Newsroom

Your global travel news digest

The resurgence of the international travel economy is finally within sight as 50 countries have reopened their borders to foreign travellers on 23rd November after months of inactivity. Local safety measures continue to apply worldwide in a collective effort to pave the way to normalcy. At ROLZO, we are committed to preparing you for the road ahead as we provide the latest news relating to your upcoming clients’ travel plans. 

Europe

Five-day quarantine for inbound travellers to the UK

The UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that from 15th December travellers arriving in England from countries not registered on the travel corridor list can cut their quarantine stay. Provided that they obtain a negative test result upon arrival, travellers can finish self-isolation after five days and return to normality under domestic guidelines.

Additionally, Shapps has commented that the passengers will have the option to take a pre-booked test, afforded privately by the traveller. For those who wish to use the scheme, they are required to book a test before they travel and include necessary details on their passenger locator form. Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association, remarked that the announcement will help contribute to getting Britain’s business sector up to speed.

Geneva’s first all-suite hotel to open in 2021

Oetker Collection announced that in Spring 2021, Geneva will be adorned with an exquisite masterpiece hotel. Specially re-designed by world-class architect Pierre-Yves Rochon, the Woodward hotel rests on the shores of Lake Geneva, offering breathtaking views of Mont Blanc. Behind its splendour is its stylish 26-suites, each fine-tuned to express its distinct ambience and personality. Guests can also enjoy top-of-the-range dining experiences, provided by L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon and Le Jardiner who are recipients of Michelin stars. CEO of Bastion Management, Christophe Aldunate, heaps praise on the hotel: “We are delighted that The Woodward will be joining the iconic Oetker Collection, a brand that upholds the highest standards in hospitality and who we trust to breathe renewed passion, flair and life into this historic Geneva location”

Americas

Delta to introduce a touchless travel experience 

Delta Air Lines, in partnership with Transportation Security Administration (TSA), are planning to usher in facial recognition technology for bag drop, security checkpoints and boarding gates for domestic flights. Designed to replace physical identification, the facial biometric matching service enables easy bypass for domestic travellers and airport staff. The technology works by using a digital ID composed of a customer’s passport number and TSA PreCheck membership. The information is then stored in the passengers’ SkyMiles profile on the Fly Delta app.

Expected to make an early 2021 appearance at the Edward H. McNamara Terminal’s TSA PreCheck domestic checkpoint, Bill Lentsch, Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer, expresses bright optimism. He said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has only deepened the importance of providing a touchless experience for our customers. We plan to expand curb-to-gate facial recognition and digital ID beyond the Detroit test so that all of our customers can enjoy a seamless, touchless travel experience across our network.”

Reopening Chile’s international tourism landscape

According to government guidelines, Chile’s reopening of international tourism on the 23rd of November focuses on a step-by-step implementation of staging, safety, and traceability. As a starting point, Santiago’s Arturo Merino Benitez Airport will be the only point of entry, welcoming winter flights from some major US cities. Travellers are required to gain approved entry including the “Traveler’s Sworn Statement”, proof of health insurance policy that covers COVID-19 related issues, and a negative test result. Once in Chile, travellers will be placed under supervision for 14 days, requiring them to report their location and health status through a contact-tracing system. 

Middle East

Emirates offers industry-first multi-risk travel insurance 

The multi-risk travel insurance coverage scheme, an industry-leading project, has been launched to expand Emirates airline’s previous COVID-19 cover with additional features for all customers. The complementary coverage includes up to $50,000 USD emergency medical expenses for COVID-19 matters and up to $7,500 USD trip cancellation for non-refundable costs. It also features compensation up to $7,500 USD travel abandonment if a customer fails a COVID-19 test. The coverage aims to provide all Emirates passengers a truly unique offer for stress-free and hassle-free travel. HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Chairman and Executive, remarked: “By launching this new multi-risk travel insurance and COVID-19 cover, we aim to give our customers even more confidence in making their travel plans this winter and moving into 2021”. 

Abu Dhabi tourism’s road to recovery

The Department of Culture and Tourism stated that Abu Dhabi is set to have the highest hotel occupancy rate in the third quarter of 2020. In comparison to the second quarter, hotel revenues witnessed a surge of 46%, coupled with a 95% increase in the number of guests. The sector is further blessed with strides of recovery; it has observed an approximately 83% increase in footfall at malls across Abu Dhabi, and an astounding 119% increase in airline bookings. 

Success was attributed to popular campaigns and initiatives in domestic tourism such as ‘Go Safe’, ‘Unbox Amazing’ and ‘Rediscover Abu Dhabi’. Saood Al Hosani, the acting undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, emphasised the importance of tourism being one of the main driving growth for economic strength and working in partnership with the government, health authorities, and the community to actualise the nation’s tremendous potential.

Asia-Pacific

Japan and China to restart their business travel economy

Japan and China have mutually agreed to resume business travel by the end of next month. Both nations’ foreign ministers, Wang Yi and Toshimitsu Motegi, have recently collaborated on resolving disputes between isles in the East China Sea. The isles contribute to the travel economy and it is their mutual goal to revitalise the business travel sector as soon as possible. Mr Motegi has confided great confidence in projects which target the streamlining of business travel for the countries’ residents. He remarked: “I hope this agreement will contribute to the revitalisation of the economies of Japan and China, and promote mutual understanding”.

In addition, the two foreign ministers are keen to forge multilateral trade deals and thus strengthen ties ahead of the incoming Biden administration. To this effect, Mr Wang and his Japanese counterpart have pledged fast progress on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade pact, one of the largest free trade deals in history, which was signed by 15 Asia-Pacific nations earlier this month.

Thailand laying out a new path for American fascination

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced a new visa opportunity for American tourists. The new visa allows US travellers to stay in Thailand safely up to 60 days. Upon arrival, visitors will have to be relocated to an Alternative State Quarantine hotel for a 14-day isolation. Thailand’s dedication to sustainable tourism is promoted by a noteworthy campaign, which aims to captivate outsiders with the nation’s exotic jewels. TAT partnered with GLP Films to present Thailand’s first video campaign shedding light on local tourism, health and wellness, and rural communities in a bid to win the hearts of foreign adventure-seekers.

Africa

Serengeti officially a top destination for 2021

In second place to Maldives, Tanzania’s gem Serengeti National Park has been officially declared by global travel agents to be the most preferred destination for 2021. Prospects are increasing at an incredible rate and tourists are being enticed to experience the best of Africa’s safari spots. Ovation Travel Group, an internationally renowned travel company, have uniquely focused on Serengeti as an animal lover’s paradise- with its spectacular wildlife environment and plant diversity. Serengeti offers game viewing safaris, photography expeditions, and hot air balloon filming. 

Kenya and Botswana redefine family travel experiences

Keystone conservation company, The Great Plains Foundation, has coordinated efforts to change the playing field of family outings in Botswana and Kenya. Introducing the Young Explorers Program in their safari camps and family accommodation for group bookings, Great Plains laid out a visionary and cinematic world for multigenerational visitors. During a Kenyan family safari, families can get involved in game drives, horseback riding, mountain biking and plenty of other exciting activities. The Botswanan Young Explorers Program aims to reach children outdoor and survival skills in addition to educating them on the importance of naturalism and local culture.

Dereck and Beverly Joubert, co-founders of Great Plains, said: “We aim to develop new naturalists, to encourage those who have already started on this journey and to provide a safe place for that outdoor experience that is unavailable to so many today. At the same time, for every family we host, we set aside some money to host local children in our Conservation Camps, so this naturalist journey is shared locally,”

Should you have any question about an upcoming trip or need support on travel, please contact our dedicated team who will be able to advise you. Our team is working daily with experts and local authorities to ensure that you reach your destination quickly and safely.

Journeys

Top ski resorts for this winter

Thanksgiving is coming soon and the winter festivities are beginning to settle in. For this moment, it presents a perfect getaway from COVID-19 chaos to enjoy skiing with your family and loved ones. Be it a great American ski safari or a voyage to the Alps, these top ski resorts across North America and Europe will make your winter holidays memorable. 

Latest status of ski resorts in Europe, the US and Canada

One of the biggest differences that snowsports lovers will notice this season is the limited options available to them when it comes to selecting a destination for their journey. Many resorts were forced to close across Europe, including Tignes and Les2Alpes in France or the Aosta Valley in Italy. Meanwhile, in Switzerland, Verbier and Crans-Montana are still operative, while Courchevel, Val d’Isère, and Val Thorens are gearing up for their wintertime launch, hoping to abide by current government regulations.

According to the latest Snow-Forecast report, there are currently 12 ski-centres running in the USA. Joined by Canada’s 7 ski centres in the open, North America’s skiing spirit is still vigorous. The state of Colorado which hosts Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, and Aspen Snowmass ski resorts permit their operation under strict COVID-19 rules. In the same vein, Banff Sunshine Village and Lake Louise are still running in the heart of Alberta.

Recommended ski resorts in Europe

Verbier, Switzerland (14th November 2020 – 18th April 2021)

On a sunny plateau at a breathtaking 1500 metres altitude lies Verbier, a charming alpine village which serves as a gateway to Switzerland’s largest ski area – the Quatre Vallées. The resort attracts a cosmopolitan clientele from all over the world due to its over 400km of pistes and dazzling après-ski scene. Sparkling and ritzy, Verbier is the diamond of the Valaisian Alps.

COVID-19 guidelines: 
Although Verbier is open for business as usual this winter, visitors will be expected to abide by safety measures in place to reduce the spread of the virus. Such measures include wearing face masks on lifts and registering via an app before entering bars and restaurants.

How to get there:
Our airport transfers from Geneva International Airport (GVA) soars you high above the chaos of the roads and airport transits, immediately plugging you into Verbier’s introductory beauty. With an exclusive group of supercar rentals, your forays to Mont Gelé, and Mont Fort Glacier is made all lighter and comfortable – stylized with the trademark luxury created in the world’s foremost car manufacturers. 

Courchevel, France (5th December 2020 – 24th April 2021) 

Renowned for the quality of its snow and slopes, Courchevel is a haven for skiing enthusiasts, and its wealth of experiences cement its status as one of the world’s foremost luxury mountainside resorts. Nestled into the Alps, Courchevel holds a vast array of other sports and activities, from the thrill of dog sledding across vast stretches of sheer white snow, to quiet evenings at one of its selection of Michelin-starred restaurants and five-star hotels. 

COVID-19 guidelines: 
Resort officials are working tirelessly to enable full access to the area’s facilities and services. As of today (23rd November), there are no limitations on the number of people on the slopes or the number of ski passes on sale. However, visitors are required to wear face coverings in the resort and abide by social distancing rules. 

How to get there:
With ROLZO luxury car service, the time you spend in Courchevel is elevated even further. Hire an SUV and traverse Courchevel at your leisure. Alternatively, travel to and from Lyon Airport (LYS) or Geneva Airport (GVA) in peerless comfort by hiring a private driver, whether you are heading to the resort after a long flight and wish to rest, or are starting your journey from there.

Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy (28th November 2020 – 3rd May 2021)

Italy’s best known mountain resort is a delight for winter lovers of all ages. Offering astounding views of the Dolomites, Cortina D’Ampezzo has become synonymous with snowsport extravaganza after hosting the 1956 Winter Olympics. The tradition of major events continues, with the 2021 World Alpine Ski Championships and the 2026 Winter Olympics both being hosted in Cortina. Nevertheless, Cortina offers an all-encompassing experience: whether one wishes to venture on its perfectly groomed slopes or spoil themselves shopping on the legendary Corso Italia, the resort delivers impeccable service throughout. 

COVID-19 guidelines:
Cortina has stringent safety measures in place to guarantee the safety and protect the health of its visitors this ski season. In public and enclosed spaces, people must maintain a 1-metre distance from everyone they interact with, always wearing a mask and practising hand hygiene. Skiers and snowboarders must maintain a 2-metre distance whether they are on the slopes or in the ski lifts.

How to get there:
Cortina is easily accessible from Venice Airport (VCE), which serves as Italy’s fourth-busiest international airport. Our private driver service makes certain to ease the burden of your travels and let you relax on your way there and back.

Recommended ski resorts in the US and Canada

Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada (27th November 2020 – 14th April 2021)

Famed for its Olympic-tier slopes, Mont Tremblant is a haven for snowboarders and skiers alike, with kilometre upon kilometre of immaculate snow taking intrepid explorers past gorgeous Laurentian scenery. It is not just the slopes that draw people to the area though – quaint villages and first-class hotels decorate the resort, providing a place to rest and take in the mountaintop views. 

COVID-19 guidelines: 
According to the latest guidelines issued by the authorities of Quebec, tourists over the age of 10 must wear face covering both outdoors and indoors and abide by social distancing measures in ski rental locations, chalets, bars and restaurants. They may only share a ski lift with their household members, meaning that gondola lifts may only be used at 50% capacity. 

How to get there:
Have a private chauffeur take you to your destination from the airport to the slopes, or simply tour the area. If you would rather take the wheel yourself, our car rental service provides access to an array of world-class SUVs, putting the world’s finest makes and models at your disposal.

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada (25th November 2020 – 4th April 2021)

Whistler’s pristine white snow and world-class slopes are perhaps what it is best known for – though they are hardly the only attractions it has to enchant visitors. An array of shops, and exquisite collection of culinary experiences cement it as a prime year-round destination. 

COVID-19 guidelines: 
Face coverings are mandatory to access the mountain, in all indoor spaces, including chairlifts and gondolas. Moreover, a reservation system will facilitate on-mountain access whereby pass holders get priority access. All payments are cashless, be it for accommodation, food and drink or ski schools, and online bookings and advance payments are recommended. 

How to get there:
Ranked as one of Canada’s busiest airports, Vancouver International (YVR) is the closest airport to Whistler, with the city itself being approximately two hours away from Vancouver. Make the journey there in absolute comfort with our private driver service.

Aspen Snowmass, Colorado, US (25th November 2020 – 4th April 2021)

Aspen is one of the world’s foremost mountain vacation spots – heralding a big part of the spring allure of Colorado. The town’s seasonal beauty hypnotises many visitors; Aspen’s international acclaim as a thriving ski resort is credited to its four separate mountains, each carrying a unique kind of individuality. 

COVID-19 guidelines: 
Visitors to Aspen will be required to wear face covering and keep a social distance of 6 feet in indoor spaces including ski lifts, which will operate at limited capacity. Many holiday providers now offer cancellation policies that don’t pressure tourists into travelling if they are feeling unwell. 

How to get there:
Through our first-class airport car service, we whizz you straight away from the haze and hecticness of Aspen Pitkin County Airport (ASE). Select a car rental from our unique curation and commence your quest for high-end enjoyment in Aspen’s abundance of restaurants and boutiques.

For further information, we invite you to explore ROLZO ‘s fleet and our COVID-SAFE travelling environment.

Insights

Outwitting COVID-19: Winning business strategies for the travel sector

During the onset of the pandemic, many businesses and livelihoods have been affected. However, there is wisdom behind every hardship. At ROLZO we believe that when something is dearly important to you, you do it despite the odds. Travel companies are constantly exploring new ways and strategies to extract the best diamonds they can in a cold damp mine. This article reveals those winning strategies that have enabled travel companies to stay one step ahead of the competition and outwit COVID-19-related challenges.

The new uncomfortable reality of travel

Up to now, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has forecasted roughly a loss of 174 million jobs and a reduction of $4.7 trillion to global GDP. UK-based travel agents suffered a host of issues including dealing with disappointed holidaymakers, loss in profit and surfacing mental health problems. Business professor of Dalhousie University, Lorn Sheehan, noted that nothing has hit the tourism industry in modern history as hard as COVID-19. He also added that in the US, the effect of the pandemic is potent enough to push the entire economy into recession.

Travel experts have analysed areas of business travel that are likely to return first and concluded that in-person sales and client meetings will be the initial drivers reboosting the sector. International travel will take longer to recover due to the complexities of government regulations. In Europe and Asia, governments have explored the notion of establishing travel corridors, which abide strict rules and allow bypassing of quarantine measures.

Research three months in advance 

For travel companies to succeed in the ‘new normal’, they must take an ordered, step-by-step, and effective approach, McKinsey suggests. Firstly, they should monitor local indicators of public health and government regulations to keep up-to-date with the latest policies; and then analyse the employees’ willingness to travel. Most importantly, travel providers need to stay ahead of changes to government safety guidelines by conducting thorough research by three months of buffer time – which allows time for preparation and response tactics.

Drawing from McKinsey’s analysis and advice, travel companies should establish strong connections with top decision-makers to gain insights on consumer needs – and then evaluate key points of their model to make necessary shifts to new situations e.g. airlines altering their business class schemes to appeal to high-end leisure travellers. When the travel sector begins to recover, its providers should focus primarily on meeting health and safety compliance requirements to gain customer trust. Lastly, they should streamline their operations to quickly deal with disruptions, such as cancellations, capitalizing on opportunities for cross-industry collaboration to enable more resource sharing.

Make clients’ needs a top priority

Margaret Mastrogiacomo, Executive Vice President at Next Guest proposed a COVID-19 hotel recovery plan. While the plan is centered on hotels, it can easily be generalised to the travel industry. She posits a three-phased approach as follows: While Travel is on Pause, Initial Rise in Travel Demand, and Travel Demand Strengthens. Her tactics for the Initial Rise in Travel Demand stage include aligning marketing and revenue management strategies, implementing a flexible cancellation policy, focusing on packages and offers, and making loyalty members a priority. When the Travel Demand stage is reached, the marketing efforts should shift towards the right demographics and feeder markets with the right branding. Her full recovery strategy can be found in her eBook.

Marry cutting-edge technology with hyper-personal service

The underlying ethos of ROLZO is to sustain the art of creating meaningful travel experiences with extraordinary service despite how hard the situation might be. We marry cutting-edge technology with hyper-personal service to redefine leisure and business travel for the ‘new normal’. 

“As the coronavirus pandemic has swept the travel industry, we have been working relentlessly to restore traveller confidence, preparing for a future where safety, flexibility, and efficiency become key markers of meaningful journeys.” 

Tom Ripert, Founder and CEO at ROLZO

We acknowledge that technology makes car travel truly effortless – ROLZO Business demonstrates the company’s increased focus on helping businesses manage the evolving mobility needs of their global clients. It gives businesses more control over their customers’ travels by allowing them to book and manage car rentals and chauffeur services in real-time with unprecedented simplicity. In addition, our 24/7/365 personal service adds a much needed human touch to our client experience, which works to respond to client requests, reassure them and reboost their confidence in such testing times. 

ROLZO demonstrates its desire to support the travel industry by working with highly-vetted and hand-picked local providers, helping some of the hardest-hit local economies get business in a time when travelling has been reduced to a minimum. ROLZO is determined to safeguard the true meaning of exceptional travel and service in a COVID-SAFE travelling environment.

Insights

What is the role of AI in the future of mobility?

The mere mention of AI elicits a response of awe and curiosity. For those who are enthusiastic or involved in the automotive industry, it stirs up their imagination like no other. The interplay between AI and mobility introduces an entirely new perspective on matters of driving and the more ambitious projects start coming to result, each element is turned towards a new world of possibilities.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is the study of making smart machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. The fundamentals of AI can be said to be established by a legendary British computer scientist Alan Turing; Turing tried to find out the possibility of making machines think. The field of AI has exploded with so many new questions, changing definitions and innovations, bringing academic and business individuals together on several projects of tremendous potential. Once no longer confined to science fiction movies, novels, and research papers, artificial intelligence is now becoming a significant asset to society’s growth.

Changing the world of motoring

Paired with the world of mobility and motoring, AI is bound to change the industry. One of AI’s powerful applications, machine learning, is the subject of focus of many prominent researchers and engineers in the automotive industry. Thus, this article briefly explores their recent work and projects. Machine learning provides systems with the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without the assistance of a human programmer. Hence, machine learning has already become, if not only, an important foundation for many AI-projects in the automotive industry e.g. autonomous driving. A recent report predicts the growth of the automotive AI industry at a rate of nearly 40% as it is set to reach $15.9 billion by 2027.

Behind the driving scenes, AI will impact the way cars are made. In 2018, Kia, a South Korean automotive manufacturer, introduced the Hyundai Vest Exoskeleton (H-VEX) – a wearable robot for both protecting and strengthening workers in assembly lines. The machine automatically adjusts the level of strength for workers when they are working overhead, reducing neck pressure and work-related accidents. In the same year, Hyundai Motoring Group has announced that it’s carrying out initiatives in three areas of robotics, namely: wearable robots, service robots, and micro-mobility. Besides, there are Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) which transports materials around without human assistance, and this includes painters and welders. Their machine-learning processes help them to identify errors and adjust their operation accordingly, thereby rendering the car manufacturing process efficient, safer and cheaper. 

Innovative applications

And then, there are driver monitoring systems. These implementations are employed to combat rising road accidents and fatalities through assessment of the driver’s state and determining autonomous control of the vehicle. For instance, revolutionary Affectiva Automotive AI analyses both face and voice to see if the driver is drowsy, agitated, or any other distraction that could put the driver’s life at risk. It operates through these following stages: monitor levels of driver fatigue, monitor levels of driver distraction, address the semi-autonomous vehicle handoff challenge and enhance fleet management. The handoff challenge is when the AI senses it must take control of the vehicle when the driver is in an impaired state and backs off when the driver regains alertness. Fleet management helps the driver to be alert and prompt through real – warnings as well as supplying data to fleet managers to optimise training efforts and encouraging safe driving.

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) is another major player in merging prime car safety and AI. Designed to keep the driver safe while driving or parking, ADAS communicate through a human-machine interface and mainly uses electrical technology. Tesla’s Autopilot, introduced in 2015, is a fine example of a fully-functioning ADAS. It offers features such as lane centring, self-parking, adaptive cruise control and the ability to call the car from a parking spot or a garage. With such a system, the driver’s burden for safety and responsibility is easily removed, thereby enhancing the sense of security and maximising driving pleasure. 

Vehicular autonomy elevated

No other topic than full vehicular autonomy has generated a more fiery debate – it implies trusting the vehicle in itself to drive like a human without any kind of assistance, a host of legal difficulties and potential to revolutionize transportation services. This field was most anticipated and desired by those who are involved in developing the bridge between AI and the automotive industry. Employed using machine learning, a self-driving car is fitted with cameras, communication systems and sensors to gather data and then makes decisions based on the data. Waymo, a company owned by Google, carries out autonomous driving projects and experiments. Their self-driving cars offer a unique and unconventional experience: it’s usually described as “ghost-riding”. Recently, the company ushered in a newer generation of the system which detects pedestrians and stop signs hundred of metres up the road. The future of autonomous driving sounds exciting and promising but the challenge today lies in the fact that self-driving vehicles need an enormous amount of training in data gathering and analysis and dealing with complex novel road situations in order to fully realize its autonomy.

State-of-the-art driving assistance

Thanks to the advanced natural language abilities of AI, the in-vehicle infotainment systems is highly operable via simple voice commands and hand gestures – for instance, in 2019, a startup firm Audioburst has developed an AI-driven infotainment system that creates a personalized audio feed of news, ads, podcasts, music etc. The system indexes millions of audio segments per day and caters the information according to your tastes, understanding and recognising your trademark voice commands. Similarly, Berlin-based startup German Autolabs invented a digital AI assistant which enables drivers to safely use messaging, navigation, calling or music apps while driving via natural language and gesture recognition technology. 

Towards a bright driving future?

As briefly covered, the emerging fields of AI and mobility remains an attractive prospect for many bright minds involved in the automotive industry. They expect these prototypical ideas to change the landmark of meaningful driving experience. Nevertheless, the application of AI to vehicles has been surrounded by controversy, as many citizens fear that computers’ response to road hazards is not accurate enough. As new technologies improve, more people would ideally rely on AI to ensure their comfort and safety.

Insights

The great travel rebound

As of now, the coronavirus pandemic has gravely affected the tourism industry. Even London’s tourism industry is set to plummet to a new low, warns Sadiq Khan. For those who routinely take trips as a part of their lifestyle or career, there is no doubt that their lives have been distressed.

However, with all of the time afforded by lockdown and temporary pauses, travel industry experts and businesses have hatched plans and initiatives to kickstart the tourism economy and once again, restore the age-long love of adventure.

A tinge of the past and a beam into the future

An April 2020 study conducted by the U.S Travel Association projected a 45% decline in travel industry revenues. Moreover, Visit Britain have forecasted a loss of 74% in visits (10.6 million) compared to the pre-COVID initial predicted number which is 42.1 million visits. 

Travel agencies and committees are rethinking of a bounce-back from a depressive slump of numbers and visits. They took this as an opportunity to reconsider their system and allow more time to explore new options and avenues to gain better results. As the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. Greece has observed a boom in domestic tourism, thus local businesses were remaining a lot more positive about their future.

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby shines a light on the situation that his company is more than ready to be the world’s leader in aviation when things are back to normal. Utilizing its unique strategy, Scott remarked that his company is in a great spot to “lead the industry when demand for air travel returns.”

The road to recovery

The moment when vaccines become widely available to citizens, travel bookings are bound to soar. After all, the inner desire for travel cannot be contained for too long. The Future Hospitality Summit, which takes place on the 26th October at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is a worldwide convention, inviting as many as 100-plus speakers from over 150 nations to discuss and tackle hospitality challenges. 

Their stated objective is to bring industries and their experts together to charter the way of the rebuilding of the travel and tourism sector. In some ways, the world is taking action to ensure that we smoothly slot back in the beautiful bubble of holidaying.

In the same vein, The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) recently convened with tourism ministers hailing from the world’s foremost economies to plan how to recover the travel sector. They have ushered in strategies for the private and public sectors, such as organizing health regimens, testing, contact-tracing, air corridors etc. Experts remarked that the vital role of international tourism in the global economy will enable it to gain positive traction. 

Keeping business travel afloat

The world of business travel, with its great perks such as airline membership schemes, has been bruised by the impact of the pandemic. Business travellers are pushed to having to re-manage their schedules and make amends. The majority are now working from home in order to abide by government regulations and reduce their risk of catching the virus. Some companies have taken the step further of making homeworking permanent. 

Thus, business travel companies – including airline corporations – are finding new ways to balance work-travel demands and supporting the tourism industry. US airlines such as Alaska, American Airlines and Delta Airlines have already started cutting change fees for domestic flights. Travellers using private jets plan to continue their operations as they are ideal for swerving around busy crowds and traffic.

Hotels are taking strides to ease the difficulties of business travel too. For example, Hilton’s CEO Christopher Nassetta has revealed plans to convert unused rooms into offices for meetings. The company also announced a pilot program in the U.S. and the U.K. called Workspaces, which aims to provide office features at a day rate. Furthermore, luxury international hotel brand CitizenM launched a hotel subscription model for remote workers and digital nomads. 

Making your travel green-er and sustaining your happiness

Due to the effects of COVID-19, attention to sustainability has become sharper than ever. Daily CO2 emissions reduced by 17% due to decreased road congestion. Meanwhile, the global sustainable travel market is expected to achieve key growth by 2026.

It would be fair to say that sustainable travel is on the rise. In this sense, a survey carried out by Original Travel reflected travellers’ attitudes towards a desire for sustainable travel methods, such as reducing airborne travelling, opting for economy class, hitch-hiking, and liaising with eco-friendly travel agencies. As remote workers seek out open spaces, wildlife, and fresh air, journeys are likely to become more environmentally-friendly in 2021. For example, Airbnb predicts a trend in regenerative travel because customers may prefer to travel closer to their communities at an affordable price which also redistributes the economy and use of energy.  

Brett Tollmann, CEO of The Travel Corporation (TTC), asserted that sustainability is critical for the rejuvenation of travel business. He said: “Woven together through rich cultures, histories, wildlife and a natural beauty; our planet, our home, is something to embrace and discover.”

ROLZO’s cutting-edge approach

Here at ROLZO, the heart of our deep-seated philosophy is to strive for change and adaptation. We are dedicated to being a key player in the realm of luxury travel, thus we extend our concerns to how the industry has been negatively impacted by the pandemic.

We aim to support the industry in ways that secure its long-term growth. By placing our high-profile clients’ needs and concerns at the core of our business model, we are able to adapt in a chameleonic fashion to swift environmental changes. Our predictions for the post-COVID business travel economy remain positive as we discover new opportunities to elevate our clients’ journeys in cities around the world.

Newsroom

Your global travel news digest

As mobility experts, we pride ourselves in providing the most up-to-date information relating to your travel plans in line with the latest news and the local regulations. We believe you should always be prepared for the road ahead.

Aviation for all: The democratisation of air travel in the US

Drew Crawley, Chief Commercial Officer of American Express Global Business Travel, highlights key issues on getting business travel to take-off. He begins with a positive message – that America ushered in “aviation for all”, a means to provide millions of people to fly across the nation. Indeed, developments in airport technology and a competition charged by the digital revolution have halved the average cost of an airline ticket. 

However, COVID-19 threatens the fabric of this beautiful mission. Causing the airline costs to rise and diminishing route networks, airlines are increasingly facing pressure to meet customer demands. Drew stressed that by reviving business travel, the system that allows cheaper airline fares can function better and preserve connectivity. Governments in Singapore, China, and New Zealand have taken steps to enable business travel channels as well as easing restrictions. He ended on a high note – that “aviation for all” can begin its return once things return to normal.

European nations brace for winter lockdown

France, Germany and England have ordered a second lockdown in a bid to fight the second wave of COVID-19. According to the French president, the acceleration of the virus has puzzled predictions and analysis. Germany proceeded to shut bars, restaurants, and theatres from 2nd – 30th November, but schools stay open. 

London Heathrow witnessed a staggering number of airport traffic, presumably the majority of passengers looking to get away from the UK’s announced second lockdown on the 5th of November. Airlines such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have taken the initiative to allow passengers to change their flights to another date without incurring booking fees.

GBTA’s ambitious campaign to re-boost business travel

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has recently launched a campaign to raise public awareness on the importance of business travel to the global economy. “Ready. Safe. Travel.” aims to convene GBTA’s 9000 members and industry leaders to advocate and educate how vital the multi-trillion industry is to the job market and overall travel currency.

“As the largest association representing business travel, we are telling the story of how critical the industry is globally, in terms of revenue, jobs, and commerce, and leading the efforts to get business travel back on the path to recovery, safely and when the time is right.”

Dave Hilfman, Interim Executive Director of GBTA

Their three-part campaign focuses on:

  • Ready. – Encouraging government leaders to manage COVID-19 safety and resources to roll out the travel industry and save jobs. 
  • Safe. – Providing member training to ensure a safe return to travel.
  • Travel. – Highlighting the value of business travel to the world economy.

Saudi businesses switch to digital travel bookings

Due to the impact of the pandemic, Saudi business and corporate travel agencies are digitizing their booking platform. Seera Group, the largest travel agency in MENA region, launched a new platform called “elaa 3.0”, which features seamless booking modifications and real-time display of travel policy updates.

Abdulrahman Mutrib, Seera’s Executive Vice President and Global Technology Officer, remarked that faith in the corporate travel business is strong and Seera is exploring new avenues and investing in technology to meet new client demands. He also added that another barrier to restarting business travel is the divergence of governmental responses:

“Every single country has responded to this crisis differently. Other Gulf Cooperation Council countries (Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman) and the wider Middle East and North Africa region have more relaxed rules when it comes to international travel. Airlines like Etihad and Emirates restarted as early as June”

Israel gradually reopens domestic and business tourism

The Israel Ministry of Tourism has designated the resort city of Eilat and the hotels area of Ein Bokek-Hamei Zohar at the Dead Sea as ‘green tourism islands’. Tourists travelling to green zones will need to present their up-to-date proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from the virus.

The Knesset Legislative Committee discussed on the 2nd November about the logistics of proving your COVID-19-free status. They agreed that if the COVID-19 rates are low, they will pass a bill which permits the reopening of Eilat and the Dead Sea. In parallel, the country is also opening business travel channels to foreign nationals under specified conditions. Foreign business travellers will be required to submit a travel request to enter Israel for business purposes, provided that their work will contribute to the nation’s economy. 

Explore ROLZO’s curated selection of airport transfers at Tel Aviv.

Should you have any question about an upcoming trip or need support on travel, please contact our dedicated team who will be able to advise you. Our team is working daily with experts and local authorities to ensure that you reach your destination quickly and safely.

Newsroom

It’s time to re-think lockdown travel options

The pandemic has caused many disruptions in everyday life, and travel is by all means one such area that had to adapt in order to survive. For example, the air travel industry has seen a drop in air passengers from 4.7 billion in 2019 to only 2.2 billion this year. This indicates that increasingly more passengers are travelling domestically, replacing long-haul, high-contact journeys with regional trips that are accessible by car.

According to the Department for Transport, over 80% of all trips in the UK are made by car, van or taxi, which demonstrates the central role of the automobile in facilitating mobility needs. Nevertheless, car ownership has become increasingly inefficient due to high depreciation, insurance costs, road tax, and car-free zones in major cities. Consequently, reputable car rental companies, including ROLZO, have taken it upon themselves to provide a safe, flexible, and reliable travel solution tailored to passengers’ needs. This article explores the various factors that make car rentals superior options to taxis, buses, and trains and why you should start considering them.

Reduced physical contact

If we think about how the Coronavirus is transmitted, namely directly from person-to-person, it becomes easy to understand the benefits of travelling in a rented car.

“Remember that most of the transmission of the coronavirus is respiratory — it’s not through inanimate objects,” says Dr. Thomas Russo, chief of the division of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo. Therefore, car rentals automatically remove the risk of contamination from sharing the same air space with dozens of strangers.

Nevertheless, if you are sharing a rented car with unfamiliar passengers, for example on a business trip with associates from different cities, transmission risk can be minimised by wearing face coverings. Car sharing between friends or family members can also be an intelligent solution to reduce the cost of the rental.

Stringent cleaning and disinfecting procedures

Although privately owned cars also allow for minimal physical contact, face coverings are rarely worn by the driver and other passengers. What’s more, privately owned cars are scarcely cleaned and disinfected as often as rentals.These factors combined make us question and doubt the protection provided by our own vehicle. 

ROLZO promises a COVID-SAFE  traveling environment for their passengers, with cars being completely disinfected before and after each booking. 

“We use best-in-class cleaning practices to maintain the highest standards of hygiene and make every journey safe. Every touchpoint is sanitised and all cars are completely disinfected before and after each booking. Vehicles come equipped with hand sanitiser located in the central armrest, and – in major European cities – with a protective screen acting as a health safeguard. Moreover, our chauffeurs wear face-masks at all times and are checked for signs of COVID-19 twice a day. Travellers’ safety is ROLZO’s top priority.”

Tom Ripert, Founder and CEO at ROLZO

When it comes to public transportation including trains and buses, a similar level of safety is nearly impossible to reach by public transport operators. Although additional measures may be introduced during peak-time traffic, it is unrealistic to completely sanitise the vehicle each time a traveller joins or leaves the journey. 

The reassuring human touch of an expert team

Apart from the occasional cleaner you may spot in train stations, there is no way of knowing how COVID-proof public transport truly is. In the absence of cues indicating to a sanitised environment, travellers’ fear of infection restricts their journeys to essential commutes. 

Moreover, passengers fail to find reassurance when travelling in a regular  taxi. Whether the car was disinfected prior to your journey is something of a hopeful wish and the driver may not always be equipped to answer all safety related questions, such as what product was used for sanitising.

So how can car rentals boost traveller confidence during such uncertain times? As mobility experts, we pride ourselves in providing the most up-to-date information relating to your travel plans in line with the local regulations. Should you have any question about an upcoming trip or need support on travel, please contact our dedicated team who will be able to advise you. Our team is working daily with experts and local authorities to ensure that you reach your destination quickly and safely.

“If our clients request a certain brand of sand sanitiser, we will place it for them in the armrest compartment of their vehicle. If they enquire about which cleaning products we use and how often we use them, we offer transparent answers to reassure them at every step.”

Tom Ripert, Founder and CEO of ROLZO

With a ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 infections and winter upon us, travel options have become more limited than ever. Finding a travel solution that combines uncompromised safety with convenience is a real quest, which is hardly satisfied by public transport providers, taxis, and even your own car – depending on how it’s maintained and cleaned. Car rentals are no longer your go-to place for foreign business and leisure travel. Instead, they are bound to become an indispensable means of everyday transportation for a growing majority.

Insights

Rent or buy – What does the future of car sales look like?

Whether it’s cars, food, or music, on-demand services have spread into many areas of our lives. Where once you would have had to own something in order to make use of it, technology – and our society as a whole – have shifted to a point where oftentimes, the most that you need to do to access a service or a product is make an account for it.

Subscribing to experiences not objects

On-demand services have shifted the landscape of many industries during the past few decades. While some may have once argued that the likes of Netflix or Spotify wouldn’t last, it now seems undeniable that people are invested in the benefits of a subscription service, rather than buying songs or movies outright. 

It’s not just media that people are deciding to subscribe to rather than own, however – the automotive industry has seen new services arise that grant customers a range of benefits for a monthly fee. From additional features like in-car WiFi or a companion app like Porsche’s to being able to drive a different car each month, numerous options exist for those that are interested in experiencing cars in a different way.

Drop of value

There are, of course, many benefits to not having to own a car yourself. For one, deprecation in value becomes a non-issue when you don’t have to think about buying or selling the vehicle in the first place. A high-end supercar might be valuable at first, and within the first few years – or miles – of its life, you can get a decent amount of your money back if you decide to sell it. But the longer you keep a hold of it, the more its value goes down, exponentially decreasing until you get more for it being scrapped than from selling it. According to Mr de Groot from Dataforce: “People are also moving away from owning as they want to reduce their capital risk and do not want to deal with expensive repairs.” 

This doesn’t even include the time spent trying to find the right car and the right place to buy it from, nor the time spent finding someone to buy your aging sports car when you no longer need or want it. A recent study reveals that the global car rental market is expected to witness a significant amount of growth over the years. Additionally, car registrations in Western Europe have decreased by roughly 80% by April 2020. The impact of COVID-19 pandemic has forced mobility industry players to reconsider ground transportation options as car purchases have declined compared to previous years. 

There is a cultural spin to this topic as well. In Western societies especially in the UK, people are increasingly becoming less dependent on cars and open to car hires for occasional trips due to changes in lifestyle, cultural thinking and city planning. In contrast, in Eastern Europe, inhabitants there are much more conservative about car ownership – because of their view that cars are meant to be functional rather than being used as status symbols.

Meanwhile, simply making a monthly payment to drive a Ferrari instead of buying it removes this concern entirely. You can have a car of your choice to drive for as long as the contract permits, whether you want to take the wheel to a Mercedes or a Lamborghini. And, when you decide that you’d like to change what you’re driving, the issue of selling the old car and buying a new one can be skipped for simply filling out some forms to organise a different vehicle. Your focus doesn’t have to be on the car’s shifting value – instead, it can simply be on the experience that comes with driving it.

Spoilt for choice

Variety is an important factor to consider when deciding whether to buy a car or to rent one from a subscription service. If you want to drive a Ferrari Portofino past the coast one month, then go across a mountain route with the rugged strength of Range Rover’s selection of SUVs, subscription services provide the means to do so. A different vehicle can be delivered to you as often as the contract allows – whether you’re looking for a sports car, convertible, SUV or executive – giving you a wide and varied range of experiences available each year. Without having to own a car, you’re not tied down to a single make or model and can change at your leisure.

But what about car ownership?

Owning a car yourself does still have its advantages over subscribing, however. Chief among them is the freedom that owning a car grants. Subscription models and similar services offer you a wide variety of different cars to drive at your leisure, with the ability to exchange one for another at regular intervals.

However, there may be limits to how many miles you are allowed to rack up while the car is in your possession. While the exact limit will vary between services, going over them is likely to incur extra charges on top of what is already being paid that month. This is likely not a concern for those that can reliably gauge where they will be travelling and when – such as those commuting in the car, or those only intending to make a single journey. But if you cover a lot of ground during the months, it may be that the limits imposed on you hinder that. 

On the other hand, owning a car yourself affords you the freedom to do with your vehicle as you wish. While you are limited to what you can afford to buy and maintain, the only limits that are set on what you can do with it are the ones you – and the law – set. You can take it wherever you wish, and drive it as much as you feel like doing so. Even if you wish to make modifications to the car itself – whether it is a cosmetic change such as paint, or one to performance – it is entirely within your rights to do so. 

Going your own way

Ultimately, the decision rests on what your lifestyle is like, and whether a car you own or a subscription to a service that grants you permission to drive theirs would be more beneficial. Each option available to you provides a different set of benefits, each suited to a different lifestyle. The most practical option would be to weigh up what is offered by both options and make a decision based on that – whether you prefer the freedoms offered by subscribing or ownership.

Thomas Furcher from McKinsey & Company hits the nail on its head when he says:

“There is no model that fits to all customers. What today’s customer wants is a car purchase process that is personalised and fun.”

Insights

The future of travelling is immersive

immersive travel

Technology plays a big part in our lives – from using our household appliances, mobile phones to communicate with our peers to burrowing your heads down onto computers in the stock market trading centres. When it comes to the world of travel, however, it’s a different ball game. In an industry where client satisfaction relies on experience, immersive travel has the potential to elevate our journeys to the next level.

What is immersive travel?

The concept of immersive travel is slowly forming into a real tangible element in the industry. Immersive is defined as noting or relating to digital technology or images that actively engage one’s senses and may create an altered mental state. Immersive technologies have a meaningful impact on enticing traveller’s wanderlust. An application of this is using virtual tours to increase hotel bookings. This is because customers want better insight and feel of the hotels’ facilities. For example, Google Maps Live View is as immersive as it can get; it aims to simplify the clutter of locational information and present what is necessary to the traveller, especially if you are in unfamiliar surroundings.

A peek into the Future Tourism Experience

In April 2018, a convention took place at Kempton Park Racecourse in Surrey, England. The convention was attended by many travel experts and enthusiasts and their goal was to explore the new tides of customer demand and supply using immersive technologies. 

Kevin Blair, CEO of Atmos VR Ltd and first speaker of the event, remarked that the future for UK visitor attractions is set to witness roughly 360 million visitors by 2022 due to overseas tourism and ‘holidaying at home’. He also added that when travellers arrive in the UK, they can experience a wide range of technologies including augmented reality (AR) and projection mapping, which introduces new dynamics to their whole perception.

Tom Evans, another keynote speaker and Executive Producer/Business Director of Happy Finish spoke about being part of a pioneering creative agency that seeks to use AI, CGI, VR, AR etc. to enhance tourist experience in museums and venues of interest. For instance, they have worked with the Shard to combine Oculus Rift VR headset with motion simulation technology to create the world’s highest virtual reality slide action. In retrospect, the Future Tourism Experience lent us an impressive array of visionary projects that will certainly impact the tourism industry.

What now?

In midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shaken the travel world and the confidence of many globetrotters, it is no doubt that the tourism sector is worst inflicted. However, one may say it’s a blessing in disguise. Many businesses are taking this new approach to re-define the future growth and tourist experience in a better way. An aspect of introducing this new vision can involve using immersive technologies as a way to quickly regain customer enjoyment and at the same time, rebounding them into a new world of thrills and excitement.

Interestingly, the pandemic poses a new challenge to the innovators in immersive technologies. On the 26th October this year, a live-streamed summit will be convened at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to discuss how the travel world could be boosted again using gadgets and systems. Involving three prominent experts, they aim to shed light on how technology can be used to reduce COVID-19 anxieties and retain the spirit of adventure.

Travelling in a Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) refers to a computer-generated simulation where users can interact within an artificial three-dimensional environment using electronic devices. This innovative technology has given birth to virtual travel marketing. The whole agenda of virtual travel marketing is to give customers a close-to-reality feeler in learning about destinations, landmarks, attractions, and hotels. This allows the technology to align very closely with authentic travel experiences, which then can increase in-home enjoyment, particularly at the time of a hardship such as the pandemic. Lynn Kaniper, president of Dana Communications, said: “The ability to dream of vacation provides hope and inspiration for the future. Virtual travel marketing provides businesses with the advantage of allowing their customers to have an immersive experience by connecting them directly with their products and services.”

In the meantime, Amazon has launched a new platform called Amazon Explore, an interactive live streaming service that allows you to learn, shop, and discover new places all from the comfort at your home. It even offers virtual classes and sightseeing tours; travellers can re-create their own Hong Kong adventure by strolling through the city’s streets and learn a bit of Cantonese.

The promise of Augmented Reality

An intimate sister of VR, augmented reality (AR) is all about expanding the real physical world, adding layers of digital information upon it. According to the Franklin Institute, augmented reality technology is one of the biggest and hottest trends.  In Singapore, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has enacted an initiative which aims to build an enormous database of content for businesses to promote destinations in the country. For example, business, via AR, can showcase potential visitors a preview of their products and services, mapping out environments such as hotel rooms. This facilities higher customer confidence thus resulting in more bookings and purchases.

Back in May, French-based augmented reality startup KaviAR developed ‘the world’s first augmented reality teleportation app’. KaviAR Gate offers travellers the chance to travel to any destination with one click of a button. KaviAR Tech CEO and co-founder Michel Ruiz asserted that the application serves for purposes more than recreation; it can be used for educational and commercial agendas. Ruiz also remarked that the future of AR is bright. He earnestly advised businesses and companies to continue creating new solutions, solutions that can usher in a new era of the hyper-technological world. 

Merge the real and the imaginary – Mixed Reality

MR had a modest debut in 1994 and was first discussed by academics Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino. Their work contributed to the paradigm shift where experiencing reality is profound; MR allows you to break down basic concepts between real and imaginary, gifting users a new perspective on how to live life. Due to the novelty of MR, the number of projects launched by businesses is not as large as VR’s and AR’s. However, there have been recent developments and launches which sets a precedent for future innovation. In China, SenseTime has employed MR technology to enhance visitations of the country’s eminent landmarks. With its strong presence in Asian markets including Mainland China and Japan, their software pioneered the art of enjoying impressive scenes. Tourists can indulge in the beauty of Hangzhou WestLake and Xiang Lake Running Trail, supported by state-of-the-art AR and VR navigation and interactive features.

Final notes on the future of travel

Beyond 2020, the future of travel springs into the minds of many people, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic which made them reflect on their travel experiences. The lockdown might have temporarily held travellers in their spot but not their hunger for adventure. With countless global initiatives and projects looking to boost the travel economy to where they left off, technology innovators are bursting with energy and passion to help alleviate the discomfort of many passionate travellers.

In addition, not only will immersive technologies radically change society at large, but deep learning and AI technology are emerging as components to optimize and improve the art of travel and transportation. For instance, deep learning will help brands harvest for new customers looking to take advantage of packages and deals, adjust advertising in real-time, and better predict which places will be opened or closed in response to trends. Certainly, there are many forays into how adventure can be re-defined to extraordinary measures. There has never been a better time for people of this millennium to effortlessly curate their own palette of cherishable travel memories with the aid of advanced technology. The future of exceptional tourism experiences lie on the loom; it’s a matter of utilizing cutting-edge technology to cater to the traveller’s most urgent needs and wishes in the modern age.

Journeys

Discover UAE’s endless driving possibilities

With beautiful cities that stand as gems in the desert, seas of sand that stretch for miles in every direction, mountains that dominate the horizon, and gorgeous views below them, the United Arab Emirates presents you with endless driving possibilities. Whether you seek to immerse yourself in luxury or nature’s vast beauty, it delivers nothing short of brilliance. Journey on the roads through the land’s dazzling touchstones of luxury and nature.

Jebel Hafeet

At over 1240 metres tall, the Emirates’ one of the highest peaks offers breathtaking sights. By standing that high up, it’s easy to get lost in admiring the view from atop Jebel Hafeet, in the auburn glow of the setting sun or the blazing heat of the day. In addition, miles upon miles of open road lay out in the scenery, carving its ascent into the mountain’s face. Whether you’re tearing across it in a supercar or trekking over it with an offroader, Jebel Hafeet’s reputation makes it one of the UAE’s most prolific drives. The roads of Jebel Hafeet sprinkle in from the inland oasis city of Al Ain. Naturally known as the Garden City, Al Ain boasts a score of gorgeous palm groves and natural springs. Al Ain and Jebel Hafeet together is a perfect combination for an adventurous desert journey drive and a relaxing walk through the city afterwards.

ROLZO’s recommendation: A Lamborghini Huracan Spyder is perfect for this moment to shine black chrome on the road; or a Range Rover Sport SVR to impose your dominance over the terrain.

Liwa

From Jebel Hafeet bypassing the cities of Al Ain and Abu Dhabi and then taking the road (E65) south, therein lies Liwa Oasis – often referred to as Rub’ Al Khali, or “the Empty Quarter”. The desert holds a sight to inspire awe in any thrill-seeker. A wide continuous area of empty road, carving a path across the landscape, an open invitation to fill the air with the thundering roar of a supercar’s engine. It’s hard to tell which is more blistering – the heat of the sand, or the speeds you’ll be tearing across the tarmac with.  Moreover, the oasis is not far off from an esteemed and stunning resort: Anantara Qasr al Sarab Desert. Book a night or two and rejuvenate your spirits with its outdoor pool accompanied by sun loungers and palm trees, or satisfy your hunger at the resort’s prestigious Al Waha restaurant which serves the finest Arabic cuisine.

ROLZO’s recommendation: Ideally, a Bentley Bentayga is suitable for this drive. The Moreeb dunes complement its stylish design; and its empowering technology propels you deeper into the intimate secrets of the oasis.

Corniche Road

Approximately 240km away from Liwa, Corniche Road is Abu Dhabi’s crowning tarmac glory. Pristine blue waters meet the golden sands of the beach alongside the road, set against the majestic Abu Dhabi skyline. Towering buildings line the route, casting shadows onto the road below. It is a striking contrast of natural beauty and modern architecture, and a pleasure to cruise through.  Showcasing a 8km stretch of top venues such as world-class restaurants and cafes, the road also harbours a side ravishing gem: the Corniche Beach. The turquoise waters, gorgeous views of Lulu Island, and palm trees comprises the magnificence of the beach; after a half day’s worth of on-the-road travel, take a stroll alongside the beachline and draw in the urban majesty of Abu Dhabi. Alternatively, partake in a grand organized tour of the city, including the sights of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Qasr Al Watan Palace in your itinerary.

ROLZO’s recommendation: A Rolls-Royce Dawn matches the grandeur of the metropolis and provides you with the pleasure to set the road ablaze with awe.

Fujairah

A 2 hour and a half drive from Abu Dhabi, the route between the city and the eastern emirate of Fujairah offers many opportunities to take breaks and admire UAE’s beauty. Drop off at Dubai for a brief spontaneous luxury shopping trip or drive down for a further 130km to touch down at Fujairah. Fujairah is the pinnacle of Arabian history. Holding a lineage of history that goes back to the Iron Age, mud-brick Al-Bidyah Mosque heralds awe-inspiring engineering and artistic features. In parallel, the oldest fort in UAE, Fujairah Fort is a time-capsule of the monarchic history. Park your car and stroll around the historic panorama, stirring your inner archaeologist and search for the meaningful past. Smooth roads and towering heights make Fujairah an ideal drive for those seeking the scenic route. The eastern emirate provides spectacular views of the land below as you journey along the road. 

ROLZO’s recommendation: In the front seat of a or behind the wheel of an SUV, perhaps a Porsche Cayenne, the view from atop the mountainside alone provides a magnificent accompaniment to a thrilling journey.

Khasab

Situated at a 2-hour 45-minute drive from Fujairah, port city Khasab shines its glory in northern Oman’s Musandam Peninsula. A checkpoint in between the whole journey, Ras Al Khaimah (82 km away from Khasab) is a perfect spot for marvellous historical explorations and winding down at its elegant gulf beaches.  Journeys alongside the crystalline waters of Khasab’s fjords are simply stunning. The “Norway of the Middle East’s” awe-inspiring views contrast between the sprawling landscape and sparkling waters.  In addition, breakaway at Khasab’s 4-star Musandam Resort. Featuring chic-cool quarters connected by a sublime restaurant, a spa & a diver centre, the resort is an ideal shelter from the Arabian heat and enduring desert drives.

ROLZO’s recommendation: Surround yourself with the brilliance of nature, while sprinting across miles of winding tarmac in a sports car, preferably a Ferrari 488 Spider or a Bentley Continental GTC.

Jebel Jais Mountain Road

Approximately one hour drive from Khasab, Jebel Jais Mountain Road rivals some of the world’s best scenic drives and proposes a chance to realize your dream desert excursion. Boasting more than 20 kilometres of open road, the ascent provides an exhilarating experience for both sightseers and motoring enthusiasts. Carved into the UAE’s tallest mountain – standing at a staggering 1900 metres high – the mountain road is dotted with viewing points for you to stop at and catch your breath. It’s well worth taking the chance to – the experience of looking at the world beneath you from such a height is astonishing. 

ROLZO’s recommendation: Sail through the backdrop in grace with a Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster or cut your journey short speedily with an Audi R8.

Extra tip! Jebel Jais Mountain Road has a center for outdoor activities including ziplining, hiking, and sightseeing. Spare a moment to partake in the world’s longest zipline (up to speeds of 120kph-150kph) and fill your treasure’s worth of thrills. 

Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah’s long stretches of road make for an excellent jaunt outside of Dubai for the daring motorist. Situated at a distance of roughly 56 km from Jebel Jais Mountain Road, the destination itself is packed with luxury for when you’re finished sprinting across the paths cutting through the landscape, from the Khatts Springs to its prestigious array of five-star hotels such as Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa, Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, and The Cove Rotana Resort. The northernmost emirate is more than just its urban majesty; Ras Al Khaimah is an adventure hub of the UAE. Like Jebel Jais Mountain, the emirate has a marvellous range of outdoor activities that involves water-skiing, golfing, karting, and many more. 

ROLZO’s recommendation: Opt for a Lamborghini Urus to accompany your adventurous side.

With glamorous modernity and sublime beauty, the UAE provides a wealth of driving experiences. ROLZO’s fleet of luxury cars at your fingertips will instantly elevate your journeys, whether you cruise through the city in the comfort of an executive, or tear through desert routes from behind the wheel of an SUV.