For agents looking for options to stratospheric hotel rates and cookie-cutter resorts, a new category of holiday accommodation is emerging in fast-growing markets like Dubai: short stay apartments and villas.
While several small-time players are already in this market segment, timeshare giant RCI Global Vacation Network has launched Arabian Breaks, a region-specific product to target the sector.
RCI aim to use this as a platform to build a large portfolio of four- and five-star equivalent properties in the Gulf’s main tourist and business centres, according to the company’s managing director for the Middle East, Nick Turner. As a brand, he said, Arabian Breaks will be marketed to the travel trade and consumers alike, across the Middle East and North Arica.
“Whilst holiday rentals are a well established international trend, it’s quite a new concept in the Middle East. With more and more visitors to the region, their demands are changing and reflect different needs from different cultures. Typically these include more space for family or friends, more flexibility; the opportunity to enjoy home cooked meals and, most importantly, offer better value than comparable hotel accommodation,” he said.
Arabian Breaks also serves the needs of the business travel market. RCI’s research, according to a statement, proved that the concept has great appeal to business visitors who plan on spending longer than a just few days in one place. It’s especially ideal for people attending exhibitions, conferences and training courses or those who simply want their own home from home in preference to a hotel. It also provides the chance of bringing family or friends on a well earned break at a much reduced cost than staying in an equivalent hotel.
“Arabian Breaks has a selection of one to six bedroom units, from modern apartments near to the sea to luxury villas in exclusive developments. All are furnished and equipped to the most exacting standards, and available on a weekly basis,” said Turner.
Holidays are priced at $1700 retail per week for a one-bedroom apartment.
Initially focusing on Dubai and the surrounding area, Arabian Breaks will soon offer a range of destinations including Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Muscat, Bahrain and Doha.
Most properties benefit from a variety of services and amenities, from nearby restaurants and shops to, access to swimming pools, health clubs and night life. All benefit from weekly maid service included in the basic rental charge, but this can be arranged on a daily or twice weekly basis at an extra cost should guests require it.
Transfers from the airport will be organised and a receptionist will greet guests upon arrival, explain about the inventory of equipment and provide a list of local attractions.