Arabian Travel News grabbed five minutes for a chat with Axel Jarosch, the general manager of Dubai’s only five-star boutique property, Desert Palm.
Arabian Travel News grabbed five minutes for a chat with Axel Jarosch, the general manager of Dubai's only five-star boutique property, Desert Palm.
Jarosch on Desert Palm's USPs: Desert Palm has introduced Per Aquum's signature style to the region. With just 24 keys comprising suites and private pool villas, the resort is understated, chic, minimalist, boutique and low rise, almost the antithesis of the big corporate sky-scraping hotels that dot the Dubai skyline. We offer a different option to the hectic pace of the city centre yet amazingly we are only 20 minutes away.
The resort is also located on a private polo estate, offering guests an exclusive setting and the highest levels of privacy and a personalised service. With 150 acres offering four championship polo fields, lush green gardens and horse-riding tracks, the resort is also an equestrian's dream destination.
We offer a different option to the pace of the city centre.
Jarosch on Desert Palm's clientele: Over the past four months we have seen a high number of Emirati and GCC nationals staying with us as well as ex-pats from the region.
The privacy of both the pool villas and the resort is a big attraction for these clients. However, once we head back into peak season from October onwards, we are starting to see more international visitors coming through.
The range of guests staying with us is quite broad; we have had honeymooners, international travellers in transit to the Maldives and Sri Lanka and those looking for a spa break. The estate also attracts top international polo players.
Jarosch on being green: We are currently looking into a number of initiatives as part of our corporate social responsibility programme in line with our management company Per Aquum.
These range from your basic reduction in energy such as turning off lights, computers, printers etc to participating in global initiatives such as Earth Watch.
We are also involved in a carbon offsetting programme whereby guests can donate money on check out to reduce their carbon footprint and we will also look to support the local community through charity work and local handicrafts. Recycling programmes have been introduced recently as well.
Jarosch on Dubai's hotel scene: I think the main opportunity lies in the smaller more intimate properties. Dubai is flooded with corporate hotels and big name brands, yet when you look at other destinations, these hotels are often complemented by the smaller design-led hotels and resorts.
Our guests are well travelled, sophisticated individuals who are looking for a more personalised and intimate experience. We have only been open for four months and yet we are already experiencing a very high occupancy, which for the summer period is excellent.
There is definitely demand for the intimate, more retreat-style property here in Dubai.
Jarosch on hotel industry challenges: Recruitment is one of the biggest challenges facing the industry today, particularly in a destination such as Dubai where new hotels are opening at an astonishing rate.
Ensuring quality and standards are maintained and keeping ahead of the competition with training programmes and career development to ensure a low turnover of staff are also key challenges.
Jarosch on his dream property to manage: It would have to be a resort with the same standards and ideals as Per Aquum; where the team is given the freedom to push the boundaries and create unique guest experiences.
Perhaps Sweden's Ice Hotel, which gets rebuilt annually? That would require creativity.