Joe Nassoura, director of rooms, Fairmont Dubai. Joe Nassoura, director of rooms, Fairmont Dubai.

How did hospitality as a career come about for you?

A career in hospitality was a complete coincidence, resulting in finding my lifetime passion. At the age of 18, an opportunity to join the Marriott Beirut Hotel presented itself, and I joined the property as a health club attendant. After obtaining an educational degree in banking and finance, I imagined myself working in the banking industry. However, the more time I spent in the hospitality industry, I admired it. I am a people person, and I truly enjoy interacting with guests and colleagues.

What are some of your responsibilities at Fairmont Dubai?

Overall my responsibilities are divided into two important pillars — the team and the guests. As director of rooms, I oversee the spa, housekeeping and front office operations. I am responsible for leading and managing more than 150 colleagues with a focus on providing the utmost excellence in guest service at all times.

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Having begun your hospitality career in the health club, then proceeding to sales, what prompted the shift to your current role?

My position at the health club was just a stepping stone into the hospitality industry, as I have always seen myself more in a sales role, over any other position. I was determined to progress in my hospitality career and it was not long until I became director of sales and marketing for Fairmont Dubai. I held this role for a few years and it has refined my skills further. Then it was time to take on a bigger challenge. With this in mind, I decided to develop my knowledge in operations and accepted a director of rooms position. I know that mastering the operations side of the hotel business will be crucial for me to achieve my ultimate goal of becoming a GM one day.

How do you ensure a smooth transition of back-of-house to front-of-house, with a motivated team?

My greatest motivation is the success of my team and at the end of the day it is important to have fun at work. Yes, we work hard, but when it comes to developing and recognising the team, I don’t hold myself back from giving them positive feedback and motivating them. As a leader, it is important to be part of the team — to face the operational challenges together, whilst always finding the most positive outcome for the guests. Ultimately, if my team is happy, empowered and valued, rest assured that they will deliver great results.

What are some of your career goals?

My aim is to be a director of operations or a hotel manager in a renowned five-star luxury hotel brand, in which I feel great pride. I believe that my comprehensive experience in sales, marketing, front office and housekeeping operations are an important foundation towards my ultimate goal of becoming a hotel general manager.

What are some of the most memorable achievements in your career?

There have been a lot of achievements during my time in sales departments at various hotels. One of the most significant was winning the sales team of the year award for Fairmont Dubai, for an annual company award where more than 90 Fairmont hotels compete from all around the world. The team did a phenomenal job in various sales categories. It was a proud moment. Another one which is close to my heart is achieving the Fairmont Masters for three consecutive years. This is awarded to high performing sales individuals who overachieve their annual personal sales target by 120%.