Headquartered in Dubai, Emirates Vacation Club provides Middle East vacationers with a high standard of excellence. When one walks into the lobby at the Emirates Grand Hotel in Dubai, one can see that one is at a place like no other timeshare, fractional or private residence club location. The impressive multi-level lobby space utilizes hardwoods, glass and tile, along with a sleek architectural design that maximizes light, and the tasteful, modern décor and attentive staff immediately demonstrate Emirates Vacation Club’s elegant style and legendary Arabian hospitality, as do its quality accommodations equipped with fully modern kitchens, large living room lounge areas, spacious bedrooms with a king-size beds, luxurious bathrooms and dining areas that can comfortably seat up to four people. Room types include the deluxe (40 square meters), the one bedroom suite (45 square meters), the one-bedroom premium suite (45 square meters), and the two-bedroom suite (79 square meters).
Catering to the upscale vacationer, amenities include three restaurants, one of which is on the 47th floor, a tennis court, an outdoor-terrace swimming pool, a Jacuzzi and a business centre. Upmarket services include free valet parking and 24-hour room service. Other amenities offered, through the vacation club’s association with Emirates Grand Hotel, include features such as a rooftop swimming pool, a fitness center, saunas for men and women, steam rooms, a beauty salon, and the spa on the 45th floor, which when combined set Emirates Vacation Club apart from ordinary vacation lodgings.
As far as the spa goes, Emirates Grand Spa is an adult sanctuary for guests 18 and older. In order to promote an environment of calm and tranquility, mobile phones and other electronic devices are prohibited. The award-winning facility was created by Angsana and features lavish treatment rooms, including two “Rainmist” rooms. Emirates Grand Spa offers a variety of treatments and services focusing on aromatherapy and personalized holistic treatment. The spa is 8,000 square feet in size and has separate male and female sections, both featuring a magnificent Jacuzzi area with Moroccan Hammam-inspired steam rooms, two relaxing footbaths and a total of 12 private treatment and relaxation rooms.
A second area offers a state-of-the-art health club featuring a range of Techno Gym EXCITE 700E machines, such
as an elliptical trainer, stair climbers, stationary bikes and treadmills, as well as free weights. Personal trainers and body-shaping aerobics classes are available as well. All of the spa experience coordinators are available to assist guests in customizing their experience, from planning their treatments to answering any of their questions or concerns.
Other amenities offered to make guest stays more convenient include concierge service, all-day dining, laundry services, high-speed Internet, 24-hour security, a business center and a 24-hour in-house doctor, all of which ensure all of a guest’s needs will be taken care of.
Emirates Vacation Club features the exclusive private residences of the Emirates Grand Hotel, a chic, luxury, four-
star boutique hotel located in the heart of metropolitan Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road. With its first-rate facilities, the Emirates Grand Hotel in Dubai provides Emirates Vacation Club with an innovative concept in residential club membership specifically designed with the frequent business or leisure traveler in mind.
Rightly so, as Dubai is becoming a magnet for Middle East tourism for travelers searching for a unique and exotic destination that provides luxury and sophistication, excellent service, great shopping, dining and entertainment options, tourist sights and recreational activities in a warm weather climate. According to the U.N. World Tourism Organisation, tourists travelling to the Middle East are expected to reach 136 million by 2020, compared to 54 million two years ago. Dubai’s tourism industry is also reported to account for around 19 percent of its GDP.
Part of this growth in travel to the region is Dubai’s reputation as a fashionable tourism destination around the world. And as a tax-free environment, Dubai attracts many international and large companies, which only serve to accelerate the growth of tourism in Dubai, as those visiting loved ones living and working in Dubai also come to enjoy the unique experience of a holiday that only Dubai can offer. These experiences include sky-high dining at the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, underwater dining surrounded by marine life at the Burj Al Arab seven-star hotel, skiing at the Mall of the Emirates, shopping for the best fashion and international brands at the Dubai Mall, and sporting events, fantastic weather and beaches galore.
As such, Emirates Vacation Club at the Emirates Grand Hotel serves as a great jumping-off point to see everything this up-and-coming emirate in the UAE has to offer. The 47-story Emirates Grand Hotel is conveniently situated just a short drive from the Dubai Mall, and is within walking distance of the Dubai International Financial Centre Metro Station. In addition, it’s close to many of Dubai’s top shopping and entertainment spots.
For its members, Emirates Vacation Club operates as a private residence club, providing patrons with a vacation home complimented by a plethora of amenities and features, named above. The club sells four weeks (28 nights) as a fraction with special benefits and prices, as well as typical timeshare weeks, all for the right to use until the year 2109. As such, members own the home in Dubai for 95 years. They can split the weeks, exchange them with Interval International, accumulate them, or will them to next generation.
Ashraf El Zarqa, chief operating officer at Emirates Vacation Club, said that this was the best way to go, as he believes that fractional offerings put the emphasis on price rather than benefits.
For the two-bedroom unit, the pricing is $100,000 for the four weeks. All weeks throughout the year are “Gold” weeks, with the exception of the last two weeks of the calendar year (which includes the Christmas and New Year’s holidays) – those are set aside as fixed “Platinum” weeks, and are selling at $75,000 currently for the two-bedroom units.
Maintenance fees for the product are $417 per week for a two-bedroom unit, $352 per week for a one-bedroom unit, and $345 per week for a studio unit; these prices are typically lower than industry averages.
El Zarqa said the lower prices and smaller increments make the luxurious product more approachable to a wider audience.
There is an advantage to purchasing a larger increment, though. Members who buy four weeks get a 15 percent discount on in-house fee-based services, such as dining and spa treatments. Those who purchase three weeks get a 12.5 percent discount, and those who purchase two weeks get a 10 percent discount. Members can also split their weeks into three- and four-day sections.
The vision for Emirates Vacation Club started by opening the first resort in the Middle East with 409 units. Due to the growth of tourism in Dubai, the company also signed and affiliated with Interval International, with plans to open another two resorts, one in Dubai and another one in Sharjah (located 40 km from Dubai). Currently Emirates Vacation Club is opening offices and give-away agencies around the world, in countries like Kuwait, France, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, India, Thailand, South Africa and Nigeria. The company also has several OPC stands located in major Dubai shopping malls and airports, and an onsite concierge desk to target hotel guests by offering them additional nights and spa vouchers. In addition, Emirates Vacation Club utilizes email campaigns and partnerships with local businesses.
However, the most successful program Emirates Vacation Club has is its roadshows. In this model, a team of salespeople go to another city and state, where they set up for a week at an upscale hotel to meet with potential owners and present in pre-booked slots.