Posh vacation rentals across the Middle East seek to capitalize on ‘revenge tourism’ trend

Posh vacation rentals across the Middle East seek to capitalize on ‘revenge tourism’ trend

Posh vacation rentals across the Middle East seek to capitalize on 'revenge tourism' trend

Luxury Explorers has properties like Villa Botanica in the exclusive Emirates Hills, often referred to as the “Beverly Hills” of the United Arab Emirates.

Luxury Explorers Collection

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — In the Middle East, a new generation of high-end vacation rental companies are scrambling to meet the needs of today’s traveler — who has very different preferences post-pandemic.

The global vacation rental market – valued at $22.7 billion in 2020 – will exceed $111.2 billion by 2030, according to a study by Precedence Research late last year. The research spoke of a “revenge tourism” trend with millennials and younger generations driving growth in the early years after the coronavirus pandemic.

Analysts say this is primarily due to travelers’ growing awareness of the extra space and comfort offered by vacation rentals, not to mention, in some extreme cases, “pluses” like high-tech gyms. tech, private movie screens, smart home appliances, as well as the services of personal attendants, butlers and even chefs.

One company looking to capitalize on this is Dubai-based travel agency Luxury Explorers. During the pandemic, the company saw which way the wind was blowing and ventured into the high-end vacation home sector, creating the Luxury Explorers’ Collection in mid-2020.

The company owns properties like Villa Botanica in the exclusive Emirates Hills, often referred to as the “Beverly Hills” of the United Arab Emirates. CEO of Luxury Explorers’ Collection, Mohammed Sultan, told CNBC: “The idea really started in 2018 when we discovered that some of our VIP clients working with our agency wanted to vacation in vacation homes and luxury villas as they traveled the world.”

“At that time, Dubai did not have the level of high-end vacation rentals that these customers experienced in the south of France, Italy and Los Angeles – well-developed areas in terms of short-term rentals.”

“It was then that we decided to aim for the evolution of the local market by offering high-end properties that are not only visually stunning, but at the same time rich in exclusive advantages and personalized concierge services.”

Weathered the pandemic storm

The company is a notable success story in the UAE. He has 20 properties in Dubai – mostly large villas in prime locations or swanky apartments in iconic buildings like the Burj Khalifa – and is growing rapidly with five properties set to open in Mecca in Saudi Arabia and one in Abu Dhabi. . Its well-heeled clients include the very wealthy, celebrities, sports personalities and politicians.

Meanwhile, rental company Maison Privée has gained recognition in the Middle East with its portfolio of luxury villas, penthouses and apartments. Dubai’s luxury holiday homes also reported a 150% increase in their property portfolio last year, despite the lull in pandemic travel, and short-term rental operator Kennedy Towers spoke of demand. strong in the area.

Globally, rental homes have fared better than hotels during the pandemic, according to a 2020 joint study undertaken by research firms STR and AirDNA.

The study covered 27 international markets and found that while demand for hotels and short-term rentals has been hit hard by the health crisis, rentals have weathered the pandemic better, primarily due to preferences for office space. larger living spaces, full-service amenities and the need for social distancing.

Leading holiday home companies confirm that they have indeed seen consistently high occupancy since the start of the pandemic. “We’ve averaged 92% since our inception in August 2020,” Harrison Moore, managing director of Key View Vacation Homes Rental in Dubai, told CNBC.

He added: “So far in 2022, we have seen a 33% year-on-year increase in our average daily rate. A key driver of this development has been that Dubai is the one of the leading innovators in security protocols related to Covid19.”

Enter Hotel Brands

Unsurprisingly, major hotel brands have gotten into the vacation rental game. One such company is Marriott’s rental service called Homes & Villas by Marriott International, which now offers rental homes in more than 100 destinations.

Marriott’s expansion in this area began after its 2018 home rental pilot project, called Tribute Portfolio Homes, found that the average guest stay was more than triple that of a typical stay at hotel.

On a more economical level, Airbnb has also been doing good business in the Middle East for several years, with Insta-ready houses for rent. These include everything from an old riad in Marrakech – with a courtyard adorned with an emerald green swimming pool – to a traditional wooden chalet in the mythical mountains of Lebanon.

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