What is your vision for Elite Hospitality Group’s hotels?
To continue to be the best local brand of Hotels in Bahrain. We are continuously evolving, adapting, and improving. By the end of the year, we would be opening a lovely beach and at least two new restaurants with specialty cuisines. We endeavour to delight our guests consistently.
What have been your biggest challenges (and successes) over the past difficult years?
The Tourism industry has faced challenges not just during the Covid pandemic, but prior to that as well. We had a surge of new hotels opening in Bahrain, with no real increase in footfalls for hotels, which led to a fall in average room rates and occupancies. This, combined with unlicensed properties, has brought down market shares. Also, operating costs have spiralled, – the biggest being utility bills. The shortage of commodities over the past two years has also led to price increases, as also well as new methods of operating during the pandemic.
Other than a great team, what qualities do your hotels have that make them stand out in Bahrain?
Firstly, all our hotels are all-suite properties with large areas, pantries, kitchens, and adequate bathrooms, to cater to both business and leisure travellers. This also helps us to cater to guests who wish to stay for a longer term. We have amazing facilities, unique restaurants, nightclubs, and spas, and – all in excellent locations. Our owners have been extremely supportive. And yes we do stand out due to the excellent team …. We work as a family. …. Which we have in place. We have excellent vendors and suppliers who are our partners. I am proud to have such awesome owners and associates who have made Elite a shining local brand.
What does hospitality leadership mean to you?
As the word implies, leadership to me means leading from the front, yet knowing when to take a back seat as a mentor. It means standing up for my work family at work, and for my brand. I try and preach only what I practice. I do my best to listen, to keep learning, to stay abreast with technology, and to have consensus where possible!
Is there a particular saying or motto that guides you?
When I joined hotels, I was given a job description which stated under “Hours of duty” as “Employed for job completion and not for hours of duty”. The hotel industry is 24×7, which means long hours. I have lived by this all of my 40 years in this industry which is my passion and my love.
My Dad also taught me that “Work is worship; your place of work is your place of worship”. I believe strongly in these words which have been my motto in my career. I have been fortunate to have my lovely families’ (Both personal and work) whole-hearted support in following my motto.