Agents ‘responsive’ to luxury Rania
HAVING made an initial foray into the UAE market, officials of the Rania Experience are encouraged by the response to the luxurious 86-foot GulfCraft Majesty speed yacht from the Maldives with its own private island.
“Travel agents have proved very responsive to a super-exclusive private getaway option like the Rania Experience,” says the property’s opening general manager, Vijai Singh. “The Maldives has changed a lot – and many holidaymakers don’t want to stay at a 250-room resort, or go down to a beach where you can’t stretch your arms out without bumping into someone.”
Named for the Queen of Jordan, the yacht-island combo can only be booked by one party of up to 15 guests at a time. The island is approximately 120km south of the capital Male and can be reached by a 35-minute seaplane journey. The island has the dedicated services of a private chef, PADI master dive instructor, spa therapist and personal butler.
The all-inclusive rack rate is $9500 for two people per night, but each add-on guest is only $500.
The vessel, formerly owned by a member of Dubai’s ruling family, returns to its roots and makes its Middle East debut at this year’s ATM, the region’s premier travel and tourism exhibition in a bid to recruit specialised travel agents to represent it in the region, says Singh. “We’re too small to sign with one particular company, so we are talking to as many agents as possible.”
The Rania has taken its first booking, out of the UK, and has seen a great response from the Russian market, besides the GCC. The project is owned by a Maldivian, Mohammed Shaweed, who is currently building another island hotel, a 50-room boutique property to be run by Raffles.