#HospitalityLeaders: Anwar Hajjar, General Manager, Wyndham Grand Manama

What is your vision for Wyndham Grand Manama?

We, at Wyndham Grand Manama, are planning an extensive growth plan from being a hotel to being “a Resort”. It started with opening “Spa by Wyndham Grand Manama” last year and it will continue by adding a new entertainment zone that includes a dedicated teen entertainment section and an exclusive water park. In addition, as part of the expansion and growth plan, Wyndham Grand Bahrain Bay will be developing a private beach as part of a significant integrated tourism project.

What have been your biggest challenges (and successes) over the past difficult years?

We really believe that challenges are opportunities and together as a team, we can overcome them. With this mindset, we did our best to take relevant measures like cost-management, utilizing leave accruals, and many other initiatives to overcome the challenges. As a result, Wyndham Grand Manama reached new heights even before the causeway opened with 90% of our workforce back on duty. And for this year so far, we have achieved the highest revenue figures since the hotel opening. However, success is reflected by maintaining our position and being one of the leading 5-star hotels in Bahrain. This goes without saying that it could not be achieved without the unwavering support of our owners, the Al Qaed family, the commitment of our employees as well as the support of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

Other than a great team, what qualities does your hotel have that make it stand out in Bahrain?

Our Team is not just a great team, it is, as I call them, the “Shark team”! They have earned this title by demonstrating a high level of commitment, service, and responsibility. Without their efforts and commitment, it wouldn’t be enough to reach what we are aiming to. The iconic architecture of the Hotel makes it a one-of-a-kind landmark located on the fastest-growing island of Bahrain Bay. In addition, the experience, comfort, and care at our hotel make our guests feel at home away from home.

What does hospitality leadership mean to you?

In the Hospitality business, it goes without saying that the General Manager has to be proficient in all areas of the hotel. However, leadership is personal as interpersonal abilities are the key to comprehending consumer wants and guiding in ways that inspire team members to meet those goals. Simply said, being passionate, reliable, flexible, charismatic, and patient are leadership traits that ensure the happiness of both customers and employees along with achieving business results.

Is there a particular saying or motto that guides you?

Interaction with visitors from all walks of life has long been central to the hospitality sector’s philosophy. We actively try to interact with our visitors at the Wyndham Grand Manama. Every person we encounter enhances our experience and helps us operate the property to its highest potential. We strive to live by the words “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Teddy Roosevelt