The luxurious Armani Hotel Dubai recently teamed up with the exclusive Kee Club Shanghai, tapping world-renowned Chef Jin Chul Kim to lead a series of premium dining events in the hopes of targeting the wealthy Chinese elite.
Kim, who has previously worked at the seven-star Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai—the self-proclaimed ‘most luxurious hotel in the world,’—is highly respected for his high-end dining experiences, both for local dignitaries and for international visitors.
The three-day series of events at Kee Club included a luxurious lunch and dinner service, in which guests were treated to Jin-Chul Kim’s signature sushi and sashimi creations. The dining experiences at the members-only club, priced at 688 yuan ($106) and 1288 yuan ($198), respectively, were open to the general public. However, only members of the club have been offered exclusive preferential room rates and special benefits at the Armani Hotel, in a move that seeks to build up an affluent Chinese client base.
According to Mark Kirby, the general manger of the Armani Hotel Dubai, with this collaboration, they aim to deliver added value at the hotel for Kee Club members while increasing guests from China, one of the hotel’s “strategic markets internationally.”
For Chinese visitors, the Armani Hotel offers a unique opportunity to stay in the iconic Burj Khalifa—the world’s tallest building—at the first property designed exclusively by fashion legend Giorgio Armani. With the hierarchy of luxury brands still extremely important to Chinese clientele, the hotel sees this as a key selling point for their breakthrough into the Chinese market.
“We have always focused on the Chinese market, and this partnership with Kee Club builds on our ongoing roadshows and outreach to China,” Kirby told Jing Daily. “In fact, we already have a high percentage of Chinese visitors among our international guests.”
However, in the context of designer hotels, many have already been honing in on the expanding Chinese market, and China’s overwhelming desire for designer luxury experiences beyond cars, jewelry, and handbags. Later this month, Italian jewelry and luxury goods brand Bulgari is set to unveil its first hotel in China, located in Beijing’s Embassy District. Bulgari’s new venture serves as another example of how Chinese consumer interest is shifting from luxury goods to travel and lifestyle.
In Macau, two of the most anticipated openings of the next few years include luxury hotels by fashion designers Donatella Versace and Karl Lagerfeld, respectively. Both are set to welcome their first guests in 2018. Versace is set to open the first Palazzo Versace in Asia, after its previous hotels on the Gold Coast, Australia and in Dubai.
Dubai is one of the most popular international investment destinations among the Chinese today. According to reports by The Dubai Customs, China is now Dubai’s biggest trading partner and UAE’s second largest trading partner, with Chinese firms recently set to invest $300 million in Abu Dhabi’s Industrial Zone, in a 50-year trade agreement.
In their collaboration with Kee Club, the Armani Hotel seeks to lead the way for Dubai’s luxury hotel and dining industries targeting the expanding Chinese market.
“China, in particular Shanghai,” said Kirby, “is one of our most promising destinations that has tremendous potential to build our relationship with Chinese visitors.”
Kirby also noted how Chinese visitors are now able to obtain visa-on-entry to the UAE, which is a great benefit to them and a further effort to boost Chinese tourism and trade.
“Kee Club is one of the premier business associations with the exclusive membership of high net worth individuals with a growing international footprint in their operations.” said Kirby. He added that by hosting Kee Club members, the hotel also hopes to strengthen their potential guests’ awareness of “the strong bilateral trade and cultural opportunities between the UAE and China.”