When you touch down at a destination as luxe-laden as the UAE, top quality, superior service and indulging your every desire are par for the course. This is the place of private jets and super yachts, and yes there is an app for both… Both the Jet Smarter and YPI apps will have you whisked away from the desert by sea or air in a matter of minutes
Arrival at the helipad of the Burj Al Arab hotel
With such hi-tech concierge-style apps, it would be easy to assume that the more old school style ‘hotel lobby concierge’ has slipped out of favour; but no, not here in the Middle East. The Henn-na Hotel in Japan may be run by robots and the Hilton in Virginia, welcoming its concierge robot Connie; but here in the UAE, the location of this year’s Les Clefs d'Or World Congress (the official who’s who of hotel concierges), traditional concierges are rife. “Dubai's concierges are a young generation, who are very passionate about their work, and are truly the superheroes of Dubai,” explains Abey Sam, National President of Les Clefs d'Or UAE, whose golden-key-lapelled luxury members have grown from 30 to 150 since its launch in 2010.
Of course there are also plenty of niche and bespoke concierge companies, including Ember, a premier membership ‘lifestyle management company’ based in Abu Dhabi who pride themselves on their expert local and cultural knowledge. For world-class reliability and experience, Quintessentially Lifestyle is the luxury lifestyle company of choice for many. “From newly-opened luxury hotels to Michelin-starred restaurants, the Q Dubai team works magic in putting immaculate experiences together like no other,” says CEO of Quintessentially Lifestyle Dubai. And having fulfilled 2 million requests across 60 global offices, including closing Sydney Harbour Bridge for a marriage proposal and arranging a party for 300 at the Pyramids in Egypt, Quintessentially’s team of super-fixers can serve even the most off-the-cuff requests. Or join Forbes List CEOs and fellow boutique travellers with Alberta La Grup, a boutique concierge agency based in Barcelona, who also serve Dubai.
Desert Safari experience with myconcierge.com
For access to some of the UAE’s most exclusive experiences, Dubai’s Concierge Service, headed up by ex Chief Concierge of Atlantis The Palm Dubai Ankur Bagga, is a pretty handy site to store in your favourites. Membership is free and their online concierge service offers tailor-made and bespoke experiences. “We arranged a 10-day private villa stay for a client that required private jets to bring in three different guests over the course of his stay,” explains Bagga, “and more recently I had a client treat her partner to a birthday weekend with a difference, including Lamborghini rental, private breakfast in an exclusive location, private dinner on the beach and procuring a very particular gift that we had to fly in from Paris," he adds.
On a smaller scale, when it comes to finding the perfect dress for an impromptu 5-star evening, do not fret, instead simply enlist the shopping skills of By Appointment, an exclusive personal shopping service in Abu Dhabi, or Stellar, a new Dubai-based couture concierge service that delivers up to eight dresses for clients to try on at their leisure, as well as offering a personal stylist.
The Residence Etihad Airways
If you are travelling with Etihad Airways, their uber-slick mid-air concierge service as part of The Residence, a new 11-square metre suite a notch above first class on the Airbus A380, offers the epitome of ‘Arabian hospitality’ even before you have landed on the tarmac. “Our fully connected fleet enables us to assist guests immediately, 24 hours a day, at 10,000 metres, and with the most professional levels of service,” explains Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer. So whether last minute, on the ground or ahead of arrival, the sky really is the limit today when it comes to luxury service in the UAE.