The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the growth of the various vertical sectors of the economy. The hospitality industry is one such industry that faced a devastating impact due to the pandemic. It saw a significant dip in its sales, which also cascaded into the real estate sector.
But well, right then, there was a shot in the dark!
With coronavirus stuck in cities, the concept of co-living took a big hit. Instagram-friendly common rooms and long-stay vacation homes became the new normal.
Breaking through this pandemic cocoon and showing a ray of light to the hospitality industry by offering co-living spaces is Rove Hotels. It is one of the Middle East’s fastest-growing lifestyle hospitality brands. Opened in Dubai in 2016, the brand now has over 4,500 operational and under development rooms across the region. From beach destinations to business hotspots or touristic landmarks, Rove Hotels have a variety of locations to suit all needs.
Under the revolutionary leadership of its Chief Operating Officer, Paul Bridger, the company envisions developing affordable, quirky lifestyle hotels to support the growing tourism industry in Dubai and the wider region.
To know more about Rove Hotels and how Paul’s leadership is helping the organization expand, kindly delve into its relaxing story!
Best-loved Rovers Choice!
A jumping-off point for city explorers, Rove properties have been designed for digital nomads and modern travelers looking for fuss-free service, a touch of local culture, convenient facilities with all the essentials, and great value.
Rove properties are known for sleek interiors full of Instagram-able corners and curated local art. Inspiring co-working spaces and creative hubs such as a podcast studio or a photography and videography studio launched in collaboration with Nikon.
The hotels are a basecamp at the heart of the city. A homey and relaxed place where Rovers (guests) can be themselves. There are no dress codes, formalities, or waiting for the valet car to arrive. Everything has been carefully thought out, from offering in-room mini-fridges to having universal USB and electrical sockets in all rooms.
Work from Home to Work from Rove!
Rove Hotels have been designed with convenience in mind. Every property offers well-designed, comfortably sized rooms, free self-service parking, a 24-hour laundromat, fast Wi-Fi, and inspiring co-working spaces.
Paul states, “We believe remote working is here to stay. Many positions are becoming cloud-based as employers take advantage of their opportunity to reduce operational costs associated with office spaces and provide employees with flexible working conditions.” This being a part of the newly evolved workspace, catering to the needs of remote workers takes utmost precedence in its agenda.
Because of that, every small detail around the hotels has been thought out to ensure that whether Rovers (guests) are staying for a short trip or an extended period of time, they have all the essentials they require to make the most out of their time. Some examples of these are the mini-fridges provided in all rooms so that Rovers can store their drinks and snacks, the fact that it offers universal and USB plugs everywhere in the hotels, have lots of games in public areas so they can enjoy their break time and even dedicated booths for video calls in some of its properties. For larger groups, Rove also offers a variety of modern meeting spaces across all its hotels.
In regard to co-living specifically, the company does see a lot of demand for monthly stays across its hotels. Dubai is a perfect destination for remote workers; hence last year, Rove Hotels partnered with DTCM (Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing) to launch the Live + Work package, a co-living offering ideal for anyone planning on relocating to the city to benefit from the virtual working program. The offer provides a hassle-free experience and all the necessities to start their new life in the city with no-setup fees, hidden costs, or long-term commitments.
Innovative and Forward-thinking Organization
Rove Hotels are forward-thinking, innovative, and community-driven.
Rove properties are much more than a bed for the night; they are a basecamp for global travelers and local residents to explore and meet. Paul shares, “We regularly hold art exhibitions with locally-based artists, engage in community events happening in town, organize photography tours and many other events.”
Furthermore, Rovers (guests) appreciate that the experience the hotels provide across all its settings is quite consistent. Paul asserts, “No matter which property you go to, you’ll always enjoy the same service style and facilities across all locations, with the exception of a few unique features present only in specific properties such as the boutique cinema room at Rove Downtown. This means that wherever people rove, they know we’ll deliver what they are looking for.”
A Visionary Leadership
Paul joined Rove in 2016 with a vision to develop affordable, quirky lifestyle hotels to support the growing tourism industry in Dubai and the wider region.
Since then, Rove Hotels has become one of the fastest and most successful hospitality lifestyle brands. Co-living was always part of the brand’s DNA, from the quirky interiors to the community-centric facilities; Rove properties are ideal for those looking to live and work at the hotels. While packages were on offer, the big shift in public perception and demand came with the pandemic’s start, as remote working became mainstream. Since then, Rove has seen very strong demand across all its properties, and Paul expects it to continue into the future.
Adapting to the Growing Market Needs
Paul believes that hotels are much more than just a place to sleep. Rove has been designed to be a hub for co-living; it’s part of the brand’s DNA. “That’s why we are a ‘front of mind’ place for content creators and digital nomads. Our main idea is to make professional creative hubs accessible for everyone,” adds Paul.
With the start of the pandemic, the company saw a surge in remote working and people looking for spaces to work safely and with no distractions. “We were quick to adapt to the new market needs and add a number of spaces to our properties to better cater to them,” shares Paul.
Some of these include the region’s first private hotel offices, which were launched across all its properties.
Not long after that, the company also launched its very own recording studio, the Rove Podcast Studio, and the #RoveWithNikon photography and videography studio – both are fully equipped with easy-to-use plug-and-play equipment. The self-service spaces are suitable for both amateur and experienced professionals.
Another instant hit was Rove’s Gamer Caves – the MENA region’s first-ever hotel rooms designed exclusively for gaming. It became a viral sensation making waves locally and globally. It was a step forward for the future of gaming and virtual events in the region, providing a fun, accessible, and affordable platform for amateur and professional gamers and further strengthening the UAE’s thriving eSports community.
Paul asserts, “We weren’t afraid of taking risks and doing things differently. That has helped us tap into new communities that appreciate forward-thinking innovations.”
Offering a Wide Range of Services
More and more people have joined the ranks of digital nomads in the last few years, as the remote job market has been booming. “We consider co-living has a bright future ahead, and those looking to get into the space should consider key aspects such as having well-connected locations and developing a strong community around the properties and the brand,” emphasizes Paul.
For Rove, it was vital to create relaxed and modern living spaces in an inspiring environment for people to interact and share experiences. The company currently has a total of nine central locations across Dubai, all of which are very popular with young professionals and freelancers who can live and work in the hotels while enjoying convenient amenities such as free Wi-Fi and leisure facilities, including a gym, swimming pool, and more.
Rove’s long-stay options are more convenient and affordable than renting an apartment, allowing Rovers (guests) to renew month on month with no commitments and enjoy all the services of living in a hotel – housekeeping, access to the pool, and gym, a self-service laundromat, free parking and more!
Roadmap to the Future
Paul hopes that the last quarter of 2022 is expected to be an outstanding season for Dubai hospitality, thankful to global events such as the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and T20 Cricket World Cup in Australia. The city is a perfect stopover hub for travelers flying to these events. “We are sure that many new visitors will get to discover and experience the brand for the first time, which is great.” Paul further says, “To top it all off, the city will be hosting many events during the period. It’s definitely going to be a really busy period for Dubai!”
The company currently has nine great locations around the city. All are very well connected and have easy access to the Dubai Metro and public transport. This gives it the advantage of catering to any clientele, whether it’s a business trip, leisure, or a stopover. Wherever one wants to stay, there is a Rove nearby. Fancy a relaxed beachfront, waking up to Burj Khalifa views, exploring Old Town, or roving around the Expo site – it has got everything covered.
Beyond 2022, the company plans to continue its rapid expansion with more locations in local and regional markets. The Rove Hotels are announced in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other Emirates, including Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah, which will bring the company’s overall number of keys over 5,000.