London’s luxury rental flats prove popular with Arab visitors

Short-let stays are becoming more and more popular in London these days, says a spokesman for Harrods Estates Agents - a leading luxury rental provider in the city.

This five-bedroom rental flat at Cumberland House in Kensington, one of London’s most prestigious areas, is close to luxury shops, most notably Harrods. Courtesy of Harrods Estates, London
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LONDON // As summer in Britain approaches, a prominent estate agent believes more Arab nationals will start seeking luxury rentals in the capital.

A spokesman for Harrods Estates Agents, one of the leading luxury rental providers in the city, said summer was one of the busiest times of year, especially for Middle Eastern visitors, with short-let stays becoming more and more popular.

“London continues to be a popular destination for residents of the UAE and wider Gulf region,” he said. “Many residents from the region have business and or family connections with London and may make multiple visits in any one year.

“The English summer is certainly the busiest time of the year with specific dates greatly dependent upon Ramadan, which this year [is set to] start on Sunday, June 29. As children will still be at school until Ramadan begins, we expect a peak in visits at the end of July and throughout August.”

Last year, Harrods Estates reported that 36 per cent of its purchasers and 26 per cent of tenants were from the Middle East.

Many turned to luxury rental flats rather than a hotel because of specific requests and standards.

“Many of our Middle Eastern clients have substantial residences in their home country. Frequently their expectation is for their London property to offer similar facilities and accommodation – enabling family and guest receptions to be kept distinguished from one another. This can obviously be difficult in a single hotel suite,” the spokesman said.

“A sense of privacy and security is also very important. This requirement has also given rise to an increase in enquiries about short-let apartments, as apartments, particularly those on upper floors and with their own concierge, may offer greater security.”

While apartments offered for rent by Harrods Estates were the property of private owners and not directly under the control of the estate agent, many were contained within large, serviced apartment blocks with 24-hour concierge and security.

The spokesman said that as many tenants liked the safety and convenience factors they returned year after year to the same buildings.

One short-term let now available at Harrods Estates is a five-bedroom apartment in Kensington at £8,000 (Dh49,499) a week with a minimum three-month rental.

The high footfall of returning GCC visitors to London, the spokesman said, was because the city remained a leading capital of business, commerce, culture and luxury retail.

“Many first visited the city as a child, with a family member, and have been multiple times. Therefore, the city has a familial feel.

“The luxury retail is also a huge draw, especially Harrods of course, and most visitors ideally want to be within easy walking distance.”