Mina Fathy is the assistant guest services manager at the Sundus Rotana, Muscat in Oman. Mina Fathy is the assistant guest services manager at the Sundus Rotana, Muscat in Oman.

What is your career background?

I have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and information systems, and 12 years’ work experience in the hotel industry. I joined Sundus Rotana, Muscat during the pre-opening stage and I have worked with Rotana Hotels since 2014.

Why did you pursue a career in front-of-house hotel operations?

I believe that a rewarding career is one of that offers an opportunity to constantly learn new things and provides rich experiences. To me, a challenging and diverse work environment is what I seek, and being in the front office exposes me to different clients from different cultures.

What are your responsibilities at the hotel?

I supervise staff operation at the desk, I take care of the VIP guests, handle guests’ requests and complaints, take care of the reports during the shifts, lead the team during busy operations, as well as provide guidance and mentoring to the team. Knowing that I am helping guests start and end their trip to Muscat on a positive note is what keeps me motivated.

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What challenges do you face in your role?

My biggest challenge is to strike a balance between being friendly and service-oriented so that I do not overwhelm our guests. At the end of the day, guests want to know that they got value for their money. Making friends is an added bonus. Working at the front desk at Sundus Rotana means we are the first people to greet our guests and the last people they see before they leave. It is therefore our responsibility to safeguard and maintain the image and reputation of our hotel at all times.

How do you manage guest requests during peak hours?

The secret lies in good planning. We always ensure we have enough staff during the shift; we pre-organise large group check-ins to reduce waiting time; and we always address requests on a first come, first served basis. Being in the business for more than a decade, I also know how hectic it is to travel with children, and so I always keep an eye out for families with toddlers or infants who may need quicker support than individuals or couples.

What would you say are your favourite elements in the job?

Meeting people from all over the world; making them feel welcome; and ensuring as much as possible that we are able to provide them with a great start to their trip, regardless of whether it is for business of leisure.

Is it a challenge to stay positive when guests are being difficult?

It’s all about communications. There is always the possibility of misunderstanding, however, it is important to always keep smiling, be professional, and ensure that our guests know that we care and want to help.

What would you say are some of your significant achievements so far?

Being able to manage large groups and make them feel welcome at the hotel. Seeing their smiles when they get back from their tours or shopping adventures is always very satisfying.