What is a luxury experience?

In the last months I have been able to travel to different cities and countries, specifically Dubai, Riyadh, AlUla, Portugal and Monaco. Even if these destinations differ from each other, I noticed that they were still united by a component: a luxury experience, whether it was physical or mental.

Riyadh

It was a family office conference that took me to Riyadh, the 18th Ritossa Global Family Office Investment Summit held at the Voco Hotel. The Chairman & Managing Director of Nama Al Baraka Holding opened the conference with very interesting data about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and made us feel very welcomed. The summit lasted 3 days and we were more than 300 in attendance, from Europe, the US, the Middle Eastern region and Asia and India. On this occasion we spoke about the importance of human capital for growing family businesses, the speakers and I concluded that it is a necessary luxury. It is luxury in the sense that capital growth is expensive and comes amid efforts and sacrifices from families – like sending children to the best schools, spending on education, spending on personal growth, spending on lifestyle and so on.

AlUla

I went to AlUla at the invitation of my friend Pierre Sigg, who has an art residency in AlUla, part of his Sigg Art Foundation. He organized a lunch with the Royal Commission for AlUla and we assisted to a fascinating presentation about the vision for the place. AlUla is a symbol of Saudi Arabia’s openness to secular tourism and its pre-Islamic history. AlUla is an area of 22,000 km2, it is an open-air museum the size of a country, inviting you to travel through time. It is a question of preserving the authenticity of the landscapes, of ensuring the choice of local materials, of respecting the colours, the architecture, the traditions, the populations and of course the history. It is an accumulation of kingdoms, empires and scriptures: Aramaic, Dadanitic, Nabataean, Greek, Latin and Arabic.

Recently, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the “Time Masterplan”, a journey to deliver five districts by 2035, a $15 billion blueprint for public-private partnerships. The development project aims to create 38,000 new jobs, attract 2 million visitors per year, increase the region’s population to 130,000, and finally contribute 32 billion dollars to the Kingdom’s economy. One of the first opportunities for private participation in the project is in the hospitality sector. The site, when completed, will have 9,400 hotel rooms and there are already some luxury hotels.

Welcome to the column of our recurring guest editorial staff member H.R.H. Prince Michel de Yougoslavie, Grandson of King Umberto of Italy and Prince Paul of Yugoslavia
The Prince is a "meta-advisor" providing valuable advises to some of the worlds most influential people including Royal Family Offices, and, more surprisingly, an art photographer. Each month, he will touch on the latest trends and happenings within the global luxury and investment worlds, gleaned from his exclusive meetings with the powers that be.

Enjoy

What is a luxury experience?

In the last months I have been able to travel to different cities and countries, specifically Dubai, Riyadh, AlUla, Portugal and Monaco. Even if these destinations differ from each other, I noticed that they were still united by a component: a luxury experience, whether it was physical or mental.

Riyadh

It was a family office conference that took me to Riyadh, the 18th Ritossa Global Family Office Investment Summit held at the Voco Hotel. The Chairman & Managing Director of Nama Al Baraka Holding opened the conference with very interesting data about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and made us feel very welcomed. The summit lasted 3 days and we were more than 300 in attendance, from Europe, the US, the Middle Eastern region and Asia and India. On this occasion we spoke about the importance of human capital for growing family businesses, the speakers and I concluded that it is a necessary luxury. It is luxury in the sense that capital growth is expensive and comes amid efforts and sacrifices from families – like sending children to the best schools, spending on education, spending on personal growth, spending on lifestyle and so on.

AlUla

I went to AlUla at the invitation of my friend Pierre Sigg, who has an art residency in AlUla, part of his Sigg Art Foundation. He organized a lunch with the Royal Commission for AlUla and we assisted to a fascinating presentation about the vision for the place. AlUla is a symbol of Saudi Arabia’s openness to secular tourism and its pre-Islamic history. AlUla is an area of 22,000 km2, it is an open-air museum the size of a country, inviting you to travel through time. It is a question of preserving the authenticity of the landscapes, of ensuring the choice of local materials, of respecting the colours, the architecture, the traditions, the populations and of course the history. It is an accumulation of kingdoms, empires and scriptures: Aramaic, Dadanitic, Nabataean, Greek, Latin and Arabic.

Recently, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the “Time Masterplan”, a journey to deliver five districts by 2035, a $15 billion blueprint for public-private partnerships. The development project aims to create 38,000 new jobs, attract 2 million visitors per year, increase the region’s population to 130,000, and finally contribute 32 billion dollars to the Kingdom’s economy. One of the first opportunities for private participation in the project is in the hospitality sector. The site, when completed, will have 9,400 hotel rooms and there are already some luxury hotels.

Welcome to the column of our recurring guest editorial staff member H.R.H. Prince Michel de Yougoslavie, Grandson of King Umberto of Italy and Prince Paul of Yugoslavia
The Prince is a "meta-advisor" providing valuable advises to some of the worlds most influential people including Royal Family Offices, and, more surprisingly, an art photographer. Each month, he will touch on the latest trends and happenings within the global luxury and investment worlds, gleaned from his exclusive meetings with the powers that be.

Enjoy

Dubai

Dubai, with its skyscrapers and malls and hotels is a show window for luxury. I think every luxury brand on the planet is there, it is an amazing experience and today by simply naming Dubai the association with luxury comes naturally. I took this opportunity to visit my friend Serge Conesa, the founder of Immersion4, a cutting-edge solution to the problem of cooling data centers.

Portugal

I went to Lisbon and immediately I was immersed in the history of this country, made of explorers. Everywhere you look at, you are reminded of that: the monuments around town, the harbour on the river Tagus where you can see modern and antic ships – like the Caravelle that allowed explorers in the 15th century to go to Africa and into the Atlantic Ocean. I went to Cascais to visit the Grande Real Villa Italia Hotel & Spa, a five-star luxury hotel, built on what was my grand father King Umberto’s house. Immediately, I had a flood of memories. I also went for a walk with Carlos, a Portuguese friend of mine whom I know since I am 20 years old. We had time to recall so many adventures and memories. Being able to relive so many cherished moments was a real luxury and after this trip I couldn’t stop thinking about the notion of time and how time is a perception that takes on different speeds, depending on how one’s look at it. During my stay in Portugal, I met Rita and Adeline, they are helping me to find the perfect location for my photography exhibition. We looked at some amazing palaces, but I will share the final and selected location in a few months.

Monaco

I was able to see the tennis tournament, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, which saw the victory of Mr. Tsitsipas. The weather was perfect, the village was full of sponsors, including luxury brands of alcohol, watches, clothing, airlines, automobile, hotels, telecommunication, hotels, radio stations, news groups. It attracted a vibrant crowd, where celebrities were mingling with tennis lovers. I was myself invited at the Pavillion of Moët Hennessy Diageo, which was very pleasant and where the hosts made everything possible to make you feel confortable, well treated and special. They achieved their goals perfectly. Moreover, I had a fantastic meeting with the inventor of livingpackets.com, whose product “THE BOX” was elected at CES (Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas) as “the product with the greatest chances to change the world”, its aim is to replace 100 billion waste packaging per year. Having the opportunity to meet and talk the inventor of such a groundbreaking solution does not happen every day.

Welcome to the column of our recurring guest editorial staff member H.R.H. Prince Michel de Yougoslavie, Grandson of King Umberto of Italy and Prince Paul of Yugoslavia.

The Prince is a "meta-advisor" providing valuable advises to some of the worlds most influential people including Royal Family Offices, and, more surprisingly, an art photographer. Each month, he will touch on the latest trends and happenings within the global luxury and investment worlds, gleaned from his exclusive meetings with the powers that be.

Do not miss our next Wall Street Luxury Europe Newsletter

Subscribe now