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Well-heeled Saudis turn to 'The Organisers' for sky high service  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 07/05/2014
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(MENAFN - Arab News) Ndon in the summer is a big draw for many families from saudi arabia and there are high expectations of the kind of experience to be enjoyed. meeting those expectations are the staff of the aptly named company the organisers. the 'can do' attitude of the team has made the company an indispensable feature in the lives of many high-net-worth individuals from saudi arabia the wider gulf region and internationally.the organisers' founder katie shapley has grown the company from scratch to the point where the team can deftly handle anything from organizing a private 'at home' dinner party with michelin star chef to managing the total refit and refurbishment of a ten-story office block. many of the clients have the kind of lifestyles where time is at a premium so when they travel or relocate whether for business or pleasure they want the hassle taken out of the process.looking first at the summer in london from a leisure perspective: first and of prime importance is of course location. for many gulf visitors that means just one place knightsbridge. it's ideal for shopping and entertainment and offers all the upscale character of one of the capital's most exclusive neighborhoods.shapley's team have the contacts and know-how to secure top rate properties for families to reside in over the summer. typically these are five bedroom residences; all the properties have 24-hour porter service and parking for the luxury cars that are often brought over for the trip. many families travel with staff and while the nanny is usually housed with the family it's common practice for the rest of the staff to be housed in a nearby apartment. securing the property however is just the start. when the families arrive in the uk they expect to be chauffeured from the airport and to walk into a fully staffed and beautifully prepared home preferably with dinner on the table. shapley explained that many families also appreciate the availability of their specially trained guides to show them the very best that london has to offer in terms of culture entertainment and shopping. parents with teenage children particularly like this service and many women from the gulf prefer to be accompanied by a female guide to ensure that moving around the city is hassle free and safe.ladies especially enjoy the access to private fashion viewings whether in the privacy of their homes or at exclusive boutiques in addition to the personal shopping services offered by the most exclusive stores such as harrods and harvey nichols.london is popular with visitors from the gulf countries shapley observes largely on account of its vibrant multi-national nature which allows people to soak up all the best of british culture while also finding plenty of their own cultural elements giving the comfortable feel of a home away from home. many visitors she remarks comment on how welcome they are made to feel in the uk.shapley has had to deal with some quite demanding requests. one couple wanted their children to experience all the elements of a traditional english christmas but in a private setting. with christmas eve fast approaching shapley found herself scouring the city for two reindeer a sleigh a clutch of elves and the all important father christmas — not the easiest task at the best of times! but she rose to the challenge and managed to have all the magic elements in place in the grounds of a five-star hotel fully realizing the dreams of the delighted family.another couple wanted their wedding planned down to the last tiny detail including — an elephant. no problem!the staff are used to being fleible but shapley admits that at times the 'capriciousness' of some of the clients can be testing. for example every last detail including clothing was organized for one family's holiday to the caribbean. at the very last moment there was a change of plan. a call came through: 'we want to go skiing instead." so there was no option for the staff but to take a deep breath — cancel everything and get everyone kitted out pronto with ski wear. shapley says such last minute changes of plan no longer faze her but admits that for new staff it can be a bit daunting at first.one of the services that the company provides is especially valued by couples who want their children to attend the very best independent schools in london. the waiting lists for these exclusive establishments are long with many children registered even prior to their birth. the organisers have good contacts with the leading schools and can arrange assessments for the child handle the paperwork and organize a schedule of viewings. if the child secures a place they will take over a myriad of tasks right down to sewing the name tapes on the school uniform. the team is also on hand to offer guidance and assistance in choosing university places in the uk.for parents who cannot accompany their children when they depart for their boarding school the company ensures that there is a friendly face waiting to greet them at the airport and has a designated contact person on hand to help out if support is needed.the company is used to handling refurbishments and staffing of homes for its international clientele and this service extends to luxury yachts.for international executives taking up a new post abroad the team are on hand to deal with the logistics of the move and reduce the stress on the family adjusting to the new environment.the corporate side of the business is expanding as clients put their trust in the team to staff their offices and in effect act as a private office alongside their core operation.confidentiality is a must and shapley says that it is a testimony to their reputation for keeping private matters private that most of their business comes by word of mouth and personal recommendation.when recruiting staff shapley says that above all she is looking for the right 'attitude'. 'i look for a willingness to give exemplary service" she says. success she says is 'about knowing the right people and being uncompromising about quality."she adds that looking at the bottom line is also a priority as it is common for companies when they learn that the client in question is from the gulf to triple the price. that won't work with shapley who says: 'i won't put up with that which is one of the reasons people like us so much."so what's on shapley's agenda today? well right now she is busy preparing for a summer party to be held in the grounds of a private country estate just outside london. the company is busy putting in cabling to cater for the live music and lighting in the marquees that will be dotted about the extensive lawns. all the guests will need to be chauffeured back and forth. dancing under the stars on an english summer evening: it's someone's dream and shapley and her team are going to make sure that everything is just perfect. email: [emailprotected]/*

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