Cluster Director of Sales & Marketing, Kuwait
IHG – Crowne Plaza & Holiday Inn Kuwait AlThuraya City, Holiday Inn Salmiya
Before you start talking about the hotel, could you tell us about your background and your career in Intercontinental Hotels Group?
I Graduated in 2006, a Double Major in Marketing and Economy from University of Jordan. I started my career with InterContinental Hotels Group in Muscat, Oman in 2012 at InterContinental Muscat as Assistant Director of Sales.
Please tell us a few words about your career in the hospitality industry. How did it all begin?
My aim was, in fact, to work in the advertising field so I started to apply my resume in my last semester in university. Meanwhile, a friend referred my resume to Marriott Hotels in Amman, Jordan, where I had no clue about hospitality! I did the interview and was accepted as Event Executive in November 2006. I started to love my job and to realize the importance of hospitality. Every single person at the hotel works to serve guests and pay their full attention to satisfy the guests based on their needs.
Could you tell us about the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Al Thuraya City’s overall concepts?
Actually, it is a complex full of entertainment for all guests regardless of age. It has three levels of Gym and Health Club open 24/7 including Luxury Spa Aquatonic (awarded as Best Spa Design in Kuwait) where guests are disconnected from the world and feel reborn! There are also nine restaurants with different cuisines, such as Japanese, seafood, Indian, Iranian, Lebanese, American, International buffet and much more.
Whether for business or leisure purposes, the location of the hotels is the most convenient among all hotels in Kuwait. Located only five minutes away from Kuwait International Airport, and 7 minutes from the Avenues Mall (and the same for 360 Mall) and close by the Government sector, guests are guaranteed easy access for both hotels and away from city traffic.
What are the advantages of having two hotels at one location?
It’s a privilege for the guests to have two options. Both the Crowne Plaza or Holiday Inn Kuwait, Al Thuraya City would match the traveller’s budget but has the same level of quality of services and food. It also gives the guests a great privilege to enjoy the wide variety of dining options with the biggest food and beverage offerings in town.
What was the biggest achievement of your career?
Being the youngest Head of Department appointed as Director of Sales and Marketing in 2014 among InterContinental Hotels Group in the Middle East, at the age of 29. Also, I consider my cluster role in Kuwait overlooking the three IHG hotels of Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Al Thuraya City and Holiday Inn Al Salmiya, with the biggest rooms inventory, convention capacity and food and beverage options as a great addition to my career.
Where are the hotels located? What are the advantages of being at this location?
Whether for business or leisure purposes, the location of the hotel is very convenient and accessible.
What features of the hotels sets them apart from other hotels in Kuwait?
Having two brands under the same complex with ten food and beverage dining options. Also, the accessibility of the airport and shopping malls. Al Thuraya City simply has something special for everyone and is very convenient for both business travellers or families looking for a weekend getaway.
Could you tell us about the different dining options available at both hotels?
We have an extensive variety of outlets. Nokhaza Seafood, Shabestan Iranian food, Ahmadi all day dining, Sakura Japanese cuisine, AyamZaman and Ayam Zaman express Lebanese cuisine.
What are your hotels/venues best known for in Kuwait?
Spa Aquatonic is a unique concept, exceptional in quality and originality of its services contributing to the high-end positioning of an establishment in which it is integrated and so differentiates it from others. Boasting 17 spacious treatment rooms in a relaxing atmosphere with soft lighting and its one-of-a-kind calming yet invigorating 650m2Aquatonic pool, making it the biggest in the world, promising no less than an extravagant and personalized pampering experience helping customers discover astonishing selections of luxury treatments using high-end brands from across the world, making it very deserving of the awards.
If you have only one weekend in Kuwait as a first-time visitor, in this limited time, what are the best things you suggest to do around the hotel?
Enjoy quality time at Spa Aquatonic. Also, our guests can enjoy free transportation to the shopping malls or have a mouthwatering meal at our Japanese restaurant, Sakura – this is a must! Also, some energizing at our fitness centre, Edge.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
As our field relies on guest satisfaction and needs, the best advice I have had is not promising guests things you cannot deliver. Promise is a big word, it either makes something or it breaks everything.
What tech tools can’t you live without at the moment?
For sure, my mobile!
What are the biggest challenges marketing teams in the hotel business face today?
The external factors we cannot control are the biggest challenge. Such regulations and decisions would affect the marketing plan; for example, the unrest situation in the region. Also, the aggressive competition between hotels nowadays as there is a new hotel every day and that is what makes the competition very aggressive.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job and what is the most difficult one?
Most Enjoyable: Every day is different from another. It may be meeting new people or putting a smile on a guest’s face by delivering the highest standards of hospitality. But, most importantly, it’s when we achieve something big as one team and one family.
Most difficult: Life balance between work and personal. Being in the hospitality industry means you have to be available 24 hours so it’s not easy to maintain your work-life-balance lifestyle. That said, with the right time management and effort it can be successfully managed.