Exceptional and hyper-curated experiences are upending high-end travel.
With the launch of ROAM, travellers can experience Saudi Arabia in a new light. Stuart McNair, Managing Director at ROAM discusses what luxury experiential travel means.
What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?
We are in the midst of an incredibly exciting time for Roam. Having launched the brand earlier this month and our mobile camp opening in Taif this summer, it’s all hands-on deck. I spend my time between our offices in Jeddah and Riyadh, so early mornings are often spent catching domestic flights and enjoying my fair share of delicious Saudi coffee.
What was the catalyst to launch Roam?
When the Kingdom opened itself to tourism in 2019, it created a host of new opportunities for both domestic and international travellers. A genuine new frontier, and the largest country in the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi stretches along the length of the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. Home to stunning natural landscapes, historical sites and modern architecture, it truly has something for everyone. With so much to offer, it is an exciting time for everyone involved in the travel industry. With our heritage and local experience, Roam hopes to support the evolving landscape by becoming the most trusted luxury travel company in the Kingdom.
How did the partnership come about between Cool Inc and Pelorus?
Roam is the result of a joint venture between Saudi luxury and lifestyle hospitality company, Cool Inc, and bespoke travel and yachting company, Pelorus. The partnership came about in order to rewrite the narrative for luxury travel in the Kingdom. Together they have been able to develop a unique strategy that incorporates the essence of Saudi culture and leverages each company’s strengths to create innovative and enduring DMC experiences. By combining Pelorus’ expertise in experiential travel with Cool Inc’s local knowledge and market understanding, Roam can now offer tailored DMC services specifically designed for the Kingdom, setting them apart from their competitors and enabling them to provide unparalleled levels of customer service. This approach distinguishes Roam as a luxury travel and tourism brand that delivers exceptional, one-of-a-kind products and services, contributing to the development of the Kingdom’s tourism infrastructure and making it easier for travellers to discover its beauty.
You offer a bespoke travel service within unexplored regions in Saudi Arabia – can you expand on this?
Roam’s multi-vertical, product-driven, and service-led business is made up of four key verticals, including bespoke travel, tour services, accommodation bookings and transportation. The company will also offer aviation, concierge services, brand experiences & events, luxury events & activations and VIP guest management.
Roam’s unique products include mobile camps, day camps, e-quads and private dining experiences. These products highlight the very best of Saudi Arabia and are available for purchase as part of the company’s bespoke travel service or as standalone experiences.
Roam will be activating in different regions throughout the year, following the seasons. Destinations include Tabuk, NEOM, Al Ula, Jeddah, Riyadh, Al Ahsa Oasis, and Red Sea from October to March, and Taif, Al Baha, Tanomah, Abha, Jazan region, and Farasan Island from May to September.
What does it take to launch and offer a hyper-seasonal luxury travel concept in Saudi Arabia?
At the heart of Roam, are its people. Our team is made up of a majority of Saudi talent, and we expect this to continue to increase as we attract more bright, young Saudis into this budding market. With the experience of living it, we are able to find, craft, and deliver experiences in Saudi year-round. Our mobile camp allows us to capitalise on the cooler temperatures to the south, then move north for the winter months, allowing guests to enjoy the desert regions of AlUla and Tabuk.
What are the experiences at Roam?
Roam aims to be bold in all its endeavours, constantly evolving and developing new experiences for our clients. As we continue to activate new regions across the country, we will be bringing luxury to remote regions for the first time with our mobile camp. In June, the camp will launch in the beautiful, mountainous region of Taif. The first of its kind, the camp will then move across the Kingdom every 8-12 weeks, allowing travellers to experience undiscovered regions of KSA, without having to compromise on comfort or indulgence. Each spectacular remote location offers the perfect weekend getaway for friends, family or colleagues. The camp is designed and decorated to showcase modern Saudi with traditional touches, as well as small attachments that will change to reflect the local region. In addition, our expert team have been scouting out the best locations for trekking, climbing, stargazing and nature activities helping you explore the local area. Our camp equipment will include our own fleet of Land Rovers, electric quads, fat bikes and more.
“From uncharted areas of the Red Sea, offering world-class diving, to archaeological wonders in Hegra, vibrant cities and ever-evolving Giga projects, Saudi offers an exciting and undiscovered world to explore.”
What sets the travel industry in Saudi Arabia apart?
KSA is on the cusp of significant change for Saudi Arabians and international travellers alike. Given the numerous products and services on offer throughout KSA, combined with the fact that it’s a relatively new travel destination, there is so much to be discovered. From uncharted areas of the Red Sea, offering world-class diving, to archaeological wonders in Hegra, vibrant cities and ever-evolving Giga projects, Saudi offers an exciting and undiscovered world to explore.
This is ‘The Horology Issue’ – time is such a luxury today. What do you think is the future of travel and how we spend this time?
We must redefine the industry to charm the innovators of tomorrow, become a pioneering and thriving model of excellence and spark an inclusive future, ripe with investment opportunities for all. We believe all this combined means the tourism market in the Kingdom could become very significant indeed, as outlined in Vision 2030.
May’s – The Horology Issue – Download Now
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