Fairmont Dubai SZR — Gender and racial bias meted out to my sister and me by the fairmont dubai
My name is [removed]. I was a guest at the Fairmont and was supposed to be there for 5 nights, however, my stay was cut short after only 3 nights. Here is my reservation number as made via booking.com:
It all started on the 5th of January. I had a shower and slipped (with my wet feet) knocking over a side stool which had glass on it. The glass top shattered, cutting me in the knee. I got dressed and went down to the lobby to report the incident and get some first aid which was administered in the form of an alcohol swab and Band aid. I waited for over 2 hours at the lobby in case the staff/management had any questions for me before proceeding upstairs.
That night, my sister and I went for dinner where we bumped into other guests at the hotel. My sister returned back to the hotel earlier than I did. This is where the intimidation begins;
The front desk staff had barred her entry to the room and insisted she must pay Aed 300 for the broken glass to allow her access to the room. My sister pleaded with them to let her try reach me and she was refused. She also asked to gain access to the room to pick some money and she was refused. She was basically told to submit Aed 300 on the spot or the police would be invited to arrest her for "damages" to the hotel. please bear in mind this is my younger sister and she's a visitor to the country with no idea of the laws. Luckily she had exactly Aed 300 on her, terrified and intimidated, she paid.
I later returned to the room oblivious to what had happened earlier and realized I couldn't gain access to my room. I went down to the front desk to request another key and no one informed me of the earlier fiasco with my sister.
The next morning, my sister was still quite shaken by the events as she narrated what transpired to me. I decided to go speak to a manager about the terrible attitude employed by the staff towards obtaining money from her. This is when an even more unusual event occurred;
I approach the front desk with my sister and request for the manager, I am directed to a huge Egyptian guy. I explain how the staff treated my sister, barring her out of her room, threatening to call the police, not allowing her contact me etc and I ask my sister to record me making this complaint for evidence purposes. The manager is listening to me with a high level of disinterest to my complaint until he realizes I am taping the conversation (by the way I wasn't hiding the fact the conversation was being recorded, he simply didn't realize early enough because he couldn't be bothered), at which point he becomes highly agitated and starts telling me it's illegal to make a recording in Dubai and the fine is Aed 3 million. I point out to him that I am recording myself making a complaint not a recording of him but he insists I stop and delete the footage. Whilst i'm having the back and forth, my sister forwards the footage to some friends back home and deletes it from her phone. He goes through the phone even going through my sister's private images just to satisfy himself that the video footage no longer exists, after which he proceeds to tell me that my complaint will be investigated. I asked him if my sister were a European national, would she be subjected to the same humiliation she had to endure or if she were a man, would she be put through the same intimidation?? He only responded by saying it would be investigated. I also reminded him that the hotel never called to inquire about my well being, rather they preyed on my younger sister, to which he replied yet again that the matter would be investigated. My sister and I then headed out for dinner where we met up with our friends from the previous night. When we returned to our room at past 3 am, I called the operator requesting a phone charger which was never brought. After almost 2 hours of waiting, I called our friends who were also guests at the hotel and asked them to help us with a charger which they promptly did. At about 5 am, they came with the charger, waited whilst I charged up my phone a little and left shortly thereafter.
The next day I left the hotel with my sister early afternoon for some sightseeing. Upon return, we received a call to our room that we must checkout. I went down to the lobby to inquire what that was all about and was told by the manager on duty (a different manager, i believe he was wearing glasses) that the hotel management had a meeting and decided we should check out because some male guests were seen entering our room earlier that morning. I pointed out to the manager that the men were guests of the hotel whom we met at dinner the previous night and were merely bringing me a phone charger but they refused to budge and insisted we must leave. I told the manager that my card was not working and I had no place to go as I had paid for 5 nights and that night was merely my 3rd night, to which the manager responded I could sleep on the streets. I requested to see someone else and he told me that If I was stubborn, he would get me arrested for refusing to leave the property. He also told me I and my sister have been blacklisted and can never return to the property again. I asked him if it was within his right to throw a paying guest out of the hotel and he said yes. I requested for a cash refund to enable me pay for another hotel which he said won't be a problem. When it was time to leave, the manager was no where to be found. I asked for my refund (which has not been issued till date) and was told the refund would be issued on the card used to make the reservation, which wasn't what the manager told me initially.
How can you kick someone out of your hotel, with no regard as to there well being for breaking a law they were not even aware of in the first place?? and then lie to them on top of that? I was put through to him on phone where he denied that he initially said the refund would be issued in cash. He also refused to see me physically and asked the front desk to lie that he was out of the premises.
If I really broke a rule by allowing a male guest in the company of his friend bring a charger for me. The hotel had several ways to deal with this:
1) Inform me at check in that male guests in the hotel were not allowed into the room of females under any circumstances.
2) Call the room while the guests were there to tell me to ask them to leave
3) To serve me a warning after the incident under the premise that I'd be asked to leave next time the rule was violated.
It was obvious that they were kicking us out as payback for standing up to his colleague regarding the way my sister was treated. It was also obvious they felt confident enough that they would get away with it. It was beyond obvious that we were treated this way because we are young women of color. I cannot describe enough in words how helpless and hopeless we felt by the situation. We had no one to turn to for help.
The Managers chose to kick us out because they believe they are untouchable.
It is important to note that I will not take this lying down and I'm doing this not just for myself but for the black people and women whom have been oppressed or marginalized one way or the other. I will NOT keep quiet until my voice is heard.
We ask the Fairmont to ;
1) Request the Managers apologize to us for the humiliation, intimidation and distress they put us through.
2) Install a guest manager whom guests have the right to see when they are dealing with the mainstream staff. This guest manager looks after the interest of the guests.
3) In writing, state that there will no further actions of discrimination against people of color, in particular, young women of color.
4) Give female guests the same respect they accord the male guests.
5) Offer us complimentary stay to compensate for kicking us out with no just cause.
6) Give us a refund on the time spent at the hotel considering the unwholesome experience we had when we were there.
If the Fairmont insists that they were merely following the law, how come our male friends were not also kicked out of the hotel considering they had entertained females in their rooms?? I pointed this out to the manager who used the famous phrase "we will investigate this". What manner of one sided law is the Fairmont practicing?? and how come managers are given power of attorney over which paying guests they choose to kick out of the hotel??
I am eagerly awaiting for a response from the Fairmont. Should you need to call me, my number is attached below Thanks.
Updated by Complainant20192, Jan 19, 2017
The Fairmont has still not responded to me