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Jumping on the Luxe Bandwagon: Katch a Glimpse into the Rising Appeal of Upscale Hotels across the Globe

by Ashraf Ibrahim | 6th May 2024 | Hospitality,Public Relations,Food and Beverage
Dubai skyline

The arrival of a new generation of leisure-seekers has sparked an exciting trend in the realm of contemporary hospitality, fueling the demand for more unique staycations and extraordinary experiences

After being exclusively available to the world’s top 1% for decades, luxury hotels are now becoming more accessible to a wider cohort of guests. In the recent past, a whole host of high-end brands have been enhancing their services and elevating their standards to new levels, striving to match the increasingly varied appetite of travellers across the globe.

As a PR agency that prides itself on doing things differently, and boasting a myriad of exceptional hospitality brands in our portfolio, Katch International is lucky to have been part of this remarkable transformation in the industry. The future is bright in the ever-evolving realm of hospitality, with an eclectic mix of brands showcasing their innovation and creativity on a seemingly never-ending basis. In this blog post, we will explore this wonderful world, delving deeper into the reasons behind this exciting trend towards more jaw-dropping and luxurious experiences across the MENA region and beyond.

One Word, Multiple Interpretations: Defining ‘Luxury’ in the Hotel Industry

Some estimate that the number of opulent hotel rooms around the world has exceeded 1.6 million. Pinpointing what counts as ‘luxury’ can be a puzzle, but you know it when you see it. It is widely agreed across the globe that establishments with 4- and 5-star ratings fall under the definition, showcasing top-notch amenities, impeccable service, and sometimes a sense of exclusivity.

View from Dubai Marina

Deluxe hotels can be easily distinguished by guests, with their lavish suites, fully-serviced villas, fine dining restaurants, serene spa retreats, and personalised concierge services. Even some high-end, modern brands that prefer not to use the word ‘luxury’, still feature the same qualities as their ritzy counterparts – call it the ‘quiet luxury’ of hospitality.

The Affluent Traveller Effect: Building More to Keep up with the Demand

Luxury staycations are not getting cheaper, but people’s willingness to splash out on them is increasing following the growth of the global economy. UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, says the number of dollar millionaires nearly reached a staggering 60 million in 2022, which is double the amount of what existed a decade ago. This new generation of travellers has an insatiable thirst for enjoying the finer things in life, with leisure seekers’ spending on lavish trips forecasted to hit a whopping $1.5 trillion this year.

More upmarket properties are being built everywhere around the globe, including the sandy shores of the UAE and the dreamy islands of the Maldives. Every brand is following the trend and focusing on offering even more exclusive experiences to attract splendour-seekers. Today in Dubai, a city known for doing everything on a grand scale, $70,000 can buy you a whole studio in some areas, while at Banyan Tree Dubai, this amount is enough to secure you a sophisticated 10-bedroom villa – for one night.

Banyan Tree Dubai Villa

The GCC Region at the Forefront of Luxury Hotels

A destination for the rising middle-class, ultra-wealthy, and Gen Z millionaires, the Gulf has become one of the world’s hottest spots for lavish travel experiences. The region is now topping the charts in developing new exquisite hotels, with international brands like Four Seasons and Marriott International, and local ones like Emaar Hospitality Group leading the way by opening magnificent properties across the Arabian Peninsula.

Dubai is undoubtedly the first name that comes to mind when you think of extravagant staycations in the Middle East. The city has been disrupting the hospitality sector for years now, with a plethora of magnificent hotels and exclusive residences spread across its shores. On the stunning Palm Jumeirah, the world’s largest man-made island, you can spot majestic properties around every corner, such as Rixos The Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites, and Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, both providing spaces for impeccable staycations with private beaches, stunning views, and a host of avant-garde amenities.

Aerial shot of Rixos The Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites

In the heart of Downtown Dubai, one of the city’s most vibrant neighbourhoods, hospitality takes a different approach. Guests can experience Arabic elegance at its finest at Palace Downtown, offering an array of exquisite dining options, or revel in plush accommodations with stunning picture-perfect views of the glittering cityscape from Address Sky View and Address Dubai Mall. Abu Dhabi is also quickly becoming a hub for residents and international travellers as well, where sophisticated properties such as InterContinental Residences Abu Dhabi boast deluxe apartments and award-winning restaurants in one of the city’s most lively neighbourhoods.

Saudi Arabia is also catching up on the luxe trend, as the Kingdom seeks to attract tourists and diversify its economy. Urban centres like Riyadh are now brimming with luxury properties like Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh, which has recently opened the Middle East’s first pastry shop from the celebrated French Chef Pierre Hermé. Moving to the sacred city of Makkah, pilgrims can experience lavish staycations at properties such as Address Jabal Omar Makkah, which offers some of the best views of the city’s prestigious landmarks. No matter where you go across the Gulf, the rapid rise of opulent hotels in the region cannot be ignored.

As global wealth continues to grow, luxury hotels are in for even more growth, with brands focusing on expanding what they offer to attract another array of discerning guests. This push for elevating industry standards will ultimately lead to more innovations, driving companies to cater to the evolving needs of the modern traveller.

For more related updates and to Katch us covering similar topics, watch this space!

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