As Club Privé by Rixos Saadiyat Island prepares to open, Ali Ozbay, Regional Director of Marketing and Communications at Rixos UAE, shares his thoughts on Rixos’ unique offering
What is the ethos behind the Rixos brand?
We first opened in 2000 with our landmark destination in Rixos Premium Belek, the first of its kind in the region. Just imagine a beach escape in a sophisticated resort set amongst a pine and walnut forest along the endless sandy shores of the Mediterranean coast – all the while maintaining a close distance to historical attractions and natural beauty, for that immersive cultural experience. At Rixos, we pride ourselves on offering that one-of-a-kind experience from our unique locations, curated dining experiences, lively entertainment, and the All-Inclusive, All-Exclusive lifestyle. Here, our approach to contemporary luxury is a laid-back affair. We understand that luxury is no longer about stuffy lobbies and uptight, formal dining spaces. Our Turkish heritage and surroundings inspire fresh, refined, and imaginative spaces. Our service is personal, and everything about Rixos hotels is carefully designed to ensure guests feel an intense sense of freedom in a world of possibilities. This is achieved not only through limitless indulgences in dining, leisure, and entertainment but also through new bucket-list-worthy experiences for the whole family in iconic locations. The Land of Legends, Rixos’ theme park and the biggest leisure and entertainment park in Turkey, has taken fun for the family to the next level since its opening in 2016. This is the perfect example of what Rixos Hotels is about. Our properties are a destination in themselves.
How does Rixos differ from the competition?
At the very core of our brand is traditional Turkish hospitality, served up in the finest surroundings and ambiance. Most importantly, we’ve pioneered and redefined the All-Inclusive concept to cater to high-end transient and group customers. All-inclusive doesn’t mean free drinks and food. Our F&B offerings go beyond the typical international open-buffet concept; in fact, we boast award-winning dining destinations for gourmands looking to embark on a culinary journey without having to leave the resort. Apart from amazing food and beverage concepts catering to diverse palates, we provide the best experiences through a wealth of entertainment, fitness, wellness, and leisure activities for the whole family. Our signature offerings, Rixy Kids’ Club and Exclusive Sports Club, are game-changers in the all-inclusive market. Rixy Kids’ Club is an exclusive venue that caters to junior guests through edutainment activities in exceptional facilities. At the same time, Exclusive Sports Club is a wellness haven for those looking for a fitness challenge or a spark of adventure while on vacation. Both clubs are perfect for the whole family. To add, each venue boasts its signature Turkish-inspired spa for wellness enthusiasts looking for an immersive spa escape. Where else can you go for a Turkish hammam while assured your kids are having the time of their lives? True luxury is having this very freedom and peace of mind – the sun, sea, and sand come second.
Talk us through Rixos’s growth. How did Rixos expand to become the iconic hotel chain it is today?
Since 2000, this Antalya-based group has quickly expanded across Turkey and inspiring destinations worldwide, like Switzerland, Russia, Egypt, and of course, the UAE. Across the Middle East region, Rixos Hotels is one of only a handful of iconic resort brands to stand at the forefront of luxury hospitality as pioneers in the lifestyle and all-inclusive market. Here, in the UAE, we have been a luxury staple since 2012, with the opening of Rixos The Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites on the iconic Palm Jumeirah. This milestone was followed by Rixos Bab Al Bahr on the pristine Al Marjan Island in 2014. Our portfolio soon expanded in Dubai with the highly-anticipated opening of Rixos Premium Dubai in 2017, an urban lifestyle destination in a trendy location in Jumeirah Beach Residence. Finally, the much-awaited introduction of Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi’s first All Inclusive-All Exclusive luxury beachfront concept, came to fruition just a year later. Our unique positioning sets us apart as the most successful fully integrated resort in this eclectic emirate.
How did Rixos uphold the brand values that customers had come to expect as it expanded?
The Rixos welcome is like no other; we understand that each guest harbors unique wishes and desires, and we are here to make them feel at home. We are dedicated to delivering these expectations through providing authentic services and experiences and engaging them with our cultural charm and hospitality. Through the years, we’ve focused on creating new experiences across our destinations. We’ve seen a shift towards spaces with proximity to nature and easy access to the vast outdoors, which is why we’ve invested in expanding our land and water activities with Exclusive Sports Club. We’ve even added a Water Park and Wave Pool in our Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island location.
People want to fill their life with adventures, not things. They want stories to tell, not stuff to show
Other than the luxury accommodations, people want to see lush gardens and trees, dine or drink in an ambient outdoor setting, and be able to walk barefoot on grass and on a private stretch of beach. We give adults and children the time of their lives, whichever Rixos destination they may be at. Today’s traveller has an open mind, and they’re keen on discovering something new, whether through wellness, outdoor activities, or gastronomy. This is where the magic of the All-Inclusive concept comes into play; we provide the opportunity for limitless discoveries. Being the UAE.’s first luxury multi-concept resort and the first hotel to launch the Ultra-All-Inclusive concept in Dubai, we acknowledge the market demand for value-added benefits. At the same time, we continue to innovate and refine our offering to appeal to the modern traveller’s needs. Our goal has always been to provide that extra value to customers instead of catering to different budgets. The success of Rixos The Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites, Rixos Bab Al Bahr, and Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island in the All-Inclusive market paved the way for a new kind of luxury in the region. Enter Club Privé by Rixos Saadiyat Island, a secret hideaway on an Arabian paradise island and the answer to the discerning traveller’s desires. Imagine all the benefits of a luxe concept, matched with round-the-clock personalised service in ultimate privacy and seclusion. Too good to be true, right? Welcome to the next level of luxury.
It’s a very competitive hotel market across the UAE. How has Rixos stayed ahead of the curve?
Rixos Hotels has helped drive the evolution of the All-Inclusive concept into a luxury vacation segment. The all-inclusive of today is nothing like what some may recall from the early, unruly days of All-Inclusive, which started popping up on Caribbean beaches in the 1970s with no business model or game plan. Increased demand has spurred competition and resulted in vastly higher quality at every level.
We’re a young and dynamic brand; this freshness gives us a unique advantage compared to more traditional brands. We focus on trends that we think would become relevant and execute them before our competition. This might mean a gluten-free corner in our all-day dining restaurant, your very own Netflix subscription in the comfort of your hotel room, or our regular morning S.U.P. rides on the iconic Palm Jumeirah. It’s essential to anticipate what the guest might need or want before the trend even becomes apparent. We believe guests want to engage in experiences with brands they can resonate with on an emotional level. We started tailoring our brand preposition to the experiences that our guests crave, along with the people, things, and ideas that inspire them. Suppose you are into watching a particular Netflix Series in the evenings; in that case, there is no reason why you should stop doing that when you go on a holiday, especially when your room comes with cutting-edge IPTV solutions. The key is to stop focusing on the product and anticipate what the guest might expect.
Times have changed. While baby boomers were more into traditional luxury hotels, the new generation is looking for something different, new experiences, or recognition of their personality. For them, a hotel that caters to their lifestyle and moods is the place to be. Take a look at Rixos Premium Dubai, our lifestyle destination set apart from our All-Inclusive offerings in the region. It has been trending on multiple platforms since its launch back in 2017. Rixos Premium Dubai is a unique property combining various lifestyle elements and fashionably presenting them, starting with the majestic lobby with strikingly modern and minimalist design, exuding that trendsetting vibe. The halls serve as the runway for celebrities and trendsetters, with the constant influx of familiar faces in this ‘destination.’ Thousands of them share their holidays on various social channels, adding to the hotel’s fame. From Premiership footballers to A-list celebrities, and from the art world’s greatest creators to best-selling authors, you can bump into a wide range of well-known figures in this hotel. The guest profile is young and trendy. They stay with us to relax, socialise, see and be seen.
We’re very excited about this initiative because we’re bringing another first in the region, the next level of luxury through private beachfront villas too good to be true
When you look at All-Inclusive properties in UAE, you see something very different and intriguing. It’s pretty much on the same level but offers an entirely different experience. As they say, there is a Rixos destination for every type of traveller and any chapter in your life. Demanding travellers expect inspirational holiday experiences. People want to fill their life with adventures, not things. They want stories to tell, not stuff to show. Conventional luxury is an element of the past. We present multiple stories to make your choice as easy and joyful as possible.
Talk us through your latest launches – such as Club Privé by Rixos Saadiyat Island?
After much anticipation, our first All-Inclusive All-Exclusive resort in Abu Dhabi will be revealing its new secret hideaway this month. Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island has taken its Executive and Superior Villas line and rebranded as Club Privé by Rixos Saadiyat Island, following Rixos Hotels’ successful boutique lifestyle destinations — Club Privé by Rixos Belek and Club Privé by Rixos Gocek
We’re very excited about this initiative because we’re bringing another first in the region, the next level of luxury through private beachfront villas too good to be true. Think round-the-clock butler service, an exclusive dining venue at Club House, ultimate privacy, and the All-Inclusive All-Exclusive experience. Our pride and pleasure ensure that it meets the high expectations of the sophisticated modern traveller through tranquil and inspiring locations, comfortable yet elegant surroundings, excellent food and beverage and, most importantly, genuine, discreet hospitality in pristine settings. This is
Club Privé’s very definition of ‘Authentic Luxury’.