Last night in Dubai, I had not only the honour of attending the launch but also experiencing first-hand the new technology collaboration between the world’s most prestigious hotel, Burj Al Arab (part of Jumeirah group) and Google.
The event was hosted on THE helipad of the the world’s first/only seven star hotel. This was admittedly a title created by the press, but there is a sense that the hotel loves it – or at least the guests do – even the first option of a location tag on Instagram is “Burj Al Arab 7* Luxury Hotel” – so we are all in a modest place to begin with.
The momentous sense that this specific location brought on board was somewhat surreal. In fact, really surreal. No matter what I’ve experienced before – we’re talking 29 course molecular cuisine with Fernan Adria and El Bulli to jumping off the highest bungee in the world in South Africa. This is up there, in fact way above there. This was a legit career highlight – and the best part? I got to share it with Ella and Oz.
So what am I talking about and why was I there… Let’s begin with this video…
Jumeirah Group, the Dubai-based luxury hotel company and a member of Dubai Holding, has launched Jumeirah™ Inside – a virtual platform comprising 360° video and photography which enables users to make hotel bookings, access never-before-seen footage, discover hidden treasures and share them with the world.
You must have seen on Facebook now how immersive video has become, so it makes sense for Jumeirah and the Burj to be at the forefront of the immersive marketing game. Hello, 7 fictional stars.
BUT, this is so much more than immersive marketing, this is a milestone in exploration. Not everyone is blessed with the opportunity to visit these wonders of the world. I see myself as an explorer and the reason you guys are reading this is because you have either (i) experienced it and want to see my take on the space or (ii) want to experience it through my eyes or (iii) stumbled across this post with the desire to have a better understanding on the concept.
Well here goes. Click on this link www.inside.jumeirah.com on mobile or on tablet or desktop – I mean even on Google Glass!
It’s pretty groundbreaking – took 7 months to shoot all around the world. I met the team that created it last night and they’re incredible – humble and so enthusiastic about the product which they should well be!
Jumeirah™ Inside, developed in collaboration with Google, is a hotel industry first and offers a fully immersive digital travel platform which is accessible through jumeirah.com.
The platform provides access to Burj Al Arab Jumeirah which is brought to life by 360° video, 3D sound, playful interactions and exclusive hotspots – this is not just a tour through a building, it’s a journey through a brand.
Before his speech which you may have seen on my Snapchat, I had the honour of having lunch at the Skyview bar with Ross McAuley, Group Vice President of Brand, Digital and Loyalty, Jumeirah Group, where he said: “We aim to exceed our guests’ expectations whenever they visit our luxury hotels around the world, so is our aim to give an unforgettably rich, immersive online experience in advance of their arrival” but what was equally poignant is the digital experience that Jumeirah and Google are giving those who might never experience it.
Look at the way the world is at the moment, it’s really tense – and this is rippling into your life no matter what area you work in or the life you have curated or created. The world is at war and we are losing people, architecture and palaces on a continual basis which is why I urge you to find ways to make peace in whatever means you can. My choice is to do it creatively and these are my words and photos. Bringing to life digitally the story that an explorer would want to tell.
With that having been said, Ivan Jakovljevic, Google’s Head of Travel & Finance, Middle East and North Africa, talks about the consumer experiencing travel in a whole new way and this is why I am super excited to be able to share this with you as close to first hand as possible. There was also tonnes of documentation on my Snapchat which can be viewed here.
My last 24 hours of legit surrealness… (Snapchat : nikthakkar)
Posted by Nik Thakkar on Tuesday, 17 November 2015
The virtual journey begins at the world’s most luxurious hotel where guests can see, hear and move around like never before. Users can uncover new information and explore the vibrant colours and playful water features in the atrium through 360° video. Other experiences include the chance to dive into the Talise Spa infinity pool, take a leisurely stroll through the magnificent Royal Suite, and explore Dubai from the exclusive helipad.
Here are some of my personal photography highlights of my experience over the last few days. Including chauffeur service by Rolls Royce, the Helipad rooftop for the launch, the Royal Suite, details of the building’s architecture and more. Make sure to also check my Instagram, Oz’s Instagram and Ella’s Instagram for even more.
Also stay tuned for another Dubai post featuring the incredible downtown hotel Jumeirah Emirates Towers.
Photography all by Nik Thakkar (or photos of Nik by Ozat). Fashion credits – swimwear by Paul Smith, shirt by Ada + Nik.