The community here is fantastic. We’ve been building it since the late 1970s. When this place opened, it was something entirely new for Dubai. It’s impressive, you walk through the hotel, and you see pictures of Muhammad Ali, George W. Bush, and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum [the previous ruler of Dubai], all in the hotel at some point in time.

“There are UAE citizens who come for coffee which, as children, played in the sand where this hotel is now. These days, travelers are looking for narratives. We are the leaders on that front.”

The Sheraton Dubai creek hotel’s thirteenth general manager, willing to look forward to the future but to respect its past, believes his role is critical. He explains, ” My job is to connect with the same people as the grandmasters before me. The community needs to know my name, and I need to communicate with them.

“GM’s most important job is to show positivity and reassure people. Over the next few years, I will make sure I have people around me who connect with my vision of making this the best hotel in Deira.”

Looking ahead, when we were the first to hear about the new festival that GM is planning. He tells us: “This area is connected to the small merchants in Dubai. I want to connect with these people and create a vendor market around the hotel every year. I plan to have a holiday market this year in line with the 50th anniversary year to highlight both local and ex-pat culture and how they fit together in Dubai.”

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