Burj Al Arab, Dubai's most iconic hotel and a global icon of Arabian luxury. We met with Regional Vice President and Managing Director, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah Giovanni Beretta and spoke about the hotel's unrivalled level of service and unique offerings.
You lead Burj Al Arab Jumeirah alongside your regional VP role in Jumeirah Group since August 2022. What was your first impression about Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, the flagship property of the group? And how has it changed after a year of operating?
When I first stepped into the iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah as a Managing Director in August 2022, I was immediately struck by the sheer grandeur and opulence of the property. The architecture, the design, and the attention to detail were truly breathtaking. The unmistakable sail-shaped structure rising from the Arabian Gulf presented an image of luxury and exclusivity that was unparalleled.
As I reflect on the past year of operating and overseeing the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, my initial impression has been both reaffirmed and enriched. The property continues to exude an air of sophistication and luxury that sets it apart in the hospitality industry. However, what has truly evolved is my appreciation for the meticulous level of service and guest-centric approach that the entire team at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah consistently upholds.
Over the past year, we have not only maintained the high standards that the property is known for but have also introduced innovative guest experiences and elevated personalized services. The Burj Al Arab Jumeirah has solidified its position as a global symbol of ultra-luxury, and the commitment to delivering extraordinary moments for our guests remains unwavering.
One of the current trends in hospitality in 2023 is ultra-luxury. How do you differentiate yourself when you are envisioning for Burj Al Arab Jumeirah?
In the landscape of evolving hospitality trends, particularly the emphasis on ultra-luxury in 2023, the differentiation strategy for envisioning the future of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah revolves around a fusion of timeless elegance, innovative experiences, and personalized service.
While trends come and go, the essence of timeless elegance remains a cornerstone of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah’s identity. We stay true to our iconic architecture and design, which is synonymous with ultimate luxury. By preserving our unique sail-shaped structure, opulent interiors, and breathtaking views, we ensure that guests are immersed in a world of classic extravagance that stands apart from fleeting trends.
To additionally differentiate Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, we continuously push the boundaries of luxury by offering innovative and immersive experiences. We curate bespoke encounters that engage all the senses, from exclusive culinary journeys crafted by world-renowned chefs to captivating wellness and spa offerings. By embracing technology, we create seamless and personalized guest interactions, enhancing their stay with convenience and modernity while maintaining the allure of luxury. Ultra-luxury is as much about personalized service as it is about opulence. At Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, we excel in anticipating and exceeding our guests' desires. Every interaction is a chance to create lasting memories. Our dedicated team of butlers goes above and beyond, tailoring experiences to individual preferences, cultural nuances, and special occasions. This commitment to exceptional, personalized service ensures that each guest feels like royalty, setting us apart in the ultra-luxury segment.
Envisioning the future of Burj Al Arab involves embracing the rich culture and heritage of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. We weave local flavors, traditions, and artistic expressions into our offerings, creating a sense of place that resonates with guests on a deeper level. This cultural fusion adds an authentic and meaningful dimension to the ultra-luxury experience, making it unforgettable and distinctive. On daily basis, we ensure that Burj Al Arab remains a beacon of exclusivity and opulence in the ever-evolving landscape of hospitality.
In your opinion what does luxury mean today? What are guests really looking for?
Luxury today embodies a shift from material extravagance to meaningful and transformative experiences. In the current landscape, luxury is defined by experiential richness. Guests seek encounters that engage their senses, evoke emotions, and create lasting memories. Whether it's bespoke tailored culinary adventures, wellness escapes, or cultural immersions, the focus is on crafting moments that resonate on a deeper level.
Additionally, personalization is paramount. Modern travelers desire tailored services that reflect their individuality and aspirations. This goes beyond customization, encompassing an intuitive understanding of their needs, resulting in seamless, exclusive experiences that resonate personally.
Furthermore, technology seamlessly enhances luxury today. Integrated innovations offer convenience and personalization, elevating the guest experience while maintaining a sense of genuine human connection. Cultural authenticity is also essential. Travelers seek to engage with local traditions, heritage, and artistry, forging meaningful connections with the destinations they explore.
Concluding, and reflecting on the complexity of all my answers above, I am going to try and give you a definitive answer; simply wrapping it up to one thing: and that would be time. Time is, indeed, the ultimate luxury. And it is slipping away from us. Here at the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah we understand that, and while we cannot stop it, we excel in slowing it down.
How does Burj Al Arab Jumeirah elevate the capital's culinary scene?
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah stands as a beacon of culinary excellence, elevating the capital's dining scene through a harmonious blend of innovation, expertise, and unparalleled luxury. Our commitment to redefining gastronomic experiences has positioned Burj Al Arab as a culinary destination like no other.\
Nestled within Burj Al Arab Jumeirah's opulent embrace, eight distinct culinary offerings beckon. From Michelin-starred Al Muntaha's French-Italian fusion to GILT's inventive mixology against Dubai's skyline, each outlet is a masterpiece. Skyview Bar and Lounge offers sunset cocktails overlooking sea and city, while Ristorante L'Olivo enchants with an aquarium backdrop. SAL Restaurant invites with its diverse range of Spanish, Portuguese, and Mediterranean flavours, while Sahn Eddar's atrium setting hosts gourmet coffees and teas. Al Iwan radiates Arabesque elegance, and Bab Al Yam graces with an exquisite breakfast journey. In this culinary symphony, Burj Al Arab unveils luxury at its finest.
Firstly, we curate an exceptional array of world-class restaurants, each helmed by visionary chefs who push the boundaries of creativity. Our diverse dining offerings span from authentic Arabic flavors to international cuisines, ensuring a captivating journey through global culinary traditions under one iconic roof.
Moreover, our commitment to sourcing the finest ingredients and fostering partnerships with niche producers underscores our dedication to both quality and sustainability. This not only enhances the dining experience but also contributes to the enrichment of the local food ecosystem.
Additionally, our innovative approach to culinary presentation and service transforms meals into extraordinary sensory encounters. With meticulous attention to detail, we orchestrate immersive dining moments that engage all the senses, leaving an indelible mark on our guests' memories.
Furthermore, Burj Al Arab serves as a platform for culinary collaborations, hosting renowned guest chefs, themed culinary events, and immersive workshops. This dynamic engagement fosters cross-cultural exchange and sets new benchmarks for epicurean exploration, which resulted in prestigious accolades for our esteemed restaurants.
Russia is now Dubai’s second-biggest source market for tourism. How do you cater to the emerging market, in terms of room occupancy and F&B?
Catering to the burgeoning Russian tourism market in Dubai is a strategic focus for us, and at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, we have implemented a multifaceted approach to ensure an exceptional experience for our Russian guests in terms of room occupancy and food and beverage offerings.
In terms of room occupancy, we have tailored our accommodations and services to align with the preferences of Russian travelers. Our dedicated Russian-speaking staff members provide personalized assistance, ensuring seamless communication and understanding. We have also customized room amenities to cater to cultural preferences and expectations, creating a home away from home for our Russian guests. Our food and beverage offerings reflect a commitment to offering a diverse array of choices that resonate with Russian palates.
Furthermore, we have established partnerships with travel agencies and tour operators in Russia to facilitate seamless travel arrangements and promote our offerings. Through targeted marketing efforts and collaborations, we ensure that our unique offerings at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah reach the Russian audience effectively.
On a more personal note, if you allow me, in the last year I have had the opportunity to get closer to some of our Russian guests. I have discovered a lot of affinities; plenty of warmth under the seemingly cold surface; going back to my teenage years, I have been able to reignite my dormant passion for Dostoevsky, the one who has helped me opening a window into the passionate souls of the beautiful Russian people. It is with great pride that I can state that we are their preferred choice when their travels take them to Dubai, and we will do all in our power to continue to keep it this way.