Back-of-house interview: Operations manager at Hilton Tanger City Center Hotel & Residences

Mohamed Dali, operations manager at Hilton Tanger City Center Hotel & Residences, Morocco talks about his role and his hospitality journey

Back of house, Hilton Tanger City Center Hotel & Residences, Morocco

Mohamed Dali’s role as operations manager at the Hilton Tangier City Center Hotel & Residences in the North African country of Morocco has taken him across several countries over the past 15 years. Along his journey, Dali has been taking care of guests, making sure their experience is one that meets standards of both the guests and the hotel itself. From Morocco, Dali has revealed to Hotelier Middle East some of his hospitality secrets and achievements that make sure that his guests return to the hotel again and agian.

My job in 50 words

In my role as operations manager, Hilton Tanger City Center Hotel & Residences, I have to deal effectively with both guests and team members on a daily basis. Therefore, it is my job to make sure all of them (guests and team members) enjoy an exceptional experience at our hotel.

Length of time in hospitality

I have had the chance over the years to work in different countries and for a variety of different hospitality brands. To date, I have now spent 15 years in the hospitality industry. During that time, I have experienced different cultures and positions which have shaped the way I work and have helped to make these 15 years a fruitful career path.

Time in your present position

I was named operations manager at Hilton Tanger City Center about a year ago. Prior to this, I was the food and beverage director for the Hilton Garden Inn Tangier City Centre. Slowly, my career goals evolved until I made it to the operations manager position.

My hospitality journey

I have always been inspired by my father who worked in hospitality in Tunisia. After I had attended high school, I started basic hospitality courses at college. I also took on work in a pastry department at a local hotel. For me, this was the beginning of my career, and it was the moment that I realized this is where I wanted to be in life. At this point, I decided to then engage myself in more studies in order to improve myself. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to travel to Germany where I was able to complete an apprenticeship. I am aware that I have always had this passion for hospitality and I feel proud that I have succeeded in making hospitality my occupation.

Three biggest challenges

First of all, being away from my family has been the biggest challenge. I left my wife and two daughters in Tunisia and as time goes by, I miss them a lot. Secondly, as operations manager, I now have the responsibility of handling multiple departments. As a person who previously worked in food and beverage, the new duties made me anxious at the beginning. However, in time and with Hilton’s development programs, I am now able to face this situation better. Finally, for the third and final challenge, I would say it is having the ability to adapt to a new culture. Believe it or not, Morocco and Tunisia have quite some differences, despite that they are close neighbours.

My strategies

My strategy for the smooth running of the hotel is the result of a combination of several departments and their engagement. As the operations manager, I take time to listen actively and with empathy to the guests and teams, and to build up the capacity to solve problems. In addition, I think possessing real leadership qualities can help make the perfect strategy.

Three things you absolutely enjoy about your job

What I love about my job is the people involved in it, be it customers or team; this can be most rewarding. I also enjoy belonging to a global hospitality chain, which helps me to achieve strong standards and a culture that put hospitality above anything else,. This is something I really enjoy. Also, I enjoy the corporate social responsibility projects that we initiate,. These projects aim to make a social impact on our surrounding environment.

My single biggest achievement

Until now, and one that I am proud of, my biggest achievement was successfully opening the first Hilton Hotels & Resorts property in the country of Morocco.

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