Interview: Grand Millennium Dubai's Oussama Chalak
Resident manager on how he will succeed in role using past experience
Grand Millennium Dubai resident manager Oussama Chalak tells Hotelier how his past experience as revenue manager will help him succeed in his new role
What is your career background?
I graduated with a business degree from Computer International College in Beirut, Lebanon and attained a career development certificate in hotel revenue management from Cornell University.
I joined the hospitality industry in 2000 with Hilton Worldwide in the reservation and sales department, and then relocated among Hilton properties within the Gulf region between the UAE, Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
When did you join Grand Millennium Dubai and what are your main responsibilities?
In 2007 I joined the Grand Millennium Dubai Hotel’s pre-opening team as a revenue manager and shared my expertise and skills for three years, and was then promoted to director of revenue, and then director of rooms and finally my current position as resident manager.
I provide creative business solutions based on my previous expertise and current readings on the development of the market and the industry to foresee future changes, which will allow me to optimise operational efficiency, maximise return on investment, and ultimately achieve the hotel’s goals.
You were previously director of revenue at the hotel — how does the experience aid you in your new role?
Being director of revenue and rooms for four years has added a lot to my career progression and skills. Thorough analysis of the business environment at macro and micro levels is an essential activity for developing my skills and forecasting upcoming trends and economical conditions to maximise overall profitability and success of the hotel.
What changes are you hoping to make?
In my new position, I will propose various investments, and training within different areas of operations. The ultimate purpose and goal is to achieve the highest levels of guest experience.
From the instant guests arrive at the hotel premises, with the collaboration of the hotel management team, we will strive to apply new and innovative practices to improve our guest experience as we concentrate on having the guest at “the centre of our world”.
Furthermore, with operational tasks, I will work on providing result-oriented decisions to take the hotel to a new level.
How do you manage and motivate your team?
Managing and motivating a team is part of being a leader, and over the course of my career, I believe I have been a major support to my colleagues. I will persist in my current role to push my team to set even higher targets for themselves, and I will help them meet those targets.
Granting this empowerment to the team in their current positions will create a deeper motivation and belonging for them with regards to the jobs they are performing, which will encourage them to make bigger decisions and take more calculated risks.