Jumeira Group CEO Stefan Leser explains what sets his properties apart
In February 2016, Stefan Leser took over as the new CEO of Jumeirah Group, coming over from Swiss travel services provider Kuoni Travel Holding, the international travel Company, where he held executive management positions for more than 10 years. We firstly asked Mr Leser what sets Jumeirah apart…
From a company perspective, perhaps most significant factor is our innovation mindset. Jumeirah is a Dubai-born business, which truly represents the Emirate’s bold and ambitious spirit. Dubai is world-renowned for its commitment to innovation, and as a member of Dubai Holding, we operate in a supportive environment for creativity and growth.
NEW LUXURY IS ABOUT CONNECTION – MORE THAN CONSUMPTION
From a brand perspective, an important factor to our success is our dedication to excellence and continuous improvement. We embrace the broader dynamism of Dubai, which is considered as one of the world’s most imaginative destinations. It is within Jumeirah’s DNA to offer the highest standards of Arabian hospitality and the tradition of welcoming guests like no other. At Jumeirah, we simply think about things that others do not; this is what makes our hotels just that little more special. With the STAY DIFFERENT brand promise at our core, guests can be sure that their experience will be different – imaginative and exhilarating, culturally connected, thoughtful and generous.
What new openings or developments are you the most proud of and why?
This year, Jumeirah has continued to develop its portfolio, building on the success of the brand. Jumeirah continues to dominate the luxury hotel market in the Middle East and innovation in products and marketing strategies have formed key components of this activity, underpinning Jumeirah’s STAY DIFFERENT brand promise.
We were immensely proud to launch the Burj Al Arab Terrace. A 10,000 square metre private luxury terrace, which fans out 100 metres into the Arabian Gulf, the Burj Terrace reflects our commitment to innovation, dedication to excellence and offers our guests a remarkable luxurious and distinctive experience that they can’t find anywhere else. It is a world first and a new Dubai landmark which pushes the boundaries of hospitality innovation, reinforcing Dubai as an outstanding destination and leader in global hospitality. Looking forward, our next milestone is the opening at the end of 2016 of our beachside hotel, Jumeirah Al Naseem in Dubai. This 430-room luxury hotel is the fourth and final phase of the acclaimed Madinat Jumeirah Resort. What really sets this hotel apart are the magnificent uninterrupted views of the Arabian Gulf and the iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel. Jumeirah Al Naseem is a major addition to the appeal of Dubai as a holiday destination.
Both of these projects demonstrate Jumeirah’s commitment to remaining ahead of the curve in innovation while significantly enhancing guest experience. Product and marketing strategy has also been shaped over the last year by trends within global tourism and one area of increasing popularity is that of spa and wellness retreats among tourists, which has been central to the brand’s development of its Talise Spa offering.
What, to you, is the «new» definition of luxury?
New luxury is about connection – more than consumption. Luxury has moved from being an elite experience to being a personalised and valued experience.
Jumeirah is so firmly established as a leader in luxury hospitality that it’s hard to believe our brand is relatively new, celebrating its 20th year in 2017. The Jumeirah hotel and resorts brand was founded at a time of evolving social trends and demands in luxury. As a highly agile organisation with a mandate for constant improvement, we’ve been able to adjust our offering to appeal to a new generation of travellers, who have driven this redefinition of luxury.
How important is your relationship with travel advisors and what does your group do to help them in their task of advising the public?
The relationship with travel advisors is very important. Although Jumeirah.com provides an important window to our properties and showcases what we have to offer, the endorsement and recommendation by travel professionals is an important influencer and a service we greatly value. We see ourselves very much in partnership. We make it easy to book directly with Jumeirah.com. In 2015, 81,000 room-nights were booked online but we appreciate that travel professionals may have engaged with guests at the important consideration stage. We make sure we provide the travel industry with the information they need to have confidence in recommending Jumeirah to their clients.
JUMEIRAH GROUP, THE GLOBAL LUXURY HOTEL COMPANY AND A MEMBER OF DUBAI
HOLDING, operates a world- class portfolio of hotels and resorts including the flagship Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts manages properties in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Kuwait in the Middle East; Baku, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, and Mallorca (Spain) in Europe; the Maldives and Shanghai in Asia.