Jumeirah Group is best known for five-star luxury hotel properties around the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. But as the number and types of brands available to consumers have exploded across the hospitality industry, Jumeirah is now looking to appeal to younger and less affluent travelers as well.
Zabeel House by Jumeirah is being billed by the company as neither a lifestyle nor luxury brand; the properties are instead “upscale casual” with more of an informal atmosphere geared to aspirational and experience-focused travelers — often millennials.
The company did hint it would launch a lifestyle brand at an event late last year, but seems to have thought twice about that particular positioning.
“The launch of Zabeel House by Jumeirah is a significant milestone in achieving strategic expansion and provides an opportunity for Jumeirah Group to access new localities and destinations,” said Jumeirah Group chief operating officer Marc Dardenne in a statement. He said the brand “is for the traveler who wants to enjoy our award winning hospitality, but experience it in a more relaxed and casual setting.”
The company has signed management contracts in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the UK; the first property under the new brand is expected to be announced too. Cities that aren’t suitable for the company’s traditional luxury hotels will be prime locations for the new brand.
Despite the attempt to differentiate the new offering, the marketing copy Jumeirah sent out seems like it could come from almost any luxury lifestyle brand. One example: “Zabeel House by Jumeirah draws the modern-day explorers, the experience seekers, the life lovers, and the global nomads.”
It will be interesting to see how Jumeirah differentiates this brand from both its other luxury brands and the glut of global lifestyle brands emerging around the world. Rosewood Hotel Group also plans to launch an upscale lifestyle brand soon, while giants like Marriott International and Hilton Hotels & Resorts are constantly toying with new concepts in the space.
This is just the latest of big moves Jumeirah has made lately. Last week, the company announced the hiring of a new CEO, former Four Seasons executive Jose Silva. His top responsibility, according to a press release: international expansion.
In a statement at the time, Silva said he was “fully committed to leading the business and the brand into its next level of growth.”