Published: Thursday, 28 December 2017

Gulf Craft’s CEO Erwin Bamps has revealed that wealthy Middle East travellers favour privacy, new experiences, and quality time with family above the offerings of traditional five-star resorts.

Gulf Craft Sees Shifting Vacation Trend In Middle East Wealthies 1 

(Photo: Erwin Bamps)

Bamps said the perceived glitz and glamour of luxury hotels was waning among ultra-high net worth individuals, but he has also observed a shift towards more personalised vacations, such as chartering superyachts to explore the region’s coastlines.

“C-suite executives accustomed to putting in 14-hour days really value their free time.”

“Chartering a crewed superyacht gives them the flexibility to personalise their itineraries and explore, freeing them to make the most of every moment of their vacation,” Bamps said.

In addition, the research by Credit Suisse suggests that a decade on from the 2008 global financial crisis, the wealthy Middle East place more emphasis on mindfulness and wellbeing, and are eschewing affluence displays. There is also a greater focus on family life, with a rise in multi-generational cruising.

Popular destinations among this demographic include the Red Sea Riviera, encompassing Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh and the Jordanian town of Aqaba, a short drive from ancient Petra and home to an 18-hole Championship golf course designed by Greg Norman.

Other elite destinations favoured are Bodrum in southeastern Turkey, Dubai in Abu Dhabi, and Tunisia’s Marina Bizerte, which offers upscale boutique hotels, 24-hour security, and berths for boats of up to 150m in length.

“Whether they want to dive in coral reefs or hold full moon yoga sessions on deck, chartering a yacht offers the ultimate in versatility,” Bamps added.

“Today’s superyachts offer unprecedented amenities and style – they are the palaces of the ocean. Yet, there are certain things in life that money cannot buy, and the ultra-rich are embracing the marine lifestyle to replenish both body and soul.”