Speaking to TTG at ILTM, Jumeirah Group chief executive Jose Silva said that “District” was the working, but not yet solidified, name for the new upscale lifestyle brand.
“Busy cities get so crowded, so hotels under this new brand will help people to explore secondary neighbourhoods of primary locations,” he explained. “That’s what people want these days, to get deeper into a place.”
There are seven new hotels due to open in 2019 under the main Jumeirah brand, including in Bali, Oman, Abu Dhabi and China, while London property the Carlton Tower is to undergo major work redoing the lobby and reducing the number of keys to add more suites.
Silva added the focus will grow away from the Middle East, with plans for more hotel openings in Asia and Europe.
He has tapped several top Four Seasons people to join him since leaving that company to run Jumeirah this year, and said “the team is here now to take us to the next level and to really compete internationally”.
“We will be elevating and redefining the brand globally, and every new hotel we open from now on will be built with a celebrated architect and with the finest culinary pedigree. Food is the biggest trend in travel right now, but hotels have fallen behind when it comes to creating destination restaurants,” he said. “That’s why we have brought in Michelin Guide international director Michael Ellis to be our chief culinary officer.”
The group is also looking to isolate a handful of key ultra-luxury properties worldwide under the soft brand of The Burj Collection, playing on the iconic status of original Jumeirah property, the Burj Al Arab in Dubai and attracting independent hotels to join.