In Conversation with…Ilkin Imanov

The General Manager of The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa talks about his love for Qatar and joy in learning about new cultures.

What prompted you to make the move from a regional position to GM of a single property?
I have been so attracted by the wonderful development of Qatar; in my opinion, it is an amazing destination. Also, it will be the first Arab country that will be holding one of the biggest events in the world [FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022], a lot of visitors are expected and it is a one-of-a-kind experience to be part of. We are expecting a lot of visitors next year and many ongoing activities.

What would be a typical day in your current role?
If I want to describe my day, I would say it is more or less the same as any GM, we focus on all the hotel areas and departments. I personally love to spend more time in hotel operations with my team, I also like to be engaged and wellconnected with guests and business partners. Family is also very important to me and I like to have a work-life balance and spend quality time with my family here.

What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your position and how do you deal with them?
Well, I think every position has its own challenges, but I love challenges and this is what keeps me active and going. That is the beauty of any job in order not to become stale and boring.

Is The Westin your first experience in Doha and the Middle East and, if yes, how are you finding it so far?
When I was in the corporate role I had Middle East experience as I was looking after the MEA region for a year. I love it here because it is a dynamic and competitive market.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work and what would you recommend to others in Qatar?
I am always fascinated by learning about the local cultures and, within the last three months, I have been to a few amazing places. I can definitely recommend visiting the National Museum, Katara and Souq Wakif. ✤