Get All Access for $5/mo

Dubai-Headquartered Staytus Has Launched A Web-Based Chat Platform Built Exclusively For Hospitality (And It's Being Offered For Free) As a company that specializes in digital communications for hotels and resorts, the Dubai-headquartered Staytus probably didn't shock anyone when it launched Hotel Chat, a web-based service it billed as "the world's first chat platform built exclusively for hospitality."

By Aby Sam Thomas

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Troy Simoni, CEO, Staytus

As a company that specializes in digital communications for hotels and resorts, the Dubai-headquartered Staytus probably didn't shock anyone when it launched Hotel Chat, a web-based service it billed as "the world's first chat platform built exclusively for hospitality." But what made this announcement particularly noteworthy was the fact that Staytus was allowing hotels around the world to use Hotel Chat for free- permanently.

To understand why Staytus did this, founder and CEO Troy Simoni points toward what drove his company to build Hotel Chat in the first place. "We have watched the steady growth of chatting in our clients' properties over the last several years, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we watched the chat numbers go through the roof, even while hotels were less occupied," Simoni notes. "We knew this was a fast-growing trend, and one that was going to be here to stay. So, we looked at our existing chat platform, and realized it was not good enough. We tore it apart and rebuilt it from scratch, with the goal of making it the best in the world for hotels, resorts, and guests."

According to Simoni, what guests want/need is entirely different than what hotels and resorts want/need- so, he and his team decided to build two separate chat systems, and then connect them to each other as Hotel Chat. Guests, for instance, are concerned with speed, ease, and simplicity- as such, there are no frills involved with them using Hotel Chat; they simply scan a QR code or hit a link, and that will see them immediately connected to their hotels. "On the hotel side, the needs are completely different," Simoni says. "Hotels and resorts need team collaboration tools, tools to enable fast and accurate responses to guests, monitoring systems, management oversight, recordkeeping, alerts and escalation paths- they also need high security and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance. Hotel Chat provides all of these, along with apps and web interfaces for the hotel to allow team-wide oversight of guest requests and feedback, and enable high-quality engagement with guests."

Source: Staytus

Given all of these features, Hotel Chat does sound like something that could radically transform communications between hotels and guests- but the platform would need to be actually used by the industry at large if Staytus is to prove that supposition. And that was when Simoni and his team made the decision to offer Hotel Chat free of charge. "We wanted to remove every possible hurdle to ensure the broadest possible worldwide adoption," he explains. "It was a big gamble to give up that revenue, but we believe by offering the world's best chat platform for hospitality, we'll build awareness and goodwill in the market- which we hope will lead to increased sales of our other guest communications products." Only time will tell if Staytus' bet pays off- but one cannot deny the inventive nature of the idea regardless.

Related: Fortune Favors The Bold: Niili Founder And CEO Khaled Al Zaabi


1. Find a pain point that annoys you a lot "If you are aware of something that creates friction in your personal or professional life, you are much more likely to be able to design a workable solution for it that others will also find useful. Also, your passion and experience will serve as fuel to drive you farther and faster."

2. Break down the problem "Don't think about products; think instead about experiences. Put yourself in the shoes of individual people on all sides of the issue, then consider what would be ideal for each person in each situation. Once you have those pieces of the puzzle, look for ways to bring them together."

3. Don't do it alone "Find a partner in crime, someone who maybe has different experience, different skills, or even a different way of thinking than you do. A partnership with creative tension can multiply your ideas, and a partnership with complimentary skills can extend your executional capabilities and your network of resources."

4. Get ready to be rejected "No great idea didn't get laughed out of the room more than once. Humans are attached to the status quo and find new ideas preposterous, unachievable, or even threatening. The automobile, the airplane, and the internet were all belittled at the outset. Keep that in mind, and persevere! At first, only you will understand the power of your idea, but when it finally gets momentum, everyone will say, "How could we have done without it?'"

Related: By Going The Extra Mile For Clients, Saphyte Founder Ali Homadi Is Making His Homegrown MENA Startup Stand Out As A CRM Provider

Aby Sam Thomas

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.

Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.  

News and Trends

"We Got Funded!" UAE-Based Mysafe Raises A US$4 Million Series A Round To Fuel Its Expansion

The Series A round was led by Evanox, a venture capital firm known for its strategic investments in high-growth technology companies.

Side Hustle

The Side Hustle He Started in His College Apartment Turned Into a $70,000-a-Month Income Stream — Then Earned Nearly $2 Million Last Year

Kyle Morrand and his college roommates loved playing retro video games — and the pastime would help launch his career.


Paradigm, Episode 1: Triliv Founder Jigar Sagar On Shaping The Business Landscape Of The UAE

Paradigm is a new podcast by Entrepreneur TV Middle East that explores success paradigms in the dynamic world of business and entrepreneurship.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.


Setting The Trend: Rabih Fakhreddine, Founder And CEO, 7 Management

"Competition does not bother us," Fakhreddine declares. "Our originality and uniqueness guarantee that we remain ahead of the curve."


Here Are The 20 Startups Selected For The Eighth Cohort Of The MBRIF Innovation Accelerator Program

The final participants of the year-long program were selected from over 200 applicants from across 35 countries.