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Jumeirah launches new contemporary lifestyle brand: VENU

Matt Balcik appointed to lead the new brand
Jumeirah, the global luxury hotel company and a member of Dubai Holding, has revealed plans to launch a new contemporary lifestyle brand. The new brand, which is called VENU, is designed to appeal to the modern traveller whose expectations revolve around their own lifestyle – clean, contemporary, cool and effortless. To mark the launch of VENU, the company is revealing the visual identity of the brand and announcing the appointment of a top hotelier to lead its development. Furthermore, the Dubai-based developer Meraas Holding is in discussion with Jumeirah Group to operate the first VENU hotel on Bluewaters Island in Dubai.

VENU is inspired by the spirit of Dubai: bold, ambitious, energetic and cosmopolitan, infused with a can-do attitude and a powerful blend of style and substance. This is reflected in the design of the new brand’s logo. It is simple and unpretentious, modern and creative, offering a sense that everyone who visits, stays at or works within a VENU space has the freedom to write their own story, create their own narrative, build their own scene.

The essence of the new brand is that of a ‘social catalyst’ – a social place where good things happen, where people feel welcome and at ease, surrounded by a crowd they love, a smooth machine that offers everything they need and nothing they don’t.

Speaking at the launch of the new brand, Nicholas Clayton, CEO Group Operations at Jumeirah Group, said: “This is a genuinely exciting innovation for Jumeirah Group. The time is right for us to launch a new contemporary lifestyle brand. Its provenance and energy comes from Dubai – and the first few VENU hotels will open here – but it is ultimately a powerful way of taking the core essence of the Dubai out into the international market, reflecting the city’s energy, dynamism and cosmopolitan nature. At the same time, coming to a VENU hotel will be an intuitive experience, built around and anticipating the needs of the modern, savvy traveller.”

Jumeirah is also pleased to announce the appointment of Matt Balcik as Vice President Operations, Brand Development, charged with leading preparations for the roll-out of VENU internationally.

A Turkish/American national, Matt Balcik has 18 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, having worked in Turkey, Washington DC, Sydney, Aruba, US Virgin Islands, New Orleans and Newport Beach, California. His most recent position was as General Manager of the W Hotel in Istanbul. Prior to that, he held a number of senior roles working for well-known hotel brands such as Marriott and Starwood Hotels & Resorts, including General Manager of the Westin Virgin Islands and General Manager of the Westin Aruba. He also has extensive Brand development experience having spent 3 years as the Global Brand Advocate and Corporate Director of Operations for Renaissance Hotels. 

Nicholas Clayton commented: “We are delighted to welcome Matt Balcik to lead the introduction of VENU to the market. His multi-brand background, together with strong operations experience, makes him the ideal candidate to spearhead the introduction and roll-out of our new contemporary lifestyle brand to the market. Under Matt’s leadership, we want travellers to be inspired by the energy of the VENU brand - to feel that they are encountering something completely new, where technology is seamlessly integrated into the hotel experience, where the world comes together – a happening place full of energy and a cosmopolitan crowd.”

Discussions are under way with a number of developers in the Middle East, Asia and Europe for the VENU brand.  Appropriately, given the provenance of the brand, one of the first VENU hotels will be located in Dubai. The full details of the planned projects will be announced later in the year.

VENU will operate as an independent brand under the Jumeirah Group, targeting travellers with a passion for simplicity, style, efficiency and effortless living and working. Further updates on new hotels under the VENU brand and key appointments will follow in the coming months.

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