In Conversation with… Sherief Abouelmagd
FACT got some insider info from the General Manager of Steigenberger Hotel Doha
Do you recall your first foray into the hospitality industry?
I started my career in 1986 in the USA with Marriott International, following a Master’s Degree in Hotel Management and Food Service. After occupying several managerial positions over 18 years, I ventured into other international chains such as Melia, Mövenpick, Shaza and currently Deutsche Hospitality as GM for the stunning Steigenberger Doha.
Where do you draw your inspiration from? Were there any mentors who influenced the way you work and think?
My inspiration comes from a great writer, Steven Covey, who inspired many generations with his famous book on Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In general, the inspiration starts with oneself who is eager to serve others and create experiences with lasting memories.
What is the role of tourism in the growth of cultural experience in Qatar? And how do you think Steigenberger can play a part in it as a whole?
Tourism is becoming a major and vital sector in the Qatari economy. Following the great boom of country development and construction, comes the next phase which is based on tourism. Qatar does possess a lot of opportunities for the segment and the country is now fully developed with sufficient room supply to accommodate increasing numbers of travellers. In addition, Qatar is becoming a major hub for international sports events throughout the year, which draws thousands of sports lovers.
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?
Beside enjoying the culture of Qatar and dealing with Qataris, the city of Doha is full of food and beverage and nightlife opportunities to suit most expats. The country is also a great haven for families offering variety, high-quality education and enjoyable living.
Tell us about your cultural background and what’s it like being a host at home? Are there any traditions you follow when welcoming guests to your personal space?
My cultural background is a mix of Egyptian and American traits, where the Arabic values are welcoming, generosity and caring for others, while American values are focused on planning and positive reinforcement to get things done right. So, delivering the best experience for my guests, either at home or at work, is driven by the same traits that make every encounter provide a lasting memory. ✤