The Rise and Rise of Jumeirah Hotels

January 4, 2013

News, Travel

The city of Dubai has grown at an incredible pace; what was once a small pearl fishing town has become a truly epic modern metropolis in only a few decades.  This incredible growth has been mirrored by many Dubai based companies that have come to rival some of the world’s oldest brands in a very short period of time.

Jumeirah Hotel Group has an incredible history of growth.  The company was only started in 1997.  Gerald Lawless an Irish businessman with a long history of experience in the hospitality industry was approached by Dubai’s ruling Maktoum family to set up a luxury hotel business like no other. In the space of only a little over a decade it has become one of the most famous hotel brands in the world.

The first hotel opened was the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai.  This iconic wave-shaped hotel was designed by the architect WS Atkins.  When completed in 1997 is was the 9th tallest building in Dubai.  Today it isn’t even in the top 100 tallest buildings in Dubai; which really goes to show the great speed of construction in Dubai.  Despite its lower rankings, the hotel remains an iconic landmark of Dubai.

Jumeirah’s second hotel is perhaps one of the most famous and iconic buildings in the world as well as being recognised as one of the world’s finest luxury hotels.  The Burj Al Arab was designed to look like the sail of a traditional Arab Dhow sailing boat has become as much a symbol of Dubai as the Eifel Tower is to Paris.

Built on its own island the Burj Al Arab is over a 1000 feet tall and is referred to as the world’s only seven-star hotel, although this rating does not officially exist and is not promoted by the hotel themselves its certainly hard to argue with.

In 2004 Jumeirah Hotels became part of Dubai Holdings and with the extra investment that came from the partnership, the company rapidly expanded.  Jumeirah opened 11 hotels between 2011 and 2012 and they now operate in nearly every continent on the planet from London to Shanghai.  They have 5196 rooms, suites and residences operating in nine countries.

So what is that Jumeirah do that has helped them to be so successful over the last decade and half?

One of the core beliefs behind Jumeirah’s strategy is their motto “stay different”.  Each of their properties is distinctively different, architecturally and in atmosphere, Gerald Lawless says:

“Especially in the luxury segment it’s really important that each hotel has its own identity and character and personality and I think this encourages management as well to be a lot more innovative in how they run their hotels.”

The company also believes that their hotels must be connected to the culture and community in which they are based.

Of course there is a seam of Jumeirah that runs through all of their properties, but you only have to look at the pictures of their incredible properties to see that each of them has their own identity.  There is no square-box hotel homogeny with Jumeirah.

Looking to the future Jumeirah continues at pace with steady expansion.  They are currently building or looking to build new hotels and resorts all over the world.  There are 8 hotels planned for the Asia Pacific region alone.

It seems that Jumeirah is still very much on the rise.

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  • Ross

    Wow pretty impressive stuff. Dubai holdings is going to be able to make this brand go even further in the next decade.