Back-of-House interview: Meet Hyatt Place Dubai’s cluster chief engineer
Lito Dalangin, cluster chief engineer at Hyatt Place Dubai Al Rigga, Baniyas Square and Wasl District talks about his role, work strategies and biggest achievement
Describe your job in 50 words.
My role entails overseeing pre-opening and engineering operations at all Hyatt Place Hotels in Dubai which currently includes three hotels and two serviced apartments – a total inventory of 728 guestrooms, dining outlets and recreational facilities. Being responsible for the engineering team means addressing every operational, maintenance and energy saving concern while ensuring that every task is done with the highest efficiency and effectiveness.
How long have you worked in the hospitality industry?
I’ve been in the hospitality industry for 22 years.
Prior to your current position what were you doing?
I was with the Grand Hyatt Dubai's engineering team for six years before joining the Hyatt Place pre-opening team in 2014. I have been responsible for three Hyatt Place Dubai openings — Hyatt Place Dubai/Al Rigga in 2014, Hyatt Place Dubai/Baniyas Square in 2015 and Hyatt Place Dubai/Wasl District in 2019.
Prior to that, I spent seven years in a resort/hotel group in the highlands of New Guinea where every day is an adventure, one needs to be resourceful as the hotels were situated rather remotely. I also had the opportunity to work with Khiran Resort in Kuwait and Four Seasons Hotel Doha. With all these I must say that Dubai is by far the best.
Describe your hospitality journey.
In one word, I would describe it as fun. As a part of the engineering team, we experience operational challenges every day. However, me and my team work on efficient solutions. There is continuous learning and knowledge sharing within my team and the fraternity of hospitality industry.
What are your biggest challenges?
Project related deficiencies and energy savings targets.
Tell us about your work strategies.
With a dynamic team of 32 members, I constantly encourage them to engage in knowledge sharing. We do internal trainings and cross-trainings that expand our scope of work and skill-sets. I also believe in empowering my colleagues and always discuss and initiate new ideas that might improve the performance of a task. Most importantly, an internal work environment is built where they can perform their best every day.
Three things you absolutely enjoy about your job.
The culture of fun in the workplace. The work-life balance it allows me to enjoy.
Describe your single biggest achievement.
With the current market trend, I think the biggest achievement is being able to save more than 20% in R&M (repairs and maintenance) expense without compromising the service quality and upkeep of the properties.
Advice received: A smart worker will always be ahead of the hard worker.
Holiday Destination: Norway/Finland to see the northern lights.
Hotel stay experience: Hyatt Regency Paris.
Hobbies: Cycling, tennis, fishing.