x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

You might imagine there are few takers for a 26-day, round-the-world holiday package priced at a cool US$105,000 per person. Think again.

When the luxury travel service Abercrombie & Kent launched the package in 2013, for travel in October this year, it sold out in just 15 days. It was put together by Geoffrey Kent, A&K’s founder and chief executive, who organises and leads one such trip every year. Photo courtesy Abercrombie & Kent
When the luxury travel service Abercrombie & Kent launched the package in 2013, for travel in October this year, it sold out in just 15 days. It was put together by Geoffrey Kent, A&K’s founder and chief executive, who organises and leads one such trip every year. Photo courtesy Abercrombie & Kent

You might imagine there are few takers for a 26-day, round-the-world holiday package priced at a cool US$105,000 per person. Think again.

When the luxury travel service Abercrombie & Kent launched the package in 2013, for travel in October this year, it sold out in just 15 days. It was put together by Geoffrey Kent, A&K’s founder and chief executive, who organises and leads one such trip every year.

The group is limited to 50 people who will travel on a private jet, taking in some of the most exotic and remote places on Earth, including a safari on the Amazon River, Easter Island, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar and Monaco.

Now the bespoke travel service, which has 50 offices worldwide, has launched a boutique in Abu Dhabi, its first in the region. It plans to offer the same level of service in the UAE, where it is looking to tap latent demand from big family groups, its fastest growing segment.

“You cannot Google what we sell here,” says Mr Kent, referring to the boutique in Etihad Towers that has VIP suites where clients can discuss their travel plans discreetly and customise their requirements. Guests can also get information from one of A&K’s 50 offices worldwide with the Skype-to-store feature. Private home visits can also be arranged.

Mr Kent, who was inducted into the British Travel and Hospitality Industry Hall of Fame in 2012, claims to have a roster of clients that includes some of the world’s most powerful people – Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, David Rockefeller, Prince Charles, the Clintons, Sting, Leonardo Di Caprio and Oprah Winfrey – to name a few.

“I took Bill Gates on his first adventure, on his first trip to Africa. We all know what happened then. That trip changed Africa as Gates committed most of his wealth to philanthropy,” Mr Kent says.

For those who are not on this year’s exclusive around-the-world trip list, A&K plans to offer itineraries from Abu Dhabi soon. “We are in talks with Royal Jet and will do regular private jet programmes once a month and one great trip a year,” he adds.

siyer@thenational.ae