Hakan Petek Hakan Petek

Q & A with Hakan Petek, General Manager, Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel Spa


TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: How important is the luxury travel segment to your business? Approximately what percentage does this segment represent in your overall figures?

HAKAN PETEK: With an unwavering commitment to offer only the finest products and services to an increasingly discerning market in Kuwait, Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa has firmly positioned itself as the hotel of choice for both business and leisure travellers, with the luxury segment forming a key source market for the property, accounting for 15 percent of our guests.

In spite of our comparatively young history in this market – having opened in 2013 – Jumeirah Beach Hotel & Spa in Kuwait has already become an acknowledged leader in Kuwait’s hospitality sector. […]

It is not just business travellers that enjoy our hotel’s luxurious offering, as we are frequented by a considerable number of the region’s royal families and celebrities.

On a daily basis we have upwards of 25 – 30 VIPs staying with us.

TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: How are your guests’ needs and preferences changing?

HAKAN PETEK: Luxury travellers visiting us from around the world are increasingly seeking unique experiential holidays with a rising demand for authentic and engaging experiences, and this is something that as a hotel we strive to accommodate by constantly developing our products and services.

Being located in a culturally-preserved country like Kuwait, what we have as our advantage is a traditional destination, giving today’s luxury travellers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the authenticity of the country’s local culture, traditions and customs which creates a more meaningful and memorable experience for them.

The quality of our services is also what sets each experience apart, as we have built the Jumeirah brand in the region around exceptional service and culturally-connected Arabian hospitality.

With the ever-changing luxury market comes a more demanding luxury traveller that seeks a more curated experience and personalised stay, and we engage guests through unique experiences that meet their needs.

For example, we are increasingly aware of the special choices of our high-end customers with a sophisticated record of their preferences so that we remember their likes and dislikes upon arrival.

From the professional welcome by our highly-trained staff to gourmet meals in our varied restaurants, we strive to focus on providing experiences that are exclusive to this region and offer guests the luxury of choice.

For instance, apart from offering merely luxury amenities in our Talise Spa, we provide an overall luxurious wellness and lifestyle journey, which includes a whole package of healthy eating programmes and access to the private high-quality fitness centre.

Additionally, luxury travellers now seek more of an authentic experience. Supporting the local community and sustainable tourism are now a key decision-maker for luxury travellers.

With a growing awareness of the environment, we are always adopting sustainable practices throughout our property.

In 2015, we partnered with Porsche Centre Kuwait, Behbehani Motors Company to help raise awareness of environmentally-friendly transport options. As part of this we hosted the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid car at the main entrance to provide an alternative luxury mode of transport for our VIP guests. […]

TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: Could Kuwait capture an even larger share of the Middle East’s luxury travel market?

HAKAN PETEK: Kuwait’s travel and tourism sector is expected to witness considerable investment over the next five years following the government’s development plan for 2015 – 2025, which includes plans to create a world-class leisure and business destination especially with its expansion programme for Kuwait International Airport.

According to figures from the World Travel and Tourism Council, investment is anticipated to grow by 10.8 percent this year alone.

With this growth, the luxury segment will form a considerable portion of anticipated projects in the country and the Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa is well positioned to capture this market and contribute to the future growth of the sector.