We recently had the chance to interview Zee Bassila, the newly appointed Hotel Manager at Aloft Dubai Creek. After spending years in hospitality operations in Bahrain, Zee moved to Dubai to lead one of Marriott’s growing brands – Aloft.
Tell us a bit about your role as Hotel Manager of Aloft Dubai Creek
Aloft Dubai Creek is based in the world’s most famous metropolis (I would dare to say). My role here is to look at the daily operations, deliver top lines, and focus on employee and guest satisfaction. Aloft delivers a hotel experience that combines culture, a difference in design, uniqueness, and an energetic environment.
What do you plan to achieve as the Hotel Manager of this property? What major changes will you enact?
We aim to exceed our performance compared to previous years in terms of profitability, guests, and employee satisfaction. We’re creating a popular destination brand across Deira and surrounding districts through events, entertainment, and collaboration with international partners.
How will you benchmark your success at this property?
The success of our property is measured on the basis of guest satisfaction, performance rankings, and the well-being of our team. While the last few years have been challenging, we’ve continued to move up the scale.
What qualities does the hotel have that make it stand out in Dubai?
My attention is focused on Deira, Dubai Creek, and surrounding neighbourhoods. Aloft as a lifestyle brand is unique to this area. Guests book us because of the positive, ‘sassy’, and vibrant experience we provide.
The ‘cinema-cation’ is an interesting feature. Guests can book one of our suites inspired by four themes – Superhero, Bollywood, Hollywood, and Agent House. Here, they get a Home Cinema system, a spacious lounge with a kitchenette. The Vox Cinema Outdoor is a promising addition where our guests lounge and enjoy the latest releases.
We have a new Chef de Cuisine on board; our Marketing and Rooms division will help us drive guest experiences at Aloft to the next level.
What have been the biggest lessons you’ve learned over your many years in the hospitality industry in this region?
You have to be a multi-tasker if you are a hotelier. Understanding operations, listening, analysing every situation deeply and nurturing talent are crucial parts of the journey. Being a hotelier is not a job – it’s a lifestyle. Being a leader in this space calls for coping with challenges, have quick reactions, vigilance and mindfulness.