Nothing signifies leisure more than a long day at the beach. Elevating the beach experience to greater heights, Adel Ghazzawi and Munim Zawawi are bringing their own vision of high-end beach clubs to the global market. With their first Cove Beach located in Dubai, in an idyllic spot along the Arabian Sea, this dynamic duo have successfully created an exquisite leisure environment for locals and tourists alike. eniGma’s Bronwen Mehta spoke with Ghazzawi to learn about his and Zawawi’s dreams for the future of this fast-growing lifestyle brand.
With a breathtaking strip of private beach, three luxurious pools, a restaurant serving mouthwatering international cuisine curated by world class chefs, and a unique rosé lounge offering wine from Cove Beach’s very own French rosé chateau, Cove Beach Dubai offers something very different from the average beach club. Designed for both locals and tourists, this special beach club has a growing base of loyal customers who are eager to spend their leisure time there, whether to lounge by the turquoise pools, dine on fine food or dance into the night.
Explaining the vision at the core of what makes the Cove Beach experience different, co-founder Adel Ghazzawi recalls, “Both my partner and I travelled the world a lot, and from all of those experiences we realised that something was missing. When people think of beach clubs, they think of loud music, people getting wasted, partying and eating club sandwiches. We wanted to offer something different, a high-end beach club which is focused, not on the headcount, but on providing something elegant and classy; somewhere that you can take your friends or family.”
To Ghazzawi, “high-end” is a far cry from being expensive and exclusive. “When I say high-end, I don’t mean a specific group of people. It is not about being high-end from the customer end; it is about us providing the high-end experience,” he explains. Outlining why affordability is so essential for this luxurious lifestyle brand, Ghazzawi suggests, “From my perspective, first and foremost, I need to be willing to be a consumer of any of the businesses I get involved in. Fundamentally, I never want the customer to be taken advantage of. I want people to have as high-end an experience as possible, without feeling like they are paying for it with their soul. It is more important to me that people know that what they are getting is great value.”
Part of Ghazzawi’s conviction comes from the fact that, being a Dubai-grown brand, Cove Beach has to work extra hard in comparison to international brands in order to get the same recognition. “People won’t give me the benefit of the doubt that they would give an international brand, which means we have to work that little bit harder to make sure that people are happy. This is not a sprint for me, it’s a marathon. We are about building a long-term brand and a long-term customer base,” he explains.
Ghazzawi insists that creating a premier high-end beach club takes more than investing money, and that it is mostly about paying attention to every single detail, something which he is very committed to. “You can’t create a high-end experience if you aren’t willing to spend the time and energy on being disciplined and investing in your team. I am very picky and inflexible when it comes to our standards. We create incredible themed events; we’ve hired the best chefs; and we have an amazing drink menu. We spend a lot of time on the aesthetic and on making sure that our hygiene standards are unbeatable. We meticulously take care of every detail from the second you walk in the door, because surpassing customer expectations is very important to us,” he exclaims, adding, “My partner and I are very much on top of our business. Believe it or not, I know nearly every single customer at Cove Beach. I go to their tables and speak to them personally. I already know the good parts of the business, so I want customers to tell me something I don’t know; how I can make it better.”
While Cove Beach has proven to be a success in Dubai, it is by no means the end of Ghazzawi’s beach club ambitions. In fact, it is just the beginning. From the outset, Ghazzawi was determined not just to create one venue, but a fully-fledged lifestyle brand. He explains, “So the question was, how do we move this project from a beach club to a lifestyle brand? The way you do it, is through doing things others aren’t doing. For example, with our merchandising programme, I don’t want hats and t-shirts with Cove Beach on them, I want to do a collaboration with guests, creating something you would wear anywhere. Art is also a big thing for us at Cove Beach. I engaged with really cool artists to create huge pieces of art right in front of you on the walls of Cove Beach.”
From the offset, Ghazzawi’s vision extended beyond Dubai. He has been actively working on tapping into the high-end beach club scene across the world. “I could see that no one was trying to dominate the global market for high-end beach clubs. I want to become the de facto high-end beach club. When people hear high-end beach club, I want them to instantly think of Cove Beach,” says Ghazzawi. He is already making sizeable waves on this front, recently launching Cove Beach in Las Vegas, Dubai’s first lifestyle brand to be exported to the sparkling American city. “In Las Vegas, we transformed the Caesars Palace’s Venus Pool, completely elevating the market. Instead of inviting thousands of people to a pool, we are happy to invite just 800 people and create a really cool environment,” he explains enthusiastically.
Ghazzawi makes it clear, however, that he does not want to jump into just any market. He insists that finding the right location is essential, and his strategy for doing so is unorthodox. “I like to go against the grain. If you ask me whether I would rather be in a market like Saint Tropez or Montenegro, I would choose Montenegro. First off, I don’t want to be a seasonal business, and secondly, certain markets are saturated. I don’t want to be put in a position where I have to go against my brand identity just to compete in the market. I think there are a lot of cool places in the world that are up and coming, that people just don’t know about yet,” he states. Although he can’t give away too many details about future plans, Ghazzawi hints, “I am looking at Spain, Mexico, places in the US, Asia and even Egypt’s North Coast.”
While discussing these potential new Cove Beach locations with multiple entities around the world, Ghazzawi is making sure not to let his holistic high-end lifestyle brand be compromised. “The only way this works is if you stick to your brand no matter what. If you compromise on the brand in order to make that extra dollar of revenue, you’ve already lost the game before you’ve even started,” he concludes.
With Cove Beach Dubai and Cove Beach Las Vegas setting the bar high, leisure seekers will no doubt be looking out for more of these exquisite high-end beach clubs opening up in the most incredible locations around the world!