5 Doris Greif
General Manager, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi
Responsible for the successful opening of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, the Dubai-based hospitality group’s first venture in the UAE capital, Doris Greif has continued to enjoy a long-standing reputation in the region.
With several general manger positions to her name, both in the Middle East and Asia, Greif has turned her attention to creating a successful ‘city within a city’ at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, making her one of the top hoteliers to watch throughout 2012.
Greif’s appointment as general manager of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers was announced in March 2010, making her the first female general manager in Abu Dhabi adding to her existing first female general manager in the Middle East status, during her tenure at Jumeirah Beach Club Resort & Spa.
Her hospitality journey has been varied as she gathered experience from around the globe, telling Hotelier Middle East: “I knew during my regional role (front office and revenue development for Hilton), when I travelled a lot and lived out of a suitcase, that I started missing the action of the operational role, being with your team, with your guests, and probably also a bit of stability — being grounded.”
It’s possible Greif’s love of operations comes from originally wanting to be a car mechanic, so it’s perhaps no surprise that her previous positions include general manager of Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Jumeirah HanTang in Shanghai, and chief operating officer — city operations for Dubai International Financial Centre to name a few.
During this period, Greif became known for unique initiatives such as launching the Middle East’s first hotel floor exclusively for women in association with Chopard at Jumeirah Emirates Towers and she is credited with helping position the hotel as the heart of the business district.
“Jumeirah Emirates Towers has unrivalled office spaces and unbelievable views in the heart of what is now Dubai’s business district. DIFC came only after Emirates Towers — so it was JET which made this area the heart of business in Dubai,” commented Greif during the 10-year anniversary of the property.
Currently, she is leading her team of more than 700 colleagues during the opening phase of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, a project she has headed up over the last two years, working with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and other partners to place the capital of the UAE firmly on the tourism map.
Her secret to success is ensuring a strong management team with a mix of skills sets, as Greif comments herself: “In the management team, we had a few direct transfers from different Jumeirah hotels, then we had some ‘returners’.
We also had six or seven colleagues who were brand new to Jumeirah and partly also to the Middle East. It was a very careful mix, because the key was to get the right personalities because the team has to click.
“More than anything, these 15 colleagues who really run the show have to get along. We all have different skills sets, we all have different personalities, but this team makes it or breaks it,” she added.
Article continues on next page ...