The VIP treatment at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray’s Royal Residences

How we take hospitality to the next level


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From unpacking guests’ luggage and creating the perfect marriage proposals, to tracking down the most elusive items, it’s all in a day’s work for Rahul Gupta, the Royal Residences villa manager at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.

He ensures the needs of every guest are met from the second they step off the plane to the moment they leave, and that the staff of Zabeel Saray are always ready to go above and beyond the call of duty.

‘As soon as guests arrive at the Royal Residences, they are taken directly to their villa for a private check-in,’ explains Gupta.

Guests can choose from three different types of villas – beach, lagoon or seafront – each with its own style and special features. Once inside, they’ll find private pools, a shared swimming pool (one of the largest in the UAE at 4,400m2), a kitchen, four or five bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a gym, maid’s quarters, a garage, walk-in wardrobes and luxuriously appointed Jacuzzi baths. The largest villas even have an elevator.

The residences’ beautiful interiors are adorned with elegant furniture inspired by the Ottoman empire, with Turkish motifs, rich dark wood parquet flooring, opulent fabrics and splendid shades of gold and ivory featured throughout.

Once checked in, the exceptional service of the Zabeel Saray team matches the stunning interiors. Guest requests can range from the mundane to the more challenging and Gupta recalls many from his six years working at the villas. ‘I once rushed off to a sports shop to purchase a treadmill for one of our guests, and I also remember being asked by a guest to refurbish an entire villa with brand new furniture on the day they checked in.’

Guta and his team also built and decorated a stunning gazebo on the beach for the ultimate marriage proposal and once found themselves searching the length and breadth of Dubai to find a guest’s favourite Uzbek cuisine.

‘When a guest makes a request, we never say no. I remember once during bad weather, a guest’s husband had just arrived at Dubai airport and she was waiting for him at their villa. The Palm Jumeirah roads had been shut due to flooding, making it impossible for her husband to get to the hotel. The lady in question called her butler, (who had actually finished his shift and gone home) and said, “See what you can do.”’

‘Determined to make it happen, the butler came up with a plan. First he took a taxi to the airport to collect the guest and brought him to the Palm Jumeirah entrance, where they found the road was still closed. They then took the Palm Monorail service along the trunk. Once at the station, they walked for over an hour, until they reached the Royal Residence and the guest’s astonished wife. That’s just one remarkable example of a Royal Residence butler on a mission to go the extra mile.’

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Seaview Royal Residence Lush garden greenery