The General Manager of Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel opens up about hospitality and heritage.
How did your career in hospitality start?
My hospitality career started as a sales manager at Sheraton Kuwait in 2000. Before joining Sheraton Grand Doha as Hotel Manager in 2015, I had experience at Ritz-Carlton, Doha. In 2017 I was promoted to General Manager at Sharq Village & Spa, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel. With more than 21 years’ experience in the leading hotels across the region, I was back to the Sheraton Grand Doha – which I call home – as General Manager in 2019.
Tell us about your cultural background and what it’s like being a host back home? Are there any traditions you follow when welcoming guests in your house and space?
We can easily say that I am a bit of everything. With my Lebanese origin, Levant culture is the biggest part in my background and this is coloured by Western culture by being raised in Canada and the US until a certain age. As you know – as a Lebanese, we are proud of our tradition of hospitality. As a part of our culture, we believe it is an honour to have a guest in our home and we try to make sure to make sure our guest feels at `home`.
Sheraton Doha enjoys the repute of being an important landmark in Qatar’s history and landscape. How do you make sure to keep the property relatable to every age group through time?
Since Sheraton Grand Doha first opened its doors in 1982, the hotel instantly became home to heads of state, celebrities, royalty, and ministers. It is not simply just a hotel, it is a milestone in Qatar`s history and a popular landmark with its impressive style, opulent décor and rich hospitality. Being home to generations through the years without aging, we are a bridge that connects the past and the future; a vessel that holds countless memories. The hotel has a lot to offer for every age group with nine award-winning restaurants, luxury rooms, private beach and pool, Sheraton Fitness with football, tennis and padel courts. We consistently analyse our guests to offer the best service as per their age group. As Sheraton Grand Doha, our mission is being the ambassadors of Qatar hospitality and we will continue to be the destination for the most beautiful memories for decades to come.
As an expat in Doha, what, for you, are the most interesting and unique aspects of Qatar, or your favourite thing to do here as a domestic tourist?
There are so many great things to do in Qatar! There are a great number of fantastic restaurants with really high standards, family activities, malls, outdoor activities, especially in winter. I enjoy the sense of safety here with my family and the lifestyle allows for work-life balance. Any activities with my family are always the favourite – especially going to movies or watching Netflix at home all together.
What advice would you give for someone aspiring to a career in the hospitality sector?
One of the most important things in hospitality is finding something you love and doing it with all your heart. When you work in hospitality with all your heart, it is the key to being a great host for the guests. Try to always keep track of the things that provoke your interest or bring you a feeling of excitement and enthusiasm and go figure out your boundaries to push them further. ✤