I spent some time working in a law firm in Australia and during that time I was also working part time in restaurants and bars as a way to earn extra money for travelling. With time, I found that I enjoyed the hospitality industry a lot more than law, and decided to switch careers paths. That was when I decided to travel to Switzerland and study Hospitality Management.
How has your previous work experience inspired you to get to where you are today?
I started my career in hospitality working in restaurants and executive lounges. I later had the opportunity to be selected for a Management Trainee Programme that gave me the chance to work in reservations, call centre, finance and front office. This experience helped me develop my skills in the rooms division and pave my way to the position I hold now.
I think there are many different paths to take in order to reach a general manager position. A lot of people reach the position through a background in Food & Beverage or through experience in Sales & Marketing. I don’t believe there is ever one true set path. Everyone finds their own way through their various set of skills and experiences, what matters the most is dedication and proficiency.
Tell us a bit about the other markets you have worked in and how they compare to your current role?
Throughout my life, I have had the opportunity to build my career internationally. After studying in Switzerland, I kicked off my career with The Ritz- Carlton in The United States and then moved to Asia to work in Singapore, Bali, Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam. Each country has its own culture and lifestyle that you have to adapt to. By deciding to work internationally, you can bring new insights and skills to benefit the teams you are working with.
What are some of the challenges you foresee, and the opportunities you see crop up from them?
One of the things I would like to focus on for the two properties is, to work hand in hand with RAKTDA and drive awareness to Ras Al Khaimah as an alternative destination to the more well-known cities in UAE. I see Ras Al Khaimah as a stunning emirate with so much potential, especially with the breath-taking mountains, the alluring gulf, and of course the mystical desert landscape. The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert and Al Hamra Beach bring a diverse set of memorable experiences for guests who are open to explore the region.
I am definitely proud of having the opportunity to work in eight diff erent countries, three of which were preopening teams in South Beach, Hong Kong and Puerto Rico. However, I cannot be more proud of reaching my ultimate goal of becoming a general manager for two Ritz-Carlton properties.
In what ways are you planning to add to the success of your properties?
A key focus for both properties is to reenergise and expand awareness for our specialty restaurants; Farmhouse in Al Wadi Desert and Shore House in Al Hamra Beach, that both offer a wonderful culinary experience for guests of all tastes. Another priority is to grow the knowledge of our unique wellness offering at The Rainforest in the Al Wadi Desert property, a complete hydrothermal sanctuary combining the best of European hydrothermal culture with Middle-Eastern bathing rituals to create a calming haven dedicated to holistic rejuvenation.