Hotelier Awards 2014 winners flashback: Dara Pinke

The former HR director of Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah reveals what she's been up to since winning the HR Person of the Year award

Dara Pinke
Dara Pinke


Dara Pinke, former HR director, Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah

What company/hotel are you currently with?
I have transitioned to a new role with Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ pre-opening project in Al Habtoor City that spans three hotels and multiple food & beverage venues and sits alongside a Franco Dragone theatre as well as three luxury residential towers.

What’s your job role now?
Complex director of human resources for The St. Regis Dubai, W Dubai – Al Habtoor City and The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City.

How has winning a Hotelier Award impacted your career?
There is an enormous amount of press regarding the Hotelier Middle East Awards and I received messages from around the world when it was announced.

Are you hoping to be nominated this year for an award?
In the coming year, I will be focused on pre-opening recruitment for three hotels in Al Habtoor City with the intention of ensuring we obtain the top talent in the industry for this prestigious project.

What is the best piece of advice you can give other hoteliers who want to win a Hotelier Award?
Passion for what you do is critical, not only in having it but in demonstrating it consistently, persistently and in every possible way.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I have never seen myself holding a role outside of a hotel-based human resources position so I will likely be in Dubai, developing my human resources team while still enjoying the culture, sun and sand.

What are you doing to achieve your goals and dreams?
My focus continues to be pre-opening hotels. You learn so much in pre-opening, from engineering information to market knowledge about room rates. The constant flow of new information keeps me engaged and determined to take our human resources practices to the next level.

What’s your dream position?
I think I’m in it now.

Who is the one person that inspires you most?
My father. Regardless of what he is working on, it’s with 100% passion and dedication. Add a sense of humor and strategic thinking and you have an individual who continues to teach me new things even at my current age.

What is your life ambition outside of work?
I would like to do more to support charitable organisations. I think it’s important to carve out time to invest in activities that connect you to the community, the support of others and to a worthy cause. Some of my most memorable moments have come from organisations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Ride to Conquer Cancer.

Nominations for the Hotelier Middle East Awards 2015 are still open, with a deadline of August 31, 2015. All of the information you need on how to nominate a colleague is available here:

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