Safety & Security: Convincing owners to invest
How can hotel security teams get the resources they need from the top?
Hoteliers have been told that they must demonstrate the serious potential consequences of inaction in order to convince owners to provide them with the necessary resources for hotel safety and security.
The issue of persuading owners to invest in security was brought up at yesterday’s inaugural Hotelier Middle East Safety and Security Summit, held on June 17 at The Ritz-Carlton DIFC in Dubai.
During a panel session, Muhammad Ihsanullah Qamar, cluster director of environment, health & safety at Al Bustan Rotana and Al Murooj Rotana, explained how owners were always looking for a justification.
“They ask a very simple question, which is ‘Why do you need this? And what was happing in the past with not having a certain requirement?’” he explained.
“It will be more attractive if it is required by the authorities; this is the easiest way to get resources.
“Second, you should demonstrate and prove to them that there could be some serious consequences if you are not given these resources. How do you communicate and how effectively do you communicate with your owner? And who is the person to get in touch with the owner?
“For companies that are dealing with a management company or an owner, it is difficult but I believe when you work in a team you can prepare a justification.
Sofitel The Palm, Dubai director of engineering Rohit Salunke added: “When an incident happens, the repercussion could be that it shuts down the business or [affect] the reputation.”
During the same session, speakers also discussed the need to go beyond just the standard mandated by regulatory authorities.
Asked about how his hotel benchmarked standards, Martin Mueller, director of engineering at InterContinental Dubai Festival City, InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Festival City, Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City and Al Badia Golf Club said: “It is always depending on which standard is higher.
“If the local standard is higher we’ll go for the local standard; if our international standard is higher, we will enforce our higher standard with the owners. That’s not always easy to do and it takes some convincing to do but we have international guests and they expect consistent safety standards throughout the world.”
“We get requests all the time from various organisations to verify that we are up to standard and that we are sure to maintain and provide the security standards.
Qamar agreed, adding the importance of not letting any authorities wrest control of the security agenda.
“First is definitely the local law, then company policy, then customer requirements and fourth is international best practices,” he said. “We don’t let authorities come and run our business; we drive our own business, making sure we are in compliance with the local authorities.”
The sponsors and exhibitors at the inaugural Hotelier Middle East Security and Safety Summit were Arecont Vision, VingCard Elsafe, World Security and Meat & Livestock Australia.