A new trend of hospitality has recently started picking up, which is called lifestyle hotels. Dubai hotels have been witnessing this emerging shift as well in their business. Lifestyle brands were initially introduced in the Western Hemisphere for targeting particular demographics, but later grew in demand elsewhere, including the Middle East. They have successfully debuted in Dubai as well, with so many famous hotel brands vying for attention in the emerging market. This has made holiday-making in Dubai more exciting for the tourists and a lot more profitable for the hospitality players.
A hospitality brand would take longer to build and cost millions of dollars earlier, but not so in today’s era, where the same consumer recognition and trust could be achieved by spending a lesser amount of time and money on lifestyle hotels. These hotels are uniquely designed and configured strongly to woo their respective clienteles. While the basic facilities of the lifestyle brands may not differ much from those at the regular hospitality, it is the branding and therefore the resulting communication between the service providers and their targeted clienteles, which matters more in their case. Dubai hotels have increasingly started introducing lifestyle brands, so that they could meet with a rising demand for a unique and personalized holiday-making.
Lifestyle hotels may occupy smaller areas, but they have a more personalized approach to offer to their guests. Each of them represents a unique style and concept, and a highly-defined customer to be taken on board. Some of them may have common markets, but they would also have something unique about each of them to have separate identities. Obviously, they are able to strike a chord by recreating the lifestyles of their own customers. Most of these facilities, including those across the Arabian Gulf, look out for the high-end travelers, something Dubai hotels have never had any dearth of.
Although, lifestyle hotels could generate more money per available room – up to 30% more than the regular Dubai hotels – they find it difficult to preserve their character and appeal, when opting to expand. Mostly the business travelers, who fly internationally and who would fall in the 30-45 age-group, make-up their clientele. They may or may not have the basic facilities like Wi-Fi Internet, telephony, air-conditioning and the cable TV, but they would have, more often than not, on-site dining facilities. They would also have interesting names for their services, which occasionally leaves you confused.
Several key operators have launched lifestyle hotels in Dubai in the last few years, thus starting a race for the market-share of niche demographics. These additions should make the hospitality in Dubai at par with that of the other global destinations. Some of those additions are La Cigale, Campbell Gray Hotels, Starwood, W Hotels and Rocco Forte. These operators have a strong presence in the Middle East and therefore a keen interest in Dubai hotels. More players could follow suit, keeping in mind the growing demand for boutique hotels worldwide. Jumeirah Group, a leading developer from Dubai, has also joined the race by announcing a five-star lifestyle brand, VENU, which would have its operations spread from Shanghai to Dubai.
Pankaj Mohan is an Ahmedabad, India based freelance author, who writes on Dubai extensively. Take a tour of DubaiShortStay.com to get information about Dubai hotels.