Experts agreed that security personnel should be courteous and trained for hospitality, as they are on-the-floor and part of the guest experience. Experts agreed that security personnel should be courteous and trained for hospitality, as they are on-the-floor and part of the guest experience.

MEET THE PANELLISTS: 

Manit Narang, vice president Middle East, Africa & India, VingCard Elsafe AS. Created in 1979, VingCard Elsafe provides electronic security solutions to the hospitality industry and has products installed in more than 39,000 properties worldwide, securing in excess of 6.5 million hotel rooms.

Alan Macmillan, director of security services, Transguard Group. The Transguard Group, an Emirates Group company, was established in 2001 and is now one of the leading security services providers in the region.

Jennifer Ferris, vice president sales, Asia Pacific and Middle East, Safemark Systems. Since 1983, Safemark has been supplying hotels with security solutions for their guestrooms. With over 750,000 safes installed worldwide, it is one of the leaders in innovation in the field.

Muhammad Qasim Bin Naseer, security manager, Ramada Ajman, UAE. Located in the city centre, the luxury four-star Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman features 336 rooms and suites.

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Enver Khaibullaiev, security manager, Iberotel Miramar Al Aqah, Fujairah, UAE. The 321-room Iberotel Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort lies directly next to a private beach and is embedded in a garden that is more than 60,000m2.

Moussa El Hayek, COO, Al Bustan Centre & Residence, Dubai. Al Bustan Residence Hotel Apartments in Dubai sprawls across an area of 1.2 million ft2 and offers 640 fully furnished and serviced suites. Situated only five minutes away from Dubai International Airport and seven minutes from the heart of Downtown Dubai, it also includes almost 100 retail outlets.

Robert Kunkler, senior vice president hotel operations for Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas. Anantara was born in 2001, with the launch of the first Anantara Resort in Thailand’s Hua Hin and moved out of the country in 2006 with the launch of Anantara Maldives. In the Middle East, it now has three properties operating in Abu Dhabi including Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa, which opened earlier this year.

Christophe Landais, managing director, Accor ME. Accor is present in 92 countries with more than 3500 hotels and 440,000 rooms spanning brands such as Sofitel, Pullman, Mercure, Ibis and Novotel. After almost 45 years in the market, Accor now employs more than 150,000 staff. In the Middle East alone, it has 164 hotels, featuring more than 28,000 rooms.

Stefano Cini, general manager, Probe Technology LLC. Probe Technology LLC has been established to act as a value added distributor and provides the supply, consultancy and technical support of IP security products to system integrators and IT specialists in the Middle East. Probe’s main product focus is based on CCTV solutions, including IP video, megapixel and HD CCTV.

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Q: How should hotels approach crisis planning?
Alan Macmillan, director of security services, Transguard Group: Hotels should be developing their SOPs to include crisis management and escalation planning, which are a set of procedures put in place to deal with potential problems in a variety of contexts.

Manit Narang, vice president Middle East, Africa & India, VingCard Elsafe AS: Security issues have become a higher priority in recent years across all major hotels, but we do not see that many hotels are implementing a thorough procedure to handle crisis situations.

Muhammad Qasim Bin Naseer, security manager, Ramada Ajman: We have developed a comprehensive crisis management manual and have implemented it so that we may respond swiftly in the event of any crisis.

Enver Khaibullaiev, security manager, Iberotel Miramar Al Aqah: In case of crisis management, senior staff takes charge of the situation assisted by designated officials. Robert Kunkler, SVP Hotel Operations for Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas: Middle East hotels are very well prepared in managing for crisis situations.

Christophe Landais, managing director, Accor ME: We have a standard operating procedure in case of any crisis; these procedures vary based on the crisis itself. Our SOP manual is called Accor Process to Act in Crisis, Hazards and Emergencies.

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