Boutique Group, Saudi Arabia

A new luxury hotel brand for Saudi Arabia

In partnership with Boston Consulting Group, Luxury Branding was engaged by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia to develop the brand for Boutique Group.

Case Study

This new Saudi Arabian hotel brand has been conceived, under the auspices of the PIF, to develop and operate an exclusive portfolio of the country’s key heritage palaces, transforming them into ultra-luxury boutique hotels. The first three palaces undergoing this exciting metamorphosis are Al Hamra Palace, Jeddah, The Red Palace, located in the heart of old Riyadh, and Tuwaiq Palace, in the diplomatic quarter in Riyadh.

Invited to contribute to this vision, Luxury Branding’s task was to fulfil the PIF’s need to establish a luxury brand that will cater for an exceptional experience to be delivered within these assets and to create the associated brand name and identity.

At pace, Luxury Branding worked closely with the PIF’s designated hospitality management team to develop a brand strategy, candidate brand names and to create an elegant visual identity and a range of priority applications to being the selected name to life.

To express the brand’s mission to deliver a unique, luxurious and bespoke hospitality experience, which celebrates the evolution of contemporary Saudi Arabia anchored within its traditional and historical heritage, Luxury Branding identified eight fertile domains for name generation. Encompassing territories ranging from the Royal Family’s heritage to the fabled spirit of kindness that characterises Saudi hospitality, we worked with an Arabic language specialist to develop a long list of 135 names.

From this selection, a shortlist of six was chosen for presentation to the new venture’s board, chaired by Prince Badr bin Abdullah Al Saud, the inaugural Saudi Arabian minister of culture. The final three candidate brand names were accompanied by recommendations on the optimal brand architecture and by sketch design to illustrate the brands in situ.

After careful deliberation, the board chose ‘Boutique Group’.

In the second stage of design development, to express Boutique Group, alternative visual identity directions were created, employing hand-drawn logotypes, typography, colours, iconography and materials.

Particular focus was given to the creation of a luxury icon to represent the new brand and for this mark we drew inspiration from the agal, a traditional accessory worn on men’s heads in Saudi Arabian culture. Woven with gold like jacquard or brocade fabric, the symbol suggests a shiny and luxurious product, which results from a complex process requiring great attention to detail. In addition, the symbol is royal, celebratory and a beautiful acknowledgement of Saudi national pride.

The Boutique Group brand was formally announced by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Chairman of the Public Investment Fund on 21 January 2022. Commenting on the new group, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF, said in a statement, “The Crown Prince’s launch of the Boutique Group underlines PIF’s mandate to unlock the capabilities of promising sectors in Saudi Arabia that can help drive the diversification of the economy and contribute to non-oil GDP growth. The group will enhance the Kingdom’s already unique tourism offerings, strengthening Saudi Arabia’s position as a leading regional and international tourism and cultural destination and contributing to Saudi Vision 2030.”

The first phase of the project will focus on the development of three historic palaces in cooperation with the private sector, including Al Hamra Palace, which will offer 77 keys, including 33 luxury palace suites and 44 luxury villas in Jeddah. Tuwaiq Palace will provide 96 keys, including 40 luxury palace suites and 56 luxury villas. Whereas Red Palace will offer 71 keys including 46 luxury suites, and 25 luxury guest rooms. Both Tuwaiq and Red Palace are located in Riyadh.

Boutique Group will blend the Kingdom’s culture and heritage with modern amenities to provide an exclusive hospitality experience and a unique service to its guests, growing the Saudi ultra-luxury hospitality sector and contributing to the development of the local economy. The company will also offer many high-end experiences, from dining to wellness to exclusive services for each guest.

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