Concept of luxury holiday homes has now become a lucrative business in the ME region.
When you look at the Middle East, most importantly the GCC countries, they are the epitome of luxury. Whether it is Dubai, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain or Oman, every country has its own luxury element or Giga project, and with their higher disposable income they have always been high spenders at every destination to receive the luxury that they need to experience. Prior to the pandemic, travellers from the GCC countries had been seeking bespoke experiences, which included a luxury holiday home against a hotel room. In the Middle East, where family travel includes members of their family and staff, the concept of luxury holiday homes has again escalated, as it has its own element of privacy and space. Today, it has become one of the most lucrative businesses in the region.
Luxury Explorers’ Collection, headed by its CEO Mohammed Sultan, is a leader in the region’s luxury holiday home market. Sultan has been developing the concept a few years prior to the pandemic and during the pandemic when it was time for people to travel, his business model thrived as GCC travellers needed privacy, safety and space. The private jet business too thrived during the pandemic, earning almost 300 per cent profit at the time.
During the pandemic, Sultan ventured into expanding the rental portfolio from the Dubai Marina to Emirates Hills and Palm Jumeirah. The company, which has a total of 20 listings currently in operation, recently made headlines when one of its prized Palm Jumeirah villas fetched a record-breaking rental deal at AED 3.88 million.
Luxury Explorers’ Collection opened an ultra-luxe penthouse in the heart of Dubai Marina. Spread across the entire top floor of the iconic Cayan Tower, the penthouse offers a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view and a stunningly chic interior to complement the first-rate amenities and the brand’s renowned full-service VIP concierge. In a recent interview, Sultan said, “Luxury Explorers’ Collection is strongly positioned and through increased investment, we are taking prompt action to ensure we play a leadership role, and that we capture the opportunities in the new travel landscape, while building our resilience into the future.”
Sultan highlighted that the company is constantly coming up with innovations to enable them to provide guests with a tailored concierge service for a truly memorable vacation experience. “We are always on the lookout for new offerings that can help upgrade the amenities we can offer to our guests. Our mission is to provide our clients more than a five-star hotel experience – from personal chefs to private butler and staff to the ultimate amenities to the most stringent health and safety protocols – basically all the exclusive perks you could have hoped for, things which are not readily available in hotels,” he added.
The capability of industry players to adapt and re-invent themselves are key amid the positive projections for the sector. “We have witnessed an inspiring commitment and strength, especially from the UAE government, to help businesses recover and flourish in the current economic climate. It is just fitting therefore that companies do as much as we can to ultimately transform the sector, proactively taking actions to ensure sustained growth in travel and tourism,” Sultan stated.
Expansion to Mecca
Adding to their latest portfolio is the launching five new premium rentals in Mecca, just in time for the season. Sultan mentioned that these rental luxury homes will in fact be the best seats for those who yearn to visit Mecca.
“Governments in the region have put a lot of efforts in diversifying the economy away from oil and a vital sector that has consistently been mapped in strategies for transformative development, particularly in the GCC, has been tourism,” he said. “Taking our brand to Saudi Arabia is not only an important part of our strategic vision, but it is a testament as well to our commitment to support tourism and hospitality’s path to recovery, and ultimately, long-term growth,” he added.
Sultan revealed that introducing Luxury Explorers’ Collection to Mecca market will give them the right exposure in Saudi Arabia. “Our Mecca properties will have spacious apartments and penthouses accessible to Haram and with an uninterrupted Kaaba view. We will also offer full concierge services, including in-house chef, delivery attendants, butlers, and housekeeping staff,” he said.
“On top of this, we are already developing a more forward-looking strategy for future investments in the Kingdom, in which we plan to expand in Riyadh to serve the corporate markets and families for holidays and weekends in the capital. This is also in the hope of supporting the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which has set an ambitious target of 100 million tourists by 2030,” he added.
Luxury Explorers’ Collection thrived despite the pandemic. “We always have this vision to re-imagine and re-invent the way people enjoy their holiday break, and Covid-19 opened up a unique opportunity for us to realise this vision. We were quick to recognise the need for exclusive properties without compromising the luxury lifestyle,” he said, adding that a new property in Abu Dhabi is also in the pipeline to add to its rental listings in Dubai and Mecca.