Dubai has been one of the most attractive destinations for digital nomads and travelers. As the pandemic shifted habits and work arrangements, organizations in the city adapted to embrace this new remote trend.
One of the most innovative examples is the digital nomads initiative by LEVA hotels. Promoting healthy work-life balance, the Resivation Managed By Leva turns its rooms into small apartments for remote workers and travelers. From co-working spaces to yoga studios, the hotel is the perfect hub for families and solo professionals seeking a new scenario to be productive.
The luxury hotels provide shared areas, a kitchen, and a dynamic hub to meet other professionals while discovering a new city. In the heart of the vibrant neighborhood Al Furjan, LEVA hotels promote a new type of quality tourism responding to our complex times.
We interviewed the initiative’s founder JS Anand to know more about the initiative, Dubai, and future projects.
1. To start, could you tell us about your hotels and business?
LEVA is a dynamic lifestyle hotel brand offering upscale and midscale properties. LEVA’s distinct approach turns the mundane into the memorable, bringing a breath of fresh air to the region’s hospitality scene. In partnership with Ahmed Bin Khalaf Al Otaiba, we promise to our guests exceptional comfort and competitive affordability. This is reflected in everything from its design and room rates to its amenities and beyond. LEVA’s name is derived from Levatio, meaning “comfort” in Latin. While it appeals to millennials, boomers aren’t left out. LEVA’s brand appeal transcends age and culture. Alongside operating its own properties, LEVA also works with external property owners. It’s in the midst of global expansion through both management and franchise models across high-demand and under-penetrated cities in the GCC, the greater Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe.
2. How is the city of Dubai different from other places in the world to work and travel?
Dubai is recognized as the safest place for women and a cosmopolitan city with impeccable innovations in terms of technology and tourism, which makes it different from other places in the world in terms of work and travel.
3. What makes the Al Furjan neighborhood unique for a digital nomad?
With its proximity to Expo 2020, Al Furjan holds a unique and rising community. We strive to provide living solutions for hard-working professionals. Our aim is to provide luxurious accommodations with first-rate amenities and impeccable service to ensure our tenants can experience maximum comfort during their stay without extending the budget. Resivation’s ‘All-inclusive bill’ covers everything: rent, utilities, Wi-Fi, housekeeping, etc. You have access to all communal spaces, including the gym, games room, dining rooms, community kitchenette, communal laundry room. You can disregard all the hidden costs while staying with us and therefore there won’t be any unexpected bills at the end of the month.
4. Last summer, you transformed LEVA Hotel Mazaya Centre to welcome longer-stay digital nomads. What did your package include in addition to the room suit?
LEVA Hotels’ first flagship hotel, LEVA Hotel Mazaya Centre, a 4-star property located at the heart of the city offers a very unique long-stay package that includes:
- A fully equipped kitchenette
- The best of its technology amenities
- iHome docking station in every room
- Free Wi-Fi
- Self-service laundry rooms with nominal cost
- Free access to the 24/7 business hub and marketplace
5. What is your target persona, and why? And how did the initiative work?
For The Resivation Managed by LEVA property at Al Furjan, the target market would be the executives or bachelors looking for an affordable and luxurious “all-inclusive” co-living space. And over the past few months, we received significant results as we are already getting inquiries.
6. After a few months, what is your impression of the impact of remote work on tourism and traveling?
Work from home does not encourage people to commute or travel for business. On top of that, companies are cutting travel budgets for their staff as they face the pandemic and uncertainties about the economic outlook. When more companies turn to zero-based budgeting to cut costs, people do not travel for business unless it is necessary and well-justified.
7. How has Dubai’s tourism industry changed after the pandemic? Did the digital nomad visa and other initiatives help the local economy?
Travel and tourism are key pillars of the UAE economy. Without question, the travel and tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, and COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way people think about international travel. The UAE has been receptive to the challenges of the pandemic, adapting the way we do even the most basic of activities – such as ordering food at a restaurant, with menus now viewable via QR code.
The key to moving forward is to remain receptive to people’s expectations and concerns. Trying to navigate this new normal and using that information to design targeted solutions to current issues. Technology also plays a huge role in this, enhancing our capability to make more and more services completely contactless. Thinking of travel, for example, do you need a paper form to be filled in at the airport, or could you allow visitors to create a digital profile with their travel information and testing status that can be shared with the airport? COVID-19 is driving and fast-tracking digital transformation across most industries, including the travel and hospitality industry.
As the industry adapts, it would ensure these new experiences are designed to ease the stress and anxiety caused by the uncertainties COVID-19 brings. As multinationals and leading start-ups across the world accelerate their rates of digital adoption, the need to be physically present to fulfill professional responsibilities has been redefined by the government of UAE.
8. Do you see remote workers as a potential for the future of tourism even in a post-pandemic scenario?
Definitely yes, since we provide the coworker’s areas and business centers with all types of equipment on a high-speed WIFI internet facility to ensure comfortability to our guests.
9. Do you have other projects in the future targeting digital nomads and long-stay travelers?
Yes, indeed, we plan to expand our vision of providing affordable accommodation solutions with high hospitality services as per our LEVA Hotels standard.
10. There is anything you would like to add?
With this digitally inclined era, the brand LEVA Hotels has started the implementation of advanced tech-savvy tools such as Marketing Automations, paperless initiatives, and a strong focus on sustainability programs.