Wherever you wander in Dubai, be it a restaurant, Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, the inspiring Museum of the Future, or the souks, one of the most spoken languages among tourists is definitely Hebrew.
Since the signing of the Abraham Accords in August 2020, which led to the normalization of relations between the UAE and Israel, more than half a million Israelis have traveled to the UAE to find out what the Gulf countries has to offer, including at Expo Dubai which closed at the end of March. Several airlines, including Emirates, fly from Tel Aviv to Dubai with more than ten daily flights between the two cities. This is also true for Jewish visitors from all over the world who have chosen Dubai either for business reasons or for their family vacation. Dubai’s attraction among the Jewish world has also led to a growth in the local Jewish community as well as the services necessary for daily life.
Among the myriad of luxury hotels in Dubai, Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection, which comprises 3 distinct hotels in a stellar destination, Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City, V Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton and Habtoor Palace Dubai, LXR Hotels & Resorts, was the very first destination in Dubai to launch kosher dining services, long before the Abraham Accords, thanks to the vision of the Al Habtoor Group led by its founder and chairman Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor who was a supporter of normalization with Israel. even before the Abraham Accords and which wanted its hotels to be able to respond to the specific niche of the Israeli-Jewish clientele. This year, the holy month of Ramadan, which ended last month, coincided with Passover, the Jewish holiday of Passover, which saw a surge of visitors from Israel and the Muslim world.
The Al Habtoor group: one of the UAE’s the most respected and successful companies
The Al Habtoor group has grown with the United Arab Emirates. What started as a small engineering company in 1970 is today one of the region’s most respected conglomerates with interests in the hospitality, automotive, real estate, education and publishing. He has built a solid reputation both locally and internationally.
Today, it operates in the UAE and in international markets, employing thousands of highly skilled and experienced professionals. Just as the name of the United Arab Emirates has become synonymous with trade and enterprise around the world, the name of the Al Habtoor Group has become synonymous with dynamic growth, as evidenced by its commitment to developing and growing businesses in multiple sectors.
He proudly waves the UAE flag in many cities around the world, including London, Vienna, Budapest, Beirut, and Springfield, Illinois.
Al Habtoor’s vision is clearly to position its hotels as the preferred destination in Dubai and the region for Jewish travellers. The Group’s hospitality division comprises 14 world-class hotels: seven locally and seven overseas.
The three hotels of the Al Habtoor City Collection are located in the heart of new Dubai, just 20 minutes by car from the airport, 20 minutes from the Jumeirah district with its beaches, 15 minutes from the Dubai Mall, the most great in the world. , and Burj Khalifa, 10 minutes from the Museum of the Future. This new Dubai imagined by the leader of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed.
The Habtoor family was part of this vision and created Habtoor City, which aims to become Dubai’s largest lifestyle and entertainment landscape with the three hotels, more than 20 restaurants offering dishes from various Middle Eastern countries and other countries around the world, as well as La Perle. aqua theater presenting a show designed by producer Franco Dragone.
Within the distinctive triptych of Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection, the Habtoor Palace is a hotel of immense character, reminiscent of a Maison de Maître combining French neoclassical architectural style and British heritage. Almost as if you’re traveling to the home of the Habtoors, walking with them through their favorite world landmarks, a New York-style steakhouse at the World Cut, a chic brasserie on the Avenue des Champs Elysées at the BQ restaurant, an open-air atrium of Parisian palace at the Patio…
A place to see and see, Habtoor Palace is a masterpiece of architecture and interior design filled with historical memorabilia and significant works of art, its incredible lobby which allegedly does not include the common reception, its Polo Bar as well as Churchill and Bentley suites….
European Jewish Press spoke to Soufiane El Allam, commercial director of the Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection complex, originally from Morocco.
From which countries do most guests come throughout the year?
Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection benefits from two resounding namesakes – the flagship of Hilton hospitality with its international network and evocative brand name, combined with the heritage of the Al Habtoor family, which enjoys authority and exceptional recognition in the region and the Arab world. This complementary heritage gives us a unique positioning as a “glocal” destination, like other authentic names such as Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa, etc.
The same appeal is reflected in our psychographies: Hilton’s clientele is very international, spanning the Americas, Europe and Asia. V Hotel Dubai is the preferred destination for ambitious young entrepreneurs, creative industry events and showcases – fashion, media awards, celebrity gala evenings – whether they are from the UAE or the region. Habtoor Palace Dubai has a very strong aura on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, and therefore indirectly on major international tourism travelers as well as international delegations and royalty seeking to connect with key personalities of the United Arab Emirates and beyond in an unknown Palace which is the place to be seen and seen for connoisseurs.
What is the Jewish/Israeli angle of Habtoor hotels?
Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection is blessed with wonderful, well-traveled owners who are connoisseurs and lovers of culture, travel and the pleasures of life. The fact that our collection of hotels bears their name is a pure testament to this deep aspiration. Naturally, this is reflected in their visionary leadership and inspires our mission as global hoteliers. The proof is true, as Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection was the very first destination in Dubai to launch kosher dining services, first through a third-party partnership long before the Abraham Accords. This historic milestone reinforced our beliefs, and we immediately proceeded with our Kosher Kitchen certification under our own direction, with the blessing of Rabbi Levi Duchman, allowing us to operate daily kosher breakfast for the resort, as well as other special catering services for both individual and group guest requests.
During Expo 2020, we had the privilege of welcoming many personalities from the Jewish world, many of whom elected the city of Al Habtoor as their preferred destination for an extended stay during the full 6 months of the Expo. We are now planning an initiation visit to Israel in the presence of our senior management, as our recent history and realistic ambitions place Israel among the top 3 feeder markets, along with companies such as the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia. This ambition is also intended to support our efforts and position us as the preferred destination in Dubai and the region for practicing Kosher and Jewish travelers from around the world.
Since when do Jewish/Israeli tourists come to your hotels?
Hilton was appointed to manage the operations of Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection after a rebranding process from another hotel operator. Therefore, unfortunately, we cannot track enough accurate data beyond a certain period. From what we have been able to observe, the Abraham Accords have been a major catalyst in educating Jewish/Israeli tourists in Dubai hotels. Our Kosher certification certainly contributed to this success afterwards, followed by Expo 2020.
We believe this story is a story yet to be written and that is why we are continuing our efforts working with representative agencies in Israel and key personalities of the Jewish world in Italy, Benelux, France, UK and in North America.
A specific time of year?
The location is truly enchanting and offers a unique feeling of discovering a place for connoisseurs only. While staying at Habtoor Palace, guests can still enjoy the wonders offered by the 3 combined hotels – 3 rooftop pools, separate kids club and pool, over 30 entertainment and dining venues, including 2 spas and the Dubai’s number one show – La Perle by Franco Dragone. This reinforces our positioning as a destination within a destination, where guests can still enjoy a truly grand stay in Dubai under one roof, even during the hot summer season.