NEW RECRUIT: Starwood's Ghanem Al Ghanim
UAE national Ghanem Al Ghanim takes up a role in sales at Westin Dubai
UAE national Ghanem Al Ghanim has moved through departments within hotels in the Middle East, learning new skills and boosting his expertise. He now takes on a new role as sales manager at The Westin Dubai and Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina complex
What first attracted you to the hospitality industry?
The multicultural environment is what I really liked about hotels and resorts. I have always been a service-driven person, so it was interesting to know how it works from the inside.
Why have you decided to move from front office to sales?
I spent a good time in front office operations, and it’s time now for me to understand the other departments around the hotel.
I moved to sales to understand where the business comes from and how to keep the pipeline running. It’s very interesting in how you look for business from different places to maintain the hotel’s revenue, and it’s a very good challenge, and one which I am sure will help me in my career growth.
What are your views on Emiratisation programmes?
I recommend working in the hotel industry to all the UAE nationals, as we need their talent in different areas in the hotel. From a tourist and visitors’ perspective visiting the UAE, this is one of the best places to see us. It’s a good place to grow fast and to meet and understand different cultures.
True, it’s not easy to work in hospitality because of the long hours, but if you have something in mind and you have the right attitude you can progress and succeed in anything.
A lot of us are not clear or familiar on how or what you can do in hospitality, although you might find the same sections in other industries.
Why don’t we see a UAE national as director of finance, IT or engineering? There are lots of positions that any experienced local can fill and never forget the UAE national women. I understand it’s not easy for our culture, but I can see strong women in the society where they have proved themselves.
What are the new challenges you will face in the role?
Having been in hospitality for a couple of years already, I might face fewer challenges than a newcomer to this field. Nevertheless, life is all about challenges and when you can prove to yourself that you can do it, that’s a great feeling.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
I am looking forward to getting the sales and marketing experience and to prove myself and grow. It is also a fantastic transition to be a general manager in the future, and it is also a good place to meet new people apart of front office.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I’d like to be director of sales.
- March 2003 to April 2005: Etisalat, team leader – customer service.
- April 2005 to June 2008: Jumeirah Emirates Towers, night duty manager.
- June 2008 to June 2009: The Dubai Mall, assistant operations manager.
- June 2009 to April 2011: Jumeirah Beach Hotel, guest services manager.
- April 2011 to October 2011: Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre, assistant front office manager.
- December 2011 to November 2012: The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, assistant front office manager.