The move follows the development of a new sales strategy and the addition of a dedicated representative in the UK for the hotel, which had its soft opening in 2015 but was only officially opened by the fashion designer herself last November.
It has since taken on sales and marketing director Russell Loughland, who said a key market would be the UK, where a rep will focus on identifying partnerships, key agents, luxury travel planners and concierge companies.
“Our mission is not to drive volume – it’s to seek out the very best partners in each of several key markets, and the UK is one of those,” said Loughland. “We are most interested in introducing the top say 3% of the world’s luxury lifestyle planners to the hotel and, as a result, their high net-worth customers.”
Designed to reflect a 16th-century Italian palace, the hotel has 215 rooms with interiors and furniture custom designed by Donatella Versace. It has also debuted its Versace Kid’s Club and first Versace-designed and operated spa.
“We understand the market may have wondered what was happening with the hotel, but it is 100% finished and to the highest possible standards,” said Loughland. “It had to be reflective of the brand, and that has been worth the wait – Donatella herself rubber stamps many of the final details.”
The hotel has a jazz bar, Qs, created in partnership with music producer Quincy Jones, who handpicks live artists to take up residencies, which Loughland said had been vital to establishing the hotel in the local market and offering something unique in Dubai.
“Via partnerships with leading media groups, having our sales team very focused on key markets such as the UK and ramping up social media activity, we hope to really distribute these key messages,” Loughland said.
Palazzo Versace Dubai is the second Versace property in the world; the first opened in 2000 on the Gold Coast, Australia.